2014 is done, and so is our name…

Without getting too nostalgic and soppy, I could not be happier with the way that Mac Tech SA not only flourished in 2014, but also how it ended off the year of 2014.

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We hosted our last event of the year at our besties, Friends of Design.
As per always, Philipp and his team were beyond amazing with hosting us, and Philipp even managed to make time in his schedule to attend his first Mac Tech SA :) Thanks Philipp.

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We had a speaker that really has set the bar pretty high for future speakers of 2015 (good luck following this guy).
Thys Lombard was gracious enough to come and share not only his insights into marketing yourself no matter what you do, but also showed us his kit (photography kit, guys) that he uses to shoot photos and videos of many of our local celebrities, all on the iPhone.

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Based on the feedback on the night and even afterwards, everybody LOVED listening to Thys talk about his passion, and even enjoyed watching some clips of our local surfer dudes surfing for wine (it’s a thing people, look it up).

Lynette Hundermark, my parter in crime for Mac Tech SA lately, once again showcased 3 awesome apps for the holidays coming up. While my favourite was the Zinio news stand app, the Martha Stewart one was a close second :)

IMG_4579Lynette even managed to twist the rubber arms of the good folks over at Zinio, to add a 3 month subscription to 2 of the most popular Mac/Apple magazines out there. Thanks Lynette!!
If you weren’t there, sorry for you…

Then, there were some announcements. GOOD announcements!

Firstly, I have started a new section to the event, where we showcase previous speakers, and favourite guests, with any cool updates in their Apple worlds. And what a fitting first showcase to show off Karen Hart.
If you can remember, Karen spoke at our July event, on her amazing project, the iDeaf project. This project creates iPad apps for deaf children, and allows them to learn, read and communicate in ways that they never could before.
So, Karen is doing such an amazing job with the iDeaf project, that even Apple recognised her and her work, and invited her to speak at the Apple Accessibility Summit in Berlin last month.
Here are Karen’s word on the event:

“After Apple seeing the case study on the iDeaf project that was produced by Core Computer Group for their “Only on the iPad” campaign, I have been invited by Apple to be a keynote speaker at the Apple Accessibility Summit in Berlin on the 7th of November. I will be sharing the stage with Amanda Fourie from Transoranje School for the Deaf where we will be discussing the inception of the iDeaf project, what impact it has had on deaf students literacy levels and why it was only possible on the iPad. I will be one of only a few speakers addressing 200 Educational leaders from across Europe, Middle East, India and Africa.”

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We at Mac Tech SA are incredibly proud of what Karen is doing at the iDeaf project with PicsterBooks, and so happy to see that she is being recognised for her passion.

We are so excited, in fact, for what Karen is doing, that this has led us to our 2nd announcement…

Since it is a very expensive passion to have, building apps for the deaf, we have made the decision to select the iDeaf project as our new beneficiary of Mac Tech SA.
We feel that the project is a pure passion that is helping so many little children of varying ages to read, learn, write, understand, and just basically be “normal” kids.
We are extremely happy to be a part of this project in such a small way. There is nothing better that passion & Apple coming together.

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Here is a quick blurb about the iDeaf project, from Karen:

“iDeaf project – This is a first of its kind in South Africa project that aims to eliminate the epidemic of Deaf young adults being functionally illiterate. The app program is specially designed in South African Sign Language, English and Afrikaans. The apps encourages young deaf students to learn to read with the aid of animations, illustrations, simplified text and sign language friendly text syntax. This project was designed for the iPad as it has proven to be a robust, timeless and most importantly, intuitive tool.”

So this means that all the money that we generate through entrance fees for our events, are donated to Karen and the iDeaf Project.
Our first payment was a small one to the project after this last event, but I hope the R650 will help with whatever you need to make the magic happen Karen.

