In the earliest days of personal computing users had to fend for themselves. Computer companies were too small, or too indifferent, to support individual users. So we huddled together, supporting each other through the trials and vicissitudes of PC ownership, in something called “user groups.”
I remember traveling to Berkeley of a Thursday evening for meetings of one of the biggest, best, and most unruly of the user groups, BMUG: the Berkeley Macintosh User Group. I didn’t go to every meeting, but I always enjoyed the unruly atmosphere, the feisty treatment of the company marketeers who dared address the group, and the Chinese dinners afterward. I even left them my Mac BBS, MacQueue, when I took it down in 1986.
BMUG hasn’t met in years, but one of its stalwarts, Raines Cohen, is planning a reunion in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Mac’s release. This is one party I wouldn’t want to miss.