Frequently Offered Answers
On The Journal
On Technical Assistance
On the Tuesday Night Clinic
On Membership Renewals
On the TCS
10:00 am to 3:00 pm Monday/Wednesday/Friday
7:00 pm to 10:00 pm Tuesday evenings (Tuesday
The exception is all federal holidays.
It is recommended that you call the office before you come.
Map to office. (25K)
Washington Apple Pi's monthly General Meeting of its
members is usually on the 4th Saturday of each month from 9 am to
Noon (check our calendar to make sure). There are exceptions to this. In June, 2004 we hople to hold a MacWorld-style show with vendors and more. In December we hold our
very popular "Computer Show and Sale." Finally, in the
month of November the General Meetings is held on the
3rd Saturday due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. The General
Meetings usually begin with the wildly popular Question and
Answer session from 9:00 to 9:30, followed by specific
subject or vendor presentations.
The Monthly General Meetings are open to anyone interested in
Macintosh computers. Any prospective member may join at a General Meeting at the Office table.
The monthly General Meeting is usually held at the
Northern Virginia Community
College - Annandale Campus. (Map, 25K)
New Memberships, Renewal Memberships
The Pi's on-line store, http://store.wap.org,
has everything you need to know about membership fees, renewals and other such matters.
When should I register for a class I want to take?
As soon as you know that the class will
fit into your schedule you should register. There are two
main reasons for this. The first is that class size is
limited to six students per class. If you wait until the
last minute the class may be filled by the time you call to
register. The second reason is that all classes must have at
least three students before we will run the class. Yes we do
run classes with just two students at times, but the policy
is that there must be three students before we will run a
This is Wednesday afternoon and the class isn't until
tonight; why did you already cancel the class?
As a courtesy to the teachers the office
tries to tell them as much in advance as possible whether or
not their class will be run. Our teachers have lives that
are just as busy as the rest of ours and need to know their
schedules to make plans. If a class is scheduled for
Wednesday and on Monday there is only one student registered
for the class, the class will be canceled. When you call
Wednesday afternoon and want to register for the class, you
will be told that the class is canceled. Yes we do know this
Why don't I ever see the classes I want to take
We aren't offering the class you want to
take because we don't know you want to take it. The office
is not physic and can't know what you want until you tell
us. If you have a class that you want to take and have not
seen it in the tutorial section of the Journal, then email
the office <email@example.com>
or call the office during office hours and give us a list of
the classes that you would like to see offered. We can't
make any guarantees that the class will be offered right
away since we will need to find a teacher for the class, but
at least we will have a better idea of what kinds of classes
you would like to see run.
Why does the class I want to take always say "call
office for dates"?
A class will have the "date" as call
office for dates because the teacher of the class cannot
give the office a schedule three months in advance. Remember
that the Journal is closed a month and a half before its
publication date. So the January/February Journal is closed
at the end of November. This means that a teacher for a
February class is committing themselves to teaching that
class way back in November. Not all of our teachers can do
that. Also, some classes are less popular than others such
that we can only schedule them when there are sufficient
students, so do make sure and call to get your name on the
list so that the class can actually take place.
What happens when I call the office about a class that
is listed as "call office for dates"?
When you call the office you will be put
onto a list of students for the class. When the list has
three students the office will call the teacher and schedule
a time for the class to be taught. The office will then call
the students tell them the date of the class. The students
will be asked to register at that time or let the office
know that the date that has been scheduled will not work
with their schedules.
Why, when I call, do I sometimes find that the dates
a class are different from the dates printed in the
There are a few reasons. Occasionally,
teachers schedules change, and we need to accommodate them.
Also, demand for different classes fluctuates such that we
may open up a second section of a more popular class while
canceling one that does not yet have any registrants or
moving one with registrants to another date. Again, this is
meant to accommodate the most students possible, but we do
understand that it can be frustrating if the class that you
want is moved or canceled. The place to go for up-to-date
class schedules is the web page, http://www.wap.org.
