How To: Apple Support Options for User Groups

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.)


How-To: Live Streaming Computer Group Meetings by Graeme Moffatt

[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:

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: Why I Love User Groups

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!

Mac Memories: A Look Back and Reader’s Responses

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

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


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…)

How-To: Apple Resources for User Group Meetings

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…)

Macstock2016: Mid-America’s Second Gathering of Apple Faithful

tompicBy Tom Piper, Vendor Liaison, Apple User Group Advisory Board

Woodstock, the home of Other World Computing, is a great town of about 25,000 people in northeast Illinois (not New York), just 51 miles northwest of Chicago (a metro area of over 9,500,000 residents). It was also the host for the second year running of Macstock2016 ( on July 15-16, 2016, at nearby Luecht Conference Center at McHenry County College (a delightful and very comfortable venue).

This year’s event was a half day longer that the first Macstock in 2015 (at the same location). This extra time allowed for 18 knowledgeable presenters to share their experience in intensive 20-minute sessions, most using accompanying slideshows. The Saturday session topics included:



Find an Apple User Group Apple User Groups exist around the world. Find and join a user group near you today. User Group Leader Support Update your groups record, get meeting ideas, and many other support access and requests. User Group How-To's User Group...

Southern Wisconsin Apple Group: Designing a Presentation in Keynote

One of my favorite user group newsletters, SWAGGER, is published by the Southern Wisconsin Apple Group (SWAG). While some groups are located near multiple software and hardware developers, making it easy to find monthly speakers, groups in the Midwest can find it a bit more challenging to provide timely and informative topics.

The folk at SWAG do this by offering topics that meet their local member’s needs, building community and sharing information with other groups in the area. Recent topics have included iTunes, iWork, Keynote, and, believe it or not, Windows 8, presented by a member of the Madison PC Users Group.

See how they do it in Madison.

(Thanks to Membership Coordinator Richard Russell and Editor Holly McEntee for getting the word out about SWAG.)