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User Groups resources.
A users' group (also user's group or user group) is a type of club focused on the use of a particular technology, usually (but not always) computer-related.
Users' groups started in the early days of mainframe computers, as a way to share sometimes hard-won knowledge and useful software, usually written by end users independently of the vendor-supplied programming efforts. SHARE, a user group originated by aerospace industry corporate users of IBM mainframe computers, was founded in 1955 and is the oldest computer user group still active. DECUS, the DEC User's Society, was founded in 1961 and its descendant organization, Connect Worldwide, still operates. The Computer Measurement Group (CMG) was founded in 1974 by systems professionals with a common interest in (mainframe) capacity management, and continues today with a much broader mission. The first UNIX users' group organized in 1978.
Users' groups began to proliferate with the microcomputer revolution of the late 1970s and early 1980s as hobbyists united to help each other with programming and configuration and use of hardware and software. Especially prior to the emergence of the World Wide Web, obtaining technical assistance with computers was often onerous, while computer clubs would gladly provide free technical support. Users' groups today continue to provide "real life" opportunities for learning from the shared experience of the members and may provide other functions such as a newsletter, group purchasing opportunities, tours of facilities, or speakers at group meetings.
A users' group may provide its members (and sometimes the general public as well) with one or more of the following services:
. periodic meetings
. annual or less frequent users conferences
. public lectures
. a newsletter
. a library of media or tools
. a software archive
. an online presence such as a dial-up BBS or Internet website
. swap meets
. technical support
. social events
. Code Camp
Users' groups may be organized around a particular brand of current hardware (IBM, Macintosh) or current software and operating systems (Linux, Microsoft Windows, Clipper), or more rarely may be dedicated to obsolescent systems or historical computers, for example Apple II, PDP-11, Osborne. An example of an early user group is the Apple User Group Connection.
Computer user group
A computer user group (also known as a computer club) is a group of people who enjoy using microcomputers or personal computers and who meet regularly to discuss the use of computers, share knowledge and experience, hear from representatives of hardware manufacturers and software publishers, and hold other related activities. They may host special interest workgroups, often focusing on one particular aspect of computing.
Computer user groups meet both virtually and in hackerspaces. Computer user groups may consist of members who primarily use a specific operating system, such as Linux. While many hackers use free and open source software, others use Macintosh, RISC OS, Windows and Amiga OS. There are also other user groups that concentrate on either Mac OS (Macintosh User Group or MUG) or Linux (Linux User Group or LUG).
Many computer user groups belong to an umbrella organization, the Association of Personal Computer User Groups or APCUG.
Association of Personal Computer User Groups
The Association of Personal Computer User Groups (APCUG) is a worldwide organization that helps computer user groups by facilitating communications between APCUG member groups, computer hardware and software makers, and hardware and software vendors. A non-profit corporation as designated by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, APCUG also helps member groups and their officers fulfill their education goals with support materials and shared knowledge and experience.
While a large number of member groups in APCUG are oriented towards the Microsoft DOS and Windows operating systems, many member groups include members using a variety of operating systems, such as Mac and Linux, and provide services to meet all of their needs. Membership is open to all microcomputer and tablet user groups.
APCUG itself is not a user group; only user groups themselves are members. APCUG product and services are offered to group leaders, who can choose to share those products and services with their members.
APCUG began after a series of meetings and discussions between representatives from various user groups around the country about improving communications between groups and sharing information. The presidents from three user groups—Boston Computer Society, Capital PC User Group, and Houston Area League of PC Users—organized the First Annual User Group Summit meeting at the 1986 Fall Comdex.
After that first Summit meeting and subsequent meetings, the leaders of 15 user groups met in Seattle in October 1987, and proposed the formation of an association for the purpose of fostering communication among and between user groups. That proposal was presented before 130 representatives from 50 user groups at the Second Annual User Group Summit Meeting in November 1987, and was unanimously approved.
A hackerspace (also referred to as a hacklab, makerspace or hackspace) is a community-operated, often "Not For Profit" (501(c)(3) in the United States), workspace where people with common interests, often in computers, machining, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialize and collaborate. Hackerspaces have also been compared to other community-operated spaces with similar aims and mechanisms such as Fab Lab, men's sheds, and commercial "for-profit" companies such as TechShop.
