Chuck Joiner has updated The Macintosh User Group (MUG) Center with his latest User Group Report. Joiner chats with The AppleWorks User Group’s Warren Williams and Cathy Merritt, who discuss adapting their group to Apple’s new iWork ’05 suite, and Scott Knaster, who talks about his new book, Hacking Mac OS X Tiger, and how MUGs can invite him to speak at their next meeting. The User Group Report is available in streaming QuickTime or as a downloadable Podcast or MP3 file.
Joiner also notes that not-for-resale copies of iWork ’05 and iLife ’05 are now available to MUGs through Apple Sales Web. They’re US$5 each and can’t be used as raffle prizes, but Apple expects groups to use the software for demonstrations and for assistance with updating Web sites and newsletters as well as other operational tasks. The Q2 Mailbox, which includes training on the two suites and Logic Express 7, is also available now for $7.50. All the Apple Sales Web materials are limited to one copy per recognized MUG.
The MUG Center recently added a Travel Tips section, which Joiner updated last week with information on selecting the best credit card for earning airline miles. He also posted the responses to last week’s survey question inquiring about .Mac account usage and posited this query: “What Apple User Group program resources do you use?” 64 percent of the respondents use the free .Mac account provided by Apple to MUGs as a secondary Web presence and 57 percent said they use it to publish an iCal (more than one answer was allowed).
Feb. 15 kicks off a busy week of MUG meetings as Japan’s Design Matters presents “Designing Environments for Learning;” Arkansas’ Village MUG discusses “Planning and Constructing a Newsletter;” Rohnert Park, Calif.’s North Coast MUG welcomes Jim Heid; Walnut Creek, Calif.’s Diablo Valley MUG brings in Hewlett Packard’s Tony Bojorquez; Iowa’s Quad Cities MUG asks “.Mac Account: What Good is it?”; and Los Angeles’ QMUG/LA looks at digital cameras and iPhoto 5. In addition, Boston Final Cut Pro User Group celebrates its fourth anniversary with a meeting that includes Charlie Roberts, Scott Schucher, Todd Prives of GenArts and J.C. Bouvier and J.P. Oullette of the Woods Hole Film Festival.
On Feb. 16, Prosoft Engineering’s Gordon Bell visits Tucson MUG, Kansas City’s MacCORE looks at troubleshooting Mac problems and Seattle’s dBUG demos iWork. On Feb. 17, “Delivering Value to Your Group” is the focus of the MUG Center chat at the World Without Borders Web site; Lansing Area MUG welcomes FileMaker author and expert Jonathan Stars; Syracuse MUG presents an Internet safety session with New York state Attorney General Winthrop Thurlow; Dallas MUG explains how to back up data; Hawaii MacNuts shows how to use iChat over AirPort Express; Arizona MUG looks at digital video; northern California’s Tri-Valley MUG examines Adobe InDesign; and Canada’s Quinte MUG Society offers a “Photoshop Showcase.”
On Feb. 18, South Jersey MUG welcomes Apple’s Dave Marra; Menlo Park, Calif.’s Macintosh Users Computers Hands-On looks at hard drive utilities; and Riverside, Calif.’s Macintosh Users Serving the Inland Empire plays with the Firefox Web brower. On Feb. 19, Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus visits Houston Area Apple Users Group and on Feb. 20, Louisiana’s Shreveport MUG holds its first meeting, which revolves around Final Cut Pro HD, while MacGroup-Detroit explains how to use its iBBS. Finally, on Feb. 21, Silicon Valley MUG delves into remote Mac management with Timbuktu Pro.
Looking ahead, CompUSA stores around the country will hold a special user group event on Feb. 24 from 4:00 to 9:00 P.M. Videos from Macworld Expo will be shown and iLife ’05, iWork ’05, iPod shuffle and the Mac mini will be demonstrated. CompUSA also promises in-store promos for products from Adobe, Brenthaven, FileMaker, HP, Intuit and Microsoft, as well as raffle prizes.
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.