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Giveaway: Tickets to Maker Faire May 18-19 (Invention + Creativity)

As a technologist that writes about setting rules for technology limits with kids, I am always on the lookout for events and activities that inspire invention and creativity.

 

The Maker Faire is one of those events that will inspire kids and adults to show their creative side. It will be at the San Mateo County Events Center, CA Saturday 10am – 8pm and Sunday 10am – 6pm. Here is a link for more information.

 

 

The Maker Faire About Page explains: “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.” It is a fascinating event that we look forward to each year!

 

I was thrilled to receive an email that gave me the opportunity to offer a (flash) GIVEAWAY for three families to win tickets for their family to attend the Maker Faire this weekend. Maximum of 5 tickets per family.

 

Update: Winners of tickets were randomly choosen -Sabz Moscon, Lizz Porter and Sandy Gram.

 

TO ENTER – PLEASE FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER FORM BELOW.   *FLASH CONTEST* Contest ends 5/17 at 8pm winners will be notified by 10pm.

 

I am also excited to see the latest electric car from Toyota (RAV4 EV) will be at the Maker Faire. We hope to convert our cars to electric as we replace them moving forward. Here is the press release information about the new Toyota RAV4 EV:

 

The new Toyota RAV4 EV, the latest electric car from Toyota only sold in California; it’s a family-friendly car that’s piquing the interest of environmentally-conscious Californians. Attendees also have the exclusive opportunity to ask questions directly to people who helped develop the new electric car at Toyota.

 

Some of the activities in Toyota’s area will include:

·         Explore the RAV4 EV and speak with Executive Program Manager Sheldon Brown

·         Participate in the bicycle-powered slot car track (photo below)!

·         “Recharge” at The Maker Lounge with wi-fi and power outlets
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am receiving complimentary tickets to the event for hosting this giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.

 

 

 

HP Envy 23 TouchSmart All In One Review & GIVEAWAY

(*See giveaway info on bottom of this post)

UPDATE : CONTEST CLOSED 1/4/2013 Winner is shopgurl Thanks to everyone who entered!

When I was contacted to participate in the #HPFamilyTime campaign I was excited for the opportunity to use the  HP Envy 23 TouchSmart All in One for many reasons. First of all, now that my kids use touch screen tablets, they demand a higher level of interaction that “non touch” computers don’t offer. Second, after covering the Windows 8 launch, I could not wait to try it out at home (other then the many times I played with Windows 8 at the Microsoft store). Third, I had a desk in our family room that I set up with the plan of putting a PC with a big screen that could be used for entertainment and for schoolwork. I already decided that an all in one would be the best form factor because it would be compact enough to move into the living room if one of my kids needed a quiet place to work.  So does the HP Envy Touchsmart All in One fit my needs?

 

 

Yes, not only did it fit in as the perfect family room computer, but the new Windows 8 operating system combined with the beautiful and intuitive touch screen made it also a family favorite. After I set up the security and Microsoft accounts for each user, I installed  Microsoft Office. The only challenge we had is that I had to activate the security software I installed on each account on the computer separately (but it was quick).  Our kids that are not easily impressed by tech were not only impressed – but quickly learned how to use the new Windows 8 interface (using a Touchscreen as well as a keyboard/mouse).

 

 

Here is a video I made of the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart All In One unboxing. The set up was so easy (unwrap and a “one plug” in!).

 

 

The HP Envy 23 Touchsmart All in One is packed with premium features for great price (currently starting at $1,099! ):

 

