… back in the day when we were young whipper-snappers
as the Santa Barbara Mac Users Group
December 20th, 2007: Dirk Reynolds showed us Bento, FileMaker’s new easy-to-use personal database for Mac OS X Leopard. Bento makes it easy to organize all kinds of personal information, such as contacts, calendars, projects and events, with direct links to OS X’s Address Book and iCal. Bento comes with ready-to-use templates and elegant themes, and they’re customizable. Change the look of any form with drag-and-drop or point-and-click to customize fonts, fields, colors, columns and other features, to see information in a way that makes sense to you. (Thanks to Brian for the photos.)
November 15th, 2007: Kevin Ponto gave us a tour of the new features in Leopard, the latest version of Mac OS X. Among the highlights: ¶ New time-saving ways of looking through your files: in Stacks in the Dock, with Cover Flow in the Finder — or flip through pages of a file in Quick Look before you open it! ¶ Easier file searches: The Sidebar displays shared files on networked Macs and PCs, and frequently used searches can be saved in the Sidebar. ¶ Easier backups and file recovery with Time Machine. ¶ Multiple desktop environments with Spaces. ¶ New features in Mail, iChat and Safari. If you missed the show, have a look at Apple’s Mac OS X Leopard Features pages.
October 18th, 2007: Art Sylvester, president of the Santa Barbara Genealogical Society, presented Reunion, the excellent genealogy software for Macintosh. Version 9 has an impressive list of features and terrific ease of use. Macworld’s review of Reunion gave it a rating of 5 mice. Art was our presenter at last year’s April meeting as well.
September 27, 2007: With Fred Marshak on Keynote, Ruffo Miranda on Pages, and Brian Carlin on Numbers, we had an introduction to Apple’s iWork ’08, which offers easy-to-use word processing and page layout, cinema-quality presentations, spreadsheets, compatibility with Microsoft Office, and more. (Thanks to Betsy for the photos.)
August 16, 2007: Harold Adams talked about iLife ’08, a suite of Apple software for doing personal projects (iMovie, iPhoto, iWeb, GarageBand, iDVD). Then he showed a 20-minute guided tour movie, made by Apple.
Harold took many questions, and then showed two new iPhone TV commercials. Then he showed a video he made of his son, Ben, using Harold’s iPhone. Then Harold fielded more questions. The raffle prize was the iLife ’08 software.
July 19, 2007: SBMUG’s first-ever pot-luck picnic at Goleta Beach! Thanks to everyone who cooked, carried, and showed up for this enjoyable summer evening! And the raffle prize was … an iPod Shuffle!
June 21, 2007: SBMUG held another of its popular help & demo nights. Plenty of people showed up to ask questions, exchange ideas and socialize.
May 17, 2007: Jeffery Morse demoed Apple’s integrated video post-production suite Final Cut Studio 2, and showed us how he used it with Aperture and Final Cut Pro to make a beautiful time-lapse movie of the cityscape of Seattle. Final Cut Studio 2 is a suite of applications for combining video, 3D
motion graphics and multitrack audio: Final Cut Pro 6, Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro 2, Color, Compressor 3, DVD Studio Pro 4. The Studio suite has many features useful in professional video production, and is designed for a smooth workflow among applications. The suite sells for $1299. Final Cut Studio 2 is designed for professionals, but Final Cut Express is a more affordable video editor with 85–90% of the features of Final Cut Pro. It makes an easy transition to FCP at a fraction of the cost: $299.
April 19, 2007: Kevin Ponto (from MacMechanic’s Help Desk) and Jon Dessert (from Samy’s Camera) showed us the new Apple TV and how it integrates into a home entertainment system.
The Apple TV works with a variety of TVs from wide-screen and high-definition to non-HD and CRT models. It doesn’t record TV shows like Tivo, but there are rumors that it may in the future.
It plays movies, TV shows, music and podcasts (including content pruchased from the iTunes Store), and displays photos from iPhoto. Album artwork can be displayed on the screen. And the Apple TV’s onscreen menus are easy to use with the Apple remote.
March 22, 2007: Gordon and Jennifer Bell, founders of Prosoft Engineering, Inc., showed us Data Rescue II, Picture Rescue, Drive Genius, Data Backup 3, and Jax for iPod, which allow you to back up, recover, maintain and manage your important data. Prosoft’s products have won 4- and 5-star ratings in numerous reviews. OS X includes some drive utility software created by Prosoft.
Data Rescue II recovers deleted files, and files on corrupted disks. Data Backup 3 supports a variety of backup types, including full bootable backups, incremental, version and selective backups; synchronization, compression, encryption, and scheduling and automating your backups. It makes backups to multiple CDs or DVDs, or any local or on-line volume that can be mounted on the desktop.
Drive Genius defragments files and groups them together, can repartition “on the fly” after defragmenting (using a start-up CD), “repairs” problem disks, and more.
Picture Rescue recovers images from corrupted camera memory cards, even when other utilities can’t; recovers deleted images that haven’t been overwritten; shows thumbnail previews so you can select files to recover or select all; reformats cards too.
Jax for iPod finds information on performers, including recordings and whom they’ve performed with; searches for lyrics and album artwork, shows available albums from Amazon, iTunes and others; downloads and transcodes videos into iTunes Movies library; downloads RSS news to iPod (with Leopard it will speak the news too); gets movie times by zipcode, and directions from Mapquest or Google Maps. Thanks to Gordon and Jennifer for making Prosoft’s products available at the meeting at generously discounted prices.
February 15, 2007: SBMUG held another popular Q&A-Demo-Help night. February was also the first month of SBMUG’s combined Beginners’ & Advanced Topics night, with both groups meeting at opposite ends of the auditorium. See the Special Interest Groups page for more information.
January 18, 2007: January is the month we have our review of Macworld Expo, San Francisco. The big news this year was Apple’s wonderful new iPhone and Apple TV. Mike, Mick, Harold, Brian, and Kathy (did we forget anyone?) went to Macworld and came back with photos and stories. Here’s a sample, but you can see more in our Macworld Expo movie! (Photos by Mike, Mick and Harold.)