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Douglas' Events, Appearances and Seminar Calendar

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Wish Book - A Holiday Season Podcast Project

JC Penney Christmas Catalog 1966

A while ago, I came across this site, http://www.wishbookweb.com/, which hosts scanned copies of historical Christmas Catalogs from the 1940s-1980s. As I was flipping through the site, it brought back some great memories of my childhood. As a child, on the cold Winter nights in Ohio, I would often sit for hours flipping through the Christmas catalogs, dreaming of the neat things I might receive (but probably wouldn't) for Christmas. For example, this is one toy I have remembered since my 2nd or 3rd Christmas in 66/67. Bizzy Buzz Buzz. The fact that I can remember the feeling of it in my hand after so many years proves the impact that childhood toys have upon us.

So, starting today, I am announcing

"The Wish Book - A Holiday Season Podcast Project"

to be released in November and December 2007.

Here is how you can participate...
* Visit The Wish Book site
* Find a toy or other object that you remember from your childhood
* Tell us a story about the toy or object
* In the end, the stories don't have to be based on the catalogs. Tell us your favorite personal holiday story is fine, too

Try to include the following information in your recording:
* Your Name and Home Town Location i.e. Douglas E. Welch from New London, Ohio
* The catalog and page where you found you item (So that others can see a picture of it)
* Your story

Your story can be whatever you wish -- a real-time discussion with siblings, "hey do you remember that? Didn't you leave that out in the rain?" to amore structured "I remember this..." type of story. Let yourself go! Tell us what made this item so special to you.

If I receive enough submissions for The Wish Book, I will create a daily podcast running from Thanksgiving Day through until Christmas or New Years.

How to send in your audio or video?
You can send in your audio or video in a number of ways:
* Call our Listener Line at 818-804-5049 and leave up to a 3 minute story
* Record your audio or video and email it to douglas.welch@gmail.com
* Mail me a CD or DVD with your story
* Email me a URL where I can download your audio or video

Please join me in this celebration of the Holiday Season by sharing your memories!

PDF Flyer: http://welchwrite.com/blog/pdf/wish-book-project.pdf

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Elsewhere Online: Mac-O-Lanterns from Make Magazine

Okay, these have to be the cutest, nerdiest things I have seen all year. (BIG SMILE)

It makes me wish I had a couple of old Macs lying around, just to make this project.



Now we have a use for those old Mac's gathering dust in the storage room.

All you need are an old Mac (obviously) some orange paint and JPEGView software to display the face.

Mac-O-Lanterns - Link.

(Via MAKE: Blog.)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Halloween: Print Your Own Halloween Mask [Friday Fun]

More Halloween fun courtesy of LifeHacker.com...

Print Your Own Halloween Mask [Friday Fun]

CreateMasks_img1.jpgForget a store-bought mask for Halloween: Put that photo printer to good use and make a custom mask of your dog, your boss or your favorite celebrity. Microsoft offers instructions on how to print out a handheld mask glued to a piece of balsa wood (or tied around your head with ribbon) with the right photograph. We shameless nerds can download some Star Wars character mask templates for free in the, ahem, kids section of the site. (Totally printing out Chewbacca this weekend and cutting out the eye holes.)

(Via Lifehacker.)

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Audio: LIVE from the Library - October 25, 2007

Here is the audio from the LIVE from the Library Internet seminar on Thursday, October 25, 2007 at the Sherman Oaks Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library.

Listen to this seminar

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LIVE from the Library Internet Seminar - October 25, 2007

Here is the video from our latest Internet Seminar at the Sherman Oaks Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. Can't join us in person? View the live video and join in the real-time chat below!

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Elsewhere Online: 350 Pages - super simple online web site creator

Having a web presence is crucial these days, even if it isn't one of the flashiest pages on the block. I call this a triumph of function over form. Sometimes you just need to get the word out and sites like 350 Pages can help you do just that.

While I am a bigger fan of using blogging services, like Blogger to get started with a web site, anything that help you get a web site up is ok in my book.

350 Pages - super simple online web site creator


350 Pages is a new free online web site creation service. OK, so there’s a bunch of these DIY sites out there, some good, some not, but this one is not bad at all. Why? Well it’s very very simple for a start. Every element on the page has a ‘hover over’ toolbar which [...]

