Previous Mac2MUG Meeting Highlights
Our meetings generate lots of discussion and shared information! On this page we post meeting highlights, links and other information which members in attendance found helpful.
Writing and creative image credits for our meeting notices goes to MAC2 Secretary and Creative Genius - Rob Ellis. If you had fun reading, then you are really in for a treat when you attend our meetings and see his presentations!
December 2015 Meeting: Video on Your Mac
- How to view it and play it, from navigating YouTube to employing some great software for enjoying problem-free home videos and full-length movies. Straight out of the box, Macs can certainly play video, but if you have ever wished for better ways to play those videos, or have ever tried to open a video file which your Mac does not recognize, this meeting can save you a lot of time and trouble. On Tuesday, Tom showed how to find your way around YouTube, from searching its vast collections to understanding YouTube’s controls. And Rob showed an ingenious free app for downloading videos, full-featured apps for playing video, how to open those pesky videos that your Mac normally cannot play, how to play DVDs, and how to use a remote control with your Mac while propping up your feet and enjoying the view. What do your friends and relatives and Leonardo DiCaprio and Scarlett Johansson and Robert Redford and Julianne Moore have in common? They can all look amazing on your Macintosh screen. The only missing elements might be the noisy couple behind you and the theater usher to sweep up the popcorn.
November 2015 Meeting: Fonts on the Mac
- How to find, install, organize and use fonts on your Mac. With some great fonts installed on your Mac, be they formal, script, cartoon, dingbat or others, you can create beautiful documents, letters, crafts, scrapbooking projects and so much more. And how much will this beauty deplete your bank account? The costs of commercial fonts can be enormous, but the wonderful news is that there are tens of thousands of fonts available that will not cost you a single penny, and they are easily found. On Tuesday, Annette showed where you can find free fonts, how to download and install them, and how to utilize an app which is already on your Mac: Font Book. We also explored a simple way to insert special characters so that a sentence such as, “While discussing zoology at the cafe, Emily was unpleasantly surprised to find a jalapeno in her creme brulee” can be correctly typed as, “While discussing zoölogy at the café, Emily was unpleasantly surprised to find a jalapeño in her crème brûlée.” That diacritical tilde will not sweeten the sting of the jalapeño, but your spelling will be perfect. If you joined us for a good look at fonts, though you might have left the November meeting as a fontaholic, everything you type will look all the better for it.
October 2015 Meeting: Why I Chose the New iPhone 6s
- A tale of software, hardware, features and magic which inspired our presenter to buy himself an iPhone 6s, and one for his wife!. A few decades ago, the offerings from the national telephone company monopoly consisted of a single basic phone model in a small choice of colors, or perhaps a Princess phone for the bedroom. In 2015, the choices are mammoth, not to mention mobile. What, then, led this month’s presenter to purchase the just-released iPhone 6s — two of them in fact? On Tuesday, Roger detailed the many features of the new iPhone which guided him to a clear decision, such as the speed provided by Apple’s custom-designed A9 chip, a gorgeous screen, the ‘3D Touch’ interface, faster networking, possibly the most advanced mobile-phone camera on the market, an impressive new rear-facing FaceTime HD camera, Apple Pay, and a whole lot more. If you were among those who attended, we suspect you found much to like about our meeting, and about the iPhone 6s, to the point that you too might be inspired to make it your next phone. And golly, your significant other might like one too.
September 2015 Meeting: Our Favorite iPhone Apps
- Some of our personal picks among the many apps available for iPhone. On January 9th, 2007 at the Macworld Expo keynote, when Steve Jobs announced, “Today, Apple is going to reinvent the phone,” that claim may have seemed a bit of an overstatement. Yet here we are, in 2015, with sophisticated computers in our pockets and purses, and whatever the brand, all are modeled after that original iPhone. With roughly 1.4 million apps now available for the iPhone, there are bound to be some pleasant surprises awaiting you in the App Store. On Tuesday, we showed off some of our favorites, many of which are free. If you want a better Twitter experience, or need to know the weather in detail, or to recognize music on the fly, or check your calendar, make sure your new bookshelf is level, tweak your photos, protect your digital privacy, save articles and videos for later perusal, translate languages effortlessly, find the nearest chocolatier or even find your phone, if you will forgive our quoting a trademarked phrase, there’s an app for that. And our meeting showcased some of the best. We hope you were able to join us, as you and your iPhone might have liked what you saw.
August 2015 Meeting: Get in Sync: iCloud and iCloud Drive
- How to synchronize your files and data between your Mac and iOS devices. How much simpler might life be if the time-sensitive documents in your work desk also resided in your home desk, or if the appointments on the Scenic Vermont calendar on your kitchen wall were also on display for you at a restaurant two towns away, or if the hastily-written note deposited in your inside jacket pocket could simultaneously be found in all your other pockets including the one in your robe, or if your favorite fuzzy slippers forever awaited you directly beside your bed at every hotel, anywhere in the world? In the digital world of iCloud, all this is possible, minus only the fuzzy slippers. On Thursday, Roger showed how your photos, apps, notes, mail, messages, bookmarks and contacts can easily be available on your Mac, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. And with iCloud Drive, because your files go wherever you go, you can access all your documents on all your Apple devices, and gosh, even on a PC. The reading glasses you left on your nightstand will not be at hand when you need them at the newsstand, and such is life, but as you may have discovered at our August meeting, in the cloud, that sort of synchronization can really be that simple.
June 2015 Meeting: Pages for iPad
- How one app can empower you to do beautiful word processing and stunning page layout, anywhere. A picture may indeed be worth a thousand words, but in Pages for the iPad, you can have both. Not only can you have your cake and eat it too, you can easily insert a photo of said cake into your document, then wrap nicely-styled text around it for a perfect fit. Generally hailed as a word processor, Pages, which also runs on the iPad’s smaller siblings, the iPhone and iPod touch, is also a genuine page layout app. Because of that combination of traits, Pages can be used to create stunning letters, reports, flyers, résumés, invitations and so much more. And with over 60 attractive templates, there will be plenty of sparks for your ideas. Apple calls Pages “the most beautiful word processor you’ve ever seen on a mobile device,” and despite the obvious advertising hyperbole, we agree. Those who joined us on Tuesday learned all about Pages and how to use it. On the subject of pictures and words, we pictured an entertaining evening full of information, and we welcome you to rely on that description, for we are true to our word.
