OK, I suppose I should comment on what Beatrice Robertson said about
the Charlotte meeting being only a music box meeting. I was asked to
talk at that meeting about the basics of MIDI and, to illustrate the
MIDI principles, I had intended to bring my MIDI-controlled fairground
organ (I no longer make the organs for sale, so the talk was a purely
I was certainly willing to lug that organ the 160 miles, get a motel
room for the night and give my talk (which I was told was very
informative and amusing). But, because I had other commitments (like
working for a living), I would only be able to stay the morning of the
I was informed that it would still be necessary for me to pay the
registration fee of several hundred dollars even if I would not take
advantage of any of the items the fee covered. Interesting dilemma.
So, obviously, I did not give my talk. An equitable solution to the
problem could have been found, but no one tried. Rules were rules.
It makes one wonder how "educational" the MBSI really is and it also
gives one an insight into the values of those who run the organization.
Not bitter, just disappointed.
LaTorre Orgue Mecanique
[ In my experience it is not unusual for an association to have a
[ discounted "member price" and a non-discounted "non-member price"
[ for attendance at convention. One professional association I am
[ a member of sets the differential to exactly the cost of one year's
[ membership. Most non-members end up checking the box on the
[ convention registration form that signs them up for
[ a year's membership. A few, for some reason, choose to not sign
[ up. I think its reasonable for an association to encourage
[ new members to sign up this way at a convention. I also think
[ its reasonable to try to limit the amount of "tourists" that
[ show up at a convention -- convention facilities are usually
[ planned for a certain number of people. Guessing how much
[ extra capacity you need can be a big (and expensive) hassle.
[ The "Mart" at the Chicago MBSI convention was VERY crowded
[ without any "tourists".
[ As for charging registration "fees" of people giving presentations,
[ I find this strange, unless there's some unusual historical
[ reason. My computer professional association will forgive
[ its conference fee for a variety of pre-arranged volunteer
[ activities. Usually the time involvement of these activities
[ is significant, but its a nice trade. I'm pretty sure
[ they waive the fees for speakers as well. Typically speakers
[ spend more time preparing their material than any of the
[ volunteers spend! -- Jody