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Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Guardian Unlimited mentions My Word

A quick look over at Technorati.com shows that the Guardian linked to my post regarding the California Wildfire Information Viewer.

Very neat!

Happy Halloween!

You can check out a picture of this years' Jack-O-Lanterns over a A Gardener's Notebook.

Mac OS X Panther Suppor/Install Information

If you are considering buying and installing Mac OS X 10.3, be sure to visit Apple's Mac OS X Panther Support web page.

This page contains info on compatible systems, system requirements and a host of other issues.

Mac OS X 10.3 Security Update

Close on the heels of this weeks release of the Apple's latest version of Mac OS X comes the first Security Update. You can download this update directly using the built-in Software Update feature.

Apple Security Update 2003-10-28

Via MacMegaSite

Smokey Tuesday

We have been pretty lucky over the last several days, as the winds were pushing the smoke from the wildfires to the west and south of us. With last night's change of wind direction, though, we have been socked in all day.

Taken around 3 pm today in Van Nuys -- Click for larger image

I was already suffering from some sinus problems, but today has been nasty. Even without any particular smoke smell, there is enough junk in the air to feel it in my breathing today.

We have kept the house closed up today, due to the heat, but I am not sure what to do tonight, when we usually open the windows to let the cool air in.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Video

If you want to see Apple's new Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) in action, here is a video to give you a quick introduction to some of the new features.

Panther Video

Sunday, October 26, 2003

Wildfire Satellite Picture

Via WebSanDiego Mailing List...

Detailed satellite picture showing the smoke covering major portions of Southern California.

Wildfire Information and Maps

You can get detailed maps and up-to-date information on the extent of the California Wildfires by visiting GeoMac Wildland Fire Support's California Wildfire Viewer.

It is an interactive application that allows you to quickly jump to views of each individual fire, showing areas both currently burning and already burnt.

The system is a bit slow, as you might imagine, but it is, by far, the best information available regarding fire location and extent.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

From my store...

I have set up two areas in my new CafePress store, one using this Lavender Field photo I took a few months ago and another using a Christmas image from last year.

Click the photo to visit store

Click the photo to visit store

Friday, October 24, 2003

Book of the Week

Work to Live: The Guide to Getting a Life

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

My CafePress Shop

I have been looking for something to do with the variety of good photos I have taken over the years and decided to open up a shop at CafePress.com. You may have seen some of these photos in the revolving Picture of the Moment on this page.

CafePress allows you to upload photos and other artwork and then have it applied to a variety of products including mouse pads, t-shirts, postcards, journals and more.

This can be a great idea for creating t-shirts for a club or organization, too.

CafePress handles all the ordering, billing and manufacturing.

If you are interested in setting up your own shop, drop me a line.

Monday, October 20, 2003


Skirball Center - November/December Events

The November/December calendar arrived in the mail today with a host of activities of all shapes and sizes.

There are Hanukkah activities gloare including the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra play their verison of "The Klezmer Nutcracker."

A new photo exhibit, The Photograph and the American Dream, has just opened and runs until January 4th.

There is also additional musical performances and a free movie series.

Check out www.skirball.org for more information.


American Originals: Treasures from the National Archives

Family Festival at the Los Angeles Public Library

Saturday, October 25, 2003

1 pm to 4 pm

Central Library, Downtown


Saturday, October 25 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
“American Originals in History and the Arts”
Pioneer Village 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (2nd Floor Rotunda)
Native American Face Painters 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. (2nd Floor Rotunda)
Ken Frawley 1 p.m.(Mark Taper Auditorium)
Francisco Martinez DanceTheatre” – American Collage 2 p.m.
Featuring the music of Scott Joplin, George Gershwin and Aaron Copeland. (Mark Taper Auditorium)
Harlynne Geisler 3 p.m. (KLOS Story Theater)

Weather via RSS Feed

If you are depending more and more on RSS feeds to manage your information flow, here is one more useful feed to add to your reader.

RSSWeather.com allows you to set up a feed for one or more locations and then reports the current weather conditions and future forecasts.

You could also use these feeds to syndicate this information on your web site.

