November 2009 Meeting

As we look forward to the coming holidays, the November 16th  SGVMUG meeting will focus on ways you can use your computer to help you get through the season and have fun while doing it.To begin the meeting, Billy Chang will begin the meeting with a brief overview of the newest iMac computers released by Apple in mid-October.Next, Ron Streicher will conclude the presentation he began in October by showing how to interface your computer with your home entertainment systems.  The myriad of audio and video connectors and formats will be demystified, as will cures for some of the common “hum and buzz” problems that can occur when you try to hook it all up together. The major portion of the evening will be devoted to  Fun and Productive Ways to Use Your Computer to Help You Get Through the Holidays.  Thomas Ritter will give a few pointers on how to take photographs (or scan them) for creating greeting cards and gifts. Scott Harrell will follow-up with tips on how to use programs such as AppleWorks, Pages, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and iPhoto for creating greeting cards, your annual holiday letter, or family webpage. Andrew Zima will give an overview of “holiday Tweets” and other social networking opportunities you can use to keep in touch with friends and family. David Whitby will show several applications and software helpers that can enable you to be more focused and productive when you use your iPod or computer:

  • Isolator  blurs and dims all background applications on your screen to emphasize the foreground and improve your concentration on the work you are doing. 
  • Focus Booster   puts a timer on the screen to help you track how much time you are spending and, more importantly, remind you when you need to take a break. 
  • Spirited Away  hides applications that are not being used after a defined amount of time. 
  • Save Benji’s  is an application that helps you shop online by searching for the lowest price across multiple Internet vendors.
  • iPhone App  not only retrieves Amazon prices, but also allows you to use your iPhone to photograph an item’s barcode or SKU number when you are comparison shopping;  then it will e-mail you Amazon’s best price for that item
  • CardStar  is another iPhone App that captures and displays all of your store “member-discount” barcode cards so that you don’t need to fumble through your wallet looking for individual cards when you’re standing in the check-out line.            

Scott Harrell will return to show us some ways to make good use of the new generation of iPods for the holidays:

  • as gifts (a brief overview of the current models) 
  • giving iTunes Store Gift Cards to purchase music, videos, games, etc.
  • how to create a holiday video with the new iPod Nano and upload it onto YouTube
  • How to create a holiday podcast and distribute it via services such as

Ron Streicher will give a few tips how to use iMovie to preserve your family histories by recording the “elders” as they reminisce about the family. And, of course, Al Richardson will have a selection of interesting prizes for our drawing. Please mark also your calendars and plan to attend our meeting on Monday, December 21st  in the Auditorium of the Pasadena Public Library.  We will present a summary of the year’s Apple events:  software and hardware releases, the latest updates to “Snow Leopard” and other Apple news.  The rest of the meeting will be devoted to general Q&A and “Tips and Tricks.”  

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