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Helix Education Center Reawakens in Texas

8 January 2003--A survey on our web site a few weeks ago about the possibility of some training or tips sessions being offered in conjunction with this week’s Macworld Expo met with a gigantic yawn. Clearly, it was too little too late, not one of our big successes thus far. But we figured it was worth a shot.

Hopefully, it’s more a matter of timing than anything else, because we recognize that there is both a need for Helix education to be available and that a good educational program can only benefit all of the company’s goals, economic ones included. And as we’ve mentioned over and over in this space, we have a fairly large economic nut to crack if we’re to get to Helix 6 still breathing when we cross the finish line.

While the experience of the Helix recovery team varies widely, one thing we’ve always felt strongly about is the lack of a good educational program for Helix, especially in light of how darn near impossible it is to provide documentation that even scratches the surface of things you can do in Helix and how to do them. At the same time, we’ve observed that other broad, powerful programs are able to offer successful training, and we’re determined to bring those aspects that we admire together in a way that will bring maximum benefit to Helix users.

For many years, there were three Helix courses that were taught by the company: beginning, intermediate, and advanced Helix. The ambitiousness of this scope is almost ridiculous--trying to teach everyone all that one can know about Helix in five days! The size of these classes and the money it generated attests to the desire in the Helix world to better use the program, but most Helix developers can cite case after case where they were called in to rescue people who had "graduated" from the three courses.

Again, we believe strongly in the training concept. Our feeling is simply that it’s just never been done right. Over the years we’ve spent doing Helix, we’ve thought a lot about how Helix should be taught. It’s occurred to us that we should try applying the same principle to training that was used to bring 5.1 to life. That is, let real users, who truly understand and appreciate the product, instruct others in its use.

A friend of Helix named Chuck Hinkle has been providing Helix training in the greater Houston area for several years and he has developed an approach that dovetails quite nicely with these plans we’ve always had in the back of our minds for Helix education. He combined his Helix development experience with his training experience at Shell Oil and his public speaking experience in Toastmasters to create a set of courses that went beyond teaching what Helix can do; they teach how to use Helix wisely.

Continuing our commitment to applying the best talent available to the Helix community to the needs of that community, we’re christening Chuck’s recently announced Houston sessions as the first official offering from the revived Helix Education Center.

The two courses being given will cover Helix Basics and Advanced Techniques. The first is a two-day quick-start/quick-refresh course about Helix functionality that relies heavily on exercises. The second is a three-day techniques course that emphasizes real-world problems and showcases real collections. Courses will be held in the Greenway Plaza area, with a specfic site to be named within a week.

Each class is limited to 24 people. You can register for either or both on this web site with a Visa or MasterCard. The Helix Basics session is February 24-25, 2003. The Advanced Techniques session is February 26-28, 2003. You may bring your own equipment, or rent it by the session. The cost is $375 (plus $50 if you rent equipment) for the first session and $550 (plus $75 if you rent equipment) for the second.

On our price list, you’ll see each session listed twice in the popup menu, once with equipment rental and once without. Be sure to select the appropriate one. You are responsible for your own transportation to and from the Houston area and your accommodations there. Lunch is provided each day.

Each person who registers for one or both sessions before February 1, 2003 will receive a CD version of 5.1 at the show. The disk does not contain any serial numbers or keys. In addition, those registrants may take their choice of either an additional seat on their existing RADE or Server, a single-node Helix Engine or a 20% discount off the current upgrade price of their current license(s). On top of this, they can take advantage of the current promotion giving them an advanced 20% off the upgrade price of Helix 6 when it ships. People who register after the classes become filled will have the option of a refund or being queued up for a future session. Our current plan calls for four such weeks this year; more if we can handle it, less if we can’t.

To register and/or rent equipment, click the "Purchase" button at the top of the page and when you come to the Customer Information page, scroll to the bottom. If you are also upgrading an existing Helix license, click "Upgrade Licenses." Within this process, you’ll be able to register for the classes. If you are only registering for the classes, click "Buy More Stuff."

Gil Numeroff will be attending the Friday, February 28, 2003 session and lunch on behalf of Helix Technologies and will remain in Houston for a meeting on Saturday, March 1, 2003 with area users. This meeting will give users an opportunity both to provide input on what they’d like to see in future Helix releases and to have their questions answered in a casual format. If you have a marketing idea you’d like to share with us, or a Helix application you’d like to co-market, bring it along. We’ll also provide them with information on how our macOS project is progressing and what we’re hoping to achieve in that release.

The training and meeting will be held at La Quinta Inn Greenway Plaza. Click the link for more information.

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