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Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Career-Op: Announcements...from the archives with MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Announcements

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine
While it may not seem that way at times, you all have lives outside of your career. In fact, there are events in your lives that often impact your ability to do your work. When these events intersect with your work life, it can be extremely stressful. You might be worrying about losing your job or you might be feeling guilty for disappointing your boss or co-workers.. Regardless, everyone requires time away from work to handle these large steps in their lives and you should never have to worry about taking the time for yourself when you need it.

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Gadget Gifts List Galore (via Gizmodo)

Gizmodo offers up a list of links to Holiday Gadget Gift Guides from all across the Internet.

I would imagine that nearly anything on these lists would be welcome under my tree this Christmas. (SMILE) Check them out for the special folks in your life.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

A "really" cheap PC

Now this sounds like a way to get a computer, a usab;e computer into everyone's hands.

I have been investigating re-purposing older computers as Linux-based workstations. I am amazed at how much work you can do with an older Pentium III running at 450 mhz, when you have a lean and mean operating system running the show. My experiences have shown that this is definitely the path to get computers, and the power they bring, into people's hands.

Steve Ballmer's $100 PC, Sans Windows
Martin_Flory writes "SolarPC has announced the $100 personal computer. Steve Ballmer's idea for reducing piracy was great after all, since this computer runs on Linux (DSL Distro). 'The design and construction of the SolarLite is consistent with the goal of an environmentally friendly computer. It uses a lightweight, recyclable, aluminum case that has a 20-year warranty. Its VIA chipset based "long-life" motherboard is a "green" lead free product. Like all SolarPC computers, the SolarLite operates on 12 volt DC power and can be run from a solar panel, car battery, or human powered (with a bicycle-based generator). The cool and quiet SolarLite uses approximately 10 watts of energy, just a fraction of what a standard PC consumes.' Sounds amazing right? This could change education all around the globe... a new Information Era is coming, and everyone is invited." The site claims they'll be available next month (minimum order 100,000 units), and promises a demo at SCALE 2005. [Slashdot]"

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Career-Op: Avoidance with MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Avoidance

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

I try to do everything I can for my clients, hooking up the occasional DVD player or troubleshooting phone line problems, even if it goes beyond the typical work I am there to do. That said, there are a couple of items I will not touch, if possible. The first is dealing with technical support assistance via phone and the other is providing, or managing, hardware service for the client. Over the years, I have realized that either one of these tasks is liable to drive me screaming into the night. Even worse, when you get involved in these situations, your client might begin to see you as part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Career-Op: Trust...from the archives w/ MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Trust

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

In the current environment, you maybe disinclined to trust many things you once thought true, but trust is exactly what your clients, your managers and your peers are looking for right now. The most successful high-tech careerist will always be the one that generates a feeling of trust in all their dealings. If people believe, for any reason, that they cannot trust you, your career will most assuredly stall.

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WEB: Cornell Note-taking system

I am always looking for ways to improve the way I work. Maintaining good notes can really help to increase your productivity.

I came across this information via the "Getting Things Done" section of the Delicious online links system. You can click on the links below to visit the site itself, or the Delicious links page.

The Cornell Note Taking System [del.icio.us/tag/gtd]

Monday, November 22, 2004

Event: Annual Victorian Christmas Celebration

Annual Victorian Christmas Celebration

This family event will feature authentic, Victorian-style seasonal decorations, including Christmas trees with handmade ornaments. There will be holiday-themed entertainment and strolling carolers, readings of Victorian Christmas stories, ornament making sessions, and a horse-drawn trolley to take visitors to the nearby Drum Barracks Museum for its Civil War Christmas.

W H E N : December 4 & 5, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

S I T E : Banning Residence Museum, 401 East ‘M’ St., Wilmington

C O S T : Free

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

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

From the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Festival Guide

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Web: Whole Wheat Radio

I mentioned Whole Wheat Radio a few weeks ago, and now the Anchorage Daily News has a long feature article on them. There are many photos, too!

If you haven't checked them out, drop in for a listen at http://wholewheatradio.org.

Event: A Trip to the Nethercutt Museum - Sylmar, California

Joe and I spent most of Saturday at The Nethercutt Museum, a collection of "restored antique, classic and special interest automobiles" in Sylmar, California, near the intersection of the 5, 405 and 210 freeways.

The collection is amazing and offers over 100 autos currently on display. Additionally, they have a research library, automated music making machines (i.e. Nickelodeons) and a beautifully restored steam locomotive and historic Pullman car.

Admission to the museum is free.

You can also get a reservation to visit San Sylmar, across the street, which shows even more autos and musical instruments, including a grand Wurlizter organ, in an opulent atmosphere. The tour of San Sylmar is 2 hours in length.

