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Thursday, August 31, 2006

What I'm Reading...

How to Get Ideas by Jack Foster
I believe I saw this mentioned in one forward from A Technique for Producing Ideas

Fields of Plenty by Michael Ableman
Excellent profiles of farmers who are living and working outside of the mainstream agricultural industry. Loving it so far.

My Weeds: A Gardener's Botany by Sara Stein
Recommended by Jenn from Garden Djinn

I pulled both of these books from the Los Angeles Public Library, a great resource where I get nearly all of my books. I like to read books before I think about adding them to my own library. It helps to keep the house clutter to an absolute minimum.

Check out your own library today!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Technology IQ: Skills everyone should have

Chatting with my fellow Friends in Tech members the other day, we were discussing the basic skills that every computer user should have, if they want to get the most out of their computer. I did some thinking on this and came up with the list below.

If you know how to do a majority of these tasks, then you are well on the way to computer mastery. Additionally, if you find you are lacking 1 or 2 of these items, this list should give you a direction for your future computer learning and training.

The great thing is, if you learn these skills in one program or on one type of computer, you probably know how to do them on another type of computer or program. For example, while people often extol the differences between PCs and Macs, there are a lot of similarities in their operation. The same holds true for different programs. Saving a document in Microsoft Word is exactly the same as saving it in MS Excel, or other Windows programs.

Here are a few skills that everyone should have...

Using Applications
  • Know how to create a new, blank document
  • Open an existing document
  • Save a document
  • Save as... (and why you might want to do that)
  • Know WHERE you saved it (i.e. My Documents or Documents folder)
  • Print a document
  • Create a PDF of a document

  • Properly restart and shutdown your computer (and know why)
  • How to force a shutdown, if the computer is hung up

  • Access a web site
  • Navigate a website i.e. links, etc
  • Use a search engine like Google to find information on the web
  • Download a file/program

  • Install a program
  • Remove a program
  • Clean up desktop

  • Access email (that has been pre-configured with email account settings)
  • Send email
  • What is CC
  • What is BCC (very important)
  • When to use each
  • Reply (and when to use)
  • Forward (and when to use)
  • Delete
  • File email into folders
  • Why to organize files into folders

File Management
  • Create new folders
  • Move/save files into folders
  • Why to organize files into folders
  • Copy/Save As... a document to floppy, CD, network drive, etc.
  • Burn documents to CD
  • Delete a document (safely)

Previous Technology IQ posts:

Technology IQ: When it just won't print...

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Listening to... In the Trenches

This is the eighth in a series of podcasting articles where I work my way through my list of current subscribed podcasts and let you know what I'm listening to on my computer and my iPod.

#8 In the Trenches

Listen to an In The Trenches Promo

Description (from the site):

Where geeks get paid to be geeks! A podcast for Systems Administrators and IT Professionals from the perspective of a Systems Administrator.

From Douglas:

Their short description doesn't really do justice to this podcast. Kevin Devin and George Starcher are "real world" sysadmins and high-tech workers. If you want to know what is "really" going on within corporations all over the world in relation to IT, this is the podcast to which you should subscribe. In interest of full disclosure, I have been a guest on In The Trenches and they are also a fellow member of Friends in Tech. That said, I was listening long before I became a member.

You can check out In The Trenches directly from the web site or subscribe to the show using Apple's iTunes Software and this link.

Previous "Listening to..." posts
#7 Cool Hunting Videos
#6 Channel Frederator
#5 Radio Nostalgia Network
#4 Brain Brew Radio
#3 Botar's Old Time Radio
#2 43 Folders
#1 Beyond Jazz

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WelchWrite Subscription Page

If you would like to subscribe to the RSS feed for any of the WelchWrite Blogs or Podcasts, or our Flickr photos, or our del.icio.us bookmarks or more, visit our new all-encompassing subscription page at http://welchwrite.com/subscribe/.

There you'll find all things WelchWrite with direct links to the web pages, RSS Feed links and links that allow you to directly subscribe to our podcasts using Apple's iTunes software.

If you want to keep up with everything that is happening here at WelchWrite.com, check it out!

WelchWrite Subscription Page

Special Thanks!

I want to take time out for a special thanks to Chris S. from Auckland, New Zealand for his substantial donation to the WelchWrite Blogs and Podcasts!

This donation goes a long way towards the purchase of an Edirol R-09 recorder as well as web site costs.

Thanks again, Chris!

I wish you a perfect Spring and Summer up (!) there in the Southern Hemisphere! (SMILE)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Jamming in the garden...

Originally uploaded by dewelch.
We held our annual Summer Music Party yesterday and are all spending today recovering. (SMILE)

You can find more pictures of the party by clicking on the photo.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Career Opportunities podcast celebrates its 2nd Anniversary and 200th podcast at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo, September 29th and 30th, 2006.



Douglas E. Welch
The WelchWrite Company, Inc.

Career Opportunities podcast celebrates its 2nd Anniversary and 200th podcast at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo, September 29th and 30th, 2006.

