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War of Rebellion Reenactments

150 Years Ago Today - The US Navy in the Civil War. Get a briefing similar to what the Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, gave to President Lincoln

First person conversation with Percival Drayton, Captain, US Navy.

Lieutenant Commanding Ezra Seals, USN gave presentations to many groups and events incluiding Sturbridge Village's "Redcoats to Rebels", Small and Home Office Association, Submarine Force Museum, Fort Trumbull, Bethel, CT 5th Grade classes, Norwich Heritage Trust and many others.

McLean Research Associates Press Release

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

McLean Research Associates is pleased to announce the completion of another web site - this one for Leone's Auctioneers & Appraisers at LeonesAuctions.com. This site provides Leone's with the ability to update auctions and their contents in real time.

In order to accomplish this, a shell was created which allows the auctioneer to enter items and their descriptions into an online database. Once ready for the public to view the auction information the auctioneer needs merely to follow a couple very simple steps: 1) to verify that all pictures have been uploaded to the site and that the information is correct, and 2) with a touch of a button provide the link to the main page of the site so that customers can view the contents of the auction.

In addition to the exciting technology available to Leone's Auctioneers, the web site was given a thorough redesign. Its clean, usable interface coupled with XHTML 1.0 compliance of the underlying coding ensures that all browsers will be able to view the site. The pleasing interface design was the direct result of the interaction of Leone's Auctioneers staff and McLean Research Associates.

SAHOA PRESS RELEASE

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
From: Small And Home Office Association of Southeastern Connecticut (SAHOA)
SAHOA Officers Strong on Micro-Enterprise Bill

New London County - Kathy Pooler, Owner of Publications Plus and Vice President of SAHOA, and Geoffrey McLean, Owner of McLean Research Associates and Secretary of SAHOA, (both of Norwich) recently testified at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford in support of Bill 5598 to the Commerce Committee of the Connecticut Legislature. The bill was introduced by State Representative Diana Urban of North Stonington and is supported by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women.

This Bill would establish a commission to study the unique problems of the Micro-Business in competing for State of Connecticut contracts. During testimony preceding SAHOAs, it was apparent that there is no actual definition of what a Micro Business is but it seems to relate to the very small company - perhaps less than 10 employees and $1 million revenue (perhaps even smaller).

Ms. Pooler spoke about missed opportunities that micro businesses experience due to inadequate provisions for smaller contracts awarded by the State. She stated that contracts under $10,000 (which is a lot for a Micro business) are routinely not put out to bid and just awarded outright by the contract agent. Ms. Pooler also stated that she had felt intimidated by larger "small" companies who could bring to bear far more manpower than she could even though the task was within her capabilities.

Mr. McLean testified that software development contracts are difficult to find and that he had given up early on in trying to contract with the State due to the amount of time required to find and respond to Request for Proposals (RFPs). He further stated that although he had the capability to produce software at far less cost than competitors, the larger "small" businesses were able to draw on more resources to get contracts.

Both members of SAHOA voiced their opinion during the hearing that a micro business set aside program would be a win-win situation for the State. Ms. Pooler also expressed concerns over the ability of the micro business owner to obtain affordable medical coverage, deduct time and effort for administrative duties including accounting and tax preparation, among other items.

Upon completion of testimony, the Commerce Committee made the statement that a task force would be formed to study the Bill. Now that the initial work is done the next step will be to get the Bill out of committee, voted on, and a commission set up.

SAHOA is a tax-exempt association of small and home office business owners in the southeastern Connecticut area. We hold monthly dinner meetings and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and concerns and are dedicated to providing support to small businesses as well as encouraging the continued growth of small businesses in the area.

For more information about the status of this proposed legislation, or for information about SAHOA, please contact vice president, Kathy Pooler, at 889-2893.

SWE-NESS Web Site

* * * Press Release * * *

McLean Research Associates is pleased to announce the completion of the second of a three phase upgrade to the sweness.org web site.

In the past, the website newsletter was posted using an Adobe Acrobat copy of the award winning hardcopy newsletter. While this was fairly quick, there were several technical issues which were unsolvable. Because the newsletter is very visually oriented, many fonts and graphics are included with each edition. Thus the size of the pdf file, even though half of the original Microsoft Word documents, were still in the 200 - 300 K size, which at typical download speed could easily take up to 10 minutes to download.