Via 13 Labs Garden

Saturday, October 18, 2003

What's going on in the neighborhood?

Localfeeds.com is a neat web site that allows you to keep track of what is going on in your town or neighborhood. The site monitors weblogs and web sites as they are updated and then generates RSS feeds containing the posts from those sites in your city.

For example, if you look at the feed for Los Angeles, not only will you see my posts from here and A Gardener's Notebook, but also the posts of other LA webloggers.

Friday, October 17, 2003

New Apple Software Available

This week, Apple Computer, Inc. released several new pieces of software.

The biggest news is the introduction of iTunes for Windows. This product, nearly identical to the Mac version, allows Windows users to access the new Apple Music Store where you can purchase music online for $0.99 per song. Complete albums cost around $10.

Even better, your Windows computers can now share the music from your Mac iTunes directly. All your songs and playlists automatically appear in the Windows player.

Apple also released updated versions of Mac iTunes, Quicktime and iSync. All of these are available directly from Apple using Software Update on your Macintosh. iTunes for Windows is available for download directly from Apple's web site at http://www.apple.com.

A Windows Installation Issue

I wanted to try out iTunes for Windows as soon as it was released. Unfortunately, every time I tried to install it, the installation software would hang when trying to install the latest Quicktime 6.4. After a bit of fiddling around, I found that the software for my Synaptics TouchPad was causing the problem. I had to manually quit all the processes for the Synaptics Touchpad (not easily down, look for processes starting with SynTP...), then the installer completed successfully. If you have similar issues, this might be a place to look.

Career Column

Career-Op: A High-Tech Manifesto

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

If you are considering starting a high-tech career, or are already involved in one, you are on the front lines of today’s economy. Whether you are developing new hardware and software or supporting the use of technology in your company, there are some basic responsibilities that fall upon your shoulders. The future will bring more reliance on technology than ever before and your work will become more important than ever before. If you plan on riding the technology wave into the future, I would call on you to pay close attention to the areas detailed below. Your career and the welfare of those around you could depend on it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Wonderful Pumpkin Faces

Saxton Freymann has a way with pumpkins. These are not traditional "jack-o-lanterns", but amazing expressive sculptures in Cucurbitaceae. (The scientific Family name for pumpkins!)

If you are looking to do something a little different with your pumpkins this year, both of these books offer some amazing ideas. While Play With Your Pumpkins, is a "how-to" book, Dr. Pompo's Nose is a children's story book, illustrated with Freymann's work.

This is a cross-post from my gardening weblog, A Gardener's Notebook.

Microsoft Monthly Updates

Microsoft has released the first in a series of "monthly" updates in an effort to make things easier on system administrators and support people who must upgrade hundreds of thousands of machines. This article from CNET News details the why and where of this new change in MS policy.

Today's updates include:

MS03-043: Buffer Overrun in Messenger Service Could Allow Code Execution

MS03-044: Buffer Overrun in Windows Help and Support Center Could Lead to System Compromise

MS03-042: Buffer Overflow in Windows Troubleshooter ActiveX Control Could Allow Code Execution

MS03-041: Vulnerability in Authenticode Verification Could Allow Remote Code Execution

MS03-045: Buffer Overrun in the ListBox and in the ComboBox Control Could Allow Code Execution

MS03-008: Flaw in Windows Script Engine May Allow Code to Run

Please arrange to update your Windows system as soon as possible to close these security holes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

The Mac Shoppe - Santa Clarita/Valencia/Santa Clarita Valley

My good friend, Mitch Krayton, recently launched a new location of The Mac Shoppe in the Santa Clarita Valley. He is a Macintosh expert of the highest degree, with many years in Apple Macintosh sales, service and support.

The Mac Shoppe is an authorized Apple Sales, Service and Support Dealer.

If you have any Macintosh needs, I can guarantee that you will find no better customer service experience. Please tell Mitch I sent you and you heard about it in My Word.

You can find The Mac Shoppe at:

26027 Huntington Lane, Suite D

Valencia, CA 91355 [Map]


661-295-3841 Fax


From The Mac Shoppe web site...

