Area: History            Message Number:         Date: 12-05-02
 From: Mike Luckham
 To: history@opcug.ca
 Subject: OPCUG


I was surprised to come across your website, and that OPCUG group is still active!

I moved to Kanata from Kitchener-Waterloo in 1982, and shortly there after bought one of the original IBM PC's and noticed an ad in the Citizen about a potential users group.   Formative meetings were held at a computer company - don't recall the name but do remember the building, it's a multi story white building on/near Lebreton Flats just south of the Ottawa River Parkway pretty close to downtown.

As one of the 'board of directors 1985' you should correct the spelling of another - Marty Habicht is correct I think.   I think he was the first president/chairman.   I was also president, for at least two years - I think I followed Marty and Gord Hopkins followed me.   Are you sure it was 1985 the club started?   I think 1982 or 1983 is more like it?   April is about right - I remember snow on the ground.

Anyway, Marty was certainly there at the first meetings and I think Stu and Ann as well. (I think Marty had a stroke during this time - unusual & tragic for such a young guy - met him a few years later and he was 'okay').

We appreciated the company hosting the meeting, but distinctly did not want to be 'controlled' by a company and so moved after several meetings - before long we were meeting at the NRC building near the river.  I think Harry Gross worked there and was instrumental in arranging the space. We were soon getting 100 or so out to the meetings, later I heard the club expanded to 400 and I see 900 mentioned on your website!  One or three of the most memorable meetings I remember (chairing?) were about the Constitution... debated and argued ad nauseum!! Finally it was passed by mutual consent so we could get back to having fun!

Early meetings always had an industry speaker, followed by very popular question and answer sessions.  We're talking DOS, Visicalc, public domain utilities, hardware bus and BIOS code, expanded memory cards, formatting diskettes on two sides, etc.

Later we moved to the Glebe community centre.  One or a few times 'The Engineer' (ran for political office a number of times in Ottawa area, quite a character!) attended and [we were afraid] would cause a bit of trouble for us - don't recall if he ever did though!

Throughout all this, Chris Taylor worked VERY hard on BBS and disk-of-the-month and we often had meetings at his home. Club phone lines went into his home as well.  Ann and Stu worked very hard on the club faithfully, great people all! Stu worked at Kanata city hall.

Gord Hopkins (BNR) - another great guy, also I remember Mike Schupan now that I see his name on the history page, and Harry Gross.  Didn't Mike work on the BBS as well, or was he Newsletter? And Claude Jarry - is he STILL involved with this group after all this time!!!

Speaking of STILL - Chris Taylor!!!   Obviously gets a kick out of the whole thing   :)

The Mahoney's were involved with the Hugo group, and also OPCUG in the early years. I see Tim is still involved also, what about Terry? [Editor note: Terry Mahoney passed away on March 21, 2000, while still working for the club as our President].

I directly attribute what I learned at OPCUG and the IBM PC to my career path. 'Knowing about' the PC gave me a number of early opportunities at work (Marconi in Kanata) - particularly incorporating them and non-DOS operating systems (like iRMX and QNX) into Marconi telecommunication products - eventually led me to live/work 5 years in Indonesia - and I continue to work with PC's today.

Mike Luckham