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Monday, January 31, 2005

Streamline your Windows startup : Lifehacker

The readers here probably fall on either side of the technological fence -- unsure about what this article is telling you to do or already knowledgeable about changing your startup programs to make your computer boot more quickly. Still, it is worth the read to introduce yourself to the concept or refresh your memory on how to do it.

LifeHacker is a new site from the folks that bring you Gizmodo and other blogs.

Streamline your Windows startup : Lifehacker

Scent of a Robot, the music video by Pete Miser

Wow! This is a way cool music video with a hip-hop beat. Some might call it "nerdcore" but it is the only such video/song by this particular artist. The visuals are great, the story is neat and you can understand the words easily! Check it out!

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Tech Nation with Moira Gunn

I want to recommend this latest Podcast from Tech Nation with Moira Gunn.

Barbara Kellerman talks about her book, Bad Leadership.

One of the most interesting items to me was her discussion of the converse side of the leadership relationship, that of "bad followers." Take a listen and check out her book.

From the web site...

First Interview: Barbara Kellerman

Research Director, Center for Public Leadership

Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Author, Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters

Macworld: Prevent Mac Disasters

While this is defintely for the more knowledgeable Mac users among you, these 5-6 simple procedures can help you keep your Mac running at top form.

Many of the tips use the Terminal program to run utilities from the command line, but nothing that is too difficult to understand. The author also does an excellent job of explaining why you should run the procedure.

Macworld: Prevent Mac Disasters

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Geek Out! - Mac Performance Testing and Charts

If you really want to gain a deep understanding of how the Mac Mini compares to other Mac models, you need to check out this extensive set of benchmarks and reports from Macintouch.com

Friday, January 28, 2005

Career-Op: Return -- with MP3 audio

Career-Op: Return

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

As I write, I am finishing the last few days of a holiday vacation to my home state of Ohio and learning that returning from a vacation can be just as stressful as preparing to leave for one. Despite doing my best to complete any necessary tasks before I left, a host of new challenges await my return. The same will probably be true of your next vacation. If you want to ease your re-entry into the work-a-day world after the holiday break, here are a few guidelines to keep you on the right track.

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

It's not about you!

Here is an interesting take on how to better serve your clients by serving yourself less. The author, Kathy Sierra "is an author of bestseller Head First books (http://www.wickedlysmart.com)--a new brain-friendly series from O'Reilly."

While you may not be a writer or trainer, like Sierra, I think that the concepts discussed here relate to anyone who deals with customers and clients.

From the web site...

Users shouldn't think about YOU

Do you care what your users think of you?


Our best advice for creating passionate users is:

Care ONLY about what your users think of themselves as a result of interacting with your creation.

That's a major shift for a lot of people, especially our tech book authors (and instructors). It's so natural to write with a critic sitting on your shoulder representing the person who isn't even in your target audience anyway, slamming you for leaving something out, or not being technical enough, or not proving how smart you are. I have a little story about this... (Continued)

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Career-Op: The Art of the Small Deal - from the archives with MP3 Audio Podcast

Career-Op: The Art of the Small Deal

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

America is often seen as the country of the big deal. Everyone seems to be looking for the big score, the winning lottery ticket or, in the case of the computer careerist, the one big project that will make enough money that you won’t have to work for the rest of the year. While you all probably know the fallacy of this thinking, you can be caught up in the search for the big deal, to the great detriment of your high-tech career. While you can and should continue looking for the big deal, you need to fit it in and around the day-to-day work that keeps you solvent.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

New Security Update from Apple

About Security Update 2005-001 for Mac OS X [Apple Computer Knowledge Base Changes]

Click the link above for detailed information Apple's latest Security Update for Mac OS X.

From the update documentation...

Security Update 2005-001 delivers a number of security enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users. This update includes the following components:

at commands






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

Monday, January 24, 2005

Cooking on the Radio with Jeff Nemcher :: A Very Special Interview with Rick Bayless

Jeff Nemcher, over at the Cooking on the Radio Podcast & blog has an excellent interview with Rick Bayless, an expert on Mexican food and a well-known author, television personality and chef.