The Mac Shoppe is the first Apple Specialist and Apple Authorized Service Provider in the Santa Clarita Valley. It is the second location of The Mac Shoppe which has been serving clients in the Conejo Valley for nearly two decades. We bring more than a century of combined Apple experience to our community.

Sad, but true...and a definite career opportunity!

I was a bit saddened by this CNN story, Execs who are tech dummies seek secret training, but certainly not surprised. I think I have run into more than my fair share of computer-phobic executives over the years. The fact that there are still so many people frightened of computers is not a good sign, though. Perhaps we, as high-tech workers, need to be doing more.

Of course, the fact that these executives are looking for help is wonderful. The fact that they don't feel that they can go to their in-house staff is a bit disheartening, but I can understand that, as well. Sometimes it is simply easier to learn from an outsider who doesn't have business issues with you.

As mentioned in the article, executive training could be a way to build your high-tech career. I am always writing about the need to look to non-traditional areas to build your client base or your experience level. This is a perfect example.

What I'm Reading...

Today's WIR list runs the gamut, everything from business books to biography to wine tasting.

Ready for Anything: 52 Productivity Principles for Work and Life

The latest book from David Allen, author of Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, one of my favorite books. This is a collection of essays from his web site and further illuminate the concepts of Getting Things Done and how it can help you get a handle on your work and life.

How to Think Like Einstein: Simple Ways to Break the Rules and Discover Your Hidden Genius

I am always looking for for ways to improve my thinking and this book caught my eye as I was browsing the Discovery Channel Store at the local mall. I am working my way through right now and will have more to report later.

Rocket Man: Robert H. Goddard and the Birth of the Space Age

How to Taste: A Guide to Enjoying Wine

This is a great book for people who want to take a more academic approach to their wine tasting. The numerous "practice" sidebars give you concrete ways to learn more about your palate and how it reacts to the various components of wine.

The New Cottage Home

I have a dream of owning a cabin in the mountains, so I am always on the lookout for great examples of cabin architecture and interiors. The New Cottage Home contains numerous photographs as well as a wealth of informative text on how to develop your perfect cabin. Even if I can't have the cabin right now, I can still dream.

Boo At The L.A. Zoo

October 25 and 26

From the LA Zoo web site...

Have a wild, spooky, and safe Halloween at the Los Angeles Zoo October 25
and 26.

Trick-or-treat throughout the Zoo and watch animals Stomp-n-Chomp pumpkins, too! Discover eerie entertainment, tasty treats, spooky crafts, and ghoulish games on your journey through the Zoo. And if you a costume you get $1 off

Sunday, October 12, 2003

Upcoming Events

Grandes Maestros: Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art

October 19, 2003, through January 4, 2004

Member Preview Days:
Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18, 2003

This Natural History Museum exhibition features the work of more than 150 of Mexico's finest living folk artists, with nearly 400 pieces representing Mexico's diverse artistic and cultural heritage. Artists from Mexico's
Native American community are well represented (21 indigenous cultures from 19 of Mexico’s 31 states), and their work showcases a wide array of materials including: clay, plant fibers, wood, metals, cotton, wool, silk,
paper, stone, leather, shell, wax, feathers and glass. The work of these great masters are the finest examples of the unique combination of innovation (and sometimes whimsy), and village or family tradition that
characterizes the Mexican folk arts.

October 19

Sherman Oaks Street Fair

Entertainment, vendors, children's rides and petting zoo.

Tel:  (818) 906-1951 -- Fax:  (818) 783-3100

Sunday Oct 26 10:00 AM

Descanso Gardens Pumpkin Parade

Venue: Center Circle

Railroad Bill returns by popular demand to entertain and lead costumed youngsters in the parade through the Gardens. Parents will want to walk along–or beat the group to the end of the parade–to take photos of their own children at a special photo-op spot. Don’t be surprised to meet families who come every year to add to the photo diary of their children’s lives.

Free With Garden Admission

Friday, October 10, 2003

Book of the week

Recently, I added a "Book of the Week" entry to my Career-Op column. These are books (not always computer-related) that I have some across in my regular reading and feel would be of interest to others.

