There is an old proverb that says, "even if a donkey
goes traveling, he still comes back a donkey." While this may
be true in some part, I believe that traveling is one great way to open
your mind to new ideas, new horizons and new people. I can almost guarantee
you that you will come back changed in some way, large or small.
We just returned from 2 weeks in Sicily, visiting relatives
of my wife. One of the first jokes that arose from this trip was "Quando?"
Quando means "when" in Italian and it seems that we used it
every 5 minutes. When are we going to lunch? When are we leaving for the
visit? When is the festa? It was only by seeing through the eyes of the
relatives that we realized how focused (some might say hyper-focused)
on the "when" of everything to an often absurd degree. After
a few days, we eased up on the when and settled into vacation mode, where
things happened as they may. Of course, the family lived this way every
single day and not just on vacation. Just one example of how traveling,
especially to a foreign country, can hold up a mirror to your life.
Take some time this year to get out of your normal sphere
of travel. You might be surprised how different everything can look.
referrals are welcomed and greatly appreciated!
Back in town
We are now back in the country after our holiday trip
to Sicily. It might take me a few days to adjust to Pacific Time again,
but I am available to start booking appointments, as needed.
The New Year can be a great time for re-dedicating yourself
to some important goal. Many people think about weight loss or finding
a new job, but I would recommend a thorough look at your computer systems
and software. Is there some problem that has been bothering you for
a long time? Why not dedicate some time to solving that problem, whether
it means replacing your computer, upgrading your software or getting
some training to assist you in your computer productivity. I always
believe in trying to make each year better than the last and the New
Year is a great time to start.
After a little calculation, I find that I have about 120
hours of available time for my clients, not counting weekends and evening,
which I book on an "as needed" basis. Each month I find these
hours booked more and more quickly. If you are looking to schedule a
piece of my time, I highly recommend doing so as early in the month
I am also looking to book more time with those of your
who have small offices of 5-10 people and could benefit from regularly
scheduled weekly visits to answer questions, install hardware and software
and develop larger technology projects. In this was, I can function
as a mini-IT (information technology) staff for your office and even
assist in developing your own in-house staff.
I wish you all a Prosperous and Happy New
10 Wireless Technologies for the Home
You're probably familiar with 802.11b (aka Wi-Fi), the
wireless networking standard that's sweeping the world. Wi-Fi hotspots
are popping up everywhere, from coffee shops to airports to restaurants.
Wi-Fi networking is now a standard feature on virtually all new notebook
computers, and for people with physically isolated PCs, it's also a
must-have option on desktop computers. But Wi-Fi and other wireless
technologies aren't just about connecting computers. These days, you'll
also find Wi-Fi in a host of non-PC devices, including set-top boxes,
wireless adapters for video game consoles, Pocket PCs, and more. Let's
take a look at the top 10 wireless technologies for the home.... [Lockergnome
Tech News Watch]
bans using computers or watching TV while driving
Guess you won't be able to use that Executive Laptop
Steering Wheel Mount we wrote about a few weeks ago. At least not while
secrets: Mac OS X Hints
Take a look at some ways to see more in Finder windows,
tweak your iChat messages so they contain multiple lines, print pages
to PDF, assign multiple genres to iTunes tracks, know how much is in
your Trash, take advantage of Unix's redirection command, train Mail
only once, and more. [MacCentral]
The Mirra Personal Server is finally out. Basically,
a hard drive that connects to your home network, the Mirra can be set
to automatically backup and synchronize files from all the computers
in the house so that if there's a crash, you'll always have your data.
It can also be accessed remotely over the Internet if you ever need
to get some file while on the road or want to share MP3s or digital
photos with friends. We've been playing around with one for the past
week or so, and it works as advertised (well, except that the first
one they sent was defective). It's been automatically backing up our
documents folder, and we were able to upload our MP3 collection and
then access it from a web browser. Om Malik has some more details about
the Mirra on his blog. Read - Mirra.com Read - GigaOm... [Gizmodo]
OS X: Configure Directory Access to Protect Your Mac From a Malicious
This tech note details how to configure your Mac OS X
system so that a malicious user cannot access this security exploit.
