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Friday, September 30, 2005

ChuckChat Technorama

A fellow Friend in Tech (http://friendsintech.com) is approaching a podcast milestone. Please take a free moment to give them a listen.

ChuckChat Technorama podcast is rapidly approaching show #50.

We're running a prize giveaway on show #50. The prize pool has hundreds of dollars worth of prizes and is growing rapidly as we approach the big show. Find out how you can qualify to win by listening to Technorama with Chuck Tomasi and Kreg Steppe. Feed your inner geek twice a week with Technorama.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

California Wildfire Information

As the wildfire season commences here in California, I would like to refer you to 2 excellent informational resources on tracking the location and progress of fires California and throughout the country.

Geomac Wildland Fire Support Wildfire Viewer

California Wildfire Information - California Wildfire Alliance

UPDATE: (620pm PDT): Here is another wildfire mapping resource MODIS Active Fire Mapping Program from Remote Sensing Applications Center.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Fallen Fruit

I have often bemoaned all the fruit I see "wasted" each year as I walk around the neighborhood. A few years ago I heard of a group that would gather your fruit, leaving you a portion for your own use and donating the rest to food banks.

The people at Fallen Fruit have taken a different tack. The web site publishes maps of local LA neighborhoods and the fruit trees that can be found there. It seems there is a law on the books in Los Angeles, that fruit overhanging sidewalks become public property and can be gathered by anyone.

Maybe I should work up a map of our neighborhood here in Van Nuys. I know we have oranges, lemons, grapefruit, peaches, figs and more.

Los Angeles maps of fallen fruit ripe for the taking

Mark Frauenfelder: Fallen Fruit is a website run by people who encourage you to grow fruit on the perimeter of your property and allow others to harvest it. They also have maps of Los Angeles neighborhoods that are bearing lots of free fruit.

(Via Boing Boing.)

Saturday, September 24, 2005


After posting this note about Slow=Know" and sketching a few months ago, I wanted to do a bit more sketching myself. Last night, when my mind was too scattered to do any more "real" work, I picked up my sketchpad and pencil.

Click for larger image

This was also a quick test for my new digital camera. We had to replace ours when it finally decided to stop working and the local service center was unable to repair it. I will say that the new camera is MUCH better at doing close-ups. One ofmy major complaints with the old one.

A double-shot of Douglas!

I just saw that another segment I produced, Remote Support without the hassle, appears today on "In the Trenches...with Kevin Devin". I didn't really expect these segments to hit on the same day, but I guess that happens sometimes.

In the segment, I discuss using Listener-based VNC connections to easily support users without requiring changes to their router or software.


Mobile Tech, Passwords, and Remote Admin. Oh my!

Sponsored by Gotomeeting.com and GoDaddy.com

We cover dealing with some laptop issues from reloading to prepping for new users. Some tips and listener feedback on mobile phones, ICE and blackberries. Along with segments on Remote Administration via VNC by Douglas E. Welch of the Career Opportunities Podcast (the high-tech career handbook) and XP Password Recovery by George.

(Via In the Trenches.)

Hey guys, look at me!! I'm on a podcast!!

In today's edition of the Typical PC User Podcast with Victor Cajiao, I do a segment on troubleshooting your DSL or cable modem connection to the Internet.

Whenever my clients have trouble with their connections, it can lead to extra work for everyone involved. This is my method for keeping everything in perspective.

TPCU55-09-24-2005 DSL Troubleshootng, Geek Gadget Show and Tell, Wireless tips, and Favorite Firefox Extensions and Plugins

Play Podcast


Douglas E. Welch on DSL Trouble Shooting
Career Opportunities The High-Tech Career Handbook Listener Cate gives us her favorite Fire Fox Extensions and Plugins
World Wide Words
Common plugins, including common search plugins
Many more Fire Fox plugins
Wikipedia definition of PluginsGeek Gadget Show and Tell (with Victor and George).

Three of the four featured on this show were provied by listener Sal. Why don’t you send me your favorite gadget links at typicalpcuser@gmail.com

Big Brother is watching
Talk about your USB Magma
One Smart Extension Cord
Doze No More

(Via Typical PC User Podcast.)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Event:Los Angeles Architecture Festival

From SaveWright.org...

"On December 11, 2004, the Los Angeles City Council issued a proclamation commending the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy for its achievements in preserving Wright's built legacy. In honor of the Conservancy's 2005 Conference, the City Council has declared October 2005 "Architecture Month" in Los Angeles.

In conjunction with the 2005 conference, the Los Angeles Conference committee reached out to the local community to collect information on concurrent events and collaborated with museums, historic architectural groups and others to produce an "Architectural Festival." The Festival includes a remarkable series of tours, exhibitions, events, and performances to highlight the important role Los Angeles has played in the evolution of modern architectural design and Frank Lloyd Wright's legacy. Festival events began in March 2005 and extend through January 2006 with the concentration being in October 2005. The Festival provides an opportunity for the people of Los Angeles as well as visitors to explore the city's rich architectural history. All information has been provided by the sponsoring organizations. Some tours may be subject to minimum or maximum registration limits. Tours, Performances and Events are listed chronologically by opening date or first occurrence. Contact the sponsoring organization for updated information. Please confirm all information, and obtain further details through the listed contact. Descriptions of Festival events will also be posted on the FLWBC website www.savewright.org.

