OPCUG's History

This is the history of the Ottawa PC Users' Group as best as we could piece it together. All contributions are welcome; please post them to the OPCUG-Member-Forum on Google Groups (see membership) or email them to


Photographs of a number of past events hosted by OPCUG are available. Check them out!
Jun 2024 PizzaQ 2024 Our annual PizzaQ was at the Britannia Trolley Station for the second time, with 36 participants, a beautiful day, pizza for everyone, drinks and delicious and beautifully decorated cup cakes offered by Bob Herres & Debbie Begin, plus many raffle prizes, it was a very successful in person event!
Jun 2023 PizzaQ 2023 Trying a new location with a nice sheltered picnic area and free parking, we went to the Britannia Trolley Station. The pre-registration to control the quantities, the lower rental fee by the city of Ottawa plus a deal on the pizza has cut our cost by more than half. With pizza for everyone, drinks and delicious and beautifully decorated cup cakes offered by Bob Herres & Debbie Begin, plus many raffle prizes, it was a very successful PizzaQ!
Apr 2023 QA Poster To promote the Weekly Q&A Session Alan German creates a new Q&A poster with the help of freelance services.
Several Q&A milestones was worth celebrating in 2023: on May 17th 1000 topics had been discussed, on May 31st 5000 participants had joined in and on Aug 2nd, we held our 150th Q&A over Zoom.
Jun 2022 PizzaQ 2022 After more than 2 years the OPCUG has its first meeting in person at the Picnic shelter #2 of the Vincent Massey Park. With plenty of pizza, drinks and delicious cup cakes offered by Bob Herres & Debbie Begin, we could not ask for better weather or a more beautiful location.
Apr 2022 The OPCUG celebrates it's 40th anniversary with a special edition of its newsletter. The OPCUG logo is updated by adding "for over 40 years" and changing the fonts, thanks to Chris Taylor. A "favicon" using our logo is also added to our web site, showing up as a small icon on the browser tab, at the suggestion of Jocelyn Doire and applied by our web master Brigitte Lord.
The OPCUG starts a new series of Tech Talks hosted by Alan German, Lawrence Patterson and Chris Taylor, video-conferenced over Zoom. A total of 10 topics were covered, each lasting 1.5–2 hours, from April to July 2022: 1) Make a disk image backup; schedule incremental backups 2) File and folder synchronization using File History for Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos 3) Run a full virus scan with alternative (third–party)  software 4) Check your security settings, anti-virus,firewall 5) Check and update passwords, KeePass password manager, set two–factor authentication 6) Update Windows and all installed software, Sumo 7) Remove any unused applications, Control Panel 8) Tidy up your E–mail, folders, filters 9) Tweak system performance, startup programs 10) Run disk cleanup to free up space.
Jun 2020 Part 100 of OPCUG's Free Software Guide was published in the June newsletter (Ottawa PC News; p.11; June 2020) marking the end of this long-running series. The guide was launched by Alan German in December, 2008 and listings of 800 unique software packages have spanned 12 years. Co-compilers of the guide for various issues included: Andrew Webber, Bill Bradwin, Brice Wightman, Chris Taylor, Dunc Petrie, Jeff Dubois, Micheline Johnson, Mike McClemens, Orion Clark, Stewart Bruce, and Wayne Houston. Individual parts of the guide are available in the back issues of the newsletter. An index to the programs listed in all published portions of the guide is posted at FreewareGuide/freeware_guide.htm.
Apr 2020 The OPCUG has its first online meeting.
Mar 2020 On March 9th, 2020 the OPCUG launched its third version of its website, to make it more modern, as suggested by Lawrence Patterson. In close partnership with Brigitte Lord and Lawrence Patterson, and with the help of Rebel.com and the WordPress platform, a major overhaul of the whole web site performed.
Nov 2019 Troubleshooting Workshop The OPCUG holds a Troubleshooting Workshop on October 26, 2019 at CompuCorps' Support Centre. Participants brought their laptops to the workshop and a number of OPCUG's Board of Directors helped to troubleshoot a range of issues.
Nov 2018 The OPCUG holds a Computer Tune-up Workshop with four sessions: Windows Performance Tune-up (Chris Taylor), Upgrading Your Existing PC (Alan German), Configuring Printers (Jocelyn Doire), and How to Buy a PC (Chris Taylor and Alan German). The workshop was held on November 3, 2018, in conjunction with the Ottawa Public Library, at the Beaverbrook Branch. Because the library co-sponsored the event there was no charge to participants.
Apr 2018 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards Thanks to the efforts of our ever hard working PR guy, Jeff Dubois, six of our members received the April 15, 2018 Ontario Volunteer Service Awards at Tudor Hall; Chris Taylor (33yr), Mark Cayer (25yr), Bob Walker (21yr), Jocelyn Doire (19yr), Alan German (15yr) and Brigitte Lord;(15yr). Accounts of the ceremony showed up on CTV news and on page 8 of the following April 26th editions of Community Voice: Alta Vista - Canterbury, Greenboro - South Keys, Hunt Club - Riverside South.
