Meetings in 2015

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Photoshop Alternatives
Speaker: Peter Lovelock, Colour Confidence
When: 28 January 2015
Adobe? Who needs Adobe?


There are some fine apps out there for editing and manipulating images, but not so if you prefer to shoot raw (and who doesn’t?).

Our friends at Colour Confidence in Birmingham have recently become distributors of DxO software and a range of Mac-only photo apps from Macphun.

Popular speaker, Peter Lovelock (who many of us will remember from his excellent Colour Management presentation a couple of years ago) returns to demonstrate DxO, thought by many to be a superior raw processor to Adobe Camera Raw (and a fraction of the price!), as we'll as the wide range of versatile plug-ins available for the software.

Macphun is a US developer dedicated to the Apple community, offering a wide range of fast, inexpensive, easy-to-use apps to remove unwanted objects, implement blurs and control colours, contrast and textures.

If you have any interest in photography, this is a great opportunity to see these not-so-well-known alternatives to the Adobe behemoth, presented with Peter’s usual splendid (dry!) sense of humour.

OS X Master Class
Speaker: Paul Skirrrow
When: 25 March 2015

Paul Skirrow will present a Master Class in using OS X and show how to get the most from your Mac including the new features in Apple’s latest OS 10.10 Yosemite. This is aimed at all users, from beginners to experts and will reveal the hidden secrets and enormous power of the world’s best operating system. As well as presenting dozens of hints and tips, Paul will focus on practicalities such as backing up your data, recovering lost files and keeping your data safe and secure should you lose your Mac, backup drive or USB stick.

Topics are expected to include the following (time permitting):
Yosemite - why upgrade?
Backups, Time Machine vs Carbon Copy Cloner, Time Capsule, Bootable images 
Recovering lost data
Recovering and securing a lost device with Find My iPhone
Security and encryption: FileVault 2
iCloud and iCloud Drive
Family Members: sharing Apps, sharing via iCloud, shared calendars, parental controls, online safety
Filer hints and tips
Mission Control and Exposé
Keyboard shortcuts and tools
Trackpad, Mouse gestures, Magic Mouse and Magic Prefs
Using multiple screens
Virtual Machines: VMWare vs Parallels vs Bootcamp and backup strategies
Handoff and Continuity with iPhone, iPad
Spotlight Search - how to find anything
Notification Centre
Privacy, viruses and protecting yourself on the Internet
Extending battery life and saving power
Monitoring and managing your system
Home Networking, sharing music, sharing files, multi-room audio
Internet access away from home, via an iPhone or iPad’s 3G or 4G connection, BT WiFi
Terminal and the power of the Unix-like command line

Finding out more: Recommended books


Please email if you have any preferences from the above list, suggestions for other topics or specific questions that you’d like answered on the night. 

Paul Skirrow started writing software at school when he wrote a Forth compiler, Macro Assembler and timetabling application for his Computing ‘O’ level before moving on to games such as Space Invaders, Lunar Rescue and Asteroids Deluxe which he sold to Atarisoft. He set up his own software business at 18 and has since designed and developed software for dozens of diverse applications including Lindos professional audio measuring equipment, Acorn/Bush Internet TV, Pace Set Top Boxes and manufacturing software for the local Nestlé pet food factory. He now works as a freelance consultant primarily for BT TV where he designs digital TV and encryption software. 

The AGM + Mac Cookbook
When: 27 May 2015
  • Mark Riley & Geoff Rogers – MacCookbook
‘The Mac Cook Book’ was a splendid idea suggested by member, Geoff Rogers, exploring the theme ‘How to make a **** in one hour’ (where a **** might be a movie, a slideshow, a photo-book etc).
Apple’s New Photos app
Speaker: Brad Clarke
When: 29 July 2015 (but may change subject to release of the app)
Brad’s back!!

Everyone’s favourite Apple man is back in the building and will be tearing the lid of Apple’s new PHOTOS program (as Brad was Apple’s senior APERTURE staff trainer in the UK, that should be very interesting!), taking a look at what is new in this years OS upgrades (OSX 10.11 and iOS 9, coming to computers and phones near you soon!) and demonstrating Apple’s new addition to iTunes - APPLE MUSIC.

  • Photos
  • OSX 10.11 El Capitan
  • iOS 9
  • Music

Everything you need to know before the new operating systems launch, from one of our most entertaining speakers :)

See you there


PS Most of our members know Brad, but for those who don’t, he was a senior instructor at London’s Regent Street Apple store until two years ago when he decided to go freelance, and make his vast knowledge available to the rest of the world :)  A great, entertaining, warm, witty, knowledgeable speaker!

See you there!
September: Sounds interesting?
Paddy Kingsland, BAFTA nominated member of the BBC Radiophonic workshop
When: 30 September 2015
Composer Paddy Kingsland, BAFTA nominated member of the BBC Radiophonic workshop

Paddy’s early work was for the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, in the first days of synthesisers, including incidental music for Dr Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. After leaving the BBC he wrote music for conventional instruments combined with electronics for many TV documentaries: Pole to Pole, The Power And The Glory, The Road To War and Around The World In 80 Days (for which he received a BAFTA nomination). He has also written eight albums of music for the KPM Music Library and provided music for children’s series including Words and Pictures, Blips and The Number Crew

His latest album
Retro Electro once again features electronics. He is currently doing live gigs with The Radiophonic Workshop with colleagues from the old days.

Paddy’s talk will illustrate the history of sound recording, from the earliest methods of the 1920’s to the modern day Apple laptop. This will not be the style of meeting we are used to - Apple plays an important (very important!) role in the story, but isn’t the whole story.

Paddy’s presentation will explain why and how the Mac became such a significant instrument in the audio development timeline, but he will also illustrate how electronic music has developed, from the earliest examples of the 1920s (fancy trying to play a
Theramin?), through the experimental laboratories at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop (illustrating how iconic sounds like the Tardis, the Daleks and the Dr Who theme were developed) and beyond, and demonstrate how all of this technology is used in studios today, with a peek at Protools, music production, dubbing techniques and more.