Walnut Creek, California
2000 - (Y2K)

The winter class and seminar schedule published 13 PC and Mac classes and 6 seminars, including "hands-on." Membership  total 1,180 manors.

New board members were Jim Drummond and Dee Gifford to represent the Mac users.

In spite of the Y2K problems, we undertook many new and successful steps this year.  When attendance at our weekly workshops for PC's and MAC's increased to more than the classroom could hold, we changed the workshops to Mondays and moved them to the Del Valle Clubhouse in Rossmoor. This gave our workshop teachers and participants more room, better facilities and easier parking.

We also introduced separate weekly "Beginners Workshops" where seniors learn to use the mouse and a few other basics.  These hands-on sessions were very popular, thanks to the effective teaching of Don Torrence, the Club's vice-president.

In cooperation with the Acalanes Adult Education Center, the Club was able to obtain 21 MAC computers, and install them in a classroom for "hands-on" MAC classes.  The first MAC beginners class filled up quickly.  More such classes were scheduled.

At the e-mail room at Gateway, volunteers  continued to send and receive e-mails for residents who did not have computers.  For many residents, this was their first introduction to computers, and some then went on to get their own computers.  These e-mail services were also expanded to include free long-distance phone calls over the Internet, and to using the Internet to reserve books from the Walnut Creek Library.

Much of what we have accomplished could not have been done without the continuing support from Acalanes Adult Education.  The Center provides  us with the classroom space and support, and helps us in a great many ways. It is a great partnership and a great demonstration of people working together toward common goals for the benefit of all.

The Computer Club was well on its way toward achieving its goals to encourage seniors to use computers.  It was a deliberate planned campaign organized by Al Halpern with assistance from a few members.  Initially there were just lectures and some basic classes.  Then the Club sponsored meetings to explain to the general public what computers could do.  As more people got interested, and got computers, more and different classes were offered.  Equally important was the reassurance that help would be available, by telephone and by house calls.  Al Halpern made most of the house calls, and solved many problems, whether caused by faulty computers or, more often, by the computer operator.

When the computer classes required computers, projectors and other very expensive equipment, it was purchased with borrowed money, and with the expectation that it would be repaid from the Club dues and class fees.  Repayment was made, but there was always a need for more money for new or replacement equipment.  That process continues.

Since our students were all seniors, our classroom instruction was specially designed for seniors.  Classroom instruction was supplemented by weekly workshops where people could ask questions without embarrassment.  The Club also developed special textbooks, using a step-by-step approach and illustrated at each step by pictures of the computer screen.  As our students learned, and then bragged about their accomplishments, their friends and neighbors then got interested and came to class.  Classes became more numerous and more crowded, and the Club soon outgrew the available space and then had to hire professional computer teachers who were skilled in teaching seniors.

There were many other steps along the way to help build the Computer Club, starting with a good plan and a strong foundation and the help of many volunteers.

In August the annual barbecue was held and catered by Fritz.
In December the annual Holiday and Dinner Show was scheduled for two days instead of just one, in order to accommodate our many members.  Both days were quickly sold out. This was catered by Sunrise Bistro.