… back in the day when we were the
Santa Barbara Mac Users Group
Presented in reverse chronological order.
December 14, 2000: Our guests presented PhotoSpin, a source of tens of thousands of royalty-free images.
PhotoSpin is a group of creative professionals with backgrounds in photography, graphic design, advertising, and film. Their founders say they love being submerged in high quality creative content, and believe all professionals should have quick access to good content at affordable prices.
According to PhotoSpin, most image vendors sell single images, or at most a collection of around 100 images. PhotoSpin offers a subscription for one low fee, for continuous access to tens of thousands of images and all the content on their web site. New content will be added every month, so their library “will never get old or stale.”
Val Gelineau, founder and CEO of PhotoSpin, was accompanied by Scott Hawthorne, who gave us a very entertaining tour of the offerings on PhotoSpin’s web site, and Seth Hodgson of PhotoSpin’s website development team Impossible, Inc.. We were delighted with the site’s clean design and easy-to-use interface, and how quickly the images loaded over our dial-up connection.
November 16, 2000: Chuck Sorrels, sales manager of Interactive Solutions, gave us a demonstration of MovieWorks, a suite of applications that work together to create web movies, personal videos, dynamic slide shows, and linear multimedia presentations, with unprecedented ease, speed and affordability.
We were delighted with the ease and speed with which Chuck was able to put together QuickTime movies, presentations and slide shows. Chuck’s finale was creating a sunset with an eagle flying into the distance. It took about two minutes, and as Chuck said, “It takes longer to tell about it than to do it.”
MovieWorks retails for less than $100 and has most of the most-used features of Macromedia Director, but is much simpler to use. It’s like having “light” versions of Adobe Premiere (video editor), Flash (animation editor), Sound Edit Pro (sound editor) and PhotoShop (photo/paint editor), all rolled into one. Projects created in MovieWorks may include any number of text, picture, graphic, video, voice, music, 3D, and animation objects. Sequencing, transitions (wipes, dissolves, blinds, barn doors, zooms etc.), scaling effects and motion paths may be applied to any of these objects.
Video may be captured from analog or digital devices (such as VCR or camcorder), unwanted segments may be trimmed, and the clips may be easily sequenced in the Sequencer window. The finished file can be exported as a normal or “streaming” QuickTime movie, or to tape or a DV camcorder. QuickTime movies may be played on either Macs or PCs, imported into other applications, or easily uploaded to a web page.
MovieWorks Interactive includes everything in MovieWorks, plus support for button and VR objects, allowing you to create interactive multimedia presentations and CD-ROM titles. MovieWorks Interactive allows you to create an unlimited number of scenes and then link them sequentially to other scenes, or interactively through the use of buttons. A MovieWorks Interactive Player application is available for both Macintosh and Windows, and may be freely distributed.
Also included on both the MovieWorks and MovieWorks Interactive CDs are over 300 megabytes of royalty-free QuickTime movies, frames, backgrounds, buttons, pictures, music, MIDI, VR, animations, and 3D files.
October 19, 2000: Our guest was Don Baker of Klassic Specialties, a new company offering specialty printing media and cartridges for inkjet and laser printers. Don’s presentation, “Demystifying Ink Jet Printing”, covered four major areas:
- Printer Technologies: an overview of the various technologies used in printers by Epson, Hewlett-Packard and others, operation characteristics, and advantages & disadvantages of each;
- Ink: the different ink formulations, “original” and compatible inks, and refill kits;
- Media & Paper: what is different about inkjet paper and what to look for when selecting it; and examples of other types of paper-based, fabric-based, reflective and transparent media;
- Tips: on print settings, scanning, printer care, image file type selection, and more.
September 21, 2000: Our guest was Frank Saab of Ecrix Corporation, maker of tape drives and media for storage and backup. Ecrix is an innovator in tape storage and the developer of VXA, an award-winning tape technology that features advanced backup and restore capabilities.
Backup is the single most important aspect of computer usage for businesses today. Ecrix has a super fast tape backup at an affordable price, which works on both Macs and PCs. (See story on MacCentral.)
August 17, 2000: Becky Davis and Howard Glenn opened the meeting with a discussion of basic trouble shooting, preventive maintenance, repair utilities, and advice on reinstalling the Mac’s operating system.
After refreshments, Ed Togami gave a presentation on strategies for backing up the contents of hard disks large and small, including a comparison of the various storage mediums — from “floppies” to Zip disks, CDs, tape and others.
July, 2000: No meeting this month. We took a vacation, it’s summer time!
June 15, 2000: Anthony Dipaola of American Power Conversion (APC) presented APC’s line of surge protectors and uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) — devices which are often useful, if not essential, in our central coast area.
Protection from surges, outages and brownouts is a cross-platform issue for users of Macs, PCs and all other computers as well. APC’s products are designed to protect computers and their data from these damaging conditions.
For Macs using OS 9.04 and APC’s Shutdown Manager application, APC’s new Back-UPS Pro 500 can automatically save files and shut down the Mac in the event of an extended power outage.
May 25, 2000: Our presenter was our own inimitable Susan Carty, back for a follow-up of last September’s memorable presentation on Searching the Web. This time, Susan focused on finding things on the web, with a review of search engines and how they’re constantly changing.
We have a page of links to diverse and interesting sites which Susan used as examples in her talk at our May 25th meeting.
April 13th, 2000: Matt Neuburg showed us how to take our Macs “through obedience school”, making them execute certain tasks automatically or with a key-stroke, using some of the most common scripting languages, e.g. AppleScript, Frontier (Matt’s favourite) and RealBasic.
By taking the little time it takes to set up our computers with some simple scripts, there are innumerable ways we can do things more efficiently, eliminate errors and frustrations, save a bit of time or money (automate downloads or fax in the off-peak hours for instance).
March 16, 2000: Chuck Chaney of Samy’s Camera was our guest. Chuck discussed the current options for digital cameras in the $300 – $1500 range, with emphasis on models made by Olympus, Nikon, Kodak and Canon, as well as the Sony Mavica. Chuck also explained the various ways to get the picture from the camera to the computer, and the pros and cons of each.
Chuck is an expert in the areas of digital imaging, Apple computer systems, and traditional photographic techniques. Chuck currently manages the digital imaging department at Samy’s Camera here in Santa Barbara, which includes the oversight of a range of digital imaging equipment, a full-scale service bureau, and student orientation sessions. Chuck also works as a freelance photographer and imaging consultant.
You can view some of Chuck’s work at www.chuckchaney.com.
February 17, 2000: Our guest was renowned author Adam Engst, publisher of TidBITS, one of the oldest and largest Internet-based newsletters. TidBITS began in 1990, and is now distributed weekly to hundreds of thousands of readers. Adam has also written and co-authored numerous Internet books and magazine articles, including the best-selling Internet Starter Kit series, and the Peachpit Press Eudora 4.2 for Windows & Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide. His latest book, published by O’Reilly, is a collaboration with David Pogue. It’s called Crossing Platforms: A Macintosh/Windows Phrasebook.
January 20, 2000: Dave Sisson of Santa Barbara’s popular Jandd Mountaineering spoke at our meeting. For the past 15 years, Dave has used Macs exclusively to run his business — from production through shipping, sales and inventory to year-end accounting. Jandd has used numerous business software applications, and Dave has developed a number of successful routines himself. Jandd now has 24 Macs integrated into their business network.