(Note, this article was originally published in Mouse Tracks / August 2021, written by Steve Welsh, founder and President of the Oregon MacPioneers User Group, and past member of Apple’s User Group Advisory Board, not to mention that Steve was the originator of the popular You Don’t Know Mac user group events. Please check out the link provided at the end of the article for information about OMUG.)
By Steve Welsh
Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG)
When a long-running community Apple Users Group makes the hard decision to call it quits, it’s much like watching a dying star’s light fade from view — in this case in the twinkling Apple universe sky. You are looking for an old friend up in the MUG constellations … but you can no longer find them.
This is what it felt like on a Wednesday evening, July 21, in Eugene, Oregon. I was there, virtually, via Zoom (as were all the meeting participants).
After decades of providing Apple wisdom, support, laughs and friendship to Eugene and the surrounding areas, the Eugene Macintosh Users Group (EMUG) leaders came to what felt like a seemingly inevitable decision that their shrinking officer staff, membership — and an almost final kick in the rear end by the global pandemic calling a halt to in-person meetings for more than a year — and all the other variables that MUGs must compete with in today’s online world … well, sometimes the batteries just won’t recharge themselves anymore.
I’ve attended many EMUG meetings via Zoom over the past year, as I have with PMUG and other groups. That is what the statewide Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG) was created for — to help other Oregon community user groups. Like many of you, I made a lot of friends when I first joined a MUG decades …Eugene Macintosh Users Group (EMUG) leaders came to what felt like a seemingly inevitable decision and I enjoyed the spirit of sharing and the excitement of all things Apple so much that I became president of the group, then years later formed OMUG in Corvallis. So I knew well many of the faces on the Zoom window that Wednesday night. Some of those faces have been to MacCamps. Or to a PMUG meeting.
The Final Meeting
So when the words were officially said, even though I could sense what might be coming months ago, I wasn’t really prepared … or wanted to accept the news. But I also knew this was a majority decision by EMUG’s leadership, so this was, indeed, time to say goodbye.
I also wasn’t prepared for what would happen near the end of the EMUG meeting — but I’m not surprised, because the final 20 minutes, even after a few officers had already checked out, personified what a community MUG is all about. Before I describe what happened, here is the “on the fly” EMUG announcement first draft shared by Kerry in the Chat window:
This letter came from Joe Kissell, publisher of Take Control Books, long-time user group supporter, and all around wonderful person. He has given us permission to print his offer on our blog to reach folk who may be adjusting to working from home or want to be better at it.
Take Control Books is offering a free, no-strings-attached, copy of their new Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily
by popular author Glenn Fleishman
Joe writes: “Glenn Fleishman generously volunteered his time to write Take Control of Working from Home Temporarily, which also features advice from numerous other Take Control authors and other people with extensive experience with remote work. As a small gesture to help out in this uncertain time, we’re offering the book for free.
The book’s contributors, who collectively have centuries of experience working from home, offer advice in areas such as setting up a workspace (obtaining, moving, or repurposing furniture and hardware, for example); communicating with coworkers via text, audio, video and other collaboration tools; maintaining healthy physical and psychological boundaries between work and non-work activities; adapting to the presence of family members and roommates in or near your work area; and adjusting your schedule and habits to best balance productivity and sanity. There’s also a chapter for parents of school-age kids on how to juggle family obligations when working from home.
This new book is free. To obtain it, follow these steps: (more…)
AppleWorld User Group University (AWUGU) is returning after a long hibernation to once again share Apple user group knowledge and experience among its members. Originated in 1987 at Apple World in Boston, our last AWUGU session was in 2004 at Macworld in San Francisco.
User Group University was a conference for leaders of Macintosh User Groups (MUGs), which are now known as Apple User Groups (AUGs). Classes covered such topics as “Marketing Your User Group” and “How to Get Young People in Your Group”, which are still important discussions today. AUGs have long been good places for making new friends, finding Apple-loving buddies, boning up on technical expertise, finding solutions to related problems, and sometimes finding a good deal on hardware and software.
While the Macworld Expo may be a fond memory, there’s still value in gathering around the topics that interest the Apple user group community. The Apple User Group Advisory Board (UGAB) has decided to add a monthly interactive forum to its Locator, Bulletin, website and support services which would bring back the spirit, education and enthusiasm of the original AWUGU.
The mechanism for this forum will be based on the following items:
- A one-hour session held on the third Monday each month in the U.S. only
- Online participation by Apple user groups leaders via Webex
- A new topic each month, featuring a short presentation followed by a Q&A
- Participant suggestions for improving membership services
- A website for posting information
The first AWUGU Online meeting of AUG leaders is scheduled for 8:00pm, CST, April 20, 2020. In view of the COVID-19 vulnerability of our greying members, VR and streaming meetings will be our topic. The facilitators and faculty for the presentation and discussion will initially be members of UGAB. Future sessions will also include special guests and interesting topics. A schedule of meeting dates and topics will be distributed to participants in the near future, and updated regularly on the website, which will also include highlights from previous meetings.
