Vol. 1, #2, April 12, 1975
THE CLUB IS ALL OF US
We’re growing-about 60 members so far. Meetings have been loose which I think is good. Gordon keeps the discussion moving as our chairperson. Do we need more of an agenda?
Last time we had general club business and news first, followed by Gordon giving us a good introduction to what the machine does with the code we lay on it. I’d like to see this topic continued and some specific routines followed thru step-by-step. Amateurs that we are and limited by our small memories, we are going to be talking assembly or machine language if we want our CPU to do more than process what we say. Learning good coding habits can save hours and headaches as well.
Then again, since most of us don’t have a system up yet, it may be too early for software discussions. What topic do we want for future meetings? Terminals? Memory? I/0 interface problems? What? It would be nice to have a program focus for each meeting announced in advance in the newsletter. Anyone want to bring and give a demonstration of her/his system?
I’m intending to get the newsletter out once a month. As Lee suggested, it will be mostly a pointer to sources, items, news, etc. Sort of an identifier of people, places, articles, abstracts, and general information of interest to club members. It can serve as a link between members: who has what to share or who needs what. And that includes all of us. We each know something of have something-even if it is only time or energy. The assumption is we are all learners and doers. Right? The function of the club and the newsletter is to facilitate our access to each other and the micro-world out there.
You know something of interest to the club: let us all know. Put it down on paper, scratch paper, anything, and get it to the editor. If it is long, just jot a quick descriptive review (use keywords) and tell us where it can be had (complete address). Or send a copy to me to be kept in the club library (a filing cabinet). If there is a high demand for the item, PCC is willing to Xerox copies at cost. By the way, if you have recent or back issues of electronic magazines and micro-computer stuff, how ‘bout donating them to the library?
All those new to the club, please fill out a Survey Questionnaire which I’ll take to mean you are an active member. Also be sure to put a dollar in the hat at the next meeting--our expenses are increasing. Larger donations welcome.
Looking over the questionnaires that have been turned in, I see we have a lot of talented, skilled, and imaginative people. The club names suggested are: Infinitesimal Computer Club, Midget Brains. Steam Beer Computer Group, Computer Users Group, People’s Computer Club, Eight-Bit Byte Bangers, Micro-Processors, Bay Area Computer Experimenters Group, and Amateur Computer Club of America.
The question "What would you like the club to do? Goals?" brought these responses: Perhaps the club can be a central REPRO & dissemination point for hard-to-otherwise-get listings & schematics, paper tape sources and binaries AS WELL AS a place where software written in PL/M be compiled, simulated. etc., for creating working or usable binaries. ...info exchange on line systems, standardization of info exchange... meet to exchange ideas, share skills, problems and solutions. Maintain a work bench somewhere with a scope, VTVM, etc. Circulate a local newsletter and contribute to a wider circulation newspaper when appropriate. Particularly maintain a local resource file with reciprocal arrangements with contiguous groups. ... Exchange information. ... mostly an information and learning center. ... to offer a chance to get together and exchange ideas on software and hardware. ... serve as information exchange medium; run technical discussion & education sessions. ... I would like to see information exchange on both hardware and software; volume buying and such would be great to get prices down on electronics equipment. ... regular exchange of information software or hardware for the benefit of all. ... provide exchange of technica1 data & access to hardware & software items. ... info source 8080, etc., clearing house software systems & applications; maintain computerized xref abilities, and interests. ... share skills. ... perform want-ad matching so that people can find what they want to have. Assemble indexes and consumer info about types of things we usually want: CPU chips, CPU boxes, modems, terminals, floppy disks, PTR/PTP units.. TTL et al chips supply, test equipment available for loan or buy or rent. generally-useful software, individual specific routines people have written. ... share ideas and stop trying to have so many small business men trying to make a few dollars. Should try to have some standards, but the club will be healthier if everyone has different applications-good ideas for the others. ... information exchange. specialized equipment access, group projects. ... information exchange on software & hardware availability. ... obtain and list where current information is available, identify worthwhile newsletters, publications. ... get a computer on line. ... general interchange on uses & construction, quantity discount, prying info loose from companies not anxious to waste time talking to individuals. ... people should demo their work to keep club interest high; a good demo can make a very interesting meeting.
Quite a lot of worthwhile goals! Anymore? I have listed our individual plans, needs, wants, and offerings on the following pages.
Thanks to Dan and Dave for the UART chips and for the Microprocessor scorecard included in this issue. Thanks to Ed for a donation of some EDN’s for the library. Thanks to Keith for really spreading the word about the club. Thanks to Fritz for the cover sketch. And a special thanks to Gordon for Part I of his software presentation and doing a fine job of chairing the meetings.