[Photo, left to right: Hon. Marie France Lalonde (MPP Ottawa-Orleans), Chris Taylor, Bob Walker, Jocelyn Doire, Brigitte Lord and Hon. John Fraser (MPP Ottawa-South)]
Apr 2018 2018 Beginners Workshop The OPCUG holds a Beginners' Workshop with four technical sessions designed to help computer users get the best out of their machines. Presenters are Jeff Dubois (Computer Basics - Things You Should Know), Alan German (Free and Open-Source Software), Jocelyn Doire (Creating documents with LibreOffice), and Chris Taylor (Protecting your computer). The workshop was held on April 21, 2018 at the Orleans branch of the Ottawa Public Library.
Dec 2017 EOS Poster The OPCUG's web site gets a major update and goes online on Dec 29, 2017. Gone are the "frames", an HTML coding technique that had the left menu isolated into it's own frame and the rest of the page into another frame, convenient for the programmers but harder to navigate for the users. Brigitte Lord and Alan German went through a large numbers of web pages to update them all, a process that took several months to complete.
At its Dec 13, 2017 meeting, the OPCUG has its 6th collection for the Ottawa Food Bank, with $135 in cash and two large bags of food.
Sep 2017 The OPCUG holds a series of four "tech talks" during September through December, 2017. Each session will include a brief presentation of some aspect of personal computing, followed by a workshop where a panel of experienced OPCUG members will attempt to provide answers to questions raised by workshop participants.
EOS Poster The OPCUG offers a one day Digital Photography Workshop 2017 on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at the Elmvale Acres branch of the Ottawa Public Library, with presentations by Jeff Dubois, Chris Taylor, Alan German and Jocelyn Doire.
Jun 2017 EOS Poster The OPCUG holds its fifth eWaste event in parallel with our annual PizzaQ at our June meeting. For a change, this year the weather was great, but there was no tent, it was gone with the wind I've been told. With the help of Nina Digioacchino from the OES (Ontario Electronic Stewardship, we collected 560kg*$185/metric ton=$85.10 worth of material, thanks to all the participants. Jean Brasseur took many great pictures of the event and generously made them available to us, you can kind of see him in the reflection off the cake to the left.
Two nice articles are published inside Vistas of the Alta Vista's community newspaper at page 19 and into The Oscar of the Old Ottawa South Community Association.
Apr 2017 The OPCUG offers an half-day workshop on Understanding E-mail on Saturday, April 29, 2017 (12:30 pm to 4:30 pm) at the Carlingwood Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, with presentations by Jeff Dubois and Alan German.
Mar 2017 The OPCUG website gets a good update and cleanup. A PayPal payment option and Membership button were added to make it even easier to join or renew a membership, content was added describing what the OPCUG has to offer,the Speakers' page was updated, obsolete text was deleted, and much more. Started by Mike Pereira, he and Gail Eagen did a thorough review of all the pages and then sent corrections and updates to several people; Brigitte Lord added links and buttons and revised many web pages, Jocelyn Doire did the History pages, Alan German provided the code for PayPal, Jeff Dubois created an App to view the OPCUG website on Android devices, Chris Taylor set up mailing lists, and more.
Feb 2017 Ottawa Lifelong Learning The Ottawa Lifelong Learning thanks Jeff Dubois for his presentation, introduced by Ann Coolen, about the work done by the Ottawa PC Users' Group, and in his name, makes a donation to the Canadian Guide Dogs.
Dec 2016 At it's Dec 14, 2016 meeting, the OPCUG had its 5th collection for the Ottawa Food Bank, with $122 in cash and a box of food.
Nov 2016 Cup of Goup The OPCUG ordered 20 more mugs in November, but in the rush to meet the deadline for the special deal, an error was made and they entered "Ottawa PC Users' Goup". They were quickly replaced with new ones and we offered those mugs with with the erroneous moniker for raffle at no cost to our [pun intended] goup!). Our December speaker (Paul Butcher) clearly recognized the value of these unique collector mugs, expressing his desire to "trade-up" from the real thing!
Oct 2016 The OPCUG offers a Computer Security Workshop with a variety of technical sessions designed to keep your computer - and your personal data - safe for hackers and scammers. The workshop was held on Saturday, October 29, 2016 (10:15 am to 4:45 pm) at the Elmvale Acres branch of the Ottawa Public Library, with presentations by Chris Taylor and Alan German.
Jun 2016 EOS Poster The OPCUG holds its fourth eWaste event in parallel with our annual PizzaQ at our June meeting. Despite the cloudy, cold and windy weather, the event was a success with a collection of 578kg*$185/ton=$106.93 worth of material, thanks to the help of Nina Digioacchino from the OES (Ontario Electronic Stewardship) coordinating the eWaste collection and talking about "Responsible Electronic Waste Recycling", followed by Alan German on "Securely erasing a hard drive for disposal" (Newsletter).
May 2016 On May 3rd the OPCUG gave its 300th presentation at the Hazeldean branch of the Ottawa Public Library, on "Windows 10: the good, the bad, and the ugly". The first presentation was given in the spring of 2008 and the 100th in Nov 2012.
Apr 2016 The OPCUG offers an half-day workshop on Understanding E-mail on Saturday, April 23, 2016 (12:30 pm to 4:30 pm) at the Alta Vista Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, with presentations by Jeff Dubois and Alan German. The April 14th, 2016 edition of of the Ottawa South News has an article about the workshop on page 2.