Los Angeles, California, September 7, 2006 — Career Opportunities, the podcast that is "Helping to Build the Career You Deserve", will celebrate its 2nd Anniversary and 200th episode this month. The official anniversary date is September 24, 2006, marking the day when host and writer, Douglas E. Welch, joined the ranks of the first 20 podcasters.

"It was amazing to be involved at the very beginning of podcasting and see how far it has come today, " says Welch. "I am so impressed with the power of podcasting. It truly has the ability to break the distribution stranglehold that large television and radio networks have had on mass media, especially in the US. Podcasters like myself can reach out to the world to find an audience, no matter where their passion lies. Podcasting is an intimate media where you have the opportunity to 'whisper in the ear' of your listeners and develop deep, interactive relationships"

Career Opportunities (http://welchwrite.com/career/), based on the 10-year-old print column of the same name, is produced twice-weekly, and includes audio versions of Welch's weekly column, special interviews and Skypecasts, live open teleconferences where readers and listeners can ask questions and discuss career issues.

Career Opportunities will be part of the 2nd Podcast and Portable Media Expo, September 29th and 30th, in Ontario, California, producing a live show from the booth of the LA Podcasters (http://lapodcasters.com), a regional podcasting group from Los Angeles California. The LIVE Career Opportunities panel discussion happens on Friday, September 29th at 1:00 pm on the show floor.

Career Opportunities is also a member of Friends in Tech (http://friendsintech.com). Friends in Tech is an alliance of technology podcasters. Members are regular guests on other member’s podcasts, bringing their unique knowledge, talent and insights to a new audience of listeners. Members also join together to create exclusive content for the Friends In Tech website, including FiT Tips, a collection of short audio hints to help ease listener’s computer life, Retro-FiT, a regular podcast review of all Friends In Tech podcasts and, their holiday specials, with a bit of light-hearted, technology-based, fun.

For additional information, Contact:

Douglas E. Welch
The WelchWrite Company, Inc.

Career Opportunities podcast celebrates its 2nd Anniversary and 200th podcast at the Podcast and Portable Media Expo, September 28th and 29th, 2006.

# # #

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Friday, August 25, 2006

On Podcasting: It's just a hobby, right?

Last night, as I was obsessing over my podcasting stats with my wife (just a bit), she asked the usual question.

"Are you having fun?"

Of course, I answered yes, otherwise I wouldn't continue creating podcasts.

"Then why are you so worried about your stats? It isn't like it's a business."

This is a common dichotomy I hear often when discussing podcasting and other ventures that are more hobby than work. People seem incapable of finding a middle ground, If something is a "hobby" then you shouldn't worry about it all. The entire process should be fun, fun, fun. If, on the other hand, something is work, you shouldn't have any fun at all. At best, this is an outdated concept. At worse, it is damaging to you and those around you.

There is one major reason why you might stress a bit over something that others would classify as a pure hobby. No matter what I do, I want to do my best AND I want it to have as large an effect as possible. I want the maximum number of people to listen to my podcast and read my columns. I want to share my knowledge and help make the world a (slightly) better place.

Therefore, when my stats are down I do stress a bit. Is there a technical problem preventing people from accessing my podcast? Is my content lacking? Did I offend someone -- although some writers consider that if you aren't offending someone, you aren't doing your job. What are the stats trying to tell me? What can I learn from this?

Additionally, podcasting stats are simply one way of "keeping score." When you play pickup basketball, you keep score. When you play fantasy baseball, you keep score. You want to know how you measure up against those around you. While you should always seek to develop a good sense of self-worth, it is simply human nature to compare yourself and your work -- and your hobby -- against others.

Finally, work should be fun, too. I like to believe that if I ever develop podcasting into a full-time job, I would still have fun doing it. Otherwise, why bother? This is true of any job. If you aren't having fun in your job, you aren't doing your best work. You are merely slogging through each day simply so you can get your paycheck at the end of the week and retire at the end of the job. How dreary is that?

So, I'm hoping this proves it's OK to be concerned with your "hobby." You should care about the work you do, whether you are being paid for it directly or indirectly.

Previous On Podcasting entries:

On Podcasting: Money, money, money
On Podcasting: Freedom
On Podcasting: Talking to the "old" media

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At the meeting...

What goes on at an LA Podcasters meeting?

Well, sometimes, it might look something like this.

Click the thumbnail for a larger version of the comic!

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Promo: Goodnight Burbank from the LA Podcasters

Here is a short promo from one of my fellow LA Podcasters members, Goodnight Burbank, a video podcast.

Play Promo

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Listening to.../Watching...: Cool Hunting Videos

This is the seventh in a series of podcasting articles where I work my way through my list of current subscribed podcasts and let you know what I'm listening to on my computer and my iPod.

#7 Cool Hunting Videos

Description (from the site):

Since February 2003 Josh Rubin's Cool Hunting has been a daily update on stuff from the intersection of design, culture and technology. Josh started the site as a way to catalog things that inspire him in his practice as a designer and strategist. Today Cool Hunting has grown beyond a personal reference tool-- designers, consumers and marketers from around the world visit every day to get their dose.
As the site became increasingly fueled by contributions from readers, Josh realized Cool Hunting should be a collective. He now serves as Editor of the site and wrangles contributions from a small gaggle of hand picked writers who are out finding great things and looking at all the stuff readers are feeding us.