Take advantage of this great, somewhat hidden, museum, the next time you are looking for a fun, family event.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Career-Op: Beginning, middle and end ... with MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Beginning, middle and end

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Every high-tech worker has different skills, different talents and different desires. Sometimes we try to cram ourselves into a particular job without much thought towards our own needs. We do this for a number of reasons. Maybe you are simply out of work, or your family and friends think the job is a great opportunity or you just want to make more money. While these reasons might enter into your job decisions, there are more fundamental issues to consider. You need to find out where you fit in the structure of projects and business...the beginning, middle or end.

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Event: Reindeer Romp @ LA Zoo

Reindeer Romp

Santa’s Reindeer fly into the L.A. Zoo for Thanksgiving and stay until after the New Year. Kids of all ages can get up close to these beautiful creatures, talk to zookeepers, and make their own antlers and holiday crafts. Santa and friends will be available for souvenir photos and guests can ride the L.A. Zoo Choo Choo train.

W H E N : November 25, 2004 -
January 3, 2005, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

S I T E : Los Angeles Zoo,5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles

C O S T : Free with paid admission, $9.00 Adults, $4.00 Children (2-12)

S P O N S O R : Los Angeles Zoo

I N F O : 323-644-6400, www.lazoo.org

Event: Annual Griffith Park Light Festival

Annual Griffith Park Light Festival

One of the largest holiday themed events in Southern California, this attraction features a mile-long stretch of lighted displays depicting various seasonal messages. The event can be enjoyed from within a vehicle or during a casual walk. This is always one of the most popular holiday activities in Los Angeles.

W H E N : Daily November 24 through December 26, 5:00 p.m.
- 10:00 p.m.

S I T E : Griffith Park, along Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles

C O S T : Free

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

I N F O : 323-913-6488, 888-LA PARKS (527-2757), www.laparks.org

From the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Festival Guide

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Career-Op: It's ok to leave - from the archives w/ MP3 audio

Career-Op: It's ok to leave

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

A high-tech career is not an easy path. It is fraught with pitfalls and a somewhat dubious record for great success. You can find yourself struggling with bad technology, bad people and bad companies. Worse still, you can find yourself struggling with your own thoughts, hopes and dreams. Despite my immersion in high-tech for almost 20 years now, I would be the first one to tell you, it is ok to give up. It is ok to walk away from a high-tech career. It is ok to find something more meaningful, more rewarding and, hopefully, more lucrative.

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Reading List

I always have a lot of books in my "reading list." While I haven't gotten to them yet, I think you might be interested in checking them out for yourself.

Web: Free Paper Organizer Templates

If you are still using a paper organizer, i.e. Day-Timer, Franklin, etc., you might be able to save a few bucks printing your own replacement pages from these templates instead of paying the relatively high price for the real thing. Of course, if you moved to some form of PDA you wouldn't have to use these pages at all, but I understand the attraction to a paper-based calendar and such.

Link: Free Paper Organizer Templates

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Web/Podcast: One Minute Tip

Here is a great new Podcast that helps out your Mac OS X productivity, One Minute Tip.

It appears the site just got started, so the tips are few at this point, but I love having these short, little tips in my iTunes playlist.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Career-Op: Reaching for the stars - w/ MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Reaching for the stars

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

As I write, Spaceship One has won the X Prize, traveling to non-orbital space twice within two weeks. As I watched the news coverage, my thoughts went beyond the immediate accomplishment and onto the lesson that we can all take away from this successful mission. A clearly defined goal could be the most important part of any high-tech career. Without it, we can become timid, only proceeding slowly and incrementally instead of striving to do our very best. If you don’t have some compelling goals in your life and your career, you should sit down, today, and do some concentrated thinking.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

High-touch high-tech

As the holidays approach, we always come across items like this. Now, I certainly won't be finding one of these under my tree this Christmas, but some of you might find them just the ticket for a little high-tech happiness.

SwedxUSA offers LCD monitors and keyboard in Ash, Beech or Sapele. These high-quality systems are "not simply a veneer, wood strips glued to an ordinary enclosure, these mice, keyboard and LCD displays are actualy embedded in custom crafted wood."

15" monitors - $649 / 17" $795

As seen in Dwell Magazine

Career-Op: It's all personal...from the archives w/ MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: It's all personal

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

If you work your high-tech magic at the end of a phone line, or deep in the heart of a large corporation, you can easily forget that everything you do is directly important to some other person. Sometimes we hide behind corporate bureaucracy or simple indifference, but the truth is, all high-tech work is personal. All technology is meant to be used by another human being and if you want to be successful in your high-tech career, you must remember this.

