Strait Macintosh User Group

September 15: Backups, Time Machines, and Archives

Our meeting on Tuesday, September 15, will be about Time Machine, Backups, and Archives. The original suggestion was just about Time Machine, but the other topics are intimately related. We will probably also cover, at least briefly, whatever Apple brings up at their Special Event earlier in the day.

This will be another virtual meeting via Zoom. The meeting will start at 7 p.m., but we will activate Zoom at 6:30 p.m. in order to get video and sound working, and conduct our usual Q&A (Question & Answer) session. The Zoom meeting invitation will be sent out Monday, September 14.

Note: this will not be just a boring monologue about backups. There will be props! Audio-video demonstrations! Questions! Answers!

August 18: Basic digital photography, part 1

August will see a return to a topic we touched on in June: digital photography. In June, we started with the most basic question: what the heck do you do with all those digital photos pouring in from Apple Mail, Messages, Gmail, the web, and who knows where else? But while organizing photos (and then using the organization to find and use the photos) is a critical skill, it isn’t the only critical skill you might need. Also of use: knowing how to take a photo.

There are lots of ways to take digital photos. In fact, you can take photos with a traditional film camera, then scan them and turn them into digital photos — but that’s a lot of work. We’ll skip that, and stick with the easy methods: using an iPhone, iPad, or (shocking idea) a digital camera to take a photo.

At least, it seems easy. Until it isn’t.

August will be a virtual meeting, via Zoom

Meeting starts at 7 pm; you may connect at 6:30 pm to test your connection and participate in our Question and Answer session. The link for the meeting will be sent out a day or two before the meeting.

In May, June, and July, we used Zoom to host virtual meetings, and it went well. We will continue with Zoom as the North Olympic Library System (NOLS) has announced all in-person meetings are canceled through at least August 31. Their announcement went on to say that “we are unable to predict what level of building use will be safe and appropriate through the summer.” Even when meeting rooms can be made available, “meeting room space will likely be needed for other library services in order to follow social-distancing guidelines.”


July 21: WWDC

Apple’s June 22 World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) was the main topic of the SMUG meeting in July. We discussed Apple’s forthcoming releases of new iPhone, iPad, and macOS operating systems, as well as their surprise announcement that all Macs are going to be moving to new CPUs, designed and built by Apple. It was a lively meeting.


June 16: Basic digital photography, part 0

(This event took place on June 16, as scheduled.)

More photographs are taken with iPhones than with any other camera in history. In fact, more photographs are taken with iPhones each day than were taken by all cameras, everywhere, between the first photograph in 1826 and the introduction of the iPhone in 2007. Of the 7.5 billion people on earth at the moment, 3.5 billion of them have a smartphone, and the most widely used feature on a smartphone is: the camera.

Which leads to a very obvious question: what do you do with the 1.5 trillion (1,500,000,000,000) photos that will be taken in 2020?

In Part Zero of a zillion part possible series, we will look at photo storage and organization. We know you’ve taken selfies and pictures of your dinner and pictures of a cat (yours or someone else’s) and things you want to buy at the grocery store or clothing store, or a funny sign or what you thought was a coyote but was actually a paper sack. What do you do with all those photos?

In deference to pandemic recovery efforts, this will be a virtual meeting using Zoom. SMUG members should receive an email message (not right this second, but sometime soon) with the details. If you don’t receive such a message, please contact us.

Normally, we would meet at the Sequim Public Library, but all libraries in the state are closed under the Stay Home, Stay Healthy initiative.

May 19: Staying Together Using Macs, iPhones and iPads in a Time of Social Distancing

(This event took place on May 19 as scheduled.)

Since Macs, iPhones, and iPads are communications tools, there is an endless number of ways you can use them to stay in touch, but the focus will be on: email, SMS (instant messaging), and virtual meetings such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc. We won’t go into how to use each method, or the endless number of things you can do with them. Instead, the focus will be on which tool is best for which task, and what these tools do poorly.

This will be a virtual meeting using Zoom. SMUG members should receive an email message with the details. If you haven’t received such a message, please contact us.

Those attending via Zoom should please fill out an attendance form.

Normally, we would meet at the Sequim Public Library, but all libraries in the state are closed under the Stay Home, Stay Healthy initiative.

In the meantime, here are some resources on COVID-19:


Strait Macintosh User Group (SMUG) is open to owners and users of Macintosh, iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod), HomePod, Apple TV, Apple Watch [etc.] devices. Our goal is to spread computer literacy and technical savviness to residents of the Olympic Peninsula.

Located in the upper left-hand corner of the United States, the Olympic Peninsula is rich in natural beauty but isolated from the services commonly found in metropolitan areas. There are no computer stores, no electronics stores, no television stations, and limited broadband connectivity. On the other hand, we do have elk, deer, a floating bridge, volcanoes (though not that close), and a fair number of computer wizards willing to teach, and learn.

Meetings are (generally) at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month, at the Library in Sequim, Washington. [Map] This is a new date and a new venue for the group. Check here before meetings for the latest information.

To keep up with SMUG, enter your email address in the box to the right below Follow Strait Macintosh User Group, and you will be notified of new posts via email.

Previous meeting: World Wide Developer Conference 2020