Tag Archives: STC Silicon Valley

Jun. 26, 2015 STC Summit

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On June 25, 2015 in Columbus Ohio at the STC Summit, Silicon Valley chapter member Nathaniel Lim was awarded the honor of STC Fellow. Chapter Vice President Marta Rauch and Chapter Secretary Tom Johnson gave presentations. The picture below is courtesy of Nathaniel Lim, who is holding his certificate for Fellow. Tom is holding his certificate for Intercom Outstanding Guest-Edited Issue: September 2014, with a theme of “API Documentation.” Congratulations to all of them!

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Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 16, 2013 STC Marta Rauch Google Glass

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On Monday September 16, 2013 at the Santa Clara IHOP, the STC Silicon Valley Chapter hosted Marta Rauch’s presentation “Google Glass and Augmented Reality.” Rauch is a senior principal information developer at Oracle leading agile projects for mobile and cloud content. She is Google Glass Explorer thinks it is an extension of the trends in augmented reality (AR). AR is the single most important change in technical communication this century. It allows images and video to overlay and add relevant information to anything you are looking at.

Anything you can do on your phone you are able to do with Google Glass. The advantages of hands-free wireless device is obvious to athletes, surgeons, technicians, mechanics and the disabled will become apparent to the rest of us over time. Navigating cyberspace and real space at the same time will seem normal.

There are also disadvantages at the moment. Battery life and network availability problems plague every wireless device. The Google Glass does not easily accommodate real glasses or those who are left handed. There are unresolved privacy issues for individuals and employers. In the end we will all have to get used to the idea of a phones on our faces.

Richard Mateosian announced the start of the Touchstone Competition. The deadline is October 15, 2013. I encourage volunteering as a judge to see some of the best examples of technical communication in the world.

Please join us on Monday, October 21 at 6:00 pm for our October meeting with Tom Johnson on the topic “Why Users Can’t Find Answers to Their Questions in Help Content.” It will be held at: Harry’s Hofbrau, 1909 El Camino Real in Redwood City CA 94063 (650) 366-3733.

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

Jun. 17, 2013 STC Summer Schmooze

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On Monday June 17, 2013 in San Jose, the  STC Silicon Valley chapter held a Summer Schmooze at Sam’s Bar-B-Quemore. On hand to recognize chapter volunteers were two STC Fellows, four Associate Fellows and three past presidents. Also attending were recent graduates discussing the merits of Frame, Madcap Flare and DITA, which leads us to…

On Saturday, July 13, 2013, from 9 am to 4 pm, STC Silicon Valley Chapter will offer an EasyDITA class. It will be held at Nimble Storage, Inc., 2740 Zanker Road, San Jose, CA 95134. Nimble is on the corner of Zanker Road and East Plumeria Drive in North San Jose.

On Monday, July 15 at 6:00 PM for our July meeting, to be held at the IHOP Restaurant, 4200 Great America Pkwy. Santa Clara, CA 95054. Thomas Aldous, Senior Vice President Of Global Operations, Acrolinx will present “Your Content, Only Better.”

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

May 20, 2013 STC Andrew Davis Leveraging LinkedIn

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On Monday May 20, 2013 at the IHOP Restaurant in Santa Clara, the STC Silicon Valley chapter hosted Andrew Davis of Content Rules presentation “Leveraging LinkedIn To Get Yourself Noticed.” Davis showed how to build and edit your network to gather intelligence and make informed career decisions. He highly recommended looking at LinkSV.com. Here is a zip file of his materials: Leveraging LinkedIn presentation

STC Fellow Richard Mateosian presented a check from the Touchstone Awards to Treasurer Gillian Flato for the chapter’s participation in this regional contest of exceptional technical communication.

There were a lot of other interesting conversations. Associate Fellows Nathaniel Lim and Marta Rauch and President-Elect David Hovey talked about their trip to the STC Summit in Atlanta. Amy Lynn Miller talked about her experiences as a mentor with TechWomen.org. Shari Clare talked about becoming an Agile scrum master.

The next STC Silicon Valley chapter meeting will be a Schmooze on Monday June 17, 2013 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Sam’s Bar-B-Quemore, 1110 South Bascom Avenue San Jose, CA 95128 (408) 297-9151.

Also, on Saturday, July 13, 2013 in Santa Clara at Nexenta Systems, STC Silicon Valley Chapter will host Patrick Bosek’s STC EasyDITA Class. Check the STC Silicon Valley website for updated information.