May 2015 Meeting: Make Your Web Browser Soar
- How to use add-ons and plug-ins to turbocharge your browser into doing things you never dreamed it could. Modern web browsers are powerful, but add-ons expand their capabilities in ways far beyond the predictable, adding functions and features you might not have imagined possible, with clever additions that need to be seen to be believed. On Tuesday, we looked at add-ons and plug-ins for Safari, Chrome and Firefox, and showed you how to install them and where to find more. Our special focus was on the browser that has more available add-ons than any other: Firefox. Web browsers are free, and so are nearly all add-ons, so it costs you nothing to build the best browser that money can’t buy. We have ignition . . .
April 2015 Meeting: Utilize Your Local Library Without Leaving Home
- How to access the many digital services available at your public library, including e-books, magazines and video. Imagine a stroll through your local public library, perusing its books, magazines, movies and such, all while lounging at home, wearing your most comfortable pajamas and sipping a morning cup of coffee. As it turns out, truth can occasionally be more amazing than fiction. We were delighted to host a guest speaker: Ms. Sarah-Jayne Studer, Senior Librarian of the Perry Sippo Branch Library. On Tuesday, Sarah-Jayne unveiled an impressive array of digital services offered by the library, including e-books, audio books, magazines, a handful of music and television shows, access to the Zinio and Hoopla services, and more, easily accessible on a home computer or mobile device, including your Mac, iPad, iPhone or e-book reader. Al then followed up with examples of how he personally uses these resources. A world of digital services awaits you via your local library. Bathrobe and slippers are optional.
March 2015 Meeting: Maps on Macs
- How to use Apple's Maps app and Google Maps for 21st century-style navigation on your Mac. Where am I? Where is it? How do we get there? What will it look like when we get there? Are we there yet? To answer these pertinent questions, meet Apple Maps and Google Maps. Having first appeared in OS X 10.9, Mavericks, Apple Maps is built into every new Mac, and Google Maps is available via any web browser. On Tuesday, Tom showed the differences between Apple Maps and Google Maps, and the features of each, including standard and satellite views, suggestions for the best routes, displaying multiple locations of a specific type such as restaurants and hotels, easy access to phone numbers and reviews, sending the info to your iPhone, interactive photo-realistic 3D views, and the ability to soar virtually above select cities and landmarks with "Flyover". When planning your next trip, be it to another state, another country, or to a new doughnut shop across town, may the road rise to meet you and may your path be clear, courtesy of your favorite Maps. No map-folding required.
February 2015 Meeting: Stick ’Em Up
- How to use Avery Design & Print to create stunning labels on your Mac. A marker or pen, grasped between your opposable thumb and a finger or two, can be used to mark boxes and envelopes and such. But gorgeous, professional-looking labels stuck to parcels, envelopes, folders, CDs and more can make a very good impression indeed, and can often save you time. On Tuesday, Annette showed how to use Avery Design & Print software to make labels, dividers, CD inserts, name badges and even business cards and T-shirt transfers. Avery Design & Print is free, and with it, you can easily use your Mac to design and print on all sorts of media, adhesive or otherwise. Label us foolhardy if you like, but we think that’s an idea that could stick.
January 2015 Meeting: Surfing 101
- How to make use of the best features and tools in Apple's Safari and Google Chrome to browse the web. If you have the craving, you can most certainly book a flight to San Francisco, rent a great surfboard, a wetsuit and a woodie, drive down to Mavericks beach, hang ten and shoot the curl. Far simpler is the task of surfing the World Wide Web. All you need is a good web browser and the knowledge of how to use its resources. On Tuesday, Tom and Al showed off Apple Safari and Google Chrome, and demonstrated how to set each browser’s preferences to your own liking, how to save and organize your bookmarks, and how to utilize some of the not-so-obvious tools built into both browsers. Once you know how to use their features, Safari and Chrome make it easy to browse the web the way you want. And despite Ohio’s winter chill, you can make a cup of hot cocoa and surf in comfort, with nary a drop of water on your feet. Surf’s up!
December 2014 Meeting: eBay Hotrodded
- How to use eBay, including plenty of power tips, and how to utilize your Mac and free 3rd-party software to make eBay better and easier to use. Life is good, but if only you could find the floral, bone china teacup you’ve been looking for. Or replacement curtains, carpet, wallpaper and furniture to match the bone china teacup. Or a pair of 3D glasses from Creature from the Black Lagoon. Or the limited edition Barmaid Barbie® doll your daughter has been wanting. Or LeBron James’ Hummer, up for sale now that its ashtray is full. Or a beautiful, rare 1937 novel for that certain someone. Or a skirt to match the curtains, carpet, wallpaper, furniture and bone china teacup. The place to find all this loot, and more, is eBay. But eBay is not problem-free, and some of its best features are all but hidden. Seeking out what you want on eBay, and successfully bidding on it, can be faster, more pleasant and far more powerful than most people experience. At the December meeting, we learned how to use eBay, advanced tips and techniques, unique software to hotrod eBay, and how to improve your chances of winning auctions, bone china teacups and all.
November 2014 Meeting: Happy 30th Birthday to MAC2!
- A 30th-year anniversary party with cake, refreshments, a free raffle, and a screening of the movie, Jobs. In 1984, Apple released the very first Macintosh. With its brilliant design and groundbreaking graphical user interface, it led a technological revolution that changed the face of computing forever. In that same year, a group of programmers, hackers, and devoted fans, caught up in the fever of that revolution and madly in love with the new computer, founded the MAC2 users group. Three decades later, we were delighted to celebrate our group's thirtieth birthday. Along with an honest-to-goodness birthday cake, refreshments, and great conversations, we also showed the recent movie, Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher and others. The film is a dramatic, engaging and entertaining way to learn about some of Apple's history, and about the man who helped make so much of that history, Steve Jobs. Whether you are a current member or former member of our group, have ever been an officer of the group, or have simply been curious about the group, you were most welcome to join us for Apple cider, birthday cake, a raffle, wonderful talk and a movie, a combination that just might be considered, dare we say it, insanely great.
