Bring your questions and goals, get comfortable with your Mac.
Call for an appointment and details. If you wish to bring your machine to the shop, we can discuss ways to customize and streamline operations on _your Mac_, bookmark references, run updates and fix minor issues while we're at it. We have a guest machine here as well, so you don't even have to own a Mac to try it out and learn your way around.

Whether you are new to computers, switching from the PC, interested in adding capabilities or wanting to learn and explore new functions and features, subject matter is entirely up to you and shop assets are (more or less ;-) at your disposal.

Why two hours? Because we've found that it goes quickly but seems to be a saturation point for most people. You'll get plenty of answers and more info than you can shake a mouse at, and we provide email support for our clients, too. We'll do our best to keep interruptions to a minimum(!), and if we go a little over two hours, that's okay, too.

On demand - regular classes are on hold for now.
nCity is pleased to offer prepared courses at the MacShack, utilizing Keynote presentations on our 10-foot screen, some doodling on the shop whiteboard, and a collection of rare video and props designed to entertain as well as educate. The MacShack can accommodate small groups of 16-18 people (maximum building occupancy = 20.76). We provide refreshments, handouts, online support and possibly a raffle along the way, depending on subject matter. Given enough lead time, we can create and tailor custom presentations for our corporate clients, clubs or special-interest groups, too - upon request.

Formal courses may someday be offered here for registered nCity clients and guests, but we have to conquer the logistics involved and this has proven insurmountable - for now. Someday, maybe, with sufficient interest in select topics and enough manpower to pull it off, we may invite guest speakers and host a class or two. Until then, the idea of having regular scheduled courses will have to wait.

The MacShack is a private concern and not open to the general public.

Group registration request:
If your group is interested in sponsoring an nCity class or launching a cooperative project at the MacShack, use this form to select from prepared courses or suggest a collaborative undertaking involving some other Mac-related subject.

Your Name:

Address or Location:

eMail Address:

Copy Passcode:


Course Subjects:

Computer Cognition
Mastering eBay (Buy)
Mastering eBay (Sell)
Piracy and Privacy

Comments or Request:

Please be sure to include any details you may be concerned about or interested in, along with any questions or suggestions you might have. If your email address was entered correctly, you should receive a reply within 24 hours. Thank you!

Ever wonder what goes on in there?

Machine language, data transfer and storage, device types and mechanisms all play critical roles in everyday operation of computers; understanding what the machine is doing can make computer use far more intuitive, as well as helping to avoid (and solve) problems along the way. That's the concept behind nCity's Computer Cognition Course: To make your computer experience easier and more intuitive.

Focused on understanding basic functions, this course begins with a brief whiteboard discussion of machine language, followed by Keynote presentations involving a brief history of the personal computer and its evolution into the platforms we use today. We'll demonstrate and discuss fundamental data processes, show you how to evaluate hardware and software options, touch on technical details, OS functions, housekeeping and maintenance routines. We'll also explore Finder navigation and customizing your Mac, answer questions, and try to dispel a few myths along the way - while using a minimum of acronyms and technobabble.

You'll leave here with a better understanding of how to keep your Mac happy and well-tuned, equipped to deal with questions and situations you haven't even encountered yet. Guaranteed!
Computer cognition is exactly what this course aims to provide.

How'd we get here, and why does it matter?
The Alto (left), was first operational in 1973. Demonstrated to Apple staff in 1975 at Xerox PARC, there were 1500 Alto workstations in operation - 1000 at PARC alone - by 1979.

The Altair (right) came in kit form and would become the genesis of "open-source" Windows PCs.

Two-part, two-session course: buying and selling.
Course begins with a grounding in safe trading, awareness of spoofing and phishing scams, and avoiding hazards on the internet. A quick introduction to eBay operations follows, along with a brief history.

Part 1 of this course is focused on getting started and getting registered with eBay, opening/using a PayPal account, and using various search options for successful bidding and buying, along with record keeping and buyer protections. It also explores the numerous features, functions, rules and regulations of eBay. We'll spend time online actively experimenting with audience-selected searches, exploring eBay assets, and eBay's online user database (known as "My eBay"). We might even place a bid or two, if time allows.

Part 2 deals with the more complex process of composing and posting an auction. We'll write a comprehensive listing and demonstrate the process of adding and posting photos, then discuss seller responsibilities during and after the auction. We'll help you avoid potential problems, discuss packing and shipping options, and cover other aspects of successful selling on eBay.

Mastering eBay Part 1 (buying) is a prerequisite to Part 2 (selling).

Buying on eBay is _way_ too easy. You can find almost anything, too.
Starting with a blizzard of spoofs and scams from nCity's collection (some people need convincing that these are fake), we'll explode the myth of identity theft and make sure you remain secure in your online dealings (whether on eBay or some other site). We'll show you a little about parsing headers and tracking scams to their source, then discuss some simple common-sense countermeasures.

eBay's "proxy bidding" system may seem odd at first glance, but it makes perfect sense - you'll see. And you'll get well acquainted with terms and techniques like "Buy It Now," dutch auctions, best offer, shills, suspensions and everybody's favorite gripe, sniping.

We'll experiment with a dozen different ways of finding a specific item on eBay and how to refine, expand or narrow your search as needed. (Bring info for the most obscure thing you can think of, and we might try a search for it - we're always up to the challenge and we're constantly amazed at the things we find on eBay.) We'll show you how to research items and buyers and sellers, how to evaluate feedback, why it matters and what it means. Then we'll dig into a few case histories regarding strange offers, rule violations, bidding wars, and some of the things to look out for.

Selling on eBay requires a bit more computer savvy.
After a quick review of Part 1 (Buying), this course dives right into listing composition, photo file types and formats, legal aspects (listing as a contract), management of eBay and PayPal accounts, managing your "My eBay" page, answering buyers' questions, when, why and how to post feedback, packing, insurance and shipping. The whole 9-yards, post to pack.

Let's leverage some eBay training assets, shall we?
Here are some links to get you started and informed, straight from the source: