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NVMUG July 2021 Meeting Report

Northern Vermont Macintosh Users Group

July 21, 2021

Meeting Minutes for the Northern Vermont Macintosh User Group

Held via Zoom online

Present - Midge Lubot, Stephen Farber, and Geof Gonter

We opened with a discussion about climate and the recent heat wave in the West US. We discussed how each others gardens and flowers were surviving the recent heat and lack of rain.

Steve is running a beta version of Monterey. Safari seems fast, but has some bugs. He feels that the menubar is too busy. He had some trouble with the sound in Zoom getting logged on. We lost him after about 30 minutes, but he did return after Zoom had run an update and restarted his computer.

We discussed computer cameras and graphic chips used on the Macs. The image clarity, the others see see in chats, is primarily a function of the graphics chip in both computers. There were several graphics chips that were problematic with some communication applications. It is not known whether those issues have been addressed or not. The new M1 uses an Apple designed graphics card integrated in the M1 chip. It is 8 core in all but the Air and iMac, which use 7 cores. The Pro and Mini benchmarks for the graphics card is slightly faster for the Pro and Mini. The loss of one core supposedly lowers the graphic speed by minimally.

Geof purchased a small amplifier on Amazon Prime. It is quite small but is big on performance. It allows the user to connect via bluetooth or three different line inputs, plus two 1/4” microphone inputs. Karaoke anyone? It is currently connected to two Bose speakers, an Amazon Dot, and and iPad. But the line input can be easily connected to a CD player, turntable, or computer. It also has a receiver and USB port, as well as a FM tuner.

Midge asked about Smart devices, including TVs and Amazon smart speakers, wondering about how we used them. She wanted to know the difference between them and Siri. Siri handles requests through Apple to control your device and answer requests. Smart speakers answers questions, plus play music through services like Pandora, TuneIn and Spotify, applications that play podcasts and commercial radio. Both will also control smart devices like Smart thermostats, switches, plugs, and lights. Some smart speakers will pay with other Smart speakers for stereo and can be connect, via Blue Tooth, to play music. Apple sells the HomePod which is a Smart speaker that works with Siri. I am not sure you can stream music from streaming services or applications that allow you to stream commercial radio.

We also discussed electric devices used, like weedwackers and the like. Some require batteries and some connect to power via power cords. The are an alternative to gasoline powered devices and in most cases are considerably less noisy. Many companies, such as Still, Homelite, and others, who have provided pas powered for years recently added battery powered devices to their product line. The biggest thing is to watch for the power they provide and the battery life. Many offer batteries that are used with all their device line.

The next NVMUG meeting will be a Zoom meeting on August 21, 2021 at 10:00 am. The date for the September meeting will be September 18, 2021.

If you wish to attend, please send me an email by 9:30 am, on that date, so I can send send you an email invitation to the meeting. The meetings will continue to be online meetings instead of the meeting room at the Northeastern Regional Hospital in Saint Johnsbury, Vermont. Right now that looks like it will not be before September 1, 2021.

On Facebook? Visit us at https://www.facebook.com/groups/477957755742285/.

Geof Gonter




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