Memos of ClubMac’s 2009-2010 meetings

Get the lowdown on what happened at meetings of ClubMac during the September 2009-May 2010 season.



Memos of meetings prior to September 2009 can be found under the Club News section of the bulletin board. Use the links below to return to the memos of the meetings held in:


May 2010 meeting and AGM

ClubMac held its May meeting and AGM on Wednesday, 5 May, 2010.

Annual General Meeting

The 2010 Annual General Meeting of ClubMac was held at the Old Belvedere Rugby Club. 22 members were present, the requisite quorum of 10 being reached.

The Chairman, Tom Martin, called the Annual General Meeting to order at 8 p.m.

The agenda of the meeting was read and approved. The minutes of the 2008 Annual General Meeting were read and approved. Following presentation of the Treasurer’s report, which showed the Club to be in a healthy financial condition, the accounts for the years ended 31 December 2008 and 2009 were read and approved. The Secretary's report, which showed that membership remained at around 50, as had been the case over recent years, and average attendance at 24, well up on previous years, was read and approved. The Chairman’s report on the state of the Club was read and approved. The Chairman noted that a wide range of Mac topics had been covered in Club meetings during the year, involving ten guest speakers in all. Training sessions in various aspects of Mac operation had been provided in time set aside before a number of the monthly meetings; it was hoped this could be continued. Attention was drawn to the special offers now available to paid-up Club members. A new portal page designed to make navigation easier had been added to the Club website. The Chairman noted that the Committee had unanimously decided to make Richard Bannister an honorary life member of ClubMac in recognition of his contribution to the club. Thanks were offered to all those who had contributed during the past year to the successful running of the Club, and especially, Sylvia Yates.

The following were elected officers of the Club:

  • Chairman: Tom Martin
  • Secretary: Sylvia Yates
  • Treasurer: Garrett Wren

The following were elected to the Committee:

  • Richard Bannister
  • Séamus Cannon
  • Stephanie Joy
  • John Kelly
  • Michael Killen
  • Mark Parfrey
  • Tom Mac Mahon
  • Henry Leperlier

There being no change in the composition of the trustees, no election was called. The Club was reminded that of the three trustees, Andrew Whittaker, Eddie Lewis and Garrett Wren, the two former, respectively first and second chairmen of the Club, were founder members and also honorary members, and as such eligible under the Club's Constitution to remain as trustees although no longer playing an active part in Club affairs.

Under Any Other Business, a lively discussion took place on the perennial question of how to attract new members, particularly young new members, to the Club. According to one suggestion, that might be achieved the if the Club bought in the latest Mac models for demonstration to members, but this approach was not considered feasible in view of the rapid replacement of new models by even newer ones; perhaps member owners of the latest Macs or peripherals might be persuaded to bring them in to a meeting to let others see them. Newspaper advertisement of coming meetings and distributing fliers to Apple dealers were also considered of doubtful benefit. A proposal to place the Club on Facebook and/or Twitter, as possibly be the best way of creating a greater awareness of ClubMac among a wider audience, was accepted. A number of appreciative remarks were made on the current operation of the Club and the content of its meetings.

Note: ClubMac is now on Facebook

The Annual General Meeting rose at 9.05 p.m.

MAY MEETING

Following the AGM, the Club continued with its ordinary meeting agenda.

What's new in the world of Apple

Brian Greene reviewed the latest innovations on the Mac and iPhone front:

  • MacBook Pro updates — faster processors, better graphics, longer battery life;
  • iPhone OS4 in the pipeline for June (multitasking, app folders, better Mail, iBooks);
  • Rumours abuzz on future iPhone developments;
  • Films now available for rent or download from the iTunes Store Ireland;
  • WWDC, June 17-11: focus to be on design awards and apps;
  • Three iPhone apps of Irish interest: Greann Geailge (makes it easy to learn the Irish language), O2 Treats (special offers, daily and monthly treats), and AllBikesNow (all you need for the Dublin rent-a-bike scheme).

