What is ClubMac?

ClubMac is for people who are interested in the Apple Mac platform. We provide an opportunity for people new to Apple computers (as well as experienced hands) to meet and to learn how to get the best out of their Mac in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.

At our monthly meetings — which take place on the first Wednesday of every month between September and May — we aim to answer questions that people may have with their Mac, provide them with up-to-date news on all things Apple and inform them about those little-known but often very useful software applications.

ClubMac’s bulletin board is also a very important resource; if you’ve got a problem, post it on the bulletin board (you must register first — it’s free) and our helpful band of Apple gurus will do their best to sort you out.


ClubMac’s next meeting is September 7

ClubMac meeting; September 7, 2016
The first meeting of ClubMac’s autumn season will take place on Wednesday, September 7, in Merrion Cricket Club, 53 Anglesea Road, Dublin 4, DO4 HF59 (there is off-street parking).

The doors will be open from 7.30 p.m. and the meeting will start shortly afterwards. The agenda will be notified to members in advance of the meeting.

Training session

ClubMac’s autumn training programme will be delivered by our favourite Mac trainer, Noel Davidson. The training programme is intended primarily for those new to the Apple platform to make the most of their iPhones, iPad or Mac computers — but is also applicable to existing users. The training is open to non-members at a cost of €50; there is no charge to members. Hint to non-members: taking out an annual subscription to ClubMac costs €30 for the year — saving you €20 and allowing you to avail of other offers and goodies!

Regular monthly features

The training session will be followed by our regular monthly sessions: Technical Q&A in which our technical gurus will try to answers question from the floor on a range of Mac software and hardware issues and What’s New in the World of Apple where we give a round up of all the major Apple developments that have taken place since our last meeting.


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ClubMac meetings: October-December

The provisional dates for ClubMac’s other autumn meeting are as follows:

  • October 5
  • November 2
  • December 7

The December meeting also doubles as our Christmas party!


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May meeting and AGM

May meeting

The main focus of the meeting was the training provided by our resident trainer, Noel Davidson, on iMovie.

Annual General Meeting

The 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of ClubMac was held at the Merrion Cricket Club on Wednesday, 4th May, and was called to order at 7.50 p.m.

18 members being present, the requisite quorum of 10 had thereby been attained. Apologies were noted from Tom Martin.

The agenda of the meeting was read and approved. The minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting were read and approved. Following presentation of the Treasurer’s report, which showed that the level of cash resources in the Club account, although still healthy, had continued its decline, largely owing to the introduction of training sessions at meetings (which, however, had led to an increase in membership and attendance at meetings and so was well worth retaining), the accounts for the year ended 31 December 2015 were approved. The Secretary’s report, showing that membership (currently 40 — although there was still time for new members to join before the end of the year) had stood at end 2015 at 43, an increase of 6 on the previous year, while average attendance at meetings, although remaining at 20 overall had had shown peaks of 22 and 24, was approved. As no Chairman had been elected for 2015/16 there was no Chairman’s report. The Committee thanked all those who had contributed during the past year to the successful running of the Club.

The following were elected officers of the Club:

  • Chairman: John Maguire
  • Secretary: Sylvia Yates
  • Treasurer: Garrett Wren

The following were elected to the Committee:

  • Richard Bannister
  • Stephanie Joy
  • Michael Killen
  • Henry Leperlier
  • Tom Mac Mahon
  • Tom Martin

There being no change in the composition of the trustees, no election was called.

A general discussion under the item, Future direction of the Club, led to unanimous approval of the proposal to continue holding training sessions at meetings, as it encouraged attendance and attracted new members. In order to help offset the costs involved, an increase of the annual subscription to €30 and of the door charge to €2 for members and €4 for non-members was unanimously approved.

Under any other business, a number of suggestions were made regarding topics to be covered in coming training sessions. Methods for attracting new members to the Club were also considered: it was agreed to continue the practice of circulating an information leaflet to community outlets in late August in advance of the autumn meeting season.

The Annual General Meeting rose at 8.20 p.m.


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April 2016 meeting

The April meeting of ClubMac was held on April 6 in Merrion Cricket Club and the meeting was opened by John Maguire, Committee member. The competition for members to develop their own iMovie trailer has been extended for another month.

Training

ClubMac is fortunate to have a high class trainer in Noel Davidson and his session was of a high standard. In his presentation, Noel covered the Kodi app and demonstrated how it can be used to access a wide variety of media. He showed how to set up Kodi on the Mac and how to adjust the settings. Noel will provide a more detailed description of the installation process at a later date.