October 2014 Meeting: Cut It Out!
- How to use Sure Cuts A Lot software to cut designs for scrapbooking, crafts, signs, greeting cards, vinyl decals, and more. Printing from Macs is, of course, common. Less common is the ability to use your Mac to cut out virtually any shapes you choose. Enter Sure Cuts A Lot, a clever, user-friendly app which allows you to create shapes using your Mac's own fonts, or tens of thousands of easily-found graphics, or the app's built-in drawing tools to create your own. Paired with one of many available electronic cutting machines, you can cut your designs out of paper, card stock, cloth, vinyl, or even fondant, for spectacular cake decorations. And how does all this work? On Tuesday, Annette showed how you can make designs that are literally a cut above the rest. To paraphrase an often paraphrased movie quote: Scissors? We don't need no stinking scissors.
September 2014 Meeting: Ingenious Mac Utilities
- A bright variety of innovative, useful, little-known apps for your Macintosh. Would it be slick if you could rename an entire folder of files, all in one fell swoop? Or might it be handy to be able to easily find what is taking up the most space on your hard drive, and delete it if you wish? Would it be smart, astute, and even inspired if you could find a way to prevent your beloved Mac from keeping you awake at night? On Tuesday, Rob showed off a sparkling assortment of utilities that cleverly solve those problems, and others, each with its own unique task. Utilities do not need to be merely utilitarian. In fact, these apps are, well, ingenious. And if you thought such capabilities were impossible, or if they had never occurred to you, the light at the end of that tunnel may turn out to be your Mac's brilliantly glowing screen.
August 2014 Meeting: iPad: Basics and Beyond
- From simple to intermediate to advanced, a tutorial on how to use your iPad, how to get the most out of it, and how to access its less-than-obvious functions. Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window. — Steve Wozniak. Like all of its sibling iOS devices, the iPad is a true blue, bona fide computer. But with its diminutive size and all its impressive capabilities, even the user-friendly iPad can sometimes be challenging to use. On Tuesday, Roger took the iPad from standstill to full speed ahead, demonstrating how to handle various tasks, from basic to not-so-basic, and revealing some built-in goodies with which you may not be familiar. And after you have spent a little time learning some key features, though your iPad is indeed small enough to be tossed out a window, you may feel less inclined to actually do so.
June 2014 Meeting: Favorite Mac Apps
- A variety sampling of some great apps for Macintosh. With roughly a zillion apps or so available for the Mac, how does one pick favorites? Nevertheless, on Tuesday, Tom, Roger and Al showcased a few software treasures of their choosing. Among them were: an app for combining images and turning photos into what look like pencil drawings, a suite of tools which provide a free alternative to Microsoft Office, a disk-searching utility which serves as a good replacement for Spotlight, a handy little widget for checking your local or non-local weather, and a dandy app for creating stunning photo collages. With a variety of different uses for your Mac, this is a nice handful of hand-picked apps.
May 2014 Meeting: iPhoto for Mac
- How to use iPhoto to organize, edit, export and beautify your photos. Mathew Brady, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Annie Leibovitz did not have iPhoto, but you do. Not every photographable scene makes it through your camera lens in a state of finished perfection. Overly bright or dark exposures, flash-induced red-eye and accidentally tilted cameras are but a few of the causes of flawed photos. There are many apps for Macintosh designed to help correct photos, but one of them is already on your Mac. With iPhoto you can straighten photos, adjust exposures and eliminate red-eye, and that is only the tip of the picture-perfect iceberg. On Tuesday, Roger showed how to do all that, plus how to use iPhoto to organize your many photos, make slideshows from them and export them as movies, and even create a beautiful, printed book of photos for your coffee table. With iPhoto, you may be able to pull off what you may have hoped to accomplish in the first place: the perfect shot.
April 2014 Meeting: Video Chat on Your Mac
- A hands-on look at Skype and FaceTime for video chats on your Mac and iOS devices. Do you remember the enchanting predictions of video telephones, promised to become common technology somewhere in the not-too-terribly-distant future? At long last, yesterday’s tomorrow is today, and not only do you have that video phone, it may be in your pocket. On Tuesday, we took a good look, literally, at video chatting for Macintosh, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Exploring the features in both Skype and FaceTime, we compared both apps and explain how to use them, including live demonstrations of video and audio chats.
March 2014 Meeting: Virtual Travel on Your Mac
- See the world, or decide where in the world you would like to vacation, via some clever software and websites. If you have been longing to peruse the markets in Nassau or stroll along the Seine in Paris, though your Mac is not able to literally take you there (that requires planes and such), it can easily allow you to virtually wander the world. Whether you would like to visit Tokyo but find the actual trip cost-prohibitive, or would like to have a better look at it before you travel to decide whether it is your cup of tea, your Macintosh can be an invaluable assistant. Rob showed several dazzling websites and some ingenious Mac software which allow you to experience the sights, and occasionally even the sounds, of faraway destinations, from San Francisco to Saturn. Yes, even stars and galaxies can be virtually traveled. While your Mac cannot serve up a feast of Fettuccine Bolognese from Italy (one hopes that Apple is working on it), it can certainly provide a feast for the eyes.
February 2014 Meeting: Browser vs. Browser vs. Browser
- An in-depth comparison of the three most popular web browsers for Mac. It’s a great big World Wide Web out there, and surfing it can be a breeze if you happen to be doing your surfing in a web browser which works the way you want a browser to work. But how does one browse browsers to find that perfect browser, without trying each one? On Tuesday, Annette, Tom and Rob did the browsing for us, by showing off the features of the three most popular browsers for Macintosh: Safari, Chrome and Firefox. We looked at all their best features, as well as the limitations of each browser. And although seeking a good browser may not be among the most burning questions in your life, finding a great one can turn your web-surfing into smooth sailing.
January 2014 Meeting: The Magic of Mac Menulets
- How to add incredibly useful utilities and mini-apps to your Mac’s menu bar without spending a dime. What, you may well ask, are Menulets? Culinary options for very small cafés? The unplanned offspring of full-size restaurant menus? A 1950s girl group whose only record, Cheeseburger and a Milkshake, eluded commercial success? In reality, Menulets are the small icons you see at the top-right of your Mac’s menu bar. Though they appear stationary and unchangeable, they can be moved and removed. But the most exciting aspect is that there are many useful goodies which you can add to the menu bar. Rob showcased a plethora of Menulets that can provide brand-new functions for your Mac, enhance your workflow, or provide shortcuts to tasks you frequently do. Menulets are small wonders which unveil big benefits; one might even call them magical.
