I'm sitting here contemplating what to write this month and thinking
about how little time I have to write anything. I'm already several days
late with this issue and there is a pile of other things I should be doing.
And I feel rotten. My daughter stopped by over the weekend and she left some
nice germs to keep me company. Thanks, Stacy! My schedule is overwhelming
me. Everybody wants a piece of my time. Mom broke a tooth and needs to get
to the dentist. My brother was taken to the emergency room today and
they're running tests. I need to take my car in for an estimate because some
roofing blew off the office building next to ours and ripped across the hood
of my beautiful car, leaving hundreds of wonderful gouges where the paint
used to be. I need to get the puppy to the vet to have her fixed before she
gets any older. And the dogs are shedding...which means I should be vacuuming
every day. But the dust bunnies are rapidly multiplying! And Greg is on a
business trip, so I just know something in this house is going to break cos'
it always does when he's not around to fix it!
All I can think about is all the stuff I have to do. Then I realize it
was about this time last year when I experienced a schedule melt down and
decided I had to take a break from TechTrax for awhile. I'm hoping it won't
come to that this year. But I do hope you'll forgive me for it being a
little late. And next month it'll either be very early or fairly late. The
MVP summit falls just around the time when I should be publishing. If I'm
lucky, I'll get it done early and have it out on time. But today I also got
a jury summons for that week!<sigh> Let's hope they hate me and
Then I open my email tonight and my daily horoscope (that I have emailed
to me in an attempt to see into the future and get ahead of any new chaos
coming my way<grin>) says: "People are making demands
on your time. Loved ones need your energy as well as your presence. If all
the attention begins to press on you, at least you can be civil with those
around you. Your mood isn't their responsibility. There will
be time for you and yourself later."
Well, isn't it nice to know that even the stars know I'm swamped and overwhelmed
with demands! I think maybe it's just this time of year. Everyone has been
hiding away from the rotten weather and now that nicer weather peaks through
the clouds now and then, everybody thinks of things that need to get done
before summer sets in. The storm before the calm, if you will.
So I grit my teeth and pray that I'll make it through one more day without
losing it! At least now I can relax knowing that this issue of TechTrax
is out the door. And we've got a great issue for you. Lots of terrific
articles. Including one from our newest writer Matt
Billock. Matt's not only an avid gamer who will be sharing his gaming strategies
with you, he's also a programmer who will show the more geekier amongst you
how to program your own games. And from Matt's
profile, you can tell the
guy has a sense of humor. I'm sure you'll enjoy what Matt has to offer.
But what we don't have for you this month
is a contest. Sorry, just didn't have time. But the prizes are piling
up, so I'll be sure to get one ready for you next month. And with luck, Microsoft
will let us hit the company store while we're at the summit. So I can
buy some more goodies to continue giving stuff away.
But we did manage to give stuff away last month. In fact, we had three lucky
winners! The terrific people over at TechSmith.com,
the makers of SnagIt,
offered up three copies of their wonderful software to our readers. We ran
our random number generator and matched the winning numbers up with the database
entries. Unfortunately, one of the winner's didn't get back to me in time.
And I felt really bad because he was a former colleague of mine. But as they
say "rules is rules!" So I had to pick another name. All our winners were
thrilled and Betsy over at TechSmith let me know that their software is on
the way and she was even going to toss in a T-Shirt for each winner. Thanks
so much, Betsy!
So who won?
Our first winner was Lori Brown. She replied back with: "Dian, Wow! That's
great! Now if it was only that easy to win the lottery!! :-) Thanks, I appreciate
it and look forward to trying it out. I stumbled across your newsletter and
have really enjoyed the issues that I've received. Keep up the good work!!"
When I asked to get more info about her, she passed this back: ""I
work for the University of Nebraska's Computing Services Network, located
in Lincoln, NE. The University has four campuses located throughout the state,
and I work for the Central Administration dept, which works with all four
campuses. My dept. does customer support of the administrative computing
systems that the University uses for financial, human resources and materials
management data, which includes writing documentation, developing training
materials, composing user communications and helpdesk support. Since
most people are visual learners and the systems we support can be complex,
it really helps to include screen shots to documentation and communications
to illustrate a procedure and give users clues for what data to enter where.
I have used SnagIt in the past and was impressed with its capabilities. I
look forward to using the newest version to see what additions and improvements
they have added to it."
Our second winner was Teresa Lazarek-Ball, who replied with: "Hi, Dian! Thank
you for offering this to your readers! I create user documentation at work,
so I will get a lot of use out of SnagIt!"
Asking her for more personal info, she replied: "I
support and train school district personnel on various software applications
in Upstate New York. I also freelance my training services to individuals and
small offices around the area. I do a lot of software documentation (mainly
training manuals) and need to capture screen shots. Initially, I will mainly
use SnagIt for that purpose. I haven't had SnagIt available at work for years,
so it will be interesting to learn its new features and see what I will be
able to use them for.
Again, thanks again for this offer to your readers! I always look forward to
TechTrax coming out every month and learning something new!!!"
And our third, and really lucky winner, since she was actually the fourth
name we pulled, was Elizabeth Neely. She replied back saying:
"WONDERFUL, and thank you!"
Her follow up info reply added: "I'm a full-time volunteer, working with 3
community organizations plus Habitat for Humanity...I seem to have just enough
computer skill to get sucked in to filling all kinds of database, newsletter
and website needs, and just enough ignorance to keep myself tangled up in
Access, Quark, Publisher and Dreamweaver issues. Thank goodness for TechTrax--you've
given me many wonderful tips! I'll look forward to looking through my mail,
which is not usually the case!"
I'm sure they'll all love their new software and it sounds like it'll come
in handy in the work they do. And this month they can read all about SnagIt's
cool capture features in our second article on the program. As for me...I'll
take a deep breath and get busy putting together a contest for you for next
Here's hoping I survive until next month!