Regina PC Users Group


A computer user group can be described as a human network … a collection of the experience and resources of its individual members. The Regina PC Users Group, Inc. is an organization devoted to those with “PC compatible” computers. Our purpose is to assist members in using their systems more productively.

In its current incarnation, the Regina PCUG is a forum for users to exchange information about goings-on in the world of computers and technology. We no longer meet on a regular basis, but users do occasionally announce informal impromptu meetings, often at coffee shops.

Regina PCUG — A Personal History
by Dan Pearson
Taken from the Regina PCUG Newsletter, April 1993

Sometime back in 1985, I remember sitting with a group of people, including The Two Jeffs (actually there were really three), at the newly opened Computer Education Centre. Everyone was chatting in the most arcane and fluent technobabble about the latest issues of PC Magazine and Byte. Two or three disks of ShareWare were laying on the tables - probably skimmed off of some BBS in the States - the privilege of copying cost a measly 50 cents - a far cry from the expensive, top of the line programs like Multiplan, dBase II and Wordstar. A User Group had begun.

The importance of a newsletter was early recognised. After much deliberation the NEWSROOM package was purchased allowing the newsletter to be assembled with cartoon-like, CGA quality graphics, and text entered into little boxes of 4 or 5 lines of 20 characters each. No one even questioned the fact that the program could not import text from popular editors such as Edlin and WordStar! A far cry from the professional publication we put out today!

The daunting task of cataloguing every new piece of ShareWare members brought in led to the decision to purchase the PC-SIG library which would allow access to over 600 disks of ShareWare, fully catalogued! The only logistical problem was transferring hundreds of meg onto 360k diskettes so the library would be available at meetings - this was the beginning of “copyfest” where normally sane people sat at computers for hours, flipping floppies and typing the same copy command, for hours!

All that wonderful software attracted lots of new members, many of them totally new to computing - they would come out listen to the business meeting, try to follow the speaker, and then watch as all the ‘old’ members started copying from the library - all in all a very foreign experience that could easily convince them not to come again. Thus was born the anonymous question and answer period, and the free drop-in sessions, put on by the New User SIG, where a gentle introduction to DOS and the use of the library ensured that the next time they came to a regular meeting they would know what to do, and actually be able to take something useful home with them.

As the BBS community in Regina started to develop the group purchased a modem to loan to members interested in trying their hand at electronic communications. Although this 1200 baud modem looks like a throwback to the dark ages now, it was a very popular feature of membership - before you took it home to try out you were walked through all the steps of getting it connected to your computer and the telephone, and given demonstrations on accessing BBS’s, messaging, and downloading.

Over the years many members have met informally to explore shared interests in specific areas of computing. Since 1986 there have been attempts to formalise these get-togethers by creating SIGs (Special Interest Groups) within the group. Until now, with the start up of the Desktop SIG, these attempts failed for lack of interest and organisation. Hopefully the Desktop SIG will herald the start of a number of SIGs allowing us to more fully explore our personal areas of interest.

In cooperation with the U of R Computer Science Department, the group has coordinated public presentations by major vendors including Microsoft and WordPerfect.

We may not know what will be happening in the world of computers five years from now but judging from the history of this group it will be around, providing support for new and experienced users alike.