Gold Coast Mac User Group Australia
Gold Coast Macintosh User Group
Welcome to the website of the Gold Coast Macintosh User Group Inc. Queensland, Australia
This user group meets once a month in the Multimedia Lab at All Saints Anglican School, Highfield Dr, Merrimac.Map. The Multimedia Lab is situated in the Senior Library, directly down the stairs from the pedestrian crossing, near the main entrance, GATE 2, of the school. Our meetings are held on the first Monday of the month, except January, starting at 7.30pm. (Unless this conflicts with a Public Holiday or the room is unavailable). For more information contact Steve Lewis 0412306100.
The user group meetings are a mixture of product reviews, tutorials and discussions. We aim to support and maybe inspire Gold Coast Macintosh computer users. We often invite guest speakers to address the group regarding a "macentric" topic. However, we encourage new Mac users to join us and now include a section at each meeting called MAC ESSENTIALS, designed to feature a useful basic tip. The group is a mixture of computer professionals, business owners, educators, students and seniors. Meetings include a tea or coffee break and a Q and A session.
Next Meeting, Monday 1st July, 2019
WWDC 2019 Review
DJI Osmo Action
Notes from the June Meeting
New MacBookPro 2019 Useful Tips
5G v 4G
Reselling Mac gear. mResell
China and Apple
Notes from the May Meeting
All the latest new hardware, software and services
Your favourite Mac/Apple gadget. Something from the past that is special. Bring it along and tell us why you think it is so special. Jeff is scouring his garage so it should be a fun night!
2 factor authentication
360 degree footage
Gadgets with Jeff
Clips video editor
Q and A
Tea and Coffee
NOTES FROM THE MARCH MEETING
AGM held congratulations to those elected to executive positions. Thanks to those involved in the Bunnings sausage sizzle.
Notes from September Meeting
The Apple Ecosystem by Macques Brownlee
Getting the best results from Batteries https://batteryuniversity.com/
Photos editing tips and great apps including Obscura
Wifi problem solving
Q and A
Notes from August Meeting
Lynda.com How to use this service
Getting the best results from Batteries
New MacBookPro released
New iPad Pro rumoured
YouTube and Vertical videos
Q and A
Gadgets with Jeff
Apple World Wide Developers Conference
Canva Hands On
Photos Editing and exporting tips
Gadgets with Jeff
4G v wifi
May meeting notes
Caroline 3D, VR and AR
Dismantling a Hard Drive with Jeff
Mini drones flying and programming demo using Parrot Mambo drones. Your chance to Fly!
iPhone X features set demo
Photography tips and tricks
Gadgets with Jeff
Notes from the April Meeting
Dismantling an iMac, ever wondered how it is done? Jeff will show us.
Photos, new options
App of the month
Strategies for computer complications
Transferring VHS tapes to a computer (Demonstration)
Q and A
Tea and Coffee
Annual Fees are now due, $65
BSB 484799 Account 501761633
Suncorp Gold Coast Mac User Group
Notes from 5th March
High Sierra Stories Peter J shared his less then satisfactory upgrade experience. Peter Berder came to the rescue.
Caroline's tips. Finder Guide
App of the Month
iPhone X reviews from the field
Shortcuts...there is an APP for that
The iPhone battery scandal
High Sierra features
Gadgets with Jeff
From the August Meeting
The importance of Software Updates
Garageband new interface takes some getting to.
The iPad is back. Macworld article
From the July Meeting
There were plenty of them
iMac Pro, new iPad Pro, Siri speaker, MacBook Pro etc
More security information
Most useful keyboard shortcuts
From June Meeting
Machine Options laptop/desktop/tablet/phone /watch
Photos editing apps
Hands on Garageband...making a soundscape
Q and A
Notes from the May Meeting
Top Ten Mac Utilities
Getting more from the Notes App
From April Meeting
Which device is best for you?
Online storage options
Top Ten Mac Utilities
Getting more from the Notes App
Exporting options iMovie and Photos
Samsung Galaxy v iPhone
Q and A
Annual Fees are now due
BSB 484799 Account 501761633
Suncorp Gold Coast Mac User Group
From the March Meeting
Editing with Photos
Photos making your brilliant
Saving your photos to a portable device
Q and A
February meeting Notes
MacBook Pro live demo
USB C devices available hard drives, sd card readers multi port adaptors
Snapchat with Caroline
Apple Watch 2
Q and A
From The December Meeting
Whats available with USB C
Q and A
Notes from November Meeting
MacBookPro Touch Bar
Quicktime screen capture
From the October Meeting
We looked at the new Apple earbuds.
We made a collaborative Keynote presentation. We discussed iCloud online.
We investigated the new features in messages
From the September meeting.
iPhone 7, Apple Watch and Airbuds.
Apple TV what makes this model so different? Using Siri and the new controller.
Jeff's Gadgets. 3D camera.
Finding extra HD space. Using Monolingual to remove language kits.
Latest MacBook Pro rumours
Notes from the August Meeting
WiFi tips and tricks
Photos editing tools. Hands on.
Jeff's (and Kickstarters) gadgets
Setting up a firewall
Q and A
Notes from July Meeting
WWDC updates on desktop, mobile, watch and AppleTV operating systems.
What is this STEM thing?
Coding, how to with Caroline
Virus and Malware scanning
Q and A
Tea and Coffee
From the June Meeting
Sophia Robot. Moocs. Internet of Things. Lynda.com Qld State Library.
Steve Wozniak in Brisbane.
Notes from May meeting.
New iPhone and iPad demonstrations and feedback
Can an iPad replace a laptop or desktop computer
Back to Basics...make a slideshow incorporating your music from Garageband
Q and A
iCloud options how to get the most from this service
Tea and Coffee
New iPhone rumours
New iPad rumours
Demonstration from Caroline showing the iPad Pro and pencil in action.
iCloud and what you are able to do with it.
How to delete files
On the Agenda February
Apple in the News
iPad Pro follow up...Caroline spoke about her positive experiences with this device.
AppleWatch news and information. Steve mentioned a colleague is selling one for $380. Contact him for details.
El Capitan and IOS updates. Some ongoing Mail issues. Interesting education features with the new IOS.
Virtual Reality …why this is the next big thing. Demonstration of Samsung Surf Project. Best viewed in the Chrome Browser. Or on your mobile device.
Stock price fluctuations
Adaptor recall…this could be you. ABC News Report Contact Peter Berder 0410 652 331 for more information.
Q and A
Tea and Coffee
From The December Meeting
A great night. We had a good look at the new iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. Caroline spoke about her experiences
using both devices. She mentioned the greater level of functionality with the split screen and multi tasking capabilities.
We also investigated SSD upgrades, online storage options and El Capitan upgrading.
We then focussed on the famous Christmas raffle. Jeff once again amazed us with a plethora of technology
items to be used as prizes. A significant amount was raised and members were able to choose the prize that best suited them. Personally I have always wanted a copy of Quarkxpress...even if it is ten years old. Thanks Jeff and Stuart for the "prizes".
Best wishes to all for a happy festive season. See you in February 2016.
Live Demonstration iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Demo
Bring a plate
El Capitan reports
Security tips and tricks
Online storage options
Q and A
Tea and Coffee
Software updates, when is best.
Hands on. Chroma keying, iMovie and FCPX
Vimeo v YouTube
Q and A
October Meeting Information
Photo competition. Congratulations to Gary Martin, Best Photo
and Ray Martin Best Manipulated photo. Each received a $30 iTunes Voucher.
IOS 9..worth the upgrade Pros and Cons
Apple watch update
Meeting Notes Monday August 3 2015
Apple Music ..reports
Hands on Photo editing
Affinity Preview Sumopaint Photoshop Pixelmator iPhoto
July Meeting Notes
Firewalls....yes or no
Updating operating systems
Browser options Safari, Chrome, Firefox.
Online storage Dropbox/one drive/google drive
Meeting notes May
Managing Adware (Apple removal description)
Apple Watch feedback Video Review
Cloud storage where are we now
Gadgets with Jeff
Notes April Meeting
News from March Keynote
Music applications...Garageband and Smart guitar
Q and A
Membership fees, $65 are now due. Account details are as follows.
BSB 484799 Account 501761633
Suncorp Gold Coast Mac User Group
Notes from March meeting
Foxtel v Netflix v Stan v Apple TV
Oscar iPad advertisment
Q and A
Favourite apps....Overdrive (Margaret) Poynt (Ray) Hurley Surf
Coastalwatch (Steve) Torch (Jeff) Shazam (David)
AGM...All positions reinstated for another year. Thank you for your support.
Notes from February meeting
Your online identity
Apple Watch…update and GoPro information
iPad v Surface Pro 3
Netflix coming soon
Photoshop and Preview Tutorial
Q and A
Due to renovations we will be moving the meeting to the Middle School Christian Living Room.
To get to this room follow the signs to the left after taking the stairs leading to the old venue.
The great Garageband music creation competition.
Congratulations to Gary and Jeff for creating the most
Announcements from October 16
New equipment/new age
iPad Pro rumours
How to using Disk Utility
Apple Pay NFC
Q and A
October Meeting Notes
Up close with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. We compared
them for size and features with earlier models
Viruses and security with Cloud Services
September Meeting notes
iPhone 6 latest information
3d printing why and how to
Microsoft Surface 3
iCloud changes…storage similar to Dropbox
August Meeting Notes
iBeacons Caroline told us about her work in this area leading up to the Gold Coast Science Expo
May Meeting Notes
Ways to speed up your Mac
Clean up the desktop.
Fully quit apps. Don't just close them.
Run Disk Permissions…Utlilities…Disk Permissions…Repair
Have plenty of drive space available
Delete files with Daisy Disk to discover what is taking up space.
Disable core animations....system preferences desktop and screen saver. Take tick away from magnification and animate opening applications.
Add more RAM...not always possible now as ram is part of the motherboard on some models. eg. MacBook Air
Office for iPad…updated to allow for printing.http://mashable.com/2014/04/29/microsoft-office-ipad-apps-printing/
April Meeting Notes
Microsoft Office for iPad
Numbers,Pages and Keynote on iCloudiMovie Part 2 Hands on Tutorial we looked at Splitting clips, Adding sound effects, adding pictures effects,changing speed.
Computers and carsJeff's Gadgets
Siri updatesApple and Tax
March Meeting notes
Hands on with the new iMovie
We looked at cutting using the blade tool (cmd B), Moving clips, adding video effects. We then put two clips one on top of the other and used picture in picture and side by side. We then watched our efforts in full screen mode before exploring export/sharing options. Jeff managed to push the technology by adding five layers of audio tracks.
AGM...Despite trying to mount a coup against himself, Steve Lewis was re-elected President. Jeff is Vice President, Aaron Treasurer/Secretary. Gary, Noel, Jacques and David are on the executive committee. Jacques has once again volunteered to wear the apron and manage the provisioning of tea, coffee, farmer's milk and biscuits.
MacPro...Optimised applications work best, revealing the potential of the device. We heard about seeing the technology in action at the Griffith Uni Film School where the MacPro was demonstrated by Apple Reps. The Mac Pro was hooked up to 2 Sharp 4K monitors. FCPX was running a complex edit and had no trouble sending clean images to the two 4k monitors. Aperture was also demonstrated. Discussion centred on the strengths of the MacPro versus a fully optioned iMac.
Internet/phone/ telecommunications providers.
Car apps.. we had look at the new
iPhone integration Carplay
February meeting notes
Apple Macintosh 30th Birthday..
Mavericks the good and..not so good
iMovie new version
Apple Store Brisbane
MacPro...speed comparisons with top of the line iMacs
Siri news...functionality enhancements
Tech in Cars
4K what is it and why do we we want/need it. Here is an interesting clip to exemplify the changes taking place.
