HMAUS 2016 Mactoberfest Highlights October 1, 2016

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

We went to the end of our comfort zones and enjoyed some over the edge things good folks shared with us! Here are the apps, handouts and links for you to try.

Michael Cohen opened our day with a presentation on Pages from basic toolbars to paragraph, list and object styles. After the usual tech glitches Michael presented with Face Time while he went through his Keynote presentation live from Santa Monica, online.

He said the Pages, Keynote, Excel apps havenʻt changed much except for this live collaboration feature. You need the app, but the folks you collaborate with donʻt. You can even edit a Pages document online simultaneously! He details all of these instructions in his Take Control of Pages book. Michael was entertaining, knowledgeable and most of all patient! Mahalo Michael!!

Click here for highlights from his presentation. BTW heʻs also written a Take Control book on iBook Author which he also likes using.

Mike Harada was his usual enthusiastic self and demonstrated how iPad drawing has progressed to the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro. Using an app called Astropad can use his iPad and the Pencil, which he loves, to draw in Photoshop which is on his Macbook, not on his iPad. In the past digital artists used the Wacom and other drawing pads, but they couldn't see the results except on the computer screen. Now his 13" iPad Pro, with a larger drawing area than his Wacom, reflects on Mac and iPad simultaneously.

He quickly drew a manʻs face, then changed his brush to shade in the face. The harder he pressed the darker the color because of the sensitivity on the end of the Apple Pencil. Then he switched brushes and began to blend the strokes and create roundness and depth. Finally, he erased the nose on the nose layer to show how layers work! The full iPad version of Astropad is $29.99 but guess what, thereʻs a FREE version for the iPhone, Astropad Mini in the app store. Photoshop is pricey but Pixelmator, another drawing program, is just $4.99 for iOS and one source said it works with Astropad.

Mike demoʻd on Photoshop at the fest but one of his other favs is Procreate which is hugely popular. Hereʻs a 45 second demo of Procreate on the ipad

iOS 10 has an updated design and a bunch of new features. Arlen Nagata did a great demo of several of them with an accompanying handout to follow along with. There are changes from the Home button to Hereʻs are an into to iOS 10 and links to his handouts. Itʻs a good update. Messages has gotten more fun with bigger emoticons and tap to send a flaming ball or a drawing, or on tap ok - heart - thumbs up icon responses to messages you receive. If you weren't able to come on Saturday here's a 9to5 YouTube video.

Updating to Sierra with Royce Tanouye finished the day. He outlined the steps.

  • Go to roaringapps.com to see if any or currently loaded applications are compatible with Sierra. Reconsider updating if you need them and they may not be. Update the apps to the current version.
  • Backup! Use Time Machine, an external drive, and/or the cloud. Anyone who didnʻt and had a problem will tell you how much grief it cost them.
  • Restart your computer. Sometimes youʻll need to do it 2 or 3 times to see the changes.
  • Restart all devices, your iPhone, iPad, Macbook to get them syncʻd.

A few New features

  • Siri sits in the upper right corner of your Desktop ready to be clicked and asked to do all kinds of things for you. You canʻt use "Hey Siri" but it works pretty much the same as your iOS otherwise.
  • Photos in the cloud shares albums, memories and edits between devices. You can draw on a photo and view Memories albums created with artificial intelligence that finds what appear to be related events, things or people.
  • Handoff, if turned on in the General Preferences for your Mac and iOS device, allows you start working on your Mac then continue working on a Mail message, Pages, Safari, Contacts or Keynote on your other device. You must have iCloud open and be on the same Wi-Fi network. It doesnʻt work on my late 2011 Macbook.
  • Picture in Picture is available on YouTube, Vimeo and more sites in the future. Click the PIP button and the movie playing can become a floating window that closes when the video is over.
  • iCloud Integration is improved with more "Continuity" features like Handoff. Royce warns you should think carefully and get more information before you click Optimize. iCloud will move old or not recently used documents from your computer to the Cloud to make more space on your hard drive. You may or may not want this.
  • Your Desktop and Documents folders can be moved into iCloud and accessible from all devices but contents for each will be combined in a Desktop and a Documents folder in the cloud. You cannot upload one but not the other. So learn more first. Copy and paste from Mac to iOS device works, usually.

Thereʻs much more so visit the Apple Sierra page linked below. Be sure to click the blue Learn More.. link for each feature to get more details and how-tos. iMore.com and endgadget.com have good info as well.

Donʻt forget, the Apple Store has one hour sit around the table and learn workshops for about 10 folks at at time. If its full, they say come anyway - you can often get in. Go to apple.com/alamoana OR apple.com/kahala OR apple.com/waikiki to see the schedule and signup. Take your device and sit in on their Sierra or iOS 10 workshops and do it along with them.

Keeping up with Apple is no easy task but it helps you know whatʻs coming, whatʻs not going to work now, and what to do. Royceʻs favorite sites include osdaily.com, sixcolors.com, theverge.com, www.macobserver.com and the Macobserver's Macgeekgab podcast.

Finally, donʻt forget, if you want interesting links for a bunch of good Apple sources subscribe for the hmaus-l list serve and scroll to the bottom of each post. Choose the digest option to receive posts ever few days instead of when each one is posted. Bill Martin who is now in Texas peruses a ton of sites and posts links to interesting articles for you. The hmaus-l is also a great place to ask a question or pose a problem you are having, and its free.