From Douglas:

Another eclectic and enlightening podcast that is quickly replacing my regular TV viewing. Cool Hunting takes to me countries, art exhibits and trade shows that I would never be able to visit otherwise.

This is a great way to expose yourself to new and different stimulus and spur your own creative thinking. Learn about 8-bit music, new furniture designs, new foods and more.

You can check out Cool Hunting directly from the web site or subscribe to the show using Apple's iTunes Software and this link.

Previous "Listening to..." posts
#6 Channel Frederator
#5 Radio Nostalgia Network
#4 Brain Brew Radio
#3 Botar's Old Time Radio
#2 43 Folders
#1 Beyond Jazz

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WelchWrite Listener/Reader Line

I would love to hear your comments on the podcasts and any questions you might have. You can use this same number for any of the WelchWrite blogs or podcasts.

Call the WelchWrite Listener/Reader Line at 206-338-5832 and you just might end up in the podcast.

WelchWrite Reader/Listener Line


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Technology IQ: When it just won't print...

One of the most common questions I receive from my clients is what to do when their printer simply refuses to print. While there can sometimes be major problems, such as a dead printer, in most cases, it is something small. The next time your printer is giving you trouble, try these simple steps to see if you can bring it back to life.

  1. Check the power

    Yes, I know this sounds like such a commonsense issue, but many of my support calls have ended abruptly when someone checks the power cord of the printer. While you may not have unplugged the printer, perhaps a family member or house cleaner did. Perhaps, as happened in one case, the family dog had chewed through the cable.

    Even more likely, though, is a power strip that has been accidently turned off. Is anything else plugged into the strip? Does it have power? If not, flip the switch in the other direction? Does this help? Try plugging the printer directly into the wall.

  2. Check for errors

    If the printer appears to have power i.e. you see lights or hear the printer go through its startup ritual, then you need to check the lights, or front panel display, for errors.

    Printers without a display will usually signal an error with blinking red lights. If the light is next to the icon which looks like a sheet of paper, the printer could be out of paper or a sheet of paper could be jammed in the printer. A blinking light next to the icon which looks like a raindrop could mean that the printer is out of ink, or perhaps just one color.

    If the printer software is well designed, you might see an error message on your computer screen indicating what is wrong or perhaps which printer cartridge is empty.

    There is no sense checking other items if an error is indicated, you simply have to find what is causing the error. If it has one, open the main door of the printer and look for anything out of place. Is there a torn sheet in the paper feed? Is the door holding the print cartridges not completely closed?

    If nothing appears wrong, close the cover and turn the printer off and on. This might clear the error message.

    Printers which have a display will often give you clearer error messages and instructions. Follow the directions on the screen to assist in troubleshooting the problem.

  3. The printer tries to print, but the page is blank

    If the printer goes through the motions of printing, but the page is blank, this usually means that the ink-jet heads are blocked with solidified ink. This can often happen when an ink-jet printer sits unused for a period of time. In fact, if you can, print a page or two to your printer each week, so you don't get hit with this problem.

    If the ink-jets are plugged you will need to "Clean the Heads." Each printer will have some way of accomplishing this, usually as part of the printing software, but you may need to check your manual to find the procedure. You may have to clean the heads a number of times before printing is restored. In the worst cases, you might not be able to revive the printer and your only option will be to replace it. Finding a repair shop for a printer is difficult, if you can find one at all. In most cases the repair person will simply tell you to replace the printer since so many inexpensive ones are now available.

  4. Printing never starts

    If you don't see any error conditions indicated, but the printer still refuses to print, you need to check the connections between your computer and your printer. Check the Parallel or USB cable running from your computer to the printer. Has it become unplugged? Is it damaged in some way? If the connections look sound, try restarting your computer and trying again. In some cases, there could be a software error that is preventing printing, which may be cleared by a restart.

  5. Re-install the printer software

    Finally, if the printer is still not working, you can attempt to re-install the printer. If nothing else, re-installing the printer may turn up additional error messages that could lead you to the final problem. One typical problem is that the installer will tell you it cannot see the printer. This means you need to go back and check the power and data connections again.

    Hopefully, one of these steps will get your printer working again, but if not, you can be assured that you have checked the typical causes and know, for sure, that there is a larger problem. At this point you can set up an appointment and I will come and do some more sleuthing. In the worst cases, you might end up replacing the printer.

I hope this checklist will help you to solve your printing problems, next time they occur. You will be surprised how often checking these basics can get you back to work.

Do you have questions or comments on this Technology IQ post? Click on the comments link below.

Link: PDF Version

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Monday, August 21, 2006

On Podcasting: Money, money, money

We are slightly over 1 month away from the 2nd Podcast and Portable Media Expo here in nearby Ontario, California. Last year's Expo was the typical, first year, love fest. We are all so happy to have found one another and an amazing new medium. We talked, laughed and drank a lot and there were few disagreements.

