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Showing posts from January, 2007

Ep.006 - Online Applications and Services

Ep.006 - Online Applications and Services - January 30, 2007 Learn about online applications and services -- what they are and how they can make you more productive than ever. Receive each new episode of TechnologyIQ automatically! Subscribe (FREE) directly or via iTunes For links mentioned in this show, visit TechIQ tag at Technorati Tags: podcast , losangeles , technology , macintosh , software , computers , high-tech

Something may come in very handy...Belkin Easy Transfer Cable for Windows

Hi all: If you have an old PC and want to move to a new PC (especially with Vista (!)) - you need an easy way to "get 'er done". The link below depicts a piece from Belkin that may make it easier. I'll try to read up on it and get back to you here. Here tis: Belkin Easy Transfer Cable for Windows Photo Gallery (credit Paul Thurrott's WinSuperSite Talk with you soon! - SDA

Software: Climb any mountain (or is that Vista...?)

OK so Vista is readily available. Any PC a consumer sees at this point out is gonna have it. Question is, which flavor do you want? (or need...!) Here is a piece from a favorite site that does a nice job of laying it out. Something tells that a certain podcast from someone we all know (!)@(#*$%*$(#$) may be talking about this very topic. Here she is: Understanding the Vista Product Editions (Paul Thurrutt's SuperSite for Windows writeup) Have at it and have fun. So far so good from my perspective. Very smooth ride even with some of my favorite open-source tools loaded as well... Complete listing to follow... as soon as I have a minute... :-) "No harm, no foul" SDA

Shared calendar - a real-world example

As if to reinforce my recent posting on the usefulness of a shared calendar (See Shared calendars are one part of an organized family ), today I received information on my son's Little League schedule today. This offers a perfect demonstration of type of information that should go directly into your shared calendar as soon as you receive it. The effects of regularly scheduled events like this riffle through your entire life and it really pays to get them into your calendar and see where any conflicts might arise. In my particular case, I created 2 repeating events, each ending on May 30. One is for a Thursday practice and the other for a Sunday practice. Instead of creating individual items for each practice day, I can use the repeat or recurring functions of my calendar to place them all automatically. While I don't yet have the actual game schedule, I did get information on what day the actual games will start. To give the entire family a "heads-up", I noted this da

Software: Celtx - Write television and movie scripts in proper format

I do live in Los Angeles, where every 3rd person (or more) is writing some time of script. In the past, properly formatting your script required expensive software and a truckload of patience. Celtx, an open source scriptwriting software, allows anyone to write their first great movie without spending hundreds of dollars. It supports all the usual features of scriptwriting software, as well as a collaboration service that allows 2 or more people to work on a script together. Several of the Friends in Tech members recently used this to write our holiday special and I found that it worked very well. Even better, the typical script format times out to about 1 minute/page, so we were able to get on-going estimates of the length of the piece just by noting the number of pages. Link: Celtx Scriptwriting Software

Friday Fun: PIcTaps Stick Figure Toy

A bit of Friday Fun to get your weekend off to a great start. Design your own stick figure (as detailed as you wish) and let him dance, man, let him (or her) dance! Sure to make you smile. Stick-figure web-toy Cory Doctorow : Pictaps is a web-toy that invites you to draw a stick-figure and then creates a delightful, gigantic animation of your figure, multiplied into a cast of thousands, doing a joyful, Busby Berkeley show-number, with dancing and cavorting and so forth. Link ( via Wonderland ) Via [ Boing Boing ]

Shared calendars are one part of an organized family

by Douglas E. Welch , 206-338-5832 Reader/Listener Line As a parent with a school-age child, I often hear other parents bemoaning their disorganized existence. Along with the busy schedules of two working parents you might have art classes, karate classes, Little League, soccer and more. Add in more than one kid and organizing your life can quickly become a nightmare. This is exactly why one of my most important organizing devices is a shared calendar that reflects all the activities and events for everyone in the household...and I do mean everything. If someone -- is required to be somewhere -- at sometime, it goes into the calendar. If we are given a calendar that reflects all the events for a particular activity (say, Little League), all these events immediately go into the calendar, along with notations on whether we are providing the team snack, working in the snack bar, etc. Even events that occur anytime during the day, like family birthdays, and other rem

