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From the Editor's Desk...
Speaking of Bimbos and Flute Players....

One week into the New Year and Millennium... anything different? Can't prove it by me. Recently though,  I had the "good" fortune of visiting one of these licensing, instructional centers for computers and software that are endorsed by Microsoft and the Testing Center that does the MCSE, CNE etc. certification tests.  On all outward appearances, it had all the trappings of a highly professional operation.  Plenty of classrooms filled with computers and what appeared to be qualified teachers and support personnel. 

While I was waiting in the "waiting area" to speak with the head person, she was in a conference, a gent sat down beside me.  As I was reading an article about Win2k, he noticed such and began a litany of negatives about  Windows 2000.  I acted surprised and asked how did he become so familiar with this OS?  Incredibly, He replied he got it from a friend who was a beta tester. 

He then went on to tell me all about the wonders of some fellow by the name of Farhat. (the only Farhat I knew of in the area was deceased at the hands of another) Farhat was, in this guy's opinion; "the greatest thing since sliced bread as far as computers were concerned."  I then asked; Is this who you got the copy of Win2k from?  The fellow replied "sshh I didn't tell you" with a grin.  I chuckled and asked him why he was so upset with Win2k. 

As this guy began his scourge of Win2k he showed his obvious ignorance of the system itself by claiming, among other things, it was more difficult to learn and use than NT4.    I kept thinking to myself "who is this goof?"  Oh well,,, I then remarked you can always go to the latest incarnation of Win98.  After all, they say its very close to NT with out all the "confusion."  His next answer absolutely bowled me over.

This fellow then said he had the NEWEST version of '98 it was a beta called "Millennium".  He went on to say it was merely a rehash of Win98se that had a good number of bugs fixed that were in the last release of '98.

At that point the gal I was there to see came out and immediately introduced this fellow to me as one of her "top" instructors! Needless to say I felt like walking out of the joint in sheer disgust.  But I said to myself.. since I was this far into seeing what this place was all about I decided to go the route.

Now, she handed me over to another young lady who was, to say the least, abrasive and rather aggressive in her approach for a five foot something person.... (they say all short people are feisty <g>) You see, I was there on a second interview for an instructor's position with a scheduled "audition" so they could see my classroom technique.  Many of you should remember the numerous seminars we conducted in Chicago, Washington DC, and numerous other places...  Needless to say, after waiting close to an hour past the appointed time, I was somewhat irked by the jerk-around I perceived taking place.

In any case, the young lady that was "in charge of instructors" was, almost immediately, all over me over my obvious displeasure at waiting around for what seemed like forever.  So much so that she jumped right in my face, with an attitude, wanting to know if I was ready to give a demonstration.  My answer was simple ... I worked with computers all day, every day ...I'm ready. 

I was ushered into an empty classroom by "Madam Feisty" and intro'ed to the instructor who had just completed a class.  He took a moment to familiarize me with the location of the felt markers and the use of the overhead projector and its quirks of operation.  He wished me good luck and departed saying he was going home.  I then prepared my presentation outline on the marker board and set the projector to where I wanted to begin the demonstration session.

A few moments later a few of the instructors walked into the classroom and sat down.  We would soon begin or, so I thought. Suddenly, we were ushered into another classroom where the markers were not where they were supposed to be and the projector and computer were totally different from the previous classroom... So I decided to "wing-it"  The instructors, the manager of instructors and the top person walked in and asked for the session to begin as there was another audition scheduled to begin very soon. "And we are running late."  The "rush" was on.

I found all but one of the instructors to be fair and up front.  One however, lied... he was sitting on the left side of the room slightly to the left of and two rows in front of the top lady who was sitting in the last row of seats.  The instructor manager was sitting on the left side of the aisle, in an aisle seat in the next to the last row.   I noticed this guy right off the bat as he had "Betty Boop" eyes...  I remarked to myself as I looked at him that has to help get attention in a classroom.

Much to my chagrin, Mr. "Betty Boop" eyes lied and told the head gal I had not made eye contact with him during the course of the demonstration. None of the observers complained of a lack of "eye contact"  as I made certain to look at each one of them. I distinctly remember looking directly at him and getting an acknowledgment nod over a point made about the use of Windows 95. 

When this came to pass.. it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was being stroked because a dear friend of mine who was also a dear friend and had known the top lady of this school from her childhood days, had recommended me to her. I guess to massage our mutual friend I got the stroke-job.  (The old,  "at least we gave him a chance" routine) Or, the top lady talked too much too soon and scared those under her into taking defensive and protective measures lest their "thing" be upset. ie., Milking the School for all it was worth.

Why all this? Its simple... these schools are collecting BIG BUX from governments, corporations and private individuals.  Gotta say it... those who are running things need to tested.  Tested for their abilities, tested for their intentions and goals and tested for their abilities to stay on top of the growth of the industry.  I went into this place to teach Win98x, Win2k basics and Adobe PS5.5. They did not have any of these products....  they were still using 95, 95b, NT4 and had not one copy of Photoshop. None! This all took place this past December.  This school, like others, have an incumbent responsibility to have their instructors up to speed for Win2k which is in release at this time and due to hit the shelves by Feb 17. Not to mention Adobe Photoshop... its the PREMIER tool for creating efficient top-notch graphics for the web and most any other purpose.

Back to the goof in the waiting room... Badmouthing Win2k, bragging about having copies of software is one thing but badmouthing the product to make one's self appear "highly informed" borders on criminal activity,  This was and still is a teacher at this "Certification School".  God Help the industry if this is what we have teaching folks what to and how to do things. That guy is a first class BOZO.  Truly a case of the blind leading the blind!  The Titanic of the Computer World.  Better yet, in plain English... the "con" job of the decade.

They should dump this pirate disguised as a teacher and dump the so-called manager of instructors... she couldn't manage a pencil sharpening contest with only one contestant.  She had admitted to me she hadn't a clue about the subjects being taught at this school.. I thought to myself; Just what were her "qualifications" for her administrative position in charge of the instructors,  Judging from the pirate instructor I met, I'd say her qualifications were no where near those needed for the position.  "She hadn't clue..." Perhaps this was the only truth she offered me.

In all humility and sincere honesty, I know I have more going for me, as far as computers, hardware and software are concerned, in my pinky finger than they had in that entire building.  Its sad because it appears as if the top lady there was so thoroughly bamboozled by those whom she trusted without question. Dear Top Lady, you need a real administrative assistant if that school is to survive and prosper.

See what I think of these so called "schools" now. click here

This sort of nonsense is what will undoubtedly cause the complete and total regulation of our industry by governments from local to federal. One day, once we are under government's heavy regulatory thumb, we shall all look back and say; We had it so good, why didn't we safeguard it"?

I could be wrong... I don't think so... If you think I am... by all means, let me hear from you. You can also reach us via Email or our very own newsgroups.  Simple point your newsgroup reader to and you'll be there.

Time for a shameless plug;
STR has announced the release and shipping of a new Software Reference CD titled:

The Saltwater Sport/Game Fish Digest cd check it out.  It has five years of work into it, its graphics, photos and compilation of data.  The Data ranges from rule & regulations to recipes and just about everything else applicable to the title. This is a good one... get a copy today.  Updates are free for one year. Future releases will include Freshwater Sport/Game Fish and then.. Ornamental Fish Care & Keeping for both Fresh and Saltwater. PS, it makes a wonderful Gift for any occasion!



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