In an attempt to become more efficient for the downloading aspect, it was decided to convert the newsletter to HTML. However, HTML is not a publishing medium, and the effort to create clean code was very time intensive. Geoff took over 8 hours to correct the newsletter's generated HTML and to format, review, and finally post the newsletter.

In typical rapid prototype design, however, discussions with Sue Anderson, Kim McLean, Denise Schmidt, the Executive Committee, and Geoff McLean soon resulted in a new strategy. The new newsletter is now in the process of becoming an integral part of the site. Geoff developed an online form for the newsletter editor to fill out. The form provides the framework for the newsletter and gives a sense of how it will appear to the editor. Contents of the form can be edited to provide some ability to determine how the online newsletter will look. Using a standard form provided Geoff with a means to provide a database to store the various elements in. Thus the database now has fields (for example) for the Career Guidance articles. Currently, the webmaster has the ability to then generate the online newsletter with the touch of a button using a program written by Geoff which generates validated HTML. In case there is need, the resulting HTML can be modified on a per-issue basis. This is the first part of the three phased developmental effort.

The second phase will consist of automatically generating the contents, in particular the important news items and dates for the main page. Thus, old items will disappear and the next 30 days' events will always be current. With this automation, the webmaster will no longer have to manually update the main page and the archives page for the latest information.

In Phase three, a search capability will be provided, so that past articles can be searched for in the archives. Among the various search criteria will be words, article types (President's notes), etc.

Phase three will begin next year when there is sufficient reason to create the searchable database. The changes to the site will be transparent to the users but will add significant flexibility and depth to the SWE-NESS site.

* * * End of Press Release * * *

Rose City Genealogy Club Web Site

Currently working has been updated with forms for adding research lists Check it out at http://RoseCityGenealogy.org

Gene

This project is a genealogy database program written in C using MySql and Motif under Linux. 

Norwich Heritage Trust

Initial work completed. Check it out at http://NorwichHeritageTrust.org

Financial Wizard

Now Available: Financial Wizard A Technology Demonstration (freeware). Available in the Archives Section
Penguin  Financial Wizard Version 1.1 for Motif.
Windows Financial Wizard Version 2.0 for Windows 95/8

Home-Based Business Person of the Month November 1998:

    Geoffrey McLean, Owner of McLean Research Associates

McLean Research Associates, a software training and development company opened for business in January of 1997. The company is owned by Geoffrey McLean, a programmer who began his career with the Navy. When the Navy abandoned a computer training simulation program, Geoff decided to develop an improved product which could replace it. His idea was to design something the Navy would find useful, but which could be adapted to the consumer market as a game. The result is a product called Naval Engagement!, set for release early next year. He also develops small business applications, most recently a customized inventory and customer tracking system.



The company soon expanded beyond the scope of software development when Geoff became the President of the Eastern Connecticut Linux Users Group. (Linux is a freely distributed, Unix-based operating system developed by Finnish programmer eight years ago. Unlike Windows and Apple, no one owns it, however, thousands of programmers jointly work on upgrades and bug fixes.) The group highlighted a local need for training of professionals, which led to the second part of Geoff's business. He works in conjunction with DownCity, a Norwich-based Internet Service Provider, to offer courses on programming in C, C++, and Motif to programmers and other computer professionals.



Geoff truly enjoys working from home, as it allows him to work on his Civil War era house while working on a variety of interesting projects. He doesn't miss the long commutes to work, nor the corporate culture. He finds the hardest part of being self-employed is finding time to do everything he'd like. All the same, by working from home, he says, "I get so much more done".



Originally from Ohio, Geoff spent nine years in the Navy before settling here and going to work for Electric Boat. He plans to do more teaching while bringing the current products to market. Then, he'll continue to upgrade and support the existing products while developing new projects. When sales begin to take off, he may sell the marketing and distribution end of the business to concentrate more on programming and teaching. Visit Geoff's web site at http://www.mcleanresearch.com to learn more about his business.