Mac Essentials... Numbers Spreadsheets
Q and A
Gizmag, a summary of some of the interesting tech innovations taking place.
Information from the December 2013 meeting
Backing up strategies
Tip of the month
What is a Hackintosh?
iMovie video and audio adjustments
Pictures from Powerpoint
Raffles...and Food...please bring a plate (with food)
Notes from November Meeting
iPad Air and other new products
iMovie tutorial...special effects
More on Mavericks
Tip of the Month
Gadgets with Jeff
Preview, alpha tool and adding a signature to a PDF
Notes from the October meeting.
Lots of discussion on youtube downloaders. As well as clipconverter.cc was also mentioned but
it may have security problems
Preview Alpha tool
Music file types
Gadgets with Jeff
Q and A
Notes from the September meeting
Pdf workflow using Preview
Naked ADSL update OnTheNet
Searching for apps
Notes from the August meeting
Naked DSL...is it time to ditch the phone line?
Online video tutorials...Lynda.com
iMovie basics - a free video from lynda.com
Printers and scanners, what are the options
Notes from the July meeting
Click on the item to see more
New Operating system..Maverick
New MacPro...like nothing else
Notes from the June meeting
QR Codes what are they and how do they work? Generating your own.
AllthingsD Tim Cook
Exporting to epub
What works for you...iPad Scanner
Photo editing options..Pixelmator SumoPaint
Shifting an iPhoto Library
Gadgets with Jeff...
Connecting Android devices Kies software
Notes from the May Meeting
Pandora and Spotify
Dropbox, Evernote and Goodreader
Q and A
What works for you?
Gadgets with Jeff
Notes from the April meeting
What works for you... Logitech Boom Box
iMovie getting your footage in.
Apps...iMovie, Adobe Photoshop Touch, 360 Panorama
Swivl camera gadget
Fixing your Mac
Q and A
Tea and Coffee
Membership fees, $60, are due now, here are the banking details.
BSB 484799 Account 501761633
Suncorp Gold Coast Mac User Group
Meeting Notes March
Speeding up your computer
What works for you...
Genius Scan IOS app
Gadgets with Jeff
Meeting Notes February 2013
The meeting provided a chance to use the reflector app and run proceedings from an iPad.
It also provided an opportunity for other devices including iPhones and other iPads to be shown wirelessly
on the projector screen.
The following areas were covered, links are included. Apple state of play.
Video Mirroring options. Mirroring the iPhone allowed us the opportunity to have a look at some apps in action.
These included, QR scan reader, Photosynth, weather zone, Phoster, Bird in the Hand, Shazam, Bloom and Maps. David shared
an Air Traffic app that showed in real time aircraft movement around the world. A similar app follows shipping movements. David also described
how he uses Apple Maps in his work life.
Meeting notes December 2012
The Christmas Meeting...another fantastic array of technology raffled...thank you Jeff
New products were discussed...including the new iMac and its three different hard drive options
iPad mini... thanks Noel for sharing your experiences and allowing us to have a close look at this new device
Data storage options...with 8 GB USBs retailing for $5 what are the options for small(?) and large storage
Web Page building...Freeway thanks to Lindsay Bennett for taking us on a tour of this web development tool.
We heard from Jesse and Oliver, two All Saints Yr 12 students, who reported on social media, sound engineering, media development
film making, YouTube/Vimeo and the future.
November Meeting notes
Apple Platforms over the years
Web Page building with Freeway
Solid State Drives
Tutorial Software Khan Academy
What works for you
Tips and Tricks iMovie
More on alternate operating systems
Shindig Film Festival
Gadgets with Jeff
Q and A
October meeting notes
iOS 6 a rundown of the main features
Gadgets with Jeff
Q and A
Tea and Coffee
Meeting notes September 2012
We started with a glimpse of the movie Storm Surfers 3d. This movie uses large amounts of footage shot on the small Go Pro cameras. Catalyst on ABC TV did an excellent report on the 3D technology that was developed for this movie.
We explored some of the features of Mountain Lion including PowerNap, Airplay and Dictation.
It was then mentioned that a new smaller iPad and new iPhone are expected to be released before the end of September. It was also mentioned that the iMac was due for an update and the Mac Pro may be reaching end of life. Lindsay mentioned that the Mac Mini was now a viable option for traditional Mac Pro users especially when SSDs (Solid State Drives) are used rather than standard Hard Drives. The ongoing Samsung v Apple debate was discussed with reference to the Billion Dollar settlement in USA.
Mark spoke about his experiences with Linux. He explained the value of Open Source software and showed movies that revealed the history and market position of Linux. It was interesting to hear about the security and the range of situations where it has been deployed. Mark will continue to share his ideas in this area at the next meeting.
What works for you?
Lindsay spoke about the web page builder Freeway by Softpress. He mentioned how it provides an easy interface for building non templated web pages.
He spoke about other pieces of software including Dreamweaver and Sandvox. Reference was also made to Wordpress, Weebly and Google sites. Lindsay mentioned he liked the creative freedom of Freeway and how the user does not have to confront HTML coding.
Email tips and tricks?
It was mentioned that email volume is such that management procedures were necessary to ensure it doesn't get out of hand. Instantaneous responses and using folders to organise data was mentioned as essential. The latest version of Apple Mail goes some way to address these issues with its use of the Notification sender and VIP mailboxes.
Jeff mentioned and shared videos about Eye Control TV, Transparent displays, Hi Call Gloves, iRig Keys, Burner and the throw away phone number, iPhone 5 clones and Parallels 8 speed improvements and retina display support. We also saw "what might be" images of the new iPhone as shown on AllthingsD
Q and A
Questions were asked about AppleTV as well as VHS tape capture. Elgato Eye TV was suggested as a solution for VHS or TV recording. Other less expensive options were mentioned. Airplay and Apple TV were mentioned as a viable way of getting content onto a large screen or projector.
Quicktime screen capturing ability was demonstrated. We also looked at the screen selection tool that is available within Preview.
Applications for Converting Files
These included MPEG Streamclip, Handbrake, VLC player and Mactheripper. We also mentioned Fastesttube for downloading YouTube videos. This does provide a handy solution but the application Adlesse, that it also installs, can cause issues.
The camera to dvd/web item, with a look at iMovie and FCPX, will be included in the October meeting.
Meeting Notes July 2012
- Steve opened up with some comments about the WWDC 2012 worldwide developers’ conference held recently at which some 6,000 people attended. Steve attended an IT Summit to discuss the implications for the education sector. Steve also referred to a practical tutorial on how to use the computer ‘X-code’, which allowed you to develop your own software. With a good idea, one could make a mark on the web, etc.
Some reference was made to iOS6, but it seems that there was still a clamp on releasing any details at this stage, other than it will supposedly take the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch into entirely new directions.
However, Google Maps won't be used on the iOS6 devices, as an Apple map system will be used (similar to Google Maps). Some improvements in Photostream (photos can be shared), Facebook integration, Passbook controls, improvements with Mail, Safari, etc were mentioned.
- Comment was made concerning Microsoft’s new tablet release which wasn’t a total success, indicating that ‘more work will be required.’ Jeff A showed a video promoting the new tablet.
- At the Google developers’ conference, there was a demonstration of their ‘Google glasses’ which allows you to record video, check your calendar, get weather updates, and see messages from friends. They also showed their ‘Nexus Q’ social streaming device which is similar to the Apple TV but not as good and very expensive.
- It seems that Bluetooth can be quite a drain on the batteries in iPhones and iPads, etc (?)
- A video was shown re a 60 Minutes clip on apps showing how you can become an overnight millionaire, by coming up with simple ideas and developing an app – eg, by using X-code, etc.)
- A brief discussion occurred on some o the various apps. that can be useful.
- David Willis showed a gadget that attaches to an iPad which allows it to be attached to a tripod, or an attachment that screws in to allow you to mount the iPad onto a handrail or door, etc, to give a solid, still state when taking photos or videos. Called the ‘Caddie Buddy’, it costs $49.95 (look it up on ‘www.caddiebuddy.com’.)
- Jeff showed a site which gives the current status of the NBN rollout. It revealed the progress being made.
- Steve talked about the latest version of Final Cut Pro for movie editing. He showed how you can have several videos moving across the screen at the same time. Steve described FCP as ‘iMovie on steroids’!
- A question was asked re NTSC movies, and whether there was a need to convert it to PAL before being able to edit it. As it turns out, you can set up an iMovie NTSC project and edit it, and then you can subsequently convert it to PAL (?)
- MJ asked about attachments in emails using Mail which always get dramatically reduced in size. It was suggested that it may have something to do with a pref. setting in Mail (PJ comment - as it turns out, this does note appear to be the case, so the problem remains unanswered!)
- It seems that you can’t upgrade to the new Mountain Lion OS (due later this month) unless you already have the current Lion OS installed.
Meeting Notes 4th June, 2012
• - PNJ advised that he has prepared an updated members’ list and asked everyone present to check that the details are correct.
- He also stated that the Public Liability insurance premium has been paid.
- Steve reiterated that members are all encouraged to contribute any ‘germs of wisdom’ from their experiences using the Apple OS and/or specific software of particular interest. If you have anything you wish to present, a spot on the Agenda will be made available.
- Apple’s MobileMe service is ending by the end of June, so you need to transfer any web photo galleries, etc that you may still need to keep before 30th June. There are some good (free!) alternatives available if you wish to share your photos via the web. These include Google’s Picasa (linked to your GMail account), Flicker, and Instagram is also worth looking at. Note: when downloading any photos from your web galleries into Picasa, etc, make sure that you do so at the largest image size (there’s n option a prompt for this. (?)
The question was asked about the MobileMe email addresses, and it was thought that these should still be valid after 30th June.
It’s obvious that the push is to use the Cloud system for streaming and archiving photos onto your desktop computer (must have Lion OS). Streamed photos stay on your device for 30 days only after which they are automatically archived as they are replaced by more recent photos.
- Other data can be backed up and stored via the Cloud, although one has to be cautious about security issues.
- PNJ mentioned a (free) app he came across (and installed) via the weekly CNET which automatically monitors your web browsing and blocks any “undesirable” tracking of your activities. These include any social networks, advertising companies and/or tracking companies. Go to www.abine.com to download the app.
- Other comments were made concerning general security on your Mac, including various settings with Firewall, and turning on “Private browsing” in Safari, etc.
• Aaron’s Gadgets/Suggestions
- Retrevo – This is a good source for information about various matters affecting your computer and devices. Eg, What does the new iPhone need?, etc.
- iPhoto – to merge two photos into one, open two photos side-by-side in iPhoto, take a screenshot (saved as a png), export it as a JPEG, then select ‘Options’, set the quality slider to ‘Best’ and save it in iPhoto. The onscreen resolution should be fine but printing a print may not be so effective.
- Aaron commented that when making copies of all his photos to give to others, none of thecomments, ‘Faces’ and ‘Places’ data were transferred over with the copies. However, if you use ‘Photoshare’, this allows you to export and synchronize your iPhoto library to a folder tree (?) with all the descriptive data transferred as well– see web link. Steve mentioned that ‘Graphic Converter’ can also be very useful.
- ‘PhotoMaker – this device scans slides and negatives directly to a SD memory card (with 5 megapixel scan resolution), and then you can load the scanned images onto your computer. Cost is about $150. You need a different device to scan prints. PNJ mentioned that he still uses his (old) Canon scanner that has an adaptor for scanning up to 4 slide at a time. Another adaptor allows you to scan 2 x 23cm strips of colour negative film.
