CERN Accelerating science

CERN MicroClub needs your help!

In the early 1970s, with a number of staff members, we started looking for ways to buy computers for private use at affordable prices. We contacted various manufacturers of the time (Atari, Commodore, Apple II, Olivetti, ...) and their Swiss or French representatives. We received the same answer several times: "We will be ready to offer you special conditions if you create an internal structure at CERN to manage purchases ".

As a result, by the end of 1983, we had the idea of creating the CERN MICRO CLUB (CMC) under the aegis of the Staff Association.

At first, the club held its meetings in the offices of the first committee

We discussed the choice of computers, the first purchases to make, the club coordination but also the conditions of purchase to negotiate with the manufacturers.

Very quickly by word of mouth, the number of members increased so much after one year we were more than 50 registered!

In 1984, with the arrival of the first Mac and the very interesting conditions granted by Apple, the number of members continued to increase. We had to find new premises but already at that time it was not easy. At the beginning of the 90s, we finally succeeded: we obtained a part of Bldg. 555!

The Club's internal organization was at that time divided into sections according to the type of equipment used: Atari, Commodore, Apple II, MS DOS, games library and technical library.

A secretariat was set up to manage membership requests and fees, place material orders, pay invoices, create and send newsletters to members.

The club continued to grow and in 1993, a new Video/Photo section was created.

Our functioning is simple; one member is appointed management head of each new section who is a “de facto” member of the committee, in addition to the four statutory members: president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

At that time, with the agreement of CERN Management and the Staff Association, we were able to open the club to other International Organizations in Geneva and to professors from Universities and colleges such as EPFL or EPFZ.

The club continued to grow and organized workshops, conferences, presentations of new equipment by manufacturers and training courses on different software. Several pieces of equipment were provided to our members: slide scanners, A3 printers, devices for digitizing of Super 8 films.

Members could also subscribe to the "TeleSupport" remote support service. (editor's note: Currently only available for Mac.)

The club could also make official repairs of Apple, Dell, Lenovo and Brother devices.

In the early 2000s, given the large number of members and the multitude of activities, we moved to the current premises at Bldg. 567. Access for external members is easier because it avoids site access control.

A new Robotics section was then created. It brought in  a new generation of members interested in microprocessors and automation.

From the history of our club you can see the constant evolution over the last few years. The club is doing well but the committee, which has now been in place for some time, is getting older.

We must ensure the sustainability of the club in order not to lose this beautiful heritage. We would like to meet some good volunteers, ready to give a little of their time, and share their innovative ideas to allow the club to continue its evolution and last for many years to come!

If you are interested in this adventure, do not hesitate any longer!

Contact us on the following email address: