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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 admission!

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