MICRO-COMPUTER ASSISTED ADMINISTRATION FOR ATHLETIC PROGRAMS
(Monday, June 11, 10:15- ~1:15 a.m.)
I will be opening this session. Charlotte West will be closing and fielding any questions. Three
years ago I attended my first NACDA meeting in Hollywood. Florida and one of the sessions there that L got a great deal from and enjoyed tremendously was the one on computers. The problem was I came away from that session not really knowing that much about it and at Kansas State we tried to come up with some
sort of a system that would work for us. We looked into many different areas. talked to people at Iowa State and other places about the possibility of looking into the university system. We didn't think
that would work. We didn't have the money at that time to get the full systems with IBM, Qantel and so
on. and we have now for the last couple of years tried to figure if a mini- or a micro-computer would work for us. We have two very informative panelists that I have visited with. I have got many good ideas and I think they will be able to help you make some decisions on whether or not the micro- or mini-computer is something that you might be able .to use in your department. We have Dr. George Uhlig. George was an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska. He did his graduate work there also. He was on the staff
of the University of Nebraska. Eastern Kentucky University. Ohio State and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is presently the dean of the college of education. University of South Alabama in Mobile. He started with computers in 1976 working with the micro-computer in his work in the field of education. He has three micros at home. He has 30 computers within the department of education at the University of South Alabama.
Our other panelist is Dr. Phil Feldman. He did undergraduate work at the University of Mississippi. He did graduate work at Memphis State. He has been on the staff at Tennessee-Martin. He is presently on the staff of the University of South Alabama. He is director of field services. the college of
education. He is on the national faculty there. He has been a special consultant to Monsanto and the International Paper Company. I would like to turn this over to George and he will start our program.
Thank you Dick. As some of you know I attended my first NACDA Convention in 1970 and I came back
in 1972 and I was in Las Vegas six years ago. The problem it gives me is that for some of you it is like talking to family. At least in my house, it is hard to give a good presentation in my family because what does he know? We know him too well. Anyway, for those of you who have known me over the years
I appreciate your coming to the session, and for those of you who don't, hopefully you will be able to gain something from this. We are going to keep this pretty informal here by the way. Phil Feldman and I have broken up this presentation in ways that we will be changing places and moving between the overhead
projector and the computer over here. We are going to try to keep this presentation, the formal part
of it, to about 40 minutes. our experience has been that what we say generates a lot of questions and people are particularly interested in it. We want to save time for that at the end. Ordinarily we start off presentations to whatever group asking a series of three questions, and I would like to ask those
today just to get a bearing. How many of you have in your home a micro-computer that you use for some
area of business on, at least a part-time basis? You fall in pretty typically of adults over 35 around the country. How many of you have children who have computers at home and run them on a regular basis? Well you know where the expertise lies. It lies in that young generation, and we are going to try to
catch up on that. Now, when I am in Alabama speaking around Alabama I always have to ask a third question at this point. I always ask, how many of you are Auburn graduates and don't understand the question? But I won't do that today.
I want to say something by way of background because most of us, many of us at least in this age group of over 45, did our graduate work and had our exposure to computers like I did in 1965 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Those were the days if you wanted to do data research you punched the data in on what we called IBM cards, data cards. Some time in the afternoon you would carry them
over to Mitchell Hall on campus and trust them to some work study student who drove them physically 90 miles to Madison. If the weather was good and everything was right, they might come back the next day
and of course, if you had one card out of place they would come back the next day. You all remember those days I guess, and you can start over. Now we thought that was pretty good turnaround time because in 1963 when I was doing my dissertation, I did all of that on a mechanical Monroe calculator. So, I
thought even a few days turnaround wasn't so bad. In 1976 there was a series of articles talking about the potential of the integrated circuits, the silicon chip as we've known it and that it would take the central processing unit. That was massive and cost $1.5 million in 1960. It reduced down to the
size of a postal stamp and could be made for about $15 a piece. We developed an invention on our hands
that could really change the way we think about telecommunications, word processing, budgeting and all of the other computer applications.