Rick talks about his grant program which offers funding to small, independent farmers in order to insure a supply of fresh, local foodstuffs for his restaurants and the general public.

Well worth a listen. Listen using the link below.

Cooking on the Radio with Jeff Nemcher :: A Very Special Interview with Rick Bayless

Resetting iPod if it appears frozen or doesn't respond

After several months of Podcasting, a great friend was able to pass off his older iPod to me. I was about to order an iPod Shuffle, Apple's latest, low-cost music player, but this has made that purchase unneccessary. Thanks to Michael for his great generosity.

Of course, since the iPod is a computer itself, it sometimes needs rebooting. I ran into that problem this morning as I was about to dash off on a support call. A quick search of Apple's web site gave me clear directions for resetting the iPod and getting on the road. This might be a handy link to keep around just in case it ever happens to you.

Resetting iPod if it appears frozen or doesn't respond

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Armory Arts Festival - Pasadena, California

Yesterday, we headed out for an “adventure day” at the Armory Arts Festival in Pasadena, California. The first part of the “adventure” was taking the subway from North Hollywood almost to the door of the Armory. We try to take the subway whenever we can. I didn’t know what the parking arrangements were at the Armory and sometimes I would just rather leave the driving to someone else.

We boarded the Red Line in North Hollywood, and then transferred to the Gold Line at Union Station. If you like visiting Old Town Pasadena, but don’t like the traffic and the parking issues, I would recommend the subway for your next trip. Memorial Park Station is one block away from Colorado and Raymond, near the center of Old Town.

The Armory is an amazing place. They have a series of classes and events throughout the year, but on this day it was a children’s wonderland of art. There were booths for multimedia collage, monoprints, felt landscapes and sidewalk drawing with chalk.

I think Joseph did every activity they offered during the day and we spent over 4 hours at the festival. This is longer than we usually spend and points up the excellent quality of the festival. In the end, Joseph even won a free class a the Armory as part of their free raffle.

The entertainment was first rate, with Mexican dancers, Repercussion (a tremendous drumming trio) and 3 Peace Ensemble, a world music group.

After the festival, we wanted a little snack before getting back on the subway for the ride home. A small sign pointed us to Hey, That’s Amore!, an Italian coffeeshop and grocery. This is an amazing serendipitous find. The owner is from Sicily and makes a fine cup of coffee. I haven’t had such good coffee since we returned from Sicily over a year ago. He also sponsors evening Italian lessons, conversation nights and movie nights. We will definitely be returning here as often as we can. Check it out whenever you are in the neighborhood.

A 50 minute subway ride brought us back to our vehicle in North Hollywood and the end of a great day.

Free Cornell Note Forms

Here are links to some forms for using the Cornell Note-taking System. These PDF files can be printed on your printer and then added to a notebook.

I have mentioned this note-taking system before and you can get more information at the link below. I found out from a friend that certain high schools are also teaching this system in an effort to hekp their students excel in their education.

AMERICAN DIGEST: Free Cornell Note Forms for American Digest Readers

Friday, January 21, 2005

Career-Op: More than computers with MP3 audio podcast

Career-Op: More than computers

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

(This show, from the archives, appears today as today's print edition of the column is using an article that was bumped from an earlier issue.-- Douglas)

In your high-tech career it may seem that your job is merely making computers work or helping others make their computers work. In fact, your job can be much more. Your clients, especially the smaller companies, could use a good source of business information, as well as computer savvy. You could expand your career by becoming the source for this information, especially at the point where business knowledge and computer knowledge intersect.

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Thursday, January 20, 2005

Journalisimo | Back to Analog

Another great combination of High-Tech/High-Touch, a weblog dedicated to the fine papers, pens and all things "analog" that make us feel good whenever we use them. Journalisimo

From the web site...


