Past Meetings

February 17, 2006

Despite a severe weather front moving through our area which caused high winds and 40 degree temperature drops, six people still made it to this month's meeting: Tom B, John R, Annie B, Sue S, Jack H and Jim P. We all enjoyed the pizza and soft drinks which Annie had brought to share at the meeting. Thank you Annie!

During lunch, Tom shared some discoveries he had made since last meeting:

A list of 95 great Mac browsers (sounds like something that should be tacked to a church door) are currently available in 2006 for any Mac OS. The online list was compiled by Darrel Knutson with a brief overview of pros/cons of each. OmniWeb seems to be his hands-down favorite). iCab is the leanest browser if you want to travel light on the cyber highway. Firefox is a Mozilla offshoot and used by many mac lovers.Opera is the fastest.

For laptop users, a handy free utility called CoconutBattery 2.2 will tell you a bunch of stuff about the condition of the battery in your laptop, including its current charge, age and maximum capacity compared to its orignal capacity. This is real important for us that have a mac laptop which is more than 3 years old because the batteries have a definite life span and are quite expensive to replace ($100+). And batteries eventually wear out even if you have been on AC since day one. CoconutBattery comes with a widget also. It is available for only OSX 10.4 Tiger. Download it here (639k).

Another wonderful discovery was the existence of a free utility called ABSModemUtility v.1.4b3. This small application (368k download) provides a way for an older, non-wifi mac to go online through an AirPort Base Station via an ethernet cable plugged into it. You can 'Connect' or 'Disconnect' from the older mac, as well as from any other Wifi macs being used with the same base station. And all on a single dial-up modem! See the details on setup and configuration here.

ã ñ õ à è ì ò ù á é í ó ú ö â ê î ô û
If you've ever needed a special accent mark for a foreign word (tilde, grave, acute, umlaut or cirdilla), your mac keyboard has something called Dead Key Accents which are active all the time. Just hold down Option, press the dead key, then release Option and press the letter to receive the accent. See Dead Key List.

And still more weird symbols & signs possible through your mac keyboard:

<--Curses often found emanating from cartoon characters' mouths when angry. This could be a healthy outlet for many angry people in today's world. In OS9 check out KEYCAPS under the Apple menu. In OSX go to Keyboard Viewer in System Preferences > International > Input Menu > check Show Keyboard Viewer > check Show in Menu Bar. Press Option.

Tom gave a step-by-step demo of how to set up an eBay auction, starting with some tips on taking good photos of an item using a point & shoot digital camera and a piece of white paper. Using the cool freeware called PixelNhance, a slightly drab picture of earrings was cleaned up in a few seconds to look much more appealing. See before & after comparison.

After a brief powerpoint overview of setting up an eBay auction, a set of vintage earrings were actually put into a real 7-day auction using the online format provided by eBay. Everything from item description to pricing to final payment and shipping cost were considered. Some helpful incites were offered by the group and greatly appreciated.

Information and tips were also given regarding setting up a new eBay account, as well as a PayPal account to facilitate payments.

Barnes & Noble publish their own line of inexpensive books ($9.95) called In Easy Steps. Every possible subject is available, including an excellent one on eBay Buying and Selling. You can order a copy here.


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Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -