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Saturday, February 22, 2003


Earthquake Info RSS Feed

Here is a great use for automated RSS/XML feeds, current earthquake info for California and Nevada. You can use a news aggregator like Amphetadesk or NetNewsWire to automatically update the information.

I went looking for this info today as there have been quake swarms in both the Bay Area and Southern California this morning. No big quakes, but information like this has always interested me.

Friday, February 21, 2003


Power Mac G4 Power Supply Exchange Program Announcement

Apple has announced a new replacement program to address the noise problems with Power Mac G4 (MIrrored Drive Doors) computers.

From Apple...

The Power Mac G4 Power Supply Exchange Program offers owners of Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) computers the option of reducing the operating acoustic level of their computers by exchanging their original power supplies and system fans for new, quieter versions. Participation in the Power Supply Exchange Program is optional.

The Power Supply Exchange Program kit is available at no charge, with a shipping and handling fee of US$19.95 or equivalent local currency.

The kit contains the following items:

Power supply (360 W)
System fan
Allen key (2.5 mm)
Installation instructions
Prepaid return airbill and instructions for returning the original components to Apple

This program begins on February 21, 2003 and ends June 30, 2003.

For details, see https://depot.info.apple.com/generic/index.html .

Career Column

Career-Op: Routines, not ruts
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Over time one of the most troublesome parts of any high-tech career can be the routine that is a large part of any computer job. Day in and day out, you punch the same buttons, change the same tapes and answer the same support calls. You might think that routine is killing any affection you might have had for your job. In fact, if you use routine in an appropriate way, you will find that it can give you the freedom and flexibility to rise above the day-to-day humdrum realities of your job and reach for something more.

Thursday, February 20, 2003


Logitech Wireless Keyboard and Mac OS X 10.2.4

After installing the latest upgrade for Mac OS X (10.2.4), the specialized keys on my Logitech Cordless Navigator keyboard started acting strangely. Each key has a specialized function, such as starting iTunes, opening Email, adjusting the volume, etc. After the install, the buttons were performing the task designated for the button 1 or 2 spaces to the right. This made the specialized keys totally useless.

After an Internet search, and a search of Logitech's own web site, turned up nothing, I sent a support email. Today I received the response below and despite sounding a bit odd, it did indeed work.

From Logitech Support...

We apologize for the inconvenience you are having. We suggest taking the batteries out of the keyboard, use both hands and hold them over as many keys as possible for at least 5 minutes. If that does not correct the problem then try for a longer period of time. We have found on a rare occasion that setting a large book on the keys over night will correct it. This will remove the memory from the programmable keys. Put the batteries back in and re-connect keyboard by pushing the connect button on the receiver and then push the connect button on the bottom of the keyboard. Then reprogram the keys. If this does not fix the issue please uninstall the itouch software from add/remove programs in the control panel And reinstall it with minimum applications running.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003


Windows Media Player meets The Chipmunks

Well, not quite, but the problem was quite disconcerting.

A client called the other day and asked me why whenever they played a video in Windows Media Player, both the audio and video were sped up. After looking for various options related to playback speed, etc. I turned to my good friend. Google, for some assistance. Sure enough, I found the above discussion of the problem.

In my case, I ran Windows Update and found both an update for the PC's sound card and an update of Windows Media Player itself.

Tuesday, February 18, 2003


WebPics 2.5.4

Latest update for this great OS X-based web photo gallery application. I have used this exclusively to create quick galleries from my digital camera and highly recommend it.

Monday, February 17, 2003


Mac OS X Update closes Classic mode security hole

Here are the details on one serious security whole that is fixed by the recent Mac OS X 10.2.4 update (available from Apple.com or via Software Upate). The bug arises from an issue inside TruBlueEnvironment, a piece of software that controls the Classic box on OS X systems. Full details are available at the link above.

Sunday, February 16, 2003

Career Column

Career-Op: Say Yes
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

When dealing with your clients in the high-tech world it is so much easier to say "No" than "Yes". I am pretty sure it has something to do with my years in corporate IS/MIS/IT departments, but, over the years, I have found myself becoming more and more of gatekeeper, determined to keep new technology from complicating my job and my client?s life. Despite whatever noble intentions I might have had, though, this year I am more determined to say "Yes" to my clients as often as possible.