Friends, Reps, Riders of the
LC... We all have big plans for our future... but as I have been made more
than aware of, any plans require a "budget". That's what those
who offer to help us always ask: "What is your budget?"
Up to now my reply has always had to be
"We have none. We are a free club without dues, and we hope to stay
that way." - To which they reply (if they reply at all): "Sorry.
We can't help you."
... and I understand that attitude. Any project undertaken will have some
cost involed. Those offering goods and services must also pay for their
rent, labour equipment, raw materials... I know it sounds like an
economics textbook, but it's also based on the reality of their situation.
Although we're very international,
the RLC is not a very big club
(yet)... but with new Reps flooding in all the time... and the number of
our "friends"* growing all
the time, we find ourselves in the same position as many other growing
clubs. The lack of time and money are slowing our growth. - We want a big
club/organisation for our Reps, owners and friends... but this will not
happen with our current setup. We have to look to the future. Hence I am
asking for DONATIONS to the RLC. This will be added to the already
existing RLC Fund.
No donation is too small or
Anything & everything you offer will be accepted with thanks.
All donations will be added to
the "RLC Fund" (set up at
Paypal over 2 years ago... and just so you know, we currently have $64 in
our fund (21.5.2003). Examples of what the fund has paid for in the past:
It payed for our domain "www.1500rlc.org"
- and had $74 before contributing $10 to TattooJim's funeral fund, to help
his family out in times of trouble. You see? Something small can go a long
way when everyone chips in.
WE NEED A
GOOD ONLINE DATABASE SYSTEM!!!
I've always been a great fan
of sharing information... that way everyone knows what's going on. It
gives everyone a sense of direction and purpose.
Something that very much
limits our growth is the registering of our Reps and the changing of their
information... Each individual has always been the best updater of their
own information, hence I'd like to find a system where our Reps can log on
and update their own information. eMail addresses, optionally home
addresses and phone numbers - All these things have to be collected and
updated in a SECURE environment, that's not too complicated even for the
least computer literate... but still sophisticated enough for it to be of
good use to us.
The database file can then be called and displayed as a web page (from an
Access file, for example) which displays only the information people are
willing to show to the public but is the newest and most up-to-date
(A link to their picture will appear at the end of their information.)
eMail messages are also sent from within the system, so people don't get
to know other people's eMail addresses unless those people decide they
want them to.
Although I have found a club
that already uses some of these features I'd like to see what else is out
there. Many people SAY it's no big deal... but when it comes to them doing
it, nothing happens. - I have taught Access use (at a beginner
level) and have taken a course in PHP and MySQL, the sole purpose of which
was to make this environment / system for the RLC... only to find the
course was WAY too short ... and whole sections were skipped from lack of
time. - So, although I know what can be done, I can't do it... at present.
- Next term I hope to take the PHP course at the pace of the students of
the college that I work at. - I am sure that at THAT rate, I'll learn
everything I missed in the short / concise course I went on. So... if
no-one comes forward, I'll have to do it myself! (as usual!)
However, I am very much
against re-inventing the wheel when there are already whole BIKES out
there rolling free through the contryside. So if anyone knows of such a
database / system for us, please let me
I'd also like people to be able to upload images of themselves and their
bikes, so others can easily identify them at rallies, meetings and
gatherings. There are two ways of doing this: Upload to our server or link
to where your picture is. When people close their accounts, these pictures
will unfortunately disappear, so I'd like to offer people who don't have
web space to upload their pictures.
Some of these things are
already offered by our friends at the
MSN Groups. True... but as any small country will tell you... There is
nothing that compares with being INDEPENDENT. I've always felt that our
club needs to be independent... and sometimes we've had to pay the price
(Example? Ok... Before the RLC Fund had any $ in it, because I believe the
CLUB should pay for things to do with itself, we lost a few very
good/suitable domain names. It's often like that. The quick and the dead.
It's a rat race out there... and such an environment is not really made
for "principles"... but it's ok, we will make any dream / domain
/ whatever, into a success... because we have determination... and that
goes a LONG way.
The club I mentioned before
has some of these elements already in place... and I was told they intend
to improve it even further. With funds from us they could pay for
improvements that will find their way into all of our systems. Sounds
great... but the actual programmers' time costs money... and
although they have a deep respect for good causes, and will offer it to us
at a "biker to biker" price, they had to pay the full price for
their system... and, understandably, would like us to do the same.
Independence does not have
to mean isolation!