Jan 2016 Over the years the OPCUG has offered many Special Interest Groups (SIGs), small meetings after the main presentation. The move to the Aviation and Space Museum made them harder to offer with its reduced available space, so after trying a few formats, the Beginners' SIG, Windows SIG, and the Linux, Free Software and Open-Source SIG have all morphed into a Q&A session. People attending our monthly meetings are invited to join the session and ask questions about Windows, Linux, or any computer hardware or software problems.
Chris Taylor has an interview at the Jan 23 Saturday morning show "CFRA Today" with Matt Skube about his Ottawa Public Library presentation on "Protecting Your Computer", at the Main branch.
More press, courtesy of Alex Robinson of Ottawa East EMC, about our February 10th, 2016 speakers, and their presentation on "The Software Trajectory: From Idea, Through Development, To Market". It's also advertised on Eventbrite.
Jeff Dubois Jeff Dubois has an interview on CBC's Jan 9, 2016 radio show In Town and Out with Giacomo Panico about the OPCUG, and "Are you struggling to keep up with home technology and are feeling left out?". Picture taken in Studio 12, with Jeff Dubois and Giacomo Panico.
MVP Chris Taylor receives the Microsoft MVP Award from Stephen Gugganheimer of Microsoft Corporation. The Most Valuable Professional award are given to a select group of experts who share a deep commitment to community and a willingness to help others.
Dec 2015 OPCUG Mug In December, thanks to the work of Jeff Dubois, the OPCUG offers coffee mugs with the OPCUG logo and links, to the membership and to our speakers.
For his Dec 9, 2015 meeting the OPCUG had its 4th silent auction, with 25 items for bidding collecting $22, plus $48 from the Rescue Initiative that we had in the preceding months, plus an additional $260.00 of cash donations, for a total of $330.00, all donated to the Ottawa Food Bank.
Nov 2015 After several years pause, the OPCUG has its sixth workshop: 1) How to Protect Your Computer by Chris Taylor, 2) Upgrading to Windows 10 by Jeff Dubois, 3) Digital Photo Editing by Bert Schopf 4) Backups by Alan German 5) Office Applications by Jocelyn Doire. The Beginners' Workshop had an article in the Ottawa East EMC (Ottawa Community News).
Jun 2015 The OPCUG holds its third eWaste event in parallel with our annual PizzaQ at our June meeting. We collected 0.817 ton x $150 = $122.55.
Feb 2015 Chris'Award Thanks to the hard work of Jeff Dubois, the OPCUG president Chris Taylor receives the Mayor's City Builder Award for "Outstanding Volunteerism" from the Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli, at the beginning of their February 25th, 2015 Ottawa City Council meeting. The award got coverage on several media including radio, newspaper (Ottawa Community News), Facebook, and Twitter.
Dec 2014 At its Dec 10, 2014 meeting the OPCUG had its third highly successful silent auction, with 45 items for bidding, and despite a rather nasty winter storm we collected a total of $144 plus an additional $285.00 of cash donations, for a total of $429.00, all donated to the Ottawa Food Bank, just in time for the holiday season. The event was really a group effort including Chris Taylor getting 10 books from O'Reilly plus announcing the event, Alan German doing the accounting and the slide show, Gail Eagen helping with the accounting, Brigitte Lord promoting the event in the newsletter and the OPCUG's web site, Jocelyn Doire creating the auction web page and organizing the event, Bob Walker setting up the room with tables and chairs, and certainly not least, all the donors of the items for the silent auction.
Snowy Snowy also showed up at the meeting, thanks to Jeff Dubois for the idea and for taking care of the logistic, and to Crystal Casey, a local sketch artist, that provided the drawing free, to be used at our discretion.
Oct 2014 In September 2014, mould is found at the museum of Science and Technology, which forces it to close and us to find quickly a new auditorium. Thanks to the museum's staff, we have our October 2014 meeting at the Bush Theatre of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, 11 Aviation Parkway. In November 2014, the federal government announced $80.5 million to fund major renovations, keeping us at the new museum for the long term.
Jun 2014 The OPCUG holds its second eWaste event in parallel with our annual PizzaQ at our June meeting, which thanks to Jeff Dubois, is advertised in many newspapers, such as in the Ottawa Citizen and the Ottawa South News EMC (Ottawa Community News). Like last year, Evolu-TIC Outaouais collects the eWaste for recycling, but new this year, CompuCorps picks up some of the reusable material for their good causes. We collected 1.4545 ton x 150 $ = 218.18 $ (21 screens, 22 TV, 24 Casing, 1 Laptop, 24 Printer, 21 scanner, 26 Keyboard, 4 VHS player, 6 DVD, 45 Radio, 42 Phone, 19 Router 13 Cell, 3 Sound System, 5 Camera, 2 decoder, 1 Server, 11 Controller, 2 Projectors 2 Microwave).
Mar 2014 SWAG Jeff Dubois suggests that we offer SWAG items at our Mar 17, 2014 BOD meeting and we all agree that's a great idea. The last time we had t-shirts was in 1995. The sale was a great success with $545.00 worth of merchandise at our May 14, 2014 meeting.
