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Friday, July 30, 2004

Career-Op: Back to school...for everyone

Career-Op: Back to school...for everyone

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Here we are in the traditional middle of summer, but I am sure you have already started to see the “Back to School” signs in the stores. It might seem early to be thinking of school, but the coming Fall is the time for considering all the things we have learned and all the things we have yet to learn, regardless of our age. Technology has become an important part of our learning, both in facilitating learning and learning how to use the technology itself. We would all do well to take a few moments to think about the technology around us, and how it helps or hinders us in our daily lives.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A sense of creative space

I caught this story on All Things Considered yesterday and thought it was worth sharing here.

James Prosek is an illustrator/artist who works out of an old school house in Easton, Connecticut. He spends his days painting pictures of fishing and the fish that are caught. Prosek has some interesting things to say about the importance of creative space in the creation of his art.

Online Article with links to photos, books and art work.

Note: A link to the audio version of the story is available near the top of the above page.

Jame's Prosek's Children's Picture Book

Other books by James Prosek

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Web: TechStudents.net

Created as a way of connecting small business with IT needs and IT students who need experience, TechStudents.Net is the brainchild of JJ DiGeronimo. The web site helps to place IT students with smaller companies who need part-time IT help but don't necessarily need a full-time intern.

Via FastCompany.com

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Event: Summer Botanical Drawing Workshop

Summer Botanical Drawing Workshop

TUES 8/3 11am

Sooky Goldman Nature Center

For artists of all levels. Draw or paint plants, while learning more about our native flora. Group size is limited. Reservations required 323-656-3899. 4hrs WODOC

Friday, July 23, 2004

Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) Cards, Postcards and Mousepads

I have taken my nice photo of Echinacea flowers and made it available on mousepads, greeeting cards and postcards.

You can browse and order by visiting my CafePress Shop

You can also browse my other shops by visiting my Products Page.

Career-Op: Doctor's Orders

Career-Op: Doctor's Orders

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine
You might not think that there are many similarities between a high-tech careerist and a medical professional, but over the years I have noticed a few. The most striking one is the fact that we often ignore the advice of doctors and dentists, much like our clients ignore our own recommendations for improving their technology experiences. If you think it is frustrating to have your advice fall on deaf ears, imagine the plight of your doctor. There are ways, though, to help get your message heard, but it takes more than the usual supply of patience.

Energy Saver: About sleep and idle modes in Mac OS X

Here is a great tech notes I turned up from the "Recent Changes" page I mentioned earlier this week.(Apple Tech Note: Energy Saver: About sleep and idle modes in Mac OS X)

People often ask me what exactly happens when they put their computer to sleep and this note includes all the details. While this note is directed at Macintosh users, Windows machines operate in a a similar fashion. Here is a sit with information on How to set up Power Management on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

200 Digital Photography Tips

MalekTips.com offers up 200 Digital Photography Tips on its web site.

I foresee a lot of time spent sorting through this great resource.

Via MacMerc

Apple Knowledge Base Updates

Whether you are a computer geek, like me, or just interested in keeping up with changes, fixes and issues with your Macintosh, the Recently Updated page of the Apple Knowledge Base is a great place to visit.

This page lists all new or changed knowledge base articles in reverse chronological order. Even better, there is an RSS feed that allows you to monitor these changes without visiting the page each day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Quicken File Maintenance

If your Quicken file has suddenly started acting strange, you may need to do a little file maintenance it get it back into shape. I recently had a client call with just such as problem and here is how Intuit recommends you fix it.

File Maintenance Symptoms (from Intuit.com)

General file maintenance may be necessary if you have experienced system errors or if your computer locks up while using Quicken. Not properly shutting your computer down when Quicken is running can also cause data file problems.

If you are experiencing any of the following situations, we recommend that you perform file maintenance on your data file:
Categories and numbers are not associated with the correct transactions or accounts in reports.

Categories/classes are missing from your Categories & Transfers list.

You are unable to assign a Category to an item in a split transaction. [Read more]

Read about File Maintenance for Macintosh

Read about File Maintenance for Windows

California Wildfire Viewer

California Wildfire Viewer

During the last fire season I discovered this resource for monitoring wildfire activity. This excellent, interactive map resource includes location of each fire, perimters and a relief map along withe roads and other resources. You can zoom in and out, select a particular fire and view various levels of detail.

