21
Jun

Going From Non-Tech To Tech Guy

Blogging With My MacBook AirIn the past I haven’t been much of a techie sort of person. It’s not that I have a phobic fear of the latest gadgets, it’s mainly that I’m not interested. I have a cell phone because I want to talk to people when I need to, I don’t need it to check the latest stock reports while in the grocery line or see in the sports news that a NASCAR driver decided to do something innovative, like take a right turn (yea, I know, that would put them into the wall), it’s a freaking phone.

That is changing a bit since I received all the prizes in the Webmaster Talk contest. I am totally digging using my new Macbook Air and the iPod Touch is a thing of beauty and it is near nirvana to have all of my favorite tunes right on something the size of a small pad of paper. I’ve been using the MacBook Air to sit in the living room and work while my wife is in our shared office or I’ve taken it out a few times to the local coffee shop to blog or work on a BANS site in a different atmosphere than being at home all day.

The Flip video camera is another great little gadget from the Webmaster Talk prize cache that I haven’t had that much time to work with lately, but plan on doing some more YouTube videos soon. I’m looking over iMove video editing software on the Mac which looks to be pretty comprehensive for a free program.

So I’m slowly moving from a non-tech person to a tech guy. After only a couple of weeks of owning these new gadgets I can see how one would get attached to them. It’s not that I have to have my iPod with me every second of the day, but it is nice to sit down on the couch and be able to listen to a few Pink Floyd tunes without having to put a CD in the stereo. It’s also great to take it to band practice on Thursday nights or church on Sunday and be able to listen to the song we’re working on instead of just listening to someone talk through the parts of it.

Maybe having some of the more useful gadgets isn’t such a bad thing after all. The Dot Com lifestyle, even on a scale much smaller than John Chow, is a wonderful thing. I might get use to this.

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7
Jun

iPod Touch Completes Webmaster Talk Prize Winnings

iPod TouchI fired off a pretty direct email around 11:00 am this morning wanting to know what was up with my iPod Touch, the only prize not so far received from the Webmaster Talk contest that ended on May 13th. It had been 10 days since I last heard from Clickbooth, the company who sponsored the prize. Not more than 2 minutes later, the lady that delivers our mail stopped at our mailbox and when I went to check the mail, there it was. Funny how that happens sometimes. All the prizes in the contest have now been received and accounted for and a big thanks goes out to all the sponsors that I will mention in an upcoming post.

Now, I’ve never even seen an iPod Touch until yesterday evening when I told a friend about the contest winnings and he let me check out his iPod Touch. All I can say is this thing is very cool and I hope to get to play with it a bit more this evening. It’s been a fairly busy day and all I had the chance to do was turn it on and have it tell me to plug it into my computer, which unfortunately I didn’t have time to do.

I’m not normally a techie sort of person and I usually get just what I need as far a gadgets go, but this contest has been great because it’s made me check into things quite a bit more than I normally would. I’ve been messing around with the Nintendo DS Lite, which I will be giving away in an upcoming contest, checking out the Flip camera, reading up on the iPod and of course going through the hassle of trying to get the Macbook Air working and then setting it up and playing around with that.

Who knows, all this cool gadgetry may inspire me to set up another Build A Niche Store based on tech stuff and fun electronic toys. There’s an advantage and opportunity in every learning experience.

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6
Jun

Free MacBook Air – Safe At Home And Working

MacBook AirFinally, the MacBook Air I won in the Webmaster Talk forum contest is at home and working. I had previously reported when the Mac Air first showed up it was dead on arrival, but thankfully I was able to get in touch with AppleCare Support and the tech I talked with was able to locate an authorized service center about 15 minute from our house. The computer had to eventually be shipped back to Apple to replace the hard drive, but all is well now.

I just got through setting it up, creating a user, hooking up to our home network and my initial reaction is that it is awesome! The design is very cool and yes, it is thin enough to put in a manila envelope. The computer feels very sturdy and the display is bright and even though I don’t like glossy screens, this one doesn’t seem to produce as much glare as I though it would.

