We had a little discussion about Quicken not being able to run on Lion, and discussed iBank as a possible replacement. Then we talked about Lion (Mac OS 10.7) not being available as a physical disk: you buy Lion either as a download, or on a thumb drive.
One guy could not play videos on ted.com on his Mac. Well, we did not know why, but I remember someone suggested he install Perian.
We did not have an outside speaker this month. (Hey, if you are reading this, and if you know of people who would make good speakers, let Steve or me know!)
So I, Dave Strom, the faithful sidekick, showed off some stuff about my iPad.
I use a Zaggmate keyboard and cover with my iPad. In fact, that is how I am taking the meeting notes (and rewriting them, as I am doing now). You can go to www.zagg.com and see this keyboard for yourself. Mine is the model for the iPad 1. I like it a LOT, it protects my iPad glass display, and it gives me a nice keyboard whenever I want to type. The keyboard uses no physical connector: it uses Bluetooth, and recharges via a micro-USB port (I have never run out of battery with this keyboard). I can orient my iPad in landscape or portrait on the keyboard, allowing me to see a lot of what I am typing. I should note that the newer models of the Zagg keyboards for the iPad 2 have separated the keyboard and cover; you can pull the keyboard out of the cover. Also, the keyboard on those newer models is larger vertically, making for easier typing. (My Zaggmate keyboard is about 15 percent smaller than a regular keyboard.) But you have to remove the keyboard from the cover if you want to have the iPad on the keyboard in portrait orientation.
Okay. I like to go to coffee shops and write, but I HATE looking for a wall outlet. So I wanted a battery that can charge my USB-rechargeable devices, including my iPad. Most external batteries will not recharge an iPad, since an iPad needs 2.1 amps and most USB ports on external batteries are 1 amp. So I did a lot of hunting online, and found a New Trent battery, the Arcadia IMP70D (www.newtrent.com). I bought it on Amazon. It has a 7000 mAh capacity, which is enough to charge my completely-battery-drained iPad about 65 percent, and which is also enough to charge my Android phone multiple times. The battery has two charging ports: one for my iPad and for my other USB devices. It is small enough to fit in my pocket, and recharges via a micro-USB port. I also use stretchy USB retractable cables, one for my iPad, one micro-USB, and one that has multiple USB plugs. I can recharge anywhere, anytime. No more hunting for wall outlets at coffee shops!
But I do have a charger that can recharge my iPad and my other USB devices (again, I made sure it could recharge my iPad): the Macally DUALUSB10. (www.macally.com) Dual USB ports, plugs into the wall, very compact. I do have to use a wall outlet sometimes!
One more thing. I bought a shoulder bag at REI that lets me tote around this stuff: the REI Boarding Bag. It even has a padded pocket that fits my iPad PERFECTLY. I pack it with my iPad, cables, battery, and other stuff and junk that I tote with me everywhere. I no longer have to take my MacBook Pro everywhere if I want to write or email or web surf or so on; I can write with my iPad and the Zaggmate keyboard for several hours at a time.
Steve took over. He discussed that Mobile Me is going away. Supposedly Apple might like to get away from the Mac name (mac.com), but if you still have a .mac address you can still use it. We do not know yet will happen to .mac mail. And iDisk is going away, and the galleries are going away. Also, we do not know what will happen to iWeb.
One lady said Apple seems to be shifting to us putting our stuff on the cloud. And I think she has a point: Apple wants us to be able to use our iPhones and iPads without having to tether them to a desktop/laptop computer, tether to the cloud instead. But it seems that it is shifting to Apple deciding what parts of our data go into the cloud.
We talked about cloud storage. iDisk seemed slow to Steve. Dropbox acted faster.
The lady said that perhaps we just want access to the cloud, but keep a certain portion of our data on our device.
I mentioned that this seems a shift of the user tweaking around with what goes on the device, and iCloud deciding more of that, the user does not have to set up what is synced to the device and what is not (like I did for my iPad!).
The upcoming change is having the hub of your stuff shifting from your computer to the cloud.
We discussed that we might be shifting to having our online photos on Flickr, since the Mobile Me galleries are going away; maybe that choice would go away in iTunes. Flickr Pro allows you to upload over 200 images, and to download them full-size, for $25 a year. I have used Flickr a little, and it is nice, I ought to use it more.
You cannot download full-size images from Shutterfly without a charge.
iWeb still works without MobileMe.You have to upload your iWeb content onto another website, but Apple will not be supporting iWeb.
One guy uses WebPics to make his galleries.
Smugmug.com. Steve showed it, you can buy prints off that website. And it has lots of fancy ways to print photos: huge photo prints, printing on metal, etc. One guy uses this: he uploads wedding pix, just edits the photos for a little for red-eye and the like, and people can buy the prints. smugmug.com is $40 a year. (Hmm, maybe Smugmug could talk to SMUG?) There are lots of ways you can edit a photo: label it. And you can add tags for maps and the like, do slideshows in fullscreen mode.
Picasa is another online photo website similar to Flickr. It seems a bit cludgy; you have to enter information, choose an album, etc. etc., to move photos. And when one of us (Steve, I think) moved all photos in one album to another album, the old album was still there but empty, you have to delete it.
We discussed that if you only use iPhoto, and you email photos to share them, the photos can take a lot of time to download for the person to whom you email them.
Steve uploaded a video to vimeo.com (a video sharing site similar to YouTube), and we waited for it to be converted: it would take about 30 minutes. If you upgrade to Vimeo Plus, for $60 a year, the video converts a lot faster. For free, you can upload 500MB of video per week. Steve showed us a video of Mayan football.
I tried to show Flickr Studio on my iPad thru the video projector: no luck (iPad 1, darn it, iPad 2 does not have the video out problem). Flickr Studio is a nice iPad app that shows off your Flickr photos.
You will most likely be able to sync photos to iCloud, the process might be about the same as before.
A guy showed off some iOS 5 stuff on the Apple web site, like simple photo edits you can do to photos online, like for red-eye. Also WiFi sync with iOS 5 and Lion.
We talked about using Google Voice on an iPod Touch to make phone calls (you can use Skype, but you have to pay for that).
One guy uses Dropbox to host his website: in the Dropbox public folder, a folder underneath the public folder, an index folder and you control click on it to copy like to the particular file. (Okay, lousy notes here, I bet you can get better instructions if you google it!) But it might be that you can't use an actual name for that website.
Google has web sites you can use, but one lady said it was rather clunky to use. MobileMe is friendlier, you can drag and drop stuff. (But it is going away.)
SMUG (Steve) uses machighway.com for his website. You can have a main site, and several sub-sites underneath. $40 a year.
You do have to unlock your registration. You pay for the web hosting, and for the name of the website.
We discussed if foursquare does web hosting. I dunno, I did not see that at the website.
People use Wordpress, a website for creating blogs, to create not only blogs, but web pages. The October issue of MacLife might discuss this.
Zangzing.com is another photo sharing website. I did not take many notes at this point.
Well, that is it for the October notes. See you later this year.
Dave Strom, SMUG Vice President