One of the stories I would like to tell is about our studies that we did a few years ago with high school students and college students and college faculty that nobody understands. We all think pretty literally. You make so much money this year and next year you get a 6% raise and the next year you get a 6% raise, and so forth. That is linear thinking. There are some things in our society that work in
other ways. I suppose everybody has said some day they are going to write a book. I have been athletic director all these years, I am going to write a book about my experiences that will make the best seller list, at least among other athletic directors. Most of us never get around to writing that book. I have a program for you if you want to write. It is guaranteed successful if you follow this program for 31
days, for one month. Go back to your room today and write down one word and on Tuesday go back and write two words, and Wednesday go back and write four words and on Thursday go back and write eight words, and double each days production every day for 31 days. What will you be doing in 31 days from today? Well if you follow that for 31 days you will have to write 31 days from today 1,073,741,648 words just to keep up. Most people have trouble understanding. That would be equal to 50,000 novels of 20,000 words each. It would be more than most well published people in the country. I make that point because that is what
has happened in the last twenty years to the cost of computing, the cost of computers and the capability
of computer memory. Take 1946, the first computer weighed 30 tons. It cost $20 million to build. They say that when they geared up at the University of Pennsylvania, the lights dimmed in Philadelphia it
took so much power. Over here we have a machine that is a year old called the Osborne Executive. It
weighs 26 pounds. It cost under $2,000 when I bought it a year ago, and among other things, it adds and subtracts faster than the 1946 computer did. The same is true in terms of computer memory where we are
now routinely looking at chips that hold 248,000 bits of information. The 512,000 chip is on the drawing board and the Japanese plan to have a million-byte chip that is smaller than a postage stamp. So we will have one million bits of information in four years. The Japanese are now talking about the billion byte chip. When you begin to talk in millions and billions it sounds like our national debt. It's hard to comprehend.
Let me give you an example of the difference between a million and a billion. If your wife comes to you and says, "I want to go spend some money," and you give her a million dollars and tell her to spend
it at a thousand dollars a day and not ask for more money until she is done she will be back in less than three years. But if you give her a billion dollars and tell her to spend it at the rate of a thousand dollars a day, you won't see her for over 300 years. Those are the kind of differences and magnitude we
are talking about in terms of computer capability. Finally, 20 years ago if you wanted to do anything but the routine operations on a computer, what did you have to do? You would have to go to a computer
center on your campus, humble yourself between the high priest of computing who spoke an entirely different language than you did and hope they would take pity on you to write some kind of a routine application that would make your operation better. It isn't surprising to me that some of the most frightening people in
the world five years ago were the directors of computer centers on the university campuses when they found English professors and education professors and physical educators going out and buying micro-computers
to do much more rapidly and much more personally the kind of things that they weren't really willing to do. Phil will probably tell you a story about that at a local hospital before we are done.
Anyway, what we want to do this morning is to try and show you some models of some things that we would like you to think about as you move down toward an implementation of automation in your office. Now we
are going to argue from the point of view that there are at least three ways to go if you are at that point. One way to go is to do absolutely nothing and hope that you will be able to get by with your three-by-five cards. if that is What you are still using in your great big budget sheets and bringing cin massive numbers of typists to type massive number of letters every time you want to start a fund
drive. The second alternative you have at this point is to go out and contract everything. If you have the money. that is certainly a nice way to go because there are some elegant big power systems with some very nicely tailored software that are available to you. We have looked at them around the country and they really are good programs. if you can afford those programs. The third thing we want you to think about is an area of staff development; for you and your staff to become comfortable with the wide range of applications that are available for most micro-computers. That is what we are going to talk about today. I am going to start here by turning the program over to Phil Feldman Who is going to take you through some of the applications. Let me just say this by the way; you are not going to be able to read those monitors very well around the room, but we think everything we are going to display on the monitor is either in the handout that was available and most of you have. and/or it will be up on the screen so you will be able to see it. So, don't worry too much if you can't read the monitors other than to see the screen change from time to time. Phil.
PHIL FELDMAN :
How many of you have got the rather thick little packet that we have the sample demonstration? Does anybody not have that packet? I am going to tell you a little story very quickly. As I look around the
room I used to teach elementary school, and I can see right now that athletic directors are like elementary school children, when you change activities you lose control entirely. Let's go to the other end of the
field. We want to work our way through that packet of information. In your office is basically about five things. maybe six, I think that the micro-computer base, administrative management can do for you. There are about five things. We are going to go through it rather slowly and give specific examples. In a
one hour program on micro-computing, I think the most that I can hope for as a presenter is to equip you well enough to go out there and to ask some intelligent questions of those people who are trying to sell you the system. I think that is a noble goal for one hour, I really do.
