Article from the local Newspaper

CHICO — The Macintosh Chico Users Group isn’t just for Mac geeks or even just for Macs.

By KYRA GOTTESMAN-Correspondent

“It’s for anyone who wants to learn and have a good time enjoying everything Apple. That’s what we’re all about, learning and fun. We’re just a group of regular folks who want to learn to get the most out of our Apple products” said Ron Brooks, the group’s librarian.

Booting up in ’85

In 1985, a year after the first Macintosh were released, a local personal computer retail store created a Mac users classroom with 10 tables and five computers. The store hosted free weekly tech-support classes. Brooks was one of the first customers to attend.
“I bought my first Mac and printer in 1985 for $3,500. Other than the basics, I didn’t know anything so the class was great,” he said.

As Macintosh gained personal computer market share, the class continued to grow to overflowing. By 1990, the user group changed locations and began meeting at Chico Community Hospital. In the mid- to-late ’90s, with more than 125 members, the group moved again to Enloe Conference Center. In 2013 MacChUG, as the group calls itself, moved its now monthly meetings to the Elks Lodge.

Christian Pickman – February Speaker

  • This month’s Guest Speaker on February 20th will be Mr. Christian Pickman of Micromat.

    Christian is the Product Manager for Micromat for the past seventeen years. Micromat and Christian have been longtime supporters of Apple User Groups and especially the the Chico Apple Users Group. Micromat is the maker of the newly updated Techtool Pro 7, the most advanced Macintosh repair utility EVER!

    Techtool Pro 7 is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in Micromat’s 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped Techtool Pro 7 to be fully 64-bit compatible, which allows the program to run more efficiently on the latest Macintosh computers. Micromat also added a fantastic new RAM test that can find problems which no other utility can; along with also improving many of the testing, repair and maintenance routines.
    Christian will be demonstrating TechTool Pro 7 for the majority of the presentation and afterwards mentioning Checkmate, TechTool Protogo 4, and MachineProfile followed by a question and answer afterwards from the group.

    Come to this month’s meeting and check out Techtool Pro 7.
    tech tools pro version 7

  • James Ellison Wills – January Speaker

    image of james willsJames Ellison Wills is a freelance pixel pusher and has been for almost three decades. He has produced four documentary films, over 200 video shorts and published five books. Web design and video production are his primary work. He lives in Sonoma and works at home.

    James Ellison Wills’ interactive book explores the subject of video production with just an iPad. The book is not a software manual; it is focused on the process and the tools of iPad video production; the cameras, the editor, the shots. Written in iBooks Author and enhanced with 25 videos, the book’s samples were all shot on location in Japan to spice up the imagery.

    Wills is an enthusiastic proponent of iPad users producing video for a wide range of applications both personal and commercial. The goal of his book and talk is to show how what was expensive and complex is now cheap and simple. As artists and entrepreneurs understand the process it will help them share their work and businesses. He will demonstrate with his iPad via a projector.


    Randy B. Singer – December Speaker

    image of Randy B SingerThursday December 19th, Randy B. Singer will be our speaker at the monthly meeting at the Elks Lodge in Chico at 1705 Manzanita Avenue. He is an attorney living and practicing in Sacramento, California. Mr. Singer practiced in downtown San Francisco for many years, and then in Woodland, California. He specializes in complex civil litigation. He served as a frequent judge pro-tem several years in Yolo County.

    Mr. Singer is one of the co-authors of The Macintosh Bible(the world’s best selling book about the Macintosh computer). He was one of the largest contributing authors to the 4th, 5th and 6th editions. He has also been published in other computer publications, such as Computer Currents, Macworld, and a host of other publications too numerous to mention.

    Randy Singer’s latest book is called The Macintosh Software Guide for the Law Office, and it is published by the American Bar Association. This book lists all of the law office software made specifically for the Macintosh computer, along with tips on how to choose law office software, how to set up an office network, and how to choose practice aids.

    Chris Breen – November Speaker

    image of Chris Breen

    At the meeting this month on November 21st, Macworld’s Chris Breen will examine this years crop of products—new iOS devices, new Macs, and new operating systems—and will put them in perspective. What do they mean for Apple now and into the future?

    Macworld senior editor Christopher Breen has been writing about  technology since  the mid- 1980s for such publications as MacUser, MacWEEK, and Macworld. Breen is the author of Macworld’s popular “Mac 911” tips and
    troubleshooting column, and he hosts the Macworld Podcast.

    Breen is the author of numerous technology books, including Secrets of the iPod, The iPod and iTunes Pocket  Guide, Mac 911, and My iMac. He has created a variety of video training courses for, including Mac OS X 10.8
    Mountain Lion Tips and Tricks, Mac OS X Leopard Essential Training, Screencasting for the Mac, iPad Tips and Tricks, and Lion Essential Training.

    In addition to his technology career, Breen is also a musician who has performed professionally for two decades. Check out his album Of Eve on iTunes.

    This month’s Guest Speaker – Ms Pat Furr

    photo of Pat FurrIn 1991 Pat Furr, Bonnie Huntington and Cliff Neil approached Chico Unified School District about creating a volunteer program to refurbish donated computers for school use. After several meetings and discussions the district decided to give it a try. Starting out in a spare bedroom in Pat’s home the
    program started on a very small scale to support education. Pat had a background in teaching, business, public  service as an elected school district trustee, and  computers as she had attended CSU, Chico in the Master’s program in Computer Science. As the program expanded over the years, Pat and her volunteers were able receive larger quantities of donations and place greater quantities of computer in schools.

    CFC has been placing 5,000 computer systems per year and has handed out 40,000 working, guaranteed systems since the program’s inception. Presently, CFC occupies a 25,000 square foot facility with pallet racking, loading docks and  their own 26 foot box van. Since reuse is 25 times better for the environment than just
    recycling, CFC is an important link in fulfilling a great need for technology to those who cannot afford to buy new systems. Pat Furr received the Jim Lynch Award from the International Computer Refurbishers Summit  in Austin, TX in November. Pat Furr, the Founder/President of Computers for Classrooms, was recognized for her many years of dedication and support to other refurbishers.