December 2013 Meeting: iPhone Extravaganza
- An evening of iPhone and iPhone/Mac tips and tricks, plus a look at the new iPhone 5s. Whether you already own an iPhone or were hoping for Santa to bring you one for Christmas, December’s meeting is was you. Pulling the ribbons and wrapping paper off many iPhone mysteries, we explored various tips, including how to create ringtones using GarageBand, software alternatives to iTunes for accessing your iPhone with your Mac, how to format email sent to iPhones to enable iOS to set appointments, and more. And we took a hands-on look at the brand-new iPhone 5s. Even if Christmas day found you with no new iPhone in your stocking, Tuesday’s meeting brought you many useful presents, none of which required you to be good, the way you should, on every single day.
November 2013 Meeting: Keynote & Popcorn Night!
- We did it again! We watched Apple's unveiling of new Macs, iPads, iPhones, software and more, while munching popcorn! Lions and Tigers and Mavericks! Oh my! At their recent keynote address, Apple announced some impressive critters: new MacBook Pros, a new Mac Pro, two new iPhones, two new iPads, new versions of the iLife and iWork suites, and a brand-new version of OS X known as Mavericks. We served up the keynote address video, along with real theater popcorn, soft drinks and water. [We would like to extend A GIANT THANK YOU to the Regal Theater in Massillon, Ohio for supplying authentic movie popcorn!!!)
October 2013 Meeting: Genealogy On Your Mac
- How to trace your own family history, using software for Macintosh. Genealogy, the tracing of family trees, is a fascinating study unto itself. But the Macintosh and OS X bring genealogy into the 21st Century. With genealogy software and a Mac, anyone can document family trees, actually have fun doing it, and create gorgeous charts that would be difficult to produce otherwise. On Tuesday, Annette demonstrated a genealogy app named Reunion, and guided us on a tour through the Ancestry website. Plus, we took a close look, literally, at a digital USB microscope, which serves a full range from magnifying glass to microscope to 5 megapixel macro camera, with the images appearing live on your Mac’s screen – a brilliant way to focus on your past. With these goodies and some help from us, you can now go back to the future with no need for a Delorean or a Flux Capacitor; the only thing missing will be the trails of flame..
September 2013 Meeting: Diagnosing and Repairing Your Mac from a Thumb Drive
- How to create a utility thumb drive, disk drive or startup DVD. Repair utilities for the Mac can solve many problems, yet attempting to make repairs on your Mac’s own drive, while starting up from that same Mac, has been compared to performing brain surgery on yourself. What to do? Simply start up from another drive and do the troubleshooting from there. Roger showed us how to create a bootable USB thumb drive, disk drive, or DVD, and how to fill it chock-full of diagnosis and repair utilities. We also had a look at the Recovery partition in Lion and Mountain Lion. After a bit of housekeeping, your Mac will work better, life will be less frustrating, and you will have less need for that corkscrew which the manufacturer probably neglected to build into your thumb drive.
August 2013 Meeting: How to Back Up Your Mac
- Backup strategies to keep your data safe. Repeating yourself is likely to become tiresome to others. Repeating yourself is likely to ... well, you know the rest. Repeating your Mac, however, is the perfect way to safeguard your data. Tom discussed many methods for backing up your Mac and an external drive or two, including built-in strategies such as Time Machine and iCloud, and third-party software such as Carbon Copy Cloner and SuperDuper. Also discussed were various types of hardware useful in creating backups. Plato wrote, “There is no harm in repeating a good thing,” and backing up your Mac is very good indeed.
June 2013 Meeting: Read It Later
- A look at several Mac and iOS apps which allow you to read web content later, even if you are not connected to the internet. In this busy, busy world, how often have you encountered articles, recipes, entire web pages, or even videos which you would like to peruse later when you have more time? But when “later” arrives, suppose you have no available connection to the internet. There’s an app for that! Roger demonstrated several solutions which work dandily on Macintosh, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Some apps even sync the articles and such to your various devices, and optimize them for readability. Catching up on your time can be challenging, but now you can certainly catch up on your reading.
May 2013 Meeting: Mac Movie Making
- How to use your Mac to create videos of your own. Lights! Camera! Action! Macintosh! If you have forever wanted to make your own motion pictures, Tuesday’s meeting was for you. Whether or not your masterpiece leads to your brushing shoulders with Julia Roberts and George Clooney at the Academy Awards, the journey is bound to be an adventure. Al showed some good ideas for videos, gave tips on honing your acting skills, explained how to import video into the Mac, and demonstrated some multi-track video and audio editing techniques. Armed with barely more than a director’s chair and a Mac, in no time you too heard your overwrought leading lady purr, “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”
April 2013 Meeting: Mac and Cheese
- Recipe management on the Mac. What’s cooking? Be it cheeseburgers or duck à l’orange, can your Macintosh help to make it even better? Absolutely. Combining his favorite hobby, food, with his passion for Macs, Tom showed how you can use your Mac, and even an iPad, to enrich your own cooking. With your favorite recipes at your fingertips, plus the ability to find many more, organize them, edit the numbers of servings, and save everything for easy access, you may find yourself on the road to culinary nirvana. Even if you are not a foodie, what we learned can help you use your Mac for other hobbies.
March 2013 Meeting: Drag and Drop
- Powerful tips and techniques for the Mac, all utilizing dragging and dropping. Your Macintosh allows many ways to perform tasks, and some of the most powerful ones can be accomplished with simple drag and drop techniques. The catch is that not all of these actions are obvious or intuitive; many of them lie waiting at your fingertips, unused. Rob demonstrated a wide variety of drag and drop maneuvers, in the Finder, in applications, and between apps, including hidden and little-known tricks which can produce surprising results while saving time. Using your Mac can be a drag, but in the best possible ways.