- Bops followed up on his previous presentation on running Windows on a Mac – why would you want to run Windows on a Mac, and which approach is the most appropriate, ie, by running a ‘virtual’ Windows machine versus using ‘Bootcamp’ which is built into the Macs.
For running a virtual machine (ie. running a machine within a machine), there are two products – ‘Fusion’ and ‘Parallels’ – which work in slightly different ways. Fusion creates a window within the Mac with a start button, etc, to simulate a Windows desktop, whereas Parallels gives the option to run each Windows application as a separate app. and move it down into the Dock.
One main reason for running Windows on a Mac is where there is a software app. specific to Windows; another is if you are into intensive gaming where PCs are a more popular (but not necessarily better!?) platform for gaming, with a greater availability of games. Another reason is if you use Microsoft Project which is not available on the Macs. However, there is a companycalled ‘Merlin’, which has developed a project app. for Macs which also reads Microsoft files (including MS Project).
Perhaps a better way for setting up to run Windows on your Mac without having to actually have Windows on your Mac all the time is to have a small external drive on which you install Windows and the simulation program so that your Mac remains ‘clean’.
‘Crossover’ is software designed to allow you to run Windows applications without having toactually put Windows on your Mac.
With Bootcamp, you have to have a licensed copy of the Windows OS installed, and you boot up on Windows by holding the Option key on booting, and you thus have a ‘Windows machine’. The biggest disadvantage of this approach is that you can’t share files between the Mac and the Windows setup.
- Mark Hawthorne mentioned that ‘Computing of the future’ is exemplified by a Dutch companywhich has developed a Linux-based approach to computing using just a 4GB USB memory stick. Two items mentioned were ‘Cotton Candy’ and ‘Raspberry Pie’. The concept seems to be that you can have several operating systems and/or applications to plug into your computers (?)
- Mention was made of ‘Pigeon’ which is a multi-email server (for Macs & Windows).
- Steve showed a video comparing the speeds of 3G networks around the world using an iPad. In San Francisco, download speeds of over 23MBPS. Other download speed results were:Singapore – 16 MBPS; UK - 0.7 MBPS; Australia – 19 MBPS, etc
• Other Tips/Gadgets
- When downloading YouTube movies, they seem to come in a group of small files instead of just one large file. This can be got around by clicking on the gearwheel at the bottom of the YouTube window and choose a different resolution setting (not necessarily lower) to then download as one file.
- There is an adaptor for the iPhone and iPod/iPad for taking photos with a tripod – use an app called ‘Photosynth’ (Microsoft) which allows you to combine a series of shots into a panoramic view.
- ‘Carbon Copy Cloner’ (freeware) is used for backing up and having a bootable drive. Highly recommended.
- Micro Hire at Helensvale will hire out Macs (not cheap).
- Supposedly, there are new MacBooks and iMacs to be released in the near future.
- Jeff showed a photo of a diamond laptop sleeve which costs a mere $11 million (!?)
- ‘Autodesk’ has developed ‘123D Catch’ which can take still photos and then stitch them together to show a 3D model effect on the screen (it's an app for the iPad, etc).
- Jeff showed a video re a microphone/transceiver for the iPhone.
- ‘Cineskates’ is a useful miniskates device for carrying your video camera to give it a smooth, fluid movement when taking videos – it’s basically a ‘Gorillapod’ attachment with wheels.
- A GPS system which gives the effect of projecting the relevant data onto the windscreen.
* PNJ reiterated that the member fees are for a calendar year (ie, from February to December). He undertook to advise everyone the bank account details for direct debiting online where applicable.
• Q & A
- Question was asked about changing the brightness of the screen. Just use the ‘F1’ key to adjust.
- A comment was made concerning problems in reading DVDs – sometimes you just can't read them. Might be able to use a lens cleaner which is a disc with small cleaning bristles atached. However, more likely that the reading lens or the disk tolerances are outside acceptable levels.
The meeting closed at approx. 10:20 PM
Next Committee Meeting is on Monday, 18th June at Madisons, Broadbeach.Next monthly Meeting will be held at All Saints on Monday, 2nd July, 2012 at 7.30pm
Meeting notes from May 2012
Steve mentioned some malware issues and said Bops will talk more about this later. A new security problem was revealed recently when some Apple software had unintentionally left some code in it which could reveal all the passwords on your computer.
- Apple TV has been updated to 1080p HD.
- iPad can play movies, photos, etc. wirelessly via iView & the Apple TV to your TV.
- You can download movies from the iTunes store (approx. $6 each).
- Bops mentioned a US site, Netflix, from which you can download movies, etc .
- Vic mentioned that he could download complete movies from YouTube.
- Vimeo is one site which gives access to good-quality movies, etc.
- A video was shown of a large Brownie-style camera being used in Afghanistan. Very interesting viewing.
- YouTube is providing an excellent conduit for sharing movies, especially now that it has been upgraded to 1080p resolution option.
• Malware (Bops)
- All malware (including viruses, spyware, malware, etc) are a form of hidden application which have a “payload” (?) which can attack your computer system in different ways – eg, malicious emails, your Address Book, or when you add a sentence to a Word document, etc.
Contrary to “conventional wisdom” Macs can be susceptible to malware – it’s just that they represent a smaller market and therefore it’s a matter of whether it’s worth the effort (on the part of the virus programmers). However, one plus about the Macs is the requirement for an administrator account which is very secure, and which requires you to insert an administrator’s password before you can install any software. Thus, malicious software can’t be installed automatically (or behind the scenes”) on a Mac.
There are a few anti-virus programmes, many of which you have to pay for (eg, Norton’s Symantec Anti-virus, etc.). Some think that many of the anti-virus programmes are just a way to make money (for the software providers), and can be more trouble than they are worth. However, there are some good free anti-virus programmes (eg, Sophos). Also, ‘iAnti-virus’ (?) is a good product (and free!).
The downside to running an anti-virus programme is that it can slow your computer down quite a lot.
For most careful people (eg, you don’t open email attachments from sources you don’t recognize, etc), there is probably a low risk of attack. Normally, malware will arise if you click on a website, so if you are not sure of a link, there is a way to find out where the link is going – press “Cmd” + “/” which will show the status bar on the bottom of a Safari web page, or you can click on the “View” menu in Safari and enable the ‘Show Status Bar’. When you move the mouse over a web link, the pointer will change to a ‘finger’ and the Status Bar at the bottom will show you where that link is going. If you don’t recognize the link or feel suspicious about it, don’t click on it.
Most of the virus ‘payloads’ in the files have to be clicked on which starts the download into your system. Normally, OSX is smart enough to bring up a small dialog box asking if you are sure that you want to install or download the file. However, many people don’t read or just ignore the prompt. (Steve mentioned an incident on Google where someone downloaded a picture, and when he clicked on it, it had a virus attached to it which caused all sorts of adverse consequences.)
MJ mentioned that when accessing a website concerning a local museum, she got a message saying that the site “could be compromised” which may (or may not?) indicate a problem.
Final advice: stay away from questionable websites; use your anti-virus programme periodically; stay up-to-date with what’s happening; do regular system updates; be sensibly cautious and alert.
• Running Windows on a Mac (Bops)
Two ways – ‘Bootcamp’ – it partitions the hard drive into two sections – one for the Windows OS and the other for the Mac OS. It does not allow file-sharing between the two systems. Bootcamp is a free application which comes with the Mac (in the Utilities Folder), but you need a licensed copy of the Windows OS. It’s the cleanest and fastest way to run Windows on a Mac.
- Another way is to create a “virtual machine” on your Mac which requires an application effectively sitting on top to manage the virtual machine. Parallels and VMware ‘Fusion’ (??) are the two leaders. File-sharing is available, and it also shares your hardware devices.
It’s somewhat slower than Bootcamp.
Pricewise, Parallels and Fusion each cost around $60. However, a licensed copy of Windows must also be purchased.
The number of applications you can use with these emulation programmes is not very great.
A comment was made that voice recognition programmes didn’t seem to work on a Windows-partitioned machine.
Another emulation programme mentioned is ‘Crossover’, and a short video was shown on it. However, this appears to be an app rather than an operating system (?)
- Steve mentioned that at the last Executive Committee meeting, it was suggested that people should be invited to comment on their favourite piece of software or some other item which they find useful.
- Ray mentioned that he uses ‘Trove’ which has a great range of information on family connections in Australia, and what they had been up to in the past. Obviously, this is very useful if you are interested in doing family histories, etc.
Ray also wanted to know how to publish items from a Pages document into iBook, and ‘iBooks Author’ was mentioned as being a useful contender for this purpose. Ray said that he was using ‘Pages’ but found difficulty in preserving the formats when converting to a PDF format, etc., and how can you then convert the PDFs into a book.
Where a substantial number of PDFs had been created, the suggestion was made to import each PDF into an iBook page, but iBook Author would be the best way to go for such projects. (On the Apple website, there’s an excellent video on how to use iBook Author).
- A new version of PhotoShop CS6, has just been released (which would be of interest especially to professional photographers, etc.). A brief video was shown giving examples of what it can do.
• Membership Fees
A reminder was made about membership fees which are required to cover the cost of the room hire ($50 per month), and the annual Public Liability Insurance (approx. $450).
Fees are $60 per annum per person, or you can pay $10 per meeting, and after 6 meetings you automatically become a full financial member.
• Jeff’s Gadgets
- Jeff showed some examples of photographic accessories for the iPhone (eg, one was a tripod attachment for the iPhone; another was a swivel that attached to the iPhone and followed you wherever you went as long as you stayed within 10 metres, presumably if you wanted to take remote-controlled photos from the iPhone, which would be on a tripod).
- Some devices for the iPad were shown including speakers which slide through the iPad cover when it is folded; Logitech et al have covers with an inbuilt keyboard.
Next monthly Meeting will be held at All Saints on Monday, 4th June, 2012 at 7.30pm
April 2012 Meeting notes
iCloud updatesThe new iPad
...discussed upgrade features. Higher resolution screen and better processor. David spoke of his experiences as a new user
indicating he was very impressed with the screen and the speed of the unit.
Lion issues and how to resolve them
...reference was made to iCreate articles that provided solutions to many of the issues people faced when moving to Lion.
We discussed the fact that all upgrades have issues and that there are ways to make the machine behave differently if that is desired.
Extracting audio from video....three approaches
Mpeg Streamclip, Handbrake, Mactheripper
Browser alternatives....what else is out there beside Safari
Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera
Gadgets with Jeff great moves
Q and A
Links of interest
More things to do with Siri .....Morse code?
Meeting Notes November 2011
Steve started off by showing a video of Steve Jobs giving an inspirational speech to graduates from Stanford University, California.
- He also commented on the new iPhone and briefly demonstrated its built-in Siri’s amazing voice response capabilities. The real surprise is that it refers all questions back to a server in the US, and a reply comes back without much of a delay. It will also integrate with other applications on the device – eg, your Contacts list, where you ask it to contact a name, and it will go ahead and dial the specific person asked for (in your contacts list). Apparently, Siri will also be available on other Mac appliances (iMac, iPad, etc). Comment was made concerning extraneous sound interference when using Siri. Bops suggested that using headphones should eliminate the problem.
- Steve Jobs apparently had set out a forward plan for the Apple group prior to his death in relation to a number of the ongoing product developments.
- There was a brief discussion concerning early personal experiences with Apple. Some old Apple computers, etc were on display, and comments were made on the way Apple and its products evolved over the years. The last word was left to Siri who was asked “who makes the best computers?”, and the reply was “Apple Macintosh is my favourite computer”.
- Some applications now have an auto-save (iMovie, etc) and the trend is or more applications to have the same feature.