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

Feb. 25, 2013 STC Joan Lasselle And Linda Urban

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On Monday February 25, 2013 in Redwood City at Harry’s Hofbrau, STC Silicon Valley presented “Topic-based Authoring: Why Bother?” with Linda Urban and Joan Lasselle.

The DITA and CCMS topic-based approaches improve information consistency and usability and is reusable in different contexts. It can be easier to maintain, review, share authoring. They discussed how to decide what is most important for your company’s particular needs.

Please join us on Monday, March 18 at 6:00 PM at IHOP Restaurant
4200 Great America Parkway in Santa Clara, CA 95054 (408) 980-8887. STC Associate Fellow Joseph Devney,  will present “Unhappy Customers are Just the Beginning: Potential Costs of Poor or Missing Documentation.”

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Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jan. 21, 2013 STC Jeff Johnson Design

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On Monday, January 21, 2013 at the IHOP Restaurant in Santa Clara, the STC Silicon Valley chapter hosted Jeff Johnson, Principal Consultant at UI Wizards who presented “Designing What to Design: A Task-Focused Conceptual Model.”

Also announced were Silicon Valley chapter winners of the Touchstone Awards. Gillian Flato won for “Preparing Files for RoboHelp and Publishing to RoboHelp Server.” Ealasaid Haas won for “Adaptive Discovery User Guide.” Nathaniel Lim won for “How to Become a Wood Badge Staff Member.” Marjorie Lynch-Freshner won for “Learn to Use Ant in the DITA Open Toolkit.”

Many talked about the upcoming TC Camp on Saturday January 26, 2013 at Silicon Valley Cloud Center, 222 Caspian Dr, Sunnyvale, CA 94089-1014.

The next STC Silicon Valley chapter meeting will be on Monday February 18, 2013 at Harry’s Hofbrau 1909 El Camino Real, Redwood City, CA 94063 (650) 366-3733. Linda Urban will present “Topic-based Authoring: Why Bother?”

Copyright 2013 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

 

Sep. 24, 2012 STC Marta Rauch Mobile Usability

Please join us on Monday September 24, 2012 for the STC Silicon Valley Chapter meeting; to be held at the Santa Clara IHOP, located at 4200 Great America Parkway in Santa Clara. The meeting starts at 6:00 PM. This month’s topic is “Mobile Usability Guidelines to Implement Now” with Marta Rauch, principal information developer and team lead at Oracle, and Senior Member of STC.

Reservations are not required. Non-STC members are welcome. When we meet at the IHOP, each person orders from the menu and pays for their own meal and drink.

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

May 24, 2012 STC Qontext Samir Ghosh

On May 24, 2012 in Santa Clara, STC Silicon Valley Chapter hosted Samir Ghosh of Qontext. He talked about Qontext as a enterprise-grade social collaboration platform for internal use at corporations.

Richard Mateosian presented a check for the chapter’s participation in the the Touchstone competition to chapter treasurer Gillian Flato. DJ Cline and Jennifer Hutton talked about their experiences at the STC Summit in Chicago. Immediate Past President Pat Harvey also dropped by.

Please join us on Thursday, June 28, 2012 for one of our semi-annual schmoozes. This one will take place at the Mountain View Chevy’s, located at 2116 West El Camino Real in Mountain View. This is an opportunity to chat with your chapter officers along with your fellow technical writers. The schmooze starts at 6 PM. Be there!

Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Dec. 15, 2011 STC Schmooze Move to New Chevy’s

On Dec. 15, 2011 the STC Silicon Valley Schmooze is moving from its regular meeting place at Chevy’s in Redwood City to a new  Chevy’s at 2116 West El Camino Real in Mountain View starting at 6:00PM. Take the Rengstorff exit west off of U.S. Hwy 101 to the El Camino Real intersection.

If you haven’t attended a chapter meeting in a while, let me take this opportunity to invite you. This is an informal social event, with no program or presenter and the chapter pays for food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sep. 22, 2011 STC Joe Devney Effective Presentations

On September 22, 2011 in Santa Clara, STC Silicon Valley chapter hosted STC Associate Fellow Joe Devney’s presentation “Managing Multiple Information Channels: Strategies for Effective Presentation.” Devney gave some funny examples and helpful hints on how to get your message across.

With the rise of technical communications, every professional gives presentations, but what information channel works best for a particular audience? Devney said there are three things to consider. How long is the material is available to the audience? How easy is it to change the material? How dense is the information medium?

As a communication channel, your voice may be the easiest to use but may be hard to hear in a large audience. Printed handouts can be accurate but should be handed out afterwards so as not to distract from what you might be saying. Slide presentations are great to focus attention but are vulnerable to technical glitches. Regardless of the channel, he strongly recommends reading the usability work of Edward Tufte and George Miller.