This weblog is an attempt to invite a return to analog. Many of us live very digital lives. We push pixels around screens. Our lives are stored as bits on shiny hard drives. Our words and images can be published online, available moments later, all around the world. But this digital life can often seem very shallow.

While we recognize the power of our digital existence, we long for the tactile feel of ink on paper. We celebrate the freedom from power supplies, batteries, wireless networks and fragile electronics. We seek to elevate the written word and the freehand sketch on fine paper. We celebrate the journal as the optimal analog device for expression and enjoyment.

Check out Journalisimo

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Career-Op: Return to the fold -- from the archives

Career-Op: Return to the fold

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

If you are working as an independent high-tech consultant, there may come a time when, due to financial pressures or personal preference, you need to “return to the fold” of a classic corporate job. While the reasons for your return might be varied, there are a few ways to insure that your return is as painless and productive as possible. In your time away, you have surely expanded your education and experience. Both of these can be instrumental in easing your re-entry back into the corporate world. What will hinder you is that nagging feeling of having failed at going it alone.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

How to prolong lithium-based batteries

This page seems to have some very good info on prolonging the life of your Lithium-Ion (Lion) battery packs for your laptop and other electronic devices.

After reading this, I see that I was mistaken in some of my beliefs about Lithium batteries. I am going to institute some of these ideas in my own operation and see if it helps to prolong the life of the batteries.

How to prolong lithium-based batteries

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Getty Visit Today

We took a visit to the Getty Center today and found that they have quietly raised the parking fee from $5 to $7 per car. I am not quite sure why it bothered me so much, except for the fact that I feel like I am being nickeled and dimed to death with this fee and that, every single day. Parking fees that find no upper limit, fees for printing a child's ticket at LACMA, even though the admission itself is free, fees to use the parklands, the beaches, the bike paths.

While the Getty is a private institution, it is a crown jewel of the city and part of its culture. I am disturbed to think that the foundation that was capable of building such an "Acropolis" on the Westside, seems to want to balance that edifice on the backs of your average Angeleno or tourist. Perhaps the troubles in the management and curation of the museum laid open on the pages of the LA Times in the last few months run deeper than we know. Parking fees should be going down or removed entirely.

Perhaps the new PDA-based audio tour and navigation systems that we saw being tested throughout the museum cost a little more than planned. You would think that a museum that has the ability to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for PDAs, custom programming, campus-wide wi-fi network and other infrastucture could, at least, keep the parking fees the same. I always thought of the Getty parking charge as a token fee, giving a little back to help pay for the people that keep the Center running. Now it seems that someone has decided that parking is now an income center to be milked like the bookstore and the restaurant.

The Getty Center is a world-class museum and we should be spared from the constant nickel and dime tactics that plague the rest of Los Angeles.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Career-Op: Totaled - January 14, 1005 with MP3 Audio

Career-Op: Totaled

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Just as a car can be “totaled” after an accident, I am running into more and more computers that should be “totaled”, as well. A piece of Spyware can have infected someone’s machine so badly a complete rebuild is in order and the cost of my time to do that is simply more than the computer is worth. While I can understand this with older systems, running Windows 98 or 2000, I am starting to see this effect even on computers that are only a few years old. Even in our current “disposable society”, I still have major issues with telling my clients to “throw it away and get a new one.” That said, I understand that the clients would be better off spending their money on a new computer, rather than paying for my time to fix their old one.

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

tompeters! leadership training development project management

Excellent set of PowerPoint slides (PowerPoint/PowerPoint Viewer req'd) from Tom Peters on Professional Service Firms. I am generating a lot of ideas for my Career Opportunities column as well as my day-to-day business.

It is always good to have some radical thinking to trigger your thinking and action.

tompeters! leadership training development project management

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Career-Op: Simplicity...from the archives with MP3 Audio

Career-Op: Simplicity

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

It is easier to buy a computer today than ever before. For your average user, any computer system they buy will have more power and more software than they will ever need. In fact, the biggest problem most users will face is learning how to use all the power they are given without getting hopelessly confused. This is where you and your high-tech experience come into play. With thousands of people buying new computers, or upgrading their existing systems, every day, they need your expertise to help them from going astray.

