Report about MD Apple meeting, Monday, April, 2007
By Arno Drucker

Although this was a Monday evening, rather than our usual Tuesday evening, there were 24 people in attendance. Larry entertained us and answered questions in his usual jovial style until the program started. Steve Fox, our presenter, was a little delayed by traffic but his presentation was warmly received.

Steve began by showing us some things on our website (, such as the discounts available from the O’Reilly group for their publications, and other discounts through the Apple User Group. In addition there is a photo archive and other useful information about local User Groups, reports (like this one) of previous meetings, tips, etc. Perhaps we should have a contest to see who can discover the most unusual items on our website.

Steve’s main topic of iLife components was a continuation from the March meeting. Unfortunately I was unable to attend that meeting but I admired his handling of primarily iPhoto at this session. There were a few new members and guests in the audience who needed an explanation of this program, now Version 6.0.6 (current update). Apple has continually improved iPhoto, as Steve pointed out, so that it is now capable of storing 250,000 photos. Of course that depends on the size of the photos – larger megapixel photos will take up more room. It is similar to stating how many “songs” an iPod can hold. If the “song” is 4-5 minutes long you can store lots more than a symphony movement of a half hour, so these comparisons are useful only in a broad sense.

Being able to create folders for your pictures enables you to have your family pictures, for example, in a folder, while the master Library folder stores all pictures chronologically. If you have a lot of pictures you can use the slider to quickly search through your Library photos. The month and year will show up in the center of your iPhoto window. You can also rate your photos with a star system as well as using keywords. Assigning keywords is a good idea but not a particularly easy process. Here are the steps to assign keywords.

  1. Click on the Keyword icon in the lower left hand corner of the main iPhoto window (it looks like a key).
  2. If the keywords that are provided suit you (I changed mine a long time ago but I believe they were something like “Vacation” “Family”, etc.) you’re ready to go.
  3. If you want to add a keyword you have to open “Preferences”; click on “Keywords” and then the “Plus sign” to create whatever name you like.
  4. After you have done this – return to the Library window. To actually assign the keyword, just drag the photo to the keyword.

For those familiar with earlier editions of iPhoto the most recent version provides some improved tools for editing photos. You can fix “red-eye”, crop a picture, retouch and other changes in regard to brightness, contrast, etc. A tool that I find most useful is straightening a slightly crooked picture – I don’t always hold my camera exactly straight.

Creating a book, calendar or cards is also possible, even ordering prints on-line. Steve explained that you can have different “galleries” for sets of pictures. To create a new gallery, he told us, launch iPhoto and hold down the Option key. This can be especially useful for his business which involves taking numerous pictures of dance programs.

A question from a member about alphabetizing folders was answered by explaining that, while the program will not alphabetize your folders, you can move them into whatever order you like.

Thanks, Steve, for an enlightening and interesting presentation.



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