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ATPM 9.06
June 2003



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by Robert C. Lewis,

MacFest 2003

We all know about the Macworld Expo conventions that occur in San Francisco and New York. Well it seems that many user groups have started to hold mini conventions of their own. On April 26, 2003, the Houston Area Apple User Group had its first such convention, called MacFest. (Its Apple Barrel newsletter has more coverage.)

Close to eighty people came to the event. I was one of the sponsors. With laptop in hand and different utilities, I helped HAAUG members with non-working Macs and general questions about problems our members were having with their machines.


George McKenzie, Robert Lewis, and a HAAUG member work on members’ Macs.

From 9 AM to 4 PM, people had a chance to attend three different workshops. Two of the workshops dealt with Microsoft Office v.X led by Bethany Mitchell and a presentation on the latest features in Photoshop 7 by Isabelle MacCrimmon.


Bethany Mitchell leads the Microsoft Office seminar.


Isabelle MacCrimmon leads the Photoshop seminar.

The keynote of the event was led by none other than Dr. Mac, Bob LeVitus. Bob spent the day talking about what he considered his favorite utilities. Some of these utilities included FruitMenu, LaunchBar, DragThing, and Carbon Copy Cloner. In addition, he discussed the importance of backing up your critical data, how to get the most out of OS X, and why it was time to get on the train and make the switch from OS 9 to OS X. Bob has been a member of our group for about 15 years and does a main presentation at here each December.


Dinner with Dr. Mac (left)

I was on the committee for the event. Being on the committee gave me a chance to dine with Bob the day before the event. Sitting side by side with him gave me the unique chance to see what a great person he is.

At the end of MacFest came the door prizes that I had been worked very hard to get for the event. We had prizes from Logitech, MacSoft, MacPlay, Kensington, Symantec, and Freeverse to give to the lucky people who came that day. One way or another all those that came to the event left with great satisfaction.

As I said earlier, these types of mini conventions are starting to pop up in different cities. If you belong to a user group, next time you have your main meeting, why don’t you suggest to the powers that be to have one of your own? We learned a great deal this year about how to do it, and I look forward to MacFest 2004.

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