What You Missed - July 22, 2020

Zoom meeting again tonight which is now part of our new normal. Ken Spencer, as usual, was getting us all set up with the right name displayed and answering questions. Pete Lozzi was our speaker tonight about On-line Communities. With two minutes to go, we had 53 participants in the meeting.

Tonight was one of the best nights to see the comet Neowise. Ken showed a couple of apps that show where the comet would be in the sky. Cometbook and Comet Neowise were the apps. Comet Neowise is an augmented reality map that shows the sky in the direction you point your iPhone/iPad. Comet Book shows, on a sky map, where the comet will be at a given time. The comet appeared in the northwest and you can use the built in compass app on your iPhone to find the direction to look.

Apple hit an all time high in value a few days ago. Apple has committed to having a carbon neutral supply chain by 2030. Not much in Apple news. The usual “Back to School” sale is going with AirPods when you buy a computer or iPad. The sale usually ends in September when the new iPhones come out. No new members tonight. MacNexus no longer has a MacNexus phone number (Very few calls vs. expense!).

Tech Q & A: A member asked about the Brave browser. (Ed. note: Brave is an open source browser.) Pete hasn’t used it but his experience has been that the default browser (Safari in Mac OS) typically works better and is more secure. Safari will work with the saved passwords on your Mac and iOS devices automatically. Another member asked how to set up a browser so it opens to the page you want. Go to Safari preferences General tab to set what you want new windows or new tabs to do. Someone asked if an iTunes gift card can be used to pay recurring charges in iTunes. If it is not working, you can try deleting your credit card to see if iTunes will use the gift card balance to pay charges. Dick Park said he had a new iPhone 11 and wanted to know where was the best place to go to learn how to use it. Pete noted that the MacNexus meeting is a good place to start. Apple support (https://support.apple.com) and the Apple YouTube channel are good sources to check out also.

During the break, Pete showed a multi charger cable with multiple connectors on one end and a USB connector on the other. The connectors include a Lightning connection, a micro USB, a USB-C connection and a USB-A (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0775ZTKZL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_image?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Pete was back after the break (and he was back from Tahoe this month) and noted that we are his favorite group to present to as we are a diverse group, ask great questions, and are very attentive. He noted it was getting harder to pick topics to talk on now that Apple offers a lot more programs and devices than it did when he first started to come to MacNexus. Pete decided to do a non-specific topic as he gets a lot of comments like “I don’t get Reddit,” “I don’t get Twitter,” or “I downloaded it, but don’t use it.” Twitter has leveled things for the main stream media and those opposed to main stream media.

Pete started with Reddit, which he accesses 95% of the time from his mobile devices. He showed the Reddit home page, Reddit is a set of on-line communities and the home page is based on what communities you join. Pete recommends using an anonymous name to avoid the bad effects on an on-line disagreement. The user name you choose is permanent and Pete suggested not putting anything identifiable in your user profile — just good safe Internet practice. Your account will show the day you joined, your followers and your Karma score which indicates you have made comments that have helped the community. You follow people you really appreciate and want to know when they post comments. Pete said Reddit has a ton of communities to check out with information on the subject and new people who are looking for help, help you might be able to give them. You can share your expertise with the community.

The #1 community for Pete is 3D modeling. His favorite modeling software is complex and he appreciates the help he gets from the community and the help he is able to give the community. One user had actually done an hour long video to show Pete and his son how to model the face of Thomas the Train. Reddit is a user group for a wide variety of interests. Reddit can give you more specific information on an item or topic than you can get in your typical google search. You can give “coins” to people when you really appreciate their comments and help. On the main webpage, “Home” is an aggregate of feeds from the communities you belong to. For example, Pete is a member of the Cringetopia — a humor community that has 864,000 members with more than 18,000 on-line when we visited. You can have promoted content show up; these are ads and are clearly marked.

You can go to the search box to search for a community. Once you type in a topic, it will show the communities related to your topic with the posts and users. There is a popular button that shows what is popular overall in Reddit. Find a community you are interested in for tips and help. Advertisers can pay Reddit to place ads which are always marked as “Promoted.” When you become a member of a community, Reddit will suggest similar communities. Pete showed a sample response to a question he had asked in a specific community. A member asked if Reddit was easy to quit if you didn’t want it any longer? It is easy to quit or you can just ignore it. You can sign up to get email notification of new posts. When you go to Reddit find a community, join it and explore what the buttons let you do. You can leave a community by clicking the leave button. You can buy coins to reward posts you like or find really helpful. You can make the gift anonymous if you want. If you join a community, people only see your member name and you can start a private chat with someone if you want.

Twitter, there is no more real time place for information to appear. Breaking news will show up in Twitter before Google can index it, so it shows up in a Google search. Twitter lets you share something and tag it as it happens. Many mainstream news outlets post on Twitter. You can explore Twitter to see what is trending. You can teach to see what is happening in your town or check on something you might see. You can browse Twitter without joining if you want.

Pete and Ken suggested making a MacNexus subreddit (https://www.reddit.com/r/MacNexus/) which was set up during the meeting. (To see it, go to Reddit and type MacNexus in the search box.)

At raffle time we had 60 members online, out of 65 total participants. The prizes were the usual $25.00 and $100.00 Amazon gift cards which the winners got via email.

Hope to see you at the next meeting, probably online. Remember to invite someone to check us out. You can reach me at donob.macnexus@gmail.com.

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