• Bops then continued his series of presentations on the features available in the Lion OS system.
- He reiterated the capability of doing character accents by keeping the “a” key depressed which reveals a whole range of accents which can be applied. However, if you wanted to type a string of “a”s, you can’t do that without turning off the accent option, and this is done manually using the ‘Terminal’ option (under ‘Utilities’ in the Applications folder.
Bops explained that ‘Terminal’ gives you the ability to type in code into the Macs, and access a basic or fundamental part of the system. It doesn’t have a graphical user interface so that you need to know the commands to type in. Terminal is quite a powerful way to get to intimately know the Mac’s Unix OS, etc, (but it isn’t for the novice, as you could get into a lot of trouble if you type in the wrong commands).
- ‘Mission Control’- This is similar to ‘Spaces’ in Snow Leopard and allows you to view all the currently-open applications and files. However, it is separate from Dashboard which was the “old style” of doing things. When in Mission Control, you click the mouse over the file which will then be enlarged for you to view it more easily,
- In ‘Mail’, you can use ‘Conversation’ to view and sort combinations of emails (eg, from a specific person, etc. (??) The ‘redirect’ button allows you to forward an email as though it came from you.
Re ‘bouncing’ of emails, you can click on an icon (go to ‘Customize Toolbar’ and select ‘Bounce’ - ??) This allows you to bounce an email back to the sender which basically shows the sender that the email address is not valid.
Another useful feature in ‘Mail’ is that you can highlight a word, and if you three-finger double-tap the word, a dictionary sub-menu appears.
- A Wi-Fi diagnostic app. is available in Lion. Go into Finder > System > Library > Core Services where you will find the app. It allows you to check what your Wi-Fi connection is doing. It also will show which other devices are attached to your Wi-Fi device, but you need to know the unique Mac addresses for each device.
- Steve mentioned two different network protocols – the ‘n’ protocol and the ‘g’ protocol. The latter is the older and slower of the two, and if you are running ‘g’ devices, the network will switch to that slower protocol. This can cause problems by slowing down the network. If the network is a faster ‘n’ protocol network, it will still slow down if there are any ‘g’ devices connected to it. (??)
Bops mentioned that many of the latest wireless routers are a lot smarter, and are able to automatically multitask. Every network device has a unique Mac address number (a hexadecimal number), and you can tell your wireless router or modem to have access only to specific device address. Hence, even if someone has your network password, they still cannot access your network because that Mac address is not allowed to log in.
Bops’ overview of the Lion OS will continue at future meetings.
• Jeff then talked about a cheap high-definition android tuner – a DGTEC DG-HD1204AND (from Aldi for $79) for watching digital TV or browsing the internet. This "SMART BOX" from DGTEC uses android technology to bring new life to your TV. The device connects to Wi-Fi or LAN and offers access to Digital Television, Internet TV or just Internet. You can stream your videos, photos, etc, and favourite social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Picasa and YouTube, etc.
Q & A
- HT raised a question about backing up and exchanging data between an iPhone and a computer. Noel McD advised that you need to back up via iTunes (assuming you have an iTunes account). Steve mentioned an app. called ‘Image Capture’ – it’s a handy item that will show the devices connected to the computer.
- The question was asked concerning old (deleted) email addresses which keep reappearing when composing a new email to a particular address. The way to get rid of such superseded addresses is to go to the ‘Mail’ menu > ‘Window’ > ‘Previous Recipients’, and a box comes up with all the installed email addresses from which you can then delete the outdated ones. Conversely, you can delete all of the addresses and then the current ones will be picked up as emails are sent and/or received.
- Noel McD mentioned the potential problems of using your iPhone on roaming when travelling overseas which can result in very large bills. He then referred to a cost-effective mobile phone service for international travellers called “TravelSim’ which, for $50, will give you a new Sim card and allows you to make and receive calls at a very much reduced cost. (Look up www.travelsim.net.au).
At the last executive meeting it was decided that it would be a good idea for people to bring with them, to the November meeting, a piece of Apple technology from the past or an anecdote that indicates their connection with Apple technology. This might be on old computer….or other device
or a picture or a web address. This will lead to a discussion centering on the evolutionary pathway of Apple computing.
Of course we will dealing with other topics including;
iPhone 4S…we will talk to Siri
Lion…Part 3 with Bops
Travel sims…are they a viable solution to an expensive problem
More on iCloud
Mac Essentials Events and Projects in iMovie
Q and A
Tea and Coffee
October meeting minutes
• Steve started of with an overview of some of the issues involved re Apple and the Foxcon (?) factory in China where people are making Apple products under substandard conditions which was resulting in numerous suicides, etc. However, Steve did point out that the factories involved also made other non-Apple computer products (Acer, Dell, etc). The issue will become bigger with social justice attitudes having to eventually change.
• Bops gave an overview of some of the good (and bad!) points with the new Lion OS, with some 250 new features being introduced.
- One positive variation is the introduction of “accentuated keys” – when pressing a particular letter which has various language diacritics or accentuated characters (eg, grave – è, acute – é, umlaut – ü, etc), when you depress and hold the keys an accent dialog box comes up with the variations available for you to choose from.
- Automatic resume-your-working-desktop feature – this can turn this feature on or off (in System Prefs). When you shut down your computer and then reopen it, it will automatically go to the last file that you were working on.
- They have added more functionality to the icons on the Dock. eg, If you right-click or click and hold, it gives you context-sensitive choices – these will vary from application to application. You can also “show all windows” in the “Options” menu (?)
- Multiple desktops can be useful – eg, you could be using your browser on one desktop and working on your Photo apps, on the other, etc. Or, you could be using the Windows OS on one desktop and the Mac OS on the other on the Mac computer, etc.
- Launch Pad – this is a new icon for swapping between screens, etc. (similar to the iPad). Apple now wants you to download all your Apps from the App Store, and when you want to remove an App, you just go into Launch Pad, press and hold the Option key which will make the Apps wiggle (like the iPad). You will see that the Apps you get from the App Store will have a small “x” in the corner. It is now recommended that if you don’t use an App for a while, you are better to delete it and then re-download it next time you need it.
- You now have access to all your Apps, photos, etc on ALL your devices.
- Bops reminded us of the ”No. 1 Keyboard Shortcut” – Command+Spacebar, which brings up ‘Spotlight’. This is the fastest way to access your apps, files, etc.
- Lion gives you the option top do a “Restore” of your system, etc. over the internet (you don’t get OS discs anymore).
- Bops finished up by stating that there are still some 230 new features to go through (to be continued!)
• Jeff shared some of his recent experiences with video cameras and other items with reference to his needs for his professional work.
He mentioned ‘VideoGuys’ (based in Melbourne) who supply a whole range of ‘reasonable’ and expensive video cameras and associated equipment. ‘Umart (in Southport) is also worth visiting.
Jeff then showed some US sites which offer great value (eg, ‘B&H’), and another one in Melbourne (‘Electronic Bazaar’). However, the latter doesn’t have any stock in Australia – they take your money and then order the items and have them sent direct to you from Singapore, Malaysia, etc. Jeff felt that this arrangement was a bit “dodgy” and some of the web reviews weren’t too flattering (excessive delivery delays, etc).
He mentioned the differing operating times (and prices) of camera batteries (eg, 8 hours v. 14 hours), and pointed out that the times depended somewhat on the type of camera you used.
He then described the effects of using polarizing filters on a camera he had – they block out the reflections (eg of water surfaces, etc).
Generally, Jeff’s presentation showed that buying such equipment online was substantially cheaper from US sites.
Other items mentioned included Eye TV Mobile (can use on the iPad2 – cost €100), BTB G-Technology 2-drive RAID 8TB storage (with Thunderbolt connection), Magic Numpad extension (?), iPad video frame mount, Scanner Mouse, (for scanning maps, documents, etc.), a high-powered laser pointer (53 Krypton Series – Cost -$299), etc.
September Meeting Report
Great to see so many in attendance. We were fortunate to have Peter Berder, experienced mac technician, on hand to cover a range of issues from backup strategies,
to choosing a hard drive to how to detect your drive is on the way out. Peter shared some interesting stories of data recovery and reinforced the
often used message that its not a matter of if a hard drive will fail but when.
He explained the reasons behind drives failing including the fact that they can be spinning at 75 mph for extended periods of time.
Membership reminders...BSB 484799 Account 501761633
Suncorp Gold Coast Mac User Group
From July meeting
Peter Berder computer technician 0410652331
Links from June meeting
Screen Capture using
Agenda from May meeting with links
Latest Update...news from Apple
iPad 2 movie editing
... what will it offer
More about Thunderbolt
Mac Essentials...exporting iMovie projects...what are the options
Aaron Nichol presenting on his support business http://www.growyou.com.au
Jeff's Gadgets Tips and Tricks
...protecting your Mac
Latest iPhone/iPad apps
Q and A
Meeting Notes May Meeting
• Steve showed the amended GCMUA website in which various live links have been embedded.
• Steve mentioned the potential problems of school children having their own electronic devices at school and perhaps using them for non-school activities. This poses a difficulty for the school to strike a balance between “reasonable” use of such devices and imposing draconian controls to prevent access to inappropriate sites. eg, He may have a student with a phone who can connect to their laptop through the phone in the pocket. This means a student can go to any site and play games or look at YouTube, etc (?).
• Steve spoke about Thunderbolt, which allows you to connect high-performance peripherals and high-resolution displays to a single port with fast data transfer. This means you can work on projects on different devices.
• Gross profits by Apple now bigger than Microsoft. Apple used to be the underdog and some of us liked it that way. Some do not like that Apple now has become a major player.
• With its cameras front and back the iPad2 can be used for movie editing “on the fly” to produce a reasonable movie (albeit somewhat compressed), and easy to send via the internet (USA Today, Vimeo, Talking Tech, etc). Whilst the quality is not as good as on a normal video camera, Steve showed a movie in New Zealand produced on the iPad2. We watched a video on Talking Tech – ‘Taking the iPad on Vacation’.
• It is thought that the release of a new (faster) iMac is apparently imminent as stores are running down stocks of the current model (the new iMac has since been announced by Apple).
• A new Apple store is possibly to be opened in Brisbane.
• NextByte has a new store not far from the old store in Upton Street, Bundall. They no longer do repairs on site but send items to their tech. repairers in Brisbane.
• Steve introduced Aaron Nichol who used to work for Nextbyte and recently had been working at the Apple Store at Robina. He now has set up his own business (GrowYou”) for one-on-one personal tuition in your home, catering for all levels and experience for iMacs, iPads, and iPhones, etc. With more and more devices appearing, one of Aaron’s aims is to help people set up these devices, 3G connections, as well as WiFi connections, etc.
Aaron’s website address is: www.growyou.com.au (Email:
). Mobile is 0401 050 893.
Q & A.
• There was a question as to how to get a slide show to a DVD. Go to iPhoto, select the number of photos required, go to the ‘Share’ menu where there is an option to send to iDvD (Note that iDvD only supports a 640 x 480 resolution). Also, you can export through iPhoto -> File –> Export -> Slideshow, select size, etc.
If you want greater flexibility re transitions, etc, you need to use iMovie for slideshows (also can use the Ken Burns effect, more transitions, etc). Can Transitions be altered? One member chooses “random”. Look at Aperture to give more control. There are other applications such as Photo Presenter. You can bring photos into iMovie and export from there to various video-sharing sites. You can retain captions in iPhoto. (?)
Someone mentioned that he wanted to upload from iMovie HD to YouTube but found no way of doing this. The current version, iMovie 11, has a lot of sharing options which makes it significantly better than the old iMovie HD (which used to be so highly favoured).
