A change is coming…

It was announced at the NorthWest of Us meeting yesterday that our little Macintosh User Group was changing. RonÕs RGBThis is something we have all know for a while. It is getting harder and harder for our group to be financially sustainable. And we are not bringing in new members in spite of growing numbers in the world of Apple. The iPhone is the most popular and most satisfying phone on the planet, iPads are still selling like hot cakes too. Even Mac sales are up. Whole school districts are buying Apple iPads for their one-to-one technology and collaborative learning needs. So why isn’t the group growing as well?

The board of the NorthWest of Us has been working long and hard on this problem. We are an Apple-centric computer user group, that helps people work with their Apple technology, but how do people find us and make use of us? How many people have been googling for help and completely overlooked the funny-sounding named group because the name just doesn’t mean anything to them?

With this question in mind, the board has decided to change the name of the group, and commission a new logo. The new name is the Suburban Chicago Apple Users. We will remain a not-for-profit, educational organization.

We are also changing the format of the meeting. The meeting will be divided into three sections and this started with the September meeting. Starting at 9 a.m. instead of 8:30, there was a presentation on the new things coming in El Capitan and what you need to know about upgrading. This ran until 9:45 when we had a break and got to talk to each other. Then at 10 a.m. we heard from Bill Geraci about some common fraud schemes and how to spot them. Bill is so fun and entertaining that you don’t mind learning. He is a great resource for our group, one we should be putting to better use. At 10:45 we had another break until 11 when the Program Committee began the conversation about how the NorthWest of Us will be changing. A new site for meetings has been found that is much more cost-effective, and will become available in time for the January meeting. We will be changing to a site that has current technology so we won’t have to lug around so much equipment for meetings, which will be very nice for the volunteers that have had to get up so early on our Saturday meeting dates just to have everything set up and running by 8:30. The building? The American Association of Anesthesiologist is at 1061 American Lane in Schaumburg.

The SIGs will be changing locations too. The Geneology SIG and the Filemaker SIG are both moving to the Arlington Heights Library which is free. The website is getting overhauled as well, along with the logo. The format change will in future make it easier for members to come just when they want to hear about the subjects they want to talk about. All Mac OS topics will happen during the same time slot each month. The iOS topics will work the same way. The whole meeting ended with a Troubleshooting session from 11:45 until 12:15. The Program Committee part of the meeting ran a little long and was supposed to end at 11:30 but there were a lot of questions, understandably. We did get to the questions on iOS 9 eventually. There are some amazing things coming on the iPhone OS that I can hardly wait to try. One in particular has the camera taking a three second burst leaving the impression of a Harry Potter-esque moving picture like those from the famous wizarding world.

“Nothing is set in stone,” was something we heard repeated often Saturday morning. Change is coming. Be sure to let people know when you like something as well as when you don’t.

I had to work hard to clear my calendar that morning, but I was really glad I made it to the meeting Saturday.

See the trailer for “steve jobs|”

The movie opens on October 9, 2015 so it is still a way off yet, but if you watch the trailer, you get a good idea of what the movie will be like.

Written by Aaron Sorkin (West Wing), based on the biography by Walter Isaacson and directed by Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), it is the backstory on how Steve Jobs took an idea and ran with it to create the most iconic computer on the planet. It stars Michael Fassbender as Steve, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak, and Jeff Daniels as the evil John Scully.

Here is the link: http://www.stevejobsthefilm.com/#/

Review: Take Control of Numbers


by Ed Booth

Take Control of Numbers by Sharon Zardetto
version 1.0 for Numbers 3.5 TidBits Publishing, Inc.15 April 2015

I’ll admit it, I’m a long-time Excel/Word/PPT user on the Mac and had not used the Apple Pages, Numbers, and Keynote software before Debbie [Deborah Abbott] gave her excellent presentation to the group last fall (2014). I decided to try Pages and was pleased with the results. And then I used Keynote for a presentation this winter, and was thrilled with what it could do compared with it’s better known (and famously snooze-inducing) rival. But, I hadn’t gotten around to using Numbers yet. So when I won the member raffle last month I selected the Take Control Books new issue on Numbers.TCONumbers

Before we get too far in this review, I should note that this Book covers version 3.5 of Numbers which only runs on Yosemite. Fortunately, I have upgraded to Yosemite on my laptop and have had no issues running it there. The author points out that she does not cover Numbers for iOS or the iCloud features. However, I think many of the basic principles she covers would directly apply to those other versions of Numbers.

One of the features I like about the e-book format in general (available as a pdf, EPUB for iOS in particular, or Mobipocket) and the way TCB implements it in particular, is that I can have the book on my iPad so I can leave my laptop screen fully available to run the program while referring easily to the book.

I like other features as well. The Quick Start section guides you to parts of the book based on either your experience or your needs. Thus if you’re a novice you can jump to the tutorial section which is actually at the back of the book. Or if you are familiar with spreadsheets (as I was) you can jump right into the particular features of Numbers. Throughout the book, there are examples with the invitation to “try it.” Available from TCB is a Numbers file with over two dozen spreadsheets set-up with sample data and formatting — giving you the opportunity to jump in and get hands-on experience with the program.

