Our Club members are not the usual type of person that is found in a Computer Club.
The majority of members have retired and many have not had any experience
with computers during their working life.
They have purchased a computer or been given a hand-me-down by their
children who have upgraded their computer for the use of the grandchildren
for school projects etc.
They have joined the Club to learn how to use a computer. Initially a member would bring along their computer to the meetings for demonstration purposes.
Ron Neeves suggested to a Sussex Inlet Probus Club meeting that a Computer Users Group could be an interesting activity for members to undertake.
Harry Caris, Don Sanders and Peter Chaffey took up the idea and decided to do something about forming such a group as a separate entity.
An article in the Sussex Inlet Times on 1st November 1995 called for interested people to make contact. This resulted in an "Interest meeting" taking place on 16th November 1995 at the R.S.L. Club where 30 people attended. A steering committee was elected to form a group and prepare a suitable Constitution.
The First meeting - was held on the 11th December 1995 at which the first committee was appointed. Officers elected were:-
- Harry Caris, President.
- John Peisley, Vice President.
- Ron Neeves, Secretary.
- Don Sanders, Treasurer.
- Peter Chaffey, Librarian.
- Peter Kemp, Publicity Officer.
For the early meetings a member would bring along their computer for demonstration purposes.
The fact that most members are retired contributes to the other feature of our group in that we hold three meetings a month. All of these meetings are daytime meetings, because retired people are available during the day to attend meetings.
Our members use their computers for simple spreadsheets to control their investments, word processing, letter writing, databases and a multitude of hobby based applications (music, photography, cross stitching etc); most are connected to the Internet.
We do not have many technical discussions as most members are only interested in mastering the software, not in learning how the hardware
However some of our retired and some as yet not retired members have developed an expertise in the technical aspects of a computer and have become quite proficient at dismantling and reassembling computers.
They also have a good understanding of software and the shortcuts and tricks needed to make it work. These members are kept very busy at our meeting answering and solving members problems.
The first Club computer was an IBM desktop running Windows98 which was used for demonstrations at Club meetings.
At Club meetings we use our computer connected to a large TV screen (approx 1200 x 800mm) via a TV encoder. The TV faces the members in the body of the meeting. The operator sits at the front of the room facing the members with the computer monitor in front of them. They can see the monitor but the members watch the TV. The operator can see the monitor but not the TV and is slowly learning to use the mouse pointer to point out an item on the screen, instead of pointing with his finger at the monitor screen.
The majority of our members where previously male, now we have over forty lady members.
There were originally only two members on the Internet, now there are over sixty.
Most of our members lived in the Sussex Inlet and Berrara district, but many other members travel from St Georges Basin, Jervis Bay, Ulladulla and Mollymook.
We now have Special Interest Groups operating covering the Internet and Genealogy and also beginner classes. Total membership is now over one hundred persons.
The Club Computer was completely rebuilt and upgraded in August, by President, Harry Caris.
Membership has been over one hundred persons for the last two years.
St. Georges Basin have started a Computer Club.
A Special General Meeting of the Sussex Inlet P.C. Users Group was held on Monday 8th October 2001 to approve incorporation of the group and a name change to Sussex Inlet P.C. Users Group Inc. to adopt the new rules for the club and to appoint a Public Officer.
The 29 members present endorsed the above recommendations and appointed Secretary Ron Neeves as Public Officer.
Membership numbers remained at just over one hundred, most of whom are now
on the net.
The Club purchased a laptop, running Windows 98, to facilitate storage and handling between meetings, storage of equipment between meeting had always been a problem. Our aim is, in the near future, to have another unit loaded with Windows XP to give greater flexibility in solving member problems, as we all gradually upgrade.
The Club produced a Club CD for members, which contained many useful applications.
Membership continues to stand at over the hundred with new members
replacing those that have left the area.
The purchase of a projector improved visibility for all and the large screen television was no longer required.
Membership continues at over the hundred
with attendance numbers between 35 - 50 at most meetings
During the year the club purchased a new laptop computer to replace the older, slower laptop. All demonstration are done in XP - where needed it is switched to "classic" format to suit Win 9x queries.
The second Club CD for members was produced with an auto-run facility
Membership numbers remain static but the number of new members increased,
off setting those that have moved on.
2005 also saw the latest addition to our equipment, a wireless microphone, which connects directly into the R.S.L sound system.
Ever conscious of safety, we now have reduced the number of cables connected to our computer to a minimum, without compromising our demonstrations.
Membership numbers continue to grow - now at 128. (March 2006).
The club acquired the domain name sussexinlet.info. This site will be used exclusively to promote SUSSEX INLET. Our thanks to our sponsor "Shoalhaven Internet" for their support in this project.
Our third CD was produced late in the year with a collection of "old" and "new " favourites.
Membership has reached 134.
Our project this year is to provide better viewing for members.
The Sussex Inlet RSL Club has assisted in this endeavour and a new screen has now been installed with dimmers on lighting to reduce reflection on the screen.
Also the projector was attached to the ceiling for better viewing and less clutter.
Meeting will now be held at 10.00am for 10.15 am on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesdays of each Month.
Our thanks to the Sussex Inlet RSL Club once again - they have provided us with access to their broadband connection making connection to the Internet, when required, so much quicker and easier.
The "Club" has now purchased a new lap top with a "Vista" operating system. A control box will allow us to switch between computers, at will, to answer questions on XP or Vista.
Now we can all learn and appreciate "Vista".
Club continues to meet 2nd, 3rd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.
Our club monthly newsletter is now produced in PDF format and emailed to members.
Late this year Widows 7 was loaded onto our "Vista" laptop.
For demonstration purposes, programs will be loaded gradually as required. Our XP computer is still available as required for demonstrations.
Many members acquired iPhones, iPads, Tablets plus the usual hand-me-down laptops from their children and grand-children.
New terms began appearing in our discussions such as "Smart phones", "Apps", "Linux", "Ubuntu", Cloud and Streaming.
In late 2013 we purchased a new laptop, 8gb ram, 3GHz processor running Windows 8.1. We continue to learn this new Windows desktop. This was brought into use early this year. The Club Windows XP laptop was recycled to a member.