The Southern Nevada Atari
Computer Club Meeting
by Peter Ellison
Computer Club Meeting
by Peter Ellison
The first annual meeting for Atari User groups and third party software vendors was held on January 6, 1985, at Sam's Town Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. It was sponsored by the Southern Nevada Atari Computer Club (SNACC). Thanks to the efforts of the President, Terry Wiszt; the secretary and treasurer, Rick Rowland; and the vice president, Dick Harden; it went off without a hitch.
Over a hundred and thirty people attended, making this gathering a smashing success. Representatives who attended the meeting were the following: Astra Data System, Broderbund Software, ICD, Newell Industries, Microbit Peripheral Products, OSS, and QMI. Opening the meeting was Don Hinze, a member of SNACC, and the program agenda chairman for the evening. Each software representative spoke, giving a brief history of his product and company. Drew Featherson, from Astra Systems, gave a brief demonstration of the new Astra Big D disk drive and gave a brief history on disk drives. William Holt of Broderbund Software gave a short explanation of "Print Shop" and of packaging for software authors. He also gave a short plug for two new games being released. Tom Harker, President of ICD, showed SpartaDos and gave a brief demonstration of the 1050 US Doubler. Wes Newell of Newell Industries spoke of his fast chip products like Ramrod, etc. and gave some history of his company including how and when it was started. Kirk Stockwell from Microbit Peripheral Products presented his product-line of modems. Mark Rose from OSS gave a brief history of this company for which Bill Wilkinson, co-author of Atari Basic, works. Products from OSS included ACTION!, Basic XL, The Writers Tool, plus many more. John DeMar spoke for QMI, telling of the new Q modem. He also gave a brief history of his company and how it has grown over the years.
User groups representatives in Attendance included Alaska Highway Atari User Group, Achorage Alaska ACE, Los Angeles ACE, S.L.O.POKES, Dallas User Group, San Jose User Group, New York User Group, Salt Lake ACE, San Francisco User Group, and A.B.A.C.U.S. Food and refreshments were provided by SNACC.
All the company representatives stayed until the end and answered questions. Everyone enjoyed himself thoroughly, and this, we hope, will become a regular event at every Winter CES in Las Vegas.
The Southern Nevada Atari Computer Club is four years old. From its early beginnings it has increased from a membership of eight or ten to a registered membership of over seventy-five. Started by the secretary-Rick Rowland, and Don Messenger, this club developed into a great User Group.
New hardware or software is demonstrated at Group meetings, and occasionally speakers are invited to discuss items of particular interest.
Special Interest Groups within the parent group meet on nights other than those of the regular meetings. Included among these are the following: a special assembler learning class given by Dick Harden, an instructor at a local community college; a Telecommunications class given by the BBS Sysop, Steve Philpott, which helps the new modem owner set up his or her modem, and demonstrates how to get the most out of it; a Hardware Special Interest group which covers such things as cold restart or computer repair.
One annual event that takes place with SNACC is a big get-together in August during which there are contests, and games played for hi-scores and prizes. Furthermore, elections are held at this time.
Each year a representative is sent to the West Coast Computer Fair in San Francisco.
A very large public domain disk library is open to all users. A 1200 Baud BBS system is set up for Atari owners. You can become an associate member for $12, and, as such, you get Hi-level access plus a newsletter. The phone number is (702) 733-9488. The editor for the newsletter is Ron Orton.
I greatly enjoyed meeting them, finding the members of this Users Group to be both friendly and interesting to talk too.