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Saturday, September 18, 2004

Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Flipping through the most recent issue of Smithsonian Magazine at the library today, I found they are now accepting submissions for their 2nd Annual Photography Contest.

Even better, you can submit your entries via their web site. I have a few entries of my own that I am going to upload soon.

More info from SmithsonianMag.com...

The editors of Smithsonian invite you to enter the second annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest. We are looking for remarkable images, photographed within the past three years (since January 1, 2002), that relate to five subjects of special interest to our magazine: Americana, the Natural World, People, Culture & the Arts, and Travel. The competition is open to amateur photographers, 18 years or older. Please review the rules before entering.

Contest submissions must be uploaded or postmarked by midnight, December 31, 2004. Fifty finalists will be selected, 10 for each of the 5 categories. From these 50 finalists, 5 category winners and a grand prize winner will be selected. The entries of all winners and finalists will be published on the Smithsonian Magazine Web Site. The entries of the winners and selected finalists will be published in Smithsonian Magazine during summer 2005.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Digital Photo Composition Tips

For all the photographers who might be reading, here is a collection of composition tips from the Digital Photography Blog.

There are links to other great articles, as well. Well worth checking out.

Career-Op: I am not my tools

Career-Op: I am not my tools
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Work in a high-tech career long enough and you will find yourself telling clients that something “cannot (easily) be done.” Each and every piece of software and hardware that you touch will have one quirk, fault, or missing feature that will make your life…interesting. Over the years, this can lead to some deeply probing questions about your own skills and abilities. Let me be the first to say that you are not your tools and their failures are not yours. Their failures can reflect on you, though, so it is important to manage them, and your client’s expectations carefully.

Los Angeles Insight: Baby You Can Drive My Car

For more LA Insights, see LABlogs.com

1. How many hours a week are you stuck in your car?

Thankfully, not very many. Since I work for myself, doing computer troubleshooting and training, I only have to get in the car for each call, not a daily commute. Lately, a lot of my clients have been in the Valley, so that helps a lot. According to my statistics, I have spent 28.5 hours in my car in the last 10 weeks. That is on business trips only, though.

2. What music is in your car, right now?

James Taylor, David Wilcox, America Sing, Yo-Yo Ma Suites for Unaccompanied Cello

3. What do you do while stuck in traffic? Eat? Sing? Primal scream?

Mainly I suffer from large attacks of claustrophobia. If I am truly stuck in a place with no alternate routes or off-ramps I can build up quite a panic. As you might imagine, I try not to put myself in those situations.

Otherwise, I listen to NPR or KZLA. I know when I have been spending too much time in my car by how often I start a conversation with “Well, I heard on NPR the other day…”

4. If you could give citations to other drivers for bad behavior, who/ what would you ticket?

Hmm, that is difficult, as there are so many. My pet peeve lately is Compact parking spaces that are so small even my Honda Civic Hybrid won’t fit in them. Then , of course, the SUV drivers who insist on taking up 1.5 of these same “compact” spaces to park their Hummer.

People who pull forward in the LEFT HAND LANE, so that I can’t see to make my right-turn on red. People who INSIST on making a left-hand turn when a couple of rights would be more expedient and safer for everyone involved.

Finally, since I was just involved in an accident that totaled my vehicle, people who run red lights. I was broadsided crossing Van Nuys Blvd by a red light runner a week ago. There was no evidence that he even hit his brakes before plowing into me. I am still feeling sore on my right side where the console of my Jeep decided to strike me. Then I spun completely around. I prefer my thrill rides at the amusement park, thank you. It could have been worse, of course, but it is still irritating have to shop for a new car when the old one was just fine, thank you.

5. What's your favorite place/freeway to drive in LA?

Mullholland Drive, PCH, Santa Monica Mountains Canyon Roads (Malibu, Zuma, Topanga, etc.), Angeles Crest Highway, Routes 126, 33 on the back way to Santa Barbara, Across the desert on the 10, up the Grapevine on a good day.

6. What's your least favorite?

405, 101, 134, 57…oh heck, all of them!

7. What's the craziest thing you've ever seen another driver do?

Wrong way drivers, drivers backing up on the freeway, The usual litany of complaints, but don’t get me started or we will be here all day.

8. What's the craziest thing you've ever seen left on the side of the road?

Ex-wife. (Ouch, no, dear, just kidding! Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!)

Nothing really jumps to mind. Mainly old couches, refrigerators, tires, etc. I must not be paying enough attention.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

New Apple Security Update

Check Software Update in your System Preferences today. There is a new security update from Apple with some updates to the iChat client. It is recommended for all Mac users, whether you use iChat or not.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

More sketching..

It is good to put pencil to paper a little more. I find mysefl sketching at the end of the day when I can't think about computers one more second. This takes a "con" and makes if a "pro". What a great deal!

Click for an "actual size" image

RSS Feeds - The What, Why and How

I have been making great use of RSS feeds lately. These special files, available from many web sites, allow you to see when new material is added to a web site without actually visiting it every day.

Michael Randall gives a good introduction to RSS Feeds and there use in this posting to his blog. Enjoy!

Computers: RSS Feeds - What They Can Do For You

Summary: Lots of sites - blogs, news sites, anything where new items appear fairly regularly - now feature those little buttons. They're often orange, and usually labelled something like 'RSS', 'XML', or 'Site Feed'. It's all the same thing, and it's really very useful. It can also be very easy to take advantage of, and can save you a lot of time.

[Michael Randall's Blog]

Monday, September 13, 2004

Magical Macintosh Key Sequences

For the all the Mac users out there who aspire to Mac Geekdom!

Magical Macintosh Key Sequences

All the magic key sequences to make your Mac do various things.

As seen on del.icio.us/tags/osx...

Revised Apple Security Update

It seems there were some problems on certain machines with the Security Update released earlier this week.The revised update is now available via Software Update.

More info from MacDailyNews...

Apple releases revised Security Update 2004-09-07 version 1.1 for Mac OS X
Apple has released the revised Security Update 2004-09-07 version 1.1 which delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. [MacDailyNews]