ACGNJ is the oldest personal computer club and user group in the world.
Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey
A computer user group (club) based in Scotch Plains, NJ


Hobbyist of the Year

Name Year Honor
Barbara & Walter Degroot 2012 Dual award to Barbara for her seventeen years of service as ACGNJ Newsletter Editor, and for her continuing service as Editor Emeritus (and Emergency Backup Publisher). Awarded to Walter for his many contributions to the club over that same period, most recently helping to distribute older computers refurbished by our Hardware Workshop. Even though the Hobbyist of the Year is an ACGNJ award, not a TCF award, it has traditionally been presented at the annual Trenton Computer Festival Banquet. Unfortunately, this year Barbara and Walter were unable to attend TCF, so their plaque will be delivered to them at a later date.
Andreas Meyer 2011 Andy has been a promoter of Linux, UNIX and related OS in and for the club for many years ever since Peter Fillingham bowed out. A group of faithful followers come regularly on the 1st Monday of the month to his Special Interest Group.
Also Andy also has been a supporting member of the MidAtlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists (MARCH) and InfoAge for many years.
He also RIDES! and has interest in ham radio N2FYE.
Dr. Marvin Kurland 2010 Dr. Marvin Kurland was a Professor of Electrical/Computer Engineering at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) for 25 years. He recently passed away unexpectedly. One of his passions was computers and robotics. He was the adviser/coach of TCNJ's micromouse team. A micromouse is a miniature self propelled robot that can find its way through a complex maze. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) every year holds contests in which awards are given for the fastest and best performing micromouse. These contests are between student teams from regional universities and colleges. Marvin Kurland's teams regularly won first place and had the best record of any university/college that competed in these contests. In recognition Dr. Kurlan's contributions to the computer hobby resulting from his interest in computers and robotics, his dedication to his students and the development of a superior micromouse, he was selected for the 2010 Computer Hobbyist of the Year Award.
Eric Hafler 2009 Eric is an Apple/MAC enthusiast and one of the original computer hobbyists. He is a member of several computer clubs. Eric has been a Trenton Computer Festival (TCF) volunteer and committee member from the very beginning. Even after PACS dropped out as a sponsor he continued to support TCF and was involved in the Steering Committee. For the last few years he has chaired the Publicity Committee and was a major contributor to design and production of posters, media announcements and signs for TCF. This year’s festival would not be possible without his efforts. He has contributed a huge amount of time and even offered his own funds to keep TCF going. He definitely is worthy and deserving of the award. I can think of no one more appropriate to receive it this year.
Leonard W. Thomas 2009 For outstanding efforts in volunteer coordination/supervision every year at the Trenton Computer Festival. Lenny is usually one of the first people to arrive during the early morning hours and one of the last to leave on Saturday and Sunday to get vendors organized (load/unload, etc.) and direct other volunteers accordingly. He has also served on the ACGNJ Board of Directors, and for the past few years as ACGNJ Historian. This year, he bravely tackled the rampant chaos (out of date or completely missing information, etc.) left behind by Market Pro after they quit TCF. He put in countless hours tracking down and signing up vendors, making extensive use of Bmailer (a bulke-mail program written by Bruce Arnold for the ACGNJC/C++ Users Group) and Magic Jack (an Internet phone device that was PCMagazine’s 2008 Product of the Year).
Robert D. Hawes 2008 Bob has been a long-time, willing, contributing member of ACGNJ and TCF. He helps out in whatever way he can at all the meetings he attends and has offered to construct custom equipment for the club. He is considered a contributing editor to the ACGNJ Newsletter with his numerous, entertaining articles on a variety of topics. Bob currently serves as ACGNJ Director, a position to which he was most recently elected.
Claude Kagan
2007 Claude was honored for his efforts in the early years of hobbyist computing. In 1965 he founded the R.E.S.I.S.T.O.R.S. (Radically Emphatic Students Interested in Science, Technology, and Other Research Subjects).
Alex Goldfinger 2006 Alex has been a charter member of the group. In the past he has served as editor of the newsletter and always was ready to contribute and help with booth monitoring at the Computer shows. He sreved on the BOD for many years. I'm sure other membes can contribute other attributes and contributions the Alex has made to the Group.
Cass and Ruth Lewart 2005 Dual award to Ruth and Cass Lewart. Both have been very active computer hobbyists for nearly 30 years. They were officers in the Bookdale User Group for many years and are also long-time members of ACGNJ. In addition to speaking at TCF for many years, Cass has been a speaker at meetings of ACGNJ, PPCUG, and other computer clubs. He is the author of several books about PC technologies and has contributed papers to the Trenton Computer Festival Annual Proceedings Book.
