What is ClubMac?

ClubMac is for people who are interested in the Apple Mac platform. We provide an opportunity for people new to Apple computers (as well as experienced hands) to meet and to learn how to get the best out of their Mac in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

At our monthly meetings — which take place on the first Wednesday of every month between September and May — we aim to answer questions that people may have with their Mac, provide them with up-to-date news on all things Apple and inform them about those little-known but often very useful software applications.

ClubMac’s bulletin board is also a very important resource; if you’ve got a problem, post it on the bulletin board (you must register first — it’s free) and our helpful band of Apple gurus will do their best to sort you out.

ClubMac’s next meeting is March 2, 2016

ClubMac meeting; March 2, 2016
The March meeting of ClubMac will take place on Wednesday, March 2, in Merrion Cricket Club, 53 Anglesea Road, Dublin 4, DO4 HF59 (there is off-street parking).

The doors will be open from 7.30 p.m. and the meeting will start shortly afterwards.

New: Spring Training Programme

Our Spring training programme will be delivered by our favourite Mac trainer, Noel Davidson, who will explain in our March meeting how to get the best out of iCloud.

The training programme is intended primarily to those new to Apple to make the most of their iPhones, iPad or Mac computers. The training is open to non-members at a cost of €50; there will be no charge to members. Hint to non-members: taking out an annual subscription to ClubMac costs €25 for the year — saving you €25 and allowing you to avail of other offers and goodies!

Regular monthly features

The training session will be followed by our regular monthly sessions: Technical Q&A in which our technical gurus will try to answers question from the floor on a range of Mac software and hardware issues and What’s New in the World of Apple where we give a round up of all the major Apple developments that have taken place since our last meeting.

We serve soft drinks, sandwiches and refreshments at all our monthly meetings.

January 2016 meeting

ClubMacs first meeting of 2016 took place on Wednesday, February 3, in Merrion Cricket Club.

Tom Martin, Committee Member, opened the meeting and introduced the agenda for the evening.


Noel Davidson took the audience through ways of Spring cleaning your iPhone and Mac. In terms of the iPhone, it was important to check what apps might be using more then their fair share of memory and battery performance. Users were advised to check the Battery setting in Settings/General to see what apps might be draining the battery and also to turn off app refresh if they are using more than their normal share of battery life.

For fine-tuning the Mac, Noel recommended using Disc Utilities (comes free with the System Software) and Disk Doctor, the latter is available from the App Store, for identifying clutter on your computer and for ensuring that there was plenty of’ free space.

He took us through the WhatsApp app on the iPhone and demonstrated its versatility for sending messages to different groups of people. The App is also available for Macs.

Technical Q&A

Noel acted as rapporteur for this element of the evening which covered the following topics:

  • Buying a sim-free, unlocked iPhone;
  • Using your iPhone as a recording device; Noel advised the use of Voice Memo which comes free with every iPhone;
  • Changes in iMovie and the disappearance of iDVD;
  • Logging in and out of iTunes.

What’s New in the World of Apple

Tom Martin give an overview of Apple’s recent release of its financial returns for its 1st Quarter of 2016. He showed how the growth in iPhone sales had levelled off while the decline in sales of iPads continued unabated. The good news for Apple stemmed for its services activities such as its App and iTunes Stores.

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December meeting memo

Tom Martin, Committee Member, opened the meeting which also doubles as ClubMac’s Christmas Party.


Michael Keogh was more than an able deputy for our regular trainer, Noel Davidson, who was unable to attend.

