Upcoming user group actionBy dgs . Published: 10th Aug 2003, 22:12:57 | Permalink | Printable
From guest speakers to hands on demonstrations to BBQsSummer is often the quiet season for user group meetings. Perhaps wisely given the current heatwave, many groups choose to take a break from their activities, or content themselves with informal meetings rather than inviting outside speakers. Despite that, there is still a lot going on at RISC OS user groups during August and September.
It's always the "big speakers" that pull the largest crowds. Usually that means RISCOS Ltd or one of their hardware partners, or sometimes those behind a major application (Photodesk for example). But informal meetings are equally valuable to a slightly smaller number of people; a chance to meet real RISC OS users and find out what hardware and software they're using and how, as well as drawing on others' expertise or just exchanging viewpoints, away from the excessive posturing of some internet discussions.
Blackpool Computer Club
Two groups holding mainly informal meetings are the Blackpool Computer Club and the RISC OS North West User Group (separate organisations despite the apparent overlap!)
The Blackpool club have meetings scheduled for 29th August, 26th September and 31st October (all Fridays). They use the Victoria Hotel in Cleveleys as their venue. Their secretary, Maureen Lewtas, can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
The RISC OS North West User Group (RONWUG) meets at the Trafford Metrovick Rugby & Cricket Club, Finnybank Road, Sale, Cheshire M33 6LR on the third Wednesday evening of each month. As with many of the less formal user groups, admittance and membership are free. RONWUG (previously the Manchester Acorn User Group) can be contacted as email@example.com or by phone on 0161 969 9820.
Mixing informal events with specific topics are the Bottisham Acorn User Group (BAUG), near Cambridge. Unlike most RISC OS user groups, the Bottisham group meet twice a month (except when their venue is unavailable). Their next meetings are Tuesday 9th September (topic to be announced), and Tuesday 23rd September (a demonstration of CD burning on the Iyonix). For more details, see their website.
A different alternative to big name speakers can be found at the Derbyshire Area RISC Club (DARC). We're told that their Question and Answer sessions, with a panel of experts drawn from their own members, are extremely popular, and held regularly. Their September meeting will be one of these occasions, and more information can be found at the DARC website.
Looking further south, Joe Taylor will be demonstrating and talking about AppBasic at the M25 East RISC OS User Group (near Romford) on the evening of Tuesday 16th September. Joe describes AppBasic as "the easiest way to write standard RISC OS applications for the desktop". Admission to M25EROUG meetings is free, and tea, coffee and biscuits are available for a small contribution. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Right next to M25EROUG, the Essex Acorn User Group's next meeting will be on Tuesday 9th September, the topic "Practical Networking". This will be in the Great Baddow Village Hall, and more information is available at the club's website. EAUG also have a barbecue coming up in August, so if you're quick, perhaps you can persuade them to invite you along!
The ICENI Computer Club are also avoiding formal meetings in favour of a social gathering in August. On Wednesday 20th August the group (and partners and guests) will be meeting for a meal at the Crown Hotel in Manningtree, a riverside venue now revisited several times and always popular. The deadline to decide what you would like from the menu has already passed, however if you contact the group right away perhaps there is still space.
Following on a social evening with what must be the most high profile of big speakers, on Wednesday 3rd September the ICENI club welcome Jack Lillingston of Castle Technology. The Iyonix, and the recent purchase by Castle of RISC OS, are likely to be high on the agenda. As with most of the ICENI club's meetings, this one takes place at the Bourne Vale Social Club, Halifax Road, Ipswich IP2 8RE. The club's meetings are normally the first Wednesday evening of each month; more information from email@example.com.
Leaving aside high profile speakers, probably the most high profile RISC OS user group is the Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club (WROCC), previously the Wakefield Acorn Computer Group. Just like the ICENI club, WROCC meet on the first Wednesday evening of each month. Their venue is the West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club in Sandal, Wakefield, and the next meeting will be 3rd September 2003 (topic TBC). Admission for non-members is two pounds, and more information can be found on the club website.
The RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL) meets on the third Monday evening of every month. The 18th August meeting will see a visit by Chris Morison, author of !Organizer, the very popular shareware filofax-replacement for RISC OS. In September, ROUGOL has planned a visit from Drobe assistant editor Peter Naulls, who will be talking mainly about the UNIX Porting Project, but is likely to have plenty to say on other topics too, including Linux for the Iyonix and, if provoked, Drobe itself.
The venue for ROUGOL is The Blue-Eyed Maid, 173 Borough High Street, London SE1 1HR - for speaker meetings the group now always uses the upstairs room of the pub, thereby escaping the noise downstairs. The rather excellent food and drink at the venue (following a change in management last year) have encouraged ROUGOL's tendency to hold some of the longest meetings of any RISC OS user group, with some of the early diners turning up at 6pm or earlier, and some of the late drinkers lurking until nearly midnight. More information from firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Bristol Area RISC User Group (BARUG) next meet on the evening of Wednesday 27th August at the Brook Way Community Centre, Bradley Stoke, Bristol (just off Junction 15 on the M5). Paul Richardson will be visiting to demonstrate and talk about the latest from Explan. More information from the group's website.
The above is only an overview of what a few of the UK's RISC OS user groups are up to over the next month or two; remember that there are groups in quite a few other countries, and even more groups than those mentioned above lurk in various parts of the UK. Do check out the Association of Acorn User Groups website to see which groups are closest to you. If your group has events in August or September that aren't mentioned above, drop an email to drobe.co.uk, and then everyone will know about it.
Association of Acorn User Groups
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