Compsoc Old Guard Reunion

More than a decade ago, I innocently sent an email to the (then) Dept of Computer Science mailing list at Edinburgh University asking whether there was a Computing Society. The reply was “no, maybe you should start one”.

So I did.

Since then, we managed to assimilate the A.I. Soc, kidnapped their Cascade Scheme (and redeployed it, thanks to the drive from Paul Hamiliton) (and we also changed the stuffed toy from a Moose to a Monkey, to reflect the move to Appleton Tower), and started a series of Special Interest Groups which boasts Hoppers as part of it.

Nowadays, Compsoc is a much, much bigger organisation than I ever imagined. I can’t even come near to claiming any credit for this. Each year, each new committee breathes new life into the society and for the past 2-3 years, the folks involved have been amazing. Compsoc even runs its’ own version of Techmeetup – a monthly gathering of people from industry to engage with undergrad students here.  I’m immensely proud of what they’ve achieved and hope that this continues long into the future.

Back at the start, Back with the Old Guard

It wasn’t easy though. For the first year, we even struggled to get the 20 signatures required to be recognised as an official society. Our main project was EARWIG – a MMORPG based around navigating your way from the JCMB entrance to finding Stephen Gilmore’s (our 1st year Director) office. The whole thing was supposed to be implemented in Java. Needless-to-say, EARWIG’s vision was never fully realised in code, but we did spend many hours and days debating its architecture and implementation.

As with any society, there was the ‘core’ lot of people that ran the show, most notably: Mark Miles, Paul Hamiliton, Michael Eng, Alex P. We were affectionally nicknamed as the “Old Guard”. As rarely as we get to see each other nowadays, when we do get together, it’s as if we’re back in 2000.

Luckily, a few weeks ago, Mark (now in Germany) and Michael (now in Japan) happen to be in town the same week as each other and we had an impromptu reunion. The CompSoc Time Capsule is now resurrected and placed under Paul’s command. So for a bit of nostalgia, here’s a few photos of us through the years …

Here we are back in 2000:

Then again in the 5 year anniversary (2005):

And the most recent one … (again at the Pear Tree):