Dr. Charles Good
The Lima MUG Conferences and Curator of TI Software and Documentation

photo of Dr. Charles Good

Over the years Charles Good (affectionately known as "Charlie") collected a vast amount of TI documentation, some of it very rare. Charles decided that it would benefit the community if he scanned everything he had, and made it available to everyone in the TI community via the internet. Charles asked Don O'Neil if he would host these scanned documents for free and he readily agreed. The majority of the items currently available on ftp://ftp.whtech.com were placed there by Charles.

Charles, then Editor of the Lima User Group newsletter "Bits Bytes& Pixels", had been accepted by the TI community as curator and primary source of programs and documentation for the TI-99/4A, the CC-40 and the Myarc "Geneve" 9640. Charles made the vast Lima User Group disk library available to all TI'ers and TI-99/4A User Groups. Charles once said, "I am constantly amazed at finding floppy disk mailers in my mailbox containing disks with TI-99/4A software from individuals and user groups who I have sent programs to from our library. I guess they were just returning the favor. For whatever their reason, I am thankful that they are willing to share what we have with each other." And this is the essence of the sharing philosophy of Dr. Charles Good.

The Lima MUG (Multi-User Group) conference was originally the idea of then Lima User Group president, Dave Szippl. However, Charles proposed adding several additional features such as having an entirely free event, and providing videotapes of everything. The Lima MUG conferences were the first entirely free shows for the TI-99/4A community. Charles is very proud of the MUG conferences, and notes that the "entirely free" concept has been adopted by other TI shows including the great Chicago TI Faire. Charles explained, "We had no need to raise money, so we had no reason to charge for anything. Collecting money just complicates things, requires extra manpower, and has the potential of making people mad if they don't think they got their money's worth." (Charles is a great believer in the K.I.S.S. principle.)

Copying the videotapes from the MUG seminars, for everyone who ordered a set, took almost a month of continuous recording after each conference. Charles had three VCRs hooked up at his home, one for the master and two for making simultaneous copies in real time. Charles wore out several VCRs over the years of providing this service.

The Lima User Group had no idea how many visitors would attend the first MUG conference held on the Ohio State University Lima campus in 1988. Charles was amazed when attendance, based on the sign in sheets and manual head counts, approached five hundred. Conference visitors, the famous and not-so-famous, not only came from the Ohio valley, but also from all around the United States, Canada and eventually Europe. It must be noted that the first MUG conference was intended to be an informal get together for user groups up and down I-75 from Toledo to Cincinnati, Ohio. However, the word got out and the success of the Lima MUG conferences from 1988 through 1998, under the direction and leadership of Charles Good, became an important part of TI-99/4A history.

Charles Good was born and raised in Chicago, where he earned a BS and MS at the local University of Illinois campus. Charles earned his PhD at Ohio University, Athens Ohio, where he specialized in plant fossils. Charles modestly says, "I have no formal computer qualifications at all and have never been a 'computer expert'."

Charles moved to Lima in 1974, because that was where a teaching job opened up, and has been teaching Biology and Plant Biology at the Lima Campus of The Ohio State University ever since. In 1975 Charles married a Lima woman with four young children, and Charles and his wife had three more children. This made Charles a proud father of seven. In 1982, Charles and his wife were searching for an appropriate home computer for the family. They attended a Commodore Vic 20 demo at a local store and were very unimpressed when the computer ran out of memory about half way through a Basic program designed to plot a circle on the screen. Therefore they purchased a home computer that could do the job nicely, a TI-99/4A.

Biography prepared by Glenn Bernasek
from personal recollections and from biographical material provided by Charles Good.

Inducted into the TI99ers Hall of Fame on December 24, 2004