You can check out past books by visiting my Douglas Recommends... page.

The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community

More about Mac OS X 10.3 - Panther

While I am suggesting a "wait and see" attitude in regards to Panther, Ten Things I Dig About Panther, is a great article about why you might want to upgrade.

There are a couple of features that I might like to use and as a support person, I will need to learn all the features so I can help my clients. If the initial reports are good, I might upgrade sooner than I originally thought.

Career Column

Career-Op: Push and Pull

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

I wrote a few weeks ago about taking the initiative and not waiting for other people to assist you with your career. This week I will expand on that a little farther. There are times when pushing for promotions, new clients or big projects might not be the best action to take. Sometimes you need to pull opportunities and clients towards you. In fact, this is often the way to find your best career opportunities.


Happy Halloween!

October 17th, 2003

Make and decorate a funny or scary 3-D paper pumpkin sculpture. Make a flying ghost.

Kids, come join Kids Club and participate in our monthly Art 2 Go workshops. Westfield Shoppingtown Fashion Square is pleased to continue a valued partnership with the Children's Museum of Los Angeles. The Kids Club events
are held the 3rd Friday of every month from 3-7 p.m. near the Customer Service Center. Westfield Shoppingtown Fashion Square and the Children's Museum of Los Angeles provide children with positive art experiences. These
projects empower children, augment their formal education and allow them to express their creative ideas, while learning and having fun. Enter to win a Discovery Channel Store and Gymboree prize at all Kids Club events.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Stuffit 8.0.1 Bug Fix

Aladdin Software found an error in their latest release of Stuffit. While I don't use the commercial version, Stuffit Deluxe, I am a big proponent of Stuffit Expander, their free decompression program that quickly and easily deals with all manner of compressed files that you might download from the web. Expander support ZIP files, SIT files and numerous Unix file formats.

From the web site:

Address a problem whereby Mac OS X application programs (which were stored in archives that do not support UNIX file permissions, such as .sit) cannot be run when they are expanded. After this update has been applied, StuffIt Expander (and the expansion behavior in all other components of StuffIt Deluxe) will add the UNIX execute file attribute as files are expanded. This will allow expanded Mac OS X application programs to run.

Mac OS X 10.3 - Wait and See

Apple Computer, Inc. has announced that the latest version of Mac OS X will be available for purchase October 24, 2003 at 8 pm.

This version of OS X contains several new features and enhancements. As with any new version, though, I am recommending waiting to purchase and install Mac OS X 10.3 until version 10.3.1. This will allow any problems to be discussed and ironed out before you take the plunge.

You can find further information on Mac OS X 10.3 at the following web sites:





Saturday, October 04, 2003

Windows Updates - October

It look s like Microsoft is settling into a regular monthly schedule for releasing Windows Updates, along with any Security updates that come along. Today I noticed 2 new updates on my Windows system here in WelchWrite Central. As always, these updates are available directly from MIcrosoft using WindowsUpdate. You can get detailed information on these updates using these links:

MS03-040: October, 2003, Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer

Update for Windows Media Player Script Commands

Friday, October 03, 2003

Apple Mac OS X 10.2.8 Update - Take 2

I have just downloaded and installed (via Software Update) the latest version of the 10.2.8 upgrade from Apple.

This fix is supposed to correct a few errors that crept into the initial release of this update.

So far, so good.

If you already installed the original 10.2.8 update (like I did) this fix will only be about 560K in size.

Career Column

Career-Op: Question and Answer

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Every high-tech worker can and should work on improving their “people” skills. These are the skills that allow you to communicate clearly and effectively with your customers. This means more work, more revenue and a better high-tech career. While there are many ways to work on your people skills, I have found one that combines this with the excitement of thinking on your feet, all while helping computer users get the most out of their systems.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Have you updated your Windows today?

Just as with the MBlast Worm a few months ago, we are now starting to see virus and worm exploits based on previously announced Windows vulnerabilities.

You should already have these particular updates in place, but it is worth visiting http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ to make sure.

You don't want to be infected with a virus or worm, especially one that is preventable.

Via LockerGnome