Technical Q&A

This session ably handled by our resident guru, Peter O’Reilly, addressed a number of issues from the floor including:

  • Migrating photographs from iPhoto to Photo
  • The strange behaviour experienced by some members whereby their oldest photographs appeared first when they opened Photo
  • The best way to delete duplicate photographs in Photo
  • Setting up iCloud back up on all Mac and iOS devices
  • The pitfalls of using some USB charging devices

What’s New in the World of Apple

Tom Martin, Committee Member, reviewed recent developments concerning Apple:

  • New iPhone SE model
  • New 9.7 inch version of the iPad Pro
  • The recent tussle between Apple and the FBI over iPhone unlocking
  • Apple turned 40 on April 1st

Useful utilities

This slot inaugurated a few years ago profiles apps that are little known but can be very useful. Tom Martin presented Dr. Cleaner to the audience. This app which is free is very effective in removing unwanted, unused and unloved files from your Mac and is also very useful for speeding up memory. It can be downloaded from the App Store where users have given it the thumbs up.


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March 2016 meeting

Committee Member, John Maguire, opened the meeting by welcoming all those present. He gave an overview of the agenda for the night and reminded members that the Committee was always open to suggestions for future training sessions.

What’s New in the World of Apple

In his presentation on what was new in the world of Apple, John covered the following issues:

  • The pressure being exerted on Apple to allow the FBI to unblock the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists;
  • Apple is apologising for the occurrence of “Error 53” faults on iPhones and iPads; this notice occurs when owners try to update or restore their devices in iTunes. Apple has released a fix for this;
  • There are rumours that Apple will release a slimmed down version of the iPhone 5 so as to reduce its price point;
  • There are also rumours that Apple is organising a media event on March 22 at which a new iPad Air 3 may be announced; a smaller version of the iPad Pro is also said to be in the works;
  • In other not-so-serious news, John revealed the incidence of MacBook Pro selfie enthusiasts and also noted that the self-drive Google car had crashed!

Training

Noel Davidson, our trainer extraordinaire, took us through the process of creating a movie using the iMovie app on the iPhone (a more fully featured version of iMovie is also available on Macs). He explained that creating movies in iMovie uses the same approach of film production i.e. creating strips of film and piecing them together.

With the aid of members of the audience and just using his iPhone, Noel created a 30 second film and accompanying trailer. During his presentation, Noel covered the process of “stitching” pieces of video clips together and inserting transitions in between them.

To illustrate the ease of using iMovie (which comes free with every Mac or iOS device), Noel showed one of his favourite YouTube videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXV-yaFmQNk

The video shows the experience of a one year old who is able intuitively to use an iPad and her frustrations with a magazine.

During the course of his presentation, Noel marvelled at how two different products, cameras and mobile phones, had now fused into one integrated device. He demonstrated this by showing how iPhone users can use the Google Translate app and the camera on their phone to translate documents such as menus on the fly.

He also revealed that all RNLI crew members are trained how to use cameras/videos to promote awareness of their role in saving lives at sea (the RNLI does not receive any public funding and must rely on donations from the public; footage of RNLI crew members involved in rescue operations are important in raising people’s awareness of their valuable role).

During his presentation Noel also discussed sound quality and again recommended Voice Memo, the app that comes free with iPhones, as being a good choice for recording sounds. He also mentioned Kodi, an application for both the Mac and iOS devices, that allows users to access video content such as films and TV programmes. He also suggested that members should look at the new smart TV set top device available from Walker (link).

Competition Time: The meeting agreed that a competition would be held to decide the best movie created by ClubMac members using iMovie for which prizes will be awarded.

Technical Q&A

Acting as rapporteur, Noel helped to cover the following issues:

  • Difficulties with managing Spaces;
  • Using OpenOffice to recover files from floppy discs; in the discussion that followed, Noel circulated a small USB thumb drive that has a 1TB capacity!;
  • Solutions for extending wifi signals throughout a house.

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February 2016 meeting

ClubMacs first meeting of 2016 took place on Wednesday, February 3, in Merrion Cricket Club.

Tom Martin, Committee Member, opened the meeting and introduced the agenda for the evening.

Training

Noel Davidson took the audience through ways of Spring cleaning your iPhone and Mac. In terms of the iPhone, it was important to check what apps might be using more then their fair share of memory and battery performance. Users were advised to check the Battery setting in Settings/General to see what apps might be draining the battery and also to turn off app refresh if they are using more than their normal share of battery life.

For fine-tuning the Mac, Noel recommended using Disc Utilities (comes free with the System Software) and Disk Doctor, the latter is available from the App Store, for identifying clutter on your computer and for ensuring that there was plenty of’ free space.

He took us through the WhatsApp app on the iPhone and demonstrated its versatility for sending messages to different groups of people. The App is also available for Macs.

