Past Meetings

May 29, 2009 - Hammondsport Mac Users Group

TOPIC: VIRTUAL CULTURE (art, music and literature on your Mac)

ATTENDING:Tom B, Bob S, Bill N and Jack H. During lunch, we learned about each other's first paying job and what lessons were learned from that experience.


A folder of photos can be easily viewed by using Preview's slideshow feature. We looked at some interesting anamorphic art on Painted Trucks and Sidewalk Chalk Drawings.

ArtScope - SFMOMA uses this viewing device to allow viewers to peruse a mosaic of its entire art collection and take a virtual museum tour. A recent article in TidBITS looks at a variety of virtual browsing methods used by art museums, including the Metropolitan and the Louvre.

Using a freeware called Pencil along with a stylus and USB Wacom tablet, Tom gave a demonstration of drawing on his PowerBook Titanium G4. The pressure-sensitive feature allows line thickness to accurately reflect subtle changes of pressure from the drawer's hand.
The onionskin feature of Pencil allows you to draw simple animations and play them back via the built-in viewer as well as export the finished work as a QT movie.

Corel Painter X is a more sophisticated software featuring a myriad of art mediums and tools, including such things as fluid watercolor, painterly oil mixing and reflective chrome.Download 30-day free trial (retail $399, educational discount prices as low as $99 or search eBay for bargains $45+). An older version Painter 4 (made by Fractal) works well with OS 9 or OSX Classic. A demo download of Painter 4 can be downloaded here and used indefinitely. Just capture your finished work with Command-Shift-4 (be sure you have a copy of OS9 installed on your Mac.)


---iTunes - Tom gave a demo of the basic functions available, including playing a CD
---GraceNote - get CD track names & data instantly
---RocketFM - play internet radio via radio transmitter to your home's FM radios and stereo systems. More info
---EQ by track
---Audacity freeware to make live recording - demo of Emily playing piano in Alabama

---Two great Blue Grass sites recommended by Mary here and here.

---Library (local) Audio Books to download (MP3) - need your Library card and PIN #
---OverDrive Media Console for Mac or Windows - free download
---Silly Saga of using Library Audio Downloads
---Ebooks -Take Control series - complete books in PDF downloads for small fee
---FM/MP3 Car Player - $8 to play your MP3 audio books or music via car FM radio
---Eucalyptus - the 'library to go' via iPhone
---Project Gutenberg - free downloads of many classics



My First Mac - informative website for first time and veteran Mac users with articles such as:

10 Little Known Cool Mac Tricks
- - - Pocket Sized Address Book (see example)
- - - Make Anything a PDF
- - - Instant Dictionary
- - - View Lots of Images Side by Side Full Screen
- - - Use your Laptop as a Baby Monitor + five more

MacTipster - more cool tips and shortcuts you never knew about your mac here


- - - To select a specific word, double-click it. To select the entire sentence or paragraph triple-click.

- - - Command+Option+Control+8 - freak your unsuspecting friends out by inverting the colors on their screen. (This is actually an accessibility feature in OS X that helps vision-impaired users).

- - - Command-Shift-A to quickly open your Applications folder

- - - Dock Apps Pop-Up - drag a copy of the Applications folder to Dock - then click and hold on dock folder to launch a vertical column of all apps

Calculator Modes (found in applications folder) - go to Menu > View and select mode:
Com+1 = Basic Com+2 = Scientific Com+3 = Programmer. Also options for paper tape, speak results, etc.


Caffeine - free program that puts a tiny coffee cup on the right side of your menu bar. Click it to prevent your Mac from automatically going to sleep, dimming the screen or starting screen savers. Click it again to revert. Hold down the Command key while clicking to show its prefs menu. (download 240k)

AppFresh - free app that quickly gives you the update status of all your Apple and non-Apple applications (download 1.6mb)

iGlasses - small app that gives you control over several features of image quality for built-in iSight cam and other webcams (demo download 875k) - buy for $9.95

- top downloads - see what is currently popular with other Mac users


Logitech LX5 USB Wireless Optical Mouse - left/right click, 4-way scrolling, on-off power switch, uses two AA batteries - $15 (no tax/no shipping) - search eBay for this item - brand new! Works great w/ iBook, PowerBook, MacBook, etc.


USB 3 - 10x faster than current USB 2 - read CNET article

Mac OSX Java Vulnerability - read about this current issue and how to protect yourself until a fix is released by Apple. (See how to disable Java in popular web browsers)
*Update 6/15/09 - Apple fixes Java vulnerabilities for 10.4.11 (80mb) and 10.5.7 (158mb) - No restart is required, but all browsers should be quit before installing the updates.

Apple Evolution - see a photo of every Apple product ever released on one page. Historical note: do you know the significance of the Apple logo with the missing bite? Does it link back to original sin in the Garden of Eden when humans first exercised free will by eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:16-17)? According to a 2009 interview with the logo's designer, Rob Janoff, it had no religious connotation at all. An ad for the Apple -1 (1976) shows the original price as $666.66 and encouraged the buyer to 'Byte into an Apple'. See picture of the Apple 1.


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Hammondsport Mac Users Group - Hammondsport, NY 14840 -