In general, hackerspaces function as centers for peer learning and knowledge sharing, in the form of workshops, presentations, and lectures. They usually also offer social activities for their members, such as game nights and parties. Hackerspaces can be viewed as open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops, and/or studios where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things.
Many hackerspaces participate in the use and development of free software, open hardware, and alternative media. They are often physically located in infoshops, social centers, adult education centers, public schools, public libraries, or on university campuses, but may relocate to industrial or warehouse space when they need more room.
Hackerspaces with open membership became common throughout Germany in the 1990s in the orbit of the German Chaos Computer Club (CCC), with the c-base being probably an example. The concept, however, was limited to less than a dozen spaces within Germany, and did not spread beyond borders at first. Most likely this was because initial founding costs were prohibitive for small groups without the support of a large organization like the CCC.
In 2006, Paul Bohm came up with a fundraising strategy based on the Street Performer Protocol to build Metalab in Vienna, Austria, and became its founding director. In 2007, he and others started Hackerspaces.org, a wiki-based website that maintains a list of many hackerspaces and documents patterns on how to start and run them. As of September 2015, the community list included 1967 hackerspaces with 1199 active sites and 354 planned sites.
The advent of crowdfunding and Kickstarter has put the tools required to build hackerspaces within reach of an even wider audience. Those tools are for example used by Bilal Ghalib, who had previously worked on a hackerspace documentary, and others to bring the hackerspace concept to the Middle East.
Most recent studies of hackerspace in China — where Internet access is heavily censored — suggest that new businesses and organized tech conferences there serve to intervene in the status quo "from within". The first hackerspace in China, Xinchejian, opened in Shanghai in 2010. Thereafter a network of hackerspaces emerged, nourishing an emerging maker culture. By designing open technologies and developing new businesses, Chinese makers make use of the system, make fun of it, altering it and provoking it. DIY makers often bring and align contradictory ideas together, such as copycat and open source, manufacturing and DIY, individual empowerment and collective change. In doing so, they craft a subject position beyond the common rhetoric that Chinese citizens lack creativity. As a site of individual empowerment, hackerspace and DIY making enable people to remake the very societal norms and material infrastructures that undergird their work and livelihood.
The individual character of a hackerspace is determined by its members. Many hackerspaces are governed by elected boards selected by active members in good standing. Elected officers may serve predetermined terms, and help direct decisionmaking with regards to purchasing new equipment, recruiting new members, formulating policy, conforming to safety requirements, and other administrative issues.
Membership fees are usually the main income of a hackerspace, but some also accept external sponsors. Some hackerspaces in the US have 501(c)3 status (or the equivalent in their jurisdiction), while others have chosen to forgo tax exempt status. University-affiliated hackerspaces often do not charge an explicit fee, but are generally limited to students, staff, or alumni, although visiting guests from other hackerspaces are usually welcome. Some hackerspaces accept volunteer labor in lieu of membership fees, especially from financially limited participants. In addition, some hackerspaces earn income from sponsoring and staffing high-tech flea markets, where members of the general public may buy and sell new and used equipment and supplies.
There is a loose, informal tradition at many hackerspaces of welcoming visitors from other similar organizations, whether across town or internationally. Free exchange of ideas, skills, and knowledge are encouraged, especially at periodic gatherings sometimes called "build nights" or "open house" days.
Hackerspaces and makerspaces are increasingly being included as learning spaces in schools, learning commons, and other educational facilities.
Connecting small business owners to mentorship programs across British Columbia
Did you know you can find a mentor in British Columbia through a professional organization?
MentorshipBC is an online directory of all the professional mentorship programs in BC. Our goal is to educate small business owners that mentors are easily accessible and can dramatically boost success rates of small businesses.
If you've been looking for a mentor simply use the search tool on the MentorshipBC homepage to find a mentorship program that works for you.
How did MentorshipBC Start?
MentorshipBC was created in response to demand from BC small business owners. It arose from the Provincial Government’s consultation with 35,000 small businesses. Raising awareness of mentorship resources was one of six key action items committed to in the BC Small Business Accord, announced in March 2013.
MentorshipBC meets the need of small businesses to help them find mentorship programs in BC.
Mentorship programs you find through MentorshipBC have been screened to ensure they meet the following standards:
Programs featured on MentorshipBC also maintain most, if not all, of the following best practices:
Guided by the Voice of Small Business
Until 2014, MentorshipBC was guided by the MentorshipBC Advisory Group to ensure its success.