This year, though, podcasting has entered the mainstream. The word is mentioned on traditional broadcast shows, many of which are now podcasting themselves. Money is starting to appear on the fringes and, as they say, money changes everything.

Now, don't get me wrong, I think that making money on podcasting is something we all would love. It is great to be rewarded for your work and money is one way that can happen. The problems arise when money becomes the sole focus of any endeavor.

Over the last few months I have seen a marked change in the podcasting discussion. Where before people were interested in how to develop shows and how to make them better, more and more people are interested only in how to "turn and burn" their shows. I am now seeing producers essentially using podcasting to create a pilot which they can use to sell their show to more traditional media outlets.

In some ways, I think they are selling themselves, their shows and podcasting in general, short. One of the major benefits of podcasting is having the time to build a show over time. Everyone's initial efforts are rough and tentative, but many shows hit a stride fairly quickly, sometimes developing into entirely different concepts than originally planned. Because of this, I think that the longer a podcast is allowed to develop, the more likely it will find an audience and then, attract revenue and interest from traditional media outlets.

Podcasting can, and should, be a source for new, innovative shows on radio and television, but it should also continue to develop for its own sake. Most podcasts will never find a mass audience and I think that is just fine. A mass audience requires the lowest common denominator and that often means compromises in content and presentation. Podcasting provides a space for unique messages that attract a small, but dedicated audience. These audience will support those shows, and hosts, that provide value to them, through subscription, advertising or some, as yet to be developed, methods.

Let's not let money cloud podcasting's future and reduce its usefulness to nothing but a farm team for old media. If money is to be made, let's keep it in the podcasting community, where it belongs.

Previous On Podcasting entries:

On Podcasting: Freedom
On Podcasting: Talking to the "old" media

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A Friend Wins an Emmy

Good work should always be recognized, so I want to take a moment to congratulate my friend, Michael Lawshe for his latest Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series for the series, Smallville.

Michael is very special to me, as he offers up a tremendous amount of audio advice and loans me equipment for my podcasting efforts. Every podcaster should be so lucky to have such an amazing resource.

Michael, third from the left.

Congratulations, Michael! Keep up the great work!

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Learn About the New FileMaker Pro 8.5 At Apple Stores During August and September

My good friend and FileMaker Pro developer, Daniel Harlow, will be demonstrating the latest version of FileMaker Pro at Apple Stores in Pasadena and Rancho Cucamonga.

Here are the details:

Pasadena - Wed, Aug 23, 2006, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m
Rancho Cucamonga - Wed, Aug 30, 2006, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

From the Apple Web Site...

FileMaker Pro 8.5 — Web Data Delivered. On Demand

Join us at the Apple Store and learn more about the all-new FileMaker Pro 8.5. An expert will be on hand to show you how easy it is to create and share custom databases. Plus learn how to get Web data delivered directly to your database — on demand!

You can find more information on FileMaker Pro 8.5 by visiting their web site.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Elsewhere Online: Microsoft Says Recovery from Malware Becoming Impossible

If I have worked with you recently, you have probably heard me say much the same as this story from eWeek.com.

More and more frequently, Windows PC's infected with malware/spyware/viruses must be completely re-installed from their original system disks in order to insure that no elements from the malware remain on the computer.

My average rebuild time for a Windows machine runs between 3-4 hours, with most of that time spent waiting for software and updates to install.

So, protect your machines today. It will always be cheaper than having to rebuild them. In some cases, the cost to rebuild the PC may outstrip the value of the machine.

Microsoft Says Recovery from Malware Becoming Impossible

Microsoft Says Recovery from Malware Becoming Impossible
By Ryan Naraine - April 4, 2006

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla.—In a rare discussion about the severity of the Windows malware scourge, a Microsoft security official said businesses should consider investing in an automated process to wipe hard drives and reinstall operating systems as a practical way to recover from malware infestation.

"When you are dealing with rootkits and some advanced spyware programs, the only solution is to rebuild from scratch. In some cases, there really is no way to recover without nuking the systems from orbit," Mike Danseglio, program manager in the Security Solutions group at Microsoft, said in a presentation at the InfoSec World conference here. (Continues)

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On Small Business: The Kindness of Friends

When you are creating your own business, you can, and should, take whatever help is available. One friend agrees to help you with the web site, another volunteers to take photos and still another offers to answer the phone a few days each week. Great! This frees you up for "more important" work and helps move the company forward.

Eventually, though, all this help can lead to a bit of a trap. As your company grows, you need more than help , you need prompt and professional action. Often, taking advantage of opportunities requires that you respond as quickly as possible. This is where the relationship with your friends can start to break down.

In one personal example, a client needed photos on a regular basis. A friend offered to shoot some photos, which were excellent, but the client now has an on-going need for photos -- sometimes as often as once a week. Their friend can't respond to such quick demands and so he ends up waiting for weeks before his friend can "get around to it."