(Via The Red Ferret Journal.)

Monday, October 22, 2007

California Wildfire Information Sites 2007

Looking back, I see that I have re-posted this entry almost every year since 2003.

Since the fires are burning again, though, I present you with these resources for information on the extent and location of the fires.

Geomac Wildland Fire Support Wildfire Viewer

California Wildfire Information - California Wildfire Alliance

MODIS Active Fire Mapping Program from Remote Sensing Applications Center.

It's the Great Server, Chuck and Kreg! - A Friends in Tech Halloween Special

Slated for release on October 24th, it's the annual Technology-themed Halloween Special presented by Friends in Tech.

"It's the Great Server Chuck and Kreg!"

Convinced that the Great Server will be making its yearly appearance, Kreg refuses to go Trick-or-Treating with the rest of the FiT gang and instead pulls an all-nighter waiting for the Great Server to "...rise up out of the server farm and brings technology to all the good geeks around the world."

Written by Douglas E. Welch and the Members of Friends in Tech

Don't miss it!

You can also check out previous FiT Halloween Specials:
- The Server Room of Horrors
- The Server Room of Horrors 2006

Elsewhere Online: iMac screens experiencing unwanted condensation?

Condensation on new iMac 24"Darn! I should have posted this last week when I ran into a client's iMac that did the same thing. I could have had a scoop! Ah, well, you snooze, you lose, as they say.

Here is a picture of the condensation on iMac 24" I set up a week or so ago. Gizmodo has some more extreme examples of the issue. I am glad it didn't get that bad.

That said, the client is probably going to want to return the unit.

iMac screens experiencing unwanted condensation?

Filed under:

One of our readers dropped us a note to tell us that his new 24-inch iMac was exhibiting condensation build up behind the screen: he's not the only one, with a few people on the Apple Support forums and elsewhere also reporting the problem. Our tipster says that condensation builds up in the lower corners, goes away, and then comes back when the surrounding environment drops in temperature. Moisture plus computers doesn't compute, so make sure to report the issue to Applecare if you're seeing the same issues. Hopefully Apple will step up and publicly recognize this as a fault sometime soon.

[Thanks, Lee B.]

Read - New iMac condensation inside screen (Apple Support)
Read - Condensation behind iMac glass (DPreview)
Read - iMac Aluminium Condensation (MacInTouch)



(Via engadget.com.)

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Elsewhere Online: Make your own talking magic mirror for Halloween

Another great Halloween find by the folks over at Make Magazine. Add an interactive Magic Mirror your own Halloween Haunt.

Make your own talking magic mirror for Halloween

We were just told about this cool free software download that runs on Windows and Mac. It turns your computer screen into a virtual "magic mirror." You can even use a microphone to control it, and make it interactive, just like this video shows:

Magic mirror download and information - Link. Thanks to PuppetBuilding.com for the tip.

[Read this article] [Comment on this article]

(Via MAKE: Blog.)

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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Buy Now: Blue/Red LED Programmable Name Tags

I have a red LED name tag that I wear to events and it never ceases to attract attention. Since I always have people asking me where they can pick one up, I offer up these links to Amazon.com.

I see now that they both my original red LED name tag and a new BLUE LED name tag. It looks pretty cool and I just might have to pick one of those up for myself. (SMILE)

You can see my name tag, which I wear in a standard badge holder in this photo from Lunch 2.0 on Friday.

Douglas E. Welch and Lunch 2.0 organizer, Andrew Warner

Thursday, October 11, 2007

LIVE from the Library - October 11

Here is the video from this week's seminar on Thursday, October 11, 2007 at the Sherman Oaks Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library. The audio had some skipping problems, so I will investigate what happened and ty to prevent that from happening next time.

Watch the video!

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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Elsewhere Online: FotoFlexer Continues To Innovate; People Love It

Check out this powerful, online image editor. They are now providing some very interesting re-sizing and editing features that allow you to remove sections of the picture without drastically distorting the composition.

More free fun (and power) from the Internet!

FotoFlexer Continues To Innovate; People Love It

FotoFlexer, which we first covered in August, continues to be my favorite online photo editing tool out of a batch of…many.