And then, finally, the big announcement for the night…

Mac Tech SA is no more…

Well, at least the name is no more :) Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 21.30.43

 

Since our user group is growing so nicely, and has done amazingly well over this lat year, we are starting to get recognition and attention from parts of the world outside of our beautiful home of South Africa.
And because of this, our name is just a little too close for comfort to a few international brands that are already out there and doing extremely well. (our friends by the way)

So, for that reason, we have decided to embark on a renaming and rebranding exercise for the new year of 2015. This will be in preparation for our first annual conference of 2015 (you didn’t hear that from me folks).

What’s the new name then?
I dunno!

I have decided to allow you, the community, to select a new name.
So send me your submissions, through whatever channel you want to (you’ve got all my details), and If I select your name-suggestion, I will pay you for your time and creativity.
You will receive free entrance to Mac Tech SA (or whatever it will be called) for the year of 2015 for you and a +1, AND, you will receive 2 tickets to the upcoming conference. (trust me, this will be worth a pretty penny)

Some simple guidelines though for the name suggestions:

- It must NOT contain the word Apple
- It should preferably be 2 words, not 3
- It should definitely be clear with what we do, but yet, not too technical (I Know, I know…)
- Have fun doing it!

I want to make the selection by the middle of January 2015, so that leaves you with about almost 4 weeks of time to get creative.
If there are a few close-calls, then I will put it up to a vote at the end for the winner.
This will leave enough time to do all the rebranding and migrating and all the fun technical things that will happen in the background, before the February event.

Good news right?!?

Coming back to our event from last week though;

An amazingly huge thank you to each and every sponsor that supported us for this last event. Your contributions were appreciated so much. Thank YOU!!

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Thanks to:
Friends of Design
Afrihost
Purely Local
Sir Fruit
Butlers Pizza
Scheckters Organic Energy Drink
Fast Company SA
Zinio
Silicon Cape

We look forward to 2015 in a big way!

 

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Our amazing media partners at Purely Local brought along their crack-squad of video and photo gurus, and shot the entire event.

The first batch of photos is already up on Facebook, so do check it out.
You know what to do; Tag, Bag and Share.

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And before I sign off, remember, all future email communication and invitations, will only be happening through Mail Chimp now, no longer through SplashThat. So make sure to sign up if you want to be a part of our community, and be invited to the conference :) You can sign up on our website, where you are now! Just look at the top…you’ll find it :)

And last, but certainly not least, a massive shout out to each and every human being that attended our events over the last year!
If it wasn’t for your guys, all of this would be for nothing!
So, THANK YOU!!

Have a fantastic holiday period, if you are having one, and come into 2015 safely.

See you all on the other side.

My best,

Lee

 

1st birthday, officially in the bag

I am extremely happy to report that Mac Tech SA has officially held it’s 1st year anniversary event on the 9th of October, and to date, it has been one of our best events.

 

We had an amazing mix of people, a fantastic vibe and energy, and some of the best foods to fill our bellies.

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We were able to explore some of the deeper hidden iOS 8 features with my talk, and learn about some new and updates gems for iOS 8 thanks to Lynette’s talk.

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Mac Tech SA has been able to forge some great relationships which have blossomed into sponsorships. Some of our favourite sponsors were all to happy to get onboard for our big birthday, and we are ever-grateful for each and every one of them!

Some of the amazing goodies that we were able to giveaway included:

 

Our full of sponsors include:

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We were very fortunate in raising some money for our very deserving beneficiary too.

R950 to be exact. Thank you so much to everybody that attended and paid your entrance fee.

This is going to help some very deserving Lion Hearts!!

iPads for Lionhearts

Our amazing photographer, Idé, from White Squirrel has released the snaps she took of the event, and they are gorgeous!

They will be online on our Facebook page shortly, so feel free to tag yourself and share too.

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I will announce the winners of the app promo codes on our Facebook Page along with the photos, so watch the page for updates.

 

Thanks again to everyone that attended, and I look forward to seeing you all for our last event of 2014 in November/December

 

Watch your inbox for updates!

