September 1999 General Meeting Report
by Steven Kiepe, Vice President for Programs
September 25th was forecast to be clear and sunny but storm clouds loomed on the horizon as we approached the beginning of our general meeting. Confronted with the prospect of not having a commercial developer available to make a presentation to our group, I followed the lead of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz and panicked! Not to worry though, a stalwart group of highly skilled WAP leaders came to the rescue and turned a potential disaster into a rout.
Disk Repair 101
After kicking off the meeting with Lawrence Charter's traditional question and answer session, we moved to more formal presentations. Tom Witte began with a series of discussions on hard drive maintenance tools. Tom emphasized over and over his primary rule for hard drive and system health; run Apple's Disk First Aid weekly! Tom demonstrated the program's intuitive interface and fairly rapid disk check capability.
Next on the list was a demonstration of Alsoft's DiskWarrior, a directory recovery and repair utility. DiskWarrior catalogs the location of every file on an entire hard drive and then creates a new directory. This directory is then substituted for a corrupted directory, restoring access to files that otherwise may have been unrecoverable by competing repair utilities.
Tom's final demonstration was of MicroMat's Techtool Pro 2. This utility is the Swiss Army Knife of repair utilities, offering a complete suite of tools to analyze and repair not only disk based data structures, but also to troubleshoot the full spectrum of computer hardware and peripherals. Techtool Pro combines the data repair tools of Norton Utilities with the Apple's System Profiler analysis utility and the MacBench test suite. It is truly the jack of all trades in Macintosh system analysis and has no peer in breadth of testing or depth of repair capability.
After Tom ceded the floor, our next speaker was Stuart Bonwit. Stuart, an opera aficionado and animation master, presented an aria that he constructed in Poser over a five-month period. The crowd was blown away as his QuickTime video of an animated character singing one of his favorite opera pieces was projected onto the screen. Stuart broke the creation of his masterpiece into discrete steps, demonstrating the effort required to render and animate his diva as she walked onto a computer generated stage and began to sing. His success in making his figure's facial expressions correspond to the words and tenor of the various passages in his chosen sound track was remarkable. It was a beautiful piece of animation and Stuart should be very proud.
Mac Tips and Tricks
Stuart yielded to yet another Mac guru, Pat Fauquet, for our third presentation of the evening. Pat focused her talk on Mac OS 8.6 tricks and tips. Without a guide to work by, most of us didn't know the special shortcuts built into the 8.6 update including special functions associated with simultaneously clicking the mouse while pressing either the control or option keys. Pat also led the group through the function of the Apple Favorites menu selection, and the uses of the Apple System Profiler. I was surprised to find that the System profiler could catalog the version number of all installed applications. This is a great aid for comparing your software status against the updates available on the Version Tracker website.
Our final speaker of the night was Mary Keene with a description of one of the largest of all clip art and font collections, Art Explosion 525,000 from the folks at Nova Development. Mary gave a run down on the 37 CDs filled with EPS and TIFF images, as well as over 1500 fonts. Combined with a 1500 page catalog displaying all of the art images and font samples, Art Explosion 525,000 must be the most comprehensive collection of graphics images for the Macintosh today.
Everyone's a Winner!
Finally, it was time to bring the meeting to a close but not before the big give away. September's meeting was unusual in that there were so many freebees that almost everyone went home a winner. In addition to dozens of CD ROMS containing Apple's QuickTime 4 installation program, there was a big bonanza of books, T-shirts and other miscellaneous items. In compressed fashion, the loot and associated happy winners follow.
T-shirts: R. Clifton Bailey, W.S. Pickens, Hal Deeley. Casady & Greene Fun Bundle CD II: Helen D. Barsalou, Mark Zolenas, Allen Denette, Andy Werthmann, Eric L. Mackenzie, Sidney M. Koss, Gerald Klis, Pat Garvey and Catherine Raveia. Real World Photoshop 3 book: Bud Uyeda and Stuart Bonwit. Looking Good with Quark Express book: Mary Keene. Photoshop Wow book: Dave Myslinski and Glenn Rounsevell. Adobe Acrobat 3.0 software: Bob Ketchel. Illustrator Wow book: George C. Quist and Ethan Labowitz. Photoshop Special Effects book: Needham Langston. Real World Photo Illustrator book: Larry Schwartz. Word 6 book: Mike Myslinski. Mac Bible 6th Edition: Doug McNeill. Creating Cool HTML 4: Vernice Christian. Miscellaneous other prizes: Bob Jarecke, Charlie Stancil, Edwin C. Jordan, David Nicolson, Frak Lockhart, Michael Hottman, Thomas Hahler, Robert Langer, and Ken Clare. What a list!
We're hard at work trying to attract the kind of leading edge Macintosh developer talent that WAP has come to expect. Our rough schedule is shaping up like this (all meeting topics tentative): October -- Apple and OS 9. November -- Adobe In Design. December -- the big garage sale and show! January -- Gemulator and MacSpeech. February -- Asante networking solutions and 3Dfx video solutions. We'll add more as the schedule fills out. In the interim, see you next month!
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Revised October 3, 1999 Lawrence I. Charters
Washington Apple Pi