I am impressed with the depth and thoroughness of the treatment of all the aspects of working with Numbers spreadsheets. And there’s a lot to cover. Everything from basic cell addressing and navigation (relative vs. absolute); through formulas, formatting, and on to graphic results; everything seems to be there. The author even takes time to school those of us who grew up with the “Save As” command on how Apple has replaced that concept with “Rename” and “Duplicate” menu commands. Plus, the tip that if you press the “Option” key, you can get back to Kansas temporally by changing “Duplicate” to “Save As.”

All told, the book covers 324 screens on my iPad in the EPUB version. I can’t say pages because the EPUB format allows you to change the type size and reflow the material to customize the reading experience. That’s something I can appreciate – my arms aren’t long enough to bring print books into focus anymore.

The illustrations are well designed to cover the topic at hand. For example, here is the overview of the basic Table controls…Numbers figure

I discovered another concept new to me in spreadsheets; namely the capability to have multiple tables on a “page” separated by, of all things, “white space.” Who knew? At least in my experience with Excel.multiple tables

In summary, the book introduced me to possibilities for ways to use Numbers (and by extension, spreadsheets) I hadn’t considered since learning my way around MultiPlan and then Excel decades ago. For that I’m appreciative. I’m glad I have it and even more so because I won it as a benefit of my membership in our Apple User Group (once-upon-a-time known as The NorthWest of Us.)

If the book has glaring errors or omissions, my brief exploration hasn’t uncovered any. In anything as complex as the material covered here, there must be. But my experience using other TCBooks indicates that if there are, someone will point it out and then there will be a correction to it soon enough.

Heard any of these Steve Jobs quotes?

Editor: Thanks to Dave Ginsberg for compiling these.

1. “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

2. “No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

3. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

4. “Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future.”

5. “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.”

6. Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”

7. “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters to me.”

8. “Bottom line is, I didn’t return to Apple to make a fortune. I’ve been very lucky in my life and already have one. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There’s no way you could ever spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence.”

9. “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.”

10. “I want to put a ding in the universe.”

Coming up at the next meeting…

Next Saturday on June 13th a panel of experts will discuss Yosemite. Have you tapped into its biggest features?

• 4 take home tips that you can begin using that day.
• Great ideas you can’t get anywhere else. A meeting handout that will be a useful tool.
• Raffle, who will win? Lots of prizes.
• Summer Webinar Workshops – Details Announced
World Wide Developer Conference announcements on Monday

Apple joins the DJIA

I personally felt that it was fine not having Apple on the Dow Jones Industrial Average. As if somehow they weren’t an evil empire because they weren’t on the Dow listing. All the companies that are really evil are on the Dow, of course. Comcast is on the Dow. Need I say more? I like to think of Apple as the good guys, and whether they are or not is another thing.

So today, when Apple joined that infamous company of corporations, I had some mixed feelings. If we thought they had an effect on the stock market before, it should be interesting to see what happens going forward. They say they made the change because Visa was losing it’s value due to a 4:1 split, and Apple’s value makes it a good counter balance. They boot ATT off the Dow because they only have 30 stocks so someone had to go. Here is an article from a source that is not the usual financial propaganda generators:


Is your iPhone, iPad or Android device vulnerable to FREAK attack?

That’s a good question, one that I have been unable to figure out. The article fails to point out which of the apps are suspect. It focuses mostly on Android vulnerability but keeps mentioning iOS as well, keeping us in suspense. Not a well-written article, but just in case you thought your iPhone was invulnerable, (since the CIA has been unable to hack iPhones once they became all the rage) you should remember that “man in the middle” attacks are only possible if you are using open wi-fi.


C:Net logo


Review: Take Control of Pages, eBook

by Judy Eber, member

I found that I have Pages ’08 Version 3.03, and never used it, so in order to write this review, I thought I ought to update to the current version of Pages 5. As I was a bit behind the times, I had to learn the program from scratch. I liked that I had won the new Take Control Book for a guide. I liked the idea of being able to share documents between all my devices, and users. I didn’t like that, as a long time Mac only user, I had to purchase the new version of Pages, even though I had an iMac, iPad and iPhone. I relented because of iCloud. The iCloud integration afforded me the convenience of my documents being opened and edited without even having to save or sync that document as long as I am working on the latest OS to keep up with its continuing advancements. Pages 5.5 requires OS 10.10 Yosemite and iOS 8.TCO Pages

Take Control of Pages is longer than most Take Control eBooks. The 266 page eBook downloaded effortlessly and goes into detailed instruction for the three different platforms for creating, working on, (even in any Web browser,) sharing, updating and accessing the blog discussions. Each interface lends itself to the landscape of the device and the author describes each app’s tools and controls and their differences in depth. Formatting, Layouts, Templates, Graphics, Audio, Video, Charts in 3D and Graphs, and more will allow the user to create, collaborate, organize and password save very professional publications without boundaries.

There is a lot to learn for a newcomer reading this, and it will take anyone dedicated study for a while to get through all the information in this eBook and become fluent. I’d like to have a BootCamp covering all the new features of Apple’s amazing latest Word Processor.