Special Keynote-Viewing event at Digicape for iPhone 6 (and so much more…)

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One of Mac Tech SA’s biggest support and sponsors, Digicape, was all to happy to host a special Keynote-Viewing event for the gang of geeks from Mac Tech SA last night. And oh boy, what a night it was!

Not only was the venue perfectly intimate for the kind of occasion, but it resonated deeply with everyone’s technological heart that attended too.

Digicape is known to many as THE Premium Apple Reseller in South Africa, and their modern corporate offices reflected as much.

Digicape sponsored not only their venue, but also enough beer, wine and snacks to make anyone’s banting lifestyle scream quietly on the inside, while they indulged of course!

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But what would a group of Apple fans be without some real food, to keep the energy levels up for all that live-tweeting?

PIZZA!! And who better to provide Cape Town’s No.1 PIzza? Butlers Pizza of course!

Butlers Pizza was incredibly gracious in sponsoring pizzas for everybody that joined us last night, and it was the perfect companion for the beer, wine and superb geekiness of the evening.

 

While the streamed event was an absolutely disaster (I’m keeping it clean here folks), what Apple announced was far from it!

 

From the expected iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, to the known but amazing iOS8, with a twist of U2 and a shocker at the end…

 

When Tim Cook uttered the famous line from good old days of Jobs-run Apple, you could hear not only the audience at the Flint centre, not only the crowd in our very group, but every geek watching, through a broken stream, from around the world lose their minds and do a happy dance on the inside.

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“We would like to show you, one more thing

And there it was, the  Watch…in all its glory.

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Mac Tech SA and Apple Domination will be reviewing as much of the above as possible, and hopefully even get a first-look on some hardware, like we did for the Mac Pro at the beginning of 2014.

 

For those that attended, thank you so much!

Judging by the feedback, a great time was had by all.

For those that didn’t crack a seat-reservation, don’t worry, we will definitely be doing it again for big Apple events, so listen up for invites during those times. We may be sneaky about them ;)

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A huge thanks again to Digicape and to Butlers Pizza.

Mac Tech SA really and truly appreciates your participation in growing and connecting our community so much in Cape Town!

 

Cheers for now, Lee

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August is done and dusted

So I am super-happy to report back that our August event went off without a single hitch!

This tweet summed it up!

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Our first international speaker, Allen Hancock, was incredibly talented in his talk.

Not only was he able to demo the entire process of managing and monitoring any Mac with his amazing software, Watchman Monitoring, but also managed to multi-task with me sending him questions from the audience through Skype. Very impressed Allen…it clearly was not your first time :)

Don’t forget to use the coupon code MACTECHSA if you sign up and test out the Watchman Monitoring software to get $100 off the usual price.

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We had our new resident App expert, Lynette Hundermark, share her apps of the month with us, which I think the audience thoroughly enjoyed.

The Apps that Lynette reviewed were:

  1. Hours by Tapity
  2. Omni Plan by Omni Group

 

Our venue was the uber-creative space, Friends of Design - Academy of Digital Arts.

Philipp Shmid, Marketing Manager for FOD, was incredibly hospitable while hosting our little meetup, and we are forever-grateful.

 

Our amazing sponsors kept the audience happy with some great giveaways, not to mention our amazing media partners supporting us online.

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Our beneficiary, iPads for Lion Hearts, will once again receive all the greenbacks that we managed to raise from the R50 entrance fee.

Thanks very much to everyone that joined us and paid the fee, it is truly appreciated!

 

The feedback from the group has been positive so far, and we are so happy to hear all the comments.

Here are 2 of the social media posts:

Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 21.28.39https://twitter.com/LynetteAnthony/status/505091019252449281

 

So what’s next?

Our next event will be either on the 1st or 2nd Thursday of October 2014, we are still deciding on which one to use.

And also, watch your inbox for for updates on the special event scheduled for the 9th of September, to watch the next keynote for the Apple Media event.

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Thanks again to all who joined us, we hope to see you again next time!