Please join us on October 27, 2011 for the October SVC meeting; to be held at the Redwood City Chevy’s, located at 2907 El Camino Real Blvd in Redwood City. The meeting starts at 6 PM. The topic is GUI Bloopers with Jim Johnson.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 17, 2011 STC Silicon Valley New Website

On August 17, 2011, the STC Silicon Valley revealed its new website. Five years ago we began the difficult process of migrating an outdated site to an open source site that could be run by volunteers. Today we have reached that goal. Many people helped us, in particular, I want to thank Doug Wray, Todd Hawley and Gillian Flato. The site is dedicated to the memory of Viki Maki. Here are some of the new features:

1. A new logo, look and design to increase visibility across lighting conditions, browsers, platforms and devices.

2. A new menu structure and columns to find jobs and meetings.

3. New banners with pictures of people at STC events, keyboards (from keypunch to iPhone), and other technology specific to Silicon Valley like semiconductors, silicon wafers, satellite dishes, etc.

4. Access to Twitter and LinkedIn

5. Ad space on the Home page with a sample ad clickable to Ad submission form. If you want to reach the best technical communicators in Silicon Valley. Place an ad on this site.

Also, on August 25, 2011, the meeting hosts Jack Molisani’s presentation “When Your Ship Comes In ” at the Redwood City Chevy’s, located at 2907 El Camino Real Blvd in Redwood City. The meeting starts at 6 PM. See you there.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jul. 28, 2011 STC Adobe Tom Aldous

On July 28, 2011 in Santa Clara, the STC Silicon Valley Chapter invited Tom Aldous to talk about Adobe’s Technical Communication Suite 3. The suite consists of FrameMaker 10, RoboHelp 9, Capitivate 5, PhotoShop CSS, Acrobat X Pro and Bridge CSS. After a drawing, somebody went home with a free copy.

Our members peppered him with questions about the new version that they deal with everyday. Unstructured Frame documents can be converted to structured with a single click. Preparing documents for DITA is just as fast. Two questions occurred to me this morning that I should have asked. First, can I import and export HTML5 video for those clients who do not support Flash? Second, does Adobe plan to develop a version of Frame for HP’s new WebOS?

On the job front, people who come to meetings are getting jobs. Keep your skills sharp.

BTW: STC Silicon Valley Chapter Treasurer Gillian Flato announced our website is now ready for advertising and sponsoring. Nice work Gillian!

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Apr. 28, 2011 STC Tim Bombosch

On April 28, 2011 at the Redwood City Chevy’s, the STC Silicon Valley chapter will host Tim Bombosch’s presentation “Managing Agile Documentation Projects.” Tim Bombosch has worked as a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) for Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Becton-Dickinson, Beckman Coulter, Genentech, Iridex, Kaiser Permanente, Astoria Software, and Mindjet. He shared results from surveys and interviews with other documentation managers with experience in agile project management.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 24, 2011 STC Sharon Burton Author-it

On Thursday, March 24, 2011 at the Santa Clara IHOP, the STC Silicon Valley chapter will host Sharon Burton’s presentation “Making Your Life Easier: Reducing content development costs and increasing productivity.” She demonstrated how Author-it efficiently reuses content and reduces cost.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Feb. 24, 2011 STC Andrew Davis

On February 24, 2011 at 6:00 pm, Andrew Davis of Content Rules will be at the STC Silicon Valley meeting at the Redwood City Chevy’s, at 2907 El Camino Real Blvd in Redwood City. Davis says “The economic recovery is here already.” “It’s time to come out of hibernation!”

His topic will be “Optimizing your Portfolio.” Bring your business cards, resumes and portfolios. Portfolios are proof of what you promise to clients. Davis will reveal how to assemble and share your portfolio. With the right portfolio there can be a bidding war for your services. Content not only matters, content rules.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Jan. 27, 2011 STC iPhone App WritersUA Welinske

On Thursday, January 27, 2011 in Santa Clara at the IHOP, the STC Silicon Valley chapter hosted WritersUA president Joe Welinske’s presentation “Development Techniques for User Assistance in SmartPhone Applications.”

More technical communicators are developing help content for smartphone apps everyday. Welinske talked about the basics of mobile applications for the Google Android, Apple iPhone/iPad and Microsoft Windows Mobile 7 platforms. The smaller screen size dictates what text is most effective on the interface. While this may seem constraining there is some good news. Since the content is delivered over the web in an app there is no app review process. It is not embedded and can be updated anytime without needing programming resources.