Noel acted as rapporteur for this element of the evening which covered the following topics:

  • Buying a sim-free, unlocked iPhone;
  • Using your iPhone as a recording device; Noel advised the use of Voice Memo which comes free with every iPhone;
  • Changes in iMovie and the disappearance of iDVD;
  • Logging in and out of iTunes.

What’s New in the World of Apple

Tom Martin give an overview of Apple’s recent release of its financial returns for its 1st Quarter of 2016. He showed how the growth in iPhone sales had levelled off while the decline in sales of iPads continued unabated. The good news for Apple stemmed for its services activities such as its App and iTunes Stores.


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December meeting memo

Tom Martin, Committee Member, opened the meeting which also doubles as ClubMac’s Christmas Party.

Training

Michael Keogh was more than an able deputy for our regular trainer, Noel Davidson, who was unable to attend.

In his presentation, Michael covered the following topics:

  • Organising and categorising your iTunes library
  • Transferring music from your iPod to your Mac
  • Accessing radio stations on Apple Music and developing your own station playlists

Technical Q&A

We welcomed back Peter O’Reilly back to supervise our Question and Answer session which dealt with some of the following queries:

  • Issues with spam mail
  • Synching with iCloud and the use of iCloud Drive
  • The merits of buying the new version of AppleTV (one of the disadvantages of ATV 3 is that it does not play Apple Music)
  • Problems with dropping wifi signals

What’s New in the World of Apple

In an abbreviated session, Tom Martin covered the following topics:

  • Tim Cook’s visit to Ireland and the announcement of 1,000 new jobs in Cork
  • The new iPad Pro goes on sale

Special Presentation: Thanks by Tom Mac Mahon

Tom Mac Mahon, Committee Member, gave a short overview of his work in refurbishing old Macs — some of which were donated by ClubMac members — which are then sent to schools in Tanzania and he also showed us the response of the beneficiaries: Asanta Sana (thanks a lot).

As a final round-up, Tom showed us his current desktop model, a G5 with a large Dell screen, which he uses along with Photoshop and InDesign to produce calendars for the Pallottine Order. And there was a free 2016 calendar for everyone in the audience!

Christmas Party

The attendance enjoyed the festive goodies and drinks laid on by Sylvia Yates. Thanks also to Stephanie, Henry and Garrett for their help.


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November meeting memo

John Maguire, Committee Member, chaired the meeting.

What’s New in the World of Apple

The whats New was fairly brief to allow time for the training session and the special presentation on Drones. Covered in What’s new was record sales and profits for Apple Inc. over 55 billion sales, 11 billion profit and a operating margin of 40%. Just under 50 million iPhones sold and 5.7m Macs. iPads continue to lose sales and Apple have not given figures for the sales of the iWatch. There’s a new iMac with retina display. comes with a heft price tag of 1749 Euro. the US price is a more reasonable 1499 Dollars. So Apple are making tor taking a hefty profit on their Irish sales margin. The lack of an SSD drive slows down the performance of the iMac Retina. What other Macs can you buy, what is the cheapest Mac for sale?

1.4GHz Processor

500 GB Storage

4GB memory

569.00 Euro

Please add Monitor (150.00 Euro Budget model)

Apple Mouse and keyboard

118.00 Euro

Total 837.00

However you can’t add RAM later and 4GB RAM is barely sufficient so realistically you need the next model with 8 GB Ram and a 1 Terabyte Storage capacity. The better MacMini would cost about 1,199.00 Euro. You can buy a basic iMac for 1299 Euro, so there’s not much between a MacMini and an iMac. The iMac is probably the winner but the MacMini is due to be updated. No doubt the price will rise. Finally John showed a 1 terabyte Seagate drive available in Argos for 58.99 Euro. No one has an excuse not to have a back up device at that price.

Training session

Michael Keogh from Q.E.D. Training stood in for Noel Davidson. Michael did a fairly brief but excellent presentation on using the ‘Keynote’ application from Apple. Michael gave us the history of keynote and how Steve Jobs asked his software team to develop a better Presentation software. Michael show us a quick presentation. He went back and showed how he made up each slide, adding photos and text. Michael showed the audience how simple the software is. Also he pointed out a good presentation needs everything to be smooth. He showed how to edit photos and make smooth transitions between slides. Michael pointed out he can make his Presentation on his MacBookPro and then saves to the Q.E.D. iCloud. He can then use his iPhone and or iPad to go through his presentation on the train on the way to a conference. Keynote is 9.99 Euro in the AppStore and the same again for the iPad version. Michael then took some questions from the audience.

