Washington Apple Pi’s general meeting on January 24th had a full agenda. The meeting took place in the Forum of the Northern Virginia Community College’s Ernst Cultural Center. This smaller venue put the 120 attendees in a somewhat more intimate setting than that offered in the larger theater. Barring changes in the NoVA schedule, almost all general meetings from here on out will take place in the Forum, primarily because the rent is a heck of a lot cheaper there.
A portion of the audience at the January 24th General meeting. (Photo by Richard Sanderson, taken with a Nikon D-100 digital camera.)
First up was the Pat & John technical support discussion (Pi President
Pat Fauquet and Vice President John Barnes), with generous additions from
Abraham Brody. Telecommunications issues were a popular item.
The assembled multitude was then presented with a motion to approve the adoption of new bylaws for the Pi. This motion passed with an overwhelming majority and with essentially no discussion. This was surprising in view of the fact that a fair number of people had actually looked at the documents as posted on the Pi web site. The revised bylaws can be found at:
as well as in this issue of the Journal.
John Barnes, left, and Pi President Pat Fauquet conducted the question and answer session while representatives from Apple set up their presentation in the background. (Photo by Richard Sanderson, taken with a Nikon D-100 digital camera.)
While the Apple team was setting up for their presentation the audience was treated to a “Pi Eye” view of MacWorld San Francisco 2004. Dick Sanderson, the Pi’s tireless head photographer, gave us a CD full of MacWorld images that ran as a slide show while Pat and others were talking. Pat Fauquet, John Barnes, Dick Sanderson, Craig Contardi, Encephalon, and Cheryl Lavoie constituted the “Official” contingent, attending the one day “User Group University” training course for MUG leaders. We encountered a number of rank and file Pi members at the show.
As the ranking member of the delegation Pat Fauquet gave an overview of MacWorld SF from her perspective. John added a short summary from the viewpoint of the novice attendee. With a full round of classroom sessions, feature presentations, prowling the exhibit area, and partying in the evening, everyone found the MacWorld experience to be exhilarating if a bit exhausting. Some members of the troupe are already planning their visits for next year.
Three representatives from Apple helped with the January General Meeting. From left to right: Brian Wayman, David Hale and Barrett Thompson. (Photo by Richard Sanderson, taken with a Nikon D-100 digital camera.)
By the time all of that was dealt with Brian Wayman and his collaborators from Apple’s Reston office were ready to do their thing. Brian led off by taking the audience through the salient features of Steve Jobs’ Keynote Address.
“Twenty Years of Macintosh” was the opening theme. Brian’s presentation hit some of the highlights, including a remake of the iconic 1984 Super Bowl television ad. The migration statistics to Mac OS X were the next topic, with Steve pointing out that 40 percent of the installed base (or some 10 million users) are now using Panther, with 10,000 applications that run under Mac OS X. Brian’s condensation of Steve’s hour and a half presentation into 15 minutes for the Pi audience hit the major highlights. Pi Journal readers who want the full story can view the streamed video at:
and you can see the "revised" Apple "1984" ad here:
(if that doesn't work, try here).
Brian added a short look at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which he and some friends visited on their way back from MacWorld. The emergence of FireWire as a flexible networking medium for multimedia environments is an interesting development in this area. Hard drives about the size of a quarter were another interesting revelation.
The upgrades to the iLife suite are the news that is likely to impact most of us. Everything from iPhoto to iTunes, to iMovie, to iDVD has undergone a major upgrade. A new player, GarageBand, has joined the suite and promises to bring new meaning to the phrase “labor-intensive editing.” Brian got a little help from some of his colleagues from the Reston office to demonstrate features of the new iLife suite.
Dave Hale demonstrated the new power of iPhoto4. The blazing sped with which the new version can zip through huge libraries is impressive. The use of Rendezvous technology to share libraries on different computers is also a nice touch.
The GarageBand demo by Barrett Thomson took up the rest of the formal presentation.
Even a person with my tin ear can see that this is a wonderful way to get into
learning about music and instruments and actually building compositions. Barrett
had a MIDI keyboard hooked up to the system to demonstrate how musicians could
record their own loops or streams. The Apple online store has a full complement
of GarageBand accessories. Steve Jobs pointed out in his Keynote that something
like half of all households have someone in them that actually plays a musical
instrument. It will be interesting to see if GarageBand is the right tool to
bring these people into digital music.
Barrett’s demo indicated that it takes quite a bit of tinkering to create a passable bit of music, but it sure looks like it could be fun for those who are so inclined. We can only ask “What will come next” into the digital lifestyle.
After thanking our friends from Apple for their very nice presentation Pat reminded the audience that the election for the new Board of Directors is drawing nigh. Names need to be submitted to Craig Contardi, the Pi secretary, by Close of Business on February 28th. You can E-mail him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The traditional prize drawing yielded quite a number of happy recipients.