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AAUG appoints new chairman

By Chris Williams. Published: 12th Nov 2003, 03:26:07 | Permalink | Printable

Neil Spellings steps down

AAUG logoThe Association of Acorn User Groups, AAUG for short, has appointed a new chairman following the standing down of Neil Spellings. Daniel Shimmin, better known to many as simply dgs, will take over from Neil.

Neil founded the AAUG in 1997 to help promote and organise user groups around the world. It also represents user groups at major RISC OS shows, maintains a website of all known user groups, offers a discount scheme for club members to get discounts from a range of companies and has a regular column in Acorn User with user group meetings and events news. A similar column recently started on drobe.co.uk, fittingly written by dgs.

"Over the past six years the AAUG has been enormously successful in achieving its original goals of promoting user group membership, raising their profile in the media, and getting representation at the regional shows", Neil told drobe.co.uk. You may recognise him from Spellings.net, the outfit behind the Aemulor and Cino projects. Neil admits that his RISC OS software projects have taken preference over his AAUG duties and this has led to reduced representation of user groups at shows. The global online directory of user groups has also been neglected, according to Neil.

"I think its time to hang up the towel and find a new leader to take the AAUG forward. We are entering a new era for RISC OS, with new 32 bit hardware, RISC OS running on PCs under emulation etc, so the role of the usergroup is still as important as it was 5 or 10 years ago, especially if RISC OS users now have to battle with the likes of Windows XP also."

Neil makes a good point (apart from the WinXP bit), that some people prefer to use user groups for product support as they can talk face to face with fellow users who have gone through the same sort of problems as them. User groups also attract guest speakers, usually from companies with a story to tell, allowing group meetings to turn into interesting and informative affairs. The meetings, like the annual shows, also reassure users that there are still lots of other people using RISC OS.

The AAUG can be fairly influential too as well as providing email services to user groups and their members. For example, before the cancellation of the Phoebe project, the AAUG and Acorn had negotiated discounts for all user group members and coordinated a tour of the doomed machine.

Proving himself to be a big user group advocate and supporter, dgs commented: "I'm delighted to be taking over as Chairman of the Association, which plays such an important part in the RISC OS market. My first priority will be helping to ensure that groups are able to provide up-to-date information (through the AAUG website as well as other channels), as well as helping to encourage newer groups to get going. It is almost always a myth to believe that there just aren't any other RISC OS users in your part of the world."

While we're not entirely sure how dgs became chairman, we're told dgs has previously been involved in the creation of two user groups and is part of another three so he certainly has the qualifications required. Plus. he writes for drobe.co.uk, so he has our vote.

Links

AAUG website

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Discussion

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The first change has already happened! I discovered last night that the ISP arm, AAUGonline, or rather Griffin that hosts them, now only allows access to its mail server via its own access servers. This means that I now have to use a dial up connection to access my email, despite having broadband. It has prompted a hasty change of ISP (to use my broadband suppliers mail servers)!

I wondered how long it would be before somebody rumbled me!

Martin

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 12/11/03 9:00AM
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The Griffin change is totally unrelated, and was prompted by people such as yourself using their email servers, without actually contributing anything in way of income by using the dial up service.

The terms and conditions state that to keep your AAUG Online account open, you have to dial into the service at least every so often, and this just wasnt happening, so Griffin decided to restrict access to POP3 mailboxes to people who were genuine users.

Although their actions are extreme, I understand and back their reasoning.

AAUG Online will continue as before, providing free internet access, webspace and RISC OS-aware support to the RISC OS community, as will the AAUG.net email redirection services.

Cheers,

Neil

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 12/11/03 10:43AM
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I tried to register an account with AAUGonline as I am anxious to support RISC OS but unfortunately experienced diffulties. And I haven't (yet) received a reply when I emailed support@aaugonline.net giving details. Perhaps this is something into which the new administrator can look?

Thanks and keep up the good work, Christopher.

 is a RISC OS User6502meister on 12/11/03 12:16PM
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Neil:

Yes, I can't argue with the reasoning behind it, although I DID dial in from time to time. When I went broadband I still preferred to use a RISC OS friendly ISP, so didn't bother to change my email address. NTL don't want to know about RISC OS.

6502meister: I'm surprised at that, I have always had first class email support from AAUGonline. On one occasion I had the answer within ten minutes! On another I was sent a patched version of a third party module that was causing problems. Most ISPs don't even offer email support anyway, they keep you hanging on the phone at a pound a minute or whatever. If you use a dial-up connection and RISC OS, I would recommend AAUGonline to anyone. First class support for RISC OS, and it's free!

 is a RISC OS Usermrtd on 12/11/03 1:21PM
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I shall try emailing my query again in hope that I get a response, I know emails go astray occasionally. I really wanted an AAUGonline account but had to settle for FreeUK - this will change as soon as I can register with AAUG. I use the dial-up method so from the comments already posted there should be no problem there. Thanks Christopher

 is a RISC OS User6502meister on 12/11/03 2:59PM
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Congratulations, dgs! Your efforts in user groups are legends in their own right. I look forward to seeing AAUG flourish.

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 12/11/03 4:32PM
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Oh, and how dgs became chairman: I asked for volunteers from the groups initially - he volunteered. I did have an article prepared for release to Drobe etc asking for a replacement, but forunately didnt need it in the end.

Im sure everyone will join me in wishing dgs the best of luck with the AAUG in the future.

Cheers,

/Neil/

 is a RISC OS Userspellinn on 12/11/03 6:20PM
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