Posted by: Linda Russell | 1 August, 2008

The 4c User Group Meeting

One of my most enjoyable activities is organising our annual User Group Meeting. For several years we just booked a meeting room in a hotel somewhere in the Midlands.

Then 2 years ago we gave a copy of our software to the Great Central Railway, to help them manage their locomotive restoration projects. As a token of thanks, they allowed us to hire a train for the User Group Lunch. We were expecting it to be hauled by a diesel, but on the day we were delighted to see a steam loco at the front. As we travelled up the line from Loughborough Central to Leicester North Station and back again, we were entertained by the Steward telling us about the history of the railway, and the work being done there now.

Last year we wanted another “interesting” venue for the meeting, and as I had recently been involved in my drama group’s production of Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore (a play about Alan Turing), I made enquiries at Bletchley Park. Following an entertaining presentation by Dennis Lock and other contributors, and a tasty buffet lunch, we were escorted on a tour of the famous code-breaking “huts”, and saw the reconstructed Colossus computer in action. We were very fortunate that day, as Tony Sale was there to tell us all about it.

So where shall we go this year? Having sampled some 19th century steam technology in Loughborough, and the start of 20th century computing at Bletchley, at last we’re moving into the 21st century by going to the National Space Centre.

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