Macstock 2017: Super User Group Meeting by Tom Piper

Macstock III was an independent 2-day conference for Apple enthusiasts of all experience levels held July 15-16, 2017, at the Luecht Conference Center in Building B of the main McHenry County College campus in Crystal Lake, IL. Its name originally came from nearby Woodstock, all of which is about an hour’s drive northwest of Chicago.

The conference design was to help us hear techniques from community-leading experts for getting the most from our Apple devices and apps, plus provide us a unique opportunity to engage other members of the Apple community from around the globe who also be visited Macstock. My son, Jason, and I met people from Washington, Cupertino, New York, Chicago, Florida, Tucson, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa and many other places. As Jason observed: “Literally everyone is wearing an Apple watch, and we are all comparing the variety of bands being worn.”

McHenry County College was a great venue for this meeting, and the Luecht Conference Center had great stage viewing, very comfortable seating, and easy access for everyone. It easily accommodated the attendance of about 200 people. The schedule included the following presentations and events:

Saturday, July 15

      8:00 am   Registration @ Macstock 2017

      9:00 am   Welcome Mike Potter

      9:30 am   Shifting Into High Gear: Customizing Your Mac for Maximum Productivity Chuck Joiner

     10:15 am   Smart Home Tech for Mere Mortals Jeff Gamet

     10:40 am   Master IFTTT to Automate Your Life Matt Hillyer

     11:15 am   iOS: What you can do to be more organized and efficient in your life Dave Ginsburg

     11:40 am   Senior Moments: Remote Support for Seniors (and others!) Jodi Spangler & Melissa Davis

    12:00 pm   LUNCH . . . Macstock Commons Area

      1:00 pm   MyMac Game Show Quiz Tim Robertson & Guy Serle

      2:00 pm   Password Playdate Allison Sheridan

      3:00 pm   The Hidden Powers of Apple Pages Tom Piper

      3:25 pm   Using Your Mac to Escape Your Email Mike Schmitz

      4:00 pm   Deeper Dive Session: Remote Support for Seniors Jodi Spangler & Melissa Davis

      4:00 pm   Deeper Dive Session: Smart Home Tech for Mortals Jeff Gamet

      4:30 pm   Deeper Dive Session: Escape Your Email Mike Schmitz

      4:30 pm   Deeper Dive Session: Organization & Efficiency in iOS Dave Ginsburg

      6:00 pm   Barry’s Midwest Mac Mingle After Party …Food, Fun, & Friends hosted by Barry Fulk

    11:30 pm   Return to Hampton Inn McHenry

Sunday, July 16

      8:00 am   Registration & treats at Macstock 2017

      9:15 am   These Apple Times They Are a Changing Bryan Chaffin

      9:40 am   Harnessing the Power of Spotlight on Your Mac Brett Terpstra

     10:15 am   Braille On Mac and iOS: How It Works  and Why It’s Important Dr. Robert Carter

     10:40 am   Batch Image Processing with Automator Kirschen Seah

     11:15 am   Mac Troubleshooting: How Computers Actually Work Bill Geraci

     11:40 am   What To Do When Your Mac Needs Repair Tom Schmidt

    12:00 pm   LUNCH . . . Macstock Commons Area

      1:00 pm   Deeper Dive Session: 7 Levels of Troubleshooting Bill Geraci

      1:00 pm   Deeper Dive Session: Automator Batch Image Processing Kirschen Seah

      1:30 pm   Deeper Dive Session: Braille on Mac and iOS Dr. Robert Carter

      2:15 pm   Video to Go II Wally Cherwinski

      3:15 pm   Apple I Redux: All about the Raspberry Pi and other micro boards David Cohen

      3:40 pm   Mesh Wireless For The Rest of Us Dave Hamilton

      4:00 pm   Editing the World Around You Mike Potter

      5:00 pm   Closing Remarks Mike Potter

More information is available at their website ( There were 21 individual presenters during these two days (most are pictured here, yes — I was one of them):
















Most of the topics I found to be very interesting and informative, often leading to numerous followup discussions later with presenters and participants. It was especially heart-warming to be among knowledgeable attendees who were also thirsty to learn more information. Jason and I both plan to attend again next year.