Technical Q&A

Under the guidance of Peter O'Reilly, this part of the meeting considered:

  • How to sync an iPhone to another owner's Mac;
  • Mail refusing to be sent from a Hotmail account — change outgoing mail server or route through another account;
  • iCal on the iPhone — download not yet possible but will be a feature of the coming OS4;
  • Pros and cons of the various payment packages on offer from Vodafone and O2;
  • How to open a .docx MS Office email attachment on a Mac running Tiger and Office 2004: remove the "x" from the file extension first.

Mac Office 2008 Business version

Paul O'Brien, who had won the copy of this application raffled at the April meeting, reviewed his experience of using it.

Guest presentation

Ger Allen introduced Stream Solutions, a company that, after many years of work with Apple and subsequent experience of Mac dealership, he had founded in 2001 to provide sales and, in particular, services to Apple users, businesses and individuals alike. Stream Solutions was an Authorised Apple Reseller and Service Provider, an Apple Solutions Education Expert, an Apple Authorised Training Centre and part of the Apple Consultants Network. The company had a staff of seven representing all levels of certification and a broad combination of skills. Its help desk provided nationwide trouble-shooting cover and remote support for software repairs that could be carried out online. Machines requiring workshop repair would be returned to the customer within three days. Apple Care subscribers were also serviced.

Stream Solutions was offering ClubMac members a 10% discount on all workshop repairs or training. See the Membership section of Club web site for details.

Photograph of new iPad

Ger had with him a new iPad, which gave the audience a hands-on experience of Apple's new wonder product.






To download the memo of the May meeting and AGM in PDF format PDF icon, click here. Note: The links in the document are clickable.


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April 2010 meeting

ClubMac held its April meeting on Wednesday, 7 April.

Training

Before the start of the main part of the meeting, Margaret Byrne introduced a group of members to iMovie. This was the last of the training sessions for the present meeting season since the Club would be shutting down for its summer break after the AGM in May. Notes were available for the sessions on iDVD and iMovie on application to the Chairman (chairman@clubmac.ie) or the Secretary (secretary@clubmac.ie).

Technical Q&A

The following questions were dealt with under the guidance of ClubMac member Peter O’Reilly:

  • trouble experienced in opening new applications or files — long delays, sometimes forcing restart — could be dodgy RAM so check each chip;
  • best place to repair a dead laptop — try Galmac Computers, Galway, which provides rapid efficient service and offers a discount to Club members, also Dublin-based Mactivate — see Repairs;
  • request for an update on the proposed CompuB store in Dublin — expected soon in the former Spectra building on Grafton Street;
  • advice requested on best place to buy additional RAM — if not bought with new Mac don't get it from Apple (too expensive), shop around the Net (Crucial and Kingston are generally reliable suppliers).

Useful Utilities

John Kelly (ClubMac member), working under difficulties as the Cricket Club's broadband link was down and illustration of Skype operation impossible, explained the benefits of Skype: free calls to other computers anywhere and low cost calls to landlines or mobiles round the world. Video chat was available, as was sharing your desktop with a distant computer. Skype could be used with an iPhone and an app was available for use with an iPod Touch. Multiple calls to a given country, region or world-wide were available free for a reasonable monthly charge. Signing up for Skype was simple: a run down was given of how this worked. See Skype for more details.

First guest presentation: Alex McClements

Photograph of Alex McClements

Alex McClements, a Queens graduate, reported on his work as an IT consultant and multimedia guide to the Sydney-based production company, Bazmark Inc., founded by Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, during the filming of their blockbuster “Australia” starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. He described the difficulties and means of coping with servicing a huge production when on location in the remote Queensland town of Bowenwood with little technical infrastructure and hampered by heat, ever-present dust, occasional freak weather and IT-incompatible actors and others. For those interested in more information on the production, a series of podcasts was accessible from the US iTunes Store under “Baz Luhrmann: Set to Screen.”

Second guest presentation: Eric Paquin, Microsoft

Eric Paguin, Microsoft's International Project Manager, European Mac Products, reviewed the latest updates for Microsoft Office 2008 for Mac including bug fixes, access to many more templates online and enhanced services for business users with an online service offering free online storage and document sharing. Office now existed in two versions: a basic edition for home and student use and a business edition with extra features. He announced the release of a Messenger 8 beta version for Mac and gave a preview of what could be expected from Office 2011 for Mac when it became available towards the end of 2010. This would have a new ribbon interface, co-authoring, web apps for Excel, PowerPoint and Word and replacement of Entourage by Outlook with enhanced features.

