Geek Day 2010: This Saturday!

Geek Day 2010
This Saturday, October 23rd – HMAUS (Hawaii Macintosh & Apple Users Society) and Leeward Community College partner again to present Geek Day 2010. Last year was packed and this year should be even better! Geek Day will be full of FREE demos and hands-on workshops introducing iPhoto, Mac 101, iMovie, Illustrator, Maya, Mobile Technologies, Social Media and Garage Band. If you just got your iPhone, are an Apple Fanboy, or just want to make new geeky friends, it will be a great day of fun.
Get all the details:
Geek Day 2010 Saturday, October 23, 2010
8:30am-2:30 pm • FREE • LCC

Looking for great, local training for Apple and Web 2.0 products? Become an HMAUS member!

It seems like every week there’s some new product or service that HMAUS is demonstrating. HMAUS (Hawaii Mac & Apple User Society) offers help to people looking to expand their world a bit with discussions and training on things like social networking, photography, iPad, and much more.


In fact this week there are two great sessions coming up:

1) Google Analytics – the Numbers Speak! 8/26/10 — learn how to get detailed statistics on your web site using Google’s free Analytics product,


2) Boot Camp #2 – Get on the Bus! 8/28/10 — get tips to iLife ’09, Apple’s suite of products for imaging and photography: iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD.

And be sure to become a member of HMAUS also to help keep great events like these coming!

Upcoming Geek Events: Unconferenz and HMAUS Springfest

Unconferenz has rescheduled to Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 8:00 AM – 4:00 AM at Kapiolani Community College. (This was postponed due to the Tsunami Warnings the day of the original event.) A wide variety of topics and a great chance to network. Sign up on their site now to get a t-shirt and lunch.

HMAUS (Hawaii Mac and Apple User Society) has scheduled their annual Springfest for May 1st at Kapiolani Community College. These day-long events typically feature a variety of FREE lectures and demos covering computer use, digital photography, and social media, and are open to the public. Details are still forthcoming, but pencil in the date now.

HMAUS presents Mac Springfest: May 23rd

HMAUS Mac Springfest

A full day of learning and fun is planned at the upcoming Hawaii Macintosh & Apple Users’ Society (HMAUS) Mac Springfest.   JAIMS (6660 Hawaii Kai Drive) will be the site for all the Mac Fanboy Love you can spread around.   Topics include:

  • Mac 101 for beginners,
  • Adobe’s Lightroom,
  • Social Networks and Livefeeds,
  • and Time Management with Apple products

If you’ve been thinking of switching to a Mac, or, been using one for years,  it should be a great day with prizes, food, and all the Mac experts’ help you could ever need!

Learn more at HMAUS

Free fax options

If you’ve read the paper recently you know that Hawaiian Telcom is facing bankruptcy. What exactly might happen if the company were to shut down is not a pleasant thought:

Speaking at a hearing before U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King yesterday, PUC Chairman Carlito Caliboso said much of the state’s banking transactions, access to the Internet, alarm services and wireless communications would be affected, if not halted, if Hawaiian Telcom were allowed to be shut down. [Honolulu Advertiser]

However, the stability of service does leave customers to wonder what WILL happen. Our family has a landline still, but have been debating about just killing it off (as so many others have), and just use our cells. One of the reasons we haven’t is our need to occasionally fax.

Yes, fax. That antiquated technology still used by so many businesses. In fact, in Japan, it’s very common to use still. I still get requests from clients that would like a faxed copy of an invoice. So, how to fax without using a landline and modem…?

There are some options that I’ve been looking into that are FREE and not completely horrendous. (Of course, for a monthly fee, there are many other options, however, when you fax only once a month *maybe* it doesn’t make sense to be tied to a monthly contract.) Here’s what I’ve found:

Sending fax: — free. Print to PDF (use the free plugin to Firefox: PDF Download), then upload it to Faxzero. They will fax it to the number you choose in about 30 minutes. Drawback: coverletter has advertisement on it. (Pay $2/fax to have the ad removed.)

Receiving fax: — free. People can fax you documents into your drop for free. Drawback: in order to get to the right drop, they have to use a special coverletter and fax to a long-distance phone number. (Learn more: and Lifehacker.). A fax you receive will show up in your drop about 30 minutes for viewing online or downloading.

Since I typically just send faxes to others, I’m not so concerned about the limitations of, but it does provide an option. And since so many others have given up their landline, I’m curious if some of you have found a great FREE fax solution

Upcoming Unconferenz: February 7th

An upcoming event that sounds very interesting: Unconferenz. Using Pecha Kucha which is basically a open discussion with limitations on each speaker of 20 slides and 20 seconds each slide.

Date: February 7, 2009, Saturday
Time: 8:00am to 4:00pm
Place: JAIMS (in Hawaii Kai)
6660 Hawaii Kai Dr
Honolulu, Hawaii 96825

Attendance: 50 – 100 Limited

Cost: $25 – This will include a t-shirt and lunch

Check out their site to register and get more information!

New web classes from Pacific New Media

University of Hawaii, Manoa campus, has several non-credit web classes coming up for Spring 2009. These are usually great for beginners (and even those who think they know everything!). The schedule is online at: UHM Outreach PNM.
Just a couple of standouts include:

Classes are generally on the Manoa campus or in their downtown location.

And don’t forget about the juried competition for digital images, “Survey of Digital Imagery in Hawaii “. Information about how to enter with your digital images is listed along with the dates and fees. Good luck!

Web Weavers Workshop with Lorelle VanFossen

Today was Web Weavers Workshop with Lorelle VanFossen, part of Hawaii’s Geek Week.   Lorelle had a ton of great tips to go along with the basics of setting up a successful WordPress blog site.   A large part of the information is in Lorelle’s book, but it was her discussions to student questions that often proved most helpful.  Some sample tips:

  • watch using pronouns in blog articles. Readers might be confused on what “it” is, along with the SEO problem related to keywords.
  • do “brain dumps” and THEN edit.   Unload your ideas completely and then go back and edit.   And edit, and edit, and edit some more. 😉
  • and if you are using more than 400 words from someone else’s web site, be prepared to hear copyright problems.   In other words, keep your quoting of someone else’s material under 200 words or ask that writer for permission to use more.

Being a power-blogger, Lorelle had several shortcuts using Firefox, GreaseMonkey, and Google Reader, she even had tips on a great mouse that will power through web site scrolling.

It was a good class for anyone interested in learning about blogging, from beginners to those already blogging! Check out Lorelle’s web site for lots more information also!

“How Has WordPress Changed Your Life”…

During the opening event of Mactoberfest for Hawaii’s Geek Week, Lorelle VanFossen asked the audience, “How has WordPress changed your life?”   She showed some great videos of how lives have been changed by using WordPress as a blogging software application for helping people express their lives.  For me, WordPress has changed my life in two main ways, though not really because of blogging.

1) As a web developer looking to help clients solve their online needs, I’ve found one of the biggest requests I hear is, “How can I get a great looking website THAT’S EASY TO UPDATE for someone with no HTML skills.”   I’ve tried finding the perfect CMS solution for those kind of requests, but keep coming back to WordPress.

Continue reading “How Has WordPress Changed Your Life”…