Posted in response to this post on blogging.la

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Event: Mailbu Art Festival

Malibu Arts Festival

July 24& 25, 2004

9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

23555 Civic Center Way


This is always a great, eclectic mix of many different types of art in a beautiful location. Take some time to swing by the beach afterwards. Our favorite is Leo Carillo State Beach on the far western end of Malibu. A longer drive, but well worth the trip.

Info on Leo Carillo State Beach

Photos from one of our previous visits

Monday, July 19, 2004

More Photographic Fun

Photographic.com has a nice article on Easy In-Camera Special Effects.

You might be surprised at the different effects you can get without using any fancy equipment or even your computer.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

12 Steps to Improving Your Mac's Performance

MacDevCenter.com has a good article by Joli Ballew, author of Degunking Your Mac (from Paraglyph Press) on 12 Steps to Improving Your Mac's Performance.

Some of these tips might be a little advanced for newer Mac users, but if you want to wring out the best performance possible from your Mac, try them out.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Career-Op: Getting to know you

Career-Op: Getting to know you

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine
Each new season brings a new initiative here to the Career-Op offices. Summer takes us away from the beautiful outdoors – at least for a little while – and into the wild and wooly world of statistics. Perhaps it was the act of helping my wife with the statistics for her Master’s thesis, but I got a sudden urge to know a little bit more about my clients. There is career gold to be mined in those hills of data, but only if they spur you to new projects and the betterment of your career.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

California: State and Local Government on the Net

California: State and Local Government on the Net

LibrarianInBlack points out this excellent collection of links to State and Local Government Web Sites throughout the US. As she mentioned in her post, "The next time someone asks me for state government information (which they do more than I would like), I'm going here instead of Google. It got me to my desired result a lot faster."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Practical Career Networking Tips

Fast Company magazine online has a nice quicky article, Practical Networking Tips, on how to keep your networking wheels going when you are at a conference, association meeting or just hanging out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Interesting access log entry

Not sure what to make of this entry in my access log: US Dept of Justice. US,MD wdcsun27.usdoj.gov

Of course, they accessed my gardening blog, A Gardener's Notebook, so perhaps that makes it a bit more comforting....or not!

Microsoft Updates

A slew of Security Updates were released by Microsoft today.

I highly recommend that everyone visit http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and install them at your earliest convenience.

Palm/Palm Pilot: Personal Experiences and Tips

Palm/Palm Pilot: Personal Experiences and Tips

I know many people who have a Palm Handheld PDA, but they don't get the most out of it. Too often it is merely an electronic address book.

If you want to turn your palm into a more useful companion on your daily journey through the business world, check out this site. It has a collection of tips and hints, illustrated through the writer's own personal experiences with their Palm handheld. There is also a ton of great links to other Palm sites at the bottom of the page.

Monday, July 12, 2004

LA Public Library has Wi-Fi HotSpots!

The LA Public Library is rolling out FREE Wi-Fi Internet Access at its branches. Three are currently online, including my "base of operations" in Sherman Oaks. Others hotspots include Los Feliz, and North Hollywood Branches, as well as at the Central Library downtown.

As the program expands, this could give you a hotspot almost everywhere in the city. No need to pay for T-Mobile access at Starbucks or Borders anymore. Just head towards your local library branch.

I haven't had a chance to test it yet, but theoretically, you should be able to use the network from the parking lot or other places outside of the library. This could work really well for me when I am between clients and need to check or send some email. If the connection is strong enough, I wouldn't even have to leave my car. You should also be able to use the connection, even when the library is closed.

Most laptops with wireless cards should already be configured to access the library's wireless, but I can help you out via email, if you have any questions.

10 Fun Photo Self-Assignments

If you are looking for a way to have a little fun with your camera, or simply be more creative and productive, here are 10 quick self-assignments from Photographic magazine.

