Point of View
Mike Bridge, OMUG President
Rose and I will not see you at this months meeting as were on a trip north to see family and friends while the temperature is above 32°. Before we left I went to the Earthlink site and got local access numbers for the cities where we would be staying. Earthlink also has an 800 number for nationwide internet access. There is a 10¢ a minute charge to use the 800 number. With these numbers we could use a phone line and the internal modem in our iBook to access the internet anywhere in the United States.
I also brushed up on using iStumbler, a nice little program that scans for wi-fi networks so you can hook up via your airport card. Wi-fi (wireless) networks are available in many large cities that are offering wi-fi access city-wide at no cost. Also, wi-fi is available at motels, truck stops, restaurants, coffee shops, airports, etc. Some are free and many charge a fee.
As we travel, I am amazed at the advertising for internet access that is everywhere. We stayed in a small Mississippi town and both motels had high-speed internet connection available. Its really not a problem to connect to the internet as you travel now and its only going to get better in the future. Im looking forward to getting home, knowing that I have kept up with my e-mail and will not have to deal with 3 weeks worth of messages. I used to think I would not want to take a computer on vacation, but I have changed my mind. Technology and availability have got me hooked again.
It has been said in the past how nice it would be to have outside speakers for our programs every so often just to provide a change from our normal program routine. Well folks, how would you like to hear from six different speakers, all gurus that will come to us in the form of videos with each one providing a short example of their given talents? Actually, all of these folks are imaging experts and their chosen software is Adobe Photoshop. What they are able to do with digital images is nothing short of magic. The lineup for the night is: (1) Jim DiVitale showing us how to duplicate elements within an image (2) Todd Morrison giving us an insight to his cropping techniques (3) Kevin Ames sharing his technique for developing soft focus of an image (4) Jack Davis demonstrating the magic of using the new healing brush tool (you have to see this to believe it) (5) Adobes own Julieanne Kost telling us how she creates custom grayscale images that really stand out and (6) Eddie Tapp provides the way to use the liquify tool for making serious adjustments to make the image look better. These eye popping videos are provided courtesy of Software Cinema and are part of the User Group Winter 2004 Photoshop program. Looking ahead to the August 2004 Program, President Mike Bridge says that this one promises to be one of the finest presentations that we have had to date and he can say that because he has already seen the presentation given at another user group and immediately lined up the program for us in August. This one promises to be so spectacular that we are considering inviting the Lake MUG group and the VMUG group to join us for this program.
Power Mac G5 line
Apple has updated its Power Mac G5 line. All three models feature Dual G5 processors, 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW), 1 FireWire 800 port, 2 FireWire 400 ports, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 USB 1.1 ports (on keyboard), AGP 8X Pro slot (used by graphics card), 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet, 56K internal modem, two internal hard drive bays and one optical drive bay (two bays are already used), AirPort Extreme ready, Bluetooth module ready.
For audio there is an optical digital audio input and output, analog audio input and output, front headphone jack, built-in speaker
The 1.8GHz model sells for $1,999, the 2.0GHz model for $2,499 and the 2.5GHz model for $2,999. The three models have different amounts of RAM, hard drive sizes and so forth. For details go to Apples web site.
The most interesting items to be released by Apple since the iPod would have to be the be the Airport Express and AirTunes. Airport Express is a mini AirPort Base Station selling for $129 and AirTunes is a software addition available in the newest version of iTunes.
The Airport Express looks like the Apple power brick that comes with their notebooks. It measures less than 4-by-3-by 1 inches, and weighs less than 7 ounces. Believe it or not it is a combination wireless relay, a wireless bridge, a music streamer for stereos and powered speakers, and a wireless print server.
It doesnt have all the features of the Airport Base station such as support for up to 50 users, separate LAN and WAN ports, an external antenna connector, or a built-in modem but for $129 it should fill the bill for most users.
For people who travel and use their notebooks in a hotel this will be a great product. Now you will not be limited by the length of the cable connecting your notebook to the hotel internet outlet. Just plug the Airport Express into the wall socket, connect a cable between it and the data outlet and you can surf from anywhere in the room.
Probably the most interesting feature and the feature that will probably sell more than any other is the use of AirTunes. Start by installing the AirPort Express Assistant software included in the CD that comes with AirPort Express.
Connect your stereo to the audio port using either an optical digital or analog audio cable. Airport Express will accommodate either.
Plug AirPort Express into an electrical outlet. It will turn on automatically when connected to an electrical outlet. The status light glows yellow while AirPort Express is starting up. Once its started up completely, the light turns green.
Now use the AirPort Express Assistant to do the setup. Youre all set to play your iTunes music on your stereo. To play your iTunes music, open iTunes 4.6. In the lower right of the iTunes window, youll see a popup list showing your stereo speakers connected to AirPort Express. Select it, click play. The iTunes signal is compressed using Apple's Lossless Compression, encrypted, and sent to the AirPort Express. AirPort Express decrypts the stream, decodes it, and outputs it to your stereo.
Another feature is the ability to share a printer wirelessly. Just connect a printer to the USB port on the AirPort Express Base Station and the printer is instantly available to everyone on your wireless network. Be aware that not every printer will work this way. A list of compatible printers are available on Apples web site.
Also available for use with the Airport Express is a cable kit, priced at $39. It includes a mini-to-RCA left/right audio cable, a mini-to-optical digital Toslink audio cable and an AirPort Express power extension cord.
