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Since the early days of the BBC Model B, the concept of the computer club has been with us in the RISC OS scene.
Technology may have moved on since then, but there are still a fair number of Acorn (some prefer RISC OS) user and enthusiast groups around the world (45 as at 8/12/00).
Click here to get an @aaug.net email address, or update yours!
As all the RISC OS user groups are working towards a common goal. In the past, very rarely did any of them contact each other! Neil Spellings set out on a venture to pull together all the individual groups around the world to promote communication and co-operation between them.
Out of this, the Association of Acorn User groups was born.
If you are involved in running an Acorn or RISC OS computer club, and are not already a member of the Association then follow this link to find out how to join the association.
Of course, as the association grows and matures, the above aims of objectives may change, depending on the needs of our members.
Maintain a global directory for all RISC OS clubs and groups
This list was to be included with all new Acorn systems sold and to appear in the RISC OS press. The list gives new users a contact in their local area, other that their dealer, for whom they can turn to for help and meet other people with like systems.
Create a larger 'force' in the RISC OS market.
This allows us to:
- Pool resources and offer a better service to members. Where clubs are located in adjacent geographical areas we aim to organise more joint events. We would want to encourage and support those groups who wish to do something along those lines, and provide contacts for other clubs who may be willing to help out.
- Have a larger impact and more influence on the market with regard to products we'd like to see etc. OK, we may not be able to influence major hardware designs etc. but as a much larger group we would be able to put more pressure on companies who would normally ignore individuals or smaller groups.
Examples are where companies refuse to fix bugs or offer poor customer service.
Many of the existing groups have negotiated their own discounts from local or national RISC OS suppliers. We have combined these to offer all clubs and usergroups who are members of the Association access to a centralised scheme offering an increased number of participating companies and improved range of discounts. This makes joining a usergroup more attractive to perspective members, and also benefits existing ones.
Hardware vendors also be benefit as they will only have to deal with one contact instead of many around the country. They appear in a 'discount directory' (a copy of which can be found here)
which is a list of companies who are prepared to offer members of all the computer groups discounts on their products or services.
Promote communication and co-operation between clubs
This is important - all the clubs do need to communicate more! The AAUG runs two mailing lists, one for user group committees, the other for user group members.
Promote the RISC OS platform to the 'non-converted'
Obvious one this, but if we get enough support the association could exhibit at non-RISC OS shows.
Exhibit at RISC OS user shows and allow individual clubs to promote themselves
We co-ordinate clubs to allow them to exhibit on an association stand,
and give all clubs an opportunity to promote themselves at the big RISC OS shows. The first example of this was the Acorn World '97 - for more details of the Associations past achievments click here.
Plan and co-ordinate guest speakers around the country
Many companies are prepared to visit RISC OS user groups and demonstrate their products.
We are looking into keeping a directory of companies who are willing to do this, plus co-ordinate talks around the country to encourage more companies to visit clubs as they have one point of contact for all the RISC OS clubs and their talks can be better co-ordinate around the country, thus saving them valuable time and money.
We are also looking into maintaining lists of companies who are willing to give sponsorship and promotion help in newsletters, shows and magazines.
Assist in the creation of more local RISC OS groups
Do you know of other RISC OS users in your area? Is your nearest RISC OS user group 100's of miles away? Why not form your own RISC OS user group?
The association can provide assistance by drawing on the experiences of its members to assist groups of people in creating their own local RISC OS User groups. We will also be affiliated to the British Association of Computer Clubs, and thus can provide new clubs with details of issues of being an organised group (such as public liability insurance).
Page design by Neil Spellings, AAUG Chairman
© 1997-2000 Spellings Computer Services Ltd
Last updated Sunday 11th March 2001 by Andrew Harmsworth, AAUG Webmaster