In his presentation, Michael covered the following topics:

  • Organising and categorising your iTunes library
  • Transferring music from your iPod to your Mac
  • Accessing radio stations on Apple Music and developing your own station playlists

Technical Q&A

We welcomed back Peter O’Reilly back to supervise our Question and Answer session which dealt with some of the following queries:

  • Issues with spam mail
  • Synching with iCloud and the use of iCloud Drive
  • The merits of buying the new version of AppleTV (one of the disadvantages of ATV 3 is that it does not play Apple Music)
  • Problems with dropping wifi signals

What’s New in the World of Apple

In an abbreviated session, Tom Martin covered the following topics:

  • Tim Cook’s visit to Ireland and the announcement of 1,000 new jobs in Cork
  • The new iPad Pro goes on sale

Special Presentation: Thanks by Tom Mac Mahon

Tom Mac Mahon, Committee Member, gave a short overview of his work in refurbishing old Macs — some of which were donated by ClubMac members — which are then sent to schools in Tanzania and he also showed us the response of the beneficiaries: Asanta Sana (thanks a lot).

As a final round-up, Tom showed us his current desktop model, a G5 with a large Dell screen, which he uses along with Photoshop and InDesign to produce calendars for the Pallottine Order. And there was a free 2016 calendar for everyone in the audience!

Christmas Party

The attendance enjoyed the festive goodies and drinks laid on by Sylvia Yates. Thanks also to Stephanie, Henry and Garrett for their help.

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November meeting memo

John Maguire, Committee Member, chaired the meeting.

What’s New in the World of Apple

The whats New was fairly brief to allow time for the training session and the special presentation on Drones. Covered in What’s new was record sales and profits for Apple Inc. over 55 billion sales, 11 billion profit and a operating margin of 40%. Just under 50 million iPhones sold and 5.7m Macs. iPads continue to lose sales and Apple have not given figures for the sales of the iWatch. There’s a new iMac with retina display. comes with a heft price tag of 1749 Euro. the US price is a more reasonable 1499 Dollars. So Apple are making tor taking a hefty profit on their Irish sales margin. The lack of an SSD drive slows down the performance of the iMac Retina. What other Macs can you buy, what is the cheapest Mac for sale?

1.4GHz Processor

500 GB Storage

4GB memory

569.00 Euro

Please add Monitor (150.00 Euro Budget model)

Apple Mouse and keyboard

118.00 Euro

Total 837.00

However you can’t add RAM later and 4GB RAM is barely sufficient so realistically you need the next model with 8 GB Ram and a 1 Terabyte Storage capacity. The better MacMini would cost about 1,199.00 Euro. You can buy a basic iMac for 1299 Euro, so there’s not much between a MacMini and an iMac. The iMac is probably the winner but the MacMini is due to be updated. No doubt the price will rise. Finally John showed a 1 terabyte Seagate drive available in Argos for 58.99 Euro. No one has an excuse not to have a back up device at that price.

Training session

Michael Keogh from Q.E.D. Training stood in for Noel Davidson. Michael did a fairly brief but excellent presentation on using the ‘Keynote’ application from Apple. Michael gave us the history of keynote and how Steve Jobs asked his software team to develop a better Presentation software. Michael show us a quick presentation. He went back and showed how he made up each slide, adding photos and text. Michael showed the audience how simple the software is. Also he pointed out a good presentation needs everything to be smooth. He showed how to edit photos and make smooth transitions between slides. Michael pointed out he can make his Presentation on his MacBookPro and then saves to the Q.E.D. iCloud. He can then use his iPhone and or iPad to go through his presentation on the train on the way to a conference. Keynote is 9.99 Euro in the AppStore and the same again for the iPad version. Michael then took some questions from the audience.

Special Presentation

by Colin Baker on using drones and, in particular, a Phantom 3

Colin Baker runs a number of businesses, Back From The Future, and is a regular Tech Guru on TV3. He started out after college with his own small tech business repairing Computers and he now has 3 locations in Dublin and Dun Laoghaire.