Five things; one is word processing. Word processing is nothing more than your typewriter, that is it. Think of word processing like you do your typewriter. The second area is what they call data base management. You are going out there working with folks in seeking to do things like, "I need a list of everybody who gave a $1,000 to the coaching corp last year. I need, first of all, the prospects from
these 16 counties." All that is, is a data base. That is the language. Data base management is like
your filing cabinet. Now your data base is like your filing cabinet. you go through that filing cabinet
you go through the same information, the same list over and over again each time searching on a different key. The third thing you might want to do would be what they call the spread sheet application. The
athletic co1lnUittee says to you, "OK next year you are going to have a 16 percent raise across the board on all your accounts and we are going to raise the student fee from $8.30 to $8.90. We anticipate the enrollment next year to be 11.500 students." Now you go back and work out your budget. Anything you do with a calculator or a pen and pencil, you can do with a spread sheet because what is going to happen is two weeks later you are going to get a call that says, rather than 16 percent make that 13~ percent and rather than $8.90 the faculty decided to vote against that and it is going to be lowered to $7.60. Now
you have all been there, and all those calculations and all of those budgets have got to be redone. The fourth area is what we call administrative graphics. Administrative graphics to me is just a way to
present information in a way that people can understand it. You've got a great budget and you've got all
of the different sports and we are going to look at a spread sheet in a little while that is going to have all of that on it. You have got maybe 30 different sports on there, and here's last year's budget, and here's this year's budget, and we want to know what the percenJ; increase on all of this is. A way to communicate that effectively, I think, especially when you are doing runding sorts of things. is to go with the graphics, a little pie graph, a little bar graph, something like that. We are going to talk
about that. The last area is teleco1lnUunications; the fifth area. That is when I am in one school and you're at another school and we need to pass scheduling information back and forth or we need to pass whatever information quickly and accurately. I think quickly is the key term on that. So basically what I can do is I can make my computer talk to your computer, or I can send my information to you, or I can send
electronic mail. That is not near 2001. We do that everyday; electronic mail. It would be nice to have your conference on a bulletin board. All of the information is routinely sent out through the mail, to everybody, to all of the different departments to be put up electronicly. You pull it down to your
university and then you have i1lnUediately the information that you will need. There is a sixth area now
that we are going to talk about very briefly and that is something that requires what I call a little more customized form of software. That is when the computer actually does some decision making for you. For example, that scheduling of sports and fields and games and these sorts of things. But you never have
enough basketball courts, you never have enough fields, you never have enough weeks in the seasons to 'schedule all of the games like you want to do it. That is an area where the computer actually goes through some decision making processes for you. We are not going to get involved into too much of that today, but we
are going to look at the administrative uses of computers for your office.
What we have on the screen here first of all is a letter. Now most of you are probably using, if you are using computers at all, you are using them I would hope for some word processing. This first transparency
here, we are going to show you two more really quickly right behind it. Dear Phil, on behalf of the university athletic department, I want to thank you for the donation of $10. This is in your packet by
the way, those of you who have them, and you can see there is a name, address, city, state and zip, year, specific person, there's an amount, there is also the name of a sport to which this person had contributed to. On the next sheet you will see the exact same letter addressed to a different person, the amount is
different, and the name of the account to which he donated the information is different as well. The
first one is a shooting clinic and this one went $200 to the whatever it was, athletic banquet. What we have here, and most of you I think are using computers, you've got a list somewhere of everyone who has
given $1,000 to the coaching corp, $500 to the athletic directors corp or whatever it may be. You could actually with a program like this, crank out probably 2,000 letters in an afternoon, or in a full day, personalized. The cost of doing something like that using what 1 call generic software, programs that
are out there and available for you to purchase to make them do the sorts of things that you want them to do. You don't go out and buy the program that says, "here's the donations letter software program." You make your own donations letter and software. These are what I call generic software. The total cost of the software of something like that is under $500. The total cost of the hardware to manage the system like that is probably under $2,500 including the computer and the printer; if you are smart enough to do some real good shopping on it. So that is one example. That really is an integration of what they call data base management. That is the list of the donors, the name, address, city, state, zip and amount.