For more information on Microsoft’s range of applications for the Mac, see the following:

Eric offered the Club a copy of the business edition of Office 2008 which was raffled among those attending the meeting and won by Paul O’Brien.

Next meeting

The last ClubMac meeting of the 2009-2010 season will take place on May 5th and will be preceded by the Annual General Meeting. Tom Martin put out a special request that if any member was interested in helping out with the club they should volunteer to join the committee.

Next month's guest speaker will be Ger Allen of Stream Solutions, the Apple dealership with offices in Dublin and Cork.

To download the memo of the April meeting in PDF format PDF icon, click here. Note: The links in the document are clickable.



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March 2010 meeting

ClubMac held its March meeting in Merrion Cricket Club on Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

Training

Our new trainer, Margaret Byrne, took a group of enthusiasts through iDVD, part of Apple’s iLife suite of programmes that includes iPhoto and iMovie.

ClubMac's updated web site

Tom Martin updated the attendance on the new front-end to ClubMac’s web site which is designed to attract new members to the club.

Clubmac.ie

The redesigned home page facilitates access to a collection of useful links and information areas, including the traditional forum page, which remains unchanged.

Technical Q&A

The following questions were dealt with under the guidance of ClubMac member Peter O’Reilly:

  • how to enlarge a partition holding Windows on a recent MacBook Pro running on Leopard — safest option is total reformat, in the meantime cloning the bootcamp partition for safekeeping to an external drive or CD with the help of freeware Winclone;
  • advice sought on which Mac a switcher from Dell should choose — basic iMac if not a power user: consider a refurbished Mac from the Apple store or check out the discounts offered by Galmac Computer to club members on the Club web site;
  • how to export audio language learning files held on iTunes to CD — first create a playlist of the files to transfer, then burn to CD;
  • did Galmac offer the same options in relation to Mac configuration (i.e. extra RAM) as the Apple Store? Answer: yes;
  • a system with 5 external hard disks had been configured not to display these on the Desktop but one disk persisted in appearing — problem could be differing format of the disk concerned, the set-up on the USB hub or even a faulty cable.

Reminder: Don’t forget to post your problems and queries on the club’s web forum — solutions will flow in!

What’s New

Brian Greene, Committee member, reported:

  • 10 billionth download from the iTunes music store;
  • Aperture 3 release;
  • iPad on the horizon;
  • MacBook hard drive recall (5/06-12/07 models);
  • RTE web site now offers an app allowing download of documentaries to iTunes;
  • Ulster Bank offers a rugby game app;
  • Rumours of coming goodies: HDMI on Mac Mini, MacBookPro updates likely soon;
  • iPhone to launch on Vodafone on 25 March.

John Kelly notified the attendance of the current MacHeist sale:

MacHeist

Guest presentation

Due to a family bereavement, the scheduled presentation by Ger Allen of Stream Solutions, an Apple distributor in Cork, had to be cancelled.

Margaret Byrne, who is currently running the training sessions at Club meetings, ran through the basics of setting up multiple accounts on Mail and reviewed the various optional settings offered by the programme.

Useful utilities

Tom Martin introduced a total of 6,001 useful utilities!

  • JSMS:
    This Irish-made freeware application makes it easy to send web texts from your Mac. It works with o2, Vodafone and Meteor:
    JSMS
  • Add-ons for Firefox
    There are approximately 6,000 add-ons for the Firefox browser covering a range of headings such as download managers, bookmarks, reference, web development. Tom demonstrated one add-on, Web Developer, that he uses on a regular basis.
    Firefox add-ons

Next meeting

The next meeting of ClubMac will take place on Wednesday, April 7, 2010, in Merrion Cricket Club. The guest speaker will be from Eric Paguin of Microsoft who will speak on new developments in the Mac Office suite.

To download the memo of the March meeting in PDF format PDF icon, click here.



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February 2010 meeting

ClubMac held its February meeting in Merrion Cricket Club on Wednesday, February 3, 2010.