Dec 2013 At its Dec 11, 2013 meeting, the OPCUG had its second highly successful silent auction with 57 items for bid and collecting $504 plus a couple of bags full of non-perishable food all donated to the Ottawa Food Bank, just in time for the holiday season. The event was really a group effort including Chris Taylor getting 10 books from O'Reilly and 7 books from Microsoft MVP program plus announcing the event, Alan German doing the accounting and the slide show, Gail Eagen helping with the accounting, Brigitte Lord promoting the event in the newsletter and the OPCUG's web site, Jocelyn Doire creating the auction web page and organizing the event, Cédric St-Amour of the Canada Science and Technology Museum and his team in setting up the meeting room and finally, and certainly not least, all the donors of the food and the items for the silent auction. We even got an article in the Citizen.
Jun 2013 The OPCUG holds its first eWaste event, as suggested by Jocelyn Doire at the BOD meeting in March, in parallel with the PizzaQ at our June meeting, in collaboration with our presenter of March, Doug Drouillard of the KRC (Knights Refurbishing Computers) INC. The event is a big success, well over everyone's expectation, collecting 36 computers, 34 monitors/TVs, 160 computers accessories, 150 audio/video equipments, and earning $158.70 for the OPCUG.
Mar 2013 The history web pages have received over 10k visits since its creation.
Jocelyn Doire creates a new web page providing all the information that might be needed by speakers.
Dec 2012 Last year Jeff Dubois sent a message saying "Wow, I've got a lot of gadgets, bits, bytes and bobs kicking about that I no longer use but they might be, for someone else, quite usable." and then suggested we have a "charity auction", from that idea Jocelyn Doire suggested holding a silent auction and a non perishable food collection for a local charity at the December meeting. The BOD further suggested including the proceeds from the raffle and giving the total to the Ottawa Food Bank. The event was a huge success, well beyond everyone's expectations, raising a total of $664 comprised of $372 in auction bids, $141 from the raffle (Windows 7 Ultimate), and $151 in cash donations. The event was really a group effort including Chris Taylor getting 12 books from O'Reilly and announcing the event, Alan German doing the accounting and the slide show, Gail Eagen helping with the setup and the accounting, Bob Walker obtaining and getting the tables, Bob Gowan acting as the master of ceremonies, Brigitte Lord promoting the event in the newsletter and the OPCUG's web site, Jocelyn Doire creating the auction web page and organizing the event, and finally, and certainly not least, all the donors of the items for the silent auction, the food and the cash.
Nov 2012 On November 27th the OPCUG gave its 100th presentation at the Ottawa Public Library. It was at the Nepean Centrepointe on "Clicking, Flicking and Tweeting: Social Networking Controversy" - a session that was given first at the Jan 12, 2011 OPCUG meeting. The first presentation was given in the spring of 2008.
May 2009 Howie Macumber finds a one-page mock-up of the long missing Nov 1989 newsletter that was distributed at the November 1989 meeting by Bonnie Carter.
Oct 2008 The bank questions the use of the acronym "OPCUG" on the cheques from the members instead of the full name "Ottawa PC Users' Group". It doesn't help that the constitution "Revised for AGM - January, 1995" posted on the web site shows the name "Greater Ottawa Personal Computer Users' Group" and the acronym GOPC. Even though no record was found, it's clear from the corporation papers (pg 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5), a letter from R.A. Frith, the "Chairman's Report '95", the many emails and the current usage that the current constitution was adopted with the name "Ottawa PC Users' Group" in it. The Board agreed at their Oct 2008 BOD meeting to resolve the confusion. The constitutions over time:
Jun 2008 7th OPCUG BBQ, or more exactly the OPCUG PizzaQ. Thanks to Brigitte Lord that got the ball rolling and ordered the pizza, Bob Gowan that got the Pop and the BOD that played the delivery boys.
May 2008 First of a series of presentations by OPCUG members at the Ottawa Public Library.
Nov 2007 The OPCUG holds its fifth workshop on H/W Solutions, Operating Systems, Open Source Applications and Securities Issues.
Jun 2007 6th OPCUG BBQ catered by The Lone Star (beef or chicken fajitas or BBQ chicken dinner) and 2nd Best Newsletter Article contest won by Micheline Johnson (Printing from the Web), and Peter Hawkins (Upgrade Envy).
Nov 2006 Alan German organises the fourth workshop on Computer Hardware and Home Networking.
Jun 2006 5th OPCUG BBQ and 1st Best Newsletter Article contest won by Lionel Wagner ( Are you ready for Linux? Linux is ready for you, RTF, 82KB, December 2005).
Mar 2006 Following a discussion on the dates of the 1st Best Newsletter Article contest, Jocelyn Doire created a calendar with the dates of the regular and BOD meetings, the election and more.
Nov 2005 The online presence of the Ottawa PC Users' Group was renamed back to "The PUB", short for the (P)C (U)sers' Group (B)ulletin Board. When the OPCUG upgraded from a system that was a true old-style "bulletin board" system with only dial-up access, there was an overlap of a couple of months for the service. So to distinguish between the old system - "The PUB", the new system was named "PUB II". Now, years later, it was decided to rename PUB II back to The PUB.
At the same time, Brigitte Lord updated the background colour of the OPCUG web site to "Process Blue", or a slightly darker shade of it, to match our new OPCUG logo (see Nov 2004 below).
Alan German organises the third workshop on Digital Imaging.
Jun 2005 4th OPCUG BBQ and Computer stuff Swap. Despite the heavy rain in the afternoon, more rain in the middle of the BBQ, and not having enough hot-dogs and cakes, the event was still a success. Later we even got an unexpected number of raffle prizes, thanks to Corel.