Computers did make it easier to take inventory. That is using the computer wisely. Make the computer do what you want it to do, and we are again purposely, we are going to save about 15 minutes or SO at
the end for some questions, but it is one of the things that I very strongly recommend that you do, before you go out there and try to compete with a computer salesman. By the way, how many software salesman are
here: I saw maybe four or five as I came in. You have to understand, these people do this everyday. It's sort of like when you go see an accident adjuster, you have to see the insurance claims adjuster, he does that every day. When you have that lRS audit, the first time, that other guy across the desk, he does
it every day. At least we ask some intelligent questions, because the folks who are out there doing the software really do want to help you. But there is a gap between what you know about they can do and what they know about the needs of your operation. So let's use it wisely.
This is an example of a spread sheet. This is one of the ones we are going to put on the monitors right now. This is a sample athletic budget. You can see there or else in your packet, we've got an
income summary. This is an actual budget. We have got income summary and we've got expenditure summary
by account codes. What we have there is simply the budget that came to us with last year's dollar amounts and this year's dollar amounts. The column that says dollar difference and percent difference, those were all calculated. Down below where it says expenditure summary, dollar difference, percent difference, the pro-rated share for 1983 and the pro-rated share for 1984, that means simply what part of the overall
budget you are spending in each of those categories. That totals loo percent. All of that information was calculated by the computer. All you had to do was simply type in just the two amounts there for the 1983 and 1984 years. To work it backwards you could have easily based 22 percent of your budget into scholar- ships, another 16 percent going into administration, another 12 percent going into women's sports, whatever it may be. The computer can turn around and calculate the dollar allocations for each of those areas for you. It depends on how you want to structure it. That is your decision to make.
Let's take a very specific example, Let's skip down about two or three and let's do the one that was on the impact. That was the one sport. Here we have an example of one that is just a single game sport. Let's look at this one. Now this is not in your packet. What we have is game one, game two, game three, four and five and we are going to try to keep some running totals of our income. Now down at the bottom there we see that annually we are budgeted, and if you can see the monitor, that's great. Down here we are budgeted, $20,000 for this sport, for this year. At the very top we have expenses such as referees, security, utilities, concessions, travel, meals, lodging and then guarantees. Those are all expenses.
Now down below that we have the income, the guarantee, the gate receipts and the concessions there. So
let's say that for game one the income is $300 there. The security costs us $150, the utilities another $100, what I am going to do is play with this now a little bit. Let's say security is $250, let's say concessions were 350, let's say that the utilities were $75, and so now instead of having the subtotal that I had previously my new subtotal is $1,975. What I am doing is keeping an ongoing account and a running record of all the expenses for that sport on a game-by-game basis. I have it in my office the very next morning. I don't have to wait until next month when the computer printout comes from the main computer
and by the time I get it, it's six weeks old. Now you have all been there with that. The only thing here is that this is the way an application can be done to run your office in a rather inexpensive sort of way.
Now what I am going to do is talk about spread sheets. I am going to actually print some new transparencies and let you see that difference. As a user of budget in a pretty heavy fashion around
the university, I think the things about this that are impressive to me and to the people that we trained on it are this; first of all, as you will see here, the ability to go in once you have that data and make changes is trivial. You can go in and add a half percent or take away half a percent or change percentages, type in a few keys and the machine does all of the calculations and you will be able to
see, perhaps the recalculations that is taking place on the screen, although you won't be able to read
the exact amount. The second thing about this is that the spread sheet is such a flexible tool. You may know the story about the spread sheet. Let me just tell you that about five years ago, a young man
working on his masters at Harvard in business administration, had a very limited background in accounting,
and found it very difficult to do all of the accounting problems with a calculator. He had a friend he
drank beer with from the computer science department and one day they were talking. The story goes about a nice general program that would help solve all of those problems and they wrote it and laid it out and they used it. He used it for about a year. He found it pretty successful, so then he showed it to his professor of business to show how he solved his accounting problems this past year. The professor said that was kind of interesting, but it has no commercial appeal. Nobody would be very interested in any-
thing like that. The guy said he found that hard to believe, and he told the professor about his friend downtown who sold micro-computer software and the guy showed it to him. He said the same thing. It was
the fastest growing spread sheet program in the country and it will do almost anything you can do with those tailor custom programs that are available for budgeting. But, what it allows you to do is buy it once,
$200, $300 and use it over and over again. It is a very cost-effective kind of operation and I have seen some tremendous applications that go outside the realm of spread sheets. one lady who had it and didn't know how else to do mailing labels sent out mailing labels on it. She set them up in a form where you could type the three-or-four line address then bought those white 8~ by 11 sheets of mailing labels and can print mailing labels to beat the devil with it. So, it's just a very flexible kind of an operation. It is very, very flexible.
