RISC OS User Groups
An Introduction to User Groups
A user group is a collection of like minded individuals who get together, usually once every month, for a meeting. Obviously those in the user group know each other and can assist each other with any difficulties that might arise between meetings. At their monthly meetings someone will normally give a talk; this may be a member of the group, or inded an invited guest such as well known personality or someone from a particular company.
The above paragraph may seem rather obvious, but how many RISC OS users are not members of their local user groups? Why not? I am a keen member of my local user group and the monthly meetings are a good excuse to get out of the house of an evening, although don't tell my wife that. It's enjoyable, I meet new people and I usually save money as many of the companies that come and do talks offer their goods at a sizeable discount at group meetings.
I can't join a user group as there isn't one near me
Well if everyone simply stayed at home thinking the same then no user group would ever get started. If there isn't a group near you why not try to start one. Make a posting on the Acorn newsgroups (for example Comp.Sys.Acorn.Misc) announcing your intentions. Why not place a small free advert in the computer section of your local free adverts paper and see if any other users in your area respond, you may be surprised. One needs to remember that hundreds of thousands of RISC OS computers have been manufactured over the years, and just like Rolls Royces most of them are still in use somewhere.
The AAUG (Association of Acorn User Groups)
If you do want to set up your own user group, or indeed would just like further information about user groups then I can heartily recommend a visit to the Association of Acorn User Groups website. Here you will find lists of all the active users groups, both here and abroad.
I have made a list of the UK groups that I know about and have included it below in this article.
I have tried to form a local group but can't find enough members.
A User Group does not necessarily have to have members that all live in the same area. In these days of high technology communications you could have a user group that communicates over the internet, perhaps using the services of a website such as www.smartgroups.co.uk. This would allow you to set up a user group with members all over the world. Perhaps the group you set up might be for enthusiasts of a particular program, or sharing a particular computer and a RISC OS related hobby.
As far as I am concerned user groups are the life blood of the RISC OS community and without continued support they will eventually cease to be. If you live near a local user group then you should at least go along once just to see what it is like, you never know you may well end up enjoying yourself. If you can't find a local group then perhaps there are many just like you within a few miles, and all it will take is one person to start a group rolling. Everyone should support their user groups, even if some members do have PCs!
Alphabetical list of RISC OS user groups
This is a list of all the user groups that I know about. If there are any user groups missing from this list then could they please contact RISC World at the usual address and I will update the list for the next issue.
Southampton Acorn Users Group
If one of these clubs is near you why not visit their website or e-mail them, after all you will be most welcome at their next meeting and it is always delightful to meet others who know that RISC OS is the best operating system in the world.