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Saturday, November 06, 2004

Latest Mac OS X upgrade from Apple

I loaded this, relatively small (14 MB), update last night to no ill effects. I haven't noticed any cosmetic changes, either.

The 10.3.6 Update delivers enhanced functionality and improved reliability for Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther" and is recommended for all users.

Key enhancements include:

  • improved file sharing for Mac (AFP), UNIX (NFS) and PC (SMB/CIFS) networks
  • more reliable network automounts and launch of network applications
  • improved OpenGL technology and updated ATI and NVIDIA graphic drivers
  • additional FireWire audio and USB device compatibility
  • updated Calculator, DVD Player, Image Capture, and Safari applications
  • improved compatibility for third party applications
  • previous standalone security updates

For detailed information on this Update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n300080
For detailed information on Security Updates, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n61798

Friday, November 05, 2004

Career-Op: A "Doing Day" ... with MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: A "Doing Day"

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine
Over the past several weeks I have been writing a lot about thinking…thinking about your purpose, your future and your goals. While thinking is certainly important, all of your good ideas might just go to waste if you don’t combine that thinking with a little bit of doing. Your thinking has probably generated a host of to-do items and ideas for larger projects. Now is the time put some of those ideas into motion.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

From WelchWrite News...

If you are not a subscriber to WelchWrite News, here is this month's column. Have you thought about replacing your Windows 98 computer?

Time to retire

As we head into the holiday season, you might want to think about giving yourself the present of a new computer. This is especially true if you are still using Windows 98 (or (gasp) Windows 95) or Mac OS 9. the time has come to retire these older systems and start fresh with a new computer that can better deal with the software, and security threats, of the next 5 years.

I know, some of you will say, "But my computer works fine. Why should I get rid of it?" Here are a couple of solid reasons.

  1. Microsoft's support for Windows 95, 98, NT and 2000 is rapidly disappearing. Support for 98 was suppossed to have been discontinued this year, but Microsoft gave everyone a 1 year extension. If you have problems with these older versions of Windows, there will be no official place to turn for help.

  2. Certain spyware programs and viruses can damage Win 98 so badly that, even after successfully removing the infection, the machine must be reformatted and Windows re-installed from scratch.

  3. Fixes and upgrades designed to plug security holes will no longer be released for older versions of Windows. This means that even when a security problem is discovered, there will be no way to fix it.

  4. More and more software will require Windows XP in order to run. As software manufacturers make continued use of the special features of Windows XP, software will cease to function under older versions of Windows.

  5. A new computer today, rated at 1 gigahertz or above, with generous levels of memory (512 MB), large hard drive (20-40 GB) and a CD or DVD writer, can be expected to last for 4-5 years. The days of immediate obsolesence in computers are (thankfully) gone. Any system with the above specifications will serve you well down the road. Secondly, computers are now cheaper than they have ever been. Watch for specials at your favorite computer retailer.

Make your New Year a happy one. Treat yourself to a new computer. It will simplify your computing life and prepare you for a fun and productive future!

Career-Op: End game...from the archives with MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: End game

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Regardless of what type of high-tech job you may have, you will eventually have to deal with an important career question – your final career goal. High-tech workers start in all different areas, programming, support, networking, but as your career progresses you will be moved closer and closer to some eventual decision. Do you follow a management track? Do you want to continue in a hands-on technical role? You might even decide to move outside the typical corporate environment and work for yourself. Regardless of the choice, you will either make these decisions for yourself or someone will make them for you. This is why it is so important to look towards the "end game" of your career, even if you are years, if not decades, away.

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Hugh Macleod on How to Be Creative via ChangeThis.com

I think I have posted a link to this information before, but now ChangeThis.com has dressed it up in a nice package like all the "manifestos" they publish. There is some great stuff in here.

6.05 Hugh Macleod on How to Be Creative


"The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has
to change the world," so says HUGH MACLEOD,
creator of Gaping Void and author of the
manifesto "How To Be Creative."

If you've ever struggled to ignite your
creative spark, you'll love this one.


[ChangeThis Newsletter]

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

WEb: Podstar links to Career-Op Podcast

Podstar has a link to my latest Career-Op Podcast, Off the edge. (see below).

Many thanks for the link!

Connections and elections

Sorry for the quiet period this weekend. I lost my cable modem connection late Saturday night and just regained it a few moments ago. You really don't know how much you use something until it is gone.

Polling here in my little Van Nuys neighborhood was easy this morning. Neither my wife, nor I had to wait at all to cast our ballots. After all the reports from elsewhere in the country, state and county, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Thank goodness for the relatively dense polling places here in the Valley.