February 2013 Meeting: Apple Buyer’s Guide
- Advice for choosing your perfect Mac, iPad, iPod or iPhone, and when and where to buy it! Money cannot buy love, but you can easily fall in love with Apple gear that happens to be perfect for you, particularly if it costs far less than expected. Choosing it, however, is another matter. On Tuesday, Rob guided us through Apple’s entire hardware lineup of Macs and mobile devices, with personalized advice for what to buy, when to buy it, and where to buy it for considerably less money. Searching for a gem can be time-consuming, but if you follow your heart, and our advice, your search may become a labor of love, without the labor. And the gem you choose may be the perfect Valentine to yourself.
January 2013 Meeting: Office Suites for the Mac - OpenOffice and NeoOffice
- A look at two alternatives to Microsoft Office, and both just happen to be either low-cost or free! Microsoft Office provides a rich, powerful set of tools, as does Apple’s own iWork suite. But if you would like to try other suites, or if you do not own Office but would like to work with documents from those who do, or if you would simply like a little more money left in your wallet, there are alternatives. OpenOffice and NeoOffice both provide applications for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, similar to Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and both allow you to open, work with and save Microsoft Office documents. On Tuesday, Tom showed the advantages and disadvantages of these apps, plus took a look at options for the iPad. OpenOffice is free, and NeoOffice costs ten dollars for current versions, with previous versions being free. All in all, a pretty suite deal.
December 2012 Meeting: Cloud Computing
- What is “the cloud”, how does it work, how does one install and use it, what are its potential benefits and dangers, and why in this great, big, wide, wonderful world do we need it? Roger shed daylight on all of these mysteries, with a good look at how iCloud can help you synchronize among many devices, share photos, and backup data and apps, plus a demonstration of online storage sites such as DropBox, SugarSync and SkyDrive. Questions were answered, riddles were solved, sunbeams glowed, and no one admonished you to get your head out of the clouds.
November 2012 Meeting: Keynote and Popcorn
- A short while ago at their latest keynote address, Apple unveiled some wonderful new equipment: new iMacs, a new MacBook Pro, new Mac minis, and a mere seven months after the introduction of the third-generation iPad, two new iPads. On Tuesday, we served up the keynote address video, along with popcorn and soft drinks. Napkins were also available, which served double-duty to accommodate drooling over the new gear. We followed up the keynote with a round-table discussion. [A GIANT THANK YOU to the Great Escape Theater in Massillon, Ohio for supplying authentic movie popcorn!!!)
October 2012 Meeting: Mac Makeover
- Getting organized can be a challenge; staying organized can be an even tougher task. Rob showed a remarkable app named Bento, with which you can create and manage lists which are instantly searchable, inventory anything in your home or business, plan your next vacation, keep track of the books you have read, and more. You can choose from over 1000 templates or create your own from scratch. Whether you would like to store friends and contacts info with a photo index, keep track of your business purchases, or catalog your wine collection, Bento may be your perfect solution.
September 2012 Meeting: Bento
- Getting organized can be a challenge; staying organized can be an even tougher task. Rob showed a remarkable app named Bento, with which you can create and manage lists which are instantly searchable, inventory anything in your home or business, plan your next vacation, keep track of the books you have read, and more. You can choose from over 1000 templates or create your own from scratch. Whether you would like to store friends and contacts info with a photo index, keep track of your business purchases, or catalog your wine collection, Bento may be your perfect solution.
August 2012 Meeting: Managing Photos in iPhoto
- With 126 photos from Cousin Emily’s “Come As You Were” reincarnation party, 781 photos from your multiple trips to scenic, downtown Akron, and 12,943 photos of your adorable, fluffy kitty-cat, Fifi, how in the world can you keep track of them and find the ones you want? The answer lies in iPhoto. Roger showed us the many impressive capabilities of iPhoto which make it easy to sort, group, find and edit your images. From keywords to GPS location tracking to face identification to enhancing to sharing your photographs with others, iPhoto is a workhorse and a wonder! (Hint: For the “full” view of the mouse-over image above, which is composed entirely of smaller images, simply step back several feet from your monitor.)
- NOTE: Our August meeting was held at Creative Source in the Belden Village area of Canton, Ohio. We are VERY GRATEFUL to be offered this unique meeting space! Creative Source is a provider of high-quality design, print ads, posters, and impressive large-scale banners, signs, displays and floor decals. For more information about their services, visit their website at http://www.csforideas.com. You can also follow their updates on facebook! See Creative Source on Facebook to Like the page.
June 2012 Meeting: Mission Control
- There are many ways to get to files on your Mac and to organize your workspaces, but Lion has a remarkable feature which gives you an overview of virtually everything happening on your Mac. Picking up where Dave Marra left off, Tom showed ways to navigate and control your Mac quickly and easily, using OS X’s new Mission Control. From open windows to multiple desktops to groups of apps and more, Mission Control provides a handy bird’s-eye view of everything. Too much clutter on your screen? Take control with Mission Control. Rocket not included. And on that score, despite its use of the term “Mission Control,” Apple has yet to launch rockets into space.
May 2012 Meeting: Dave Marra from Apple- Tips and Tricks for OS X Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud!
- On May 20th we hosted Dave Marra from Apple!
- This HIGH-ENERGY presentation featured Tips and Tricks for OS X Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud!
- Dave is an Apple Senior Systems Engineer and a dynamic speaker well known for his exciting demos and presentations. He travels the United States and Canada, conducting technology presentations, keynote addresses and workshops.
April 2012 Meeting: Photo Books Made on Your Mac
- What is the most impressive way to display your many photos of your trip to the zoo, or of your favorite rainbows and sunsets, or your friends, loved ones and pets, or your hand-carved wooden tractor models? There are lots of ways to show off your photos, from your computer screen to stacks of prints, but the most impressive way of all is custom photo books. Using iPhoto, you can easily design stunning photo books filled with your photographs, then have them expertly printed, bound and delivered to your door. Roger will show how, and will even pass around a few finished iPhoto books for your perusal. Read any good books lately? On Tuesday, come lay your eyes on some beautiful ones.
- Staying on time and remembering appointments and dates can be achieved through traditional methods, from jotting notes on your hand to day planners to sheer memory. But there is a world of software which can make it all easier. Calendars, alerts and reminders on your Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch can help your work, your play and your life run smoothly. We looked at a variety of good software choices, all with one thing in common: time.