Steve showed a trailer of a movie taken using a tiny ‘Hero Go Pro’ camera attached to the end of a surfboard (the camera costs $230 and the water-proof housing about $350. There is also a housing for motor bikes). The movie is recorded on to an SD card which slots into the computer.
Jeff’s Gadgets and Tips:
• There is a rumour that Apple has a Cloud service. They bought the name iCloud for $4.5million and changed the name to CloudMe.
CloudMe is a free web-based file storage service that you can access directly from your
• iPhone 4 now available in white. It is slightly thicker than the black version which can cause problems with the case.
• There is a new App called ‘Fring’ which makes it possible to have free mobile calls, video calls and live chat and group video calls for up to 4 people on the one screen. It is suitable for iPhone and androids. Blog.fring.com
• iHub (?)
• iCade – iPad Arcade Cabinet is suitable for Atari games. It uses Bluetooth to connect to the iPad so there’s nothing else you need to do, just play games.
• GoPano micro is a 360˚ lens that creates panoramic videos on iPhone 4. It allows you to take multiple photos and put together pictures which creates the same view as if you were walking around the object.
• 3D iPad – glasses that allow you to watch 3D in 2D.
- available on Amazon.
• If you want to customize the Safari toolbar go to Safari -> View –> Customise Toolbar and drag your favorites to the toolbar - Downloads is a good one to have.
• Peter mentioned that you can speed up your Safari browser by installing a Safari extension called ‘ClickToFlash’. Open Safari and click on ‘Safari Extensions Gallery’ on the Safari menu at the top, then go to the ‘Productivity’ heading where you will find “ClickToFlash” and click on the Install button. Then go to ‘Extensions’ in Safari Preferences where you can then disable ‘ClickToFlash’, and this will prevent any Flash content from being loaded automatically when connected to the Web (eg, ads, etc).
In Safari go to Window –> Activity which shows all items which make up the page displaying the video that would be Option/Click/Control to download the YouTube movie, etc, and it it will be an flv file which may need to be converted to a form which will play back easily (HTML5?). Vixy.net can be used.
Break for Tea/Coffee.
The meeting closed at approx. 10:20pm
Next Committee Meeting is on Monday,
9th May at Madisons Broadbeach
Next Meeting will be held at All Saints on Monday, 6 June, 2011 at 7.30pm
Meeting Notes April 2011
- If you go into an Apple store or via the Apple web site, there is a 3-4 week wait to purchase an iPad2, but if you go online and reserve an iPad2 you may be able to collect it the next day (eg, at the Robina Apple Store).
- You can connect the iPad2 to a projector or a Plasma/LED TV screen using an HDMI connector.
- The Pad2 has true HD resolution supporting 1080 on external displays. The iPad 2 screen displays movies at 720p.
- The iPad2 is a “post-PC device” – it’s a whole new approach with numerous apps developed specifically for it. (Look up Will Richardson re technology talks. There’s an Apple ad. re the use of iPads and iPhones, etc, & GE-designed apps.
- There’s a work-around for using Flash on iPads and iPhone. HTML-5 is being developed to perhaps take up the void re Flash without using up too much processing
power (an interesting web site is the ‘Wilderness Project’-Arcade Fire which shows the potential of HTML5 )
- You can edit PDF texts by copying into TextEdit (& undo ‘Formatting’ to remove any oddball formatting).
- In ‘Preview’, there are a number of useful attributes. eg, You can take screen shots of what you are looking at on a web page, etc.
- Cloud – ‘Drop Box’ – for uploading your files to ‘the Cloud’ which you can access from anywhere on any computer.
- SpinTel - Look up Spin ADSL on web for comparative prices for broadband, local calls, STD, etc.
- Time Machine – it was suggested that it is best to partition your back-up drive and/or go into “Options” and specify the specific items to be updated when backing up.
- ‘Umart’ – a site for checking printer prices , etc (prior to then checking at “Office Works”).
Jeff’s Gadgets, etc.
- Jeff showed a video re the ‘Miniot’ iPad cover (magnetic).
- ‘Vimeo’ has a free download for the iPad which has similar attributes to YouTube.
- Apple Insider site – re looking up rumours about new Apple products (?)
- Steve showed how iMovie v.9.02 (iMovie’11) can allow for some serious audio editing with considerable flexibility and ease.
- Movie allows you to do ‘Split Screens’ – just drag some clips from the Project Window onto another clip, and select “side-by-side” (?)
Meeting Notes October 2010
New Apple Releases
Steve made some comments on a few of Apple’s recent product releases, including:
- Apple TV - the Apple TV has been available in the US for some time, and should be released in Australia in about two weeks with a price tag of $129. Some may think that the lack of a hard drive and a resolution of “only” 720p is a problem but Steve didn’t believe it will be a significant issue.
- iPad – The product appears to be gaining momentum worldwide, and Steve commented that it’s the sort of device that does around 99% of what most computer users need. Also, rather than being just a “consumer” of concepts/applications, there are now apps. which allow “creative” activities. For example, a video demo showed an artist using an app. called “Brushes” doing a portrait with his fingers on the iPad screen. Another video showed a concert pianist playing “The Flight of the Bumble Bee” using a virtual keyboard on the iPad screen – very impressive! There are now some 250,000 apps. for the iPad; the largest capacity so far available is 64GB; and it has a 10-hour battery life. You can also “talk” wirelessly between an iPhone and an iPad.
Whilst there are other “similar” devices coming out (eg, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, etc), Steve made the point that it is critical that the competing devices have a user-friendly interface (which hasn’t been the case so far for devices competing with the iPod).
Gary Martin summarized some of his experiences when trying to purchase items online. As an example, he described the purchase of a Brother Laser Multifunction unit, in which he “discovered” that many suppliers will offer price-matching (or better) prices (eg, OfficeWorks will beat any item price by 5% - presumably if they have it in stock).
Gary pointed out that when looking for items online (eg, via Google), make sure that you find not only the cheapest unit price but also the cheapest delivery costs.
Mention was made of the StrawberryNet.com site which markets cosmetics, perfumes, skin care products, etc. at significantly discounted prices. As a result of such online sites, many “normal” retail outlets are having to respond to the internet shopping developments.
Bops gave a presentation on computer security items including hardware/software, internet, System prefs, Keychain, anti-virus apps, and passwords, etc.
Bops showed that by going into the System Prefs -
Security, there are three drop-down menus - General/FireVault/Firewall. [NB – He pointed out that you should always make sure that the padlock (bottom LHS of menu) is locked to secure your settings].
In the ‘General’ sub-menu, you can tick the “Require password” which ensures that only those who know the password can open your computer. Also, he advised that you should tick the “Disable automatic login” box, the “Use secure virtual memory” box, and the “Disable remote control infrared receiver” box.
Maximum security for your Home Folder is provided by activating the FileVault control. However, there is the danger of losing all your computer data if you ever forget the Master Password. If this happens, your computer is rendered virtually useless and has to be completely reformatted from scratch!
It is generally a good idea to turn on the Firewall on your computer.
Mention was made of the “iQuip” app. which is useful if your computer is lost or stolen (??)
If you have numerous passwords for various sites, etc, and you forget any of them, you can usually “find” them by using the ‘Keychain Access’ app which is in the Utilities folder within the Application Folder. You need to type in your Administration Password when you ask for the password of any item when you double-click on it.
Bops briefly mentioned anti-virus software for Macs, with the general consensus apparently being that if you use common sense and are careful, you shouldn’t need such software, with some (eg, Nortons) being perhaps more trouble than they are worth.
Reference was made to an app called “DockView” (free download) which
is a Snow Leopard-only application that extends Apple's Dock and shows window previews whenever you hover your mouse over an application.
Finally, Bops referred to a widget called “Shredder” for securely deleting any files. It is a free download, and (info. from the web) “
is a digital document shredder right in your Dashboard. Its variable shred levels give you just the amount of protection you need.
Low: Bypass the trash can. Though this isn’t as secure a deletion of your files, it is a quick way to get rid of those files you know you don’t need, leaving the trash can for those things you just might want to dig out later.
Medium: Secure erase. This mode overwrites your shredded documents with a US Department of Defence-compliant 7 pass procedure.
High: Virtual Paper Pulp. Use this setting for only the most sensitive files. Though it might be slow, the 35-pass Gutmann algorithm will ensure that no data from these files are ever recovered.”
Video Cameras & Accessories
Jeff gave a presentation on the use of video cameras (camcorders) and various accessories. He made the point that you need good video cameras and ideal conditions to obtain good videos.
“Ideal conditions” covers many things – lighting, audio, sound environment, room to manoeuvre, etc. If you don’t have ideal conditions, there are a number of accessories you can use to assist such as:
- Long-life batteries (up to 6 hours) to enable longer videoing sessions;
- Improved sound input using external microphones designed to filter out unwanted noises (eg, wind – ‘wind-sock’ miles are best for this), directional &/or telescopic microphones to emphasize the sound from a particular source, etc.
- Wide-angle lenses which can be screwed on to the existing lens to increase the wide angle field of vision from, say, 40mm to 28-29mm.
- Lighting - Sony has a wide range of lighting attachments. However, the incandescent light systems (which tend to give a yellowish tinge) get very hot and use up a lot of battery power (eg, reducing battery usage time to 15 minutes). Better lighting systems are available and include a 20 x LED light unit (with 4 x AA rechargeable batteries) which stays cool and can be run for 4 hours (however, not cheap – approx. $500).
- Tapes – It’s a good idea to use a cleaning tape cassette occasionally for cleaning the camera recording heads. Otherwise, you may get the odd frame or two ‘dropping out’ in your video.
- Tripods – whilst many video cameras have built-in image-stabilizing systems, tripods are sometimes necessary for optimum video shooting (eg, when panning, or in low-light situations, etc). However, these can be bulky and somewhat inconvenient when travelling. Jeff demonstrated an alternative – a ‘Glide-cam HD.1000’ (?) image-stabilizing holder that can be fitted to the camera for taking video “on the run”, etc.
Meeting Notes June 2010 Meeting
The iPad up close. This was the first chance the group has had to closely examine this new device.
Members had a chance to use the device whilst Steve Lewis gave a rundown on its features. He mentioned that it fits into a new category of computing/digital devices.
It is not a laptop replacement nor is it just a large iPhone or iPod touch. Yes it is more a content consuming device rather than a content creation device. However, it offers new options.
The myriad of apps available open up incredible possibilities. From music creation, to photo manipulation to VNC clients the range is enormous and growing daily. The book reading capabilities
are huge, however, the weight of the device may be a challenge. It really is one of those devices you have to use for a while before you appreciate all it offers. The instant on characteristics make it ideal for casual browsing and email checking. The screen is great to look at. It displys videos and photos very well.
Meeting Notes Monday May 3 2010
As general interest members looked at photos of the Horizon Deepwater oil rig which recently caught fire and sank off the coast of Louisiana. It was capable of working in depths of water up to 10,000ft. It is a floating rig with powerful thrusters to keep it in place. Blowout Preventers (BOPS!) did not work because the electrics failed. The rig, which belongs to Transocean, was contracted to BP at a cost of US$500,000 per day until 2013.
• MACBOOK PRO
The new Macbook Pro is three times as powerful (faster processors – Core i5 and Core i7). The 13” price has come down and now costs $1,499 with a battery that lasts up to 10 hours. It can get high definition movies and share some of the graphics load. Faster graphics can automatically change between the low-end graphics card or the high-end graphics card.
(Steve had hoped to have one to show tonight but the Headmaster had taken it with hiom overseas!) There is a newer version which does not require it to be in a WireFi area, and is getting good reviews. It was felt this facility should have been available in the first place. It is a new device, not an iPhone, etc. We watched a YouTube video with Tom Dickson putting an iPad through a blender (what a waste!).
