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Washington Apple Pi


October 1999 General Meeting Report

Steven Kiepe, Vice President Programs

A large WAP crowd gathered at Northern Virginia Community College on the very morning of Apple's scheduled release of long awaited Mac OS 9. Although a few lucky souls had already managed to get their hands on this latest operating system upgrade (some vendors had made it available at midnight), most of the crowd wanted an in-depth look at the enhanced system before making the jump. After Lawrence Charters finished dazzling the crowd with enlightened answers during the traditional question and answer period (or was it baffling with BS?), Apple Development Executive Barrett Thompson took the stage.

With trusty iMac and PowerBook in hand, Barrett provided an update on Apple's corporate strategy, current product lines and a brief map to the future. Although most folks in the audience had already seen an iMac, very few people had seen or heard of the new iMac DV edition (for Digital Video). Barrett reviewed this bargain priced home and small office digital video powerhouse including the top-of-the line Special Edition iMac DV, encased in a graphite colored shell. The DV series iMacs, with their 400 MHz G3 processors, FireWire ports, extra VGA port and more include many of the features of comparable desktop video solutions costing several times as much.

Apple didn't stop with a hardware solution to desktop video. Instead, Apple's new iMovie application, available only as bundled software with the iMac DV, truly brings the words "plug and play" to desktop video creation. Barrett connected a standard FireWire equipped digital video camera to the iMac and then, completely within iMovie's intuitive interface, operated the camera, identified the segments of a video he was interested in, added transition effects and sound tracks, and output a complete movie back to the video camera. The entire process was completed without touching any button other than "power" on the camera. Apparently, he caused a lot of folks get bitten by the home video bug as evidenced at November's iMac DV feeding frenzy at a local computer retailer!

Barrett continued his presentation highlighting the release of the new G4 series Macs and the Apple's highly successful iBook introduction. Then it was time for the featured segment, Apple's new Mac OS 9. With over 50 new features, Barrett had to keep a fairly fast pace to cover them all in the time allotted. The audience was captivated from the beginning of "my voice is my password" log-on through the highly customizable individual settings for computers with multiple users, and onto the amazing Sherlock 2. With demonstration of new features like keychains (never worry about forgetting passwords to websites again), enhanced speakable item functionality, operating system auto-updating via the Internet and cross-Internet file sharing, this is a major rebuild of the Mac's operating system. Barrett took questions from the audience until NOVA pushed the group out the door. He must have been effective because MacUpgrades, strategically stationed outside the auditorium door, managed to pick up a fair number of buyers of the new operating system!

Throughout the meeting, Anthro Corporation's iCart was on prominent display. The iCart is a tubular steel framed, laminate shelved portable desk that is a must have accessory for new iMac Owners. Built of heavy gage steel and solid top construction strong enough to hold an adult or two, it comes in a multitude of colors to match the iMac's flavor selections. The iCart also comes in two different configurations; tall with an extended "hutch" top that is perfect for printers, scanners and the like; and short, without the additional extension. Anthro also offers a line of specialized accessory shelf, document and cup holder options.

The iCart had been on display in the WAP tutorial room for the last two months. Anthro offers special user group pricing, a savings of 25% for our members. As a special gesture, Anthro donated the grand prize of the morning's raffle drawing, the silver metallic iCart that had been on display. If I was more paranoid (ha!), I'd almost be suspicious of what happened next but here's the inside scoop. Dana Essick, the daughter of our former VP for Programs, literally put a stake in the ground that she was going to get the iCart for her birthday which just happened to be the same day as the general meeting. As name after name was drawn from the box for the other raffle items, she almost seemed to be computing the odds of her name being selected from the remaining pile. Finally, as the grand prize slip was drawn, Don Essick's name was announced. Needless to say, Dana got her birthday wish and Don went home a happy man. Happy birthday Dana and thank you Anthro!

Our other raffle winners included: Book winners - Bob Whitesel, Dreamweaver; Bob Vandegrift, Fireworks; Colleen O'Brien, Quicktime and MoviePlayer Pro; Caroline Quandt, GoLive Cyberstudio; Norma Kaufman, Illustrator 7 WOW; Clifton Bailey, Mac Secrets 4; Paul Simon, WWW Color Pages Simplified; John Quill, Illustrator 7; Harvey Bresler, 3D Studio Max; Susan Ware, Teamwork Notebook; Robert Langer, JavaScript; Gabe Croft, Hotdog Pro; Bennett Kobb, GoLive Cyberstudio; and Curtis Parks, The Hill on the Net.

Tom Witte also had an opportunity to work his throwing arm passing tee-shirts to Dick Roblin, Bob Wilbur and Bill Durham. Finally, Lawrence Charters brought home 64MB of RAM donated by one of our generous WAP members. Congratulations to all of our winners.

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Revised November 22, 1999 Lawrence I. Charters
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