Now, get out there and start shooting! (SMILE)

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Music: Fishing Music, Snake River Records

Over the last couple of weeks I have been listening to this CD a lot. Every time I get in the car, I seem to be drawn to it. It was lent to me by some good friends who brought it back from a working trip at a songwriter workshop in Driggs, Idaho. John and Jo Ann Braheny are author and speaker on music business and creativity topics. Jo Ann says she heard this CD while in a restaurant and bought it immediately.

Fishing Music is a collection of standards, originals and traditional music all gathered around a fishing theme.

This is one of those CDs where you are inclined to listen from beginning to end each time. There is a building of form and content across all the songs that takes you back to the days when albums were more than just a collection of singles thrown together.

One of my favorite tracks is the instrumental Upstream. This a traveling song; one designed to be listened to while you are moving. Even here, in the congested traffic of Los Angeles, I can feel like I am driving down a country road, heading off to the fishing hole somewhere in the mountains. Other favorites include the standard Lazy River and a great original story song by the producers of the CD, Madison Brown.

Fishing Music is a CD you will return to again and again over weeks, months and years, whenever you need a recharge and want to dream about somewhere where the fish are biting all the time.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Event: Getty Summer Sessions

Summer Sessions 2004

Date: Saturday July 17, 2004, 6 pm

Location: Museum Courtyard

Admission: Free

The Summer Sessions return with the finest world music has to offer! All concerts are free with no reservations required and take place at 6 p.m. in the Museum Courtyard and Garden Terrace. Music for the Spirit: Africa's Heart/Beat - Using indigenous instrumentation and language, African folk music and Rastafarian dub are explored by Samite and Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus. Musical themes of spirituality, family, and nature are the songs' focus. Traditional beats meet contemporary styles with DJs Haul & Mason while session players and frontmen Hormel, Hodges & Holmstrom combine 60s Brazilian and 70s Afro-Cuban pop.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Career-Op: Inflexible Projects

Career-Op: Inflexible Projects

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Projects are everything in your high-tech career. They drive your work from day-to-day. They help you to build the great stories that will get you better jobs down the road. Some people, like Tom Peters, author of “In Search of Excellence” and David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done” say that you should consider everything you do, every goal you want to accomplish, just another project along with all the others. Unfortunately, projects have a way of self-destructing before they ever get off the ground. There are ways, of protecting yourself against project failure. Some of these, though, require addressing your preconceptions about projects.

Protection (and style) for your iBook

Foofbags are stylish and fun protection for your iBook (or other, similarly-sized computers). They are not designed to be sole protection for your computer, but a nice cover for when it is stored in your laptop bag or backpack.

Via Gizmodo

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

PowerPoint Guidance

If you use Microsoft PowerPoint to present your ideas to management, or the world, then you need Beyond Bullets, a great blog dedicated to helping you use PowerPoint in more effective ways.

Before you create another PowerPoint deck, head over to Beyond Bullets and learn ways to make all your presenations more effective.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Ditching Internet Explorer...

If you have been wanting to get rid of Internet Explorer, with all its security holes, you may finally have a decent choice.

Firefox, from Mozzila, now has versions for almost every type of operating system, including Windows XP and Macintosh OS X.

The software seems to work well in my quick trials on 2 computers (a Dell laptop and my Macintosh G4).

Monday, July 05, 2004

WEB: Idea-a-Day

Here is another way to get your brain moving in the morning -- Idea-a-Day.

Even if you can't use the idea as it stands, it could be a great jumping off point to exploring your own ideas.

From the web site...

Idea-a-day.com publishes an original idea everyday on the internet. The ideas are free of copyright*. They are there to be read, enjoyed, used  or abused. Subscribers and visitors to the site can respond to the author at idea-a-day.com. Original ideas are welcomed and can be submitted at idea-a-day.com.

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Alsoft - DiskWarrior - Macintosh Disk Repair

Alsoft - DiskWarrior

Years ago, I used to carry a large pack of software to every computer-client appointment. Norton Disk Doctor and other software seemed to be constantly needed in order to repair and recover hard disk gone bad.

Recently, though, I noticed that I didn't need to carry much at all. It was a rare occcasion when the built-in Mac OS X Disk Utility couldn't correct minor problems with a har disk.

Almost as if I had jinxed my own luck, I have hard disk problems with 3 computers over the last week. Two were client machines and one was my own workhorse PowerMac G4/450. All of them developed problems that couldn't be fixed by normal methods.

