The Pi held its first Mac Training Day on Saturday, May 27, 2006. The holiday weekend event consisted of twelve half hour training sessions conducted by several Pi members. With the superior Microsoft Innovation & Technology Center facilities, we divided a very large room into three separate classrooms and conducted three training sessions concurrently. The topics were varied and with the nice sized crowd attending, every session attracted attention.
Regarding the facilities, we are highly indebted to Kevin Adler, the son of Pi member Len Adler. Kevin arranges and supports each meeting despite the fact he is not even a member of the Pi. For his efforts, the Board approved the purchase of a gift of appreciation that we gave to Kevin at the end of our meeting.
The meeting ended with some business items and the introduction of two of the nominees who were up for election to the Board of Directors. A last call was made for everyone to vote to support the four members up for election and then we dispensed a large number of door prizes. Several of us trekked over to Panera for lunch and additional conversation.
The mini training sessions covered a large array of topics. We had several members step forward to lead the meetings and answer questions. Despite a couple of technical glitches, one schedule change and some sessions running a little over time, the meeting was judged a great success. Many participants reinforced this assessment with positive feedback, and from the results, we are in favor of conducting informal training during the first portion of every future meeting at this site. Some of the same topics will be repeated while others can be added. And the subjects for presentation were —
From my vantage point, I think most of the topics were well received. Each of the instructors I witnessed did a credible job and was helpful with answering the many questions that arose. This type of venue has great potential for helping members learn how to better use their Macs.
Steve Lemon discussed the “art” of making photo and video DVDs as modern day family albums at the May General Meeting. (Photo by Lawrence I. Charters, taken with a Minolta A2 digital camera)
Each of the tutorial leaders was asked to summarize the particulars of their training session. Several of them were able to put pen to paper, or electrons to email:
During a presentation at the May General Meeting, Craig Contardi outlined how he used iMovie and iDVD (and some other tools) to create an interactive DVD of a grade school graduation. (Photo by Lawrence I. Charters, taken with a Minolta A2 digital camera)
Intro to iWeb - Though technology didn't cooperate with Travis and Kelsey Good (their PowerBook couldn’t connect to the projector), they still managed to cover the basics of iWeb, Apple's newest addition to the iLife suite. This Web site building tool is chock-full of Apple design and Apple ease-of-use. You can use the included templates to publish everything from resumés to blogs. Travis’ personal favorite feature of iWeb is its integration with the rest of the iLife suite. For example, from within iPhoto you can use iWeb to publish enhanced photo albums; from within GarageBand you can use iWeb to publish podcasts. For .Mac members, publishing a site is as easy as clicking the "Publish" button, but iWeb sites can be published on other Web hosting services too. If you have iLife '06 then you have iWeb. Give it a try!
Intro to Windows on the Mac, complete with live demo - Lawrence Charters demonstrated running Microsoft Windows XP on a Mac mini Intel Core Duo. He ran it in two different environments: natively using Apple's Boot Camp beta and in a more "captive" mode using a beta of Parallels, Inc., Parallels Desktop for Mac. The attentive audience asked a great number of questions: Do you need an Intel-based Mac? (yes); Do you need to buy a copy of Windows XP? (yes); Will it work with older versions of Windows? (Boot Camp will not); Why would you want to run an older version Windows? (most Mac users won't want to). A more extensive look at Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop can be found elsewhere in this issue.
How to Vote - Subscribe to the WAPi Calendar - Use the TCS - Dick Rucker and Bob Jarecke covered some important areas of the Pi’s Web site. Bob emphasized that everyone should vote in the ongoing Board of Directors election. They then addressed the location and use of the Pi Calendar, pointing out how the membership can subscribe to it and have Pi events show up in iCal. Dick, as a long-time, experienced user of the TCS, did most of this moderating of the section of the training event; he was able to address all of the questions regarding it. This section on the TCS will continue to be offered to illustrate to the membership what a powerful information tool they have in the TCS. Log on and check it out!
Bob Jarecke used screen shots of the Pi’s online forums, the TCS, to discuss this valuable Pi resource at the May General Meeting. Bob would have liked to use a live Internet connection but was prepared for technical difficulties. (Photo by Lawrence I. Charters)
Buying and Selling on eBay - Without an Internet connection (one of the fore mentioned technical glitches), the demonstration of the ins and outs of eBay buying was lacking the flexibility a “live” connection would offer. However, through the use of screen shots of the Web site, Bob was able to cover eBay registry, account settings and some basics on buying and selling. Much of the presentation involved answering questions and in answering them, Bob presented his approach and techniques for using the Web auction service.
The Many Uses of Text Edit & Cool Tricks in Mail - John Barnes presented these two items and his recaps were thorough and well done. Instead of including them here, it is recommended the reader check out his short articles on each of these topics elsewhere in this copy of the Journal.
John Barnes guides an exploration of the many talents of TextEdit at the May General Meeting. (Photo by Lawrence I. Charters, taken with a Minolta A2 digital camera)
... and the winner is? - Kevin Adler!
As mentioned in the introduction, we had Kevin come forward to thank him for his tireless efforts supporting our meetings at Microsoft’s Reston location. He really didn’t expect anything, and it was a distinct pleasure surprising him with the latest and greatest iPod from Apple. He accepted the 60GB iPod video with a hugh smile and gracious thanks. The thanks are ours, Kevin.
Ken Adler’s professional reserve succumbed to a big grin when the Pi presented him with an iPod at the May General Meeting. (Photo by Richard Sanderson, taken with a Nikon D-70 digital camera.)
After one more pitch to vote and having Board of Director nominees Gordon Nord and Stephen Lipson stand up, we moved on to the door prize drawings. The winners had a fair assortment of prizes to choose from, and one by one, they disappeared as each winner came forward to select what remained in the pile. The winners, in alphabetical order, were Richard Allen, Clifton Bailey, Raj Borkar, Lawrence Charters, Craig Contardi, David Granite, Ronald Green, Gene Haddon, William C Harrop, Ross Hatch, Diane Kuykendall, Jim Little, Alex Maish, Gini Moore, Gordon Nord, Richard Rucker, Richard Sanderson, Andrea Sedlak, and Bud Uyeda. The formal portion of the meeting ended, and while Pat collected meeting assessments, several of us straightened up the place, picked up our gear and headed to Panera for lunch.
Meeting brochure (JPEG or PDF)