Donation Swap Meet

Running all day was our Donation Swap Meet - actually, we swapped our stuff for everyoneʻs money. Mahalo to Gail Geirhart, BJ Clark, Alice Unawai, Marie Kunimura, Pauline Arakaki and others I have missed who donated items and delicious baked goods and everyone there who bought these treasures. A very special thanks goes to Everett Young who donated not only his working Apple I model but also our 2016 big ticket item - his 64 GB iPad 2! All of you earned us a total of $270 which translates to free MacLearns for members for 9 months!! Thank you everyone!!

Still available are Everett's Apple I - grab a friend, get out in the garage and play Steve and Woz. It actually works - Everett demonstrated it to us at a MacLearn. One more historic gem - Fae Yamaguchi brought in the first Macintosh Color Classic. It doesn't work, but it's a classic! Both are still available for a donation or just for giving them a good home! BTW visit Fae's Mystery Dinosaur site and watch her cute dinosaur shorts http://www.mysterydinosaur.com/videos

Would you say were our super shoppers for the day? In fact...Marie bought the iMac keyboard that Pauline donated! Mahalo!

MacAcademy Award Winnahs

The second MacAcademy Awards then honored six creatives who shared their work and thoughts with us.

Yoko Tanaka for Best Cityscape with Wolves Award.

Yoko took a photo from her balcony then literally painted it using the tools and layers in Sketchbook Pro, a free, robust app from Autodesk. She also drew a scene from scratch showing yet another way to be creative with this app on her iPad!

William Marhoffer for Best Night Photography

Bill captured the elusive bigfin reef squid in the night waters of Lambeth Straights Indonesia. These squid are the fastest growing cephalopods in the world and from birth have chromatophores that allow them to change their color in fascinating ways. He brought out the wonder and natural colors of this animal in this striking image using Photoshop Elements with the Topaz Labs Adjust, Detail and Clarity plug-ins. He did it all on his aged black plastic MacBook!

Cynthia Oshiro for Best Travel with Rocks Documentary

Cynthia brought back a piece of the Silverskär Finland archipelago with her photograph taken along one of the picturesque paths. She enhanced it with the Analog Flex Pro Nik plug-in which has presets that simulate classic cameras, lenses and film. This intensified the textures and colors, bringing it to life. She had a striking metal print made which she shared. The Nik collection can be used with Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture. They can be used as standalones for jpgs and TIFF files but need to opened from the File > Open menu or right-clicked and Open with > then locating the plugin on your computer. Try both.

Joan won in the category of Least Effort Taken

She took the easy way using apps on her iPhone on a single picture of flowers in her driveway after the big rain. The apps used left to right are - Original, Sketch Master, My Sketch, PIP Camera, PIP Camera ("stack" filters and effects one on top of another). The last is Pixelmatorʻs kaleidoscope filter. Note the little flowers in this last one. Love it! The app links follow.

The prize for the win was surprisingly.... humble! The prestigious and coveted APPLEy cookie award, a piece of magic plastic Sugru, and a grocery bag! The REAL prize was the instant fame that followed. Their works appeared everywhere!!

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Special Features

Next were three special offerings in the Special Offerings category.

Elva Yoshihara documented the FIFA Fitness is Fun at Arcadia event of the day before using the drag and drop tools of Adobe Spark Page. She incorporated text, photos, collections of photos in grids, and a glideshow that scrolled both photos and captions. We were unable to view the live Page because somebody didn't click the LiveShow button but it was very well done.

BJ Clark has been gathering and sharing her family memories every year. She easily captures time and place and their adventures in books she makes with Shutterfly.com. The secret is she never pays full price. She always waits for half price or free offers and loves the results.

Terrence Young closed the category with Turtle Mom, The Movie. He relayed the surprising and poignant story of a lost turtle who carefully laid and buried her eggs, never to return again. Alas!

Congratulations and mahalo to our MacAcademy contributors and Michael Cohen, Mike Harada, Arlene Nagata and Royce Tanouye for bringing us to the edge and taking us over! These good folks personify curiosity, persistence, and creativity and the willingness to share with us. The more we learn about the apps and tools and technology, the more we can do with greater enjoyment.

Door Prize Sponsors

As a user group we have some special privileges. One that we exercise often is access to all of the Take Control Books publications. As an Apple User Group are able to download each new title once and use it for our workshops or as giveaways. This time we had 5 lucky winners who choose "Take Control of Upgrading to Sierra", "Take Control of Preview", "Take Control of iOS Crash Course", "Take Control of Photos", and "Speeding Up Your Mac" by our friend Joe Kissell. If they can they will do a review which weʻll post on the Signal for you.

HMAUS members can get 30% on all Take Control publications with our discount code. They run from $10 - $20 so a third of that is a good savings. In addition, you can download them in ePub format for your iBooks collection and as a PDF to your Mac, laptop and/or iPad. You also get updates until a new book on a new version comes out. Their tidbits.com blog is also a good place to get Apple update information and tips. Mahalo Adam and Tonya Engst and Take Control Books!!

We also gave away two books courtesy of Peachpit Press which will also give you a 30% discount as a HMAUS member. They have print or epub options and of their publications range from beginner to advanced level.

Mahalo to everyone who made our day!

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