However, since I’ve been a Windows person from day one and have never really used a laptop without a mouse for any length of time, much less a Mac laptop, it is a little awkward trying to find everything. For me nothing on the interface is familiar and all the usual tools and apps I would be using on my Windows machine are obviously not there. I did use a Mac briefly back at school while working on my graphic design degree and also used a Mac for 6 months back 10 years ago when I was a graphic artist for BellSouth, but I remember about zero from those experiences, so this is all pretty much new territory.

After using the MacBook Air for 30 minutes or so it did get a little easier to find my way around so even though it will take a while to get used to, it shouldn’t take too long. One thing I don’t like so far is the HUGE icon bar at the bottom of the display. It takes up way too much screen real estate. I’m sure there’s a way to hide it, but I haven’t figured that one out yet.

Overall though, I’m very pleased and hey, you can’t beat the price, completely free.

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4
Jun

Flip Camera From Webmaster Talk Contest Shows Up

Yahoo! The Fip Camera won at the Webmaster Talk contest was delivered by FedEx today and unlike the MacBook Air it actually worked and is very cool. The Flip is very easy to use even for a video noob such as myself. I know nothing about posting videos on YouTube and was able to shoot a video and upload it in only about an hour or so (It took several takes without saying something dorky before I got it right). The only prize I’m waiting for now from the contest winnings is the iPod Touch. Of course I’m also waiting for my Macbook Air to get back from Apple.

My intention with the Flip is to do some video blogging on both this blog and our Healthy Diet Podcast blog. I’ve never really dome a video before so the one below is my first attempt and shows a little different side of me than what I normally talk about here on Affiliate Confession. Affiliate marketing has nothing to do with playing the drums, but this is just an experiment and next time I’ll do something related to making money online. For now, you can just tap your feet along with the video.

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3
Jun

MacBook Air – Dead On Arrival

Dead MacBook AirThe doorbell rang around 11:00am yesterday and I immediately thought, ‘Could it be?’ As I answered, the red and orange clad DHL driver held a rectangular package that a MacBook Air would fit in nicely and as I clumsily scrawled my signature, which turned to unintelligible scribbles on the driver’s touch pad, I could feel the anticipation rising.

It had finally arrived. The MacBook Air won in the Webmaster-Talk.com contest was now just two packing boxes away from actually resting in my hands. The dull kitchen knife cut through the plastic shipping tape and revealed the inner box that contained the prize. Even the packaging on a MacBook Air is a thing of beauty. It’s hard to believe there could really be a full size laptop computer, with all the accessories, in this box not much larger than a dictionary.

I removed the cellophane wrap from around the sleek black box with the familiar logo and fixed my eyes upon the prize. My initial reaction was almost of unbelief that such a nice prize, when I had not previously won anything of such value, was sitting before me. The MacBook Air’s amazing thinness also caused me to pick it up and turn it in every direction, viewing it from all angles to verify it was actually as thin as it looked.

The next step was to turn it on, run through a normal set up procedure and connect to the web through our wireless home network. Rather than hastily fumbling through hooking up what appeared to be the the power cord and turning on the new laptop only to come across something I didn’t understand (I’m not a Mac person), I sat down and meticulously read through the documentation so no one could throw the RTFM acronym at me.

Done. Read. Time to boot this puppy up and get down to business. Power cords in place, open up the Mac Air, press the start button and wait…and wait…and finally I see a flashing file folder icon with a question mark on a white background and…nothing. Hmm, ‘I’ll just reboot and all will be well.’ Waiting…waiting…same icon with the flashing question mark, indicating all is not well. Read and attempted the troubleshooting procedures to return the computer to factory settings…nothing. Additional troubleshooting procedures only tended to confirm the obvious, my new MacBook Air, that I had waited 6 weeks for, was dead!

Even spending an hour on the phone with a more than helpful AppleCare Support rep and trying additional tricks not in the manual were not enough to bring the Mac Air back from a computer afterlife. Only a hard drive transplant and complete system software reinstall would bring a full recovery.

The only solution was to place my sleek and beautifully brand new MacBook Air, which I had just peeled the protective plastic off of, into the hands of a computer tech who had been working on boxes all day. In his examination of my baby, he immediately smudged it with computer grime from systems that lay in heaps in the back room, filled with cold test equipment and probably colder coffee.

I left the black product box with the tech so as to give my first Mac computer at least some sense of comfort while away from home for a few days.

The anticipation continues…

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