[nSLUG] HCC February 26th, 2020 monthly meeting re. HCC suggested future plans

Frank Geitzler frank.geitzler at ns.sympatico.ca
Sun Feb 23 08:59:08 AST 2020

Subject: The suggested future meetings of both the Halifax Computer Club 
(HCC) and the Nova Scotia Linux User's Group (NSLUG).

The February meeting of HCC will take place Wednesday, February 26th, 
2020, at 7:00 p.m.  Guests are welcome, and you can get the meeting 
details at the website, which has been updated to show the February and 
March meeting dates, and the current location.  The website is:


The January meeting of HCC had only six attendees.  The weather wasn't 
great, but it was not as bad as we have had lately.   Of those six, I 
think four of us are retired.  Of those six, four of us use Linux, two 
use only Windows, and at least two of us don't have 'smart' phones (my 
'flip' phone isn't very smart, even though it does have an Android 
c.p,u.). One of us runs a large business on DOS, although he uses Linux 
as well.

I summarized what I could recall of the meeting, and sent that summary 
out to the six attendees.  Several gave me feedback, and reminded me of 
some points which I had either forgotten or overlooked.

The topic of discussion of the January meeting was whether HCC (and 
computer clubs in general) still serves a purpose, and whether there is 
any future for them.   It was generally agreed that computers have 
become considered in the eyes of most people to be an appliance, which 
we just plug in and use.  Most cell phones have more capabilities and 
capacity today than did a large room full of hardware when I first began 
working with computers. Instead of updating operating systems, it is 
easier (and cheaper, in most cases) to  simply buy a new phone every few 
years, and move the chip from the old phone to the new one, or have the 
vendor copy the data from one phone to the other, if necessary. Few 
people need a printer, and if they do, a wireless printer is readily 
available -even at Wal-Mart.

Another problem is the scheduling of meetings, and the availability of 
an appropriate venue.  A coffee shop is adequate if a few people want to 
sit around and discuss things, and suitable wi-fi is available, but does 
not lend itself to a larger group, who need to see and hear 
demonstrations and have technical discussions.

For a number of years HCC has been able to have meetings at little 
expense in one or another of Sobeys Grocery Store Community Rooms, 
although occasionally our preferred meeting date has been pre-empted by 
Sobeys own needs for a training room.  Our major expenses, covered by 
our annual $20. membership fee, are the cost of the website and the 
purchase and upkeep of our club display projector.  Since the purchase 
of the projector we have not required a new bulb, but all light bulbs 
'die', and research suggests that it would cost several hundred dollars 
to purchase a new lighting unit -I gather that the bulb and its mounting 
unit have to be replaced together.

More significant problems are:

  * We need some suitable publicity in order to attract new members,
    probably using some form of social media.  It needs to be updated
    several times a month.  Jack suggests that if we can't find someone
    willing to take this on, he foresees the club limping along for a
    little while before folding.
  * Meetings must be made interesting enough to draw old and new members.
  * We should not confine ourselves to desktop or laptop computing, but
    include any and all computing machinery, eg tablets and
    smartphones.  A possible source of meeting topics is to select an
    activity that might be performed by computer, smartphone, or tablet,
    etc, and discuss various applications for performing that
    activity, eg backups, photo manipulation, or what have you.
  * If meetings are held "early", say starting at some time between 5:00
    pm and 6:30 pm, there will be some people unable to attend because
    of interference with evening meals. Similarly, if meetings start too
    late in the evening, people who live some distance away would find
    an early start more convenient, so they would not have to go home
    and then return to town for a meeting. It was generally agreed that
    7:00 pm was the best compromise. No matter what time is chosen,
    there will be some people who will not come because it does not suit
    their schedules.
  * We need to find a meeting date which would be acceptable to more
    members.  It was generally agreed that meeting during the first or
    last week of the month was too likely to give rise to conflicts with
    other   activities.  Personal preferences, family needs, physical
    abilities, illness, and travel plans can all play a part in this. 
    Some have suggested that the first Monday of a month (NSLUG's normal
    scheduled date) is inconvenient for some individuals; others find
    that HCC's preferred last Wednesday night of a month (or in fact any
    Wednesday) is inconvenient for some.  Changing to another night
    might be more acceptable. *We welcome your suggestions.*
  * We might need to find a different venue which would be in a more
    convenient location.  It would be helpful if our venue could have
    trustworthy storage available, to reduce or eliminate the need to
    carry the projector to each meeting, and store it between meetings. 
    This would also probably extend the life of the projector.  A
    ground-floor location could also be more accessible and convenient.

    *We invite your opinions, and suggestions.  Your attendance at our
    February meeting, where we could discuss this matter would be
    helpful, but we realize not everyone can be there. Nevertheless,
    your reply to this message, with your own opinions and suggestions,
    could provide us with useful ideas.**
    Thanks for your support,

         Frank Geitzler
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