- Whether your printer is shiny, new and fast on the draw, or wheezing, gasping and chugging along, it pays to know some details of its care and feeding. On Tuesday, Tom hosted our first-ever Printer Clinic, with lots of helpful information, such as how to set up your printer (wired or wireless) with your Mac, ink usage and cartridge replacement, optimal settings, common problems, repairs, recycling and more.
- See February 2012 Meeting Notes: [.docx] [.pdf]
- Apple has let the cat out of the bag, and it’s a Lion. If you have been debating whether to upgrade to Lion, or already have but would like a great tour of its features, Tuesday’s meeting was the perfect place to be. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it will not kill this one. Some shameless name-dropping: Lion sports Mission Control, Launchpad, Resume, Autosave, AirDrop, access to iCloud, full-screen apps, and much more. In short, this operating system is the cat’s pajamas. If you have been Lion low, Lion in wait, curious about what the new operating system can do, we think you may be pleasantly surprised. And we certainly are not Lion through our teeth.
- View Roger’s Keynote Presentation on Lion. (Or see the Lion Presentation in PDF.)
- If the twelve days of Christmas leave you frazzled, what could be more therapeutic than curling up by the fire with a good book? That good book could be an electronic book, for e-books and e-readers make perfect Christmas gifts, including presents for yourself. On Tuesday, we took a good look at standalone e-book readers, including the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, and others. And for those who prefer to curl up with something already at hand, we looked at various apps available for reading e-books on other devices, including the iPad, iPhone and your Macintosh. We also discussed where to find e-books, including free sources and public libraries.
- Each time you send an email into the ether, on its way to join the millions of email messages whizzing through cyberspace, does the process leave you pleased, or instead feeling tempted to smash your precious Apple-branded device? To help you find an email solution that will leave both you and your Apple gear unscathed, on Tuesday, Tom, Roger and Rob presented several choices, including Apple Mail, Microsoft Entourage, Thunderbird, web-based mail such as Yahoo, and mail in Safari.
October 2011 Meeting: The iPad Revisited - Music:
How to create and record your own music, find music, and listen to music, all on the iPad
- The touch interface and roomy screen of the iPad have changed many things, and one of them is music. On Tuesday, Roger showed how to record your own music in GarageBand on the iPad and iPad 2. Using virtual instruments such as piano, organ, guitar, drums and synthesizers, and even your own luscious singing if you like, you can create a jingle or a symphony by recording each part into the 8-track recorder. Rock on, or waltz on, but if we may offer a piece of essential advice, never, ever smash your virtual guitar and set it on fire in order to impress onlookers, for your beloved iPad will be nuked as well.
- Tom first showed how to better organize our Macs using folders, file names, the documents folder and users documents
- We learned a number of Mac Search tools, such as Find File, Spotlight, Apple > Recent Files, Under the Disk and various third party search tools (shareware). Also covered were Google and Bing.
- Also reviewed was Roaring Apps - a website that provides a list of which software apps will (and which ones that won’t) run in Lion OS.
- Remember your Uncle Stanley’s slide shows? Remember how he gleefully projected one tedious slide after another, while his audience stifled yawns and worried whether the evening might end with their being hospitalized for acute boredom? It is easy to recreate your uncle’s horrid slide shows on any computer, but on Tuesday, Al showed how to create fascinating, moving, entertaining, colorful slide shows on your Mac. Build engaging multimedia presentations with your own photos, using music, motion, transitions and effects.
- The brand-new iPad 2 is remarkable technology: lighter, faster, sleeker, more powerful, and two-thirds the thickness of the already-thin original iPad, with two built-in cameras and over 65,000 apps waiting in the wings. Roger demonstrated his beloved wife’s beloved iPad 2, from its touch-screen interface to its guts and glory. Even if your job requires wearing bulky space gloves, you probably decided that you have got to have one. (Original image credit: NASA. Please note that Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin did not actually utilize an iPad 2 on the moon in 1969, though he may have spent much of the mission cursing his luck that it had not yet been invented. Timing is everything.)
- Our May meeting covered several handy security apps and password managers. They included:
- 1 Password
- Ascendo Data Vault
- Keeper Desktop
- Read the meeting notes here (pdf): Mac Security Meeting Notes.
- If your calendar is up to date on your Mac, how do you transfer those dates to your iPad, without manually adding everything twice? If you need to re-read that urgent email from the President, how do you see it on your iPhone? Or on your other Mac? Or on the Windows PC at work? What if you could arrange things so everything automatically appears exactly where you need it? Roger showed one of the simplest, most automated ways to keep everything synchronized, using Apple’s MobileMe. Easily access all your information, appointments, and emails, virtually anywhere in the world.
- Tom Davis showed us the wonderful new features of the Mac App Store. Sporting a wide selection of Apps that may be purchased (along with a great selection of free apps!) the App Store is full of everything from Games to Graphics to Financial Utilities. One note: you will need the latest version of Snow Leopard (OS 10.6.6.) to use the store.
- Our Back to Mac Basics session featured Smart Folders. Rob Ellis showed how easy it is to organize and find any files on our Macs with these easy saved searches.
- Rob Ellis presented a short course on iPods, specifically the iPod 5th Generation vs the iPod 6th Generation. We discovered that there are many differences between the two models, and newer is not always better. Much depends upon how you plan to use the iPod.
- And for our graphic designers in the crowd, Rob played this delightful video, comparing the genius of Apple package design with its infamous competitor: The Redesigned iPod Package.
- Kelli Swan presented a short course in getting our favorite pictures or designs printed onto products like mugs and t-shirts using the free internet websites cafepress.com and zazzle.com. Her presentation included a Back-to-Mac Basics primer on image resolution and dpi so that everyone understood the importance of high quality images in getting the best results.
- Cafepress and Zazzle both have helpful information on image preparation and how to create the best products:
- Cafepress information on image preparation: Beginner’s Image Workshop.
- Zazzle information on image preparation: Frequently Asked Questions.
- Tom Davis presented the personal finance application Quicken, which is now known as Quicken Essentials for the Mac. Tom showed us the ease of Quicken’s user interface, and the many ways to categorize and track personal finances.