Training

Tom Martin updated the attendance on the two training proposals circulated before Christmas. There was interest in the entry-level training provided during the Autumn and, following a discussion on this issue, the Committee undertook to locate a new trainer.

There was not, unfortunately, enough members interested in the second training proposal, the Digital Crea8or course proposed by club member, Séamus Cannon of the Blackrock Education Centre. The Committee will examine whether we can pursue this option for interested members at a later date.

Technical Q&A

Questions dealt with under the guidance of ClubMac member, Peter O’Reilly, included:

  • why an attempt to send a picture from a mobile to a Mac using Mail sent only the header;
  • why a 10 year-old laser printer was failing to print a pdf file in OS 9.2;
  • why a new modem was failing to send a pdf file to a printer;
  • why access to pictures posted on a friend’s FaceBook was denied on a second viewing attempt;
  • iTunes — why was a restriction message being received;
  • why, after setting up a computer and peripherals as before following a move to another room, Time Machine failed to register on the desktop;
  • why items sent from an iPhone came into iCal in duplicate;
  • problems when accessing a printer through AirPort;
  • problems with two user accounts when both have administrator status.

Guest presentation

Pieter Oonk, working on development of iPhone applications within the Appsie team of Dublin-based software solutions company, Leprecian Limited, said the team’s aim was to assist clients with bright ideas for iPhone applications to bring them to fruition by providing the necessary conception, design and construction skills followed by navigation through the complexities of acceptance by the App Store. A visit to iAppsie (see link below) would show the range of apps thus produced by the company. A demonstration was given of Locle, a social networking app with a mapping tool, that could be used by an iPhone to pinpoint where friends were meeting.

Other apps of note were: A Very Jedward Christmas (posting Jedward e-cards to friends from your iPhone), Netlog (your entire friends’ network in your pocket) and JLS (download the pop group’s tracks to your iPhone).

iAppsie

Locle

Presentation — Vinyl to digital

John Maguire, ClubMac member, took the audience through the hardware necessary for transport from vinyl to digital. First necessity: a solid and stable table or other support given the sensitivity of the turntable stylus to untoward vibration. Next, an LP turntable and amplifier for vinyl output. Lastly, a connecting cable with two phono (or RCA) plugs at one end for insertion in the amplifier’s line-out jacks and a 1/8 inch stereo miniplug at the other for insertion into the Mac audio-input port. For an older Mac without the latter a USB turntable could be used.

Tom Mac Mahon, Committee member, demonstrated the next step: using the Amadeus Pro application, a powerful multi-track audio editor, to tweak your imported tracks to perfection minus hiss and crackle.

Amadeus Pro

What’s new

Brian Greene, Committee member, drew attention to:

  • the new iPad, in WiFi and 3G versions, due for launch in March/April;
  • RTE apps for the iPhone;
  • OS 3.1 update for the iPhone
  • a firmware update for the 27” iMac;
  • iTunes update to 9.0.3;
  • a number of bug fixes.

Next meeting

The next meeting of ClubMac will take place on Wednesday, March 3, 2010, in Merrion Cricket Club.



To download the February meeting memo in PDF format PDF icon, click here.



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December 2009 meeting

The December (also known as the Christmas) meeting of ClubMac took place in Merrion Cricket Club on Wednesday, December 2, in front of a lively audience!

One of the many highlights of the meeting was the mini Apple Store set up by Tony Stott of Galmac Computers. Tony also got into the Christmas spirit by offering discounts to members on a range of hardware and software products.

Technical Q&A

The Technical Q&A was chaired by Peter O'Reilly and the issues covered included:

  • Reducing the size of PowerPoint presentations to send by email (thanks to Brian Greene for pointing out a very interesting solution: create a PDF (use the Print menu option). Open with Preview and then using the Save As command and utilise the Quartz Filter pop-up button in the dialogue box to reduce the file size);
  • Follow up to a query from the October meeting on using car cigarette lighters for charging computer equipment;
  • Problems with Keynote presentations jumping pages.

What's new

Brian Greene reported on new developments in the world of Apple:

  • Special deals on iPhones now that Vodafone will shortly be selling them;
  • News on the new Google Chrome beta for the Mac.

In other news, CompuB have opened a new store in Cork and are rumoured to be opening a store shortly in Dublin.

