Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mac Meetup: 17th July 2007

"So, want to see my Leopard?"
"What mac do you use?"
"Can i see your iPhone demo?"

The first question sounds suspiciously deviant. But only if you're not aware that it's not a reference to the animal or a body part, but a Operating System.

Those were some questions I overheard at tonight's ME@N Mac Meetup (ME@N stands for "Mac Evangelists At Nanyang"). A bunch of us occupied an entire row at Suntec's MacDonalds for about three hours. Of course we gave MacDonald's business too (I, for one, ate there for the first time ever).

Pictures that Siva "live blogged", here.

At one point, conversations suddenly hushed. It was quiet enough to hear a Mac start up. Kevin played his iPhone demo. I saw a guy (not from our group) at other table turn and watch the video in rapture. [Kevin is in the midst of uploading the video as I write this.]

One reason why I turned up was to find an answer to this question: What do Mac users do at Mac Meetups?

I got my answer gradually, as the French Fries got chomped and the talk got going.

The Macs were brought out of their bags. Apps (applications) being explained. Kevin was, as usual, in his element by showing some game that involved him waving and gesturing in front of his mac camera (photos here, here and here).

But very little tech talk, apparently.

OK, I admit I have a stereotype of any gatherings involving geeks. I thought we'd be going gah-gah over the latest downloads or patches or hacks. Like, you know, hardcore stuff? But no. Nothing we discussed was that different from what most young computer savvy users won't be discussing nowadays.

I picked up new things here and there. Useful tidbits. Like how you didn't have to reboot the Mac to detect a projector; most Mac users don't seem to shutdown their machine but put them to Sleep mode; I was told of a Search app for my Nokia e61 phone (not mac related at all).

It was like sitting with a bunch of car enthusiasts, who rave about car performance parts. Or with soccer fans talking about their favourite teams. Or librarians all choked over taxonomies and AACR2 (nah, I'm just kidding about the part about librarians).

I met familiar faces and new ones. Some names I've known from the group postings and finally attaching a face to the pleasant personalities in the ME@N list.

There was Gayle the student (who's on a term break from her studies in Scotland and currently working during her vacation time); Timothy whose job designation says "User Research Specialist" (check out his business blog); Ann (whom I'd met at the MacRitchie Brisk Walk but I couldn't recognise her initially without her bandana).

Incidentally, Ann exclaimed, "I thought a librarian's job is just to tell you where the book is!" while Gayle said it was the first time she met a librarian in real life.


There's something therapeutic about such informal sessions. You forget about whatever worries you have from work. You listen and you talk to people. You learn more about them as fellow human beings.

I'm pretty convinced it's not the geek or tech that makes people turn up for such sessions. In this case, the Mac computers are just convenient excuses for people to build and cultivate associations and friendship.

That's what I think.


  1. We also reminisced a little. talked about repairing runways, caught up with and found out a little about each other...

    But you need to come for a few more. They vary considerably with participants.

  2. I find that the best way to talk tech is to show something. Just turning on your macbook and having other watch you work has them asking questions... how did you get so many tabs? Check out this game! Did you know you can turn off one processor in a core-duo processor? :)

  3. And I'll try to make time from looking after the son to attend the next one. :)

  4. WOW, it really feels good to see photos and recognise people in the photos ... Ivan Chew, I spotted you!!!!

    Greetings from a cold South Africa


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