I had heard of Alsoft's Disk Warrior product before, but when Apple's own support experts recommended it, I immediately got a copy. Sure enough, Disk Warrior was able to correct the hard disk problems on the machines, saving me a complete reformat and rebuild of the systems.

On a fast Macintosh, Disk Warrior does its work quickly and cleanly. My G4/450, though, is slower and also had overlapped files. This meant the software had to run over 24 hours in order to correct the issues. This is certainly not typical, but if you use Disk Warrior you should be aware that it can take a long time to complete, but will still be able to correct most problems.

Book: Simplicity: The New Competitive Advantage by Bill Jensen

I highlighted another Bill Jensen book a few weeks ago. Reading that book caused me to look back to his earlier books to find the concepts driving his work.

For Jensen, lack of communication is one of the biggest problems facing business (and individuals) today. Without a simpler, while not simplistic, method for communication, we are drowning in a complexity of our own making.

Bill Jensen Web Site

** Other books by Bill Jensen

Event: Music by the Sea - July 11-August 1

7th Annual Music by the Sea Concert Series

This free outdoor concert series with a variety of musical genres are set in a park overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Bring a picnic, a blanket, family, and friends. Spend the afternoon shopping, listening, and dancing to music. Entertainment varies each week.

W H E N : Sundays, July 11 through August 1, 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

S I T E : Point Fermin Park, 807 Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro

C O S T : Free

S P O N S O R : City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks,

City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, and City of Los Angeles Council District 15

I N F O : 1-888-LA PARKS (527-2757), http://www.laparks.org

From the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Festival Guide

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Huntington Gardens and Library Free Day

Last Thursday (July 2), we took some time out to visit the Huntington Gardens and Library, making use of their 1st Thursday of the Month Free Day. These Free Days are becoming more and more important as the Huntington will raise its Adult admission to $15 starting July 6th.

The main purpose of the visit, beyond our usual wandering of the gardens, was to pay a visit to the new Helen and Peter Bing Children’s Garden. This interactive space has 9 areas designed especially for kids. Everything is hands-on and interactive, including a Fog Grotto, Prism Tunnel and a Magnetic Sand play area. The last one was a big hit with all the kids.

The garden is using a temporary entrance and the surrounding buildings and landscaping are still in progress, but it was a fun time for all. Since the garden onlyt opened about 2 weeks ago, there were large crowds on the Children's Garden, but they seem to ebb and flow throughout the day.

While we were there, I shot a few photos to illustrate the gardens and some of the flowers found there. Click on the pictures above to see a complete gallery from our visit.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Career-Op: Abandonment Issues

Career-Op: Abandonment Issues

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

It happened again – this time to a close friend. After he worked with a computer consultant for several months, the person just disappeared. My friend’s phone calls are not returned and it appears the person who set up his entire office, has fallen off the edge of the Earth – and taken my friend’s passwords with him. As a computer consultant, and a conscientious one at that, it drives me crazy. Sure, I can pick up extra work from grateful computer orphans happy to have someone to help them out. Still, I often have to work long and hard to deal with their issues of abandonment and how it reflects on my work. If you take on the mantle of a computer support person, especially if you are working as a freelancer, you have certain responsibilities to your clients and those consultants that might travel in your wake. Don’t hamper your high-tech career by abandoning your clients whenever the whim strikes you.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

July 4th Fun!

Just in time for some July 4th Fun, here is Digital FireworX Screensaver - 2.6, a realistic fireworks screen saver for Apple Mac OS X.

Via VersionTracker: Mac OS X

Getty Summer Sessions - Saturdays in July

Summer Sessions 2004

Date: Saturday July 10, 2004, 6 pm

Location: Museum Courtyard

Admission: Free

The Summer Sessions return with the finest world music has to offer! All concerts are free with no reservations required and take place at 6 p.m. in the Museum Courtyard and Garden Terrace.

Viva Americana! - The Summer Sessions kick off with a blend of Calexico's Latin-based Americana and the 7-piece Mariachi Luz de Luna for a performance of traditional and original material. Also exploring the variations of Latin rhythms and influence will be DJ Sloe-Poke and Los Abandoned.