Most of the tools are for creating fun changes to photos (see my previous post on them for an overview), and users can easily pull and push photos to social networks like Facebook, MySpace and Flickr. But it’s also a serious editing tool (it supports layers, for example).

Since their July launch, the company says over 5 million photos have been edited using their tool, from 150,000 registered users on their site and another 275,000 users of their Facebook application.


(Via TechCrunch.)

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Support: The Fix for securityd Eatings Gobs of Ram When Updating Keychain Entries

I had been fighting a difficult problem with my mac Mini recently and I had trackedit as far as an issue with the Keychain system. This week Victor Cajiao of the Typical Mac User podcast reported some major problems with his new Mac Pro. It was only tonight, though, that we realized that we were having very similar problems.

Victor came across this fix tonight and, so far, it appears to be working. I won't know for a couple of days, yet, if this solves the problem, but it seems like we are on the right track.

This is a very low-level, scary, nasty, don't do this unless you know what you are doing fix, but I wanted to place it here in case anyone else is experiencing similar problems.

The Fix for securityd Eatings Gobs of Ram When Updating Keychain Entries

A few nights ago I was updating some not-to-be-named software on my laptop. This piece of software had a few passwords stored in the Keychain. Since said application was recently updated and therefore the code was modified, the system asked me if I wanted to give access to the keychain to this updated application. The dialog that it shown to the user is shown below:

Bad things happened when I clicked the "Change All" button to once again allow this updated application to access all the passwords it was allowed to access. Specifically, the securityd process was using 1.3-1.7GBs of ram (the rprvt value is all that matters). This was really, really bad as it caused my machine to page-out and page-in like crazy. Due to the high memory usage, it also caused my boot volume to run out of space because of all of the swap files in /var/vm/. My point is that very, very, very bad things happened. After I cleared a lot of unused crap (Garage Band loops and old iDVD themes) off my boot volume, I rebooted. I then tried launching the updated application again. I got the same dialog and the same problem. However, since I now had enough hard drive space available, I just waited for about 10 minutes. The passwords were accessed successfully. I then relaunched the application and securityd crashed. Lovely. Rebooting just repeated the cycle. Also lovely.


(Via Unsanity.org.)

Friday, October 05, 2007

Elsewhere Online: Just in time for Halloween - Free skull font

Wait, don't send out those Halloween Party Invites until you see this great font.

Skulls for everyone this year!

Skull font sampleJust in time for Halloween - Free skull font

If you were looking for a way to make your Halloween party invites further stand out, check out this "skullphabet:"

It can be downloaded for Mac or PC, TrueType or OpenType - Link.

[Read this article]

(Via MAKE: Blog.)

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Douglas' Calendar - What Am I Doing?

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Monday, October 01, 2007

Joost Beta (Internet TV) Now Open To All

I have mentioned Joost before and now I see that, as of today, it is open to all -- no invite required.

One note, if you have a Macintosh, only Intel machines are supported.


Welcome to Joost Beta -- Free TV, over the internet

* Free to watch, anywhere in the world
* Easy to use, just like regular TV
* No special hardware needed – just a PC or Intel-based Mac and a broadband connection

Hundreds of channels to choose from

* Thousands of shows, movies and music videos
* Full-screen, high-quality pictures and sound
* No fixed schedules – watch what you like, when you like, as often as you want

Be part of the show

* Chat or IM with friends and other fans while you watch
* Rate and debate the shows you love and hate
* Build your own channel list - or your own channel

All you need to run Joost is a fairly new computer with good graphics capabilities and a fast processor, as well as a broadband internet connection.

(Via Joost.)

Two SoCal Apple stores closed for remodeling

Apple iMacI had a bit of a rude awakening today when I went to buy a new iMac for a customer. It seems that both the Sherman Oaks Apple Store and the Glendale Galleria Apple Store are closed for remodeling. In Glendale, they have set up a "mini-store" while this is going on, so you can still get your Apple fix, if not in a flashy Apple store.

The Glendale store is said to re-open about mid-November and, according to an Apple person I talked with, the Sherman Oaks stores should be re-opened by this weekend, as they only had to a small reconfiguration of the store.