While his friend's assistance has been invaluable in the past, there comes a time when you simply cannot rely on "the kindness of strangers..er..friends" anymore. You probably already know that you've reached this stage, but most of us simply ignore it. We like to think that something is better than nothing, but the truth is, relationships like this one can begin to hold you back. The time has come to find a professional who will work on your time schedule with a budget you can afford. Don't let your business be slowed down by relationships that no longer meet your needs. Sure, take any help the friends can offer, but when they aren't available, you need to develop more professional relationships to ensure that your company continues to grow.

Comments or Questions? Use the Comments link below!

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Video: The Secrets of Mental Math by Art Benjamin

In case you missed his presentation last night at Barnes & Noble Encino, here is a short video of Art Benjamin, Professor at Harvey Mudd College and Mathemagician, presenting "magic squares", just one of the concepts taught in his book. The Secrets of Mental Math.

Art regularly performs his MathMagic act The Magic Castle in Hollywood and is a frequent speaker around the country. He also presented at this year's TED Conference in Monterey, California.

Click the photo to play the video.

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Listening to...(actually, watching...): Channel Frederator

This is the sixth in a series of podcasting articles where I work my way through my list of current subscribed podcasts and let you know what I'm listening to on my computer and my iPod.

#6 Channel Frederator

Description (from the site):

We're packaging together some of the world's coolest and funniest cartoons and sending them straight to your iPod each week.

About Frederator Studios: We're the folks who originally gave you tons of cartoons including The Fairly OddParents, ChalkZone, My Life as a Teenage Robot, Johnny Bravo, Dexter's Laboratory, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Cow and Chicken, The PowerPuff Girls, and many, many more. And now we're giving you even more shorts that we're hoping are just as cool and just as funny.

Why all this? We really love cartoons and the people who make them. Because of our day job, we see lots of excellent stuff that never gets seen by most people. Channel Frederator gives all cartoons a shot at being shown to the wired world's masses. And if we can spread the love - or at least spread something - then we will.

From Douglas:

This sometimes NSFW (not safe for work) show is always interesting. You may get the best of student animation, music videos, foreign films or much more. This is the reason Front Row for Mac was created. Sit back with the remote and watch "TV" on your computer. Highly recommended for animation fans.

You can check out Channel Frederator directly from the web site or subscribe to the shows individually using Apple's iTunes Software.

Previous "Listening to..." posts
#5 Radio Nostalgia Network
#4 Brain Brew Radio
#3 Botar's Old Time Radio
#2 43 Folders
#1 Beyond Jazz

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Secrets of Mental Math - Tonight

We just got a last minute notice that our good friend, Art Benjamin, Professor at Harvey Mudd College and Mathemagician, will be presenting and signing his book. Secrets of Mental Math, tonight at the Barnes & Noble store in Encino, California.


Art regularly performs his MathMagic act The Magic Castle in Hollywood and is a frequent speaker around the country.

Come have some fun with Math, probably for the first time in a long time! (SMILE)

Tonight: 730 pm

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Solution to GoDaddy m4v Mime Type/.htaccess issues

I moved my web hosting to GoDaddy 3 days ago and while there have been few problems, I had run up against an issue serving iPod-ready Quicktime video files (.m4v) from my server. The server insisted on serving them up as text/plain type instead of video/x-m4v.

GoDaddy responded that I needed to use .htaccess to enable this file type, but they offer no support in creating these .htaccess files.

In trying to solve this problem, I discovered that my issues and the issues of hundreds of other GoDaddy users appears to be the line endings used in the .htaccess text file.

Working from a Mac using BBEdit, my .htaccess file was saved with Mac line endings, meaning that each line ends with a CR (carriage return) character. Instead, these .htaccess files must be saved with Unix line endings, meaning that a LF (linefeed) must terminate each line.

Forcing BBEdit to save the file with Unix line endings and re-uploading the file to the server allowed the AddType directives to be recognized and serve up the m4v files correctly to the web browser.

I would be interested in hearing from others who have experienced this issue and if this solution works for you, as well.

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Listening to... The Radio Nostalgia Network

This is the fifth in a series of podcasting articles where I work my way through my list of current subscribed podcasts and let you know what I'm listening to on my computer and my iPod.

#5 Radio Nostalgia Network

From Douglas:

A huge collection of regularly scheduled old-rimw radio shows, divided into channel such as Big Band Serenade, Western Wednesday's and Radio Detective Story Hour and more.

You can check out the Radio Nostalgia Network directly from the web site or subscribe to the shows individually using Apple's iTunes Software.

Previous "Listening to..." posts

#4 Brain Brew Radio
#3 Botar's Old Time Radio
#2 43 Folders
#1 Beyond Jazz

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Event: Madagascar on the beach ~ Free - August 15

Psst! Pass it on! (SMILE)

Madagascar on the beach ~ Free

Tuesday, Aug. 15th 7pm (doors open) movie at 8pm

Santa Monica Drive-In at the Pier Returns!

Madagascar the movie

Movies over the water and under the stars! Just bring something to keep you warm as the Pier screens a film for a great cause - The Cancer Relief Fund.