Joe took that format that we sawon the original budget, wrote a letter to David Caplan the controller; from David Caplan the controller to all of the administrators after he wrote that introductory free-line paragraph he copied in the file from the super count file. So he has a letter that doesn't take his
secretary a half a day to type in all of those numbers in order and the lines and so forth. Not only
that, if you want to go to visual presentation, it is a relatively routine operation to go in and change all of those columns of numbers to pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs and so forth. Those are not what
I would call super-sophisticated programs. They are routinely available on various computers under various names, relatively inexpensively. What they allow the administrator to do is to find different ways to
present information for his own understanding or her own understanding or for the board's understanding, comptroller's understanding or whatever. It just increases the tools you have to communicate with those people who are most important to you, like your donors and your trustees and your budget officers.
Let me say another word about the hardware while we are talking. We don't sell hardware and we don't sell software. We don't sell anything actually, other than encourage you to think about ways to manage operations. What we have got up there is a machine that costs about $1,500, and you can carry it on an airplane, it will fit under the seat and we don't recommend it as an S-top mainstay for an office, but it is kind of nice to carry around. The printer we only carry because it fits in our briefcase. That whole operation there I think is about $700-$2,000 and it will do the computing capabilities that I had to tangle with in Wisconsin on the mainframe for most applications that are of interest to me very easily. All I did with this one was just add the assist gain in there and it is a little bit dim, I apologize for that, but what we have here is a new column of calculations. All of the other figures on the whole spread sheet have been recalculated from that. So we have new running totals, briefly, as quickly as the information is available to you, they can be logged into your records. That is really basically a spread sheet application.
We'll just talk about the graphics briefly, and the integration of the word processing now to the
spread sheet. If you have your packet there you see two memos George already mentioned, I believe. But
what you have here again is a situation where all of the information is available to you in your computer, and with just a minimal amount of data manipulation, you can write that form letter to each of the coaches for each of the areas of his own responsibility and take that one spread sheet that you have done, one
time, and push that through to each of your coaches or each of the departments there. There is an example
of one that goes both to all of the staff members and then one that goes to the administrator or the budget committee; income as well as the expenses.
Let me just say a word or two about custom software and this is just a way, not advice necessarily, but just from experiences that we have had in the past, here is one that says don't ever ~ry to fake the pass forward with this one. What we are saying here in the area of custom software, is that you may already
have some sort of a computer system available to you. How many of you have IBM's in your office? How many
of you have Apples in your office? How about Radio Shack? If you already have some computers available
to you, you ought to shop that software pretty hard. For example, I saw just in looking around today there is one little software package out there that does things that manages lists and sorts log I think it is; $950 or whatever the price of that is, I think it might just be a pretty good buy, I really do. Because if you have to develop that information from scratch, or sit down and learn it yourself, you are talking
about literally hundreds of hours of time and money invested in an application. Anything you can get for under $1,000, if it meets your needs, go with it. I have never seen the program before, don't know the
sellers who sell it, but it seems like a pretty reasonable sort of alternative to me and a rather moderately- priced piece of software.
Let me ask you this, how many of you are really considering moving toward an application of administrative use in your office? All right keep your hands up for a minute. How many of you have got a written plan of
what you want the computers to do in your office? There is a difference there. What we find out working with businesses and industries and companies and schools, we are Koing across with the spectrum of what the area may be. We went out there and found out that Kent State has IBM, we better have one if we are going to be competitive, right? Vanderbilt has a new computer system. We better get one or we are going to be left behind and that is not necessarily the mistake, but it is the approach that many of us take not knowing exactly what it is we want these systems to do.