Monday, September 19, 2005

A computer game worth playing!

Dang, BoingBoing always finds the neatest stuff.

Based on Cory Doctorow's description below, I downloaded the demo of Professor Fizzwizzle. My 7-year-old son and I worked through level after level until he was practically begging to buy the software. He was able to solve many of the levels without my help, but we also got to work together on a few.

It is great logic game, with lots of inventive puzzles and great music. the folks at Grubby Games should be very proud of their work!

You can get a downloadable demo for Windows, Mac or Linux by visiting the Grubby Games web site.

Highly engaging retro puzzle-game: Mario meets Myst

Cory Doctorow: Ryan sez, "We're a new indie game dev outfit, and we've just finished our Professor Fizzwizzle, our first game. It's a 2D platform puzzle game, with a retro cartoony feel to it. If you liked 'The Incredible Machine' you'll probably like this."

(Via Boing Boing.)

Writing Better Emails

Communicating well, regardless of the circumstances or method, is an important part of life today. Since many of us are using email for more and more of our communications, it only makes sense to focus on how to communicate better within this media.

This article from 43Folders.com, a "Getting Things Done"-oriented site, reminded me of a few important items and can help you make each email more productive.

Writing sensible email messages

As we've seen before, getting your inbound email under control will give you a huge productivity boost, but what about all the emails you send? If you want to be a good email citizen and ensure the kind of results you're looking for, you'll need to craft messages that are concise and easy to deal with.

(Via 43 Folders.)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Set your power strip free!

I had been meaning to write about these devices for a long time, but I'll let Cory over at BoingBoing.net tell you instead. While the first device is much more showy (and probably much more expensive), the Power Strip Liberators can be used to reclaim outlets on your existing power strip.

Most perfect power-strip design EVAR

Cory Doctorow: This is the perfect power-strip design. Until the wonderful day arrives when all electrical adapters come with dainty little plugs and the wall-wart is a thing of the past, every power-strip in the universe should be replaced with one of these.


(via Gizmodo)

Update: Laura Lemay sez, "you can also just buy a bunch of Power Strip Liberators (5 for about $8-10) and accomplish the same thing to retrofit your existing power strips. Not as cool, though."

(Via Boing Boing.)

Friday, September 16, 2005

David Allen "Getting Things Done" Seminar - Archive Now Available

The recording of the David Allen seminar, Knowledge Work Athletics, that I attended a few weeks ago is now available online. If you didn't get a chance to make the seminar, you can at least enjoy it after the fact.

I am quite a big fan of the book, Getting Things Done, and it is one of the few books I will actually buy for people. If you are feeling overwhelmed with everything you have to do in your life, this book, and the huge amounts of related info on the Internet, could be a big help.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Skirball Center Free Saturday Concerts

The Skirball Center in the Sepulveda Pass offers free concerts each Saturday, including today. Below is the information on the next 2 concerts. Check out their online calendar for future dates.

Free. No reservations necessary

This popular Saturday concert series features outstanding local music talents in a beautiful outdoor setting.


Saturday, September 10, 12:00 p.m.

Brazilian jazz


Saturday, September 17, 12:00 p.m.

Followed by a free screening of I'll Sing for You.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Silver Lake Art worth seeing

I was so jazzed when I saw that this artwork was right here in Los Angeles. The photos make it look very cool. I plan on making a trip down to Silver Lake specifically to see it. Maybe one of my clients from the area will have me down for some work and I can combine the work with a little pleasure.

Maximilian's Schell

Los Angeles, CA - Outside of the Materials and Applications Architecture and Landscape Research courtyard resides a giant yellow black hole. Created by Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues, this rendition of "the deadliest force in the Universe" is entitled Maximilian's Schell, after the actor's portrayal of Dr. Hans Reinhardt in the sci-fi thriller, The Black Hole. The installation will be up until November. Check the Materials & Applications site for further details.

(Via Josh Rubin: Cool Hunting.)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

G7th Capo - Music Geekery

Cool Tools highlighted this great piece of music geekdom. Of course, if you are a geek in one thing, you are a geek in many, so this cool capo had me drooling. Of course, at around $40, it is definitely on my "Want" list, not my "Need" list. Still, I can only imagine how much better I would play with one of these. (SMILE)

G7th Capo

This is the best capo on Earth. The unique one-way cam lets you adjust tension in tiny increments with a squeeze. Unlike every other capo I've used, it can apply enough tension to cleanly fret the string without bending it sharp. Works on acoustic and electric instruments equally well. Build and finish quality is absolutely superb. The G7th capo is a brilliant piece of gear for the discerning guitarist.

(Via Cool Tools.)