Welinske demonstrated interfaces from Apress, Quickoffice and Timewerks. The iPhone/iPad development environment uses Apple OSX Snow Leopard, iPhone SDK, Interface Builder, Objective-C and Webkit. The more complicated Android development environment uses Java, Eclipse project editor, multiple AVDs and UI text in files and text strings. The Windows Mobile 7 development environment uses Silverlight, firm hardware specs and Visual Studio. No matter what platform it is a good idea to brush up on your HTML.

I highly recommend seeing Welinske and other UA experts at the conference for User Assistance in Long Beach, California from March 13-16th. Additional information can be found at www.writersua.com.

Copyright 2011 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 26, 2010 STC Social Media

On August 26, 2010 at Celia’s in Palo Alto, the STC Silicon Valley chapter hosted Vincent Lowe, co-founder of the nonprofit Transformation of Education and Schoolhouse Earth. His presentation was “Social Media and Your Career.” He talked about strategies, tips and techniques for making the most of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media.

Copyright 2010 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Sept. 24, 2009 STC Andrew Davis LinkUp

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On September 24, 2009 in Mountain View at the Dojo House, STC Silicon Valley hosted Andrew Davis of LinkUp to talk about what’s next in technical communication. Whatever you are doing now, it is time to do something else. You have to create profits for your clients or you won’t have any. Don’t be middle management.  Be so good, so unique you cannot be offshored. Become the subject matter expert that clients want to talk to. Text from DJCline.com

Davis recommended business strategies that I’ve seen work elsewhere:

1. Identify an underserved audience in a prosperous industry with good long-term prospects (e.g., not snow sports or clean coal, but maybe healthcare, medical devices, or clean tech)

2. Acquire deep subject-matter expertise

3. Develop a respected, and responsive, professional network

4. Cultivate a role as trusted intermediary between seller and buyer

5. Provide a proprietary standalone product or service – such as training, support, recruiting, advertising, marketing, mediation, testing, or even documentation – with which you deliver unique profit-making potential to your customer. Try to make your solution synergistic, and don’t stop refining it.

6. Connect with both buyers and sellers, and dig deep for ways to make them both more financially successful.

7. Market your results in ways that resonate with ‘money people.’ Address the CFO’s concerns.

After the formal meeting Andrew also spoke to me about LinkUp which is not LinkedIn. LinkUp helps companies list jobs that are not normally advertised.  Companies can post a position and find qualified candidates. He explained to me why LinkUp made sense for companies looking to actually hire people. In a nutshell, here is what sets LinkUp apart (from the employer’s perspective): Text from DJCline.com

1. Indexes jobs only from employers’ websites, and freshens them daily — its listings are always current, never fake, and usually unadvertised anywhere else. Result: candidates can confidently spend more time focused on your opportunities.

2. Carries no listings from recruiters, job boards, or aggregators. No middleman or advertising fees means candidates cost you less.

3. Publicizes all your jobs for less than the price of 2 postings on the major ‘pay-to-post’ job boards.

4. Offers a custom career portal, if you lack your own applicant-tracking system (ATS).

5. Brings candidates directly to your site, making them ATS-trackable and easier to inform.

6. Syndicates your job listings to Facebook and Twitter, solving your social-network distribution challenges.

7. Offers sponsored ads for $0.25/click — 1/8th the cost of Indeed, Simply Hired, and Google. Plus, you’re not bidding against the job boards as you would be on the aggregators.

8. Makes jobs ultra-accessible via the LinkUp iPhone app, blog widget, custom RSS feeds, email agents, Twitter, and Facebook app.

9. Carries almost 400,000 jobs from over 22,000 employers nationally, including all the Fortune 500 — at least 3 times more listings than The Ladders and Employment Crossing, and 8 times more than DICE.

10. August 2009 stats: 151,223 visits / 113,608 unique / average time on site 4:22 minutes. Text from DJCline.com

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All right reserved.

Sept. 24, 2009 STC Andrew Davis Preview

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Please join us for our September meeting on Thursday, September 24, 2009 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at Hacker Dojo located at 140 South Whisman Road in Mountain View. Please note that this meeting is free of charge and that food will not be provided. Attendees can bring food to eat to the meeting.

The meeting topic is What’s Next? Glimpsing the opportunity beyond the impasse with Andrew Davis.