- Kelli Swan presented the free internet website mint.com and showed us a little about QuickBooks Pro for business finances. Mint.com is a read-only site that allows one to track many different types of financial information in one place: checking, savings, investments, loans, property and more. QuickBooks Pro is an ideal, full-powered application for managing small business finances.
- Rob Ellis presented the free email software Thunderbird. He showed us how many of the features found in Thunderbird surpass other mail applications, including the ability to create html emails.
- You can download Thunderbird here: Download Thunderbird
- Download link to ColorTagGen (Color selection utility that converts RGB values to hexadecimal, allowing you to use custom colors in Thunderbird): Download ColorTagGen
- Tom Davis and Kelli Swan presented the communications software Skype.
- A test call to Canada by Tom showed us just how easy it is to make a FREE phone call using a computer and Skype. Kelli then talked about the various other features available through skype, including the iPhone App, free conferencing, chatting and more. With the App (and an appropriate headset), one can even make a phone call with an iPod Touch or an iPad!
- Our Back to Mac Basics presentation by Rob Ellis was all about mice! We learned about the features of a two-button mouse, the advantages of optical mice and the importance of fit/comfort for daily use.
- Musician Michael Quick showed us how to make music using this great software that comes free with every Mac!
- We learned that no musical background is required! GarageBand comes with many pre-recorded “loops” and rhythms, and you can mix & match these at will. You can also record your own voice and combine it with music.
- While those without musical inclinations can create a whole host of melodies and fun sounds with GarageBand, professional bands and musical groups also use this great software to make their recordings.
- Mac2Mug members vacationed, grilled out, rested up and enjoyed assorted other activities associated with summer! MAC2MUG is for people who want to learn from and interact with other Macintosh computer users. We welcome visitors at our monthly meeting and hope that you will become a member
- Our June meeting was quite an exciting event. We hosted Dave Marra from Apple Computer! Dave gave us a dynamite presentation on Snow Leopard and the iPad. The only downside to the meeting was that it wasn’t long enough as we could have listened to Dave speak all day!
May 2010 Meeting Topic: Avery DesignPro
- Our May meeting featured a presentation by Rob Ellis on how to use Avery DesignPro software to make labels, dividers, CD inserts and even business cards and T-shirt transfers. A free raffle was part of the presentation, and several Mac2MUG members were happy to take home their very own Avery products. Each person attending the meeting also received a free Avery software installation CD!
April 2010 Meeting Topic: Running a Business Using Macs
- Our April meeting featured a presentation by Michael Vahila on how he uses Macintosh computers and Mac software to run his business. Michael showed us how he uses templates in Pages and Keynote to make marketing his business and presenting to groups a breeze. We talked about using iCal for schedules, and when doing things the old fashioned way (i.e. pencil & paper) is sometimes more efficient than using a computer! Michael also shared a variety of great tips and philosophies about how to start a business and make it successful.
March 2010 Meeting Topic: Make Your Web Browser Soar
Our March meeting featured the Browsers Firefox and Chrome. We were treated to numerous great add-ons and extensions - all ways to enhance the browing experience.
Featured Firefox Add-Ons:
- Answers - Allows you to option-click any word on a web page for a definition or information
- CoLT - Allows you to copy the text of a link, a page title and its link, and more
- Adblock Plus - Successfully blocks most ads from websites. Ads that do get through can be added so that they will also be blocked
- Video DownloadHelper - allows you to download "non-downloadable" multimedia such as YouTube videos, and optionally convert them to other formats
- ColorfulTabs - Makes it easy to differentiate among open tabs by coloring the tabs in different colors
- Check4Change - Periodically checks a web page for changes or updates
- Screengrab - Saves or copies an entire web page or a selected area, as a graphic
- gTranslator - Status bar icon which simplifies the Google translation of entire webpages, in the same way as the Chrome add-on, Google Translate
- TinEye - Amazing add-on which uses cutting-edge image recognition technology to find other versions of a web image.
- Cooliris - Allows you to view the results of searches of Google Images, YouTube, Flickr, and others, in a dazzling “3D wal” of images
- Firefox add-ons main page
Featured Chrome Add-Ons:
- Fast YouTube Search - Toolbar icon for quick searching of YouTube
- AniWeather - Graphical, animated weather reports
- Google Translate - Toolbar icon which simplifies the Google translation of entire webpages
- Ibrii - Allows you to select virtually any web content, then share it via social networking sites or email
- Vertical Tabs - Enables space-saving, vertically displayed tabs
- Chrome extensions (add-ons) main page
February 2010 Meeting Topic: Graphic Design 101
- Our February meeting featured Graphic Design 101 presented by Janet Kullman. Janet showed us the difference between vector and raster graphics and their importance in print and web applications. We saw some great design tricks as Janet did her magic in Freehand, Illustrator and Photoshop. In addition, we learned about two lower-end vector graphic editing applications for everyday use: DrawIt ($38) and Inkscape (free.)
- If you would like to obtain FreeHand MX (demonstrated by Janet) and a free license, here is a forum link which discusses how to do that. (Thanks to Mac2MUG member Andy Pyle for finding the Freehand link!)
- Rob Ellis Bellied Up to the Sidebar and showed us some great routes to speedy navigation on our Macs. Do you find yourself continually digging through folders to find that special file? Dig no more - put it on the Sidebar! Adding folders to your sidebar is as easy as using the Finder Preferences or simply dragging them on and off. You can then find folders easily from virtually any window you open.
January 2010 Meeting Topic: Disk Utilities
- Our January meeting featured some great Disk Utilities to keep your Mac running smoothly. Tom Davis showed us: Disk Utility, Macaroni, TechTool Deluxe and Drive Genius. Disk Utility, which comes with every Mac, is a valuable tool and should be part of any user’s regular computer maintenance routine. Macaroni (from www.atomicbird.com) performs many unix clean-up functions automatically. Tech Tool runs hardware diagnostics and is often used by Apple to help you diagnose computer problems over the phone. Drive Genius (www.prosoftengineering.com) performs many clean-up and optimization tasks including disk defragmentation.
