The Birmingham Large Users Group began as an informal luncheon group at the Downtown Club. The notion was a spinoff of PLUG, the Pittsburgh Large Users Group, and a takeoff of an Amdahl Users Group. At the time, there were more large installations in Birmingham using Amdahl mainframes that IBM mainframes. Bill Ringler, the primary mover, used the PLUG idea (of which he had been a member) to have a regular meeting of leaders of large mainframe sites. The initial meetings began in 1983. Some of the initial participants included Charlie Marcus of Blue Cross, Joe Harlow of SouthTrust, Dewey Kerper of Sonat, Bert Williams of BellSouth, John Lovin of Liberty National, Janet Wixson of UAB, Bill Lammons of Jim Walter Corporation, and Bill Ringler of AmSouth. The group started small, as an informal meeting over lunch, with fees for lunches only. Vendors were a common topic of discussion.
BLUG was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, and is non-profit in the State of Alabama. The original signers of the articles of incorporation were:
Executive Committee: The Executive committee meets for lunch eight months of the year, September thru May, excluding December, on the 3rd Thursday of the month, at noon. The meeting is fairly informal. Business is conducted as needed, and commonly consumes a small amount of time. Discussion customarily centers around common interests, including management and technology issues, trends, vendors, and the IT community.
Education Committee: A primary activity of BLUG is to facilitate and arrange high quality technical education for employees of member enterprises. The BLUG Education Committee has proved very successful in this endeavor.
Infrastructure Committee: A Network and Operations Committee meets from time to time to discuss matters common to network and data center operations managers.