Cool Tool: TagMaps World Explorer

The O'Reilly Radar blog turned me on to TagMaps: World Explorer , a mashup between Yahoo Maps and (recently acquired) Flickr photo sharing service. This is another neat way to explore the world, using the photos of Flickr users to illustrate what makes each location special. You can type in a city or country and are then presented with a map covered in "tags". Tags are the keywords that Flickr users apply to their photos when they put them on the site. These tags, along with "geocode" information (which sets the latitude and longitude where the photo was taken), places the photos on the map. Similar to Google Earth, this is a cool tool for exploring the world, both in your own backyard and around the globe. World Explorer, Explore Your Town With Flickr By Brady Forrest Yahoo! is putting the +10 million geotagged photos on Flickr to good use with World Explorer and TagMaps. They are new visualization tools from Yahoo! Research Berkeley - the same group that

Web: The world is thinking

Wow, another great television replacement, courtesy of the Internet. One of the first videos I watched was Ross King , author of Brunelleschi's Dome , one of my favorite books, from a reading he did at Cody's Books. While I prefer to consume my audio and video in podcast form, so I don't have to be sitting at my computer to watch it, this is good second choice and offers up yet another great source for excellent and entertaining material. Add a series of RSS feeds so I could download videos with specific authors, keywords or venues and it would be almost perfect. The world is thinking Fora Tv is a good place to watch videos of lectures and discussions on topics ranging from politics and science to religion and the arts. Whether you'd like to see Jim Lehrer talk about politics and prose, or watch Brian Eno and Will Wright discuss the joys and techniques of generative creation, you might find something here to like (Via MetaFilter .) Other Books by Ross King

Douglas restarts Internet Seminars at LAPL Sherman Oaks

I'm Back! Douglas E. Welch is again presenting his Internet Seminars right here at the Sherman Oaks Branch of the LA Public Library . Get the most out of the Internet! This series of seminars will focus on the amazing Internet services available today, on both your home computer and those at the library. On today's Internet you can get full-featured email programs, word processing, graphics, instant messaging, maps and much more. Join Douglas as he demonstrates the best the Internet has to offer and answers your Internet-related questions. 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month 6:30 PM February 8 & 22 — March 8 & 22 — April 12 & 26 — May 10 & 24 Email for more information or visit / Technorati Tags: california , howto , how-to , tutorial , presentations , computers , high-tech , free , seminar

Douglas talks computer consulting on the SoHo Technology Podcast

Dean Jensen, of the SoHo Technology Podcast had me on for a series of talks on computer consulting and the first segment appeared today. More segments will be forthcoming over the next few weeks. Link: SoHo Technology Podcast with Dean Jensen Technorati Tags: career , job , jobs , work , podcast , podcasting , technology , interview , consult , consulting

Video: Installing Firefox on a Mac

Installing Firefox on a Mac While installing applications on a Mac is usually easy, Mozilla's installer for Firefox can be a bit confusing. Several of my clients had have difficulties getting it installed correctly, so here is a screencast to give you a, hopefully, clearer view of how it works. Receive each new episode of TechnologyIQ automatically! Subscribe or Technorati Tags: podcast , losangeles , technology , macintosh , software , computers , high-tech

You HAVE to try this...Gliffy

If you need occasional drawing type output and don't have the bucks for something commercial like Microsoft Visio... I've used it more than once and most people don't know the difference... (!) " Gliffy is easy, free, and fun! Diagramming in your web browser without downloading additional software Desktop application feel in a web-based diagramming solution Add collaborators to your work and watch it grow Link to published Gliffy drawings from your blog or wiki Create many types of diagrams such as Flowcharts, UI wireframes, Floor plans, Network diagrams, UML diagrams, or any other simple drawing or diagram" (Could someone please try if under OSX? Thanks in advance!) SDA Update: Seems to work fine using Firefox on Mac OS X - Douglas Previous Mentions on Web Service: - Create and share diagrams online

It's not your fault -- most software has some critical flaw (with podcast)

Listen to this segment! I regularly get computer support call from my clients that begin with, "I was trying to do X, but ..." They are frustrated, confused and sometimes angry. Even worse, they often blame themselves for the problem, figuring that they must have done something wrong. Let me be the first to tell you, though, never assume, at the beginning, that your computer problems are of your own making. The truth is, every piece of software produced today has some critical flaw. Use your computer enough and you are bound to trigger them. Even more important, don't let anyone try to make you feel stupid or inadequate, just because your don't have the benefit of 20+ years of experience with technology like I do. Due to my choice of profession, I have to know how to deal with problems that arise. As a user, you should never see most of the errors you do. They are signs of sloppy programming, inadequate testing and, in many cases, people who just don't care. Take,