Presentation: Digital Crea8or training programme

Séamus Cannon, ClubMac member and who is the head of the Blackrock Education Centre, outlined the Digital Crea8or media training course that his Centre is providing to teachers. The course develops skills in creating and sharing digital images, video, audio and animated. He said that the course was ideally suited to those on the Mac as it utilised many of the applications in iLife. Séamus illustrated his presentation with examples of work he had put together as a learner himself on the programme.

Séamus is proposing to offer ClubMac members the opportunity to participate in the Digital Crea8or course; further details on the registration and tuition fees will be circulated to all members in the coming weeks.

Members will also have the opportunity to indicate their preference for the entry-level training offered by Aoibheann O'Sullivan.

Santa's gift guide

Tom Martin's suggestions for the Mac enthusiast's Christmas stocking included:

Some of the above are available from the Apple web store but, remember, ClubMac members can get a better deal by going through Tony Stott of Galmac.

One last thing …

  • The next meeting will take place on January 13, 2010 (please note that this is the second Wednesday in the month);
  • A round of applause was given to Sylvia, Henry and Stephanie for organising the food and drink for the party.

The ClubMac Committee took the opportunity to wish all its members a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.

To download the December meeting memo in PDF format PDF icon, click here.



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November 2009 meeting

ClubMac held its November meeting on November 4th in Merrion Cricket Club.

Training

Apologies were offered for the last minute withdrawal of iDVD training owing to unforeseen circumstances. It was hoped to reschedule this training at a future meeting.

Technical Q&A

Under the guidance of ClubMac member Peter O'Reilly this covered:

  • failure of a presentation put together on Keynote 09 to play back on a desktop system with two monitors, despite doing so on an unconnected laptop, might be due to differing resolutions on the two screens — adjust the preferences (separate for each screen) to align resolutions;
  • photographs at one time stored on a hard drive could no longer be accessed by iPhoto 09 even though the relevant icons were still present. The reason might be that these were aliases or thumbnails for files subsequently moved (for example to an external hard disk) with loss of the pathway — a search on the actual name of the image might help to find it. A useful way of keeping control of iPhoto storage was to use iPhotoManager.

Useful Utilities

Tom Martin, ClubMac Chairman, sang the praises of Houdaspot, an invaluable shareware product from Luxembourg, that made exceedingly short work of locating a desired item when faced with a search of innumerable files, reports, articles or emails. Houdaspot operates as a front end to Spotlight using the latter’s meta data, providing an user-friendly screen for a search by title or context using word, phrase or prefix. Cost: €17 for single user with a 15 day free trial.

Houdaspot

What's New

Brian Greene, Committee member, reviewed new products that had come on stream since the September meeting:

  • the new 21.5” and 27” iMacs: higher end processors, greater speed and power, increased memory, enhanced graphics and video processing, LED backlit screens, bigger hard drives, wireless keyboard and mouse as standard, unibody recyclable aluminium casing;
  • the new 13” entry level MacBook: polycarbonate unibody casing, built-in 7 hour battery, LED backlit display, multitouch trackpad;
  • three new MacMinis — faster, more power, more memory: 160 GB, 320 GB and 500 GB + Snow Leopard server;
  • the new Magic mouse: scrolls, swipes, zooms in, customisable, laser tracking;
  • over two billion plus downloads recorded from the Apps Store, which now has over 85,000 apps on offer;
  • Parallels 5 out with support for Windows 7, works with Snow Leopard, multitouch trackpad;
  • bad news for hackintosh notebooks — from OS 10.6.2 no more support for Intel Action Support;
  • happy eighth birthday to the iPod!

Guest presentations

1) Neill Austin of PO Control presented his company’s product, which provided clients with an online service for the management of purchase orders — creation, approval, delivery tracking and invoice reconciliation. The service was operated and backed up at the PO control base. Originally developed to run on a Windows platform the service was now available to Mac users and was compatible with Safari, Firefox and other browsers. It was secure, easy to operate and had been shown shown by experience to cut client costs and streamline their operations.