Which class do I fit into?
This is another place where the office is
not psychic. You know more than we do about your level of
knowledge and learning style. The best thing to do is to
read the descriptions of the classes in the Journal and
decided where you fit into the descriptions. However, we do
find that many people can benefit by starting with
Introduction to Mac, and it is important to understand that
the teacher of another class assumes that all students know
the information from the Introduction class. Remember that
the Introduction to Mac and Intermediate Mac classes are
taught as sets. You cannot just take part two of the
Introduction to Mac class; you must take both parts.
Additionally, the Introduction to Mac and Intermediate Mac
class sets are tailored each month to the speed of the
students in that set. All the material will be covered, but
the rate at which it is covered may vary. Therefore, you
cannot take Introduction to Mac part one in January and part
two in February.
How do I cancel my class registration?
You can cancel your registration in a
class by calling the office (and speaking to a human) during
office hours. You can also cancel a class by sending email
to the office at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
You may not cancel a class registration by leaving a
message on the answering machine. Remember that you must
cancel a class registration at least 72 hours before the
class is scheduled or you will not receive a refund for your
Why do I have to cancel my registration for a class 72
hours before the class?
A class is run only if enough students
pre-register and pre-pay for the class. If you are in a
class that only has enough students pre-registered and
pre-paid to have the class run, your cancellation will mean
that the class will need to be canceled. This means that the
office will have to notify the teacher and the other
students that the class has been canceled. The office must
have at least 72 hours accomplish this. Even if the class
had a full roster of six students and you are canceling you
will not get a refund unless you have called 72 hours in
advance. Once again the office will need those 72 hours to
contact other prospective students who are on a waiting list
for the class so that your slot may be filled.
Since I can cancel a class via email, can I register
a class via email?
Yes. You will need to send your
registration to <email@example.com>.
In your registration message please include the your name,
daytime phone number, class name, date and time. Please
do not include your credit card number. Email is not
a secure medium and the office would prefer that you give a
telephone number where you can be reached to get your credit
card number over the phone or you can state in your email
that you are sending a check.
Why do I need to pre-pay for a class?
Your registration is not official until
we have received payment for the class, because this is the
only way that we can guarantee you are serious about taking
the class. Sadly, when we do not demand pre-payment, we end
up with people simply not showing up and classes taking
place without enough students to pay for the teacher or with
people on the wait list never being given the opportunity to
attend. Finally, our teachers are meant to be teachers, not
enforcers. They do not relish shaking you down for money
upon your arrival, and there are certainly more productive
things that can be done with the time that you and your
fellow students are paying for.
On the Journal
Please, Please, Please send in
your change of address to the office.
When I moved I put a forwarding address in at the
post office but I still didn't get my Journal. Why?
If you turn to page 3 in you Journal and
look at under the Postal Information you will notice the
following "POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Washington
Apple Pi, 12022 Parklawn Drive, Rockville, MD 20852." This
means that all your forwarding order did was have the Post
Office tear the back cover off your Journal, place a label
with your new address on it and send it back to the office.
Not only have you not gotten your Journal but the office has
had to pay the Post Office 50 cents to have them inform the
office of your change of address.
OK so you got the change of address from the Post
Office. Why didn't you forward me another Journal if you got
my change of address?
In a word, money. The president's columns
over the years have explained just how expensive it is to
publish and mail the Journal. The cost of sending a Journal
to a member who has not sent in a change of address is
$3.00. The office gets anywhere from 15 to 30 change of
address notices from the Post Office each time the Journal is
mailed. If you do the math, on the low side this is $270 per
year and on the high side it is $540 per year. To put it
bluntly, the money is not in the budget to send out
replacement Journals to members who have not sent in their
change of address notices. However, you are welcome to come into the office to get a copy of the latest Journal.
On Technical Assistance
I'm at work and need to call someone on the Hotline. I
don't have my Journal with me so why can't I just call
office and get a number?
