As hard as we've worked on ACP· TPF Today, and as much as we've invested in terms of time and money, I would be remiss if I didn't give credit to some of the people "behind the scenes" who stuck by us as we struggled through those first few years. We faced three major challenges when we first went into business. The first was convincing advertisers to spend large sums of their money on a brand new publication that had no measurable circulation. Eternal thanks to Dianne Edmondson, Steve Gunner, Dave Hayton, Bob Saxon, Thiru Thirupuvanum, and Ron & Donna Campbell for their faith and their unquestioning support.
The second challenge was to get IBM to acknowledge our presence in the industry, and to support us technically with information and articles. (We never asked IBM for financial help.) Politically, this was an obstacle we thought we might never overcome. A huge debt of gratitude goes out to Bob Dryfoos, Bob Deichert, Roger Rogers, and the many, many nameless supporters we had in the Danbury Lab, who after 2 years, ultimately convinced IBM senior management that we were both working towards the same goals.
The last big challenge was acceptance by the user community. Not just the TPF programmers, but the Supervisors, Managers, Directors, and Vice Presidents. While our circulation grew almost exponentially those first few years, our greatest ally turned out to be the Board of Directors of the TPF User Group. Although they couldn't officially endorse ACP· TPF Today, Henry Meyer and company opened several doors of opportunity for us, and for that we will always be grateful.
So here we are 10 years later. Our advertising revenues are paying the bills, we've cemented an excellent professional relationship with IBM, and we're well accepted all over the world by the user community. The challenge for us now, is how do we improve on what we've accomplished? There are several things on our wish list that we would like to make realities. For example...
- A more diverse website which would include things like a "Who's Who" and a "Where Are They Now" section.
- An expanded publication, growing beyond the 24 page boundary.
- Establishing a TPF testing criteria and formal Certification program.
- Expansion of our T-Mail notification system.
- Optional softcopy distribution of future issues in PDF format.
All of these items are within reach over the next 12 months or so. The problem I usually run up against is not having the time to do the things I would like to do. If I happen to hit the PowerBall in the next few months, I think we might be in a position to deliver the lot in short order. But as Dickins so aptly put it; "These are but shadows of things yet to come."
Well I've touched on the yesterdays, and taken a quick peek at the tomorrows. What's left at the moment are the today's. ACP· TPF Today wouldn't be around today were it not for the friends I have made over the past 23 years. I obviously don't have room to name them all, but believe me when I say that my friends number in the thousands, and hail from all four corners of the globe. These are people I've come to know both directly and indirectly. Some are people I've worked with, some are people I've gone through training classes with, some are people I've gotten drunk with. Most are still alive, and some sadly are gone, but all are friends in the truest sense of the word.
What can I say about my wife? Always supportive, yet constructively critical. A constant source of inspiration, and the best cure for writers block in the world. The pieces could be staring me in the face, but it just doesn't come together without her help. She is without a doubt the driving force behind each and every issue, and in spite of the fact that she's not the least bit technical, she is very much responsible for where we are today.
There isn't much more to say at the moment. I'm tickled pink that you've been able to share our success with us, and sincerely hope we're all around to celebrate our 20th. My thanks to each and every one of you!