  • 3rd  Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3330S quad-core processor and 6 GB RAM (upgradable to 16GB) means fast processing and multitasking.
  • 1TB hard drive  so it has lots of space for programs, photos and video.
  • 6-in-1 card reader, 2 USB3.0 (fast transfer speed), 4 USB 2.0 (to plug in more accessories) and audio (micrphone and earphones) inputs. HDMI input to connect to TV or external screen.
  • Optional TV to broadcast live TV from your computer.  The full HD display enables viewing of HD content.
  • DVD burner  that can write data to blank DVD – so Grandparents can get a DVD copy of their grandkids on video.
  • HP wireless keyboard and mouse with Win 8 keyboard (with raised keys for easy typing).
  • All in one form factor with edge to edge sleek and modern design  that can be mounted on the wall with just one wire.
  • HP Quick Launch that has a fast boot up.and access to shortcuts.
  • Optional Solid State Drive.
  • HP Connected Photo allows you to sync photos across your PC, smartphone, and tablet.
  • HP TrueVision HD Webcam that works even in low light because of the “adaptive lighting to automatically adjust to changing light”.
  • Beats Audio offers premium sound. Just add some bluetooth speakers to extend the sound even further.
  • HP Connected Music to manage music downloads, streaming services and Internet Radio.
  • Windows 8 operating system (built for touch) perfectly matched with a intuitive touch with 10-point multitouch technology that enables swipe and tap using all 10 fingers.

 

 

More information and configuration options for the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO is available at the HP Store.
Here is a picture of what the Windows 8 start screen with “tiles” looks like after I installed Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Windows 8 site explained “Each tile on the Start screen is connected to a person, app, website, playlist,  or whatever else is important to you. Tiles light up with the latest info, so you’re instantly up to date. In one glance, you’ll see that photo you were just tagged in, tomorrow’s weather, and messages from your friends“. Next – I can’t wait to configure what Windows 8 apps/live tiles appear on the start screen. There are ones that are pre-configured so I had a great start.
hpenvy23_1

 

 

Searching for apps is easy, I just swipe from right to left and the bar below comes up. What was once “programs” are now apps that I can add as live tiles on my Windows 8 start screen:
hpenvy23_2jpg
I will be looking for family management apps while my kids can’t wait to try the paint apps and the Xbox apps.
hpenvy23_3jpg

 

One of the tiles on the start screen is called “Desktop” which allows me to easily switch to the standard (Windows 7) start screen view.
hpenvy23_4jpg

 

I can search for files the same way I did on Windows 7 if I want, but also switch back to the Windows 8 start screen by swiping on bottom left or right of the screen.
hpenvy23_5

 

My kids enjoy using the bright, crisp and intuitive screen for the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO:
hpenvy23_6

 

 

They immediately found the Fresh Paint program and with a “touch” started creating a digital art project.
HPenvy23_7

 

 

Of course – a smile face was the first work of art that was created!
hpenvy23_8

 

 

I will be posting next week with my test drive of the other features of the HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO and Windows 8. For now – how about a GIVEAWAY that will enable ONE winner to have one for their own family.  To Enter – use the widget below with all the details!

 

 

***Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a program on behalf of HP and received an ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO as a thank you for participation.

**
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Scholastic 39 Clues – Rapid Fire : Giveaway!

See Giveaway info below the jump (now closed). Winner was choosen: Congrats to Mary Sprecher! 
 
image from i1137.photobucket.com39 Clues is a adventure series with books my boys enjoy reading as well as visiting the online game and collecting the cards – that are all part of the story. Something exciting has come out for the holidays- and it includes eBooks that can be read on mobile devices. Beginning on December 25, a different top secret eBook short story will be released daily, leading up to an explosive finale on December 31. The 39 Clues Rapid Fire ebooks can be read on tablets, smartphone, eReaders or computers. Codes hidden in each of the seven stories combine to unlock an exclusive card and medal on http://www.the39clues.com. Following the 39 Clues stories can be a fun addition to holiday adventures and offer a great way to get in daily reading time – without any complaints. 
 
Where to buy: The 39 Clues: Rapid Fire” stand-alone adventure stories will be available December 25-31 for sale at online retailers for $0.99 each. Seven days, seven stories—one explosive secret.

39 Clues Series GIVEAWAY

 


 
Prize – One (1) winner receives:
 

To enter – you must be the parent, family member or caregiver of child or teen who loves adventure series.  A full listing of rules is at the bottom of this post. ONLY TWO ENTRIES per person. One entry equals one comment on this post. 1st entry should be a comment explaining why you want to win the 39 Clue series for your child/teen. For those that want a second entry, please share this contest over Twitter and comment on this post with a link to your tweet. Here is a suggestion for those that want to tweet:
 
Entered @TechMama ‘s #39Clues Rapid Fire giveaway http://bit.ly/v5n2NE
 
Winner will be chosen using Random.org. Only TWO entries/comments per person.
 