OPCUG's first official Privacy Policy goes online to comply with the PIPEDA federal law on data privacy. The work to update our policy and everything that goes with it was started in March 2004 with Tim Mahoney leading the project, and after the February election, by the new privacy director, Bob Thomas. For more information, check the Privacy Policy article in the Sep 2005 newsletter.
May 2005 All of the available past newsletters are posted on OPCUG's website in electronic format, as PDF and TXT files. Over a span of more than twenty years, only two issues are missing, plus a further two pages from an insert in a third newsletter. In the space of about 2 months Alan German scanned 756 pages, and to make them searchable, Jocelyn Doire OCRed & corrected them. The May 2005 newsletter has more details and some choice quotes from old newsletters. Soon Norman Dafoe found the two missing pages of the nov 91 issue. It's not clear if the Nov 89 issue ever existed according to the Sep 1989 minutes. Even though we don't have the very first newsletter, we found its index in the Feb 1986 newsletter.
Apr 2005 The Developers, Delphi, Internet and Beginners SIGs were closed due to a lack of activity, but the IT Pro and the Orphan (renamed Beginners) SIGs continue.
Nov 2004 Vince Pizzamiglio organises the second successful workshop.
Bought 75 "Calendar Calculator" for $967.81. They will be sold for $20, or given to presenters as a token of our appreciation. A new manual is written to replace the poorly written original.
Jocelyn Doire reworks the OPCUG logo to improve how it looks on a web page and in a PDF file.
Oct 2004 Creation of the IT Pro SIG.
Jun 2004 3rd OPCUG BBQ.
Feb 2004 The PUB II's hardware for the OPCUG's on-line presence was upgraded from a 200 MHz Pentium MMX with 64MB RAM and a 4GB hard drive to a 2.8GHz Pentium 4 with 1GB RAM and a 80GB hard drive (we kept the monitor). For about half the price of the old computer ($941.85 vs. $1,926.25 in March 1998), we got 14 times the clock speed, 16 times the memory and 20 times the disk space. Oh, and a CD-ReWriter.
Nov 2003 Alan German organises a very successful beginners' workshop.
Jun 2003 2nd OPCUG BBQ.
May 2003 The OPCUG offers 3 certificates of appreciation and a choice of a mug/tool to John Keys for his contribution to the product reviews' web page, John Archibald for reviewing the books of the OPCUG for many years and Mark Cayer for his help with membership duties.
For Chris Taylor's exceptional contribution for most of the history of the OPCUG, Jocelyn Doire suggests to give him a special certificate during the 20th anniversary meeting and sets a message area on Yahoo to keep things secret from him. Morris Turpin supports the idea right away, Bob Gowan suggests to give him laser engraved plaque, Bert Schopf did the plaque design and certificate, and Harald Freise found a competent plaque supplier and organized the roast.
Apr 2003 20th anniversary of the club: Toggle.com software started with a 15 minutes presentation, followed by a short description of the artefacts brought by Jocelyn Doire and Bob Gowan. Bob Gowan then moderated a panel of people from the early days and the anniversary was completed with a lively trivia contest hosted by Chris Taylor and augmented with lots of gifts donated by Microsoft. Harald Freise was the master of ceremonies for the whole evening.
Mar 2003 The last remaining dial-up modem is disconnected on Jun 16th, 2003, terminating about 2 decades of continuous BBS presence. At its peak, the PUB had 6 lines, plus another one for an answering machine.
Feb 2003 To conform with the constitution, the chairperson title is changed to President.
Oct 2002 Start to offer 5$ incentive to any sponsor who brings a new member.
PUB II no longer is accepting any e-mail addressed to @opcug.ottawa.com. As a result, a great amount of spam is no longer delivered to OPCUG e-mail addresses.
Aug 2002 Jocelyn Doire creates the OPCUG's history web page and completes it in March 2003.
Jun 2002 First club's BBQ with free hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks.
Mar 2002 Claude G. Jarry reminds us that the 20th anniversary of the club is fast approaching.
Jan 2002 Pub's software is updated, which enhances the web interface and provides a newsreader interface.
Oct 2001 Southam news, which own the Ottawa.com domain name indicate they do not want other organizations using subdomains of Ottawa.com. The club obtains the domain name OPCUG.CA and begins the migration. Southam gratuitously permits continued use of opcug.ottawa.com for an unspecified transition period.
Feb 2001 End of the OS/2 SIG, they donate $415.27 to the club.
End of the users' group HUGO. They donate $600 to pay a one-year OPCUG membership for their current members.
Henry Sims creates the Orphan SIG.
Jan 2001 We start to sell mugs, multi-tools and pens with the club's logo.
Jun 2000 John Keys, with the help of Brigitte Lord, starts to maintain an index of the newsletter's articles on our web site.
Mar 2000 We start to raffle prizes at general meetings, which successfully stabilizes the revenue of the club. Raffle prizes are donated by vendors. The second phone line is removed, leaving a single dial-up modem. Most access to PUB II comes from the Internet.
Dec 1999 The Pub gets a new backup system on tape and an upgrade of Wildcat and Listserve.
The answering machine is shut down because the meeting information is now available on the web.
Nov 1999 PUB II is now protected by Black Ice Defender.