I was telling Dick at breakfast this morning that I was working with a school district last year. They bought $1.2 million worth of computers. That is a lot of computers. I asked the guy, "what is it that
you want your computers to be able to do for you?" He really hadn't finalized that list yet. I said, that's OK. When you're working with kids, what do you want the kids to be able to do as a result of that work with the computers? He said he really hadn't finished that either. Well, there they are going out there buying because everybody else is doing it and they are going to do it, and they did it. They ended up at that point, at $1.2 million with $800,000 worth of computer hardware they can't use today because they don't manufacture the equipment that they need for that anymore. That is a scary sort of situation. So I guess what we are saying is that you need some sort of a written management plan about you. The only other thing I would say about custom software, with the rest of the time for questions is this; always buy a system you think you can grow into, not grow out of. Some of the equipment that is out there, the service may appear to be pretty expensive, maybe there is a way you can move into part of it one year and the other part the next year, but don't sell yourself short, don't sell your staff short. Most of the software I have seen
and most of the packages I have seen out there, whether it is for keeping up with ticket sales, whether it is keeping up with lists of dollars, whether it is doing customized mailing, whatever it is, 90% of
the time you can do that yourself with generic software if you are willing to make the investment of time
and effort to do that. The advantage you have there is that next year when your program changes a little bit, you can change your software program to meet those new needs. When you are going out and buying the custom software, ask, "can I add six new sports to that next year? If we have an additional stadium, can
I put that up as well?" There are going to be some changes in your program. Your software should be able to accommodate that. Now the advantage of the custom software is that it is ready to roll for you and it is generally pretty well proved and pretty well tested.
I hope in the last few minutes we have been able to give enough information to provide a little bit of a forum for you to ask some questions. I really hate to have you miss an opportunity to share among yourselves and with us some of the questions that you might have. What are some questions that you might have as you consider moving into the computer assisted administration. We will handle the questions from here. In helping to plan this session the one thing Dick and I wanted to be sure that occurred was sufficient time to ask questions. We have that time now.
CHARLOTTE WEST :
We had our questions answered at breakfast and I can assure you that the speakers are informed and they are articulate so I want to encourage all of you to ask questions. I know you have them so do ask your questions. It will give all of us information that we need. I would say the only dumb question is the one that you don't ask. There is no use for me to take time to serve as an intermediary so I am just going to have people go to the mike and ask either of our two speakers directly.
FROM THE FLOOR:
We hear an awful lot about the various hardware, but where do we find out about the availability of software? In other words, we talk about the various programs but when we talk about the purchase on our own personal computers or our computers for our offices, where do we find out about the availability of software, so we don't get stuck like you were mentioning?
GEORGE UHLIG/PHIL FELDMAN:
I think there are some places where you can get systems sent from nonvendors. What we recommend
when we work with school districts and hospitals and so forth, is that they layout the written plan of what they want the software for, what they want the program to do. What you find is that there are about four general areas of word processing,budget, data base managing and communications, and once you decide if there is anything outside that category that you need the computer to do, you may have to look for tailor software. But once you decide you are going to do 40 percent word processing, 40 percent
budgeting, 10 percent communication, 10 percent on inventories and budget, then it is pretty easy to
know how big your spread sheets have to be. If you have an immense kind of a budget, you look one way and if it is relatively small, you look someplace else. I have a strong commitment to independence. Some of you know I have a boat and I fish the Gulf. For the first two years I had that boat, when I
wanted maintenance done, I took it into the dealer. I found out that the dealer char~ed me a lot of money
to do it. He didn't necessarily do a very good job, and I had to wait a long time to get it. 11earned to do the maintenance myself. I have learned the same thing about deans and athletic directors when it comes to computing. The more you can learn yourself about what the capabilities are of the systems, the more the consumer you get.
Let me give you a couple of specifics. There is a publication out called Personal Software. There
is another publication called Info World. It's for IBM users or others. I tried to spend full time
keeping up with software, and I can't do it. I think if you are looking for software very specific to
your own needs, I would check the professional journals in whatever area you are looking at. There are some sport journals out there and some of the folks who are doing custom software will be advertising
that. Any computer store anywhere will have a variety of magazines and periodicals available to you. Check the university library as well. I really mean that. If you get a half a dozen of them it will be good.