Steve Jobs at WWDC
On June 28 Steve Jobs gave the opening address at the Worldwide Developers Conference. He introduced three new Apple LCD monitors. The smallest is a 23-inch model selling for $1,299. It has an optimum resolution of 1680 by 1050 pixels. Next is a 23-inch model, selling for $1,999, with an optimum resolution of 1920 by 1200 pixels. The top of the line is a 30-inch model selling for $3,299. It has an optimum resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels. No other monitor can approach this. There is one drawback besides the price. It required a G5 computer and a special video card costing $599.
New Mac OS 10.4 - Tiger
Also Steve Jobs gave a preview of Tiger, the next version of the Mac OS. He claimed that it would have 150 new features and he demonstrated some of the major ones.
One of the outstanding new features was called Spotlight. It is a super-fast search module that can find e-mails, images, documents and so forth and arrange the results by kind, time or people. It does all of this in the blink of an eye. It is a great new feature.
Safari will be updated with new features, most of which I didnt understand.
A new feature that should be very useful is called Dashboard. It is described as an interface for Widgets. It provides ways for users to more conveniently access information like stock quotes, calendar information, calculators, Webcam interfaces and more.
The new iChat will have the ability for up to three people to simultaneously video-chat with one another, or 10 people to audio-chat. The video resolution will be greatly increased.
Other new features include Core Image and Core Video, a new technology for image and video processing applications. During the demonstration some images were manipulated in a manner such as used in Photoshop.
Automator is a new visual application coming to Tiger that enables users to automate repetitive tasks without needing to write scripts. This was an impressive feature.
Tiger will be released during the first half of 2005 and will sell for $129.
Ocala Macintosh User Group Minutes
June 1, 2004
Mike Bridge opened the meeting and related that there is an update to Panther OS available. He also mentioned that members could put items for sale in the newsletter.
There was no business conducted in this month's
Earl Satterfield led June's program. He demonstrated how to move music from records and tapes to CDs. He used iMike and Powerwave to convert analog to digital and Toast and Amadeus software to record to the CDs. He made detailed, illustrated instructions available to those who were interested.
This month's raffle prizes were $17.00 each for the first two winners. George and Mary Lundy kept it all in the family because they held the tickets for the money prizes. Also Earl Satterfield and Ron Reid had the third and fourth winning tickets. They were able to choose a reward from the prize table.
Next month's meeting will be held on July 6, 04.
Is your Mac acting up on you!? Crashing, freezing or did it just die?
Need help with these and all other problems or repairs pertaining to Macs.
Contact Joe Pipala 352-343-2813; Mon.-Fri. 8:00 to 5:00 P.M.
New Member Service Offered
Tired of feeling left out?
One on One Mac classes now starting.
If you are interested in Mac Basics, Ebay, Maintenance or Internet
Contact Joe & Susan Pipala 352-343-2813; Mon.-Fri. 8:00 to 5:00 P.M
If you are interested in Scanners, PhotoShop or Digital Cameras call
Tim & Judy Rankin at 352-821-2201; Mon.-Fri. 8:00 to 5:00 P.M.
From the Macintosh Hints & Tips column created for the San Diego Macintosh User Groups newsletter.
OS X Character Palette
Have you ever wanted to find that special type character, symbol or widget but cannot find the correct font or keyboard combination to insert into a document? You can do so by using the shareware utility Pop Char, which has been around for several years for OS 8 and 9. There is a version for OS X, also. But, if you dont have Pop Char, there is another way to handle the problem.
OS X provides Mac users with a much expanded character set with Unicode support. Now you can access a broad range of characters for foreign languages, math symbols and dingbats. The secret is hidden in the OS X Character Palette.
To access these special characters, add the Character Palette to the menu bar by the following steps:
1. Open the System Preferences and click on the International preference pane.
2. Click on the Input Menu tab.
3. Check the box next to Character Palette.
4. Close the preferences panes.
The Character Palette menu item is now displayed at the end of menu bar at the top of your screen. This menu item is available always and in all applications. Now choose Show Character Palette from the Character Palette menu. Then choose All from the View menu and click the Unicode Blocks tab.
Use the Insert button to insert the character(s) youd like to include in your document. You can use the insert button only in native OS X cocoa and unicode aware applications. In classic and carbon applications the insert button will be gray.
Apple Barrel, Ridgecrest CA
.Power Mac 6500 - 250 MHz -
128 MB RAM - 4 GB HD -
CD ROM - 15 Display - OS 9.1
V.92 Teleport Modem - NIB- $50
Microsoft optical mouse - make offer
Lexmark Z-23 printer - $20
(352) 873-3221 - Gretchen
In lieu of a full blown treasurers report, we mainly want to inform the membership that our new Epson Powerlite One projector is completely paid for and now totally belongs to OMUG. This was done in the space of six months rather than one year as we originally planned. Again, we want to thank Jake Jackson for offering us the use of his credit card to fund the purchase on an installment basis and those that contributed above and beyond the call to the projector fund (you know who you are and we thank you!). Most of the OMUG members have renewed their memberships, but there are still a few that need to pay their dues which would be greatly appreciated. The Bank Balance for the month of June 2004 is $629.47.
We have a number of volunteers who are available to help you with problems you may encounter using software:
PageMaker or Digital Camera Art Golden 873-1530 firstname.lastname@example.org
PrintShop or Print Explosion Judy Rankin 821-2322 Judyrookh@aol.com
CD Burners : Jake Jackson 854-3373 email@example.com
General Mac Problems : Tim Rankin 821-2201 Rookh@aol.com
All the Board of Directors are available for help, also. See them on the Board of Directors page of this web site.