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The Digital Equipment Computer Users' Society (DECUS) was an independent computer user group related to Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC).

The Connect User Group Community, formed from the consolidation in May, 2008 of DECUS, Encompass, HP-Interex, and ITUG is the Hewlett-Packard’s largest user community representing more than 50,000 participants.


DECUS was the Digital Equipment Computer Users' Society, a users' group for Digital Equipment Corporation computers. Members included companies and organizations who purchased DEC equipment; many members were application programmers who wrote code for DEC machines or system programmers who managed DEC systems. DECUS was founded in March 1961 by Edward Fredkin.[1][2]

DECUS was legally a part of Digital Equipment Corporation and subsidized by it; however, it was run by volunteers. Digital staff members were not eligible to join DECUS, yet were allowed and encouraged to participate in DECUS activities. Digital, in turn, relied on DECUS as an important channel of communication with its customers.

The DECUS U.S. Chapter conducted technical conferences at various locations, and ran other operations like Local User Groups (LUGs) and Special Interest Groups. Chapters in other nations did likewise. DECUS also promoted the open exchange of user-developed software, largely via magnetic tape.[3]

DECUS played a critical role in the development of computer games in North America in the 1970s. The pioneering titles Adventure by Will Crowther; Baseball, Dungeon and Star Trek by Don Daglow and Hunt the Wumpus by Gregory Yob provided a foundation for the games industry. One of the first real-time interactive multi-user games, MTrek (MultiTrek), was also distributed on DECUS tapes. Major commercial game titles including Zork and Empire were first popularized by DECUS.

In the 1990s, DECUS played a significant role in integration of isolated post-Soviet scientific, technology and business communities into worldwide community.[4][5][6]

In 1998, Compaq acquired Digital, and DECUS became a Compaq user group.

In 2000, the DECUS U.S. Chapter incorporated as the independent user group Encompass.

In 2002, Hewlett-Packard acquired Compaq, and DECUS became an HP User Society.

In 2008, the HP user communities Encompass, ITUG and HP Interex EMEA consolidated to form Connect Worldwide.

Local Chapters[edit]

Membership was organized by country. Each chapter acted as part of the worldwide Association of Hewlett-Packard User Groups. DECUS had some 7,500 members, mostly system, network, and applications specialists as well as IT Managers.

Association activities: The HP User Society DECUS promoted the exchange of information and know-how between its members, manufacturers and partners. The association supported its members in the representation of their interests against HP and partners, helped in problem solving and facilitates formation of opinion and advanced training by organizing events.

Well-known members[edit]

Some early and well-known members of DECUS were the late Terry Shannon and John R. Wisniewski.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Digital Equipment Computer Users Society Proceedings and Publications, 1962-1992. Finding Aid.". University of Minnesota Libraries. 
  2. ^ "DECUS Proceedings 1963 PDF File" (PDF). Digital Equipment Computer Users Society (DECUS). 1963. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "PDP-11 DECUS Software Index". The PDP-11 archives at 
  4. ^ M.I.Trofimov, Computer Markets in the USSR, in 1991 DECUS Europe Symposium, New Styles of Computing, Programme, The Hague, Holland, September 9th to 13th 1991 ,p. 17.
  5. ^ First Soviet Speaker for DECUS Europe, in 1991 DECUS Europe Symposium, Daily Mail,Symposium Roundup.
  6. ^ M.I.Trofimov, DEC Style in Computing, Soft Market, Special Issue from Russia, Moscow: ELIAS,1992, p.10.

External links[edit]