Matt's Macs

Florida Association of Computer User Groups Spring 2002 Conference Report

- 2002.03.05 - Tip Jar

Picture this: Apple. Adobe. Microsoft. Vendors. People. Computers. Presentations. Meetings. All in one place with a lot of sunshine.

What do you have? The Spring 2002 FACUG (Florida Association of Computer User Groups) meeting at the Civic Center at Kissimmee, FL. The meeting began with a dinner sponsored by Corel and ran through Sunday afternoon.

The meeting drew many of the FACUG user groups. The group is made up of predominantly PC users, but Apple users figure prominently (and I suspect there were no small number of Linux users in attendance as well).

The main focus of the conference was on people, not platforms. 197 people attended, representing 42 user groups, about 80% of FACUG's membership. Mac user groups, such as Gold Coast MUG from Miami, AMUG from Atlanta, GA, and Florida MUG from Orlando, represented a small but enthusiastic and unabashed crowd at the conference. Presentations (at either breakfast lunch or dinner) were given by Corel, JASC, Quicken, Ulead, Microsoft, Apple, and Adobe. There were technical panels and meetings for user groups officers. I know I have a bias, but several PC users were heard afterward saying Apple's presentation rocked!

Apple's focus at the breakfast presentation was the digital hub, with the new iMac as its centerpiece. "I" apps were demoed: iPhoto, iMovie, iTunes, and iDVD. The stage was set by dimming the lights in the room and having the iMac in the spotlight.

Adobe demoed its InDesign OS X product using a PowerBook G4. Awesome.

What was exciting for me were presentations aimed at user groups. Topics discussed ranged from leading the user group to "what is a user group?" to publicity for your group. Apple figured prominently at these meetings; heck the user groups presentation was given an Apple employee from Cupertino. It was heartening to see Apple well represented there.

What did I get out of it? As the newly elected President of Florida Macintosh Users Group, I got a lot of info regarding the user group concept and sharing of "hands-on" experience from officers.

How does this apply for the Mac user at large? Share your Mac experience and enthusiasm. Go to Apple's website to find a user group. Join. Participate. Take your Mac experience to the next level. LEM

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