MacMAD 30th Anniversary Event

MacMAD’s 30th Anniversary Event is history. It was fun to see some faces and equipment from the past. Naturally we ate dinner at San Remo Restaurant, haunt of MacMAD back in the 1980s and 1990s, and still good.

30th Anniversary Group Portrait
L to R, Seated: Jamie Cox, Eric Emerick, Dennis Crowley, Cher Daley L to R, Standing: John Sluder, Eb Farris, Bryan Kattwinkel, Denny Scott, Joe Harris, Steve Dagley, (?), Mike Williamson, Eric Newman, JR Staal.
Macintosh SE
Bryan Kattwinkel’s Vintage Macintosh SE with dual floppy drives.


Vintage Color Mac Laptop
Vintage Color Mac Laptop via Cher Daley

MacMAD 30th Anniversary Oct 1st

MacMAD will have a 30th anniversary meet and greet on Wednesday, Oct 1st at the Eau Gallie Library at 6:30 PM. This replaces the usual help meeting at that time and place. Everyone who ever had any connection with MacMAD is invited to come by and say howdy. Some of us who want to will go out to dinner afterwards — a 30 year tradition.

MacMad started in 1984, shortly after the Macintosh was released. For you youngsters, the Macintosh was not Apple’s first computer. The Apple I and II preceded it starting in the late 1970s.

A young Steve Jobs with the first Macintosh.
A young Steve Jobs with the first Macintosh.

Below is the first MacMAD newsletter from August 1984. Anyone remember newsletters? We stopped publication after the internet made them pretty much obsolete. It’s interesting that the newsletter was already referring to the only Macintosh model as a “128K Mac” — indicating our obvious wish that a new model with more memory was forthcoming.

Unlike MacWorld, this was produced on a Macintosh. Why is it all uppercase? We don't know.
Unlike MacWorld, this was produced on a Macintosh. Why is it all uppercase? We still don’t know. The early Macintosh had lower case.

We had a 20th anniversary meeting in 2004, and a lot of the usual suspects showed up. We’d  like to do better this year. See you there.

A somewhat serendipitous gathering on our 20th anniversary.
A somewhat serendipitous gathering on our 20th anniversary.

March 2014 Meeting Summary

2014 MacMAD Election results:

  • President – JR Staal
  • Vice President – Jamie Cox
  • Treasurer – Eric Emerick
  • Secretary – Dennis Crowley

Miscellaneous Notes:

  • iOS 7.1 is out and working well for folks
  • Microsoft One Note is now free on the app stores (Mac and iOS)
  • press fn key twice quickly to open dictation on Mavericks – uses on-line speech to text (and yes, my (older) USB keyboard has NO fn key.)

Dan Wadler presented on Free Software

He showed us some perhaps lesser-known Mac freeware. All links current as of March 2014. – a good place to look for software if you don’t know what apps are out there

Libre Office – A free office suite including Word processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Drawing and Database applications.

Stellarium – Cross-platform Planetarium software – see the stars and planets from your location and time – with modules and plug-ins. Yes, there’s an exoplanets plug-in.

Celestia – Real-time 3D visualization of space

Tide Widget – tide forecasts for your location – in a Dashboard widget

Album Artwork Assistant – Helps find Cover Artwork for iTunes

VLC Media Player – plays video in a great variety of digital formats

MacTubes – Play and download YouTube videos

MacTracker – detailed specifications for everything Apple Computer ever made

The Unarchiver – quick and easy app to open many different archive file types: zip, Tar etc.

Free Browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Dolphin (iOS), Mercury (iOS), Omniweb

Free Cloud Storage sites: Dropbox, Copy and Box.

Calibre – eBook manager

Sophos – Free Antivirus. Also, ClamX AV free antivirus.

Chess Knight – not overly tough computer chess game

Free Password managers: KeePass and LastPass.






February Meeting Summary

Club elections will be next month in March – round up the usual suspects.

Upcoming meeting topic suggestions mentioned

  • Web Design Tools
  • Synchronizing folders, drives and computers
  • Looking for guest presenters
  • Video Production

The Mac OS features Spaces and Exposé were combined into Mission Control in 10.8, Mountain Lion. These tools are all about managing your multiple desktops and open windows.

Products Mentioned in the Meeting

Dinner after the meeting was at Steak and Shake.


MacOS Mavericks Training

On the 22nd of January 2014 MacMad started a new initiative, presenting a series of classes directed at new Mac users. There were 19 people in the first class taking advantage of the opportunity for the free education.

In the first class Dennis Crowley, the instructor, showed how to navigate the OS X interface; use modifier keys for shortcuts; open and organize files and applications with Finder, the Macintosh “filing cabinet”.

Future classes will cover setting up your Apple ID and iCloud accounts and syncing your data with multiple computers and iOS devices; using the Dock and Mission Control; gestures on the Trackpad; Dashboard widgets; saving and searching files. He will also show how to run the most popular Mac OS X applications, including Calendar, Address Book, iChat, Maps, Safari, Notifications, Reminders and iTunes, and how install new ones from the App Store. The course will end with learning how to share files and back up your Mac to ensure you don’t lose a single bit of data.

The education is being conducted at One Senior Place in Viera. The remaining four classes will be held 6:30 to 8:30 PM on 12 February, 26 February, 12 March and 26 March, 2014

If you want to learn more about Mavericks come join us for this free education at One Senior Place, 8085 Spyglass Hill Road, Viera, FL. 

January 2014 MacMAD Meeting

MacMAD elections are coming up in March, with nominations in February.

The cloud storage company is upgrading free accounts from 10 to 50 Gigabytes of online storage for those users who download the free iOS app for Box. We’re not sure when this offer ends — maybe through January or February 2014. When you sign in to your account using the iOS app, you’ll automatically get the extra storage. I did it. Nice.

We also announced a 50% off deal from Take Control Ebooks. They were on sale thru Jan 25th. You missed it now, but they are not expensive, and they are well-written bargains at the regular price.

This year is the 30th anniversary of the Macintosh and the 30th anniversary of MacMAD. Apple has some nice retrospective material on their site now. Also see The Mothership and for some old apple “adverts”. You can also now watch a video of Steve Jobs’ first demo of the Macintosh at the Boston Computer Society in 1984. This video has apparently been unavailable for decades. When watching this, you’ve got to remember that back in those days IBM was so big and threatening that they were about as popular with many computer enthusiasts as the death star. Now, they’re completely out of the personal computer business.

Dennis Crowley gave a presentation this month on using iCloud. I always learn something at our meetings. This month it was that you can turn off iCloud as the default storage location for Text Edit. The  option is buried in the iCloud system preferences.

By the way,  did  you know that the keyboard shortcut ?-, (Command-comma) opens the preference pane in most applications?