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Saturday, April 17, 2004

An urge to teach...

While I enjoy some success as a computer consultant and writer, I have been wondering if I might like to spend more time teaching and a little less time troubleshooting.

My head is stuffed with over 20 years of computer and technology information. I have developed troubleshooting methods and rules that serve me well regardless of how much the underlying technology may change. I have a proven track record of excellent teaching, if my clients and students at my library classes are any indication. The one thread that seems to run through everything I do in life is teaching. I love sharing what I know and I like the challenge of explaining confusing concepts to interested people in a language they can understand.

I would love to find some school or organization that could make use of my experience and help me to pass it on to another generation. While my volunteer work at the Sherman Oaks Branch of the LA Public Library is nice, I would like to find a way to make a bit of money doing something that I truly love.

If you know of any school or organization who could use my skills, pass along my name and have them give me a call. I know there is someplace that could use my skills, we just have to figure out how to find each other.

LA Times Voices Column

My opinion piece, Outsourced? Don't Fall Into Severance Trap appears today in The Los Angeles Times.

Check it out in print or online.

Friday, April 16, 2004

Career-Op: Everything that comes your way
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

All work is cyclical. There are the slow times and the fast times. Some weeks you canít seem to catch up and on others, work is so slow that you think the week may never end. This cycle of feast and famine is especially true for freelance consultants like myself. The busy weeks can overwhelm you and the slow weeks can leave you worried about paying your bills. While work may come and go, dealing with your slow time can have a dramatic effect on your high-tech career.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Book - Free Prize Inside by Seth Godin

I find myself reading a lot of books, on many different topics, in the course of my writing, blogging and gardening travels. One of my basic criteria for a quality book is that it spurs your thinking in some way. Maybe you find a new plant you like in that book on garden design, or a new way of thinking about customer service from the latest business book.

Seth Godin's Free Prize Inside: The Next Big Marketing Idea is a book that certainly fulfills this basic criteria and more. As I was reading this small book, I found myself coming up with a couple of ways to use the ideas he lays out. In particular, his concept of "edgecraft" allowed me to generate a page of good methods to build both my consulting and writing work. HIs concept for this book is to provide methods to find the "Free Prize Inside" of any situation in an effort to help it rise above the norm. While "prizes" might include the usual cereal box toy, Godin challenges you to think beyond this. Perhaps the extra special service in a restaurant could be the free prize, or a wait made more enjoyable by pleasant surroundings.

The book comes shipped in an ersatz cereal box, playing on the theme. I understand that only the first printing of the book will be available in this fashion. It certainly helps to setup the metaphor of the book before you ever open it.

I have been reading Godin's books for a while, as well as his articles in Fast Company magazine and almost always find something concrete and helpful to use in my own work. I am starting my second read of the book now and will report back later on new thoughts it might trigger.

Other books by Seth Godin

Update - 4/15/04 826p -- I forgot to link to the Free Prize Inside Web Site. There is a short summary of the book there.

EVENT - Brewery Art Walk - This Weekend

Sorry for the late notice, but this weekend (April 17-18) is the Brewery Art Walk near downtown.

This converted Pabst brewery is home to over 175 artists, many (100+) who will be opening their lofts to show off their art.

Admission and Parking is free!

Visit http://www.breweryartwalk.com/ for more information.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Event - 23nd Annual Great Rendezvous Hikes

Many. many years ago, a friend and I attended this event. We chose the shortest hike possible, if I remember, but it was quite a bit of fun. All the hikes arrived at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park around lunch time and they had a big birthday cake. Nice event for the family.

23nd Annual Great Rendezvous Hikes

Sunday, April 18

Celebrate John Muirís birthday by joining one of five rendezvous hikes which converge at Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park for John Muirís Birthday Party from 12 to 1pm. Help decorate and consume the famous Great Rendezvous John Muir/Sierra Birthday Cake. Bring water and lunch. For more details: 310-559-3126 Sponsored by the Sierra Club.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Microsoft Updates for Today Here are a slew of updates released by Microsoft today. They cover a wide variety of problems with Windows and other Microsoft applications like Outlook Epress. You can download and install these updates on-demand by visiting the Windows Update Web Site. Detailed information for each update is also available on that website.

Cumulative Security Update for Outlook Express 6 Service Pack 1 (KB837009)
Critical Update for Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (KB831167)
Security Update for Windows 2000 (KB837001)
Security Update for Windows 2000 (KB828741)
Security Update for Windows 2000 (KB835732)

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Windows XP Service Pack 3

As with any major software update, Microsoft's latest major upgrade to Windows XP can create issues with other software, both that made by 3rd parties and even Microsoft itself. Lockergnome has a report over on these issues entitled, Office XP Service Pack 3 problems bite users.