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Information about joining PCC, information for vendors, FAQs, community activities and accessibility. 

For Vendors

Membership Information

Members of PCC include professionals in the computer industry and other professions, users, developers and novices interested in the use of personal computers. Operating systems used include Windows, OS/2 and Linux. Members range in age from 12 years old to 80 plus. About twenty percent of the members are women.

The main meetings are held on the first Friday of each month. Members have a high level of sophistication with respect to both hardware and software. Members have served as beta and usability testers for many vendors.

Facilities

We can provide an overhead display and LCD projector capable of displaying 1024x780 on a large screen. Main meetings are held in a large room at the Calvary Baptist Church, 28924 Ruus Road, Hayward California.

PC Community has hosted larger meetings for special events such as product roll-outs in conjunction with vendors such as Microsoft. In 1996, PC Community hosted a preview of NT 4.0 for Microsoft with about 400 people in attendance from all over the Bay Area.

Smaller meetings are held at the Clubhouse and in members' homes and offices. Those meetings are more focused and are conducted more like workshops than meetings.

Location

Hayward is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, approximately 40 minutes from San Francisco and Silicon Valley by car, and 20 minutes from the Oakland Airport. We are close to several other large user groups, including Diablo Valley PC Users Group, which meets the night before PC Community, making it possible to coordinate presentations with both groups to do two presentations. Maps and Directions.

Product Reviews

In addition, members review products provided by vendors and from their own purchases. The reviews are published in our print newsletter and some are available on-line to visitors to our web site. The newsletter is also distributed to other user groups who have permission to reprint reviews.

Contacts

  • For information about presentations at a PC Community General Meeting:

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (510) 589-9677

  • To provide software, books or hardware for review:

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (510) 589-9677 

  • For presentations to PC Community Special Interest Groups (5-30 people attending):

Contact the Special Interest Group leader whose group may be interested in your product.

We welcome presenters who come to impart information about their products and who are knowledgeable about the products offered. We look for more than just a sales presentation to fulfill our goals of providing information and support to our users.

Community Activities

Computers for Many

PC Community has a long history (20+ years) of donating computers to those whose lives can be changed by access to technology. Many computers have been refurbished by members and donated to members of the larger community.

Most of the work was done by members who are regular participants in activities at the Clubhouse. Donated computers and certain peripherals were received there, evaluated for their utilitarian value and processed for further use or disposal.

The Clubhouse also accepted requests for computers and/or peripherals. Once the request was approved, arrangements were made for the item (s) to be picked up. In some cases, if the recipient was not able to personally pick up the item (s) someone from this area would arrange the pickup. Often, additional support in the form of set up and follow-up was provided to make sure that the recipient can make use of the computer. More than 400 computers have been recycled and given to members of the community.

Special Needs Access Project

In the spring of 1993, the APCUG (Association of PC Users Groups), an international organization of PC users groups, worked with the Ziff-Davis Publishing Company to create REACH (Recognizing Exceptional Achievement in Community Help) a series of awards recognizing the community contributions made by PC user groups like ours. Backed by such notable sponsors as Apple Computer, Microsoft Corp., Panasonic Communications and Ziff-Davis, they recognized five categories of contribution: Education and Training, Environment and Conservation, Civic and Cultural Affairs, Social Welfare and Improvement, and Medicine and Health.

At the 1993 Spring COMDEX in Atlanta, Georgia, the first annual REACH awards were presented. PC Community received a $15,000 award in the category of Medicine and Health. This was a major achievement for PCC, a relatively small users group consisting of 300 members. The other recipient user groups ranged from 1,600 to 20,000 members in size.

The REACH award money was used by PCC's SNAP (Special Needs Access Project) to support to a variety of projects for people with special needs. SNAP has been able to help several students and young adults obtain Braille ' n Speaks, a PDA-like device that uses Braille input and output. PCC provided a follow-up grant as one of the recipients increased her skills so that she was ready to benefit from an upgrade in equipment and software.

The remaining SNAP funds were used to promote other member-sponsored projects for computer users with special needs. PCC/SNAP collaborated with the Visually Impaired Program in Oakland in setting up a learning center for younger (elementary school) pupils so that the technology provides a transparent window to education throughout their entire school careers. A musician ho suddenly lost function in her hands received financial support to obtain the specialized music software she needed, as well as the hardware it demanded; in the process, PCC members provided her with expert guidance in evaluating vendor offerings.

Other Projects

In the past, PCC has worked closely with Bay Talk, a San Francisco computer user group for the visually impaired, providing computer equipment and expertise to aid their members.

PCC also aided development of the BBS for the Disabled Children's Computer Group (DCCG) of Berkeley, CA. The BBS was honored by Boardwatch magazine as one of the ten best BBSes in the U.S. (DCCG--which has since changed its name to Center for Accessible Technology, CforAT, to better reflect its range of service--is the local branch of the Alliance for Technology Access.) The BBS operated for 5 1/2 years, then succumbed on July 31, 1998, due to the popularity of the web. The CforAT web site continues to provide information similar to that available on the BBS, including articles regarding speech input technology for PC.