Most people are unaffected by this issue, but if you regularly use your
Mac to access public Wi-Fi wireless connections, there is a slight chance
you could run into it. The included steps are clear and simple to execute
using built-in Mac OS X applications. [My
Word with Douglas E. Welch]
Computers Responsible For One-Third Of All Spam
Plenty of stories have been written about how many spammers
are now using hijacked machines infected with some sort of trojan horse
program to send out their spam. However, someone from an anti-virus
company is saying that these "Remote Access Trojans (RATs)" are now
for one-third of all spam. Ouch. Of course, they don't back this
up with any evidence, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's true. They
seem to be getting plenty
of publicity for this statement - but don't give any suggestions
on how to solve this problem. If they're hyping it so much, you'd think
those same articles would tell people how to protect themselves. Since
the issue is so widespread, and education is unlikely to help, you have
to wonder if a better solution is to have the broadband ISPs help out
by determining which machines have been turned into "zombies" and alerting
the owners. [Techdirt]
Instant Messenger Virus
W32.Spybot.Worm has mutated to a new form that affects
AOL Instant Messenger. Users have reported that the virus takes over
the chat window and will periodically post a hyperlink in the current
IM window. From what I’ve heard the virus is difficult to remove
and all it is known to do is annoy AOL IM users. If you get the virus,
follow Symantec’s removal instructions. Note that the remo...(from
Los Angeles, CA, USA]
the Presses: No December Security Bulletins
Today is security-bulletin Tuesday for the month of December
for Microsoft. And it seems the company is claiming it has none to issue.
The zero-bulletin news comes, ironically, at the same time as a report
from Symantec on the worst security risks discovered in November. [Microsoft
Watch from Mary Jo Foley]
new MS Internet Explorer vulnerability is discovered. Most digerati
already know about the spammer and lamer trick to publish URLs that
look like legitimate hostnames to fool people in to trusting a malicious
site. This trick is frequently used by spammers to steal people's PayPal
accounts, by tricking them in to "resetting" their password
at a site owned by the spammer but disguised as PayPal.com. Today's
new IE vulnerability is significantly worse. By including an 0x01 character
after the @ symbol in the fake URL, IE can be tricked in to not displaying
the rest of the URL at all. Don't expect a patch right way, the guy
who found the hole released
it to BugTraq on the same day he notified Microsoft. (via
Simon Willison) [MetaFilter]
bug lets fake sites look real
Microsoft says it is looking into reports of a potential
bug in its Web browser that could help malicious hackers design convincing
Web site spoofs. [CNET News.com]
Software releases six free iMovie tutorials online
Stupendous Software had released six free iMovie tutorials
available for viewing online and for download. The tutorials are entitled:
Textured Backdrops, Basic Compositing: Masks, Grainy Black & White Look,
Intermediate Compositing: Glow Outline, Intermediate Compositing: Blue
& Green Screen, and Silent Film Look. More info and links here.
iPod: a digital photographer's best friend
MobileWhack points to an article by Derrick Story on
MacDevCenter.com about using the iPod (with Belkin's memory card reader
attachment) as not just a digital... [Gizmodo]
portable hard drive/card reader/MP3 player
New from Vosonic, a portable 40GB USB 2.0 hard drive
with a built-in 6-in-1 card reader (for storing photos when you run
out of... [Gizmodo]
Antivirus experts are warning of a troublesome, Christmas-themed
e-mail worm and a virus that spreads via MSN Messenger, the popular
instant-messaging application. [CNET
for the Masses
If we're certain about anything around here, it's that
the future will be wireless. These days, "information wants to be free"
has little to do with cost, and everything to do with getting off the
leash of an ethernet (or... [Another
World Is Here]
at the Sherman Oaks Branch of the LA Public Library
"classes" at the library continue through December and into
2004. If your friends or co-workers would like an example of how I teach
and coach computer users through large and small issues, I recommend
they stop by some evening. This is probably the best way to get to know
me and my methods.
starts with a a short presentation on some interesting technology, web
site or software, but then quickly becomes an energetic question and
answer session, where I answer the questions that are most pressing
in the minds of the attendees.
next meeting is January 8th at 6:30 pm.
February 12 & 26
March 11 & 25
Oaks Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library is located at 14245 Moorpark
Street Sherman Oaks, CA -- Telephone 818-205-9716.
printable flyer is available here.
to update operating systems and anti-virus programs
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 protect 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.
Operating System Updates
(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
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.
office/home office staffing
Did you know
that Douglas can act as your own personal, in-house Information Technology
If you or your
employees need regular assistance with office tasks, software upgrades,
network servers, backups or a host of other services, why not set up
a regularly scheduled appointment?
