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.

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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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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Helping User Groups Discuss and Understand Malware on Macs

By Rick Ortiz

Apple users have for the most part been protected from many of the viruses and malware issues experienced on the PC. But with the popularity of Apple products over the past decade, those wanting to take advantage and compromise your computer use experience has grown. Most recently, applications, search engine hijacks and web browser plug-ins are the culprits of what many Mac users think are “viruses.” This has become a popular discussion topic at user group meetings. So to help user groups, we are providing group leaders with a meeting guide and how you can address and discuss this issue at your meetings. Click on read more below to continue.

I. Overview (more…)

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

The premiere of Graeme Moffatt’s ‘Mr Mainline Steam’ documentary was shown a little over two weeks ago and received amazing reviews. Here is a How To written by filmmaker Graeme Moffatt of Capital Video Productions Ltd. Mr. Moffatt is also the Apple User Group Regional Liaison for New Zealand, Australia, and Oceania.

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…)

How-To: iCloud Sharing

By Rick Ortiz

With the introduction of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Apple has added some new features to iCloud Drive, offering the ability to share files. iCloud Drive is now offering sharing services similar to what DropBox and Google Drive offer. In the past iCloud drive was designed for personal access to files. For a user group, they can now create or use an existing iCloud account and share files with members or allow board members access to files.

iCloud Drive History:
Apple’s iCloud file services originally began as cloud storage for your iWork files. With the introduction of OS X Yosemite, it expanded to offer you storage of files and folders beyond iWork. In fact you can now access your Desktop and Documents folders in the cloud and on other devices. But in this article we are going to focus on the sharing features. As each macOS update has come along, Apple has continued to expanded its iCloud offerings. (more…)