BMUG News, September 2018

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BMUG Newsletter

September 2018

Greetings!


We have had our AGM and we have a slightly different Committee. Congratulations to the following.
President: Liddy Nevile
Vice-President: Carol Wilson
Secretary: Peter Poteralski
Treasurer: John Rozbach
Committee: Mary Ann Lorimer, Robert Morgan, David Dixon.
 

We have another big announcement: from the beginning of next year, we will meet monthly (second Tuesday of each month) at 3.45pm in the newer premises of the Bellarine Training and Community Hub Inc.
Website: www.btach.com.au One of the motivations for this change was to cut our costs in preference to raising our membership fee but a real interest for the Committee is getting involved in community activities and being able to do more as an association.
 

After the AGM, we thought and chatted a bit about using our computers to go to the theatre. There are many fantastic sites that offer recordings of live performances, particularly plays but circuses, ballet, opera, lots of performances. Many of them are supported  by notes that help viewers interpret what is happening.

Our meeting notes are, as usual, on the website so if you were not there, you can still learn from what we did. See the notes at http://www.bellarinemac.org.au/index.php/our-activities/bmug-meetings/meeting-notes/58-september-notes

 
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Product Reviews

During the month, Peter Baldwin kept up his work on reviews of software that might be of interest to users. We have a new one: see the range so far at http://www.bellarinemac.org.au/index.php/our-activities/product-reviews/51-product-reviews

 


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BMUG Assist

It has become noticeable recently that many people working especially on documents no longer have secretaries. Back in the nineties, the secretaries were 'replaced' because with the magic of word-processors, who would need a secretary? Just how wrong was this decision?

Today, universities pay people to fix documents for staff (isn't that what secretaries did so expertly?) and students have to pay people to prepare documents for them because otherwise they cannot submit their work and few of them have any idea how to master the complexity of word-processors.

The Library staff at the Geelong Library are experts too. But how expert does an expert have to be? Despite being very kind and helpful, the Librarians do have other priorities and there are things that elude them.


So here is a typical problem that BMUG Assist had to wrestle with recently. Our person needing assistance told us:
 

I am an academic with a book about my scientific topic and now I have been asked to give a lecture on it overseas. I have an image in the book that I would like to update but it is currently only available as a PDF and when it is converted there are masses of tiny boxes dividing up the screen and everything goes hay-wire if I try to edit even the smallest thing.

The first thing to do is to get the content out of PDF format - that is an image format and without very special software and skill, editing it is difficult.

To convert a PDF doc back into something familiar like MS Word, you can go to

https://pdf2doc.com/ It is very useful to be able to do this. Once the text and images were available as part of a Word file, they could be fiddled with in the usual way (with Word or Pages or whatever) and when all was done, the file could be saved again as a PDF.
 

In fact, that is not actually what was done. In place of MS Word, LibreOffice was used. This is a free open-source word-processor, presentation package, spreadsheet, etc. It is not as easy, at one level, as Word or Pages but it is very powerful and can do things the others can't do. To find out more visit https://www.zdnet.com/article/libreoffice-the-best-office-suite-gets-even-better-with-libreoffice-6-0/ LibreOffice is a very good alternative to expensive software!

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Human Rights and Technology

You may not have thought much about just how the new technologies are changing the world in which you live - perhaps because you think you don't actually use them all. Well, they are changing our world and you might like to read a bit about how this is happening.

Australia signs on to a number of international agreements but does not always adopt them, in fact. The United Nations Conventions are typical - Australia looks good at the time of signing but then does not implement anything to do with the convention. The Human Rights Commission is working on what we need to be doing to be safe in the future, given the 'advances' in technology. The HRC has published an issues paper and it is worth reading, if only for the way it draws our attention to what could prove to be a problem for us. See https://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/rights-and-freedoms/publications/human-rights-and-technology-issues-paper-2018

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Apple News

Apple Special Event offered a first look at iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, and Apple Watch Series 4. To find out about the new 'toys' you should visit https://www.apple.com/apple-events/september-2018/

There are a number of 'specials' available for members. If you are a paid-up member of BMUG and interested in any of the following, please email us for the password to gain access to the product information and links for purchases to be made before the end of October. Email info@bellarinemac.org.au


Apparent Software: 30% Discount
Working Smarter for Mac Users: 33% Discount
TidBITS Content Network: Trial Offer
EverWeb by RAGE Software: 50% Discount - Updated Link
Take Control Books: 30% Discount on All eBooks
Teams ID, a Password Manager for Teams: 33% Discount
Eltima Software: Up to 60% Off OS X Apps
Opus ][ Complete Collection: 25% Discount
Joe On Tech Guides: 20% Discount on All Books
AgileBits 1Password 6 Subscription: 25% Discount
TechTool Pro 9.5: 20% Discount
Noteboom Tutorials: 33% Off Annual Memberships
Prosoft Engineering: 25% Off
Special Offer - Que Publishing Products: 35-45% Discount


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Next Meeting

Apple has just released yet another operating system. Do you need it? It is called Mojave. We will learn about the features that are on offer and think about what they might mean for us. We will also draw attention to things that might be nice, if you do need them, but which you really may never need. This will be the first topic for our meeting.

Next we will ask ourselves a hard question. "Do we need to be always updating our systems?" What is wise? and what is unnecessary? and what might be actually over the top? Members have many years of experience between them and we can help each other by considering our experience.

We might like to ask ourselves such questions as: How much are you paying for software? - do you think about it? - what does your computer cost you? And what are you getting for free? is there a hidden cost for what you get or use?

The third topic for the meeting will be the process of getting our Internet connections and usage under better control. "Why is finding good Internet connectivity so challenging?" There are many options and it is not easy to find out what is actually possible when we want to make a decision about what to do.

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Please remember, members are always welcome at our meetings and visitors are welcome to - we do ask them to contribute a gold coin to help us purchase more biscuits! If you benefit regularly from BMUG, please make sure you have paid the membership fees - we do need the few dollars to continue our work.

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