User group meetings galore over the next seven days

Horsham, Southampton, Bristol, Midlands, Wessex… Everybody talk about… pop music! No, hang on, that’s not right.

There are quite a number of user group meetings taking place over the next week, so it seems sensible to wrap them up in a single post, covering all of those up to and including next Saturday (17th September).

Firstly, though, a qualified apology is due to the Wakefield RISC OS Computer Club. When replying to an email about another group’s meeting on Wednesday, I realised (and commented) that WROCC’s meeting was taking place that very evening, but I had seen no announcement about it.

The following evening, I realised that one of the reasons I’d seen no announcement was because I had recently set up a new computer for use on my desk and, when setting up access to usenet, I’d manually downloaded the first batch (or more correctly backlog) of messages, but neglected to set my news client to automatically download, either when starting up or on a scheduled basis.

Once I’d read through the initial backlog of messages, I did notice that the newsgroups seemed a bit quiet, which is why I eventually investigated and spotted my error. Having done so, I fetched more messages – and there was WROCC’s announcement, on comp.sys.acorn.announce on 4th September. Oops. Sorry about that, guys.

However, I said it was a qualified apology, and that the above is one of the reasons I’d seen no announcement – so what was the other reason?

WROCC don’t send announcements to me, using the address that is published on this site for that very purpose.

While I do try to keep up with forums, mailing lists, and usenet, sometimes I can be too busy to read them, and fall behind – and things get missed.

Or glitches of a technical nature (or, as in this case, just simple incompetence) might prevent me from reading those forums, mailing lists, and usenet – and things get missed.

You stand a much better chance of me seeing your announcement – and this goes for everyone who has anything to announce, not just WROCC for their meetings – if you send it directly to me, at Of course, sometimes I can be too busy to update this site, so announcements may sit in my queue for a while, and may end up as a couple of paragraphs in a snippets post – but with events, I do at least try to get those mentioned sooner.

So, that email address again, in case you missed it, is Got that? Good.

Now with that out of the way, onto those meetings taking place in the coming week:

Monday, 12th September:
pi-topRO to be demonstrated at Surrey and Sussex Acorn User Group

Chris Evans of CJE Micro’s and Fourth Dimension will be paying a visit to the Surrey and Sussex group on Monday evening to introduce and demonstrate the newly released pi-topRO – a RISC OS version of the Pi-Top computer that the company has been talking up at recent shows.

The official launch of the RISC OS version of this computer – a Raspberry Pi-based laptop – has been some time coming. In this form, as supplied by 4D, it’s the first laptop to run RISC OS natively (rather than under emulation) since Acorn’s A4 computer, which was launched some 24 years ago.

The meeting – which is free to attend – takes place at 8:00pm at the Methodist Church Hall, London Road, Horsham, RH12 1AN. The hall is a ten minute walk from Horsham railway station, and for those coming by public transport or car there are directions found on the group’s website.

Tuesday, 13th September:
Dave takes the helm again at Southampton for one last meeting

Until a few months ago, the Southampton RISC OS User Group’s meetings were organised and announced by Dave Higton – but with the July announcement (which I didn’t see until it was too late – see above!) came the news that Dave was stepping down, due to a planned move somewhere Northwards, and Andrew Conroy was taking over.

Everything else, however – time, location, and facilities – remains the same. The (free to attend) meetings continue to take place in the Sports Centre of Itchen College, Deacon Road, Southampton – in the college centre, an open area with tables and chairs, next to the Sports Centre reception – on the second Tuesday of each month.

This month’s meeting is therefore on Tuesday, 13th September. It is free to attend, and, runs from 7:00pm until 9:00pm. Andrew, however, is unable to attend, so Dave – who has presumably not yet ventured into the wilderness of the North – is stepping in to hold the fort.

Wednesday, 14th September:
Time for a pint and a chat in Bristol

Here in Bristol, I venture out of the Soft Rock Software/RISCOSitory bunker every couple of months to meet up with a few other Bristol RISC OS Users – and it’s that time again on Wednesday. We meet up for around 7:00pm-7:30pm, in the Hope and Anchor pub, 38 Jacobs Wells Road, Bristol, BS8 1DR, and stick around generally until closing time, enjoying a chat, a drink, and some pub grub.

There isn’t usually a set topic, with the meetings simply being a group of like-minded people enjoying a drink and a chat, and discussions can cover just about anything Acorn and RISC OS related – and sometimes more besides.

If you’re in the area… come along and join BRU for a brew!

Parking is on-road, with some local roads being metered, and some free after 6:00pm, and for those coming by public transport, the nearby Queens Road, The Triangle, and Park Street are on some of the city’s main bus routes.

Saturday, 17th September:
Chris Hall will guide Midlands visitors towards the right RISC OS computer

Like us here in Bristol, the Midlands User Group also meets once every couple of months, usually on the third Saturday. That makes their next meeting on 17th September, and the guest speaker is to be Chris Hall, who will be comparing the various options available to those who wish to buy a RISC OS computer – such as the Titanium, the RapidO Ig, and the ARMX6.

The meeting will kick off at 2:00pm at the Methodist Church Hall, Greenhill, Blackwell, Bromsgrove, B60 1BL, and usually runs for a couple of hours, with some general discussion after the main presentation.

Saturday, 17th September:
Wessex group to meet in Ilchester

Another recent change, the Wessex ARM User Group previously met in the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Yeovilton, but since April the meetings have moved to the Ilchester Town Hall & Community Centre, Ilchester, Yeovil, BA22 8NQ –  which is on the B3151, just off the A303 and A37.

Admission to the meetings – which start at 10:30am – costs £1.00, or £2.50 with refreshments – and while the group was originally set up for those using RISC OS, users of other operating systems  are welcome.

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