PO Control

(2) Simon Spence of Macinformation, with a start in life as an academic teaching classics, had moved from being an enthusiastic Mac user into assisting colleagues in solving their computer problems and from there into full-time Mac, video and web site consultancy. Rather than technological issues of supply and repair his company focused on the one-to-one teaching of private individuals and staff of small businesses how to make the best use of their Macs, with clients in areas such as the arts, teaching, graphics, journalism and marketing that were fairly evenly divided between long-term Mac users and switchers. It was interesting the latter often tended to be more adventurous and innovative than the former in their approach to what to them was a new platform, often being drawn to Mac from experience with the iPhone. The bulk of his clients were currently Leopard users, a third had moved to Snow Leopard, while a mere 10 per cent remained with Tiger. Applications he recommended as simple to use and got clients going were RapidWeaver, VueScan and MacSpeechDictate 1.5 (immensely improved from 1.3, the previous version).

Simon Spence, Macinformation

To download the memo of the November meeting in PDF format PDF icon, click here.

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October 2009 meeting

ClubMac held its October meeting on Wednesday, 7 October, in Merrion Cricket Club.

Training

Eleven Club members attended the second of Aoibheann O’Sullivan’s training sessions, which took them through the finer points of iPhoto.

Technical Q&A

This session was chaired by ClubMac member, Peter O'Reilly, and covered:

  • a hard drive which spins up but fails to mount on the desktop could result from obsolete built-in firmware where updating was not an option, or a problem with a power supply built in to the motherboard and so unextractable — in the latter case insertion of the drive into a caddy providing a power source, FireWire and USB, could be a solution;
  • a hard drive which spins up but fails to mount on the desktop could result from obsolete built-in firmware where updating was not an option, or a problem with a power supply built in to the motherboard and so unextractable — in the latter case insertion of the drive into a caddy providing a power source, FireWire and USB, could be a solution;
  • Pages — removal of obsolete and unwanted templates that individually resist deletion might be achieved by transferring to a folder subsequently deleted after exiting Pages; permission repair might also help;
  • problems in opening attachments sent from Mac to PC through Outlook Express;
  • choice of a DC-AC inverter to enable charging of a laptop when on the move in a campervan — high wattage pure sine wave inverter recommended to avoid voltage spikes that might damage the computer;
  • failure to export Pages attachments from a yahoo email account could be due to non-recognition of the file type (extension suffix) — it could help to compress the files and send them in a folder;
  • incoming PowerPoint attachments arriving with the extension suffix doubled and thus failing to open — this results from the computer automatically adding the suffix on receipt and could be prevented by fixing preferences to “save without extension”;
  • failure of Spotlight to find some files could be explained by the fact that certain System files are excluded from it or that computer shut down might have cause an indexing failure — in the latter case do a full re-index, in the former freeware (EasyFind[http://www.devon-technologies.com/products/freeware/]) was available to search for excluded files. Another programme, HoudaSpot will be covered in next month's Useful Utilities session;
  • failure of the main library in iPhoto 09 to open — a freeware utility was available to deal with this.

Members were reminded that MacInformation.ie was a good source of Apple news and advice in Ireland.

MacInformation

Review of Snow Leopard

Tom Martin, ClubMac Chairman, gave an overview of the recently released update to the Mac OS. No mega changes from Leopard but many refinements making the Finder nimbler and more responsive, with excess trimmed to give a smaller footprint so freeing up hard disk space; in addition there were technological improvements such as 64-bit capability, greater accessibility for the disabled and built in support for Microsoft Exchange Server. Many pluses, few minuses (some non-Apple applications not yet Snow Leopard compatible).

Overview of Embarcadero and MonoTouch

Andre Brehm, ClubMac member, reviewed Embarcadero, a company providing developer tools and cross-platform solutions for database design, development & management. Such tools included Delphi Prism, which embodies a cross platform, open source .NET development framework called Mono sponsored by Novell.

For more information, see Embarcadero and Mono Project

Main presentation — inkjet printers, profiling and calibration

Sheldon Long, of Sheldon Photographic, Malahide, recounted how his company had grown from a start in the mid-1990s as an agency for a sophisticated scanner and moving on to advanced professional cameras upon the emergence of digital photography before reaching its current status as a supplier of digital cameras, scanners and printers from entry level up to high-end equipment capable of attaining the highest standards in digital imaging. It also provided high-end monitors, calibration equipment, storage solutions, inks and papers. The focus was on helping dedicated photographers to make the best of their equipment. He demonstrated the use of a number of calibration tools in helping printers achieve accurate rendering of the colours seen by the camera on a wide variety of papers and paper sizes.