Peter then outlined a problem he has recently had with connecting his Sony HD video camera (Ray has the same camera) to his new iMac. After visiting the “Genius Bar” at the Apple Store, Robina, it proved to be just a few simple settings in the camera’s menu.
Peter also related his problems when he accidentally deleted all his photos from iPhoto (all 10,000-plus!!). He mentioned that whilst it was OK to delete photos from within a folder or on the desktop after having imported them into iPhoto, it was a BIG “No-no” to delete the Pictures folder in your Home folder. Contrary to what he thought, Peter thought that he was backing up his photos by copying over the iPhoto application to an external drive. Not so!! All the key linked data files are still on the source computer, so if any of those files are missing from the source computer (eg, the Pictures Folder), then you will find nothing on your “backup”!
David Pogue states in his excellent “Missing Manual” on iPhoto ’09 (which Peter should have read first!), the iPhoto Library is a package or bundle of files which relate to your photos in iPhoto which are critical to operating the application with your photos. As David Pogue points out: “While it’s enlightening to wander through the iPhoto Library window to see how iPhoto keeps itself organized, don’t rename or move any of the folders or files in it.”
Hence, to back up your photos what you have to do is to copy over the iPhoto Library.
Peter went to se the “Genius” guys at the Apple Store who advised that the only thing one can do is to try and recover the deleted photos from the computer hard drive. They mentioned ProSoft’s “Data Rescue” software which usually costs $159 (although some suppliers are offering it for $139. The app. is apparently quite effective in retrieving most deleted files from a hard drive, although there are a few traps to avoid to prevent unintended adverse consequences.
Peter pointed out the importance of using Time Machine to do periodical backups of your computer (he had turned it off and was doing manual backups.
Bernie asked if anyone had a Time Capsule as his died last week because of the power supply. If you have an extended warranty on your computer it will be covered. He intends to buy another Time Capsule and back up again.
• PHOTOSHOP CS5
There is a fight between Adobe and Apple over as the iPad does not support Flash. Steve Jobs has stated that Flash is not
be on the iPad because it is too power-hungry.
• Magic Mouse
Peter brought in his Magic Mouse (which Steve immediately “commandeered”!) and everyone was very impressed. The Blue Tooth-enabled device is supplied with all new Mac purchases but can be bought for $99.
Ray bought Adobe through the net and found it does not work on some laptops. He had to use Illustrator to make maps. Adobe is letting “Freehand” go because they are pushing Illustrator.
CS5 has been released. Cost for a student or teacher is $199.95 and otherwise $1500.
• MIGRATION ASSISTANT UTILITY
Bops (not to be confused with BOPS – Blowout Preventers!) demonstrated how to use the Migration System Utility which Apple has supplied with their operating system to copy data from one computer to another. This is the best way to transfer files from an old Mac to a new Mac because all the settings, updates, etc are preserved.
(Do we want to give the full instructions for this?)
Migration System has to be working on both computers. You will be asked how you want to transfer information and given 3 choices: 1. From another Mac; 2. From a Time Machine Backup Disk or 3. To another Mac. Having made the selection on both computers: Continue. Next screen Use FireWire or Use Net Work? Click on the FireWire 400 option.
Holding down the “T” key and restarting will give you the icon that runs the hard drive of the machine on the right.
Target Drive can only be used with FireWire (?) and would be quickest (would be faster than share). It adds to the computer but does not take files off.
If the hard drive is a FAT32, the
hard drive will be readable by both computers. Or NTFS. Primarily used to transfer information onto a new computer. Blue tooth is very slow. Migration puts everything in the proper network sections. Transfer from a PC would have to be done manually.
Select from screen as to what you want to transfer. Can replace existing information depending on the system.
What is the advantage if you transfer everything off the old computer? It is a quick and convenient way to do it. The next upgrade he will not do as there are 30-40 applications he does not want. Better off to start from scratch. You have to select applications – all or nothing. Consider it if you are buying a new computer.
Some applications require to be “deactivated” on the old computer prior to installing on the new computer. Also, make sure that the drive is ”clean” and run Disk Utility to repair permissions before using Migration Assistant.
Transfer should take 2-6 hours and then reboot.
It is advisable to use Disk Utility to defrag files first. Onyx is another clean-up system (free!). Bops generally uses Disk Utility when he installs an application or uninstalls an application, and then once a week or once every two weeks. This puts things back in their correct place. You can program it through Onyx to kick in automatically. You will find Disk Utility inside the Utilities Folder (under Applications).
It is better when you have Time Machine working on an external drive. Time Machine Scheduler (third-party app.) allows you to change how often Time Machine backs up. Can change from hourly to once a week or every two weeks.
• VERSION TRACKER
Version Tracker shows a list of Apps, and Peter asked how do you find out if it is OK to use any specific app. in their list to ensure that it is not going to be harmful to your computer? Steve suggested that you Google it and ask if anyone has had problems with that particular app.
Noel mentioned he was having problems sending out a particular email in Mail as the computer still comes up with the old email address even though he has deleted it everywhere else. To get rid of an old email address: call up email address, right-click on it and it will give you the different addresses for that person and a menu which includes “remove address”. Another way is to click on Window and Previous Recipients and this will bring up email addresses and allow you to delete the ones you do not want.
• JEFF’s VIDEOS
Jeff showed some videos on the new Panasonic 3D Video camera which costs $21,000 in the USA. Sony has announced that they have a camcorder SonyEX3 but prototype only.
We watched a video of an IPad being disassembled by Tech Store. Can see this on www.techstore.com. They are in business to repair Mac Book Pros and you can learn how to disassemble a computer.
Q & A
Break for Tea/Coffee
Next Committee Meeting is on Monday, 17th May at Broadbeach.
Next Meeting will be held at All Saints on Monday, 7th June, 2010 at 7.30pm
Gold Coast Macintosh User Group Inc.
held at All Saints School, Merrimac
Monday, 1st February, 2010
Members watched the Apple video on the iPad. It was felt that there has been much the same commentary and criticism as when the iPod was introduced when comments were made such as “it is not an MP3 device, etc” but the iPod has been a great success. Bops said the last time a tablet was put out was when it had Commandments on it! The cost of the basic iPad is $US499 but could cost more if you add things on.
HTML5 has been introduced which will replace “Flash” (iPad does not support Flash – it was suggested that this was a “plus” owing to all the advertising you get when using Flash!).
It also does not have a built-in video camera (supposedly because it would slow down the iPad), thereby precluding using Skype Video for communications. Maybe the next generation of iPad will include this (??)
The iPad could be a boon for the e-book market, with greater flexibility than Amazon’s Kindle which can only read books. A variation for PCs has just been released.
There is talk of there being delays with the release of the iPad in Australia as there was with the release of the iPhone. It is very light and very portable. There could be a G3 version coming out in the next 6 months.
APPS for iPHONE:
• There are approx. 140,000 apps now available – some good, some bad. A “good” app. is “BUMP” which searches for other devices to share information with another person. You can specify the information you want to share, establish a network between two iPhones and, once you agree on what information is to be shared, you “bump” the iPhones.
• PING allows you to send SMS messages free by wifi (ie, at no cost).
• Bops has a friend with an app, CAMERA PLUS, which adds depth to the field of photos. CAMERA XL app doubles the megapixels of a photo. CAMERA GENIUS is an app. which gives “new Burst Mode that captures up to 3 shots in succession, and automatically adds the location and timestamp into every photo. TRIPOD app is an anti-shake application which also gives a self-timer and a bubble level at the top of the screen.
• Technology and How It Has Changed Over the Years. Gary brought along a cassette player which he bought at Aldi for $69. It has a USB plug and can be plugged directly into the computer to record cassettes. He has not used it as yet. He had been looking at something similar made by Sony which costs over $400.
Mac Basics –
There are a lot of tutorials on the Apple site to learn some of the basics of the Mac. Members looked at one on getting the most out of Mail. It is worth looking at the site www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/
• Jeff showed a video on Steadicam made by Tiffen. Steadicam is for minimizing shake with the iPhone when using the camera, and it allows a very smooth shot even when the operator is moving quickly over an uneven surface.
Members watched a video on Twin Video which allows for taking photos of the camera operator at the same time as taking the video.
Jeff then spoke about how the stereoscope had been invented in 1838 (a year before the camera!) by Charles Wheatstone. Jeff had brought along many different types of stereo glasses, even one that connects to the computer.
• Panasonic actually has a Blue-Ray machine, DMP-BPT 350, for watching videos etc. through the TV. It will be released in 2010.
• Panasonic 3D full HD camera costs $21,000.
• Several tutorials – eg, re iMail
www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/#organizemail - this wmv gives help in sorting messages with rules and creating Smart Mailboxes.
• Bops talked about ‘Apple Automator’ (??)
• Bops also mentioned the “Coconut Identity Card” which is a free app. that will tell you where and when your Mac was made.
Next Committee Meeting will be 22nd February, 2010
Next Monthly Meeting will be held at All Saints on Monday, 1st March, 2010 at 7.30pm
Meeting Notes October 2009
• Photography – Steve L. presented data about world-famous photographer, Chase Jarvis (‘the best camera is the one you have with you.’)
The latest iPhone is perhaps not the best for optics but you can still get good photos (& video). CJ’s web site is: www.thebestcamera.com
Steve showed explanatory video of ‘best camera’ app. for the iPhone (cost approx. $3).
• Noel McD mentioned Appbox - a good source of apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
• Jeff A. showed his latest gadget - a 2-drive dock which takes 2-½-inch and 4-inch disks. Has USB, T-Flash, Sim Card, MS & SD reader capabilities (??) Cost is approx. $95.
• Fonts - Bops gave a presentation on Fontbook and Fonts. He pointed out that fonts need to be installed on the Mac. Click on the “+” sign at the bottom of the Font list to instal the selected font(s).
Fonts can be grouped via certain characteristics (into collections). Instal fonts as ttf (true type fonts).
Web sites for free fonts: www.dafont.com & www.fontfreak.com There are a huge number of fonts which could be used in Newsletters, web sites, etc. Fonts get downloaded into the Downloads Folder (beware of becoming a ‘fontaholic ‘ - SL).
• Snow Leopard OS - Bops gave an overview of some of the features introduced or up-graded with the Snow Leopard OS:
- Exchange support for Mail - allows integration with iCal, Address Book & Mail (?)
- Malware check - warns about downloading a program.
- Improved Exposé - open windows laid out in neat order - easy to switch windows.
- Dock improvements - If you click and hold the mouse within an application with several docs/files open, you get an Exposé-style result (?)
You can change how programs are minimized - puts them into the specific application icon in the Dock. You can double-click on the title of the file to minimize it as well.
Cmd+Hold will show the pathway to the location of the file/item.
Right-Click within an application icon (eg Pages) will give a list of all open documents. A diamond symbol on the LHS of the file name indicates it is minimized.
- Finder changes - You can change the icon size “on the fly” and get an idea of what the file contains by enlarging the icon (without actually opening the application). Obviously, this can only be done in ‘icon view’.
- Smart Eject - allows ejecting of hard drives (somewhat more powerful in Snow Leopard).
- Snow Leopard comes with Quicktime X, and offers built-in screen capture.
- NB: Do not unplug an external monitor from your computer (while on?) as this could cause problems.
- Preview - Has better selection of text. Can import from scanner, and import from camera (only with some cameras).
- Visible Wifi Connections - Airport indicates scanning progress. WANN IION (?) now available.
- Can add URL tags from Safari into Address Book contacts.
- Can add date to the Menu Bar.
