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I recently reconnected with some long, but not forgotten, Tac2 colleagues. The Transvaal Amateur Computer Club (tac2) was a hombrew club at the infancy of microcomputing in South Africa. To facilitate a virtual reunion of the club I’m proposing and helping the club draw in members past and present to a new tac2blog where we can reminisce and reconnect by sharing club facts, anecdotes and fond memories of the origins of an industry.

Caption: Out of the original Apple User Group grew the Desktop Publishing User Group (DTP/UG).

Tac2 members promoted and spawned much of South Africa’s computer industry: The Computer Faire, Apple computers and PCs to name just the three big ones. Many of us created our own businesses in the industry. In 1981 I started Intelligent Ideas, a consultancy which specialised in spreadsheeting, databases, desktop publishing and then internet publishing — a business I ran for nearly twenty years before emigrating to the USA to join a mainstream newspaper.

Amongst my premier clients were AE&CI and Kodak in the early spreadsheeting/database days and then Seipone, The Namibian and The Windhoek Observer followed by the mainstream press: The Star newspaper group (including Sunday Independent, Saturday Star and Business Report), Sowetan, The New Nation, Sunday World (including Hola) and Finanace Week — all of which my consultancy converted off hot lead and/or photo lithography to desktop publishing systems.

Caption: My DTP classroom at J.G. Ince & Son, a major printer in Johannesburg.

Suggested reading: tac2 | tac2blog | My previous blog post on The Transvaal Amateur Computer Club | Intelligent Ideas | On the passing of Windhoek Observer’s Hannes Smith: Good night Smithie

One Comment

  1. HI Harry
    I remember sitting next to you in your balcony office at Maxwelton while you knocked up a logo (carlos jacamo boxing) for me. I was so enthralled by this mouse thingy on your McIntosh – wow what amazing technology but whose ever going to use stuff like that? And that ‘buletin board’ thingy against the wall – whose ever going to want to communicate like that? hmmmm Some of us had vision.
    Charmaine says Hi – we were talking about facebook and we remembered those early days so we googled you and caroline – nice to see you’re still at the forefront. We’re in the dark ages here in Sydney! Hope we can catch up one day and have a beer.

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