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AppleInsider | Macworld: Apple introduces iPod shuffle

AppleInsider | Macworld: Apple introduces iPod shuffle

Apple also introduced this tiny, memory-based, iPod player that holds up to 250 songs but lacks a screen. You can play forward and back through the songs or let the iPod randomly shuffle them like a personal radio station.

More from AppleInsider using the link above.

Apple announces $499 Mac Mini | MacMegasite

While this unit might be nice to replace an older, stand-alone unit (like my aging G4/450 Desktop, by the time you add full memory, a SuperDrive and other extras, the price comes in around $1500. Still this is better than anything else in Apple's current product line.

More from MacMegaSite.com...

Apple announces $499 Mac Mini | MacMegasite: "Apple has announced the long rumored 'headless iMac' at today's Macworld Expo keynote. The Mac Mini measures only 6.5' wide and 2' tall with a 1.25 or 1.42 GHz G4 processor. It includes FireWire 400, USB 2.0, Ethernet, VGA, and DVI ports."

Funny sketch from RohDesign.com

I laughed out loud when I saw this sketch from Mike Rohde's Weblog.

Check out this sketch and more by clicking on the picture or link below.

Rohdesign Weblog: Proj: Exhibition Moleskine Sketches (Pages 19-20)

Monday, January 10, 2005

Game: The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

I am NOT a game player in anyway, beyond a few hands of solitaire or the Myst/Riven combination of years ago, but, over our Ohio holiday we played a lot of Gamecube at our friends house. One amazing game was The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.

This is an amazing game and we ended up playing it much more than watching television. Every time we were sitting around the living room, someone would pick up the controller to "drive" and the rest of use would sit around and kibbutz from the sidelines.

The best thing was that everyone could participate equally, the kids and hte adults. It is a great mix of logic games and a bit of traditional "fighting." While we don't have a game console, and never have had one, I am interested in getting one so we can continue to play Zelda here at home.

Fun with stereographic photography (kottke.org)

Fun with stereographic photography (kottke.org)

I am always digging on all sorts of photography ideas and stereoscopic photos are just plain neat. I still haven't figured out a real "need" for them, but they are cool all the same.

Learn how to make your own stereoscopic pictures from this post on Kottke.org

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Free Online Photography Course

Once again Delicious has offered up a great link for anyone interested in photography.

If you want to learn more about using your camera and taking more than the average family snapshot (or even better family snapshots) check out this Free Online Photography Class.

The class was given in real-time over a series of weeks last july, but all the lessons and examples are still available online for your use.

From the web site...

Jodie Coston is a freelance photographer who lives in northwestern Montana. She has exhibited her work in gallery exhibitions around the world and has won numerous international awards for her images.

Book: Bringing Tuscany Home

While our family connections live in Sicily, I find that Frances Mayes stories of Tuscany remind me so much of our 2 visits to the country. I am always entranced by the sights, sounds and, especially, people she describes.

There is truly a magic in Italy. Even thought they live with the same, modern-day, pressures we all have, they take it in better stride, being less concerned with the troubles than the joys of a good, simple meal and the company of friends.

Give yourself a tript o Italy in your mind, if not in person, with this book and others by Frances Mayes.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Article: Could You Use a “Stop Doing” List?

Here is in interesting article from the Organized Assistant web site,

Could You Use a “Stop Doing” List? by Inez O. Ng, INTJ

One of the tried and true organization and time-management tools is the trusty old “to do” list. I was trained to diligently put one together at the end of the day for the following day, and whatever tasks I failed to complete, to carry it forward. This system has worked well in helping me prioritize and focus. But I have also heard many of my colleagues complain about having too much on their list, and feeling very discouraged and overwhelmed by the sheer number of items on their “To Do” list. To help ease the overwhelm, I want to introduce the concept of the “Stop Doing” list.