Actually you're in luck. The Hotline is now
published exclusively online - log into the TCS and you'll find a link
to get you there easily. But to answer your question specifically, our office is staffed only by
volunteers these days and they cannot give out Hotline numbers over the phone.
Why can't I just call the office with my technical
The office is not staffed to answer
technical questions. Washington Apple Pi is staffed
entirely by volunteers these days and most do not have the
time or technical ability to help you. You're welcome to call our Hotline volunteers, post a message on the TCS
or come to a Tuesday Night Clinic. Our volunteers can give you the names of local Mac gurus who make housecalls if you need that kind of service.
I know the office knows the answer to my technical
question so why don't they just answer my question?
As mentioned earlier, our office is now staffed entirely
by volunteers. They are asked to take messages, help with mailings and other
important chores. Please call the Hotline, leave a message on the TCS or come to a Tuesday Night Clinic for additional help.
My question isn't that technical so why can't I call
Shades of gray. While it may not seem
like a very technical question to you, that does not mean
that your questions is not of a technical nature.
My machine isn't working. The office is open so why
can't I just bring my computer to the office for help?
Believe it or not, we do get asked this question. But as mentioned earlier, the office is only staffed by volunteers who can not help you in this manner.
The Tuesday Night Crew is full of technical people who will be happy to help
you on most any Tuesday night from 7 pm until 9 pm.
And speaking of the Tuesday Night
I want to come to the Clinic tomorrow night. Do I
to make a reservation?
No. Reservations are not taken for the
Tuesday Night Clinic.
What do I do when I arrive on Tuesday Night?
When you arrive on a Tuesday night you
will find a form that you must fill out. This form will have
a place for you to describe your problem. The Crew uses this
form to help decide who on the Crew would be the best person
to help you. If you have not filled out a form you will not
be helped until you do.
Who is going to be in on Tuesday Night?
The Clinic is staffed by volunteers. No
one is required to call to tell the office whether they will
be in on a specific Tuesday night or not. There is a group
of people who are usually in on Tuesday nights. However, due
to other obligations there can be no 'firm' guarantee that
any one of those members will be in on any given Tuesday
night. If you have been to the Clinic before and know the
name of the person you are hoping will be in, your best
course of action is to call or email that person to see if
they will be in on the Tuesday night that you are
Do I need to be a member to have my Mac looked at?
You do not need to be a member, but we usually ask
that you join as part of the donation you make for our repair service.
It is worth the cost!
How much does it cost?
We ask for a donation based on the amount of time
our volunteer might spend with you. Ask when you arrive for a fuller
explantion. Of couse, we appreciate a higher donation than the "suggested
donation per hour" since this is a volunteer operation.
On Membership Renewals
I receive enough Junk Mail, so why would I want to
commercial mail from Washington Apple Pi?
Washington Apple Pi does NOT sell the
mailing list. A commercial retailer may rent a one time run
of the mailing list under specific guidelines. The
commercial retailer must first send a copy of the proposed
mailing to the office so that the BOD may vote on the
appropriateness of the mailing going to the membership. Once
the BOD has approved the mailing, the office will contact
the retailer to set up the mailing. In most cases the
retailer will send the mailing materials to the office for
mailing. This was a long explanation to tell you that
Washington Apple Pi protects your name and address while
still making some money by doing commercial mailings that
have been approved by the BOD.
Why do I need to give you my phone number and
Your home phone number and email are both requirements
for access to the TCS. In fact, you will get a free email as part of your membership.
Basically, however, we need contact information and a phone number and email are a necesary requirement for memberhip. Again we
won't give out that information to anyone without permission.
On the TCS
Our TCS and Explorer FAQ has all the information you'll need about these services.
But I forgot the dial-up number to the TCS.
If you have lost your TCS phone number, or are out of the
area and need to dial in, the number is: (301) 984-4070. Also remember that you can now access the TCS via the Internet at www.tcs.org as well as get your email online as well.