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Saturday, October 12, 2002



Saturday, 10/26, 1:30pm

National Park Service Visitor Center, Thousand Oaks

Just in time for Halloween -- become an eagle, bobcat or coyote. Join us for an afternoon of paper mask making. All materials will be provided. A parent must be with children 8 years old and under. 2 hours NPS

Friday, October 11, 2002

Career-Op Column

Career-Op: That's a FAQ
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine
People who are good at their high-tech career, like all of you, know that sooner or later your clients come to think of you as the font of all (or most) high-tech knowledge. They bring you their most intractable problems and pepper you with countless questions. Thankfully, you usually have the answers to their questions -- or you know exactly where to look. In today's world, though, it is just as important that you share the information you have gathered before they ask for it. In the spirit of this week's theme, below are a few ways to "share the wealth" while helping both you and your clients.


Paint Outdoors

WED 10/16 9a-2p

Paramount Ranch

Join fellow artists to paint, sketch or just watch. Bring art materials, lunch. TOPAW

Thursday, October 10, 2002


Every day I work with people who are extremely frustrated with their computers. In an effort to help alleviate any computer stress you might be feeling, here is a reprint of a past column that might help you better cope with computer troubles. -- Douglas

Tech IQ: Frustration

Originally published January 25, 2000

As you all have probably learned already, working with computers can sometimes be an amazingly frustrating experience. Computers can do so much for us but problems can and do crop up on a regular basis. Worse yet, these problems usually occur at the worst possible moment. In an effort to make your computing life a little easier, though, here are a few guidelines to help you avoid frustration and get on with your work.

Chronic Problems

Too often the problems that drive you crazy have nothing to do with your lack of skills or knowledge about the computer. Most are too quick to blame themselves when things go wrong. In reality, it is often a flaw in the computer or software you are using rather than some mistake on your part. As a general rule, if your computer is crashing more than once or twice a day, or if it crashes whenever you try to perform a certain operation, you are probably dealing with a chronic problem.

Chronic problems can be the most difficult to solve. Once you believe you are facing one you should seek out assistance from a knowledgeable computer professional or friend. Usually these problems can be solved by re-installing your operating system (i.e. Windows 98), or whichever program is crashing. Sometimes it might take more work, but at least you know during this process that it isnâ??t your fault. You may be frustrated at the work it requires to repair the problem, but you wonâ??t be frustrated with yourself.

Working it out

Even if your computer is working well, you probably still have questions about using it. For example, you might be interested in anything from changing margins to creating automated templates. These situations can be frustrating as well unless you keep a few things in mind.

First, when you are confronted with a problem allow yourself 10-15 minutes of concentrated effort. Some of you may even be able to spend a bit more time, but the moment you feel that familiar feeling of frustration, take a break. You will be surprised how many questions you can answer for yourself by taking these few minutes. If you need further help you can turn to those around you, printed manuals, third party books or even the Internet for further information. Donâ??t feel you are alone and donâ??t allow yourself to get so frustrated you throw up your hands. Once you reach that point it will take even longer to find an answer. No one works well when they are frustrated, as I am sure you know.

Asking for help, from books or friends should never make you feel stupid. Like the stereotypical male who wonâ??t ask for directions, you only get yourself into deeper trouble by going it alone. We all have our expertise. Just because you are struggling with your computer is not a sign that you are dumb, despite book publishers who insist on calling you "Dummies" or "Idiots." It just means that you have placed your attention elsewhere. It is important to remember that even after 18 years of working with computers, one of the first things I do when I encounter a new piece of software or hardware, is look at the manual. Even those things that look familiar, like an upgrade to software you have been using for years, can contain differences that can trip you up.

Taking a few minutes to solve small problems allows you to build your skills without making you hate your computer. Knowing when to reach out for help, especially for the tough problems, can help you solve your computer problems without driving yourself to distraction.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002


Apple OS X Modem Updater

This sounds like a very unusual problem, but if you have it, this just might be the thing that saves you from tearing your hair out.

If you have an Apple laptop and can't seem to get it to dial the phone, check here.

From Apple.com...

Resolves a rare issue in which a built-in modem cannot dial up. You may see the message "Internet Connect could not open the communications device."

Via Versiontracker.com

Monday, October 07, 2002

Career Column

Career-Op: Helping Hands (and mice)
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine
Much of the work I do can best be described as "computer coaching." I am often called in to assist someone in learning a particular program or task, whether this is word processing, spreadsheets or dealing with digital pictures for the first time. Over the years I have discovered that one of the best ways to place clients on the right track is to engage them in some form of pleasant activity that can be used to teach basic computer skills. Such activities reduce the level of stress and allow users to gain a confidence with their computer that they may never have otherwise experienced. Finding a way to combine computers and play can be a way to keep your clients coming back for more while also building your client list from referrals.

Sunday, October 06, 2002


Here are 3 activities coming up this week. As the weather gets cooler I am doing my best to get back out into the great outdoors. Both my body and psyche need the effects. -- Douglas

SUN 10/13 10am

Rocky Oaks

Nature Walk

A slow-paced walk along paths bordered by wild rose and blackberry bushes, red-hued rocks, native trees, shrubs and wildflowers. 2hrs TCD

SUN 10/13 10a-5p

Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa

Satwiwa Sundays

Visit the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center. A Native American Indian guest host or NPS ranger answers questions. FOS/NPS

SAT 10/12 5:30pm

Sooky Goldman Nature Ctr

Evening Birds

Birds are very active in the evening. Beginning birders are welcome on this casual sunset stroll. Bring binoculars. 2hrs WODOC