Continue Reading

Career-Op: Start and Stop -- with MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: Start and Stop

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

It is a rare high-tech project that progresses neatly from beginning to end. Most project schedules change dramatically over the lifespan of the project. Along with this, many projects can go on hiatus for days, weeks or even months at a time. You probably already know that the ability to move from task to task is an important quality in your high-tech career, but learning how to put a project “to bed” and awaken it later can help you move up the career ladder.

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Future Business Leaders of America - Phi Beta Lambda

The Future Business Leaders of America web site is now linking to the Career Opportunities Podcast, as well as several others.

Welcome FBLA members!

If you have any questions or comments on the Podcat, or individual Career-Op columns, please leave your comments here or drop me an email at: career@welchwrite.com.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Web Site Design - Joe Crawford

It has been a while since I had someone to recommend for web site design and implementation. Recently, someone I met in relation to my work writing Career Opportunities: The High-Tech Career Handbook in San Diego, has moved to the LA area. If you have need of a web site designer, be sure to check out his work. He has samples of his work on his web site.

Joe Crawford


Tuesday, January 04, 2005

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

Career-Op: Referrals

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Referrals are the life-blood of anyone working in high-tech, whether a freelance consultant and coach, like myself, or an IT staffer working inside a large corporation. Word of mouth is one of the strongest methods for developing new clients or finding the next job up the corporate ladder. As with most career issues, referrals can be a double-edged sword. Friendships, family and business can suffer when referrals become a contentious issue instead of simply one person, or business, helping another.

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Belated Santa Photo

We just got this photo from the annual Christmas party at Dilbeck Realtors in Sherman Oaks, California. Susan Zavala, a fellow St. Cyril's school parent invites all the classmates from her daughter's class to join in the fun and have a great meeting with Santa. They even send us the photos in both CD and traditional forms. It is always a nice event and a great way to spend some "non-school" time with other parents.

Photos From Our Snowy Ohio Holiday Adventure

I just loaded up a photo gallery of 85 shots from our holiday trip to Ohio. There are some neat photos of snow and icicles for those of you who wonder what Christmas in Ohio, during and after a blizzard, must be like.

If you like a particular picture, I can make it available for printing via DotPhoto or set up cards, postcards and other merchandise over at CafePress.com. I plan on adding a few of the photos to my existing stores in any case.

Let me know if anything grabs your attention and I will set it up post haste.

Click on the photo to link to the complete gallery of photos.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Web: ManyBooks.net

Looking for something to read? ManyBooks.Net has out-of-copyright books i.e. Don Quixote, The Three Musketeers, etc., preformatted for your Palm PDA and others. I always keep a couple of books on my Treo 90 for those times when I get stuck in line or otherwise need to kill some time.

From their web site...

Free eBooks for your PDA.

This site contains more than 10,000 eBooks formatted for reading on your Palm, PocketPC, Zaurus, Rocketbook, or Symbian cellphone. When eBooks are added to the site they're listed on the Recent Additions page.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Web: Hack Yourself!

Sometimes we can all use a little advice and a little lift that let's us know that life isn't necessarily bad or good...it just is!

This manifesto gave me some food for thought and hopefully will do the same for you.

Hack yourself
"You can be happy. You can live the life you want to live. You can become the person you want to be. This is what I've figured out so far." [MetaFilter]

Firelands Winery

Wine from Ohio, you say? Of course, I've known about Ohio wines for years.

I had an exxcellent ice wine from Firelands Winery during our recent holiday trip to my hometown. It was so good I am going to try and order some for myself and for the friends who shared it with us.

The winery doesn't have online ordering yet, but you can still order by phone.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Career-Op: For the love of it all...with MP3 Podcast

Career-Op: For the love of it all

by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

Working at what you love can be an amazing experience. It can bring a sense of fulfillment and joy that rivals the best experiences of your life. There can be a dark side, though, in getting every thing you want. Some cases involve subtle pressure to work harder, longer, faster, something nearly everyone feels. In others, though, pressure can turn into requirement, suggestions into orders, and your love for your work can be used against you.

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