Oct 1999 Terry Mahoney represented the OPCUG group at the Microsoft Developer Days.
Feb 1999 To help increase membership, the program "Bring a member" is held in March, April, May with the winner announced in June. The member gets one ticket for each guest he brings and 3 more if the guest becomes a member. The prizes are Corel Draw 8, Partition Magic and a one-year membership.
Jan 1999 Swap meet held at the museum.
Nov 1998 Bob Gowan becomes the I-SIG coordinator.
Oct 1998 Harald Freise works on the club recognition web page. Bert Schopf provides the BOD's mug shots.
Aug 1998 The OS/2 Users' Group becomes a SIG of the club.
May 1998 PUB I is dead. Vive PUB II. Listserve gets online.
Mike Sues and Jeff Kohn develop an internal web site for the club, which is received very positively.
Mar 1998 PUB II keep expanding, Magma (who provide DNS hosting for the Ottawa.com domain) adds an MX record so that we can offer emailing services, and we will buy Listserve to provide mailing lists.
Dan vanDijk heads a committee to obtain a new computer for the PUB II, which will cost $1926.25 from the Clone Society. The old hardware is auctioned by sealed bid before the June break.
Feb 1998 PUB II is now online and going well, using both phone lines and an ADSL line, with a recorded top speed of 98KB/sec. Chris to buy Wildcat Interactive Net Server (WinServer) with 8 users licence for about $300.
After trying for a very long time to create a Member Registry, Terry Mahoney will put up a "self help list" as the first phase.
Alan German starts to add software reviews to the club's web site.
Dec 1997 OPCUG WEB site moved to https://opcug.ottawa.com. Board approves trial of ADSL and WEB/BBS software.
The club has to cancel the paper newsletter because of a postal strike, but Jocelyn Doire sends a shortened version (9712.txt) by email.
Nov 1997 Board of Directors accepts recommendations of "Pub II Committee".
Oct 1997 David Reeves on the behalf of the "Pub II Committee" posts a report that recommends, among other things, to create a web site, have a mailing system including a mailing list system, use the PUB as a file and bulletin repository and to have a permanent connection to the internet. A survey indicated that 90% of the members had access to the Internet, but the committee recommends maintaining the dial-up access at the same time.
Aug 1997 Creation and launch of first OPCUG WEB site at temporary URL.
May 1997 Richard Bazinet submits his report, and two meetings are announced, one on May 17, 1997 with the BOD and the SIG coordinators, and a second one with club members and people from outside. The working committee consists of Richard Bazinet, Bob Cross and Willem vanDijk.
Apr 1997 Jocelyn Doire starts to email a text only version of the newsletter as a free service, to save some trees and money, and for the convenience of those interested. A couple of months later, the PDF version is also available.
The PUB receives 100 calls per day and gets a new Sportster 33.6 on line 1.
Harald Freise gives a brochure to David Reeves about a WinServer (Wildcat Interactive Net Server) from Mustang software that could provides BBS, web site, mailing services and more, all in one package.
Mar 1997 UNEXPO organizes a computer fair at the Sportsplex.
Jocelyn Doire starts a committee to evaluate an OS/2 solution to implement a web server and an emailing system.
Feb 1997 After a gradual and serious decline of the membership, the club seriously questions its future, and decides to form an "OPCUG Core Strategy Development Committee" to study what should be done to improve the situation and what direction it should take in the future.
Richard Bazinet, volunteers to facilitate a brain storming session to get people's feelings about the current club and what we should do in the future.
Dec 1996 The software librarian resigns and the BOD decides to terminate the library.
Oct 1996 The club moves from Sir Robert Borden High School to the Museum of Science and Technology.
May 1996 Concerns are surfacing about the decline of the membership and the revenues.
Apr 1996 Computer fair at the Sportsplex, organized by UNEXPO.
Mar 1996 The tradition of having a free/recycle table outside the conference room is begun.
Jan 1996 There is a lot of discussion about having a Web presence and how it could be done.
Dec 1995 The PUB receives 6 new Sportster 28.8 modems.
Oct 1995 The club participates in the Computer Fair and has a swap meet.
There is a fire sale of the 5 1/2 library diskettes Price is set at $1 for 2 boxes.
Sep 1995 We have 823 members, this is the first year with a membership decline.
Jul 1995 Due to exams conflict, the club needs to find a new location, the July meeting is at the Woodroffe High School, but it's expensive.
May 1995 PUB gets a new software version: TBBS 2.3
David Polich creates the OS/2 SIG, with 32 interested members.
Mar 1995 OPCUG is incorporated to limit the liability and to enhance respectability.
The club participates in the Ottawa Computer Show.
Jan 1995 Mary Seal creates the OPCUG logo. The Jan 1995 newsletter had the first version, a monochrome computer without text. The coloured one with the OPCUG text first appeared on a t-shirt in May 1995.
Oct 1994 Committee created to review the constitution: Stan McRoberts, Tony Frith, Chris Taylor and Harald Freise.
The club participates in the Ontario Computer Fair.
Sep 1994 First request to provide Internet access, which was turned down due to cost.
The club has 919 members, the highest ever (?).