Giveaway timing: Contest runs from December 21 to December 26, 2011 10pm pst.
 
RULES:
 
–A Valid email address must be entered in the private “email” section of the comment (not in the comment text). If a valid email address is not provided, another winner will be chosen.
 
–Winner must be located in North America (Canada/US). Shipments can only be made to Canada/US.
 
–Scholastic is not responsible for any lost packages or incorrect shipping addresses. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Approximate value of prizes may vary.

Here is information from the The 39 Clues website about the series:

 

  • The 39 Clues™ is an interactive and multi-platform adventure series combining books, collectible cards, and an online game where readers become a part of the story. The groundbreaking series is the first of its kind in the publishing industry.
  •  

  • The 39 Clues series centers around the Cahills—the most powerful family the world has ever known. But the source of the family’s power has been lost. Grace Cahill, the last matriarch of the Cahills, changed her will minutes before she died, leaving her descendants an impossible decision: receive a million dollars or a clue. The first Cahill to assemble all 39 clues hidden around the world will discover what makes the family so powerful—a reward beyond measure. It’s Cahill versus Cahill in a race to the finish, with readers hot on the heels of the main characters, fourteen-year-old Amy Cahill and her eleven-year-old brother, Dan.
  •  

  • The series highlights famous historical figures and geographical locations around the globe kicking off with Benjamin Franklin (Paris, France) in Book 1: The Maze of Bones, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Vienna, Austria) in Book 2: One False Note, Toyotomi Hideyoshi (Tokyo, Japan) in Book 3: The Sword Thief, Howard Carter (Cairo, Egypt) in Book 4: Beyond the Grave, Anastasia Romanov (St. Petersburg, Russia) in Book 5: The Black Circle, Amelia Earhart (Australia) in Book 6: In Too Deep, Shaka Zulu (Pretoria, South Africa) in Book 7: The Viper’s Nest, Pu Yi (China) in Book 8: The Emperor’s Code, Anne Bonny (Jamaica) in Book 9: Storm Warning, and William Shakespeare (England) in Book 10: Into the Gauntlet.
  •  

  • The 39 Clues Madrigal Maze App for the Apple iPhone™ and iPod Touch® has been ranked among the top “Paid Kids Games” in Apple’s App Store since release.
  •  

Links:
 
Official Website            http://www.the39clues.com/rapidfire
 
Facebook                     http://www.facebook.com/the39clues
 
Twitter                         http://twitter.com/scholastic
 
Disclosure: TechMamas.com was supplied with a 39 Clues series box set to review. This is not a paid post.

 

Giveaway – Angry Birds “Rio”

Winners: Susan and Glennia won the gift cards!!

************************************************************************************

My family and I have enjoyed playing Rovio’s Angry Birds app for some time. I was excited to hear that another version is out – inspired by the new movie “Rio” that hits the theatre’s April 15th. Angry Birds Rio is available on the new Amazon App store for Android and on Apple’s iTunes. Here is the official synposis about the new Angry Birds Rio game:

“In Angry Birds Rio, the original Angry Birds are kidnapped and taken to the magical city of Rio, where they eventually escape their captors and set out to save their friends, Blu and Jewel – two rare macaws and the stars of the. Angry Birds Rio will launch with 60 dedicated levels, with more content to follow via app updates.”

Here is a trailer of the game:

(click here to read more and read about giveaway details)

Continue reading

 

HP “Reboot With ROI” Retreat Giveaway

Working parents especially need vacation time – and technology is moving so fast that everyone could use a tech makeover. So when I was asked to share the announcement of a contest that offers both, I said yes! Of course, I was secretly hoping to win myself…

Here are the details: HP is giving away a trip to Napa for six people in your office and a technology makeover for your team. To enter, share a story about the returns on something you bought (ROI). Click HERE to enter and find out more information about the HP "Reboot With ROI" Retreat Giveaway:

http://bit.ly/95QWoo

My biggest return is having the most updated laptop – because I use that for work. Making sure my computer has lots of storage, reliable, a fast processor, good graphics card and a big screen size is important to keep up my fast working pace. I also purchased an external wireless keyboard that helps keep me comfortable even if I am typing for hours. I am also enjoying use Windows 7 on my new computer.

