With 86 members registered on its list, one would think that TransMUG has more than enough members to host lively discussions on ones experience as a translator on a Mac. When they sign up, the new members always sound eager to participate, but in the end, rare are those who initiate a discussion. Maybe it’s because may of us are already members of MacLingua and get enough techie talk there to abstain on our own list or maybe we are too busy to bother.

Still, I would be glad to see little debates on the virtues of using a laptop as your main computer, for example, or comparing Parallels and Fusion for the best virtualization experience, now that the competition has heated up again.

Besides making discounts available to its members on hardware, software and books, TransMUG offers one thing no other Mac linguist lists: real Mac user group meetings 4 times a year, generally just before the NCTA general meeting at 11:30 a.m., at the friendly 3 Dollar Bill Café, on the ground floor of The Center. For our next meeting on September 13, our main door prize will be Freeway 5 Express, a smart web design tool to create your site following desktop publishing principles rather than coding principles.

Among other issues, we will discuss the re-launch of .Mac under the MobileMe brand. This is a much bigger deal than it may seem. Between the closed service that is Microsoft Exchange for the enterprise on one hand, and the ever-evolving ad-sponsored Google Apps on the other hand, Apple is bringing some Mac goodness with the sleekest web applications on the market. Now, the $99 plan is starting to look like a good deal. Discover why, tell us about your experience with the switch if you are a former .Mac member, or why you would still stay away from MobileMe, when we meet next Saturday, September 13, at 11:30 a.m. at the 3 Dollar Bill Café (see page 16 for directions and details).