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Thursday, Aug. 15, 2002

LIFELINES

A load of computer clubs and a wad of financial advice


This column may be produced in Tokyo, but the newspaper circulates nationwide and indeed is read online worldwide. So we feel we are not doing our jobs properly to focus on Tokyo alone. While we have heard of a Macintosh computer group in Osaka, there must be others -- and in Nagoya, Fukuoka and Sapporo, too. We live in hope of being able to pass on such information.

In the meantime, good news for Mac users, both in Kanto and Kansai. The Mac user group Ringo Tokyo, which was established 15 years ago, is still up and running. The founder is no longer in Japan, but German-born Richard Weyer does a great job in keeping it ticking over. "We're always keen to welcome new members," he says.

Ringo Net organizes weekly Friday meetings from 7-11 p.m. at Apple Headquarters, 48F, Tokyo Opera Building Shinjuku, Hatsudai Stn (on the New Keio line). Demos, problem solving methods, giveaways, new software and lots more are introduced.

For further information, contact Richard on 049-287-4573, or check out www.ringo.net

To make contact with the Kinki Mac Users Group, phone either Nozumi on 0798-67-5294, or Tom on 0728-75-4588.

Digital Eve, a supportive international Tokyo-based club promoting women's digital lifestyles, is designed to appeal to women interested in or working with computing, design, the Internet or new technologies.

It organizes hands-on workshops, monthly meetings, social and special events, discussions, and career opportunities. On Saturday, Sept. 7, there will be a coffee information social for new members, long-term members and prospective members. The venue has yet to be decided but the following Website will keep you informed: www.digitaleve.japan.org

Membership is free for everyone, whether Japanese or non-Japanese. For more information, E-mail: info@digitalevejapan.org

Last, but not least, in part because it claims to be the largest English-speaking personal computer club in Japan, check out the Tokyo PC Users Group.

Current president Mike Lloret says the group was founded in late '81 or early '82. Also the editor of TPC's newsletter, The Algorithmica Japonica, he ran a 2-part article on the "ancient history" of the group last summer. Check out: www.tokyopc.org/newsletter/2001

Meetings take place monthly in the basement (accessed from the side of the building) of the Tokyo Union Church on Omotesando-dori.

The remaining meet dates for this year are Sept. 5, Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5. Next month will have a couple of experts dealing with Internet security.

Probably the most helpful thing the group offers - not only nationwide but worldwide - is the TPC newsgroups, accessible by pointing a newsreader to: www.news.tokyopc.org or by following the "Newsgroups" link from the main Website, which will bring you here: www.tokyopc.org/tpc/newsgroups.html

The newsgroups are a categorized collection of forums, and some of the most helpful are tpc-help, tpc-hardware, and tpc-software. There are many others dealing with such topics as Internet access, mobile computing, Internet telephony, etc., and each forum is visited by help-seekers and advice-givers.

Contact president@tokyopc.org for further information. Or write to the group at PO Box 103, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8691. Search www.tokyopc.org for map, details and more on computer help newsgroups.

Having recently lost my financial adviser in the U.K. to retirement, I asked around for a possible replacement here in Japan.

Amy Kha, Sales Support representative for Royal Skandia Life Assurance Limited in Hong Kong (via RSLA in the Isle of Man) had the following recommendations (two in Tokyo, one in Osaka - hurrah!), which readers might find useful:

Trevor Reynolds -- Banner Japan KK, 4F Esperanza Ebisu Building, 3-2-19 Ebisu-minami, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-002. Tel. : 03-5724-5100 Fax : 03-5724-5300. E-mail: banner@gol.com

Jean Paul Bos -- Temple Bar, Level 18, Yebisu Garden Place Tower 4-20-3, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-6018. Tel.: 03-5789-5881 Fax: 03- 5789-5757. E-mail: jp@templebarint.com

Tony Campbell -- Campbell Co., Hanahara Building No. 5., Suite 401, 7-8-17 Nishimakajima, Yodagawa-ku, Osaka 532-0011. Tel.: 066-101-0356 Fax: 066-101-0357. E-mail: campbell@osb.att.ne.jp

Due to a misunderstanding, the last part of a Website was left off in my last column (Lifelines; Aug. 1). The online search address for Married in Japan should have read: www.foreignwives.homestead.com/ MIJ.html



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