Phone today to set up your standing appointment!
Animal Rescue Site
- Reminder tool with complex repeating options, email alerts
Security Update 2003-12-05 - available
via Software Update Updates Safari to prevent unauthorized access
to a user's cookies.
QuickTime 6.5 Update
QuickTime 6.5 delivers a number of new features and
important updates, including:
- Creation and playback of mobile multimedia in the new 3GPP2 format.
- Creation and playback of mobile multimedia in the popular AMC format.
- Improved text track support.
- Enhanced DV playback options.
- Enhanced support for iMovie, iDVD, and Final Cut Pro
Security Update 2003-12-19 delivers a number of security
enhancements and is recommended for all Macintosh users.
This update includes the following components:
For more information on this update, please visit this website: http://www.info.apple.com/kbnum/n61798
iTunes 4.2 allows you to sign in and buy music from
the iTunes Music Store using either your AOL or Apple Account, view
the iTunes Music Store in a separate window, and includes a number
of performance improvements.
Music sharing requires Mac OS X version 10.2.4 or later, and AAC encoding
requires QuickTime 6.2 or later.
Free, award-winning StuffIt Expander gives you access
to virtually any file you download from the Internet or receive in
your email. Expander handles all common compression formats, including
.sitx archives created by the new StuffIt X file format. Whether you
come across a file compressed on a PC, Mac, or other platform, Expander
helps you open it quickly and easily. [Mac
OS X Downloads]
Two player chess game
Clock - 2.0
Your Palm will cuckoo every hour [VersionTracker:
Track the fuel efficiency of your automobile. Simply
enter the mileage and amount refilled on each visit to the gas station,
and the application takes care of the rest. GPL (v 1.6.2) [PalmOpenSource.com]
Automatically detects and can remove all common forms
of spyware programs including Trojans, system monitors, keyloggers
and adware. Regular updates to the spy definition database offer the
most comprehensive protection available! [WebAttack.com
Spam Today! for Workstations v188.8.131.52
No Spam Today! for Workstations is a POP3 spam filter
for Outlook, Outlook Express and all other POP3 email clients, that
uses the SpamAssassin engine to perform Bayesian filtering of incoming
messag.... [WebAttack.com latest
Software Updates of all sorts
new anti-virus software, a Palm PDA or books? Check out Douglas Recommends...
direct Amazon links to some of my favorite Books, Hardware and Software.
These are the items I find myself constantly recommending and I wanted
to share them with you. I will be adding new items regularly, so check
If you are
looking for a recommendation on anything particular, let me know and
I will add it to this page.
- mouse pads, postcards, greeting cards, tote bags
soon have a book, The High-Tech Career Handbook, available from the
same source. Watch this space for further information.
you are shopping for holiday presents through Amazon.com,
you can use the WelchWrite Bookstore. Simply click on the link below
to start your shopping and WelchWrite receives a small portion (around
5%) of each sale.
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.
by Douglas E. Welch, ComputorEdge
Despite what some people might think, the New Year is not
some magic wand that can wave away all the problems of the last year.
Was it only so! Instead, the New Year is simply a demarcation, a line
in the sands of time, a pointer that reminds us where we are in our
lives. The usual problems will still be there awaiting our attention
on January 2nd, but we can use the New Year as a gentle reminder to
rededicate ourselves to our families and our careers.
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
In preparation for our upcoming trip, I thought I would
work on my sketching skills. I want to spend time capturing the beauty
of the Sicilian landscape, both urban and rural, so as we sat a dinner
last night, I pulled out my journal and did this quick drawing.
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/
Rose Pruning Seminar
It is that time of year again, when most gardeners prune
back their roses to prepare them for their Spring growth spurt.
Gardens, in Corona del Mar, is sponsoring a free rose pruning
lecture with Cristin Fusano at 9am on January 10th.
For further information and directions, visit the Roger's
Garden web site at http://rogersgardens.com/
WhatGoes Around http://whatgoesaround.org/
"A new non-profit organization that's revolutionizing
giving in America." A gift registry where you can list the charities
you'd like people to donate to in your name.[Neat
More web sites of all sorts
If you know
of someone who would be interested in receiving this newsletter, please
feel free to forward this message. They can also subscribe by sending
a blank message to email@example.com.
If you wish
to be removed from this mailing, send a blank message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
newsletter is also available directly via the web at:
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.
AOL Instant Messenger WelchWrite