In order to become a participant, any interested AUG leader must first register with the AWUGU Coordinator by emailing their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. It must be understood in advance that this registration means that any information received hereafter may be shared with all participants in the forum, but will not be used for any advertising or solicitations.
The reawakening of AWUGU services is exciting and challenging. It is based on the importance of sharing valuable knowledge and experience to support the efforts of Apple user groups everywhere.
By Rick Ortiz
Apple User Groups have always been a great resource for help outside of the normal Apple support system. Besides the in-person meetings, some user groups offer online support resources and email discussion lists. User groups seem to always answer those tough and hard-to-find solutions, for its members. But user group members sometimes need support beyond that, and in the past we would call Apple for help. But as technology changes, so has our Apple support options. This “How-To” is more of a resource article for user group leaders as well as for members themselves. (note: Apple Stores are a great resources for help, but not everyone has a store near them, or can go into a store for support. This article will focus on online support options.)
[Note: The premiere of Graeme Moffatt’s ‘Mr Mainline Steam‘ documentary was shown recently and the documentary has received amazing reviews and organizational recognitions.]
Filmmaker Graeme Moffatt of Capital Video Productions Ltd. is a member of the Wellington Macintosh Society, and he is also the Apple User Group Regional Liaison for New Zealand, Australia, and Oceania. You can find more than a year of his group’s Wellington Macintosh Society (WelMac) meeting videos at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmJBMCRuX6iyV8smOu2iApw/videos
By Graeme Moffatt:
I became involved with a group in the United States that is doing live internet broadcasts, initially just using an iPad and soon they moved to a much more sophisticated system.
This new system allowed them to use multiple screens, cameras and microphones and the quality of the broadcasts became much more sophisticated and interesting. I sent an email to the person who was coordinating all of this, an ex Hollywood filmmaker, and asked him what software he was using and received a reply stating that it was an iPad app called Switcher Studio.
I did a search online and soon found the app and downloaded a free trial version and tested it out. I found it to quite amazing as to what it could accomplish (more…)
Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus, Houston Chronicle Technology Columnist, Mac Observer iReviews Editor, author of nearly 60 books and one of the world’s leading experts on the Mac OS, delivered his annual “State of the Apple” address at the Houston Area Apple Users Group (HAAUG) on March 16th.
In an article for the Mac Observer, he talks about why he joined a group and why user groups matter. It is a sweet read and a reminder of why Dr. Mac is so beloved.
Check it out!
Thanks much to readers who sent in their Mac memories. Many were sweet and some brought a smile or a laugh on this side of the screen. For example, the young boy in the picture, Jason Piper, is now president of a Mac User Group (and he still has that same sweet smile).
Here are a few letters that offer a look at experiences that were echoed by many writers, and a link to an early User Group Connection video. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did:
“I started my business in 1982 with a Kaypro computer. Then a friend said I would do much better with a Mac. I bought a Mac Plus and found the holy grail of computers. I sure needed a lot of help learning computing vs file drawers and hard copies.
CES 2018: Meeting the Stars
by Tom Piper
This year’s January 9-12, 2018, visit to Las Vegas for the 51st edition of the Consumer Electronic Show was once again a dazzling mix of amazing products and puzzling potentials. Like Wonder Woman with her motorcycle, I met many “star” electronics from name brands like Samsung, LG, Sony, Kodak, Panasonic and others, while being introduced to a wide array of new ideas and concepts being featured by broad spectrum of unknowns from many diverse countries. (more…)
Macstock 2017: Super User Group Meeting by Tom Piper
Macstock III was an independent 2-day conference for Apple enthusiasts of all experience levels held July 15-16, 2017, at the Luecht Conference Center in Building B of the main McHenry County College campus in Crystal Lake, IL. Its name originally came from nearby Woodstock, all of which is about an hour’s drive northwest of Chicago.
The conference design was to help us hear techniques from community-leading experts for getting the most from our Apple devices and apps, plus provide us a unique opportunity to engage other members of the Apple community from around the globe who also be visited Macstock. My son, Jason, and I met people from Washington, Cupertino, New York, Chicago, Florida, Tucson, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and many other places. As Jason observed: “Literally everyone is wearing an Apple watch, and we are all comparing the variety of bands being worn.” (more…)
by Rick Ortiz, Apple User Group Advisory Board Chair
Part of having a successful user group is having great content to present at meetings. Some groups are able to get guest speakers, products demonstrations, and even remote presentations. But for some groups that is not always logistically possible. It is fortunate for user groups that Apple has made resources available that could benefit user groups. From Apple podcasts, to Today at Apple, to Apple Sales Web there are resources to create great meeting presentations. (more…)