Home - About Compsoc - History

Formed in 1998, the society exists to provide advice and support for the computing activities of our members, whether academic or non-academic, technical or non-technical. The society has an ever-growing library and holds talks and workshops on a variety of subjects, aimed to expand the knowledge and interest of our members.

The society in its current form was ratified, and hence became affiliated to, Durham Students' Union in October 1998, but can trace its roots back to Easter 1998...

The original idea for a computer related student society came at a purge (a meeting of posters to the Durham newsgroup dur.general (affectionately known as durge)) where the idea of the Durham University Randomly Generated Exec Society (or DurgeSoc) was mooted. Thirty odd people expressed an interest and a constitution was drawn up (a copy of which is available here). Amongst the main aims of the society was to promote the use of Linux and other computer activities, and the society exec was planned to be chosen randomly.

The democratic implications of a randomly generated exec obviously lead to difficulties later on, but it was clear that there was a demand for a computing society in Durham and over the summer, much work was done in order to make the dream a reality. The society gained space at the Freshers Fair in October and gained substantial interest, and many people joined. Later that month, the society was ratified as a DSU society, which gave us access to funding and the DSU photocopier amongst other things!

Since then, the society has gained even more interest, through its talks and workshops, and has managed to pull off a major event when the society managed to book the President of the Open Source Initiative, Eric Raymond, who came to Durham in January 1999. The society now has its own networked computer, offering computer accounts to its members. There is also the aim to develop this very web site into being a useful resource and information centre for all computer users in Durham.

The society may at current be a new society and a small one at that, but it is looking forward to a much bigger future, the foundations of which are being laid right now.

What's that? You want to know about the logo? It was designed by Mr Andrew Bowden, a former Computer Officer of the Durham University Computing Society. He used a felt pen and a scanner, after all the logos he designed on his computer looked naff. Originally it looked ironic, but it has now been updated for the digital age with a rendered replacement.

Last edit: Wed 13th Aug, 01:39 p.m.


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