• Jeff A. showed an excerpt from an Apple Keynote address (can view the whole address via the iTunes website).
- ‘engadget’ is a good web site for various Apple video presentations.
- Some 30 million iPhones have been sold to date.
- iTunes is the No. 1 music retailer with 8.5 billion songs sold, and 100 million credit card accounts registered.
- There are 54 billion songs available via “Genius” (?)
- Cumulative iPod sales are 225 million, with iPods having 73.8% of the portable music player market.
- Demo was shown of the new iPod Nano with built-in video camera. Can use various effects while recording. (Only main criticism is that the camera lens is in an awkward location for taking videos).
- Web site of bdrdiscs.com.au has information about BluRay discs.
BluRay discs of 25GB (single layer) and 50GB (dual layer) can be used for burning media data via a Mac, but can’t read the data on a Mac. Have to use BluRay player. (You can us Toast 9 to allow you to play your BluRay discs - ?)
Optical media (BluRay, etc) is best for archiving video data rather than hard drives.
- www.ttlevel10.com shows new gaming station product with 9 drive bays - for high-end computer gaming.
Meeting Notes July
WORLD WIDE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE:
The World Wide Development Conference was held last month in San Francisco. The number of people now using OS X increased to 75 million since the new iPhone came out (tis is a threefold increase since 2007). Phil Schiller stood in for Steve Jobs and talked about MacBook Pro. The new battery in it will take 1,000 charges and is expected to last 5 years. Highlighted some of the new features of the new laptop, how green laptops are, and better than Windows Vista and Windows 7.
Snow Leopard is coming out in a couple of months and will take less hard drive space and have a lot of new features. The 13” is $1,899, 15” $2,699 and the 17” $3,999. Current Leopard users can purchase an upgrade for $US29 and $US49 for the family pack.
Safari 4 is the fastest web browser on the market. Forty million of the new iPhones were sold on the day they came out. There are 50,000 apps for the iPhone & iPodTouch.
Members watched the Unibody video which showed how the casing for the laptop was machined in one part with great strength-to-weight ratio. Members also watched a video on the new battery for the MacBook Pro. These two videos can be seen on the apple site www.apple.com/macbookpro/features.html.
iFixit WEB SITE goes into details of how to pull a Mac apart and fix it. It shows all types of tear-downs, MacBook Pro, MacBook 13, iPhone 3GS, etc. and sells spare parts even for older models.
Members watched the video on the new iPhone 3GS and how it can be used as a video camera. This can be seen on www.apple.com/au/iphone/
There was discussion about Chinese clones of the iPhone such as HiPhone, iPhome, SciPhome.
Another website looked at was the MiLi Power Projector which is an external battery with projector for iPhone, iPod, Mobile Phone. The MiLi Evolution Mini Power Projector works in conjunction with your iPhone or iPod Touch, docking it into the unit which then acts as projector and charger in one.
SAFARI 4 - Website is www.apple.com/safari/what-is.html - there is a free download for Mac on this site. It has 150 new features. The following is some of the information quoted:
“The first browser to deliver the “real” internet to a mobile device, Safari renders pages on iPhone and iPod touch just as you see them on your computer. But this is more than just a scaled-down mobile version of the original. It takes advantage of the technologies built into these multi-touch devices. The page shifts and reformats to fill the window when you turn it on its side. You zoom in just by pinching and extending your fingers.
Doing things no browser has ever done before, Safari also makes it a lot easier to find sites you’ve visited in the past — but can’t quite remember. Since it stores all the text of every page you visit, Safari can instantly find sites from even the sketchiest search terms.
Safari turns the same Cover Flow trick with your bookmarked sites. As you flip through your bookmarks, Safari lets you see the sites just as they appeared when you last visited them. Spot the right preview, and with a click, Safari takes you there instantly.”
Charts show the relative speeds of browsers: Safari 4 was the fastest and Vista and Internet Explorer the slowest.
Bops spoke about Evernote which saves notes on a web server. Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time from anywhere. Free Download.
Another APPs discussed was Growl, which is a notification system for Mac OS X.
PMA – Photo Marketing Association International Show in Sydney at the end of June. Members watched a video showing a waterproof camera which gives the ability to take photos in any situation. It is shock proofed to being dropped from 1.2 metres.
A video showing a small car called the Airpod was shown. This little car has three wheels, seats 3 people and runs on compressed air. Developed by a French company, Motor Development International.
Some gadgets were viewed on the web including Muvi DV camera, the world’s smallest camcorder, a camera to clip on a headband and a digital ruler. Members were amused by Vinyl Killer, a small vehicle which plays vinyl records without the record spinning.
Micro USB Charger - In Europe, Nokia, Apple, RIMM have agreed on a universal phone charger.
Meeting Notes June
• Steve mentioned that the price of white MacBooks had come down and were also faster.
• Bops showed us the magazine iCreate which comes from the United Kingdom and said that he thought it was the best and most up-to-date Mac publication. It has a mnix of tutorials and current Mac news.
• New Apple Store at Robina
Jeff showed a video he had made on the opening of the new Apple Store at Robina. He said there are classes available which can be booked online. One-to-one lessons are also available. For $129/year you can turn up to a lesson up to once every week, which works out very cheaply.
• Jarryd spoke about the World Wide Development Conference to be held in California where new programs and new products will be shown. Apple is spending a lot of money on design and research. The new iPhone 3.0 will have Cut, Copy and Paste as well as other new features. The new iPhone is expected to be released on 9 September, 2009.
• Steve mentioned a few free applications which he thought were well worth looking at:
- Handbrake 0.9.3 is a free application for converting files from one format to another, ripping little pieces of DVD to put into a movie, and makes it possible to extract the whole of the DVD.
- MPEG Streamclip is a powerful video converter, player, editor for MPEG, QuickTime, iPod. It can use the URL of a movie particularly needing to send things out in a different format. Export to QuickTime. It is another conversion tool good for opening files you have trouble opening.
- VLC player Video player great or playing AVI. It is freeware. QuickTime will open some AVIs but not all. There is a lot of variation in them and there can be issues, and a VLC player can resolve these problems. It will convert AVI Movies to iPod format.
- MacTheRipper can rip dvd to VOB files and convert VOB files to all video and audio formats. (this is from the web). It removes CSS encryption
- KeepViv.com can get YouTube video clips and download them.
• Bops spoke about TeamViewer which is a small application which enables you to connect to another computer over the internet. It works with a Mac or PC. When the application is launched it gives you a password, which you give to the owner of the other computer which will then give access to their computer screen.
• GarageBand – iLife09. Members were given a demonstration of how GarageBand worked and then encouraged to put some music together.
A video was shown which highlighted some of the capabilities of GaragaeBand, including learning musical instruments such as the guitar and piano.
Next Committee Meeting is on Tuesday 9 June at Broadbeach.
Next Monthly Meeting will be held at All Saints on Monday, 6th July, 2009 at 7.30pm.
State of Play with Mac – The health of Steve Jobs is a concern but people running the company in his place seem to be doing a good job. The last financial report from Apple came in with an extraordinary profit. Microsoft has recorded its very first loss since it started. There has been continued growth in iPod sales. There have been more applications for the iPhone, such as Barista, 2000 Awesome Facts and some banks have applications to do banking on iPhone. There is an application produced by the ABC to allow people to watch ABC content online. The Apple store at Robina is still not open (Breaking News: It opens on Saturday, 9th May!).
Text to Speech on Mac – Jarryd said this is a system available on Mac which will read what is highlighted and is useful for checking what has been typed. To do this, go into System Preferences, then click on Speech. This will bring up a window showing Speech Recognition and Text to Speech. Under Text to Speech there is a window for the choice of voice. Alex is the most recent and perhaps easier to understand voice, but others can be selected. You can have the voice speaking slower or faster. Tick the box “Speak selected text when the key is pressed” and you will be asked to select a key to activate this. Jarryd suggested Control + Option + S. (I found that I had to press the keys for Control and Option and S, not type in the words). Be careful choosing the key short cut as some keys have already been delegated for other uses. VoiceOver does something similar but does not have the advantage of a key short cut. To stop the voice simply press the key short cut again. Sometimes the voice will slur when the computer is really busy.
Summarising Text – Highlight the paragraph you wish summarised. In the program you are in e.g. Safari, you will find under the Safari Menu the word Services. Go to this and then to Summarize in the drop down menu. In the window that comes up you will see that it is possible to move the scale to make the summary smaller or larger.
Zooming can be done by holding down the Control key and moving button on the mouse. (Also, via System Prefs > Universal Access - ??)
Photo Booth – If you wish to find a photo to print but don’t know where it is, click on the Help menu. Learn to use the Help feature.
Spotlight is a useful feature. The shortcut key for this is Command + Space Bar. Spotlight is not only useful for finding a file but also is a dictionary, etc.
Break for Tea/Coffee
Jeff demonstrated how to make a slideshow with 4 selected photos and how to select the transitions and theme he wanted to use in his movie. Having set up the slide show he then showed how he edited a short movie and then added the short slideshow so that the transitions were being used in his movie. He has developed this technique to use transitions that are not available in iMovie. Jeff also showed a DVD on Waterboarding to entertain members.
Members are reminded that fees are due. Remember, the club cannot continue without adequate money to pay for essentials such as insurance, room hire, etc.
Next Committee Meeting is on Tuesday 12 May at Broadbeach.
Next Meeting will be held at All Saints on Monday, 1st June, 2009 at 7.30pm (or 7:00pm??).
Meeting Notes April
Jarryd told the meeting that there is new software coming out next year for iPhone 3.0. (iPhone only came out in the USA in 2007). This software will update the iPhone with some 300 new features, including: Cut, Copy & Paste; MMS (multi-media messaging services - ?) ; third-party services, etc.
When you shake the iPhone, it will give Undo, you will be asked if you want to Undo. In iTunes, Shake will shuffle to give random music.
Spotlight Search, which will search the phone to find anything easily.
GPS – can tell you where the nearest cinema is.
MMS – Multimedia Messaging Service for sending messages that include multimedia objects (images, audio, video, rich text).
It will be possible to plug in 3rd Party accessories. Diabetics will find this useful as they will be able to get a reading on IP and even have calculations for treatment, or send reminders to parents if necessary. It will also mean the iPhone can be plugged into the stereo system.
(Shazzam is a product which can give information regarding music that is being played).
Tetherer can link your internet connection via your iPhone, but will depend on whether the providers are prepared to do it.
Skype (VOIP) is a great way to talk to others via the computer and be able to see people on the screen. To use Skype on the iPhone you need to be where there is a WiFi connection. Best to have the beta version on you Mac. Go to Skype.com and see what versions are available. It was mentioned that the connection via Skype was better than via iChat. Skype credit cards can be purchased by going to the web site and looking under “Shop”. It makes calling overseas cheap at 3¢ per minute to a landline phone.
Our next presenter was Joel Marr who is consulting to sort out problems which people are experiencing with their computers. He suggested using Time Machine to back up so that important files are not lost. It was suggested by a member that it is a good idea to back up once a month and give that back-up to a neighbour for safe keeping in case of a house fire. Lap tops have a built-in a system to remind the user after 10 days to do a back-up, and then again after 15 days if you have not backed up in that time. Time Capsule can be used for up to 10 machines, but will fill up quickly. Terabyte drives can be purchased for multiple machines. The initial back-up of Time Machine can take 2-3 hours as it goes through all information on the machine but subsequent backups will be quick. Time Machine can be instructed what to backup so that it will not backup files you don’t need to backup and can also restore single items. Time Machine can also be used as a router.