Cool Tool: - Online Family Tree Maker

If you are not already into heavy-duty family genealogy with dedicated programs GEDCOM files and an account on, you might find Geni a quick way to start documenting your family tree. It is simple and easy-to-use and includes an easy way to bring other family members into the discussion via email. I know from my own research that documenting everyone in the family usually falls to one interested party, so a little collaboration would be helpful. Geni is a bit limited, as you can't yet import or export the GEDCOM files mentioned above. These are a standard data format used by almost all serious genealogy folks. Still, it is fun to play with and could become yet another great online service to replace the traditional PC-based applications we are all used to using today. Technorati Tags: build , make , howto , how-to , technology , cool , free , kids , children , genealogy

Reminder: Install all Windows Updates

Just another reminder of how important it is to install all Windows Updates )and Software Updates on Macs, too) when they are released. Don't leave yourself open to attacks that can be prevented. If you need any assistance in installing these updates, email or call /818-601-0051 Attack code out for 'critical' Windows flaw Code that exploits a recently found flaw in the way Windows handles Vector Markup Language documents has been published. (Via CNET .) Technorati Tags: technology , windows , virus , exploit , microsoft , computers , high-tech

Ep.005 - MacWorld and CES: A World of Technology Joy! - Corrected

Ep.005 - MacWorld and CES: A World of Technology Joy! - January 16, 2007 Douglas E. Welch and Sam Anderson review some of the neat stuff to come out of Apple's annual MacWorld conference and CES 2007, the Consumer Electronics Show. Receive each new episode of TechnologyIQ automatically! Subscribe or For links mentioned in this show, visit TechIQ tag at Technorati Tags: podcast , losangeles , technology , macintosh , software , computers , high-tech , friendsintech

Celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Celebrate Dr. King by sharing this DVD with your children, Our Friend Martin , written by our friend, Dawn Comer Jefferson and Chris Simmons, writer for Static Shock, the animated series. We have also found this show on tape at our local video rental store. From Amazon. com: This animated time-travel adventure features a stellar cast and is a delight for kids and adults alike. When Matt, a black teenager, has to go on a class field trip to the museum of Martin Luther King Jr., he thinks that he'd rather play baseball. But the trip turns into an exciting adventure when he and his best friend, Randy, who's white, are sent back in time to meet Dr. King. The story is also remarkably moving, as Matt and Randy learn what Dr. King did for humanity, and come to see him as a real person, not a historical figure. Matt and Randy experience segregation firsthand when they aren't allowed to eat on a train together. Together, they witness the bus boycott, the Birmingham riots, and the &q

Aging modems and routers might be slowing down your network

by Douglas E. Welch , Reader/Listener Line - 206-338-5832 Over the last several months I have noticed a growing issue for those of you who were early adopters of DSL and cable modem broadband connections. Many of you have been happily working along for years, without ever upgrading your modems or routers. While the cliché "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" usually applies in these cases, you might find that upgrading your modems and routers could gain you a substantially better online experience. I first started to notice issues when wireless networking finally moved into the home in a large fashion. More and more people were buying laptops and wanted to use these computers throughout the house, instead of being tied to their desk. While I usually had no problems adding these routers to homes which had recently purchased broadband (this is the generic name for high-speed Internet access) as I upgraded longer-term customers, I found it difficult, i

Fun: Bring out your inner Picasso

Just in time for Friday, here is a cute " Build your own Picasso " Flash tool. Select from heads, eyes, hair and more. You can even sign it in that inimitable Picasso way. Link: Mr. Picasso Head

What the Heck is RSS?

And why should I care? Good questions. First, here's why you should care. Unlike getting website updates or ezines by email, RSS feeds give you absolute, 100% complete control over the situation. You don't have to reveal your email address. If you want to stop receiving content, you don't have to request to be 'taken off the list.' One click, and poof' the subscription is gone. Plus, since there's no email address involved, there's no way a publisher can sell, rent or give away the means to contact you. That's right' no more spam, viruses, phishing, or identity theft. And best of all, no reason to put yourself at the mercy of the publisher's intentions. You won't need to suffer through the legalese in the privacy policy (if there is one) looking for loopholes that will send you deeper into inbox hell. No more setting up dummy Hotmail accounts "just in case." Again, if you don't like the content, you can make it disappea

Cool Tool: Create newsletters online with LetterPop!

