Report about MD Apple meeting, Tuesday, May 15, 2007
This meeting, held on the third Tuesday of the month, instead of the usual second Tuesday, had several distinctions. Larry Carton, and Mical, were not present (see comment later); Harris Silverstone returned from his several month sojourn in Japan; attendance was at an all-time low.
Indeed, it was a pleasure to have Harris back to not only offer his sage advice and answer questions but also to enjoy several of his “Tips.” More are promised for the next meeting but the ones he shared with us this evening were very useful.
Harris started by showing us that you can watch a video podcast of the evening news by logging on the iTunes store. The videos are free. I wish that I had known about this prior to our leaving for our France trip. Although I was able to watch CNN I would have enjoyed seeing the CBS or ABC evening news as well. Next trip I’ll use this or when I miss the evening news.
Harris explained how useful it was to have made a complete backup of his computer using SuperDuper before he left on his trip. After a short time in Japan his new computer’s hard drive had to be replaced and it took a while. Fortunately with his backup, he explained, he did not lose his important data and applications.
KeyCue (3.0) “find, remember and learn menu shortcuts” according to the Versiontracker description. This shareware ($19.99) application Harris recommended as useful and worth the modest cost.
Savvy Clipboard (2.1) “clipboard manager and editor”. Another shareware application ($12.00) that allows one to have multiple items on the clipboard and use them however you like. An extremely useful application if you often copy and paste different items to your clipboard.
Double Take (2.1) “virtual wide angle lens: drag and drop images together”. Shareware (16.95 € -Euros). A stitcher program for creating panoramas easily and better than the one that came with Harris’ camera. Easy to use and effective.
MacZot! This website offers daily bargain prices on various software. Today was a 50% reduction of a $20 puzzle program called “Tangle.”. According to their website: “MacZOT is a website that offers great Mac apps at great prices. We work with independent Mac developers to bring you special ZOT discounts on some of the best Mac applications available today. We have a new offer just about every day. The offer period is for 24 hours only”
Harris offered a word of caution for laptop users. He timed how long it took to put his laptop to sleep. He said that it takes 12 to 15 seconds for the hard drive to spin down and therefore recommends that you do NOT move the laptop until the process is completed.
The program listed on our web site was YouTube and a presentation by Steve Demczuk about what to do with your old computers. Unfortunately Steve didn’t make it to the meeting. YouTube was presented by me (Arno Drucker) and Gerry Wiseman. Both of us are admitted novices – I have put up only two videos; Gerry – one. The expert in our group, Steve Papastephanou, was in attendance but had declined an invitation to present.
In case you really don’t know, YouTube, like Flickr (for sharing pictures) and like Blogging (for sharing everything – started out as text-based), is a way of sharing videos. The other two programs – actually not programs, but websites, have been discussed at previous meetings, so it was felt that it was time to enlighten our members, or at least those in attendance, about how to create and put up personal (or your choice) videos, as well as how to search and see other videos.
YouTube was sold to Google in October, 2006 by its founders, Chad Hurley and Steven Chen for $1.65 billion. That should make us pay attention. At first I thought that YouTube was only used for silly, personal videos – there are a lot of them, without a doubt. However the opportunity for really excellent, fine and uplifting videos was realized by many, including Steve, whose numerous classical music videos have been viewed by many since he first posted them in December, 2006. The viewings number in the thousands and include not only numerous piano concertos and solo performances, but dance as well (Greek Glenti - Yannis Bezos & Zoe Nalbanti, Bouzouki). Steve is Greek, as you can tell by his name.
My presentation was focused on helping the audience understand how they can participate in the YouTube experience. The well-organized YouTube website has a useful Help Center, which I showed to the audience, as well as the two short, videos I had put up. The audience questions related to some technical queries – what format video; how do you upload a video, etc.
In addition to the Help Center there is an “Inbox” which permits messages, invites and responses. The YouTube website (http://youtube.com/) is, in my opinion, extremely well-done – easy to navigate and fun to use. It is easy to sign up for an account or to log in if you already have an account.
Gerry Wiseman’s video demonstrated another aspect of YouTube. Navigating the YouTube website is great if you use the numerous links on the YouTube first page. It is particularly convenient to browse by “Categories”. What you soon discover is that you need to remember that the “Search” box is useful for any word in the title of a video. I couldn’t quickly find my one public video by searching for the title (there were 90 videos titled “Tuk-tuk ride in Bangkok”); nor could I find Steve’s videos by searching for his name. I could find my video by my last name and Steve’s once I knew his screen name - stephenTGV. Gerry looked for his video by title and eventually found it. There is lots more to YouTube, obviously, especially if you spend time and upload your own videos. It’s fun!
Our May meeting usually includes elections of officers and board members. When Chris Yavalow, our current President, arrived, delayed by a medical problem, the small attendance prompted a sort discussion and a decision to delay elections until the next meeting.
I mentioned above that Larry and Mical were not in attendance. There are few members who have attended our meetings as faithfully and as long as Mical and Larry. We tend to forget their many years of significant contributions of time and energy to our group, except that when they are not in attendance (I think they have missed two meetings in perhaps twenty years), we really notice their absence and others must do what they normally do. It is certainly an appropriate time to say “Thank You” to both of them as well as Steve Fox, who, although he was not at the meeting, has provided an invaluable and important service as our Ambassador and WebMaster. Thanks to all.
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