If you’re feeling insecure about your professional prospects, you’re in good company. The world has changed, your cheese has moved  as in the book “Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life” by Spencer Johnson and Kenneth Blanchard. It is high time to face facts: most high-tech technical communicators have become commodities, purveyors of expensive and increasingly unvalued services.

Globalization, a shrinking economy, impatient customers, and increasingly lean, “do-more-with-less” companies are now the norm. Especially in high tech, product quality deteriorates but users seem to care only about initial cost. Meanwhile, technical communicators have become passive and disengaged from their audience, their compensation rates are trending downward, job security has become a joke, and true professional advancement is rare. Job satisfaction is the exception rather than the rule.

My view is that high-tech technical communicators’ best option is to apply their skills to other industries and focus on helping customers generate profits. I have some specific answers to the ‘where from here’ question, but the list is far from complete and I hope to catalyze (with insights, anecdotes, hope and, yes, fear) a productive discussion about how to respond to the marketplace’s challenges.

Speaker: Andrew Davis runs Synergistech Communications, a recruiting firm that since 1995 has matched talented technical communicators with staff and contract opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Andrew is also a former Technical Writer of system administration and software developer documentation for companies such as Oracle (documenting relational databases on minicomputers), IBM (UNIX hypertext authoring tools), Informix (Windows database tools), Network Equipment Technologies (PBXs and routers), and Verity (enterprise text search tools). He’s well-connected in Silicon Valley’s software and telecommunications documentation communities. He also recruits technical trainers and instructional designers, medical writers, and user experience (UX) professionals.

Synergistech is currently doing on-demand recruiting, namely ’speaking when spoken to’ rather than marketing its services actively. Most of its efforts are focused on developing a web-based job-seeking product for SF Bay Area technology workers.

Advance reservations are requested, please email our Reservations Manager if you plan to attend.

Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 28, 2009 STC Schmooze

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On August 28, 2009 in Palo Alto at the Mandarin Gourmet the STC Silicon Valley held its Summer Schmooze. It was certainly a departure from Arthur’s and even India Gate. There was much networking and discussions about opportunities with more job postings on the chapter website all the time.

Bob Kauten gave me a certificate of recognition signed by our new president Pat Harvey. It said “In grateful appreciation of your service as President, The Silicon Valley STC Administrative Council thanks you on behalf of the entire chapter membership and the technical community at large.”

Of all the the awards from all the organizations I have received over the years, this means a lot. Every time someone gets a job through STC, I know I have been a part of something that helps thousands of people. Join STC and volunteer. Pay it forward or get it backward. :-)

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 11, 2009 Bay Area WordPress Meetup

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On August 11, 2009 at the Automattic Lounge on the Embarcadero’s Pier 38 in San Francisco held a the Bay Area WordPress Meetup to discuss new features and the latest release. Speakers included Beau Lebens and Jane Wells of Automattic, Ross Chapman of FolksPants, and Matt Martz, aka “sivel”. Text stolen from DJCline.com

Beau Lebens talked about WPMU, BackPress and bbPress. Ross Chapman of FolksPants.com talked about about themes and theme frameworks. Matt Martz talked about IRC. Jane Wells talked about user experience with WordPress.

Bob Kauten and Todd Hawley of STC Silicon Valley’s web team were there learning all they could about the latest WordPress release. Text stolen from DJCline.com

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Mar. 26, 2009 STC Single Source

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On Thursday March 26, 2009 in Cupertino at the University of California Santa Cruz Extension Campus the STC Silicon Valley Chapter hosted Liz Fraley of Single Sourcing Solutions. Her topic was “Repurposing Content for Multichannel Publishing”.

Managing documents can get really complicated really fast. A single product can have a dozen models or versions and sold in over a hundred countries. Fraley helped a client cut their translations costs from $20,000 to $6700. It can be done and she can show you how.

If you want to know more, check out their website at http://www.single-sourcing.com/

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Copyright 2009 DJ Cline All rights reserved.

Aug. 28, 2008 STC Schmooze

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On August 28, 2008 the STC Silicon Valley Chapter held its Summer Schmooze at Arthur’s in Santa Clara. There were your typical funny stories about robots, dead mice, genetic engineering, missing freeway exits and hitchhiking toddlers. You kind of had to be there. Here are some pictures from the event. Text from DJCline.com.

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STC Moves Meetings To UCSC

The STC Silicon Valley Chapter will have its next meeting September 25, 2008 from 6:00PM to 9:00 PM at the UCSC Extension campus in Cupertino. The street address is 10420 Bubb Road Cupertino, CA 95014. For directions visit www.ucsc-extension.edu. Dinner for members will be $10 and nonmembers $20.