Here is an interesting web site that allows you to design and email cool newsletters to friends an family. Who needs Quark Express when you can use this right from your web browser. As the article below mentions, it is beta and a bit limited, but a sign of cool tools to come this year. Create newsletters online with LetterPop! Need to whip up a newsletter in a matter of minutes? LetterPop! gives you the tools. If you can drag and drop, you can create a pretty dazzling newsletter with this web-based app. ( Continues ) (Via Lifehacker .) Technorati Tags: technology , high-tech , crafts , free , kids , children , photo , cool

Update: Microsoft Releases Office 2004, Office X Updates

Here is information on some updates for the Macintosh version of Microsoft Office, courtesy of the great Mac site, . Microsoft Releases Office 2004, Office X Updates Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit (also known as MacBU) wrapped up 2006 by releasing updates to its core suite of productivity applications. Office 2004 for Mac 11.3.2 Update, a 13.7 MB download, fixes a problem that could cause PowerPoint 2004 to unexpectedly quit. Entourage 2004 now correctly handles contact names with special characters, corrects a problem with duplicated messages in public folders, and improves compatibility with Mirapoint Message Server. The update requires Office 2004 fo... (Via TidBITS .) Technorati Tags: technology , microsoft , powerpoint , macintosh , software , computers , update

Correcting a Microsoft Defender Error

by Douglas E. Welch , Reader/Listener Line @ 206-338-5832 If you are seeing an error message like this when you start your computer, don't panic. Both the cause and solution are simple. "Windows Defender Application failed to initialize: 0x800106ba. A problem has caused Windows Defender Service to stop. To start the service, restart your computer or search Help and Support on how to start a service manually." It seems that an earlier, Beta, version of Microsoft Defender expired on December 31, 2006. Anyone who had that version installed will receive this message when they start up their computer. Of course, one would think that Microsoft could have found a more graceful way of telling people this in a user-friendly manner, instead of dumping a standard, and might i say, useless, error message like this. Oh well, the answer to the problem is to simply download and install the latest version of Microsoft Defender. Microsoft Defender Download Page Let

How to join in our LIVE shows

Getting involved in one of our LIVE shows at can seem a little intimidating, but it isn't as difficult as it might first appear. Here is a quick guide to getting setup, so you can join us week after week. While there a few steps below, all of them are easy. If you have any questions, you can use the Comments link below or email me directly at So, ready? Hear we go. Remember, you only need to perform these setup steps once. 1. Get a FREE TalkShoe account and PIN # Visit Click Sign Up button in upper right-hand corner Complete the form to create your login user id and password for Talkshoe Create PIN # This is what you use to connect over the telephone to join the conversation LIVE Click Download the Talkshoe software This is the software that allows you to listen to the LIVE stream (if not calling in by phone) and chat with other listeners in the chat room) Install the Talkshoe software on your computer. 2. Calling in via tel

Elsewhere Online: PC World - Just Cancel the @#%$* Account!

If you have signed up for any service, you probably already know how difficult it can be to cancel an account. PC World's Tom Spring shows just how difficult, and costly, it can be. The fact is, many online services participate in actively deceptive tactics to ensure that you can't cancel your account. I think articles such as these are very important. We need to hold companies up to scrutiny and let them know that such behaviors are an unforgivable business lapse and they are damaging their company more than helping it. PC World - Just Cancel the @#%$* Account! It's hard to find a Web service that doesn't offer a free trial. But just try canceling. We did, and the results weren't always pretty. It took me less than 5 minutes to sign up for a NetZero dial-up Internet account. But after canceling that account, I spent a week trying in vain to reverse a charge that the service levied after my cancellation request. ( Continues ) (Via PC World .) Technorati Tags: busine

Lexmark Printers are Mac Hostile

by Douglas E. Welch , Reader/Listener Line @ 206-338-5832 Despite the gains that Apple has made in the computer market lately, their are some companies that just don't "get it". On occasion, I still run into web sites, software and services that require some specific Windows-only feature that could easily be replaced with something much more compatible for all computer systems. My most recent run in with a Macintosh hostile company happened this week. A client called on me to complete the installation of a new printer which they couldn't make work with their iMac G5. This is understandable, as sometimes the installation, process of the printer software can be confusing. I wasn't really thinking about compatibility issues when I arrived, but concern grew once I saw the printer. It was a Lexmark product. I have had trouble with them before. They tend to be given away for free with PC purchases and all of the Lexmark products I have seen feel &q

Storage can be fun...

Especially a TERABYTE at a time... Here comes the Terabyte Hard Disk! - One Terabyte, that's 1,000 gigabytes (GB), in a 3.5 inch form factor. Don't worry about the cost since that will plummet like everything else in the tech space... (!) Desktops and servers are the prime candidates for this part... This is getting interesting... Oh and if you want faster and more reliable storage for your notebook... check this out... 2X the speed, not prone to damage from mis-handling etc. SanDisk Releases 32GB Flash Drive Have a great Friday! (no harm, no foul) Sam Anderson

Office 2007 observations - short and sweet...

