From the President's Desk
The Way I See It
Tim Rankin, President
Here is some very interesting audio
information that I have excerpted from
material that Virginia Baldwin forwarded to me. It goes
hand in hand with tonights iTunes presentation.
The past decade has seen digital media almost
completely subsume the consumer entertainment
world. HDTV is an all-digital standard; DVD has all
but killed off old-fashioned analog VHS; cell phone
networks have long since gone digital--the list goes on
and on. The music industry was a trailblazer in
digitization, with the compact disc laying the
groundwork for the current MP3 era. But this
seemingly inevitable march toward the digital future
has prompted a widespread misunderstanding; while
digital media is undeniably more convenient than its
analog equivalent, it is by no means guaranteed to be
superior. And there's no better example of this than
the vinyl record.
The LP is fast approaching its 60th birthday, but
audiophiles insist that the medium's sound quality
remains unmatched by any CD, MP3, or other digital
audio technology to date--it's the next best thing to
being there, with real live musicians. That superior
sonic fidelity is why this decidedly analog technology
has maintained a devoted niche market in this digital
age. According to industry stats, sales of LPs doubled
in 2004--all the more impressive because this growth
came at a time when CD sales are headed south.
Intel based Mac mini
Two new pieces of hardware were announced by
Apple at a special event on February 28. The first
item is the new Intel based Mac mini. The new mini
retains the same look and size as the old model.
The new machines comes in two models, one with a
single core processor said to be three time faster then
the old model and the other with the dual core chip
said to be four times faster.Both comes equipped with
Gigabit Ethernet, built-in Airport Extreme and
Bluetooth, four USB2 ports, one Firewire 400 port, a
DVI/VGA output for a monitor, analog and digital
audio input and output. iLife 06 and Front Row
software is included.
These new Mac minis sell for $600 and $800 and are
The second piece of hardware is the iPod Hi-Fi. This
is a boom box looking system designed especially for
the iPods. It can be powered by a wall outlet or six Dcell
batteries, making it very portable. It ships with
Apple Remote, a removable grille, an AC power cord,
and 10 universal dock adapters.
The stereo supports all iPod models with a dock
connector, and recharges any connected iPod while it is
docked. The device includes a dual-purpose
3.5-mm auxiliary input port that accepts either analog
or digital signals, allowing users to easily connect a
wide range of audio sources to the unit.
The iPod Hi-Fi sell for $350.
Photoshop Elements 4.0 for Macintosh
Adobe has announced the release of Photoshop
Elements 4.0 for Macintosh. Photoshop Elements is
the consumer-level application that does not have all
the bells and whistles of the full version of Photoshop
but it does most of the things that us amateurs will
Many of the tools includes in Photoshop CS2 are
included in this new version of Elements. These
include the Magic Selection Tool, The Magic
Extractor, the Skin Tone Adjustment Tool to name the
major ones. The one that looks to be the most help is
the Magic Extractor Tool. This allows you to extract
something, such as a persons head, and place it in
another photograph. You do this by drawing a few
lines on the area to be extracted and then do the same
for the areas to keep and the extraction will be made
automatically. You might have to clean up the edges a
little but that shouldnt be a problem.
Along with the features already mentioned, a version
of Adobe Bridge is included. Bridge is a visible file
browser that lets you browse and organize the images
on your hard drive. The Photoshop Elements version
doesnt have all the features of the full-blown
Photoshop but it works quite well.
Photoshop Elements 4.0 is not being released as a
Universal Binary. Adobe did not want to delay the
release while the Universal Binary version is being
Elements requires a G3, G4 or G5 processor, Mac OS
X 10.3 or 10.4, 256 MB RAM and 750 MB of hard
disk space. It is expected to be available in March and
will cost $89.
The March program will be given by Earl Satterfield.
He will attempt to cover all the features of iTunes.
Smart Playlists, playlists, how to create albums, the
music store, podcasts and burning disks.
New iBooks coming
The rumor mill is saying that Apple will introduce two
new iBooks this spring. They will use Intels Core
Solo processor running at 1.57GHz. They will feature
a 13-inch widescreen display, a built-in iSight camera,
will come with Front Row software and the Apple
remote so you can play music and watch movies from
a distance. It is expected that the two models but with
different features such as Superdrive and Combo
New 17-inch MacBook Pro
Another big item rumored to be released this summer
(maybe at the World Wide Developers Conference in
June) is the 17-inch MacBook Pro. It will have a
2.16GHz Intel Core Duo processor. The new model
should have the same features as the present 15-inch
Tuesday,February 7, 2006
The regular monthly OMUG meeting was held onTuesday, February 7th at the Senior Center, with
twenty four in attendance including guest Georgiana
Schor and new member and guest speaker, Ed Muhs
from VMUG. It felt strange, not having Jake in his
usual place at the table upon entering the room but
alas, he has moved back to Virginia to be with his
family, due to some on going health issues. Jake
contributed numerous Mac items for our Raffle table
and we thank Judy and Tim for helping him with the
arduous task of clearing out for such a move. Earl
Satterfield was absent as he was away on a trip.
Sunshine Lady Virginia Baldwin and Treasurer Clint
Jones sold the 50/50 raffle tickets. After numerous
questions on photography, PC verses Mac
(compatibility), using Bluetooth to hook up your
camera to the TV using a remote, and more, Tim
reminded the group to check our home page often as
there are lots of tips and tricks and For Sale items
listed there as well.
Bookmark it! Thank you Ruth Williams for the great
job on the website.
Our featured presenter Ed Muhs, firstname.lastname@example.org,
had set up his brand new iMac with the intel chip
AND built in iSight, and began his informative
presentation on digital cameras and the exciting world
of photography. Today's digital cameras are
phenomenal and Ed stressed the importance of
educating yourself with your camera, keeping the
manual with you at all times, familiarize yourself with
it's workings to achieve really great pictures. Ed
shoots his pictures in RAW and keeps them in a folder
on his desktop and THEN transfer them over to
iPhoto which automatically transforms them intoJPEG for editing and sharing, always retaining the
originals in his original folder. Programs he
recommended were "Light Room" which can be
downloaded from the Adobe site and "Apple
Aperture" for work flow and sorting photos. Thank
you Ed for a great program.
50/50 winners were Sally Smyth, Michelle Holmes,
Carolyn Docteur, Judy Rankin and Virginia Baldwin.
The meeting adjourned at 8:40.
We missed you, Jim.