When home computers first hit the market over thirty years ago all sorts of hobbyists and hackers (the good guy hackers, not the bad guy hackers) formed ad hoc clubs called computer users groups all over the fruited plane.
There were Atari user groups, Apple user groups, CP/M user groups and a myriad of others for every computer out there. Weekly or monthly meetings shared computer tips, late-breaking news (remember the Internet as we know it would not emerge for another twenty some odd years) and all kinds of useful and even entertaining information.
As the 90s roared in with the Internet, computer users groups were shutting down left and right. Why? Because who needed to get in the car and drive off to a weekly or monthly meeting when bulletin boards and forums on the Internet could provide much more information faster than ever before imagined?
A few notable exceptions to this technologically-induced extinction including the Brookdale Computer Users Group practically in my own backyard in Lincroft, New Jersey. The Brookdale Computer Users Group (BCUG for shot) meets monthly and also runs a series of real and virtual workshops on topics such as Quickbooks, Internet Security, advanced data recovery and other topics of interest to everyone.
They’re running a special “recession buster” membership available to all new members through December 31, 2013. What are the dues for your first year? A whopping $15.
For less than the price of a single computer book you get access to a group of computer experts and enthusiasts eager to share their knowledge with their members. The May 2013 newsletter contains a particularly interesting article on how to use SMART to diagnose potential hard drive problems. I can’t think of a single business owner who couldn’t benefit from critical information like that.
If you don’t want to or simply can’t attend the local meetings, no worries! The downloadable newsletter alone is worth the price of membership not to mention the online workshops and meetings they conduct throughout the year.
I’m signing up and you should to. I have information to share. Maybe you have things to learn. Let’s win together.