Since I have access to an MSDN license I get all the M$ software "real soon" after it ships. Hence my 1.5 week old notebook already has Vista Ultimate installed. Anywho... I ALSO installed Office 2007 - you know, the one with the ribbons. ( Did I mention that I tried to install Vista as an upgrade to XP Media Center edition? Don't recommend it...) (film at 11) I like it. I am DEFINITELY not a power user but use the tools often enough to be dangerous. Except for one little SNAFU with Outlook 2007 (sometimes the process doesn't go all the way away when you quit the application) it works real good on my new hardware. New hardware equals: Gateway - 1.6GHz Turion X2, 2GB memory, 160GB HD, 15.4" screen, 1280X800 rez, DVD+-R (whatever...) $850 a week ago with same as cash for 6 months. (the only way to buy). "talk to you soon"... No harm, no foul! - SDA

Just say NO to ISP software

by Douglas E. Welch , Reader/Listener Line 206-338-5832 I was called today to resolve a computer problem for a new client. Their wireless connection would start, but then suddenly disconnect. My initial thoughts were that there was some interference from a new cordless phone (cell phones really don't bother WiFi), microwave or some other piece of equipment that had been recently installed. Once I got a look at the computer, though, I recognized a old, familiar enemy -- software provide by the customer ISP (Internet Service Provider). In this particular case, the software was Earthlink's TotalAccess package, but AT&T/SBC also have their own collection of software that they try to force feed their clients. This software is ostensibly designed to make the Internet easier to use, but while it may help some people jumpstart their experience, I wonder at what cost? I have a number of issues with this software and I will do everything I can to avoid it, for

Elsewhere Online: Office 2007 - Better, But a Tough Switch

Here is a good discussion over on SlashDot regarding the latest version of Microsoft Office. I finally had a chance to lay hands upon the new version a few days ago and I must agree with the author below. It is going to be a big improvement, but users are going to have to make some large adjustments to the new interface and the how it works. Read on... Office 2007 — Better But a Tough Switch Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Office 2007, coming out Jan. 30, is a 'radical revision,' writes the Wall Street Journal's Walter S. Mossberg. 'The entire user interface, the way you do things in these familiar old programs, has been thrown out and replaced with something new. In Word, Excel and PowerPoint, all of the menus are gone — every one. None of the familiar toolbars have survived, either. In their place is a wide, tabbed band of icons at the top of the screen called the Ribbon. And there is no option to go back to the classic interface.' He adds, 'It has taken a

What I like - January 2, 2007 - LIVE

Listen to "Ep.004 - What I Like! - January 2, 2007 Your (and my) favorite pieces of software, hardware, web sites and more! Receive each new episode of TechnologyIQ automatically! Subscribe or For links mentioned in this show, visit TechIQ tag at Technorati Tags: podcast , losangeles , technology , macintosh , software , computers , high-tech , friendsintech

TechnologyIQ: Podcasts offer host of radio and television-style shows on thousands of different topics

by Douglas E. Welch, 206-338-5832 Reader/Listener Line If you have met with me recently, or even read this newsletter, you know that I am an avid fan of podcasting. One of the greatest aspects of podcasting, though, is that the shows available aren't limited to technology topics. In fact, there are shows on movies, knitting, finances, sports, comedy, public affairs, NPR, news, and almost any other topic you can imagine. These shows are created by the big content providers, like NPR, CNN, PBS and others, but there are also shows created by people just like you. People who are passionate about their interests and hobbies who want to share that passion with others. Regardless of your interests, I am almost positive that you can find a show on whatever topic interests you most. NO IPOD REQUIRED First and foremost, listening or watching podcasts does NOT REQUIRE an iPod. You can listen or watch podcasts directly on your computer. If you really like a particular sho

TechnologyIQ LIVE! - What's coming in 2007? - December 26, 2006

Listen to "What's coming in 2007? - December 26, 2006 Windows Vista, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard), Major upgrades to existing software and more. Receive each new episode of TechnologyIQ, and other My Word audio and video content, automatically! Subscribe for free today using: Yahoo Podcasts Other RSS reader or podcatcher Click for more info on TechnologyIQ Previous TechnologyIQ Podcasts and Columns: Smart Holiday Technology Shopping - December 18, 2006 End of the Technology Road - December 15, 2006 Technorati Tags: podcast , losangeles , technology , macintosh , software , computers , high-tech , friendsintech