Monthly Meeting Notes 0208

Tuesday, 5th February, 2008 – 19:30 by Ian Conaghan

As Matt Healey was overseas, the February Meeting was conducted by Peter Hinchliffe who opened by mentioning that word (not the MS version) has it that OS 10.5.2 is just around the corner and rumour has it that the changes are substantial.

Editors Note: Mac OS X 10.5.2 is now available for download via Software Update or the Apple Downloads site.

Peter also reminded the assembled multitude that next month’s Meeting is the AGM and we need as many members as possible to attend. The AGM is when your Committee Members are elected and Matt Healey, after ten years as President, is standing down and all members are urged to consider serving on the Committee. (not an onerous task) The future of WAMUG is in your hands.

The usual Q & A then followed which confirmed the unwelcome news that Filemaker Pro v8.5 will not run on Leopard (but v6 will) and it is unlikely that a patch will be forthcoming. If you are running v8.5 you will need to upgrade to v9 which will set you back A$271 plus GST.

Editors Note: Since our meeting, FileMaker has released a Leopard compatibility patch for v8.5. It can be download from the FileMaker Support site.

We were then introduced to “Bento“, Filemaker’s little brother. Peter informed us that Bento is Japanese for “lunchbox” which I thought was rather strange but the program has some extremely powerful features as well as a few on the downside. The layout is attractive, functional and fully searchable with an easy drag and drop capability. It relates well to Address Book and iCal and the user interaction is very similar to the modules in iWork and other Mac applications such as iTunes. One of the major downside limitations is its inability to handle a range of fonts and font control in general is poor. Peter demonstrated a very good example of Bento in action with his own collection of recordings from vinyl in iTunes with the music playing from within Bento.
At A$79, Bento is quite cheap as databases go, but be aware of its limitations.

The next demo was on Microsoft Office 2008 which retails at A$229 for the student and home editions.
There is not a lot to shout about in this version as Entourage is very similar to that in 2004. The most changes appear to be in Word although apart from the new Publisher function, they also seem to be fairly cosmetic. Files are now compatible with docx in Office 2007 for Windows.
Excel has a new method of creating and handling sheets and as with the other modules, employs Smart Art graphics. (try saying that quickly) Word and Excel now have a photo button which interacts with both iPhoto and Filemaker. There is little change in Power Point.

After some discussion, the Meeting was wrapped up with a further reminder about the first Tuesday in March. Hope to see you there.


  1. One Response to “Monthly Meeting Notes 0208”

  2. One thing to shout about (and not in a good way!) is that in the new version of Excel they have done away with macros.

    I have several spreadsheets where I use macros – so if I were to update these macros would stop working.

    I have a LOT of time invested in various Excel spreadsheets that I use constantly – so I cannot contemplate either updating Excel or changing to Numbers (it doesn’t handle Excel macros either).

    The problem for me goes deeper than that – MS don’t support Office/Excel 2004 for Leopard – so even though my new iMac came with a Leopard upgrade disc, I’m still running Tiger – at the moment I’m up to my eyeballs in accounts spreadsheets and I can’t afford to find out the hard way any incompatabilities between Excel 2004 & Leopard.

    Bit of a bummer really 🙁

    By Neil Houghton on Feb 27, 2008

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