 

Lee

Mac Tech SA August is happening…with an international flair

I am so proud of how our little group has begun to flourish as a respected monthly user forum.

The month of August is going down with a bang!

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I have been very fortunate in connecting with Watchman Monitoring Inc Founder, Allen Hancock, for this meet up, and other ventures.

 

Allen is no noob to the Apple world, and if anything, can be hailed as a veteran.

His software, Watchman Monitoring, allows for remote monitoring and reporting on Macs within your office or home network.

Allen will be gracing us with his presence on Thursday evening, albeit digitally, to speak about this amazing software of his, and answer all the techie questions we can throw at him. I am so excited to hear what Allen has to say!

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Our venue is once again the incomparable Friends of Design. Philipp Schmid, FOD Marketing Manager, has welcomed our community with open arms, and a refreshing take on user groups and communities. I am truly grateful for his accommodation of our group.

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Amongst Watchman Monitoring and Friends of Design, we are truly blessed to have the following sponsors onboard and supporting us 100%:

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We have some pretty awesome goodies to give away from Calefra IT Services as well as from Digicape! Join us to see what they are!

Lynette Anthony will be Wow’ing us with her Apps of the month from Useful and Beautiful, so bring your iOS devices with to follow her advice.

 

And as always, your R50 entrance fee will be sent straight onto our well deserving beneficiary, iPads for Lion Hearts. Stacey Vee, the founder, has been blown away by our support of her cause, and it does my heart so well to know that what we are doing is actually, literally, helping very special little ones around the country get an all important iPad into their little hands.

iPads for Lionhearts

The deets about the event are as follows:

Venue: Friends of Design, 2nd Floor, HAK House, 186 Bree Street

Time: 18:00 until 20:30

Parking: Free out front after 17:00

Entrance Fee: R50 (Via eft please)

Banking details:

ABSA Bank

LR Balsdon

90728 37117

 

If you have ever wanted to find a way to be proactive in your approach to supporting your Macs, stop looking, we have it!

Come and listen to Allen break down his amazing software and pick his brain with feedback or ideas you might have regarding it.

RSVP here

 

Come to Learn, Come to Share, Come to be Social.

Mac Tech SA – May

Calling all Apple professionals!

 

After the Holiday Madness, Mac Tech SA is back!

March was to date the most successful event held by Mac Tech SA, and we are going to push hard to top it!

We have been extremely lucky in being able to secure an amazing venue for the month of May, at the state-of-art Parklands College.

 

Parklands College is part of the One2One initiative from Apple, allowing the college to use Apple products in their day-to-day education with the students of all grades.

Definitely our kind of school!

 

We have an amazing evening lined up once again, with great speakers, and plenty of goodies to giveaway from our generous sponsors!

As always, the entrance fee will be 50 South African Rands, which will be donated to the amazing NGO, iPads for Lion Hearts.

We have been able to secure some amazing sponsors for this event, including:

 

Spice4Life

Wireless Wipes

Schekters Organic Energy Drink

Afrihost

ACT Productions

Multiple Attachments

Digital Express

Gasoline Graphics

 

As always, we are fully supported by the Silicon Cape Initiative.

 

And of course our state of the art venue is being sponsored by the gracious Parklands College.

 

Our beneficiary is still iPads for Lion Hearts, who will be receiving 100% of your R50 entrance fee, so that will be your good deed for the day, done.

 

We have some great goodies to giveaway at the event, so be sure not to miss it!

 

We have 2 amazing speakers that will be entertaining our audience, in ways that only Apple Professionals would appreciate.

 

We have Cavan Lang, ICT Network Manager for Parklands College, who will be speaking on how to Master your Casper Solution.

We are also very fortunate, to have Michael Da Silva, Managing Partner at TabletPOS, who will be showcasing their amazing mobile POS solution, iKentoo.

 

Come to Learn, Come to Share, Come to be Social.

RSVP for the event, and we will see you there! With Bells on!

 

To spread the good news on the Social Wires,

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter and tweet the Tag of #MacTechSA