In Chicago, Bill Winters and I attended the OBS/Wylbur user group meeting, which runs concurrently with SHARE, and SHARE 69 itself.
First impressions of the COLLECT group: it is composed mostly of university and government installations and is very much in need of some strong leadership. They don't seem to have a clear purpose, and would probably fold without the support of OBS. Conclusion: I wouldn't recommend that we go out of our way to attend these unless there is another reason to make the trip, e.g. for SHARE.
This was my first SHARE meeting, but in another life I was active in the GUIDE organization. The two user groups are practically indistinguishable; there may be slightly more technical orientation in SHARE due to the fact that the university community has gravitated to SHARE, but most differences are purely imaginary.
I attended the following sessions:
In general, the sessions were of high calibre, but the speakers all need some new jokes. One of the better ones, albeit the oldest, goes like this:
The Customer turned to the PSR for help. The PSR noted that he had seen a phone booth about ten miles back. "I'll walk back to the phone, call the support center, and see if there are any hits against the problem. See you guys tomorrow."
The Customer started to cry and the CE just sat there shaking his head. "I can't believe what I'm seeing" he thought to himself, then he shrugged and said "I guess I'll have to fix it myself." He climbed out of the car, went back and opened the trunk, and got out his tools. Then he jacked up the car and began exchanging tires in order to isolate the failure.