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Oh, you wanted the story about the laptop I won?

standard July 25, 2008 5 responses

Not the story about the disgruntled blogger? Oops. Sorry, totally didn’t get that.

OK, all joking aside, I’m blown away by the support I got for the post I wrote yesterday. I’ll admit that I turned on my computer with a little apprehension this morning. I was a little worried that the Internet might have imploded or something. But clearly I was overreacting because y’all are awesome.

But I digress, so, without further ado, and briefly in deference to the optical migraine that jazzed up my girl’s night out (Check it out! Kaleidoscope friends and manicotti!) , I bring you “How I won a laptop two hours before the end of BlogHer08.”AKA “Being in the right place at the right time with the right people and the right Internet connection.”

After liveblogging two sessions almost back to back on Saturday I was a little too fried to attend a third session. After assuring myself that the “Blog to Book Redux” session was being well attended and would be carefully documented I trecked over to the Exhibitors Hall to corner one of the helpful HP guys to see if they could reinstal the DVD drivers on my laptop.

(Quick asside: I’m only giving you one guess as to when we discovered that the DVD player function no longer worked on my laptop.
Yay you win! It was 10pm in the airport last December when we’d just discovered our flight was delayed two hours and had hyped Elmo in an effort to calm an overtired and overwhelmed C. Yay us.)

HP was classy and sent a team of their geeks to BlogHer to help troubleshoot laptops and give “Geek Makeovers.” Basically if you had a laptop of any kind they would do their magic: clean it up, optimize it, sprinkle geek dust, and make it run like new again. I spent almost an hour with Dale as he reinstalled my driver and futzed with my computer to try to empty it of useless stuff that was cluttering up the memory.

When every scrap of extraneous data was extracted and everything was in tip top shape I gathered my stuff and profussely thanked Dale and his coworkers, and that’s when he leaned over and murmured “Do you Twitter?” Now I thought it was kind of an odd pick-up line and even odder that he was even trying to pick me up, seeing as we’d spent ten minutes pouring over my kids’ pictures, but two days of conference food had muddled my brain, so I kind of stammered “Uh, yeah.” (Smooth, I know.)
“Well, Ann, my boss, is about to post a contest to win a laptop.” He murmured without making eye contact. “I can’t tell you what she’s going to ask and I definitely can’t give you a hint, but you should go log on and wait for the question.”

A little taken aback, I thanked him again and stumbled away, loaded down with free computer skins, free t-shirts, and everything else they’d foisted off on me graciously given me during the hour I’d spent with them. I grabbed a snack and sank gratefully on an empty exhibitor’s table and popped open my laptop, more with the intent to check my email than Twitter. Once online I couldn’t resist and went to check out the HP_BlogHer08 Twitter page.

My roommate and friend found me there, frantically hitting refresh, waiting for the magic question to pop up. When Twitter, or rather Ann, finally obliged, asking us to name the song and singer in this video, I jumped on Google and started an even more frantic search. I waited while the Internet struggled, found a possible song, ran up to the desk, was rebuffed, and walked back to our table defeated. That’s when my roommate quipped up and said that maybe we were spelling Want To wrong, maybe it was really Wanna. We ran another search, found the correct song, and I ran back to the desk.

“Is it Joan Jet? Do you wanna touch?” I breathlessly asked her. (Hey! That’s a lot of running for this unfit mama.)
“Yes! Yes it is! Here you go!” Ann said as she handed me a cardboard box. And then there were pictures, first with the cardboard box, and then with a real laptop when the PR guy realized that that might make for better press pictures. And then thirty seconds later I was walking back to our table with my prize, still not entirely convinced that the whole episode hadn’t been some weird hallucination brought on by the Asian Beef Salad I’d had for lunch.

But apparently it wasn’t because I’m typing this on my shiny new laptop and this picture is on the Internet.

As for all the other people desperately refreshing Twitter on the coolio handhelds that I’d been coveting all weekend? Well, the Internet crashed for all of them and they weren’t able to do a search. Which I guess is a lesson I should learn, but I still covet their Blackberries and iPhones, so clearly I’m not a good student.

And HP? Well, they just plain rock.

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