Special Presentation

by Colin Baker on using drones and, in particular, a Phantom 3

Colin Baker runs a number of businesses, Back From The Future, and is a regular Tech Guru on TV3. He started out after college with his own small tech business repairing Computers and he now has 3 locations in Dublin and Dun Laoghaire.

Colin brought a couple of Drones. He went through a brief history of drones including his own interest in them, and he now sells these both for commercial customers and enthusiasts. The Phantom model he brought costs around 1,000.00 Euro including spare batteries and a high quality Video camera and recorder capable of super HD. The device is actually quite heavy as members found when it was passed around the room. It’s full of sensors that help the device steady as it moves and the camera has its own system of gyroscopes so the camera always faces the correct position and angle. You can control the device via its own remote and an ‘App’ installed on an iPhone or iPad. Colin mentioned it has a number of commercial uses, Tourism making videos for Hotel promotion. Promotion of Heritage sites. Mountain Rescue in Ireland have one for emergencies. One can be used for 3D Mapping of an area and the Drone gone up and down a defined area scanning the land below, water run offs etc. Colin mentioned at the moment a drone can only lift 4-5 kilos but they are developing one to lift 50 kilo so in the future maybe everyone will have their own drone and there will be thousands of use flying to work. Maybe!

Colin then turned the Drone on and flew it around Merrion Cricket Lounge. The noise of the drone makes the name apt. There was huge interest in the drone and the possibilities and a lot of suggestions and ideas were raised. Meeting ended at about 21.40 but Colin brought the drone outside and most of the audience got a chance to see the Drone take off in the night sky and we could use the controller to see what was being recorded. Stephanie Joy was able to take the controls and guide it around Donnybrook. Michael can hopefully return with some more gadgets in the future. He has just made a special video to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the back to the Future Trilogy of Films, Back to the Future web site, which has full details on the services he provides and the special video featuring Colin’s own Delorean DMC12.

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October meeting memo

The October meeting of ClubMac was held on Wednesday, October 7th, in Merrion Cricket Club.

Training session

In a wide-ranging and stimulating training session, Noel Davidson covered a number of areas relating to both Macs, iPads and iPhones including the following:

  • Removing duplicate photographs in Photo
  • Using the Notes app to store useful information (both text and visuals)
  • An overview of the new features of OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and iOS 9
  • Favourite apps such as Maze (for planning journeys) and ScanBot (for scanning documents)
  • Sharing data through iCloud
  • Using a shortcut [Command + Shift + 4] to take a screen shot of part of your screen and [Command + Shift + 3] to take a screen shot of your whole screen
  • Using a Timer movie in Keynote

Technical Q&A

Noel and some of the more experienced members of the audience dealt with some of the following queries:

  • Getting rid of duplicate entries in the Calendar App;
  • Using the Message App on the Mac to send text messages;
  • Ensuring that there is sufficient space on your Mac before upgrading to El Capitan (OS X 10.11)
  • How to turn off Wifi Assist in iOS 9

What’s New in the World of Apple

Tom Martin, Committee Member, covered the latest developments from Cupertino including the new iPhone 6s range, the new iPads (mini 4 and Pro versions), Apple TV (4th generation) and software updates.

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September meeting memo

The first meeting of ClubMac’s Autumn season was held on Wednesday, September 2, in Merrion Cricket Club.

The meeting also marked the start of ClubMac’s training programme in which Noel Davidson gave us an entertaining and illuminating presentation on the iPhone which included a review of key apps (programmes) — including one very important app on the night: how to show the iPhone’s interface on a projector screen!

Noel also demonstrated the advantages and usefulness of Apple’s iCloud facility which allows iPhone users to back up important data to the cloud. He also mentioned that because of Apple’s closed system it was not possible for iPhones to be infected by viruses or worms unless the phone had been jail-broken.

The abbreviated Technical Q&A session dealt with problems such as MacKeeper (delete and avoid at all costs!).

Tom Martin presented the What’s New in the World of Apple and focused on the announcements made at the WWDC event in June at which Apple introduced its new music streaming service, Apple Music, and gave details of the forthcoming launches of OS X 10.11 (El Captain), iOS 9 and WatchOS 2. Tom also noted that Apple will be holding a special event on September 9 at which it is expected to launch new versions of the iPhone and AppleTV.

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Autumn training programme

Noel Davidson of QED Training will be delivering ClubMac’s 2016 Autumn training programme which while aimed at beginners to the Mac platform will be relevant to all users. The autumn season will start on September 7.

Memo of recent meetings

May 2016 meeting and AGM

April 2016 meeting

March 2016 meeting

February 2016 meeting

December 2015 meeting

November 2015 meeting

October 2015 meeting

September 2015 meeting