UPS- Uninterrupted Power Supply (costs $100) regulates power (keeps power at a constant 240V) and gives time to close down safely if there is a blackout. It will also improve the picture on the TV. However, don’t plug in non-essential devices to UPS such as printers and speakers. Line Interactive Filter will change the power to the correct amps.
www.umart.com.au is a one-shop online computer superstore at Jackman Street, Southport. (If order online, save $10 for every purchase).
Joel was asked what were the most common issues he was asked about and he said it was probably problems with Office and iMovie. He also finds he helps people who have only just changed to a Mac. For people who are experiencing problems with their computer it is often a good idea to just Restart the computer, especially if the computer has not been shut down for a while. However, make sure to SAVE everything first. Sometimes it is a good idea to run Disk Utilities > Repair Permissions. Disk Warrior will fix things if the computer has not been shut down properly. Disk Genius will manage, maintain and optimise your hard drive. Monolingual removes unnecessary language resources and can reclaim hundreds of megabytes of disk space. However, make sure that English is left on!
Can reset PRAM if have problems – press Command/Option/P/R together and restart.
Break for Tea/Coffee
Geoff showed us some older forms of external storage and went on to talk about what is available today. Western Digital have a terabyte hard drive for $150 which is quieter, cooler and “green” if a lot of storage is needed. Amongst the many we saw on the screen was a Pleiades Housing for those who find an external hard drive is not sufficient. This has Fire Wire, USB, eSata, and external power supply. When it is hooked up to the computer it goes to sleep if the computer goes to sleep which saves a lot of space.
(USB Storage show. Hard Drive docks SoHouse allows you to plug in an external hard drive
Firewire is still faster than USB2 (but USB-3 will be 10 x faster). Firewire 3200 is next generation, USB3 will be backwards compatible but is still not available.
Sata HDD (Unitek) Double Dock is another which has AV connections and can play movies through the TV ($84). All need an external power supply.
Geoff prefers dock with Firewire, eSata and USB ports and something that sleeps when the computer sleeps but the dock needs a special chip to do this.
Meeting notes February
Jarryd gave a presentation on iLife 09 which is now out but has to be purchased. It is not a free upgrade. It updates the older version. It has plenty of new features. iPhoto has added new features which allows you to interact with your photos. You can now not only see Events but also now Places and Faces. The new iPhoto09 now has face recognition across all photos. Members watched the Tutorial on the Apple site. Go to the Faces bar and then type in the name of the person in the bar under their face. This will then put them on the corkboard. You can double click on someone’s name on the corkboard and it will bring up all the photos with that name in it. With the Places feature, some newer digital cameras record GPS co-ordinates to the photos and it is simply a matter of clicking in the corner of the photo to find out where the photo was taken. However, if the photo does not have this you can type in the name and then Places will recognise where this is, eg Eiffel Tower is in Paris, in France. Once this has been done, Places will recognise all photos taken at the Eiffel Tower. An additional feature is that it will now show a Google picture of where the place is so that photos can be organised in sequence of a trip. Photos can be shared on Facebook with a single click. Just click on Facebook button and the photos upload straight away. A full screen slideshow is easier than ever to make with the new iLife09 using Faces, Places or Events and choose a Theme, eg. Snapshot, Sliding Panels. There are 6 Themes, and music can be changed at any time. When completed the slideshow can be sent to iTunes. Photobooks (and calendars) can be created using location data and maps can be added quite simply. To learn more see the guided tour on www.apple.com/ilife/guided-tours/
iMovie09 adds powerful new editing tools. There is the Precision Editor which means two clips can be made to match up when they originally don’t. The effects can go faster or slower or even in reverse as required. Hollywood-style titles can be added, and the look of footage can be changed. There are many title styles to choose from. Video Effects can be added quite simply. There is Photo Stabilisation to correct shakes in a video clip. Themes have been introduced to bring together movies with animated graphics, titles and transitions. Each Theme has a unique feel. A Theme can be chosen when beginning a project or applied after. New themed elements can also be added. It is also easy to add travel mounts to a video, using the Globe icon. There is a full screen browser to make it easy to browse and skim through projects. To learn more see the guided tour on www.apple.com/ilife/guided-tours/
Garage Band has a brand new feature allowing downloads of tutorials from artists. There are actually lessons from artists. It is all in HD which gives a lovely display. iDVD does not seem to have changed much.
ILife costs $129 for the Family Pack
Some members were having problems using either Safari or Firefox to use e-Bay and it was suggested Garage Sale can solve some problems, although there are many browsers, up to 80 in fact. Opera is another good browser. It was suggested that the best time to sell on e-Bay was to put the item up for sale on a Sunday evening. Bids seem to come in on the last few seconds. Other sites suggested to look at were Garage Sale, Garage Buy and Garage Pay which cost about $25 per application. Paypal is a secure integrated third party payment system linked with e-Bay.
Bops suggested looking at www.iwascoding.com for the Garage Sale software, etc.
Click the ‘Refresh’ button (next to photos) to re-format ads, etc.
Members were asked which ISPs they used. Speed was important. This can be tested by going to www.SpeedTest.net/ Sometimes it can depend on how far your house is from the telephone exchange. Speed with a cable connection can depend on how many in the street are connected. Some ISPs are more friendly towards Mac users than others. (eg,, iPrimus, OntheNet are Mac-friendly; Optus is not).
It was suggested to look up www.whirlpool.net.au for broadband ISP news and comparisons.
Some ISPs adopt the ‘shaped’ account approach if you exceed your data download limits – ie, your connection speed slows down (to dial-up speeds) rather than get charged at exorbitant rates (eg, Telstra charges $160/GB for excess downloads).
Also check www.speedtest.net to check your computer connection download and upload speeds.
ABC iView is a free internet broadcasting service that allows you to watch ABC TV programs on your computer (for free!).
Meeting Notes November
New Mac Notebook and Mac Notebook Pro. The main difference noted was that Firewire is not available on the new Mac Book but is still on the Mac Book Pro. Apple has explained this by saying it is not being used sufficiently. Other implications mean you cannot "target drive" one Mac to talk to another. You used to be able to use a firewire cord to hook both machines by holding down “T” key - can treat it like a hard drive. Very useful technology. USB will give you a quicker burst of speed, a higher rate of transfer. It was noted that prices of these machines have gone up with the fall in the Australian dollar. It had been hoped there would be a cheaper machine, but perhaps Apple do not have too worry as they have more cash than Microsoft. Steve asked if anyone took advantage of the Crossover free download the other day? Crossover is a technology which lets Intel Macs use applications for Windows. There have been days where you can get the licence for free.
Bops gave a demonstration of how to share Address Books and Calendars between connected computers. Open Address Book Preferences – Sharing and tick “Allow Sharing”. This will give a list of people you can allow to access data. There is also a box for sending an invitation telling people every time you make a change to the other person’s address book. It will make a change and it has gone straight up to MobileMe. You can still copy a list of addresses into a group from the shared address book. Going back into the group select names. Deleting them doesn’t take them out of the address book. This is an easy way to do things if you have a situation where you are taking care of another address book, e.g. a husband keeping a wife’s address book up to date without having to check the other computer physically. You can also publish the address book – can subscribe to another MobileMe Address Book and can share this with a computer not connected to you by wireless. Both people can work on it at the same time. Even photos can be shared to a particular person you nominate. (NB – The other party must also click the “Share your Address Book” in the Address Book Prefs.)
Sharing Calendar (iCal) – There is a bit more conflict than with Address Book. Need to publish to MobileMe, gives you the option who to publish to. Easy as MobileMe connects up with an URL and that is the link to people you want to share calendar with. There is a restriction on this as they do not have different levels of sharing. It is “Read Only”. It is handy for looking up what other people are doing. There is another way to share the calendar and this is called Spanning Sync (has to be paid for) – drives in a Google Calendar and Google Address Book. It is a way to synchronise so you can give people access if you want to make changes to your and no have access to you computer. Also maintains different colours, which iCal used for different appointments. Google will support the same colour scheme. Contacts also you can synchronise all contacts or select certain groups. If you only want to share parts of your Address Book you only share that part. The schedule for synchronising can be set up on every hour, or every day, or automatically.
Can also “find shared calendars”. Open iCal - Calendars – Find Shared Calendars.
Can do changes at any time it suits him. As well as Spanning Sync there is iDisk Sync.
(Comment was made that if you go into another time zone with iPhone it automatically changes to the local time.)
Jeff gave a couple of tips. First, how to have the date displayed at the top corner of the screen with the time. Go to System Preferences – International – Formats - under Date select Customize. In the window that comes up Select format of date you want and copy it, go back to Time Format – Customize – change Short on Show to Medium, drag date into the window, (can put colons etc) select pm.
System Preferences – International – Formats – Customize date then come down date can be into time, customize time and copy that format, and change short to medium. To check day go into time in corner and delete day.
Jeff commented that he found the start up noise on his Mac was too loud and has found a way to turn it down. You can down load a free program Start Up Pane for Mac OS10. Install. Go to Startup Sound – this allows start up sound control. It does not affect the normal volume level.
Jeff then showed us some pictures of very large TV screens ranging from the Panasonic 103” to the Panasonic 150” and even a screen which covers an entire wall.
Thanks Margaret Jamieson for the meeting notes.
Meeting notes September 2008
Jeff started off the meeting with a presentation on external storage,
hard drives, enclosures and docks, showing many different types
including twin docks, multimedia docks and more. He then demonstrated
and passed around his new Unitek HDD dock, which also doubled up as a
2 port USB hub and a 4 slot card reader. Then followed the highlight
of the evening - a conference call from the snow fields from club
president Steve, for a quick update on the meeting. Next a very
thorough and informative presentation from Jarryd on iWork. He showed
off the inner workings of Pages, Numbers and Keynote and pointed out
it's many advantages over Microsoft Office. Then Jeff gave a
presentation on MPEG Streamclip and showed how to download a flash
movie from YouTube and convert it to Quicktime, crop it from 4x3 to
16x9, zoom in on it and even extract the audio file as an AIF or MP3.
He then continued on explaining the differences between eSATA,
Firewire and USB, and went on to explain the new technologies of
Firewire 3200 and USB 3.0. The group then broke for coffee and
biscuits and a friendly chat to finish of the night.
Meeting Notes July 2008
With unprecedented iPhone 3G media coverage it was logical that we centred our attention on this device. Jarryd Hall and Sam Mangan gave an excellent presentation on all things iPhone 3G. The boys covered, in detail, interface, plans, coverage, applications and costs. Having an iPhone at the meeting to give attendees a close look at features such as web page rendering and the accelerometer which when you rotate the iPhone from portrait to landscape, detects the movement and changes the display accordingly, provided the necessary practical angle to the presentation. A video summary of their presentation will soon be available. It was mentioned that MacTalk, an excellent Australian Mac resource, has an exhaustive set of forums discussing the iPhone 3G including an analysis of plans and availability. Sam and Jarryd managed to answer most of the questions of the members and led some interesting discussions ranging from reception issues and WiFi availability through to data allocations within the various plans that are available. They finished their presentation with a review of the recently launched MobileMe service that replaces .mac. This service is designed to provide an integrated system enabling synchronised mail, calendar, galleries, storage and web pages. Next we had a quick (60 second) summary movie of the World Wide Developers Conference Steve Jobs Keynote. We went on to look at how to make a DVD of photos stored in iPhotos before Jeff managed to amaze us all (once again) with another relic from his gadget collection. This time it was some of the early game consoles and controllers. Seeing and hearing some of the early games made for an interesting contrast to the games featured on the app store available for the iPhone. We finished up with a look at some of the options available in iDVD including encoding and audio settings. Thanks to Noel for stepping in and organising the Coffee break and fee collection.