The NorthWest of Us is the largest Macintosh computer user group in Illinois. With 100-200 people attending each monthly meeting, we are the largest attended Mac Users Group in the Midwestern U.S. with membership drawn primarily from the city of Chicago, Illinois, its Northwestern, Western and Northern suburbs. Members also reside in several other states and overseas.
We are first, and foremost, all about Apple Products. Our goal is to learn all we can about the devices and the programs which run on it. Our interest is in sharing information between and among members, so that each of us is able to learn from another. If you share these interests, come join us as a member.
Prior to each monthly main meeting, beginning at 8:30 a.m., there is a Novice Users’ Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting. It is designed to explain some of the mysteries of the Mac OS and give a clearer understanding of the workings of the Macintosh. This SIG is useful to users new to the Mac and those who just want a better knowledge of why things happen!
Also prior to each monthly main meeting, at 8:30 a.m., there is a Technical SIG meeting held in a separate room. Their focus is on the technical tricks and secrets which make the Mac OS such a powerful platform.
Each month at the main meeting we invite guest presenters who most often are software or hardware companies showing and demonstrating to us their newest products or latest versions and enhancements. Many companies provide special one-day offers to our membership on the day of their presentation (you must be a member to take advantage of these specials). Some presenters even give an optional in-depth workshop following the main meeting, for those who want more specific details.
In addition to our regular monthly meeting, we have numerous Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which meet (usually) once a month in a conference room in the hotel. These are usually evening meetings and focus on the more specific details of the SIG’s purpose (i.e. the FileMaker Pro SIG discusses FileMaker Pro databases and their workings and uses; the Photography SIG discusses photography, and so on). For members wishing basic to more in-depth training on specific topics, half-day “boot camps” are periodically conducted on Saturdays.
Special workshops are presented during the course of the year on select topics of interest. They are moderately priced for members and non-members and often include additional savings on books and software. Our attendees tell us that these workshops help them rapidly learn new software and techniques that propel them to new understanding and enjoyment of their computers.
TNWoU members may take advantage of special pricing made available to our membership from various vendors in the Chicago area, and by mail-order. Current details are accessible from a members-only section of this Website.
Members of The NorthWest of Us receive a free raffle ticket (at our monthly meetings) for various donated items from generous vendors — you must be present to win. Software winners are asked to review their treasure in an article to be written for our newsletter, NorthWest Passages.
We are proud to have members experienced with major software and hardware for the Macintosh, while also providing a “Macintosh safe-zone” to novices. Our ‘Members Helping Members’ program provides a list of volunteers willing to share their expertise (usually through e-mail, and sometimes by phone). The volunteers list is occasionally published in Passages and is always available in the members-only section of this Website.
As a guest you are welcome without charge on your first visit, to evaluate The NorthWest of Us and its members. After the first visit, if you find our group interesting, we invite you to become a member and then join us each month. You should find the experience rewarding.
Finally, The NorthWest of Us, is an all-volunteer group. Each of the people you see helping at tables, writing for Passages, chairing SIGs, sitting on the board of directors, and generally providing services to members, is a volunteer. Our wish is that everyone will share in TNWoU’s efforts at some point in their membership. It is the best way to maintain a quality organization for a reasonable membership fee, and it is also a great way to give something back while learning even more!
The annual family membership fee is just $50. Most members realize many times that amount annually in door prize winnings and member discounts on Mac hardware and software purchases.
Membership Application (new or renewal) – PDF will download and/or display depending on how your browser preferences are set. Print the form, complete it and mail it with payment to the address indicated.
The NorthWest of Us is an Illinois based not-for-profit organization, registered also with Apple, Inc., Cupertino, CA. and a certified member of The User Group Network.