What – no Sunday free breakfast? What no free evening reception? No open bar? What no free PCs?
Well, I don’t think anyone ever asked any of those questions – certainly not by the time the FACUG Fall Conference and combined Tech Fair was over. There was so much else!
The learning, the interaction with enthusiastic users, the opportunity to discuss computer routines, procedures and programs – it was all there in the wonderful facilities of the Bahia Shrine Temple auditorium and meeting rooms.
The FACUG did set up a “you host” social dinner at a fine local restaurant (unfortunately it was set too late for us to participate) for Friday evening. After the 4 hour drive from Ft Lauderdale we were ready to chow down long before 8 PM.
FACUG Fall Conference AM
During a most complete and filling buffet included 7:30 AM breakfast Saturday we were off to an early start with an inspirational presentation by the President/Founder of a regional multistore, CheapGuys Computers, Inc.
From 4 choices, for my 1st hour “breakout” I chose Carol Bean’s “Ins & Outs of Blogging”. It was all there: where to obtain a site for your blog, how to download the blogging tools, where to obtain blogging help, how to “focus” your blog – and more.
Even though I have now started using MS Vista , my 2nd hour was spent in the Vista session. There I learned many aspects of Vista installation and usage for my next upgrade. There a was a complete review of the history of OS (operating systems), from DOS to the current Vista. Also covered were a number of new features.
During a complete included buffet lunch Chuck Littman (who flew in from Hawaii) astounded us with his tales of computerized video/audio techniques – “advanced digital editing”. He introduced a number of devices useful to complete these processes.
This was followed by a short opportunity to visit the Vendor Fair booths.
FACUG Fall Conference PM
I found the two afternoon sessions to be the most interesting and enlightening.
Dave Dockery presented a most energized concept called “Web 2.0” – something I had never heard of. He started it by playing a short video called “Did You Know..” You can view an updated version of it @ TeacherTube and I heartily recommend you view it.
Dave described Web 2.0 by saying it was not a protocol, application or company, but it the combination of social net-working, the wikis, and where users share information: Flickr, Utube, and del.isio.us to name a few.
By Bob Dooley, BPCA Immediate Past President
The tools are available on the internet: AJAX , Blogging , RSS, Tagging , Wikis , Podcasts and Mashups . Some User Groups have SIGs just doing Web 2.0. Dave has created a series of program for this called “43 Things” and “23 Learning Web 2.0 Things”. He has suggested digesting into “13 Things” so that they can be repeated 4 times a year.
Ken Larrabee presented my last session of the day “Working with Digital Video” and introduced us to a number of interesting web-sites and programs. One of them was a free download from MS called “Photo Story 3 for Windows” which, till then did not know existed. I have since tried it and it is fabulous for creating a slide show from still pix.
The basics of “Shoot, Capture, Edit, Save and View” were reviewed in full (or what one hour would allow).
CFCS Tech Fair
We decided to stay over for the free Tech Fair set for Sunday by the Central Florida Computer Society with a full schedule of breakout sessions both morning and afternoon.
No breakfast was included but the Bahia Shriners were having there once-monthly pancake breakfast for $4 which drew its own crowd.
I chose to attend the Microsoft presentation by Russ Fustino who has his own website with his entire program available @ www.russtoolshed.com. Due to time constraints he covered all three of his sessions in one hour:
Programming Tools for Developers, Light up the Web with MS Silverlight and What’s New in Visual Studio 2008. Although I am not a developer, after this session I am about to try my hand. Free from MS is the download “Silverlight” to help bring us up to the Web 2.0 era.
The second hour was the ever more important matter of “Protecting Your Portable Data” delivered by Mark Schulman”. From this I learned of the free program “TrueCrypt” — a most remarkable program!
For the noon hour we sat in on the “Advanced Digital Video Editing” by the keynote speaker, Chuck Littman.
From there it was off to lunch and our 4 hour return trip to attend a 7:30 Pm concert back home with our car bulging with “free stuff” galore.
It only sorry note was that the two of us were the only attendees that I recognized from any of the local clubs.
by Stuart Sliverman
A report sent to APCUG (Association of Personal Computer User Groups).
on the BOD for both APCUG and FACUG.
Photos by Robert Black
FACUG CFCS Tech Fair