- Mike Schott showed us Disk Warrior and a free download called Onyx. Disk Warrier (www.alsoft.com) performs permission repairs and rebuilds system directories. Onyx is a many-featured utility that performs clean-up tasks and permissions repair among other options. One great feature of Onyx is geared towards environments where Macs and PCs share disk or server space. Onyx allows Mac users to hide those annoying additional little DS_ files which show up when PC users look up Mac files.
December 2009 Meeting Topic: TextEdit - Hotrodded
- Our December meeting topic was the The Hidden Features of TextEdit, by Rob Ellis. And believe us - there are many more features to TextEdit than you imagined!
- We learned that with TextEdit, you can perform many of the word processing functions of other, costly applications. One can add hot links, images, do text formatting (including drop shadows!) and much more. Rob also showed us how to download free Service software that adds yet another dimension of functionality to TextEdit. Word Service is a free download, and also works in other applications which make use of Apple’s Services Menu option (under the TextEdit menu).
November 2009 Meeting Topic: Savvy Social Networking
- Our November meeting featured the Social Networking sites of Twitter and Facebook. We learned about Tweetdeck - a great application to manage both Twitter and Facebook exchanges. We also talked about the differences between these two approaches to social connections on the web.
- In our Back to Mac Basics Rob Ellis taught us all about icons - the history of icons on the Mac, how to make them, how to change them and how much more efficient better icons can make using a computer for work or fun. Rob’s presentation featured three links to free icons: Iconfactory, interfacelift, and Pixelgirl.
October 2009 Meeting Topic: Snow Leopard
- Our October meeting covered some of the new features in the recently released Snow Leopard operating system. We also learned some great tips for using our Macs in the Back to Mac Basics presentation.
September 2009 Meeting Topic: Widget World
- Our September meeting covered some of our favorite Dashboard Widgets. Here is a sampling of the widgets we reviewed:
- Fidelity Market Monitor - Chart stocks and keep up with the latest market news
- RadioTuner - Listen to almost any online radio stations
- Mac Tips and Tricks - Useful Widget for finding Macintosh tips and tricks
- Send A Fax - Send simple faxes, with no fax software required
- Epicurious - Handy recipe search Widget
August 2009 Meeting Topic: Brand Yourself on the Web
- Our August meeting was all about Branding Yourself on the Web - How to Get a Web Presence for Free! Topics covered included blogs, with the two main free blog services being blogger.com and wordpress.com. We also looked at Squidoo Lens which are free web pages anyone can use. At the end of meeting several more places to create a free website were mentioned: weebly.com, webs.com and yola.com.
- Raffle tickets will be on sale again at our next meeting - Win a 5-user iLife package! Tickets are $5 each, or 3 for $10.
June 2009 Meeting Topic: It’s a Wonderful iLife - Part II
- Another super presentation - this time on iWeb and iPhoto! Publishing your own website has never been easier or more fun! And our Back to Mac Basics session on System Preferences was a real eye opener for beginners and seasoned Mac users alike.
- Congratulations to the winners of our June Raffle! The winner received the book “YouTube: An Insider’s Guide to Climbing the Charts”, by Alan Lastufka and Michael W. Dean. Photo coming soon!
May 2009 Meeting Topic: It’s a Wonderful iLife - Part I
- This was a great presentation on iMovie and iDVD! Who'd have thought it could be so easy to make home movies now? And our Back to Mac Basics session, What’s Up Dock, was a big hit for all things obvious and not so obvious on the Mac Dock.
- And congratulations to the winners of our May Raffle! Mac2MUG members Bill and Sandy Stark won “Switching to the Mac, Leopard Edition - The Missing Manual”, by David Pogue. Published by O’Reilly and written by one of the most popular authors of Macintosh help books, Switching to the Mac guides one through every step in the journey from Windows to Mac.
April 2009 Meeting Topic: Automator
- From Apple - Doing small tasks over and over again can really bog down your productivity. Mac OS X comes with Automator, your own personal robotic assistant that will take care of whatever task you give it.
Mar 2009 Meeting Topic: Picasa
- From Google - Organize, edit and share photoe and albums: Picasa
Feb 2009 Meeting Topic: Planning your Summer Vacation
- AAA travel resources
- Booking vacations at Disney World
- DING: Southwest Airlines’ downloadable software which alerts you of travel discounts:
- iGoogle and using travel widgets
- To find and book Bed and Breakfasts online
- The following 2 links are customizable. To find the weather forecast for your travel destination, copy the link and paste it into your browser's URL window, double-click the last 5 digits to select them, type in the zip code of the city of your destination, then press the "return" key:
- 10-day weather forecast (http://www.weather.com/weather/tenday/44720)
- 15-day weather forecast (http://www.accuweather.com/forecast-15day-us.asp?zipcode=44720)
Dec 2008 Meeting Topic: Member’s Favorite Links
- Handmade fine art: etsy.com
- Freelance information and blog: freelanceswitch.com
- Create your own search engine: rollyo.com
- Cool Flicker search tool: taggalaxy.de
- Professional networking site: linkedin.com
- Tech Support, Manuals & Troubleshooting for Consumers: fixya.com
- Tip of the Day: daytipper.com
- View favorite TV shows and Videos online: hulu.com
- Convert raster images to vector: vectormagic.com
- Learn how to tie many knots by video instruction: animatedknots.com
Nov 2008 Meeting Topic: Hotrodding on Ebay
- Firefox plugin as an ebay enhancer: My Time Zone
- Easy way to track ebay seller feedback: Toolhaus.org
- Search ebay with ease using: GarageBuy
- eBay sniping, bidding & monitoring software: JBidWatcher
Sept 2008 Meeting Topic: Shareware Gems
- Creating, collecting, and organizing information: OmniOutliner
- Great painting software: ArtRage2
- Save web pages as graphics without tiling or multiple pages: Paparazzi
- Password manager for security and convenience: 1Password
- Capture, sync and find your files on multiple devices: Evernote
May 2008 Meeting Topic: Reunion
- Reunion received the highest rating for genealogy software in MacWorld, MacAddict, and Mac Home Journal magazines. Reunion also received a MacWorld Editor's Choice award for 2007.
Early 2008 Meeting Topic: Fusion by VMWare
- Fusion is a new entry in the MAC application arena. It provides you with the ability to run a virtual machine having another operating system (Windows XP, Vista, Unix, etc.) within the MAC OS.