February’s Featured Vendor: Flexibits

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Michael Simmons and Kent Sutherland are the team who create Flexibits products, apps that are flexible and enjoyable. Their popular Fantastical 2 is a smart, convenient and flexible calendar that uses natural language processes for creating new calendars and provides a CalDAV engine for adding your iCloud, Google, and Yahoo calendars (and others). Their Chatology helps users find their chats instantly.  What sets Flexibits apart? A major focus of Flexibits products is removing frustration, making users lives better and more productive. 

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Apple Anniversary: 40 Years of Delights and Surprises

appleIn a little over a month Apple will have its 40th anniversary. You may be a long-time fan who remembers that first Apple I or even the Lisa. Perhaps your first Apple was a Mac Plus or an LC II. Whenever you stepped into the Apple stream, something amazing was happening. In 1976 the Apple II had color graphics and there was that marvelous VisiCalc. Later, the WYSIWYG interface opened up a new world for those of us enduring the challenges of DOS a command line interface. By 1985 you could combine the Apple LaserWriter with Adobe’s PageMaker and become a desktop publisher.

While the Macintosh Portable was more luggable than portable, those 1991 PowerBooks running System 7 were a joy. Over the years, your first PDA might have been a Newton, you might have photos from your first Apple Quick Take, or you may have even had a device that ran the PiPP!N platform, but when that first iMac DV and iMovie came along, it was amazing, letting home users record and edit video without the need of expensive video equipment and years of training. Logic, iDVD, Final Cut Pro, and GarageBand weren’t far behind and each gave creatives new ways to create. By 2001 we had iTunes, Apple Stores and iPods; it is hard to remember how revolutionary the iPod was in a world of boom boxes and cassette players now that the world uses iTunes for everything from music releases to podcasts to iOS apps and everything in between. In 2008? we met the iPhone and haven’t looked back. What about 2010? We got the iPad, and Apple just kept on inventing. Today we have the Apple Watch and entire feature movies filmed on iPhones.  (more…)

Apple Anniversary: 40 Years of Community


usergroupgang2A little over 40 years ago Apple changed our lives, and probably changed yours as well. Officers and members often talk about the user group community, and outsiders are confused: What community? How can you be friends with someone you have never met face to face? What can you truly have in common with a person from halfway around the world? Still, people such as Amaya in Spain, Graeme in New Zealand, Graham in the UK, Nicholas in Australia, Rick in Myrtle Beach, Lynn in Tulsa, Chise in Japan and so many more bring our community to life. Some user groups did not start out as Apple groups. For example, one of my first groups started out as a HAM radio club and later became an Apple group. Others started when that first Apple found its way to their hearts. Still others started because of the first Mac or creative endeavors.

How old is your group? Does your group have members who have been involved for many years? Be sure to participate in this month’s survey.

User Group Anniversary Survey

Survey: Looking for the Oldest User Groups and Members

woz-and-jobs-working-on-the-apple-ii-in-their-garage-in-mountain-view-claifornia-1-january-1976-pic-apple-computerHas your group been meeting for many years? Does your group have a member or members who have participated for an amazingly long time? In light of this year’s 40th Apple anniversary, we are looking for long-standing groups and long-time members, so that we can feature these groups and members in the March edition of Apple’s User Group Bulletin and the Apple User Group Resources blog.

Your group may have started in 1976 with the first Apple, or it may have started in the ’60s as a computer enthusiast club or a technology group. Maybe yours was a Heath Kit chapter or an amateur radio club in the ’50s? Perhaps your group began as a creative pro group in the 1990s. Let us know. 

User Group Anniversary Survey

Survey closes on March 12 and is limited to the first 100 responses.