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Remembering user groups

tezza

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2007
Messages
4,709
Location
New Zealand
Hi,

I just took charge of a new EACA Colour Genie today. It's actually a spare, but it came with lots of docs, which is the main attraction.

I've written about it in my blog here

With this machine came with two year's worth of newsletters (1984-85) from the Auckland Colour Genie user group. Reading through them made me remember just how passionate people were about microcomputers in the early days. As mentioned in the blog, it's obvious that groups like these played a major role in supporting machines. They were particularly necessary for machines like the Colour Genie whose manufacturer went under in late 1983, and so were orphans in a sense.

For some reason I missed out on being involved in user groups in the early days? Anyone got any stories or memories (good or bad) about user groups they belonged to in the 1980s?
 

DoctorPepper

Experienced Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2003
Messages
479
Location
Palm Coast, FL
I totally missed-out on any user groups back in my early days of computing. I was an electronics instructor in the U.S. Navy at the time, and several of us bought VIC-20's, then C-64's around the same time. We were a tight-knit group, and used to use each other as sounding boards for software we were working on at the time.

We never even had a formal user group, just informal get-togethers, mostly during lunch at work. One or two of us would bring in our C-64's, drives and some software, and we'd sit around in an empty classroom discussing the game this guy was working on, or the checkbook program that guy was working on (sorry, we didn't have any female computer geeks in our group, not that we would have kept them out... they just didn't exist!).

I can't say I truly missed out on the user group thing though... I did attend one computer club meeting down here where I now live, this would be around 1997 or 1998. It was pretty sad, just folks "new" to using computers getting some instruction from one of the guys that sold most of them their computer.

I would also enjoy reading about anyone else's experiences with user groups.
 

JeffMeunier

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2007
Messages
49
Location
usually Connecticut, occasionally Taiwan and Thail
My only user group was my buddy hauling his OSI Superboard II & 13" B/W TV set to my house, and I carried my OSI Challenger 1P & TV set to the living room and we had week-long sleep-over hack sessions (interrupted by playing D&D, of course). Usually we wrote adventure games, or at least bits and pieces of them. I was about 12 years old at the time.

We didn't even know anyone else who owned a computer.

Strange, it never occurred to either of us to connect the 'cassette out' of one machine to the 'cassette in' of the other machine. I'm not sure how much fun we would have found that at the time. Probably not much.
 

mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
Staff member
Joined
May 3, 2003
Messages
6,235
I came across my favorite computer users group about 15 years too late - the Eugene Oregon PCjr Club. They held meetings, published a newsletter, maintained a spare parts stockpile and ran a software lending library. That was very important for a machine like the PCjr, which was 'orphaned' fairly early and wasn't a commercial success.

Web sites like this (or my own PCjr web site/forum) serve that purpose today. 'Clubs' have turned into 'online communities'.
 

Erik

Site Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
3,592
Location
San Jose, CA
I was a founding member of the Long Island PC Users Group, a SIG of the Long Island Computer Association (LICA.)

I served as an officer, did training for fund raising, contributed to the newsletter and more. . . all while still in High School. :)

I ultimately turned over a BBS I'd started to the group for its use when I went off to college.
 

billdeg

Technician
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Messages
3,872
Location
Landenberg, PA USA
I value whatever I find along these lines. I have user group materials with focus on Sinclair, Commodore, IBM, MITS, Processor Tech, IMSAI, Apple, etc. These are what teach *how* computers were used, who found them interesting, add-on products, clues and tricks, etc. In short, the inside scoop.
bd
 

Micom 2000

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2004
Messages
1,284
Location
Manitoba North of 50 degrees Latitude
I was a member of many User groups in the 80s and early 90s. 2 of the major ones were the Toronto Pet User Group (TPUG) and the Toronto Atari Federation (TAF). Their BBS' and events were the center of my connecton to IT. Many of the PC user groups came and went but the niche computer platforms had a hard-core membershp. Some I accessed thru FIDO and others later when the free-nets made usenet and i-net affordable. The Case/Western Atari User Group comes to mind and another somewhat esoterc one in New York based on 8-bit Ataris. The DEC Rainbow User groups were heavily subsidised by DEC until they abandoned the platform, altho the User groups continued for some time after.

Lawrence
 

billdeg

Technician
Joined
Nov 18, 2003
Messages
3,872
Location
Landenberg, PA USA
archive your user group disks!

archive your user group disks!

I have the ported TPUG 8032 files in CBM B-Series format. TPUG had ties to CBUG - The Chicago Area B Series User Group. I consider these and other user group disks to be among the most valued of my inventory.

I encourage people to make backups of whatever user group disks they have and make them available (when legal) for posterity.

bd
 

licapres

New Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
1
Location
Houston Texas
I was a founding member of the Long Island PC Users Group, a SIG of the Long Island Computer Association (LICA.)

I served as an officer, did training for fund raising, contributed to the newsletter and more. . . all while still in High School. :)

I ultimately turned over a BBS I'd started to the group for its use when I went off to college.

=====================================
I was president of The Long Island Computer Association.
I was also the editor / publisher of The Stack - the official monthly newsletter of The Long Island Computer Association when you joined. Originally we had just two SIGs. One was the
S/100 hardware group and the other was Radio Shack group headed by Stan Misel.
 
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