MentorshipBC thanks the Advisory Group of small business owners and organizations for their commitment to helping small business owners learn about mentorship.
The Advisory Group was made up of:
Vancouver Linux Users Group
Welcome to Linux, or as many knowledgeable people prefer, GNU/Linux. While free software itself dates back to the beginnings of computing, the Free Software Movement began in the mid-eighties with a licensing revolution. From humble beginnings, GNU and the GNU General Public License codified a spirit of generosity and neighborliness which contrasts sharply with the traditional restrictions and monopolies created by copyright. “Copyleft” turned copyright inside out, using its principles to empower users and protect their freedoms to study, share, modify, distribute, and use software in previously unimagined ways. Three decades later, this movement has spawned hundreds of general, permissive licenses – each its own variation on the theme of free software as originally envisaged by GNU. Most of these licenses are compatible with GNU principles but a few are not. Today some prefer the similar term “Open Source,” rather than Free Software, in order to embrace all of these licenses. Still others prefer the term FLOSS to combine both perspectives. But regardless of the term, the principles of neighbourliness and generosity remain central to GNU/Linux.
In thirty years, our digital lives have come to be dominated by GNU/Linux. Google, Amazon, E-Bay, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, the London Stock Exchange, the Tokyo Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, the movie FX industry, Airbus, the US FAA, air traffic control, CERN, nuclear reactors, Japan’s bullet trains, Toyota, Cisco, the US Department of Defense, the US Navy Submarine Fleet, NASA, Wikipedia, and the White House all choose Linux. 97% of the world’s supercomputers run Linux and it is extremely successful in the mainframe community as well. In fact, Linux runs on at least thirty different hardware platforms, far more than any other system. These cornerstones of computing all recognize that GNU/Linux is not only a viable alternative to proprietary software, but better all round – more secure, more cost-effective, more reliable, more efficient, more flexible and more portable.
And Open Source rules the World Wide Web too. Of nearly 900 million websites, 60% run either the Apache or nginx web servers – more than double the nearest competitor. And if we limit our gaze to the million busiest sites on the net – that number rises to 70%.
If most aspects of the server space today are dominated by GNU/Linux, it has made serious inroads into the personal space too – Android and Nokia cell phones, tablets, routers, firewalls, PDAs, TVs, TIVOs, household appliances of all kinds, medical devices – life everywhere depends upon Linux.
With desktops, Linux embraces diversity. We recognize that a single desktop can’t suit everyone, and so we have many. GNOME offers full powered functionality with a clean simplicity and elegance, KDE implements bells and whistles on a grand scale, Unity is a leading edge desktop creating a new kind of user experience, LXDE and Xfce are small scale desktops useful for breathing new life into older, “obsolete” hardware, Cinnamon and Mate provide traditional user experiences. One size does not fit everyone and GNU/Linux is a celebration of choice and the joy of discovery.
Nearly two decades ago, VanLug was started by a diverse group of academics, enthusiasts, consultants and professionals with an interest in Free Software, the GNU General Public License and GNU/Linux. From the beginning, VanLug rested upon four pillars: technical assistance, education, community expansion and outreach to the larger community. We have always run a mailing list to help members solve their technical problems, organized lectures to educate members about the Linux ecology, sought to bring new members into VanLug and tried to promote VanLug and Linux at various exhibitions like Comdex, LinuxFest and LinuxCon.
During its lifetime VanLug has evolved considerably. At our various events, we continue to bring the GNU/Linux community together. It is always satisfying to chat with friends and collegues about timely topics. But given the success of Linux, we realize that it has become much more than a hobbiest’s passion, and we accept the larger mandate of building and organizing the FLOSS community here in Vancouver. GNU/Linux has become a career path for many professionals and they need to self-educate, update their skills, acquire various certifications, and stay on top of a rapidly developing ecology. One person cannot do it alone and our community is our greatest strength.
It’s actually an exciting time at VanLug. Over the past several years we have been thinking about how to repurpose VanLug in a number of ways. We’ve finally begun to redevelop our website, with the aim of providing additional services for members, as well as the public. We’re expanding our mailing lists. But most importantly we’re planning LinuxFaire – a conference and exhibition of all things Linux – here in Vancouver. It’s a great time to get involved with VanLug, to join the Board of Directors, purchase a membership or just sign up for our mailing lists. The future of GNU/Linux is very bright indeed. Come join us on our journey to create community here in Vancouver.
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