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Saturday, August 23, 2003


Sorry about the late notice on this. -- Douglas

Sunset Junction Street Fair

August 23 & 24, 2003

3600 to 4200 Sunset Blvd

Silver Lake, Los Angeles

Saturday 23, 10:00 am to 11:00 pm
Sunday 24, 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

$7.00 Donation

Ph. (323) 661-7771

Full Information, including performance schedule, available at the web site above.


Epicurious Wine Dictionary

As a novice-to-intermediate wine drinker, I sometimes run up against terms that are unfamiliar. Today, I was looking for a clear explanation of Vin Santo, a wine I often see mentioned in my research of Italian Cuisine. I had a basic idea of what I thought it was, but the Wine Dictionary gave me a clear and concise explantion with links to additional information sprinkled throughout the text. The next time you run up against an unfamiliar term, turn the Wine Dictionary for help.

Friday, August 22, 2003


Enoteca: Simple, Delicious Recipes in the Italian Wine Bar Tradition

Enoteca is a collection of recipes from enoteche (wIne bars) from throughout Italy. My wife is part Sicilian and we have visited relatives in Sicily, so I am always on the lookout for great recipes -- especially traditional recipes of each region.

What makes the book wonderful though, is the insightful and clear wine recommendations that go with each dish.

This food was designed to be consumed alongside a nice glass of wine and the book becomes a primer in matching wines with all sorts of different foods, simple or fancy.


Last Days of the Dinosaurs

August 27 - 4pm

Richard Wade talks about the dinosaurs and extinction. See a model of a 7 foot dinosaur leg and take home a model of a dinosaur tooth! - for children.

14245 Moorpark Street, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 -- 818-205-9716

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Career Column

Career-Op: I told you so
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

One of the most frustrating positions at work or home is when you want to say ?I told you so?, but can?t. In business this usually occurs when you warn against a problem only to have the problem occur anyway. While you are probably wise enough to not say it out loud, the chorus of ?I told you so? echoing in your head can sometimes become deafening. As you can imagine, though, expressing those thoughts could lead to your marginalization, if not to the outright loss of your job. While this can be an ugly situation, there are a few ways to help ease the pain, both to your psyche and your high-tech career.


Free Tech Books

This website has a collection of free tech books available from the web. The books are categorized for your browsing convenience. They include books on programming, Scripting Languages, Computer Science and more.

From the web site...

All online computer books listed in this site are available for free, as they are hosted on websites that belong to the authors or the publishers. You are most welcomed to view, download and print the books for your own private use at no charge.

Via LockerGnome


Getty Garden Concerts for Kids

Saturdays, 23, 4:00 p.m.
Sundays, 24, 4:00 p.m.
Central Garden

I saw no mention of these concerts in the Getty calendar, but visiting their web site today, I saw them highlighted on the front page.

This sounds like an excellent opportunity to get the kids up and out and dancing to the beat while enjoying the beautiful Getty Garden.

From the web site...

Summer fun isn't over yet! Garden Concerts for Kids returns for a second season of cool tunes for fidgety feet in the Getty's Central Garden. This year's series features Sol y Canto, an acclaimed bilingual quintet known for its infectiously delicious songs containing lyrics that will have you singing out loud and dancing along. The beat goes on with Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer, the Grammy-nominated duo that delivers high-energy performances packed with audience participation. All you need to bring is sunscreen and lots of imagination.

Artist Info:

Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

Together, Cathy, on banjo, and Marcy, on mandolin, have been entertaining families for more than 20 years and are two of the most sought-after children's performers in the country. The five-time Grammy-nominated duo is lauded for their ability to present music for kids that is both complex and accessible, thought-provoking and fun. One critic said it best, "there's nothing namby-pamby" about this dynamic duo!


Backup your Mac to your DV or Digital8 camcorder

Interesting re-purposing of your existing electronics. Being able to use a DV camcorder for backups gives me a secondary reason to buy one. I wonder what issues there might be regarding the constant use of the camcorder. I would think backups would stress the unit more than simply recording.

From the web site...

DV Backup lets you use your DV or Digital8 camcorder as a high capacity backup tape drive. Capacity is up to 10GB per hour of tape, or 15GB if LP mode is used. Each tape has a table-of-contents which allows existing backups to be restored with drag-and-drop ease. The camera is controlled by the application (including all tape positioning), no user intervention is required. Flexible levels of error protection are available to suit the backup data in question.

Via Mac Daily News

Wednesday, August 20, 2003


JPL News -- Programs Will Share Inside Story of Mars-Bound Robots

These lectures will also be webcast and available online for viewing at a later date.

