WAACNewsletter
September 1998 Volume 20 Number 3


SURVEY RESULTS: COMPUTER USAGE


The results are in from the survey found in the last newsletter, asking about present and desired use of computers by conservators. There were 29 responses. We asked if you use (or want to use) computers for word processing, surveys, databases, digital images, project tracking/management, or business tracking/management. We also asked what software you want to know how to use, and if we should have some computers on hand at the meeting for hands-on sessions.

92% of respondents use computers for word processing. 48% use computers for surveys; 59% said they use databases; 29% use computers for digital images; 29% use project tracking/management software; and 26% use computers for business tracking/management. One respondent wrote in two categories we should have included: graphing/data manipulation, and interface with instruments.

A number of specific software programs were mentioned in various categories. For word processing, Microsoft Word® and Word Perfect® were mentioned; Claris File-maker Pro® was the only database software mentioned (4 said they presently use it, 5 said they want to learn about it); Adobe Photo-shop®, Adobe Illustrator®, Adobe Acrobat®, Quark Dreamweaver®, and Corel Draw® were noted for image processing/manipulation. Two integrated software programs for general office work were of interest: Microsoft Office Pro®, and ClarisWorks®. Three respondents expressed interest in HTML for creating Web pages. For spreadsheets, one person mentioned Excel®; for scheduling and productivity, Access® and Outlook® were listed.

Several respondents commented that they would like to know about digital cameras and slide scanners. One person asked about infrared imaging. Eleven respondents thought it a good idea to have computers at the meeting for hands-on sessions.

This survey was put together to help focus a planned session on computers at the Oregon meeting. There will be some talks that specifically address the interests reflected in the survey, and time will be reserved for some open discussion. Perhaps the best way for all of us to learn about how we all use computers is if we each bring some example of what we are doing, either in hard copy form such as digital prints, reports, etc., or if we bring our laptops with programs loaded onto them. At the time of this printing, we are still exploring options for possible computer hardware and software to be on hand at the meeting. We are hoping to have a projection system so we can all see computer-based demonstrations. If you have any last minute suggestions or comments, please contact John Griswold at 310-271-5255 or GCAJG@aol.com.

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