The Houston Area League of PC Users will be moving out of its ghost town of a 6,665 sq. ft. headquarters space in the sleepy 2-story office building at 4543 Post Oak Place Dr. a bit later than its originally announced deadline of the end of 2013. But HAL-PC isn’t leaving (as it declared last year) to find some more suitable space with more attractive rents and fewer parking problems, and so the building can work its way to a new identity as an assembly of medical clinics; it’s leaving on account of the organization is shutting down entirely. By a vote of the board of directors earlier this week, HAL-PC has chosen to disband.
Though the 32-year-old organization still proudly proclaimed itself to be the largest PC users group in the world (it was, a while back), only a couple of regular members attended HAL-PC’s annual general meeting last week. Though often stereotyped as a hub for retiree dial-up types, HAL-PC and the seventies-era decor of the atrium lobby outside Suite 200 deserve credit for their role as one of the city’s most effective high-tech incubators. As an HSPVA student and later as a UH freshman, Houston native Matt Mullenweg used to pick up database tips from the crusty IT types he met hanging out there, and later delivered presentations at meetings of HAL-PC’s PHP special-interest group — before going on to use that same technology to develop WordPress, which now ranks as the world’s most popular blogging software.
- HAL-PC, once the nation’s biggest computer user group, is no more [TechBlog]
- HAL-PC Announcements [HAL-PC]
Photos: J. Michael Bennet, MD (exterior); HAL-PC (lobby and map)
I take Japanese classes there every week and I’ve always wondered what exactly was behind such an obsolete-sounding name.
Even in the 90’s and the early days of the Internet, HAL-PC seemed kinda fuddy-duddy, so I never joined, even though I’ve always been a big computer geek.
I wonder if the Houston Area Apple Users Group (HAAUG) will be next. The one meeting I went to was pretty grey, but they often schedule good speakers.
Happily, our local Apple user group is strong and healthy. HAAUG (HoustonAppleAreaUserGroup) meets monthly at the City of Bellaire Civic Center, 7008 South Rice Avenue. Most months, the meeting is on the third Saturday. July 19, HAUUG will have a Swap Meet, where all sorts of techy stuff can be bought and sold. Each month, people new to Apple devices can get help from other users. Others can sharpen their skills at various hourly special-interest-groups (SIGs) that meet starting at 9 AM. For more information see http://www.haaug.org.