From the press release...

Two free public programs in Pasadena this week will offer an introduction to the challenges and excitement of NASA's project to examine two areas of Mars with robotic rovers that are currently flying to Mars. "


Two more windows updates came through on my machine today:

Security Update for Microsoft Data Access Components (823718)

August 2003, Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (822925)

If you haven't seen this patches on your computer yet, visit: http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.


Detailed Japanese Papercraft Projects of Native Fish

These beautiful renditions of native fish can be printed, cut out and assembled into faithful 3-d renditions of these native Japanese fish. An excellent project for a rainy (or, in our case, 100 degree+) day.

My latest TechRepublic article is now online

Build a career portfolio to highlight your accomplishments

Conventional wisdom says that to have a good career, whether manning the help desk or sitting in a call center, it is best to keep your head down and not make waves. Although I would question whether this was ever wise, in today's economy, it is almost a sure way to end up at the unemployment office.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

I Love Wireless Networking!!!

I am posting this entry from Jennifer's Coffee at the corner of Tujunga and Moorpark in Studio City. I came over here to get out of the home office so I could get a little writing done. That completed, I have been browsing the web and doing my usual net stuff while sipping a nice Latte in a comfortable chair.

Jennifer's offers free Wi-Fi access to anyone with a properly equipped laptop. If you would like to know how you can break free from your desk using Wi-Fi, drop me a line.

This is a great way to get out of your office for a little while, do some socializing while still being able to get a little work done.


Jennifer's Coffee Connection
4397 Tujunga Ave.
Studio City
818 769 3622


SoBig Virus Returns

It looks like a variant of the SoBig virus is roaming the net again. This article from Eweek.com provides some info on this one.

As always, this is nothing to panic over. Just make sure you update your anti-virus software and process all the available Windows Updates. drop me an email.

Via Mac Daily News


French Food at Home

I saw this book listed in either Sunset Magazine or Country Living and requested it from my local library.

I found several interesting recipes, including one, Caramel Moons, I hope to add to my cookie/candy list for my annual holiday Open House.

Mac OS X Maximum Security - Book Review/Discussion

There is an interesting book review/discussion regarding Macintosh OS X security over at Slashdot.

As is normal, the conversation devolves a bit towards the end, but the review and earlier discussion might be useful for anyone who is concerned or responsible for Mac OS X security in their company.

Via Slashdot

Monday, August 18, 2003

Getty Center - No Reservations Required

Click for more pictures

I got my copy of the Getty Center calendar today and they announced that parking reservations are a thing of the past.

Now you can be spontaneous and visit the Getty, even during the week.

On-site parking remains at $5/car, but parking in the satellite lot at Constellation is free.

You can also arrive by the new Van Nuys Boulevard Metro Express bus.


Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Approach Life and Work

I am working my way though this book and wanted to recommend it, even before I finished it. I will admit, it took me more than one try to start the book. Lately, though, I have been more upbeat on my life and my work, and it seems to have given me the space to let this book and its topics into my head.

Give it a try!


Security Update 2003-08-14

Just another reminder to keep current with all updates from Apple (or Microsoft, for that matter). This update is available via the Software Update tool in your System Preferences. Click the link above for further information or to download the patch directly.

From the web site...

Security Update 2003-08-14 addresses a potential vulnerability in the fb_realpath() function which could allow a local or remote user to gain unauthorized root privileges to a system.

Sunday, August 17, 2003


Progressing along our path on robot learning, and due to the early demise of another robot caused by the cats, here is our latest incarnation using the Barebones Photo Head schematic.

Click for larger image

This little gem is powered by 2, AA batteries and a vibrating pager motor. The concept is based on this smaller, solar-powered version. (Photo | Video) When switched on, the bot spins the motor in one direction or the other, depending on the location of the brightest source of light in the room. It then seeks back and forth on that light until another spot appears brighter or you shade one of the phototransistor "eyes".

What you can't see in the picture is that the base of the robot is a standard American dime coin, stuck the the battery case using double-sided tape. This is necessary to reduce the friction so the bot can rotate left and right.

This version is much more active than the original version using a geared motor. The motor was pretty inefficient and would often get "stuck," needing a push to set it going again.


Creatures of the Night

A great hike for kids. Cooler too!

SAT 8/23 6pm

Rocky Oaks

Visit the meadows, oak woodlands and chaparral on this twilight hike as the creatures of the day make way for the creatures of the night. 2hrs NPS

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