PCC members, and PCC as an organization, have provided surplus computer equipment and accessories to the Oakland (California) Unified School District as school funds have become increasingly scarce. Not only have PCC members made donations, they have provided countless hours of technical assistance and have also served as conduits for donations from the community to the Oakland Schools and to others, often going to remote locations and transporting equipment.

PCC has provided several Braille 'n Speak handheld computers to students in the Oakland Programs for Exceptional Children (PEC). These devices were not available through the schools, other agencies, or the families' very restricted finances. Using this appropriate technology, blind students mainstreamed into regular high school classes preparing themselves to enter the adult world as productive citizens.

PCC funds have been provided to purchase more conventional computer equipment for groups such as the previously mentioned CforAT and ROTAPLAST4, a volunteer medical group providing corrective surgery to children in Latin America.

PCC has sponsored the Oakland Programs for Exceptional Children (PEC) in becoming a partner with the National Cristina Foundation. This partnership makes students and staff in PEC eligible to receive donated computers to enhance the instructional program through the use of technology.

As you can see from PCC's accomplishments, its size has not been a constraint on the quality of its services, and we will continue to use technology to enhance the community that we all enjoy.

For more information on donations and other projects, contact:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Vice President for Special Projects
PC Community

Meeting Accessibility

Main Meeting Site

The meeting room at the Calvary Baptist Church, 28924 Ruus Road, Hayward California, is accessible from the parking lot immediately adjacent to the building. To get to the parking lot, follow the directions to the meeting. The entrance is at ground level and the room is wheelchair accessible.

Other Sites

Check with individual SIG leaders to find out information about access. Meetings are at different locations and change from time to time. Use the SIGs page or the newsletter to find out who the leader is and how to contact him or her.

If you need other assistance, contact one of the Officers.

FAQs

What is PC Community and what is its mission?

PCC has about 110 members, including professionals in the computer industry and other professions, users, developers and novices interested in the use of personal computers. Operating systems used include Windows, OS/2 and Linux. Members range in age from 12 years old to 80 plus. About twenty percent of the members are women.

Approximately one half of the members attend the main meetings, which are held on the first Friday of each month. Members have a high level of sophistication with respect to both hardware and software. Members have served as beta and usability testers for many vendors.

PCC members are extensively involved in community programs. PCC also maintains a Clubhouse at a local adult school facility where community members may drop in.

Where is PC Community located and where are meetings held?

We are located in the East Bay Area about 30 east of San Francisco. Our main meeting is held in Hayward, California. We have other meetings during the month that meet at various members' homes and offices.

In addition, we have a room at the Hayward Adult School where we recycle and refurbish donated computers, have meetings, socialize and work on our own computers. The "Clubhouse" has a network and a fast connection to the Internet.

How do I join?

You can come to one of our meetings and join, fill out and mail a form from this web site, visit a SIG meeting or go to the Clubhouse.

What if there are two people in the same household--do they have to pay two sets of membership dues?

No. The second person in the household pays a discounted amount because only one newsletter will be delivered to the household.

When are meetings?

The main meeting is on the first Friday of the month (except for certain holidays) and SIG meetings are held on various dates during the month. The best way to find out the date and time of a meeting is to check the web site calendar.

Do you accept donations?

Sure we do! We accept computers and peripherals. Please check with an officer or someone at the Clubhouse before bringing or sending anything because there are some items that we cannot accept. We also will gladly take cash donations, grants or other funds.

What you do with computers that are donated?

The computers are refurbished and tested. Additional peripherals such as CD-ROM drives and other devices may be added to the systems as needed. If a computer cannot be reused, it is broken down, useable parts are saved and the remainder is recycled.

PCC has donated computers that assist students to complete their homework more easily and to learn to read. Seniors have received computers that allowed them to keep in touch with friends and relatives. Adults have been able to use computers to assist with their retraining.

Do you have classes or other training?

We do have occasional workshops, but no formal classes or training. At the Clubhouse, members learn how to rebuild and test computers with assistance from other members.

Do you provide technical support for non-members?

Generally, we do not. Receiving support from members is one of the benefits of being a member.

Do you accept volunteers?

We accept volunteers with great pleasure.

Is there a fee for a subscription to the newsletter or can I subscribe to newsletter?

The cost of the newsletter subscription is included in the membership fee. Because our dues are nominal, we do not have separate newsletter subscriptions. By the way, our newsletter has won several awards for newsletters from the Southwest Regional Conference of user groups and APCUG.

How do I get answers to other questions?

Please check this site for other information. You can search the site from the top menu.

I am a beginner, can you help me?

Yes, we can. We all started as beginners and got help from others in the group. We are delighted to help other new users.

I'm advanced, can you help me?

Many opportunities exist for advanced users. Sharing information with others always results in learning something new. You can also help us--we can use extra people to work on the computers that we refurbish and welcome people who want to start Special Interest Groups.

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