The History of the
El Dorado Computer Users Group

Written by George Buttles

Founded by Bud Townsend, the El Dorado Computer Users Group held its first meeting in August of 1988. Formed by computer users from a diverse background, today the EDCUG remains a group of individuals with varied hardware, software, and operating system interests. Although more technical in nature than many user groups, the club welcomes all those interested in how to use a computer as well as those interested in computing internals.

After a year under Bud's leadership, By-Laws were written and club officers were elected to take office in January of 1990. Although a logical choice, Bud refused to become president of the formalized club. However, he continued to provide a home for the group at 5980 Sly Park Road which became known as "Bud's Place". Dues were set at $12 per year and the name El Dorado Computer Club was adopted. It is to be noted that new by-laws adopted on May 5, 1992 changed the name to the El Dorado Computer Users Group.

The glue that holds a club together is often its newsletter. The EDCUG 24K News was started in 1989. Over the years it has provided hardware and software reviews, meeting minutes, and various technical articles. Although missing during 1996, the newsletter now appears in electronic form on the Internet.

A successful computer Bulletin Board System (BBS) was operated from April 1, 1990 until December 31, 1996 under the watchful eye of Tony Carter, system's operator extraordinaire. Originally located at Bud's Place, the BBS was moved to the Carter Estate in September of 1991. Over the years the BBS provided the membership a medium for E-mail, newsgroups, announcements, and an archive of downloadable files. With increased Internet availability and a general decrease in BBS activity during 1996, the plug was pulled on New Year's Eve.

A survey of computer games suitable as Christmas gifts was conducted at the December 1990 meeting. This tradition still continues.

The beginning of 1991 saw dues increase to $15 (after much ado about quorums and by-laws) and a Q & A period as part of every meeting.

A BBS report became a regular as the sys-op slowly worked out the rigors and woes of such a system.

"....I always thought that a 40M drive would be bigger than I would ever need."
Tony Carter, 12/91.

In 1992 memory prices fell below $50 per MB, the EDCUG revamped its by-laws to combine/enhance two existing/conflicting sets, and computer viruses became a major concern.

A full year after Bud left us to operate that big "mainframe" in the sky, the meeting place and EDCUG "headquarters" were moved (September, 1992) to Barry Waldron's house in Placerville. Barry's comfortably large living room, front projection TV, and hospitality bar (non-alcoholic) are graciously offered for the club's use each month.

February 1993 saw the meeting day changed from the first Tuesday to the first Monday and a first mention of this new (old) medium called the Internet. [A lot of firsts there.] The 24K News contained a three page reprint called "The Internet Connection" stolen by "The Smith Kid" from the March 1993 issue of Computer Shopper. June saw our first in depth program about the Internet presented by Jeremy Smith. In July, Tony Carter was appointed to a Telecommuting Task Force formed by El Dorado County, indicating a growing interest in the Internet. Boy, this is getting to be heavy stuff.

The one thing that remains constant in the world of computers is change. With a history longer than this club's, the Internet finally became available with a local phone call in early 1996 resulting in the demise of the EDCUG BBS. Our Home Page first appeared on the Internet in January 1997 through the efforts of many members led by webmaster, Gary Hoss. The El Dorado Computer Users Group remains dedicated to better living through computers. As technology changes, so changes our goals; through education.

Prepared and HTML formatted by George.
Last update: 4.10.1997

Copyright 2006 El Dorado Computer User Group, All rights reserved.