Presented in reverse chronological order.
December 18, 2008: SBMUG’s second annual Winter Festival and Pot Luck! SBMUGers brought their favorite delicious hot or cold dish to share, and hot drinks and cold drinks were provided. Becky brought chicken enchiladas (one of Brian Carlin’s favorites), and there were a couple of pizzas — from Petrini’s of course! We also had a swap meet with our surplus Mac hardware, software, books and magazines. One person’s trash is another one’s treasure!
November 20, 2008: Jon Dessert from Apple and Jason Egbert of Samy’s Camera showed us how to use color management to make better-looking photos. Here are some quick recommendations to get what you see on the screen to match what comes out of the printer:
1. Devices, drivers, operating systems, and applications can all interpret and reproduce colors differently. 2. Set your display for gamma 2.2 and 6500°K white point, and use the Adobe 1998 working space for photo editing. 3. Use a display calibrator such as the Eye-One Display 2 calibrator, or calibrate your display and printer both with the ColorMunki all-in-one spectrophotometer. 4. Use the proper profile for the paper you’re printing on. 5. Luminous Landscape has helpful tutorials such as “Understanding Printer Colour Management“.
October 16, 2008: Kevin Ponto showed us how you can get your own blog going with WordPress. It’s one of the most popular blogging platforms in the world, and it’s easy to use and free. He showed how to install and customize it, and use it to drive traffic to your personal or business website.
There’s also WordPress for iPhone!
September 18, 2008: A special SBMUG meeting in memory of Brian Carlin, who passed away in August. We met in Brian’s favorite eatery, Petrini’s Family Restaurant.
The “Brian Special” dinner was offered (spaghetti & meatballs, green salad, garlic bread). Many SBMUGers came to remember Brian and his contributions to our group.
We also had a slide show presentation of past events and meetings with Brian. Those wishing to speak shared their stories and memories too.
August 21, 2008: SBMUGers met at Goleta Beach for our second annual picnic! See more fun photos from our July 2007 picnic!
July 9, 2008: Christopher Breen, senior editor of Macworld Magazine US, was our special guest at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
Chris talked about the history of Apple and Steve Jobs; Apple’s ease of use, high quality of design and “coolness”; the importance of NeXT as part of OS X and its configurability for other kinds of devices, such as the iPhone. He recalled some of Apple’s missteps – the Newton, the Cube, the round mouse; and talked at length about the successes, most notably the iPod (iPods were given to journalists to try, they loved it!); and the iPhone, and made his own suggestions for some amazing new iPhone features.
Q: Will Apple make a tablet-ebook? A: Possibly in the next 3 years. Q: Macworld’s Mouse Ratings? A: Products used to be tested for a month, now tested by several people for a shorter period and re-reviewed after living with them for 2 months. Q: Apple after Steve Jobs? A: Steve has a really strong team, so the culture of innovation will survive. Q: Apple’s market share in a few years? A: Double digits. Q: You really own 32 iPods? A: Maybe only 23. They were acquired for testing. Q: When will Apple stop making hard-drive iPods? A: Soon. Q: Favorite web sites? A: Google, Wikipedia references, Apple discussion forums, MacFixIt, Macintouch, Macworld forums, Daring Fireball, Fake Steve, Macworld.com, Ars Technica&hellip.
June 19, 2008: Mary Fairchild and Steve Shura showed us how to use the on-line tutorials at Lynda.com. Many of the tutorials are available for free; more advanced tutorials are available by subscription with a variety of monthly and annual plans for individuals, groups and educators.
You can search for tutorials by software, vendor, or author. (Mary started with Lynda.com just a year ago and was given a MacBook Pro to use, but didn’t know how to use it, so she went to the product menu and selected “Mac OS”, then clicked “Leopard Essential Training”.) The training is task-based, so you can learn what you need to know immediately. Because it’s video-based, you can stop it at any point; if you’re interrupted or missed something, you can go back.
Authors are experts in their fields and expert communicators, and new titles are added continually. If you don’t see what you need, suggest it!
