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.)

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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: 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…)

Meeting Idea: Apple Families

While parents love the ways that Apple’s iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, and Apple TV promote learning, exploring, and fun, parents also want to be sure that their children are using Apple products and related technologies in ways that are safe, healthy, and appropriate. Are your members aware of Apple’s Families page and how it can help parents make sure that their children are using technology in the ways that parents want?

The site provides tips and tools to keep track of family app usage, determine when devices can be used, limit or block applications and notifications at bedtime, choose which apps are available for their children, provide for internet safety and kid-friendly content, manage in-app purchases (including Ask to Buy), know where their children are 24×7, find lost devices, share apps and music with the entire family, create group chats to stay in touch, reduce distractions, provide for emergency SOS and ensure medical information is there when needed, help emergency professionals locate family members, protect privacy, and so much more.

Check it out!

https://www.apple.com/families/

Meeting Ideas: MacBook Pro and MacBook Air, Then and Now

Your members may be wondering about the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air laptops. If so, ASW has a great set of presentations that could make for a good meeting topic.

MacBook Pro – Then and Now (L578071A-en_US) and MacBook Air – Then and Now *L581386A-en_US) offer comparisons of previous and current generations, letting your members know what has changed and what is the same. Then, MacBook Pro – First Look (L578070A-en_US) and MacBook Air – First Look (L581388A-en_US) provide the full specs for the newest in the MacBook line.

Ambassadors, August is a great month to use Apple resources in your meetings.

ASW

UG Leader Support Ticket System

Many user group leaders may have been wondering what happened to our online Support Ticket System. Due to some updates from our web host, some of our backend services had some issues. We are glad to announce our ticket system is back up and running for your User Group Support and Leader questions. We apologize for the downtime. If you need to reach us and/or need to submit a support ticket, you can find the link here.

Macworld: What You Need to do When You Inherit a Mac

Last June, Glenn Fleishman, Senior Contributor for Macworld, wrote a great Mac911 column that could make for an interesting and useful meeting topic. The title? What you need to do when you inherit a Mac: Avoid a huge headache and do these things before you accept or buy a Mac from the estate of a deceased person.

Check it out!

https://www.macworld.com/article/3279732/macs/what-you-need-to-do-when-you-inherit-a-mac.html

Today at Apple: New Skills, Walks, and Labs

Have you visited Today at Apple recently? There are 50 new sessions on offer,
covering three categories: Skills, Walks, and Labs. In Skills sessions, you
will get familiar with the fundamental techniques and tools of a creative
topic. Labs dive deeper into a creative approach by getting you started on a
project that you can take further. Walks let you experiment with creative
techniques on a guided walk around the neighborhood,designed for all levels,
from beginner to seasoned pro.

Whether you want to learn how to sketch architecture, take the perfect photo
using professional techniques, make an app prototype, engage in a Sphero robot
challenge, or simply enhance your own creative skills, there is a session for
you!

https://www.apple.com/today/

Meeting Ideas: Today at Apple

Do you need a great presentation for a meeting? Why not have your members attend a Today at Apple, hands-on educational session? Not practical for a group gathering? Why not have one member attend, take notes and present the same topic at your next meeting. This month’s offerings include How To: Prototype an App Using Keynote, Sketch Walks: Architectural Sketching Techniques, and
Quick Start: Coding with Swift Playgrounds.  

Ambassadors: December is a great month to check out Today at Apple!

https://www.apple.com/today/

TidBITS Article: Get Deep Discounts on Technology for Your Nonprofit

Nicholas Pyers of AppleUsers.org/ recently forwarded an article from our friends at TidBITS.

In the article, Jeff Porten covers TechSoup and how it can help nonprofits afford software from companies like Adobe, Google, Microsoft, and more. Yep, the company offers some hardware too. Better yet, TechSoup is not limited to one country or region, so groups who are formally nonprofit can benefit.

Read Jeff’s article and see if your group can benefit from the TechSoup discounts:

https://tidbits.com/2018/10/18/techsoup-get-deep-discounts-on-technology-for-your-nonprofit/

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How To: Technology Hurricane Preparedness

Written By Rick Ortiz, Courtesy of Maui Apple Users Society (Maui Mac)

Preparing your technology for a hurricane

With Hurricane Lane fast approaching, it is time to get your technology prepared for such an event. Some key areas to think about are: backups, batteries/power, and other tech tips. 

Backups

Now is the time to make sure your computer backup is in place and completed. This is typically an external backup drive or your data in the cloud. If an external backup drive, do one final backup and then unhook it and put it in a safe place. If you have access to a weatherproof safe, that would be ideal. If not, placing it in a ziplock bag or some place that can avoid water damage can help protect your data. If you are required to evacuate, take your backup drive with you. If you have a mobile phone, you can back it up to your computer as well, or use the cloud service backup built into the phone. Remember the 3-2-1 rule of backing up. Data in 3 places, 2 locations, 1 offsite. 

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