June 2003

Just the FAX

Do you still use a traditional stand alone FAX machine to receive information at your home or office? If you are like me, most of the pages you receive are junk faxes advertising one thing or another. Perhaps, you once signed up to receive a daily fax, that you now no longer need, yet you continue to pay for toner, ink and paper to print it out. I have one friend, a mortgage broker, that receives 20-30 faxes a day quoting interest rates from various lenders. He only needs about 3 of these pages.

Instead of wasting your time and energy, maybe you would do better to let your computer receive your faxes. Most systems have the appropriate hardware (a data/fax modem) and software to perform this task. When your computer receives a fax, you can view it right on your computer screen, only printing the pages you actually need. If you receive a lot of FAX messages, this could save your countless dollars.

You can also use your computer to send faxes to your friends and business partners. Do you find yourself printing a document from your computer only to walk over to the fax machine to send it? Using the same fax software mentioned above, you can send the document directly from your computer to any fax machine. Again, this can save you quite a bit of money in supplies and wasted time.

If you are interested in trying out FAX'ing to or from your computer, or have a great story about how you use your computer as a fax, drop me a line at douglas@welchwrite.com.

Remember to update operating systems and anti-virus programs


The beginning of each month is the perfect time to ensure that your operating system (Windows/Macintosh OS) and anti-virus software are up-to-date. Your anti-virus software cannot pro tect your computer from the latest viruses without these updates. Updates are released at least once a month, unless a new virus is dangerous enough to justify an immediate update.

*** The latest information on the Fizzer Worm, one of the latest threats, can be found at Proland Software Proland Software.

Operating System Updates
For Windows (98, 2000, XP), there should be an icon labeled Windows Update in your Start Menu

For Macintosh OS 9 systems, check Apple Menu, Control Panels, Software Update
For Macintosh OS X systems, check System Preferences, Software Update

Most systems can be set to automatically check for updates directly from the Internet, as well. If you want to learn how to set up automatic updates for these programs, drop me an email or give me a call.

Software Updates

Mac OS X 10.2.6 Upgrade

Adobe Reader (formally Acrobat Reader) 6.0

NetNewsWire Lite 1.03


Phoon - Display moon phases on your Palm



Windows Updates

A variety of important Windows Security Updates are available using the Windows Update service at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com

Software Updates of all sorts



My Writing

My weblog, My Word with Douglas E. Welch, is a daily gathering spot for all the information I come across in my travels. There I announce new software updates, post photos, highlight interesting news stories, book recommendations and LA Events. You can check it out at: http://www.welchwrite.com /blog/

Windows Update Email Hoax/Hack

WARNING - I received the email below today and wanted to let everyone know that it is suspicious in nature. The URL listed is NOT a valid Microsoft URL and it re-directs your computer to some site that attempts to load a PERL program. This method is usually used to install software or infect your system with a virus.

I do not want to risk damage to my Windows computer, so I cannot tell what further damage or infection is might be attempting. I will continue researching the issue and report my findings here.

If you receive this email, DELETE IT IMMEDIATELY. DO NOT VISIT THE WEBSITE LISTED. The valid URL (address) for Microsoft's Windows Update is http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.

Here is the text of the original email I received..







It appears that this email is directing you to a search engine web site which will attempt to install a browser toolbar (called BrowserAid), reset your home page and do a variety of other things to your computer. You can find detailed info at DoxDesk.com. This is a blatant hijacking of someone's computer and presents a significant security risk, especially for less experienced computer users.

A Gardener's Notebook is a daily weblog of the trials and tribulations of a part-time gardener. It includes notes on what is blooming, what I am planting and what is struggling. It also contains links to new (or newly found) gardening books and more. Spend some time in my garden! http://welchwrite.com/agn/blog/

Latest Entry:

Best free public gardens - from Sunset

This month's Sunset magazine has a short list of the best free public gardens in the West, including:

Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden(Claremont, California)
Bellevue Botanical Garden (Bellevue, Washington)
The Gardens at Heather Farm (Walnut Creek, California)
Desert Demonstration Gardens (Las Vegas, Nevada)

We have friends who live quite close to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, but have never made a visit. It is definitely on our list of things to do, so maybe this will give us the extra impetus to finally take the time to check it out.

Career-Op, now in its 6th year, is my weekly column on high-tech careers. In Career-Op, I address some of the particular issues of working in high-tech and also general issues that we all face in our careers. You can find the latest column, and a complete archive of past columns complete archive of past columns.

Latest Column

Back to School
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge Magazine

et many questions from readers regarding how they should continue their education as a way to begin or further their high-tech careers. Most often their questions are about which technical school or technical training to pursue and where. It may seem counterintuitive, but my usual recommendation doesn??t involve further technical training, but, rather, the pursuit of traditional educational outlets such as bachelor, master and Ph.D programs.


WelchWrite Bookstore and Recommendations


Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends by Tim Sanders

I am just finishing up this book and wanted to share it with all of you. I tend to pick up business books by the hand-full, just to keep abreast of current thinking and hoping I can take away 1 or 2 good ideas.

"Love" is a small book and an easy read. I was thrown off early on, though, by the author's decision to call people like himself "lovecats." It seemed such a silly word, but whatever gets the job done, I guess. Getting over this hurdle I found a couple of great ideas in the book.

In the sectioned entitled "Knowledge", Sanders professes his love for books, why he thinks they are so important and his techniques for getting the most out of them. While his techniques are a little extreme for me right now, they can be very useful and I might still adopt some of them.

In the "Network" he talks about how to make the best use of your network to not only help yourself, but also, and more importantly, help those around you. Sanders firmly believe that you do the most for your career and life by constantly thinking about how you can connect people in your network to one another. Secondly, he pointedly says to NOT do it out of some attempt to garner "Finder's Fees" or other benefits. Your reputation grows with every connection you make and it is this, says Sanders that is the true basis of your net worth. 

Interesting Web Sites

Beam Technology Robots
BEAM Robots (an acronym of Biology, Electronics, Aesthetics and Mechanics) are relatively simple (and tiny) robots that can exhibit some very naturalistic behaviors. I have been doing quite a bit of research since Joseph got so interested in robots after visiting the JPL Open House a few week ago. This link is one of thousands. This Google Search can give you even more information.

More web sites of all sorts

Contact Information

I am available for assistance via telephone, cell phone, e-mail and instant messaging. The fee for assistance via these methods is my basic hourly rate, pro-rated by the minute.

Contact Numbers:

Office     818-781-6955
Cell        818-601-00 51
Email      help@welchwrite.com
AOL Instant Messenger   WelchWrite