Lennie Libes 2004 Lennie has been involved in the creation and running of both The Amateur Computer Group of New Jersey and the Trenton Computer Festival for 30 years. She has taken on the thankless background tasks that nobody wants to do because they needed doing, and has kept things moving smoothly with her expert handling and care.
Frank Warren 2003 Frank has been an outstanding member of the ACGNJ for many years and a font of wisdom from a technical point of view, member of the TCF Steering Committee, Frank also stepped forward from Veep to Pres. when Neil Sanford passed away then two successive elected terms as President. Frank has given many presentations on banking, money, gold, and secure financial transactions, security with respect to Thawt, a secure ID certificate provider, and several on networking and wireless. And has kept the club's Geneology SIG alive for several years.
Arnold Milstein 2002 Arnold has handled public relations for ACGNJ, making sure that the group is promoted at local computer shows. He also takes care of the club equipment. At special occasions, such as Microsoft events, he has often been first to volunteer to help, the first to arrive and the last to leave. When asked to do a job for the group he rarely declines.
Peter Fillingham 2001 Peter was the leader of the LUNICS (a loose acronym representing the various forms of Unix-like systems) Special Interest Group of ACGNJ for many years, and has been an outspoken proponent of open-source programming Linux, and its Unix-like cousins.
Jerry Entin 2000 Jerry Entin, leader of the Concordia Group and member of the Trenton Computer Festival Steering Committee, Jerry was cited for his contributions to ACGNJ and the Trenton Computer Festival.
John Raff 1999 John has been a supporting member of the club for many years, working in the background on Facilities, Webmaster, Vice President, Board of Director, PC-Symposium chair and active in TCF
Scott Vincent 1997 Scott started his group efforts in the Heath Group and when that disbanded and mixed with ACGNJ continued his help with Borad of Directors, President and Presiden of TCF.
John Hampton 1997 Posthumous award to his widow in recognition of his work for TCF.
Charlie Arnold 1996 For his long-term service to ACGNJ
Alan Bloom 1995 Honored for his contributions on behalf of the hearing-impaired
Bill Snell 1994 Honored for his long time contributions to personal computing, including running a BBS, working as TCF Festival Director, and for other accomplishments over a period of 18 years
Bruce Arnold 1993 Honored for his work outside the computer group teaching others how to program, and for writing software to help people use personal computers to do things they would otherwise have been unable to do.
Dave Raibert 1992 SIG/M treasurer
Al Katz 1991 Honored for his work in creating and perpetuating the Trenton Computer Festival.
Bob Todd 1990 SIG/M distribution coordinator
Fred Gohlke 1989 Honored for revitalizing the ACGNJ newsletter
Hank Kee 1988 SIG/M librarian
Steve Leon 1987 SIG/M editor
Sol Libes 1986 For his championing of public domain software in his magazines, despite losing advertising from software manufacturers who saw public domain software as a threat. The tradition of honoring distributors of public domain software was continued with the awards for 1987, 1988, 1990 and 1992.
Harold McIntosh 1985 Of University of Mexico City. With students, wrote the Regular Expression Compiler, an equivalent of Unix shell script processing, particularly in the parsing of Unix regular expressions for CP/M. (Bob Todd notes that the award really should have gone to the students, who did most of the work.)
Rich Conn 1984 SIG/M, awarded for the same reason. He created major portions of the first ZCPR and all of ZCPR2 and ZCPR3, putting all of the code into the public domain.
Ward Christensen 1983 The first HOTY, creator of MODEM7, which was the first generally successful PC modem program and enabled users to download files from his bulletin board system, which was the first BBS. His award was for making this software available to everyone.

The annual award recognizes meaningful volunteer service to the community and/or the organization through computer-related activities. Although nominees for the award may be professionals in the computer field, the focus of the award is on non-commercial activities. The award is usually presented at TCF during the Banquet Saturdy evening.

HOTY was conceived in 1983 by the SIG/M SIG at ACGNJ and many of the early awards were given to those involved in distributing or writing public domain software. In 1986, when interest in SIG/M had declined to nearly nothing, the ACGNJ Board took over the responsibility of selecting the HOTY.

Thanks to Bob Todd's history of the award.

Nominate TCF "Hobbyist of the Year" Form

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Planning Meeting Revue
Baby sit the ACGNJ table for 4hr and get in free and/or check out Greg's Gaming at the next Computer show. See A. Milstein for details.
Various Images taken over the past few months.

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