The BOD decides to improve the name of the club from OPCUG to PCGO (Personal Computer Group of Ottawa), and then to GOPCUG (Greater Ottawa PC Users' Group). Votes of the membership at the next Annual General Meeting (Jan 95) overturned that action taken by the BOD, and so restored the name to the original OPCUG.
Start of the process to get incorporated and to revise the constitution.
Apr 1994 The club participates in the Ontario Computer Fair.
Feb 1994 Microsoft stops providing a free help line to club members.
Jan 1994 The PUB gets two more phone lines for a total of 6 lines to help with the load. An auction is held for the two old 2400-baud modems.
Dec 1993 Jerry Gault creates an Internet SIG within the OPCUG.
Larry Chop presents the Ottawa Paradox Users Group to the club and joins it as a SIG.
Oct 1993 The PUB gets an upgrade of 5 modems of 14.4kbps, plus an 8-line Digiboard, a 1GB hard drive and 2 extra phone lines for about $1089. The old equipment is auctioned.
The BOD considers changing the name of the club from PCGO to OPCUG.
Jul 1993 The sales of the disk of the month had been good with more than 100 of the Disk-100 sold.
May 1993 The 5.25 360kB disk of the month no longer can accommodate the new Windows and OS/2 programs; the 3.5 1.4MB seems a better choice than the 5.25 1.2MB disk.
Disk of the decade - the Disk-of-the-month reaches its 100th issue
Mar 1993 At least ten new memberships had resulted from the distribution of the 200 free copies of the Newsletter in local computer stores. As a matter of policy, an ASCII text version of all future newsletters will be posted on the PUB as a "historical archive"
Microsoft presents DOS 6, and attracts the largest crowd ever. There is a satellite linkup with Redmond, Washington, and the presentation is from 9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Dec 1992 After a brief discussion about prices, the BOD agrees to purchase to the TIMS mail software and the QSO (QWK Support Option), both from eSoft, Inc, but the Fidonet Echomail.
The sales of the disk of the month and specialty disk are disappointing.
Nov 1992 Talks to assist Freenet are underway.
The PUB gets about 124 calls per day, the significant increase results in the purchase of a 14.4 kbps modem.
The club purchases the software to handle Fidonet, echomail and QWK.
There is a swap meeting opened to the public but not to commercial activities.
Oct 1992 Ontario Computer Fair at the Nepean Sportsplex was quite successful in promoting the club.
Mark Cayer replaces Paul Green as the membership Chairman.
A tighter timing control of the general meetings, the sale of the tickets and the question & answer period is initiated to avoid overrun into the SIGs.
Borland Canada chooses to not use the OPCUG for a Borland SIG because we are not part of Fidonet.
Sep 1992 For the 10th anniversary, there is talk to produce a lapel pin for sale.
May 1992 Frederic Dahm creates the Windows SIG, along a message area on the PUB and specialty diskette.
Mar 1992 Johns Ings offers a well attended (10-15) two part modem/communication course for $5 and later for $2.50. The programming class got only 6 students.
Jan 1992 The BBS get upgraded to TBBS v2.2 and a 40MHz 386DX 4MB motherboard and utilities for $838, and the old one was sold to the highest bidder.
Nov 1991 The swap meeting had a good turnout.
Oct 1991 The computer fair was well attended. We need more promotional material, will do a club sign for the next time.
Sep 1991 Chris Taylor will resign as the software librarian in January. The job takes 8+15 hours/months. There are 600 disks left, 6 months stock. Norm Dafoe takes over the position in November.
The BBS is moved again, for the third time this year. The newsletter editor gets the club's 386SX + HP IIP printer.
Aug 1991 The BOD agrees to a proposition from "Ontario Computer Fair" to include a $1 off coupon with the newsletter in exchange for its mailing cost and a booth in October at the Nepean Sportsplex (manned by Chris Taylor and Norm Dafoe).
The BBS is moved successfully, but there is a lot of discussion on how to lower the cost by using "hunt-group", "metered service" or with a multiplexer.
Paul Green finalizes the arrangements to have the club's meeting at the Sir Robert Borden High School.
Jun 1991 The newsletter get published on time and is renamed to "Ottawa PC News", with the subtitle "Published by the Ottawa PC Users Group".
May 1991 Doug Poulter proposes Lynda Simons to be the newsletter editor, which is approved as interim and one month later as permanent.
Apr 1991 The newsletter editor and the sysop resign for reasons beyond their control, which force the BBS to move and creates many logistical problems.
Feb 1991 Due to the 75th anniversary of the NRC, the meetings are relocated to the Rideau High School, from Feb to May and Aug, and McArthur High School for June.
Sep 1990 Having a quorum at the Sep 29 meeting, the 1990 constitution and by-laws are finally adopted (page 1).
The membership year now starts when the member joins, instead of always starting on March 31st.
Jun 1990 Microsoft presents Windows 3.0.
After half a year of debates and revisions, Eric Clyde presents the latest version of the constitution and comments at the Jun 27th AGM meeting. The meeting starts with 112 (30.3%) of the membership, enough for a quorum, but after the Windows 3.0 presentation, only 30 members remain. They approve article I and II, but article III and the quorum is hotly contested, and the meeting has to be adjourned at 22:10, with the possibility of a mailed ballot.
May 1990 After many posts of a commercial nature, the PUB gets a reserved "commercial message area".
