User Groups

[ By Melanie Swalwell on December 5, 2013 | Filed under: Blog | Tagged with: , ]

Were you a user group sort of person?  What did your user group do?  How did you find out about it?


5 thoughts on “User Groups

  1. I joined MBUG (Melbourne Microbee User Group) in early 84 when I got my first Microbee. They had 2 meetings every month, first on the 2nd Wednesday and the next on the 4th Wednesday of every month. The 1st was a general meeting with Microbee News, Whats new, Tutorials, Paper Library, Software Library (all Public Domain) and later had sales for Games, Floppies, Tapes, etc. Attendance/membership reached over 1000 and packed out the hall at the Waverley Community Centre. They had all the Microbee manuals to help with writing programs and chatting with other members to solve any problems was invaluable. I learnt just so much on these nights. The internet wasnt around in those days but we did have Bulletin Boards (BBS) that you could log into if you had a modem.
    The second meeting was called the Hackers meeting where people would bring their Microbee, screwdrivers, soldering iron, oscilloscopes, to work on their Microbee to upgrade/fix/modify/etc. The word Hackers eventually got a bad name in the Press due to people breaching copyright, so the name was changed. Cant remember what it changed to officially as I always refered to as the Hackers night. I learnt so much from these night how the Microbee actually works and what each bit did.
    I later years I became the CP/M Librarian. The club had built up a collection of Public Domain software suitable for the Microbee on floppy disks. Members would bring in their Microbee formatted floppy disk (be it 8″, 5.25″ or 3.5″) and I would copy whatever volume they wanted to their disk at a cost of $1. We had 130 disks when I started and we had 186 when I finished. As time went on, membership dropped & sales dropped off to nothing so was abandoned. This was early to mid 90’s.
    MBUG produced a Newsletter each month for members and was eagerly waited for each month to arrive in the post. It was called The Catcher. As all Microbee clubs around Australia were having problems filling their newsletter with articles each month, MBUG in Oct 90 produced Prompt newsletter nationally for MBUG and 6 other clubs. Microbee articles slowly dropped off and MS-DOS slowly increased. By late 96 there were NO Microbee articles at all.
    MBUG still meets regularly but now really just a social club of a dozen guys or so and computers are never discussed at all.
    Attached is the cover of an early Catcher and the first Prompt.

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  2. Hi Alan,
    The map on the PROMPT cover you uploaded gives a nice impression of a national Microbee user group network, paralleling the company’s own network around the country. It’s impressive that PROMPT still featured articles on the Microbee until 1996, given that the company shut its doors sometime in 1992 (

  3. As I mentioned above, MBUG still meet regularly every month. In fact I attended their Christmas BBQ meeting last Wednesday. Was good to catch up with all the guys, pity there is not much Microbee discussion today though 🙂

    They have a couple of pics of themselves up on Flickr, taken a couple of years back


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  4. Greetings
    The first computer user group I attended was titled something like Adelaide Atari User Group and would meet on the first monday of the month . A collegue at work told me about it so I attended . Later I became the public domain library person for a while .

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