Tickets must be picked up in advance and are required for entry, check here for ticket pick ups

(Via CHEAPSKATIN' LA ~ hip handouts ~ free.)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Elsewhere Online: Podcasting Recording Hacks

As yo may have noticed, I am beginning to make My Word a bit of a clearing house for podcasting information. Hence the "On Podcasting..." articles I am writing and also links to great podcasting articles, like this.

Podcasting Recording Hacks

(Via lifehack.org.)

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Listening to... Brain Brew Radio

This is the fourth in a series of podcasting articles where I work my way through my list of current subscribed podcasts and let you know what I'm listening to on my computer and my iPod.

#4 Brain Brew Radio


Brain Brew Radio is about providing ideas and encouragement for helping American Revolutionaries. Brain Brew inspires your hopes through practical ideas, backed by data with a healthy dose of caffeinated encouragement & humor.

From Douglas:

I read Doug Hall's book, Jump Start Your Brain. years ago and I still refer to it regularly when trying to generate new ideas for project. When I saw that Doug had a podcast, I HAD to check it out. Doug also has several more books available including, Jump Start Your Business Brain and Jump Start Your Marketing Brain,

Whether you are looking specifically for business ideas, or just general creative ideas, it is well worth checking out the podcast, which is re-broadcast of his radio show, produced by Public Radio International.

You can check out Botar's Old Time Radio directly from the web site or subscribe using Apple's iTunes Software.

Previous "Listening to..." posts

#3Botar's Old Time Radio
#2 43 Folders
#1 Beyond Jazz

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Over coffee...

Over coffee...
Originally uploaded by dewelch.
Working in my journal over coffee at my friends restaurant

What I'm Reading...

Recently Completed:

Revved! by Harry Paul & Ross Reck, Ph.D.

Told in the form of a story about a fictional HR superviso Katie Adams, Revved! tells the amazing story of her comeback from the edge of failure by learning to care about other people.

A bit weak in the story department, but I know many people who could use a refresher course in how to treat their employees and co-workers. If you, or someone you know is faltering at work, this might be a good gift.

Also reading...

Crazybusy | Culinary Artistry

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Friday, August 11, 2006

Child Internet Safety Flier from Friends in Tech

The members of Friends In Tech have noticed an increase in issues with children and the Internet -- cyberbullying, various ramifications of social networks like My Space etc.

Several of our members have young children who are using the Internet more and more., so we have assembled a flier for parent education. The flier contains various sites and information to help parents educate themselves on the issues today’s children face online.

Friends in Tech is providing this flier as a guide to resources on the Internet. Different sites may be more appropriate to your children based on age and issues they face.

All logos, descriptions, links and information are copyright of their respective owners.

Click the thumbnail of the flier view/download the PDF.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Event: Make Magazine Issue #7 (Backyard Biology) Launch Party

BoingBoing.net points out this event right here in our own backyard...well, at least in Los Angeles. This sounds like a neat party and a great introduction into all Machine Project provides.

Make Magazine Issue #7 (Backyard Biology) Launch Party

Lecture and launch party - Saturday August 12, 8pm

Lately when we tell people about the classes at Machine Project, they say, “Oh, like Make Magazine“. So we’ve decided to embrace the confusion and host a launch party for the new issue of Make. Jed Berk will be there to talk about autonomous flocking behaviour in robotic blimps, Make editor and internet superstar Mark Frauenfelder will be there to introduce the new issue and chat with you about general makery, and Issue 7 (Back Yard Biology) will be there for you to peruse and purchase, which includes an article on making a home mushroom growing lab by our friend Phil Ross

(Via Boing Boing.)

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Listening to... Botar's Old Time Radio

This is the third in a series of podcasting articles where I work my way through my list of current subscribed podcasts and let you know what I'm listening to on my computer and my iPod.

#3 Botar's Old Time Radio


We deliver the best of old time radio shows to your door fresh daily. shows like The Shadow, Fibber McGee and Molly, Boston Blackie, The Green Hornet, X-minus One plus so much more.

From Douglas:

Everyone needs a break from all the technology and productivity podcasts and this is one of mine. The anachronism of listening to old time radio on one of the most advanced technology around is not lost on me, but I really enjoy the various shows I receive via Botar.

It was only after listening to many episodes of Fibber McGee and Molly that I realized how many of their catch phrase my parents and grandparents had given to my personal vocabulary. Of course, very few people understand the references, but that is simply the problem with keeping my feet in so many different decades, even those long before I was born. (SMILE)

You can check out Botar's Old Time Radio directly from the web site or subscribe using Apple's iTunes Software.

Previous "Listening to..." posts

#2 43 Folders
#1 Beyond Jazz

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Monday, August 07, 2006

On Sale: Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003

Windows | Macintosh

I received and email flyer from Costco.com today and noticed that they listed Microsoft Office Student and Teacher Edition 2003 for $123 + S&H. That was a decent price, so I thought I would tell all of you about it.