May 15, 2008: Anna and Jared from the Apple Store in Thousand Oaks gave us an introduction to Apple’s .Mac service. .Mac offers website hosting, IMAP mail, file sync, and iDisk for storage and backup. New features include: Web Gallery, which works with iPhoto; “Back to My Mac”, offers access to your Mac from another Mac, just like in the Finder, when you’re away from home (requires Leopard); 10GB storage for a primary account, 2GB for secondary accounts on family plans. Syncing now saves bookmarks, keychain, “the whole environment.”
Movies can now be published on the web directly from iMovie 08 to your web gallery. You can upload multiple sizes optimized for iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV. (Web galleries require Leopard.)
With Web Hosting you can add web widgets (snippets from other sites) to your pages, and Google maps for visitors. There’s support for personal domains too. Change the look easily by choosing a different theme instead of redesigning from scratch.
April 17, 2008: Digital arts instructor Jeffery Morse compared Adobe’s Photoshop CS3 and Apple’s Aperture 2.1 and how they fit into a photo editing workflow. Jeffery Morse took a picture of us in Peabody School’s Science Room, then opened it in Aperture 2.1 to create the four views below.
Photographers who need to do basic image editing on lots of images will find that Aperture is easy to set up for an efficient workflow. It opens and non-destructively edits image files to make basic adjustments and add meta data, organizes photos into project folders and albums, and exports to other media such as albums, web pages and journals. Aperture works natively with raw (uncompressed) camera files and can export them as 8- or 16-bit JPEGs.
Opening the photo above in Aperture, Jeffery eliminated a yellowish cast by clicking on the white acoustic ceiling tiles for a quick white-point adjustment, then used saturation and level adjustments to make three other views of the same image.
Aperture offers “managed” workflow (storing images in its “vaults” and simplifying the backing up of all image and adjustment data), or “reference” workflow (remembering where images are stored in the Finder, but backups must be done separately using the likes of Time Machine, SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner).
Jeffery described Aperture as “like iPhoto on steroids.” Version 2.1’s price and system requirements are lower than those of version 1, making it appealing to the iPhoto user who needs something more. (See the specifications and users’ manual here.) Aperture and iPhoto can also browse and work with images in each other’s libraries.
Photoshop is part of Adobe’s Creative Suite and does lots of things with the image alone, but is very targeted on image work rather than workflows. Creative Suite is a collection of applications which provide a workflow for Photoshop. However, Photoshop can be used as an external image editor to make it part of Aperture’s workflow.
Photoshop’s “What’s New in CS3” setting highlights menu items of its numerous new and improved features. (See a tour of Photoshop CS3 features here.) Jeffery showed us Photoshop’s improved ability to stitch panoramic images together and its improved controls for image adjustments.
March 20, 2008: Don Baker of Klassic Specialties gave us the latest information on papers and ink, and valuable tips on how to get the most for the least expense out of our printers.
Paper is the most important factor affecting print quality. Thermal bubble jet printers use paper treated to work with the heated ink. Epson piezo printers don’t heat the ink and the paper needs to be designed for it. The paper package should have the printer manufacturer’s name on it.
The printer’s paper setting determines the volume of ink used: cheap plain paper uses more ink because it spreads; inkjet paper uses less ink; photo paper uses less due to its gloss coating; transparency film uses the least.
When using the printer’s cleaning utility to unclog nozzles, clean only once or twice, then let the printer sit for a few hours with the power on, then test. Use the printer once every two or three weeks minimum. Use its power switch to turn it off so the print head is parked.
Use Klassic Specialties‘ web site to find compatible paper and other media, and to check the cost of ink before buying a new printer!
February 21, 2008: Remember our picnic at the beach last summer? Want to schmooze again with other SBMUGers? SBMUG held an indoor picnic this month: a potluck swapmeet social at Peabocy School Auditorium, for schmoozing and trading whatever old Mac hardware, books, magazines or software members wanted to barter or give away. SBMUG supplied hot drinks, including Peet’s coffee, to take away the February chill!
January 24th, 2008: This month’s meeting came right after Macworld Expo in San Francisco, with great photos and discussions of what’s new by those attending. We had a raffle, good food from Dottie, and a fairly good turnout for a rainy and cold night.
See SBMUG’s Macworld 2008 photo gallery for more photos (thanks to Kathy, Harold, Mike, Jim, Brian and Mick), and don’t miss SBMS Teen Press’s excellent Macworld video coverage!