March 10th Meeting Minutes
DMMUG held its March meeting Tuesday, March 10, at Debra Heights Wesleyan Church. We had a great conversation which ranged from Mac and iOS security to this week’s new hardware announcement and a bunch of stuff in between. Here are ten takeaways:
- Macs and iOS devices are NOT impervious to attacks. In fact, if anything, Apple is slower at responding to vulnerabilities than other vendors (e.g., Microsoft).
- In fact, in many ways, Apple hardware and software may be LESS secure than others (e.g., the lack of lock slots on laptops, software that has never had to deal with threats interested in scale).
- Third party applications, network connections, and offsite data hosting can be significant security threats
- USERS are still the greatest security threat to your Mac or iOS device. Be mindful of what you’re downloading, installing, and opening. Make backups regularly. Use strong passwords, and set your screen saver to start quickly and require a password to unlock. And don’t leave your iToys laying around so nefarious characters can gain access to them.
- Antivirus software is GOOD, but make sure it’s real (i.e., not Adware or Spyware masquerading as an antivirus).
- Security threats are constantly evolving, so pay attention! In the last 4 months alone, Apple has released two security updates to OS X through normal channels. And for the first time ever, Apple also pushed an additional update without any user interaction, indicating an unprecedented level of severity to the addressed threat.
- Apple is gaining traction in the enterprise market because people want to use their iToys at work, but Apple is still behind when it comes to deployment and security tools.
- Apple’s new MacBook is intriguing in its ultraportability, but that comes with some significant drawbacks in performance and features.
- The only port on the new MacBook is a USB-C port, which is used to charge the laptop as well as connect any peripherals or external displays. And be prepared to spend an extra $79 for a dongle to use those peripherals!
- The new MacBook is so thin and light that there is no reliable way to keep it from walking (floating?) away.
So there you have it: ten takeaways from our March meeting! Stay tuned for information about our April meeting!
February 10, 2015 Meeting
NOTE: TO FIND THE NAMED APPS, GO TO THE ITUNES APP STORE
AND PUT THE NAME IN THE SEARCH BOX.
We focused on Apps for our various iDevices — Russ Carlson particularly contributed a number of useful apps both he and his wife use daily:
Weather Channel and Clear Day – provide wind chill for when they’re out walking and are accurate
For Bridge players, Fun-bridge and BridgeBase
Other games: Words with Friends [like Scrabble], the King Games developer apps [Candy Crush and Bubble Witch especially]
Jigsaw Puzzle by Critical Hit Software = there is a free version and a paid version. You also can use your own photos to make puzzles of them and play on your iDevice.
Merriam Webster Dictionary
Des Moines Register
Walgreens to refill prescriptions
Victoria Herring listed her favorites:
TripIt and TripCase for organizing trips [both have free and paid versions]
Dropbox, Box, Evernote
Open Table, Yelp, Urban Spoon = for finding and reserving dinners out
Guides for trips: Tripwolf, Triposo, Insight Guides, Trip Advisor City Guides, Viator [for tours in locations]
Relax – several different kinds of “white noise” or background music to get you to sleep, or wake up
Lightsaber [for fans of Star Wars], ProKeys and various Piano apps, Ocarina
Drafts, Workflow and Launch+ to launch items or prepare and emails without needing to go to the Mail app.
App Box Pro: Has all sorts of utilities in one App [converter, currency, calculator, clock, holidays, flashlight, magnifier, mirror,, etc.]
Magnifying Glass and Magnifier Pro: to help read menus in tiny type, in dark restaurants
Mail to Group: If you want to mail to a group and it’s not already created in Mail, you use M2G to create the Group, it saves it in Mail and then you can easily send to groups you create on the fly. There are others, but this is the one I liked the most.
If you want to find apps on a number of different topics, go to http://www.makeuseof.com and do a search – Victoria did one on health and workouts and came up with a huge amount of options, both paid and free.
See you at the next meeting in March –
Like us and join us on the Des Moines Macintosh Users Group on Facebook.
January 13, 2015 meeting
Rev. Jeremy Geerdes of our host location, Debra Heights Wesleyan Church, 4025 Lower Beaver Rd., presented on the topic of Automator. It’s a program included in the Mac OS which was introduced in the early phases of Mac OS X to make it easy for people to ‘program’ the handling of regular, robotic tasks.
Jeremy explained the differences between the Workflow and Application methods of using Automator, the use of Apple Scripts inside it, and how he uses it in sermon development. Sadly, it’s a great application which has not been developed further and Apple provides few resources. He mentioned the following site as one that he finds helpful: www.macosxautomation.com.
From a separate listserve comes the following information on Automator: The only website I know with current information is:
There was a burst of information and tutorials on Automator when it was introduced in OS X 10.5 (Leopard). Most of this is still helpful:
Apple’s reference manual on Automator (last updated 2007):
73 page PDF tutorial from 2010:
Possibly useful, but probably too superficial:
May 5, 2014 meeting
We met at Debra Heights Wesleyan Church [thank you Jeremy Geerdes and those who brought liquids and munchies]. Also, thanks to those who contributed funds toward future meeting expenses. We discussed several topics:
1. We do have a Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/dmmug – in the future if we meet, we should post details there as well as on this list.
2. We will hold another meeting probably in June, during the week, perhaps a Tuesday or Wednesday. Details will be sent out and posted on Facebook.
3. If you would like to contribute to defray expenses, click on the ‘Contact Webmaster’ link and we’ll get in touch with you. We can take checks, Dwolla or credit card payments.
4. Program topics for the future?: Security [computer, mobile device, browsers], Find my iPhone, iCloud, Apple TV, Automator, Quartz Composer, Using Social Media [FB, Pinterest etc.], Passwords, storage in the cloud.
Oct. 9, 2013 meeting
The meeting for October 9th was held at the Debra Heights Wesleyan Church on Lower Beaver – we had pizza and pop and the space is accessible and easy to find, park and get to.
We discussed Mountain Lion, problems and how to fix them and how the upgrading is going for people. We also discussed Automator.
We had a video on Automator [a podcast downloaded from the iTunes Store]. It was a pretty good general introduction to the theory behind it [Acquire, Process, Distribute! A Recipe!]
We are going to put together a Facebook Page [our host last nite, Jeremy Geerdes, offered to do so – thanks to him!!!] and probably set a meeting for early next year on a single topic of interest. We’d obtain a video or presenter with knowledge to handle the topic and discussion.
If anyone has suggestions for topics that might be of interest, so we can round up the video and/or presenter [via Skype if not in town], let me know.
If anyone would like to volunteer to serve on the Steering Committee for DMMUG, contact me as well.
Oh yes! Sorry you weren’t there, but we raffled off some Take Control books and some hard copy books from O’Reilly Media. It was a productive meeting and good to see everyone.
A future meeting will be in a few momths.