A quick check in Amazon.com, though, showed that they had it even cheaper ($119) with free shipping and handling! Mac Verison: $129

I guess I have to watch Costco prices a little more carefully in the future.

If you are looking to upgrade your MS Office installation, this is a great way to do it for less than 1/2 the price of the MS Office Professional.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Listening to... 43 Folders with Merlin Mann

This is the second in a series of podcasting articles where I work my way through my list of current subscribed podcasts and let you know what I'm listening to on my computer and my iPod.

#2 43 Folders


43 Folders is Merlin Mann’s site about personal productivity, life hacks, and simple ways to make your life a little better. We have a Mothership site, a community-driven wiki, and a lively Google Group where geeks like to congregate and swap tips on navigating our overloaded world.

From Douglas:

Great, short, focused tips on productivity and "Getting Things Done". No intro music, not ads, nothing but great productivity content presented in a unpretentious way.

You can check out 43 Folder directly from the web site or subscribe using Apple's iTunes Software.

Previous "Listening to..." posts

#1 Beyond Jazz

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WelchWrite News - August 6, 2006

If you are not on the WelchWrite Mailing List, you're missing out on my regular email newsletter.

Click the links below to subscribe to the newsletter or read the latest issue.

Link: WelchWrite News - August 6, 2006
Link: Subscribe to the WelchWrite Mailing List

Video Postcard - Malibu, California

Click to Play

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

On Podcasting: Freedom

The folks over at Sweet Mother (http://www.sweetmother.org/) posted a Call for Submissions on the Podcasters Yahoo Group list the other day and it got me to thinking more about what podcasting is and is not. Here is a copy of my response.

To reinforce my initial answer, Sweet Mother looks like a very nice site with some great ideas. My email was meant to illuminate the differences between the concepts. Sweet Mother is a real-time, online video production system and broadcast where podcasting relies on time-shifted, pre-recorded material.

Original Email:

This is in no way a put-down of Sweet Mother or their system, but I think that a system like this is the antithesis of what podcasting is all about. In their Call for Submissions email, they had a variety of questions which triggered my thoughts.

> To host your own SMT-Cast(tm) on SMT TV(tm) you must:
> 1) Have a webcam and high-speed internet access

Ok, no problem there.

> 2) Submit an application to fam@sweetmother.org which answers the
> following questions:

One of the most wonderful things about podcasting is that you don't have to ask for anyone's permission to do your thing. Your show can be crass and crude, pious and proud or slow and surly, but no one had to approve anything you do. The only people you have to please is your audience and yourself.

> b) What has been your experience to date in presenting content
> online?

In podcasting anyone, with any level of experience, even if they have to get someone else to help them record the show, can still do it. Some of your first shows may be really, really bad, but there is also a chance that you will hit upon a gem of a thought, even at the very beginning.

> c) When would you like to start presenting? (Date and time)

Another great thing about podcasting is the time shift. I always describe podcasting as "WHAT you want, WHERE you want, WHEN you want it"

Today's world is a time-shifted world and I think requiring the audience to be anywhere at a particular time is limiting. Give yourself the freedom to do the show whenever and where you please and give the same freedom to your audience.

> e) How long will your intended program be?

Again, when you remove the real-time element, it doesn't matter how long a show may be. The audience can consume it in any way it wishes.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about podcasting recently in preparation for my first Intro to Podcasting class that I am teaching here in Los Angeles. Perhaps this is the reason this message caught my eye.

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Listening To... - Beyond Jazz

This is the first in a series of podcasting articles where I work my way through my list of current subscribed podcasts and let you know what I'm listening to on my computer and my iPod.

#1 Beyond Jazz


Beyondjazz is an online future jazz community. Our main focus is a website, Beyondjazz.net, which holds zillions of interviews, profiles, reviews, playlists, charts and more. With 2700+ registered members and more than a thousand visits a day, www.beyondjazz.net has in less than 2 years become one of the must-visit sites for any music lover with a passion for sophisticated beats & soulful melodies.

Next to that there’s the weekly 2hour Beyondjazz.Radioshow (available on the internet through live streaming as well as on demand and broadcasted on Urgent.fm in the area of Gent, Belgium), there’s the Beyondjazz.Parties, the Beyondjazz.Dj-team and Beyondjazz.Productions putting out fresh music by new and upcoming kids.

From Douglas:

I came across this podcast very early on and have remained subscribed to it for over 1 1/2 years. Beyond Jazz is an eclectic, and usually NSFW (Not Safe For Work), collection of hip-hop, jazz, electronica and just about every other type of music. For me, it is one, small way to stay connected to what is happening in music today. I am sure that my friends would be utterly amazed at what I am listening to on this show, as they have quite a different opinion of my musical tastes. The fact is, I love all types of music and this show is a great way to listen to a little of everything, without requiring a full-time commitment to one radio station and one style of music.

At 2 hours, I rarely get to listen to an entire show at one sitting. Usually I end up sampling bits and pieces over the course of a week or so. It is a great change from the other podcasts I listen to and allows me to zone out to some great tunes instead of focusing on some tech conference on open source software or social networking.