Colin brought a couple of Drones. He went through a brief history of drones including his own interest in them, and he now sells these both for commercial customers and enthusiasts. The Phantom model he brought costs around 1,000.00 Euro including spare batteries and a high quality Video camera and recorder capable of super HD. The device is actually quite heavy as members found when it was passed around the room. It’s full of sensors that help the device steady as it moves and the camera has its own system of gyroscopes so the camera always faces the correct position and angle. You can control the device via its own remote and an ‘App’ installed on an iPhone or iPad. Colin mentioned it has a number of commercial uses, Tourism making videos for Hotel promotion. Promotion of Heritage sites. Mountain Rescue in Ireland have one for emergencies. One can be used for 3D Mapping of an area and the Drone gone up and down a defined area scanning the land below, water run offs etc. Colin mentioned at the moment a drone can only lift 4-5 kilos but they are developing one to lift 50 kilo so in the future maybe everyone will have their own drone and there will be thousands of use flying to work. Maybe!

Colin then turned the Drone on and flew it around Merrion Cricket Lounge. The noise of the drone makes the name apt. There was huge interest in the drone and the possibilities and a lot of suggestions and ideas were raised. Meeting ended at about 21.40 but Colin brought the drone outside and most of the audience got a chance to see the Drone take off in the night sky and we could use the controller to see what was being recorded. Stephanie Joy was able to take the controls and guide it around Donnybrook. Michael can hopefully return with some more gadgets in the future. He has just made a special video to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the back to the Future Trilogy of Films, Back to the Future web site, which has full details on the services he provides and the special video featuring Colin’s own Delorean DMC12.

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October meeting memo

The October meeting of ClubMac was held on Wednesday, October 7th, in Merrion Cricket Club.

Training session

In a wide-ranging and stimulating training session, Noel Davidson covered a number of areas relating to both Macs, iPads and iPhones including the following:

  • Removing duplicate photographs in Photo
  • Using the Notes app to store useful information (both text and visuals)
  • An overview of the new features of OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and iOS 9
  • Favourite apps such as Maze (for planning journeys) and ScanBot (for scanning documents)
  • Sharing data through iCloud
  • Using a shortcut [Command + Shift + 4] to take a screen shot of part of your screen and [Command + Shift + 3] to take a screen shot of your whole screen
  • Using a Timer movie in Keynote

Technical Q&A

Noel and some of the more experienced members of the audience dealt with some of the following queries:

  • Getting rid of duplicate entries in the Calendar App;
  • Using the Message App on the Mac to send text messages;
  • Ensuring that there is sufficient space on your Mac before upgrading to El Capitan (OS X 10.11)
  • How to turn off Wifi Assist in iOS 9

What’s New in the World of Apple

Tom Martin, Committee Member, covered the latest developments from Cupertino including the new iPhone 6s range, the new iPads (mini 4 and Pro versions), Apple TV (4th generation) and software updates.

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September meeting memo

The first meeting of ClubMac’s Autumn season was held on Wednesday, September 2, in Merrion Cricket Club.

The meeting also marked the start of ClubMac’s training programme in which Noel Davidson gave us an entertaining and illuminating presentation on the iPhone which included a review of key apps (programmes) — including one very important app on the night: how to show the iPhone’s interface on a projector screen!

Noel also demonstrated the advantages and usefulness of Apple’s iCloud facility which allows iPhone users to back up important data to the cloud. He also mentioned that because of Apple’s closed system it was not possible for iPhones to be infected by viruses or worms unless the phone had been jail-broken.

The abbreviated Technical Q&A session dealt with problems such as MacKeeper (delete and avoid at all costs!).

Tom Martin presented the What’s New in the World of Apple and focused on the announcements made at the WWDC event in June at which Apple introduced its new music streaming service, Apple Music, and gave details of the forthcoming launches of OS X 10.11 (El Captain), iOS 9 and WatchOS 2. Tom also noted that Apple will be holding a special event on September 9 at which it is expected to launch new versions of the iPhone and AppleTV.

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Autumn training programme

Noel Davidson of QED Training will be delivering ClubMac’s 2015 Autumn training programme which while aimed at beginners to the Mac platform will be relevant to all users.

Memo of recent meetings

January 2016 meeting

December 2015 meeting

November 2015 meeting

October 2015 meeting

September 2015 meeting