The Santa Cruz Mac Users Group was organized in the late 1980s when Apple owners were invited (by mail) to meet at the Affordable Computers store in the Galleria. A small band of enthusiastic people showed up — mostly business owners including graphic artist, Don Cochrane (our logo designer), desktop publishers, writers — and David Mays, Affordable’s resident techie. Dave later founded Dave’s Computer Services. The Group voted to be called Macruzers and Warren Wipson a few meetings later, became their first newsletter editor.

Very little Mac software was available. The first Mac featured MacWrite, MacDraw and MacPaint while Microsoft offered Excel & Word and Adobe followed with Illustrator. Two of the earliest desktop publishing software packages for the Mac were Ready,Set,Go! by Manhattan Graphics and rival PageMaker by Aldus (later acquired by Adobe).

As the software explosion widened, the interest in Macruzers also increased. A Disk Librarian would produce a “Disk of the Month” floppy loaded with different desktop applications every month. These were sold for $3.00 for the club treasury. Sometimes a presentation would be done by a member who’d found something new and interesting to share with us. Guests would often be invited to speak at our monthly meetings. Many of them were reps from software companies who would donate a few samples of their programs to be raffled. Additionally, discount prices would be offered to members who would buy a demo’d program on the actual night of the meeting.

MaCruzers grew rapidly as did Apple. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) were formed to meet the needs of members. The back page of the newsletter listed names & phone numbers of members who could help with different applications and/or hardware questions, e.g., Cecile Mills, Microsoft Word; Warren Wipson, Ready-Set-Go. The most popular SIG was the Desktop Publishing group which started out meeting at the homes of different members. Later Harbor High graphics instructor, Robie Hirose, offered the use of his print shop for our Desktop Publishing meetings.

Many key members were responsible for keeping the club interesting over the years — Peter Solomon, Peter Visel, Howie Schneider, Ken Maybee, Susan Durst, Gail & Jack Jacklich, Mo! Langdon, Linda Hoeger-Thompson, Chris Broadwell, Bill McDermott, Diana Adamic and many others.

At one time, Macruzers had over a hundred members filling a large room at Jade Street Community Center. At a special event, Guy Kawasaki, Apple Evangelist, addressed the group at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium.

Over the years, interest in large group meetings waned as users became more sophisticated in mastering new applications. Though we are now a smaller group, we have more Apple devices — laptops, Ipods, Iphones, Ipads (and more to come) that can interact with our desktop computer. In short, we need continuous instruction to keep up with the technology!

Come meet with us and enjoy a fantastic learning experience! And to all you nerds — share your knowledge!

(Thanks to Warren and Susan)

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