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~ Saturday, January 10, 2004

eBooks for your PC and you Palm PDA

University Of Virginia's E-Book Library

U of V is providing another avenue for finding eBooks that are readable on your computer or your Palm PDA. These eBooks are out of copyright items that are freely available in the public domain.

eBooks are a great way of carrying literature with you. I keep several books on my PDA all the time so that I always have something to read, even if I am standing in line at the grocery store or post office.

Via [Lockergnome Bytes]


Rosanne's new book available for pre-order

My wife, Rosanne, has been busily editing a new book over the last year with close friend, Dawn Comer Jefferson. Today I noticed it had finally appeared in Amazon's catalog and is available for pre-ordering.

Three Ring Circus is a nonfiction anthology of stories by dual-career parents about how they manage to "balance" parenting, their relationship and work, while still maintaining some semblance of sanity. We are looking for true stories focusing on the joys and frustrations of parenting while working, as well as tips and tricks for keeping it all in balance. Stories should be about your experiences as a dual-parent, working couple and written in a style which is honest and open - the way you wish you could be with your friends, family and coworkers.

Available from Seal Press - May 2004

Pre-order your copy today from Amazon.com


From Set to Screen - Paramount Ranch

SAT 1/17 9:30am

Illusions and hard work turn a dusty set into a realistic town. Join aranger on this easy-paced walk to discover movie magic and the history of Paramount Ranch. 1hr NPS

From the Santa Monica Mountains Outdoors Guide


Weblog Awards 2004

The nomination form for the 2004 "Bloggies" is now up and operating. Stop by and nominate your favorite blogs (including this one...(SMILE) in a myriad of categories.

~ Friday, January 09, 2004

Beware fake Windows XP update

Computerworld has an article on the latest Trojan horse program masquerading as a Windows update. Please be aware and advise those around you.

From Computerworld...

New Trojan masquerades as Windows XP update
A new Trojan horse program known as Xombe or Dloader-L is spreading via spam e-mail and masquerading as a Windows XP software update from Microsoft. [Computerworld News]


Reducing the cost of Adelphia’s Powerlink -- and others

After receiving an advertisement from SBC Yahoo DSL, offering high-speed service for $29.99/month for one year, I made a mental note to contact Adelphia, provider of my Powerlink broadband service to ask if there was a way to reduce my costs.

My wife, the expert negotiator in the family, made a fairly quick call to Adelphia, was connected to Sales and made her pitch. With seemingly little effort, the sales rep lowered our price to $29.99/month to match the SBC Yahoo deal. Down from 46.95 This is a $16.96 savings/month or $203.52 over the course of a year.

We could reduce that even farther ($3) by purchasing our own cable modem instead of renting one from Adelphia. I have a friend who has done just that, although there is a bit of technical hassle involved. I think that I will investigate this further, though.

If you use Adelphia Powerlink, or other broadband service, consider giving them a call and asking them to match or exceed the SBC Yahoo DSL deal. You might find yourself saving quite a bit of change.


Spontaneous Failure of Linksys Router

I had an interesting service call today involving a Linksys BEFW11S4 Version 4.0. I installed this router a little over 3 weeks ago and everything seemed to be working fine. After I returned from my recent trip, the owners informed me that it had stopped working.

I finally got to “lay hands” on the unit today and it was immediately clear that its firmware was corrupted or missing. The unit flashes its power light to indicate this condition. Luckily, even with damaged firmware, you can still re-load the correct firmware.

After downloading the latest firmware from Linksys and a bit of fiddling with network settings, I was able to connect to the router and re-install the firmware. The unit immediately woke up and started to function. Upon logging into the unit, I realized that the new firmware was version 1.5. If I remember correctly, the unit came with 1.47.x originally. The look and feel of the new firmware is quite different.

My question to you is this…what would cause a spontaneous failure of the firmware in this router? The users did nothing to the unit, they wouldn’t know how. They say that there had not been a power failure or any power problems. While I am glad I was able to restore the unit, I would like to try and discover what caused it to fail in the first place.


Career-Op: One by one
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Over the years I am sure you have experienced the “never-ending project” -- a project, program, or issue that never seems to get finished or resolved. These problems linger from year to year and no one ever seems to find a solution. Worse still, the longer they linger the worse they get. People get angrier, recriminations become nastier and the problem becomes even more intractable. If you want to keep your high-tech career on track, you need to face these never-ending issues head on. It won’t be easy, but it can prevent these issues from haunting you and your career from year to year.

~ Thursday, January 08, 2004

Target Mode can save the day on Macs

Target mode is a feature on most modern Apple Macintosh computers that allows you to mount the hard disk of one computer on another computer.

This is accomplished by connecting a Firewire cable between the 2 computers and then starting up one of the computers while holding down the “T” key on the keyboard. After a minute or so, the Firewire appears on the screen floating from side to side.

Once this is accomplished, and if everything is connected properly, the hard disk of this computer will appear on the desktop of the other, allowing you to move files to/from the other computer.

I hadn’t thought about this feature in quite a while, as I don’t often have the need for it. All my computers here in the office are networked via Ethernet, so I use that methods to move files around.

That said, I have had 2 cases in 2 days when Target Mode has saved the day. In one case, a client’s G4 Desktop system would no longer boot. He could use his iBook to work, but there were several important files on the desktop machine that he needed for presentations the very next day.

After thinking for a few minutes, I remembered Target Mode. I had no idea if Apple’s desktop units supported this feature, but we gave it a try. Sure enough, even though the system wouldn’t boot, it would go into Target Mode. The hard drive mounted on the iBook and the files were quickly moved over. Even more, we did this completely over the telephone.

It is obvious from this case that the hard disk itself was not damaged. More than likely the OS 9 system folder had become damaged and could no longer boot the unit. If the hard disk had been damaged in some way, this method would not have worked.

So, the next time you find yourself with a machine that won’t boot, but it still has important files on it, try out Target Modem. It just might save the day.

Additional Resources:

Target Disk Mode (TDM): Networking with FireWire - Sort of by Ben Bryant

Target Disk Mode, Mac OS: How to Connect Two Macs using FireWire and Target Disk Mode

01/09/2004 Updated to repair bad links

~ Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Upcoming Mac Office Release Screenshots

The folks over at Lockergnome have a story pointing to 10 screenshots from the upcoming Mac Office 2004 release from Microsoft. If you use MS Office, you might want to take a look.

Screenshots of Microsoft Office 2004
We have posted up over 10 screenshots of the upcoming Microsoft Office 2004 for the Mac. [Lockergnome Bytes]
~ Tuesday, January 06, 2004

What I'm Reading...

The Greatest Stories Never Told : 100 Tales from History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy | The Return of the King Visual Companion: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion (The Lord of the Rings) | Re-imagine! | Disarmed : The Story of the Venus de Milo | An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America


Pecore nella via

Yes, Sheep in the street...or roadway, actually. Both times we visited family in Agira we had to run the gauntlet of sheep. Quite fun, really, and something you would never see in LA.

Sheep in the Street, Agira, Sicily

~ Monday, January 05, 2004

Throw-away email addresses

There are times in your Internet travels when you need to provide an email address in order to receive registration codes, correspond with a new aquaintance, etc. Providing your real, day-to-day email address can lead to receiving more SPAM/Junk Email.

DodgeIt.com provides an easy-to-use, receive-only email address that can be accessed via a web page or by using your favorite RSS reader.

I have several occassions when this tool might be very useful and will report more on its use in the future.

In Association with Amazon.com

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