OMUG creations: You Don’t Know Mac! statewide event

You Don’t Know Mac!

OMUG’s statewide event creation has been an amazing journey, for all Oregon MUGs and beyond.

The idea for a statewide event to bring all of Oregon’s MUGs together came at a summer Willamette River cookout in 1999. The first YDKM event was held in Corvallis, on the campus of Oregon State University, that November. Three different Oregon MUGs fielded 3-person teams on stage to compete in an Apple-centric trivia contest, the winner getting bragging rights and the Golden Apple Trophy to show off for a year. The format for YDKM has remained basically the same: In addition, we have a special guest be our Master of Ceremonies and moderate the trivia contest; we encourage audience participation, prizes are won, vendors offer tables to showcase products, a raffle is held, some freebies are given, a Q&A session follows. But the one unique characteristic of YDKM we are especially proud of is that our event is hosted in a different MUG town each year, so that group can showcase their community, co-host the event, bring their own style of members-power into play and share new ideas to improve our event. It turned out to be a winning formula.

Here are capsule highlights of OMUG’s first 5 YDKM statewide events:

Corvallis, CMUG co-host

Craig Hickman, with his son Ben, Master of Ceremonies

Golden Apple team trivia winner: PMUG

Humble beginnings in a 200 seat auditorium at the LaSalle Stewart Center on the campus of Oregon State University, but you could tell we had a winner. Craig Hickman, the creator of the popular software Kid Pix and a professor of Arts at the University of Oregon (35 miles south of OSU), was a natural as our MC. But what made it extra special was that he brought his now teenaged son Ben to share the stage. It was little Ben at age 3 that Craig got the hankering to learn to code and create a more “kids friendly” version of MacPaint for his son. We had a few technical issues with our “networked” iMac G3s in the on-stage trivia contest, but then we were breaking new ground with our hand-made “buzz in first” USB chain of keyboards and the software that controlled it.

Newport, MUGport co-host

Steve Wozniak, Master of Ceremonies

Golden Apple team trivia winner: PMUG.

Yes, that Steve. The co-founder of Apple. We couldn’t believe it either, even when he was there standing in front of us. Our 2nd event was held at the Hatfield Marine Science Center on the Oregon coast, in the town of Newport, home of MUGport. The Woz flew into Eugene first, where we met him and then brought him to the coast via … helicopter! The Woz was treated to an amazing aerial view of Oregon and the Oregon coast before touching down in the fishing town of Newport, where we put him up for the night in a … houseboat! A classic one at that, and he had the ship to himself (along with the owner). He loved it. The next day Woz wowed us on the tiny stage that managed to fit 3 MUG trivia teams, and even corrected some of our trivia. and of course treated us to some Apple lore. He was as cool and nice as you might have heard. Thanks, Steve.

Portland, PMUG co-host

Garr Reynolds (head of Apple’s worldwide UG program), Master of Ceremonies

Golden Apple team trivia winner: PMUG.

As if to put an official stamp of approval on our YDKM Event and statewide MUG efforts, we were treated to Garr Reynolds (who humbly said “How do I follow the Woz?!”) then the head of Apple’s worldwide Users Group Program. Garr is an Oregonian, an Oregon State graduate, and a communications specialist — so we knew we had a pro at the podium. Garr is also the author of the famous book Presentation Zen. PMUG was our co-host, but the event was actually staged on the campus of Clark College across the border in Vancouver. The winning team took home the biggest prize to date for our event, a new iMac G3 (donated by The Mac Store in Portland).

Bend, COMUG + Black Butte MUG, co-hosts

Guy Kawasaki, Master of Ceremonies

Golden Apple team trivia winner: MUGport.

This was the first YDKM event put on by a pair of co-hosts, Central Oregon MUG (Bend) and Black Butte MUG (Sisters). Guy Kawasaki once again proved how much he likes Oregon and its MUGs. He agreed to be our MC for our 4th event, but on the day he was to fly from San Francisco to Redmond (just north of Bend), a massive storm hit the bay area and it looked like most of the flights were cancelled. Prayers were answered when he caught a small plane flight and flew into a snow laden central Oregon (this was November) — he made it! We held our YDKM at the Inn Of The Seventh Mountain, a resort lodge at the base of ski resort haven Mt. Bachelor, and a winter delight. Guy, who had a blast with the trivia and offered his own stories (like Woz did), presented the Golden Apple Trophy to MUGport. OMUG was also blessed with a donation of a new G4 iMac by Small Dog Electronics in Vermont. When our event ended, Guy immediately flew back to California so he could take his kids to a San Jose Sharks hockey game that night.

Canyonville, JoMacs + Rogue Macs co-hosts

Andy Ihnatko (Chicago Sun-Times technology columnist), Master of Ceremonies

Golden Apple team trivia winner: CMUG.

Relationships truly do make a difference, even in Users Groups world. Thanks in big part to OMUG’s relationship with the O’Reilly Media User Group Program and its leader, Marsee, we were able to welcome our 5th master of ceremonies, Andy Ihnatko. Since Andy was in California days before our YDKM event in Canyonville, O’Reilly paid for his “detour” to Oregon so he could make our event before returning to Chicago. This was Andy’s first trip to Oregon, but his mutton-chop personality and quick wit seemed to fit right in, and he was a big hit. Once again a pair of co-hosts, JoMACS and Rogue Macs, proved that teamwork is a hallmark of Apple User Groups! Andy also played a part in the never-before-told story below.

Extra (previously unknown) tidbit:

For our 6th planned YDKM Event, I reached out and contacted famous movie critic Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times. He was known to use a Macintosh and I thought he would be a great master of ceremonies for our event. We would even tweak the trivia contest to include movies that showed Apple products, tap into his expertise. He liked the purpose and fun of our event and, to OMUG’s delight and my amazement, he said “Yes!” I was thrilled. However, it was only a month or two later that Roger found out he had cancer, and suddenly a trip to Oregon was not going to be in his near future. The cancer later took away his ability to speak, but because he was a creative and persistent guy, he used a Macintosh for text-to-speech and let the Mac be his voice in public up to the time of his death. Roger, who became the first movie critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1975, passed in 2013 at age 70. Thanks for saying yes, Roger. — Steve

More highlights and news of future YDKM events to come.

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