[kwlug-announce] Meeting Monday: A grassRoots History of Hi-Tech in Kitchener Waterloo

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Sat Feb 2 00:26:07 EST 2013

For years the rest of Canada has predicted the demise of Research and
Motion, and has speculated on what life would be like without RIM
propping up our economy. Would Kitchener-Waterloo become a ghost
town, populated by tumbleweeds, decaying storefronts, and a modicum of
human inhabitants bearing shotguns as they rock rocking chairs on
their front porches? (You may unleash your snarky downtown Kitchener
jokes now.) Or would our little towns scrape by without the company?

With the launch of Blackberry 10, Research In Motion is no more, and
we all get to see what life is like in a post-RIM Waterloo Region.
(Is it too much to hope for fewer crude jokes about the nature of
employment at the company?) Certainly, RIM's conclusion does not
really match the defeatist predictions; the company was renamed, not
dissolved. But people still conjure up all kinds of dystopias
about a post-Blackberry world. Are these fears founded? Is Waterloo
Region a one-trick pony?

Kevin Stumpf does not think so. According to him, Waterloo Region has
been a thriving high-tech region since the 1920s. In this month's
KWLUG meeting, he will present "A grassRoots history of the early
hi-tech community in KW". The presentation documents many high-tech
companies in the region which have come and gone, and attempts to
answer the question of why high-tech companies flourish in the region. 
Although this presentation is not particularly Linux-centric (we
poached Kevin as a guest speaker after he presented at the KW Amateur
Radio Club meeting last September), it is timely and

On the topic of change, the makers at Kwartzlab also went through a
transition while nobody was looking: they moved from their old Duke
Street location to a new home at 33 Kent Street. On Feb 16, they will
be holding a grand opening party so you can check out their new digs: 

For those of you with a hankering to learn programming, the friendly
people at WatPy are holding a "Learn to Code With Python" weekend at
the Communitech Hub. The event will be happening Feb 22 and 23rd. You
can register and read more on the WatPy website:

And that's all she wrote. The meeting will be held at our usual

St John's Kitchen
97 Victoria Street N
(at the corner of Victoria and Weber)

You can park your Bennett Buggies in the Worth a Second Look parking
lot, or practice a little insane *ex industria prosperitas* by cycling
to the February meeting and parking your safety bicycle along the side
of the building. 

- Paul

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