Most of us will agree that 2020 has so far been quite a memorable year – but unfortunately not for a good reason; a global pandemic has resulted in much less social interactivity, with the obvious effect on the RISC OS community that shows and regular user group meetings have either had to be put on an extended hiatus, or – in the case of some user groups – handled in a different way.
The RISC OS User Group of London (ROUGOL) is one of the groups that has opted for the latter, and replaced the traditional approach of getting a guest speaker and those who want to hear their presentation to come to the meeting venue, with holding the meetings online using video conferencing system Zoom. With this approach, the guest speaker and anyone who wishes to attend the meeting logs in from the comfort of their own home, which not only means the meetings are still happening on schedule, but also provides obvious advantages; the speakers no longer have to make their way to the venue, so it becomes practical to have presentations given from further away, and the same applies to attendees – in addition to allowing more people to attend than would otherwise be possible due to limited space.
Another advantage of the meetings being online is that it’s easy to make recordings of them, which can then be put online for even more people to watch if they’re unable to attend the live event. And for those who may not have noticed, here are the meetings that have been held this way:
- From Fortran to Fireworkz, a programmer’s journey, presented by Stuart Swales, Acornsoft and Colton Software. See also the meeting information and slides (PDF).
- Cloverleaf and ChatCube, presented by Stefan Fröhling. See also the meeting information, and a report on the Icon Bar.
- RISC OS Direct, presented by Tom Williams. See also the meeting information, and Icon Bar’s report.
- Euclid and friends, presented by Tony Cheal, Ace Computing. See also the meeting information, and the Icon Bar report.
The last meeting before the big change was in February – The BBC Micro Lives, presented by Jason Nicholls of the Acorn and BBC User Group. Having been given in person, at the group’s usual venue, this one wasn’t recorded – but the slides are online (though you’ll need a web browser that can handle Google Docs), and the meeting information is of course on the ROUGOL website.
If you want to explore the benefits of online meetings, the next one will take place on 19th October, with Jason Tribbeck speaking on the subject of Audio Matters, and the one and in November the one and only Gerph will be talking about Building RISC OS Online – keep an eye out for announcements for both closer to the time.