Chuck Joiner, editor of The Macintosh User Group (MUG) Center Web site, tries on a weekly basis to not only disseminate the latest user group meeting dates and other information but to also spark a dialogue with the MUG community. To that end, his latest User Group Report, an audio presentation that you can download in MP3 format or listen to as a streaming QuickTime file, features Jonathan Stars, author of “Learn FileMaker Pro 7,” and Jen Shelby, professional leadership trainer. Stars discusses his involvement with MUGs and how they can use FileMaker to help run their operations while Shelby uses her professional experience to help MUG leaders be more effective in their roles.
Joiner also recently started a weekly survey. Last week, he asked where groups meet and how much they’re charged for the facility. Just over half responded that they get together at a public school or in a building on a college or university campus, with 55 percent paying nothing for their space and 26 percent spending between one and 50 dollars. One group said they meet in a funeral home while others replied with locations that were also unique, even if they weren’t as unusual. You can find all the results on the MUG Center site. This week’s question is “What software do you use to maintain your group’s Web site?”
This week’s meetings kick off on Nov. 2 with an overview of the iMac G5, Motion and DVD Studio Pro 3 at Britain’s Midlands MUG; a presentation on Microsoft Office 2004 for Mac by Microsoft representatives at Oneonta, New York’s MUG ONE; a discussion of Adobe Illustrator at Toronto’s LOGIC; “Setting Up Printers and Drivers” at California’s Fresno MUG; and “Macintosh Magazines and .Mac” at Palm Beach MUG.
On Nov. 3, Santa Cruz, Calif.’s maCruzers hosts “Filemaker and Text Edit for Web Design;” Olympic Peninsula, Wash.’s Strait MUG welcomes Microsoft’s Phil Erhart for an Office 2004 demo; Santa Fe MUG presents “Take Control of Buying a Mac;” Tempe, Ariz.’s XUsers takes a shot at “Dispelling Myths about Java on Mac OS X;” and Chicago’s The Rest of Us takes a look at free applications that provide viable alternatives to the ones that cost money.
On Nov. 4, Microsoft continues its tour with a stop at Colorado’s Silicon Mountain MUG; Oregon’s MUGPort offers its holiday shopping guide; and Des Moines, Iowa’s Digital Arts Group hears from ColorFX’s Ron Carlson and Ann Torrey.
Heading into the weekend, South Australian Apple Users Club explains “Public Presentations with AppleWorks” on Nov. 5. On Nov. 6, Apple Users Society of Melbourne, Australia hosts a swap meet and a visit from a Microsoft Australia representative; North Carolina’s Charlotte Mac Workshop holds an open discussion; Costa Mesa, Calif.’s Orange Apple Computer Club gets a handle on TextWrangler; and Dubuque, Iowa’s MacMavericks peruses iTunes and the iPod. Next Monday, Nov. 8, Portland MUGM examines Nisus Writer Express.
Check each MUG’s Web site for meeting times, locations and entry fees, if applicable.
Macintosh User Groups interested in seeing their events listed on MacCentral are welcome to send us their news. We post roundups of MUG events and gatherings each week.
If you’re wondering what user group events are happening in your area, visit the MUG Center’s online calendar. Apple also hosts a user group site where you can look for a MUG near you or find out how to start your own group.