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MacTalk Hunter Overview
Back in the 1990s, when 1 MB was a lot of RAM, Ron Goodhew from the University of Newcastle published an excellent newsletter called UniMac and organised regular meetings for Mac users at the University. These were very valuable resources, and there was talk of setting up a Macintosh Users' Group to extend this outside the University.
In 2001, with OSX on the horizon, Simon Plint took the initiative to propose the formation of a MUG. Support had been offered by Jeff Robson (Computer Centre Newcastle), Vanni Sant (Apple) and the Apple University Consortium.
There was an enthusiastic response, and the first meeting with 17 attendees was arranged for 23 October 2001. The main topic on the agenda was the future of the Group. As always with new organisations, the name of the Group was a major issue. This was resolved at the second meeting when MacTalk was chosen as a nickname, with the full name being “Hunter Valley Macintosh Computer Users Group”. Because of its low key nature, it was felt that there was no real need for formality, and a volunteer committee was formed to guide the Group.
Meetings were held once a month at the Waratah Rugby League Club. There was usually a short talk and a longer presentation, an update on the Mac industry, and Q & A. Our meetings today follow the same format. Attendance varied, but was usually in the 10-20 people range.
The main method of communication was by e-mail, initially using the University's mailing list for all Mac users. Later a Yahoo Group was set up to separate our e-mail messages from the University's, and now has 54 subscribers. A web site with forums was tried for a while, but failed under the weight of repeated hacking.
In 2007, it was recognised that the informal structure had some shortcomings, and it was resolved to become incorporated. A constitution was created, and on 18 May 2007, we officially became “MacTalk Hunter Incorporated”. Since then we have moved venues, firstly to the Rugby Union Club in Waratah, then the Central Charlestown Leagues Club in Charlestown and now the RSL in Cardiff.
Over the years, various people have contributed to the group. Simon Plint chaired the meetings initially, followed a few years later by Greg Preston. Jeff Robson has been a constant support, and has delivered almost all the Apple Updates at meetings. Many members have contributed by making presentations and helping to answer curly questions.