You can check out Beyond Jazz directly from their web site or by subscribing copying this feed and pasting into iTunes by selecting Advanced Menu, Subscribe to Podcast... They don't appear to have a listing in the iTunes Podcast Directory.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Braille on the label

LAST Wednesday, I was at my weekly meeting with the owners of Madeleine Bistro in Tarzana, California, fellow parents at my son's school, and happened to be there when one of their wine distributors stopped by.

He offered up this new wine, Belleruche Cote-Du-Rhone from Chapoutier. As I was handling the bottle, I noted something new able the label. While it looked like every other wine label, pressed into the label was all the wine's information in braille.

This is the first time I have seen this on any wine bottle and it intrigued me as to why this company decided to do this. A quick visit to their web site offers this explanation,

"The expression of an assertive, confident personality, Braille has been present since 1996 on all M. CHAPOUTIER labels. Far from being anecdotic, this symbol draws its origin from the very history of the Hermitage vineyard. Maurice Monier de La Sizeranne, owner of the plot of the Hermitage, la Sizeranne, is also the inventor of the first version of abbreviated Braille.
The trademark pays tribute to this man but also expresses the desire to reach out to and include all people with sight-impairments, lovers of good wines."

Now, I am going to guess that the number of blind people who patronize this wine is fairly low, it certainly lends an interesting story when you first discover the wine and are sharing it with others.

As for the wine itself, it is bright and crisp, fairly dry and quite robust. It has a bit of a bite when sampled alone, but the combination with a variety of heavier foods, like cheese, beef and heavily sauced dishes make this a real winner.

Chapoutier wines are also biodynamic. Again, from their web site,

"Love for vines and wine and the awareness of the need to respect the earth and its terroir have led the Maison M. CHAPOUTIER to adopt a biodynamic cultivation method.

This demanding method of cultivation has become a genuine philosophy for the Maison M. CHAPOUTIER. An unflinching desire: ensure that soils are living and as expressive as possible. As to propose an "appellation d'origine contrôlée" is to propose above all an expression of the terroir. This expression, a transmutation of mineral to plant, can only exist with a terroir that is in good condition, a terroir that is alive."

This makes them an option for my friend's restaurant which serves organic, vegan fare.

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Elsewhere Online: E-mail Etiquette: Writing an Effective Subject Line

I often (gently) chide my clients about the necessity for good subject lines on their emails, and here is a great post on exactly that topic from LifeSpy. If you want to increase your chances for keeping your email out reader's SPAM filters and increasing productivity, these tips are a great place to start.

E-mail Etiquette: Writing an Effective Subject Line

To improve the way you communicate, take two minutes to write more effective e-mail subject lines.

The Problem -- Too many people fall into the trap of writing vague e-mail subject titles like “Hello”, “Hi” or even forget to bother with a title at all. The trouble is that junk mail tends to look pretty much the same. When writing e-mails to friends, you can probably get away with being vague or sloppy; however, professional correspondence like at work or college requires more thought. Especially if you want a reply. [Continues]

(Via LifeSpy.)

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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

On Podcasting: Talking to the "old" media

Today, here in the home office, I did a podcasting segment for a new, local TV show. It should appear in early September and I will give more specific info as we get closer to the air date. You never know with television whether something will make it on the air or not, so I will keep mum until it is about to happen.

Those of you who know me, know that I love to talk tech and especially about podcasting. I get knowing chuckles whenever I tell people I have swallowed podcasting hook, line and sinker. I see so many opportunities in podcasting and ways that it can help almost everyone expand their life, their business or their cause.

It was interesting talking to the "old" media about something so new. This September marks only the 2nd anniversary of podcasting, but now it seems like it has been around for much longer. Appearing on television is a great way to spread the word about podcasting, but when you consider that this will only air in Los Angeles, when my podcasts have a global audience, it seems weird. Do television producers ever think about this? Do they wonder why their work can't be seen by thousands of people all over the world? Does it make them afraid of podcasting, or more intrigued to give it a whirl?

I wish this TV piece could have been a bit more conversational. I do better in that environment, where I can bounce things off another person. Thinking off the top of you head, without a written script and teleprompter can be difficult. I was so tired this afternoon I crashed out on the couch. You always forget things you wanted to say until it is too late. You always worry about the construction of what you are saying. Did you mention RSS feeds before you mentioned web sites? Did you remember to tell them about XYZ? When I am doing my own podcast, I can stop the recording, gather my thoughts and then start again. When people are staring at you waiting to say something profound, it can be a bit intimidating. (SMILE)

So, I will tell you what I told them today. Give podcasting a try...today...tomorrow or soon. Tell people what's on your mind. You just might find that their are 100's, if not thousands of people who want to hear what you have to say. How cool is that?!

** Got a hankering to podcast now?

Don't forget my upcoming, Intro to Podcasting class, Saturday, August 19, 2006 @ 2PM in Sherman Oaks.

Also, check out Podcast Solutions, co-written by fellow LA Podcaster, Dan Klass, host of The Bitterest Pill.

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