Sour grapes or straight talk – you decide. :)

So, as Matt will attest to, I’ve been going slightly nuts since learning about the HP magic giveaway & entering sites participating in the HP magic giveaway contest (sponsored by HP, Microsoft, BuzzCorps & Corel). I am going on record now to say that I’m done entering. lol. Seriously.

Well, I’m done entering sites that aren’t going by a simple luck of the draw. What with the bulk of the giveaway sites wanting you to sign up for all the Web 2.0 services known to mankind, it’s a small nightmare (for me anyway). Kudos to those who are going to do read over entries although I know that there’s zero chance of me winning in such a case. I’ve been blessed by God and even though I know organizations in need, how can you truly tell if I’m blowing smoke up your butt? Some winners (e.g. Evan Brammer) are for real & I’m just glad he’s off the giveaway circuit because he would’ve won anyway. lol). If this post is a little (okay, a lot crabby, call it sour grapes. LOL.

A lot of the bloggers have reminded entrants that they’re the sole judge, jury & executioner. Fair enough, but one particular website (hint: it’s the one that wants your first born child. Okay, there’s no such one, but it rubbed me the wrong way. Send me an email if you really want to know) kinda sent me over the edge. Talk about getting a God complex just because you have been privileged to throw such a contest. Okay, I’m being very dramatic about this because they were given carte blanche & they’re only doing what’s smartest for them. Anyhow, I’ll just highlight a couple of contests I liked and/or entered:

  1. Chris Pirillo ran his contest with a shrewd goal in mind: get people to post slightly thoughtful articles which he put up on his website. I didn’t enter this one because I couldn’t think of something that would stand out. My guess is that hundreds of people submitted all sorts of articles. Guess whose site will rank higher in Google’s eyes? πŸ™‚
  2. Gottabemobile (as I expected) ran a smart contest. In fact, I contemplated not entering their contest because I didn’t feel “worthy” (so to speak) & slightly guilty because I’d just won something from their site before. I didn’t submit my entry till last night and by so doing, I sort of sabotaged myself. I truly believe that they did agonize over whom to pick & they did make a right choice: not me. lol.
  3. Carlos Alberto’s giveaway has a slightly sadistic twist (Kidding!) because some of his rules include going through his posts and finding certain words. That was fun to enter because I watched some videos that I hadn’t watched before. Even more fun for running his site through Google Translate service and hoping that it worked as described. πŸ˜€
  4. Long Zheng‘s contest was a simple “enter your email & I’ll randomly pick a winner” type of entry. However, he also got something out of the entrants i.e. he’ll be able to get some idea of our systems & encouraged people to check out the Microsoft Vista operating system.
  5. Liz-Henry‘s giveaway idea was also very smart, honest & straight forward. All she wanted was a thoughtful comment on any of her posts and she would pick the winner randomly. I didn’t enter this contest because I kept wondering what to write. I didn’t want to leave some thoughtless comment just to qualify. So, I lost out on this one which had only 100 entries.
  6. Julie Strietelmeier at The Gadgeteer who invited participants to showcase their creativity by making images that were inspired by Technology & showed her site’s logo somewhere.

The contests aren’t over yet, but these are a small sampling of the entries that I’ll be entering from now. Simple, no bullshit contest. </end> πŸ™‚ I’ll write about my computer adventures later on so stay tuned.

Yay! Camtasia Studio 6 has arrived

So, the kind folks at sent a license to Camtasia Studio 6 on its merry way to my inbox and I installed it on my computer without wasting any more time. πŸ™‚ Here are the preliminary results of my amateur video work. My preliminary thoughts on Camtasia Studio 6:

  1. The user interface is much like Windows Movie Maker. I think I was comforted by that although the functions were really different. I struggled with doing things like inserting text and slides (which were a cake walk in Windows Movie Maker) and I’m sure that was mostly a function of me not reading the user manual first. I’m the type of girl to dive into things head first and then, coming up for air later. πŸ™‚
  2. I love the zoom ‘n pan function! lol. From the videos I’ve seen on Youtube from amateurs like me, they all apparently love the zoom ‘n pan function a little too much. I hope I didn’t abuse it tooΒ  much.
  3. Youtube did some horrible things to the file output from Camtasia. It looks much better on The video below is from Cheers!
  4. I do wish for a better way to manage all the callouts, transitions, etc other than cramming them into the timeline. It would help if I had a bigger LCD screen because then I can , but I suspect I might have to continue my editing in Storyboard mode vs. Timeline.

The importance of backing up your data & HP’s giveaway

So, despite bragging having several hard drives, I still lost data. Reason: I simply didn’t bother to actually back up the data one I had the necessary tools. I’m sure the fact that it took several hours to perform the backup operation also factored in although that doesn’t seem important in the light of the fact that I’ve lost some precious files. Right now, I’ve got a 320GB Iogear eGo drive, a 500GB Seagate FreeAgent Pro drive and a 250GB Seagate hard drive. The Iogear eGo is portable and goes with me everywhere. It’s currently 75% full and I’m really scared to delete anything from that disk. So, I’m currently in the market for a larger portable drive (preferably Seagate) although the prices are slightly scary. πŸ™ Not good.

In any case, if you have been living under a rock, you must not have heard about the HP Magic Giveaway where they’ve given 50 sites each packages worth over $6 000 to give to 50 lucky winners. Now, each site can set their rules where you may or may not keep the entire package. As expected, Gottabemobile, Gear Live, MediaBlab by Jake Ludington and more are part of this group giving stuff away. Visit HP’s giveaway site for more and check out the awesome prize packages!! The 3 linked sites ( and more of the others) have different rules for entering so please read the fine print. πŸ™‚