Thursday, February 26, 2015

Mourning A Passing

The ATLANTA UNIX USERS GROUP (AUUG), after thirty years of existence, has decided to bow to the obvious, fold its tent, and quietly slip into the realms of fond remembrance!

We have had a remarkable run for a Users Group! Our speakers have brought us an extensive range of "newest technology" and have kept our horizons widened.

Our members have provided each other great assistance over the years, especially during the "Open Forum" sessions. And at the heart of those sessions has been Brent Laminack whose extensive knowledge and hands-on experience with so many tools has been a pleasure to watch.

Another great aspect of AUUG has been its welcoming atmosphere! Whether an attendee was a "newbie" to computers or someone with years of experience, they have always been welcomed and their questions answered with a "positive attitude". Over the years many professional friendships have been created. This is one of the special legacies of our years of existence.

Much has changed since we first met in White Hall on the Emory University campus. In those days, 2400-baud modems were a "high speed" transmissions, most people had only 1200-baud modems, and signed into "bulletin boards". The universities and large firms used a great tool called Netnews to share information. E-mail was text-only with no graphics or attachments. It is amazing to realize how much has happened in the past 30 years!

Another big change has been the "demise"of UNIX! Linux has be- come the world-wide open-source operating system, and "UNIX" has all but disappeared (e.g. Solaris, AIX, etc. are now the commer- cial versions).

Therefore it seems that it is also time for the Atlanta UNIX Users Group to also disappear! There are other Atlanta-area user groups which specialize in the replacement technologies, and AUUG attendance has also dropped off, which is also a significant indication of how information can be more usefully obtained via the Internet rather than at a User Group. Speakers on UNIX-related topics are becoming more difficult to find.

After such a fine run, AUUG has much to look back upon with pride! But it is also incumbent to know when one's usefulness has passed.

However, one final item of business:

Recognition of 30 years of continual, dedicated, and exception- al support of AUUG by Brent Laminack! He was at the organization meeting at Georgia Tech in February 1985 when AUUG was formed by the urging of Gene Spafford (currently Professor and Executive Director at Purdue University), and Brent has attended almost every meeting in the 30-year history of the Group! His warmth, humor, and attitude of helpfulness has set the tone of AUUG and been a delight to all of us who have had the pleasure of his company!

Although the Atlanta UNIX Users Group may be closed, those of us who have been a part of its 30-year history have much to look back upon with pleasant memories, and perhaps on the first Monday of each month we may give a thought to all those fine years.