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Preface: History of the SMUG Books

Every few years, Robelle publishes a book of tips for Hewlett-Packard computer users. For obscure and historical reasons, these have been called "SMUG" proceedings, where SMUG stands for Seldom Met Users Group.

During the San Antonio Interex Conference of 1982, Robelle gave away copies of the SMUG II Microproceedings, which contained unpublished and unsuspected data on the HP 3000, including the first publication of Alfredo Rego's classic: "How to Read A Manual." Our supply of these little blue books was quickly exhausted, but they were reprinted and shipped world-wide.

At the Disneyland Interex Meeting in 1984, we gave away copies of the Image/3000 Handbook that we had been working on hard for two years. It contained all our previous papers such as "Guided Tour of a DBPUT", plus chapters by Alfredo Rego and others.

At the Washington, D.C. meeting in 1985 we gathered together all our HP 3000 tips, hints and warnings into a single pocket guide: the SMUG IV Pocket Encyclopedia. We gave copies away in our booth, and were swamped with requests for it.

In 1990 Robelle published a booklet, Steps to Software Quality containing a paper on "Improving Software Quality" by Bob Green, a reprint of Michel Kohon's "Step by Step Method" from the original SMUG II Microproceedings, and an HP report on corporate software quality.

In 1992 Robelle gathered five papers and published them as Robelle Papers, 15th Anniversary Special Edition.

In 1994, Neil Armstrong of Robelle suggested that we update and re-issue our Pocket Encyclopedia, adding information on UNIX, Windows, PA-RISC, POSIX, and Networking. Here is the result, a hypertext version of the SMUG book that can be browsed as a subject-oriented book, or referenced as an alphabetical encyclopedia, or dipped into at random. On the Web, you can find the SMUG book at http://www.robelle.com/library/smugbook/.

The World Wide Web version of our pocket encyclopedia was converted from the Prose text formatter to raw HTML format using Qedit, then fine-tuned and linked into pages using HTML Writer by Kris Nosack, and checked for errors with Weblint. The graphics were converted from ICO to GIF format using Graphic Workshop and edited as BMP files using MS Paintbrush. The WinHelp file was generated using HTMhelp.