Sheldon Photographic

Sheldon also made the valuable point that Irish distributors often offered good value for money so it was worthwhile to check out local prices first before using overseas suppliers that initially seemed to be cheaper but after all the delivery charges and other extras often ended up being the more expensive option.

To download the memo of the October meeting in PDF format PDF icon, click here.

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September 2009 meeting

ClubMac held its first meeting of the 2009-2010 season on Wednesday, September 8th.

Training

The first training session for ClubMac members looking to improve their Mac skills was held in the MCC clubhouse during the time between the opening of the doors at 7.30 p.m. and the start of the meeting proper and was provided by Aoibheann O’Sullivan. This first session covered the basic elements of the Mac desktop and was attended by four Club members. The next session will take a closer look at iLife.

Main presentation: onOne Software

Bob and Doug Campbell, of onOne Software, provided a virtuoso display of the capabilities of their product, a series of six plug-ins for Photoshop CS2, CS3 and CS4, Lightroom and Aperture that catered for the dedicated digital photographer interested in maximising the quality of his or her output while reducing the computer time and complexity of getting there. The 6 plug-ins operated within the relevant image-editing program and provided a fast, simple and intuitive means of achieving the required results. Of the individual plug-ins: FocalPoint provided focus adjustment; Photo Tools, a range of options for photo enhancement; PhotoTune, professional colour correction; Genuine Fractals, image enlargement; Mask Pro, masking tools; and Photoframe, border and edge effects. The plug-ins were available separately or as a boxed suite (Plug-In Suite 4.5). A second set of plug-ins, Essentials 2.1, providing similar features but less extensive, was available for Photoshop Elements and iPhoto.

For more see: onOne Software

Discounts were available for a limited period on their online store and at Conns Cameras: Conns Cameras

Technical Q&A

The topics covered included:

  • A Time Machine that had locked and refused to unlock might be brought back to life by a permission repair. Onyx was a recommended freeware repair facility;
  • A wide-ranging discussion then ensued on SuperDuper, an alternative back-up programme, the merits of a range of external hard disks and the option of backing-up to MobileMe.

Demo

Tom MacMahon, Committee member, showed how old unprofessional family photographs could be greatly improved by being scanned into a hard drive at 600 pixels/inch (the extra detail was needed for flexibility in editing) and then cropped to remove unnecessary background, sharpened, any imperfections removed, missing parts filled in, and tone and light levels adjusted.

News update

Brian Greene, Committee member, reviewed Apple happenings during the summer and to date:

  • New MacBook Pros 13”, 15” and 17” — aluminium unibody, long-lasting battery, advanced graphics, brilliant display, highly recyclable and greater energy efficiency;
  • New iPhone 3G S — many new features including 3,1 software, which iPod touch now has too;
  • Safari 4 — many new features;
  • Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6 — out last week, demo at October meeting);
  • New iPod nano includes video screen, anodised aluminium finish, larger screen, FM radio with Live Pause;
  • iTunes 9 — latest version, out September 9.
  • Look out for interviews of Net pioneers by John Naughton on iTunesU in celebration of the Net’s 40th anniversary.

Next meeting

Tom Martin, Chairman, announced that the next meeting would take place at the MCC Clubhouse on Wednesday 7 October. Members were reminded of the special offers open to them detailed in the “Join the Club” box on the portal page of the Club’s website.

To download the memo of the September meeting in PDF format PDF icon, click here.

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Entry-level training

Are you new to the Mac? Have you switched from the PC or do you want to brush up your skills? Then you may be interested to know that at our monthly meetings, ClubMac has been providing entry-level training in the following areas:

  • Introduction to the MacOS
  • Apple's Mail programme

ClubMac will be resuming its training programme in January, so check back for more details.


Buying a Mac?

Please support our favourite Apple dealers, Galmac Computers, Stream Solutions and CompuB, who provide club members with a discounts on hardware and software purchases and/or repairs.