Mar 1990 The Membership Chairman announces a "Member-get-a-member 1K Relay" to increase membership in the club. The June 1990 newsletter indicates there are associated prize draws for software worth $1000.
Feb 1990 The membership fee is raised from $20 to $25/year or $15 for half a year.
Dec 1989 The current executive agrees to continue for the next year, but 11 complaints were reported regarding the conduct of the election. Only the problematic newsletter editor position was contested.
Bonnie volunteers to produce a quality newsletter using Word Perfect.
It is agreed to revise the constitution, which was created at the beginning of the club when it was much smaller. Eric Clyde writes the first draft.
Nov 1989 Flea market at the RA Centre in the Clarke Memorial Hall.
Sep 1989 There has been no newsletter since May. The June and August newsletters are about to go to the printer, but the September one is still not ready. A chief editor and articles are urgently required.
The letters "IBM" in the name "Ottawa IBM PC Users Group" are rejected by the Yellow Pages unless approved by the company. When approached, IBM declines to give permission, but say they're not likely to prosecute. Chris Taylor proposes to change the name to "Ottawa PC Users' Group" (OPCUG).
Jun 1989 The June 1989's newsletter announces fee increases starting in April 1990, including the membership fee that goes up from $20 to $25.
May 1989 Special help sessions for beginners are offered prior to regular club meetings.
Apr 1989 Terry Mahoney with others takes over as the newsletter editor after Mike Roy reported his computer could no longer do the job. More articles are needed.
Oct 1988 The PUB opens for business - as documented by an article in the Oct 1988 newsletter (see the August entry for the computer purchase details).
Sep 1988 Library disks are made available on 3.25", 720K disks at a cost of $6.00 each
Aug 1988 The BBS survey shows that the bulk purchasing is the most important aspect of the OPCUG, followed by the BBS and the newsletter.
The club buys its own computer: AT Clone, 640K memory, 1.2MB floppy, Hercules card and monitor, 72MB hard drive, Digiboard with 4 channels serial interface and three 2400 modems for about $10 000. The Aug 1988 and Oct 1988 newsletters have more details.
Jun 1988 The BOD decides to purchase a microcomputer and to setup its own BBS similar to one at Mike Schupan's work place, for a maximum of $8000. It uses the commercial software TBBS, and supports file up/downloads, messages, conferences and the Fido mail. This terminates the arrangements with Bruce Miller.
May 1988 Issue of the 50th Disk-of-the-month is marked by a historical note on the front page of the newsletter (the full article is published in the Jun 88 newsletter)
Feb 1988 Is the bulletin board (BBS) worth its high price ($2/mbr + phone line + $110/month + $500/year)? Better deals and directions are investigated.
Jan 1988 Surpassing the membership revenues of $6400, the software library generates $9255 during the year 1987, but with expenses of $5121.
Nov 1987 The swap meeting attracts lots of people, and might become a yearly event.
Terry Mahoney's wares for sale create a long line up, which requires a limit to what is available.
Mar 1987 The "Whole Bit" TV show has Anne Moxley as one of the co-hosts, and talks about bulletin boards and communication.
Oct 1986 University of Ottawa Computer's show on Oct 18th and 19th.
Jun 1986 To get publicity, the club gives a copy of Ashton Tate's Framework as a door prize.
Chris Taylor organizes a software contest for the best original program or enhancement to an existing program.
The courses made a profit of $80. The instructors are to get $20 per night.
A contest is organized to design a logo. The club's name inclusion of IBM is misleading; many now have clones.
Mar 1986 All new members get disk 00, which is an index to the entire software library.
The first SIG meeting on Packages (now known as suites) is held with 16 members.
Feb 1986 Access to the Heath board is now working. The committee is looking at getting our own system.
The software library now has 101 disks.
Jan 1986 There are many options to establish a BBS including one at Carleton, QNX and FIDO (which would be free and available 24 hour per day)
Possible meeting topics included representatives from Borland or Microsoft, ham radio, Michael Cowpland and his new laser printer, VNIX, Software Kinetics.
Mike Luckham gives a course on programming in assembly language.
Oct 1985 50% of the attendees have access to a modem. Donald Chandonnet chairs with Mike Schupan a Standing Committee on a BBS, in association with HUGO or alone.
The BOD attempts to create Special Interest Groups (SIGs), and seek suggestions/questions that could be used by the SIG organizers.
There is a need to buy about $1300 worth of disks for the disk of the month.
The trial of the new Amiga that can emulate a PC is impressive, and should be a success.
May 1985 The new Constitution and Bylaws are adopted.
Mar 1985 The membership fee is set at $20.
Commercial activities are not allowed during the meetings but we can have ads in the newsletter for $10, $20, and up to $30 for a full page.
The club introduce the disk-of-the-month with DISK-00.
Feb 1985 This is the oldest copy of the BOD's minutes. The club has 106 members, and the meetings were held at the NRC.
The proposed $35 yearly fee for the disk of the month might be insufficient. The BOD considers getting a copying machine or using commercial services. The final decision is to do neither and simply compensate the software librarian.
Sep 1984 First issue of the newsletter.
Apr 1982 Birth of the Club, founded with 20 charter members including Harry Gross and Tim Mahoney. Early members included David Théroux, Stu & Ann Moxley, Claude G. Jarry and Mike Luckham.
1954 History that actually did not occur!
1954 Popular Mechanics.png

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