We went on computers just in the last year and if any of you would like to sit down and talk about
our kind of problems and the things that we discovered as we went into this, I would be glad to share that with you.
GEORGE UHLIG/PHIL FELDMAN:
Let me say when Mike Cleary came to Mobile in January, when we began talking about this conference, one of the things that we recommended, and we still recommend because we have done a number of these, we think that the most successful way to mount a program of automation is to get goofs of people in the one central location for two or three days with enough computers so that everybody has some good hands-on
experience and take you through, really the operations. How do you turn it on? How do you run word processing? How do you do data base management, and how do you do a spread sheet? One of the things that I think NACDA is willing to support if you are interested, is some regional training programs like that. We won't make you computer experts, but there is really no substance for knowing what to expect from the machine before you go out and try to buy your own, or to hire somebody to help you make those decisions.
FROM THE FLOOR:
Could you with a micro- or small-computer print tickets on that kind of a unit? Is that possible? GEORGE UHLIG/PHIL FELDMAN:
Yes. it is possible. I think you need to look at some of the applications of printing your own
tickets. The only thing that you want to be careful there. well a couple of things. One is the quality control and security of those tickets and secondly. the only problem you are going to have will not be in the hardware/software but it will be getting some customized tractor feed card stock that will be appropriate for ticket use. For example. this little computer that we have here. you have all seen the
tractor feeds right? So. you have seen mailing lables that have come out using the computer so what you do is just clamp the size down here a bit. put your ticket in. a ticket would be about this size.
right? You are going to probably do a little shopping for some custom card stock. You may preprint
some of it with the exception maybe of the ticket number. or those sorts of things. Your logo and little considerations should be done. The numbering and the other thing is no problem.
Another thing I thought was interesting was. can you have a micro-computer set up in one office and
then have two monitors come off of that. say three for the one unLt? Is that possible without having a big unit? What we are talking about there is something with net-working system and let's say that you wanted to key in a list of maybe 8.000 or 9.000 names. For one person to do that is a massive job. For every additional station or key board that you can add to it. you are going to be ahead. Yes. you can network both the terminals and have them outline that same software. So you can mayQe run thre~maybe four and have them run all into that same system and count the time down by about 75 percent. As a matter of
fact. you can network from almost anywhere you can find a telephone. If you are the sports information officer and you wanted to get information in from a remote location. it's a pretty trivial application
now to go through one of the national telecommunications systems like the source or copyserve can do that break operation. Many times you go away from a session like this thinking what did they say? We were there. we sat for 45 minutes. What did they say? I am going to tell you exactly what I think we have
said and then I will give George equal time for a rebuttal. I think one of the things that we said is that there are about five offices right now manually. There is word processing. data base management. that is the typewriter and the files. They do a little bit of graphics. a lot straight key and then you do some telecommunications. whether it's for the telephone or with u.s. postal mail. All of those things can be
done less expensively and more effectively using micro-computers. That is administrative management. Another thing that we said was that there are some customized software programs that are out there that may be pretty good and may meet your needs and are moderately priced. You must examine those very carefully.
But you should also take advantage of the generic software that is out there and make your own computer program using relatively inexpensive hardware and software that has something that meets all of your needs loo percent. That is something ,1 think that we have said. You must have some sort of a written plan that you want to go by. Here is what I want the computer to be able to do for me. as clearly. as articulately as you can. is something else that we said. I think that maybe the last major point. if you really are seriously considering implementing a computer management system in your office. is you should take the time to go to something like a management program or seminar. where you can have I would say a minimum of two
or maybe even three days of hands-on experience for you to run the systems yourself. whether it is a data base system or it's a word processing system. You can understand the limitations as well as the potential for all of the software. There is nothing quite so depressing as getting that computer system in and say
the first big job I want to do is print the tickets. Then you find out that about two hours later somebody comes in and knocks on your door and says, "I am sorry, we really don't have that capability right now." You just sent $28,000 through this system, and you can't get that done. If that happens
it's probably your fault. The reason I am willing to do computing with micro-computers is I don't like
to be dependent on other people's timelines, other people's hardware or people's software. I worked with athletic directors over the years and I guess there isn't any group of people more independent than athletic directors. I am sure that many of you feel the same way; the frustration of waiting for somebody else's time to give you a budget. I think this is a reasonable solution for internal administration.