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RE: SEAOC Bluebook and ICBO CD-ROM and SEAOSC Seminars

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Ernie, we could put a little Ben Schmidt or Gary Hart Office 
Assistant (like the Office 97 Office assistant) into our 
presentations so they appear as a little guy walking through the 
presentation pointing at graphics and doing a little song and 
dance. Click on the Ben Schmidt and he will tell you a story 
about his personal experience on the subject.
Seriously, I agree with you. Ben Schmidt is my all time favorite 
for lectures. He was one of the main reasons I wanted to be an 
engineer (don't tell him I said this). You can't help but feel 
the love he has for this profession every time he talks about 
it. Listening to Ben is one of the best parts of any seminar - 
whether you agree with him or not. Acutally being on a committee 
with him is an entirely different matter (except if you are on 
the same committee with Ben and John Kariotis - then watch the 
sparks fly).
Dennis


-----Original Message-----
From:	ErnieNSE(--nospam--at)aol.com [SMTP:ErnieNSE(--nospam--at)aol.com]
Sent:	Friday, November 14, 1997 7:36 PM
To:	seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org
Subject:	Re: SEAOC Bluebook and ICBO CD-ROM and SEAOSC Seminars

I have been following the thread on the use of video, CD-ROM, 
powerpoint,etc.
for seminars, blue book, ICBO, etc. and I thought this was a 
good idea.
 Let's make use of the latest technology in computer 
presentations and apply
it to our seminars, codebooks, etc. I usually attend seminars on 
topics that
interest me and even if they are out of town, I try to go. For 
those I cannot
attend due to conflict with my jobs or when I have deadlines to 
meet, I try
to buy seminar handouts or books and hopefully learn as much as 
I can even
without attending. I bought seminar materials from SEAOSC and I 
keep them as
reference for future use.

Come to think of it, I don't remember the topics on any of these 
seminar
books that I did not attend but I can recall seminars that I 
attended even
those that are 3 to 5  years ago. Especially those that have 
good speakers
and also those where I learned a lot of new things that are 
practical that I
know I won't learn in any book or school.

Now I know why I like attending seminars. It is not just the 
topic, the
speakers, the location or the fee. It is the personal touch in 
it. Seeing the
speaker in front. Inter-acting with him/her through the 
questions and anwers
session.

After attending an average of 5 seminars a year for the past 5 
years, I have
noticed the different quality in the way seminars are given. The 
SEAOSC
seminars are usually good with a lot of experienced, practicing 
structural
engineers giving the presentation. Some are excellent that they 
have a very
complete, organized handout with sample calculations and 
analysis included.
Plus, the Speaker is there in person, not just reading the 
handout, but more
importantly stressing the important points, giving additional 
information or
clarification which  are not included in the handout and 
answering questions
from the attendees, and staying around after the seminar to 
answer more
questions. The fees are very reasonable too, I guess because the 
speakers are
volunteers who are members of SEAOSC. Others who do not have a 
good handout
maybe because they are busy with their work usually make up for 
it by giving
a very good presentation. If you just buy the seminar handout, 
you will miss
the good points. The Speakers who are not good in public 
speaking usually
 make up for it by having a very excellent handout. Plus if he 
is there to
answer questions, that is good enough.

>From this experience, I prefer to attend seminars than buying a 
seminar
handout. A video or a CD may be an improvement if it is of good 
quality but
even then, the personal touch is not there. Besides, for me , 
I'll just put
it in my Library together with the others I already bought 
hoping that
someday I will remember that I have such a book available. If I 
don't
remember any interesting or exciting thing happening during a 
live seminar, I
probably won"t even know it is there.

I have the Blue Book and the UBC so I won't buy a CD version. I 
prefer
something I can bring with me anywhere, anytime and just flip 
the pages and
read what I need to know.  For me, I don't see any overwhelming 
advantage of
the CD version, at least not yet. This is just my personal 
preference.

This does not mean that I'm against the use of advanced 
technology. If a lot
of people wants it, then its okay. I may try some of these stuff 
when it
comes out and see if its better than live. But right now, I 
won't be the
first in line. I'll watch from the sideline first.

In the future, maybe we will have all seminars in video/CD. 
Schools, colleges
and universities using video/CD, no more teachers and 
professors. No more
books, newspapers and magazines. Everyone carries a palmtop 
computer
everywhere. Maybe, structural calculations and plans will not be 
on paper
anymore but on disks. Contractors will have computer screens at 
the jobsite
where plans are kept and shown to framers.

Ernie Natividad