Disclosure: This announcement is sponsored.

 

Giveaway – Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC!

**Winner is LisaC. My3Sons33 Congrats! .

While gadgets are getting more mobile, I suggest every family have a Desktop PC. Desktop PC’s are budget friendly, have bigger screens then laptops and can do double duty as a “work at home” PC for work at home parents. Desktop PC’s also make it easier for mom and dad to keep an eye on what the kids are doing online – because if they are set up in the family room – they stay in the family room.

I recently had the chance to review the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one Desktop PC, which has become not only a valued family PC, but also a work PC for a “work at home mom” (i.e. ME!). I am happy to say that I also have the fun of announcing a giveaway of one Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC to one lucky reader. Here are the details:

  1. TIMING: Contest starts July 6th and ends July 10, 10pm pst.
  2. PRIZE: One Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC
  3. HOW TO ENTER: Each contestant can only comment 2 times – one (1) with how they
    would use the PC and another (2) only if they share the contest
    details over Twitter
    – and provide a link to the Tweet in the comment text. For use of a new PC, would you be looking for a family, work at home or small business PC? The tweet should have the Twitter IDs @TechMama and @lenovosocial,
    the bitly of this post “http://bit.ly/bTiQZe” and the hashtag “#A70z“. **Only 2 comments/entries per person will be used to determine winner.
  4. HOW WINNER IS CHOOSEN:We will be entering the number of comments into Random.org to randomly choose a winner.
  5. OTHER RULES:

–A Valid email address must be entered in the private “email” section of the comment (not in the comment text). If a valid email address is not provided, another winner will be choosen.

–Winner must be located in North America (Canada/US). Shipments can only be made to Canada/US.

–Lenovo are not responsible for any lost packages or incorrect shipping addresses. The prize is not redeemable in cash and must be accepted as awarded. Approximate value of prizes may vary. By claiming the prize, the winner authorizes the use, without additional compensation of his or her name and/or likeness and/or voice/photograph and municipality of residence for promotion and/or advertising purposes in any manner and in any medium (including without limitation over the internet and picture data storage).

–This giveaway is running on other sites. Individuals who’ve won at another site are
ineligible to win a second time. Here are the other sites:

Here is the link to find out more information about the Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC.

Here is the link to my Hands On: Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z All-in-one PC

Disclosure: The Lenovo ThinkCentre A70z was
provided to TechMamas.com on a long term review. There were no
requirements to blog, just to experience the computer. My words are my
own.


 

(Winners)Giveaway: 90 days MetroPCS $40 Wireless For All! Service plan and Samsung Messager™ II phone

**Winners of the phones were choosen and sent to MetroPCS.  Here is a link to the origina giveaway post

UPDATE:
MetroPCS got back to confirm they are set to notify winners-  so here
they are (Winners must live in the stated areas as explained in the
rules, if not – a runner up will be choosen):

LA: 
Delia, Tim Evans

Dallas:
Ben
Randolph , Melissa Cook

Miami
RoPi , Marlyne
Johnson 

San
Francisco
:
Sherri J., William Henry

Las Vegas:
Deborah Cartwright, Lily Kwan

Detroit
Reine B., Ross R

Jacksonville
: Sarah, nikromatt 

Sacramento:
MOLLY CAPEL, Ben 

Atlanta:
Mir, Steven
Lindsey

Philadelphia: Brett
David, Laura
Blankenship

Tampa : Maria, Ruthie

NYC:
Krista K, Dan B2

Orlando:
Marci P

****************************************************************************************************

 

Giveaway: 90 days MetroPCS $40 Wireless For All! Service plan and Samsung Messager™ II phone

UPDATE: MetroPCS got back to confirm they are set to notify winners-  so here they are (Winners must live in the stated areas as explained in the rules, if not – a runner up will be choosen):

LA:  Delia, Tim Evans

Dallas: Ben
Randolph , Melissa Cook

Miami
RoPi , Marlyne
Johnson 

San
Francisco
:
Sherri J., William Henry

Las Vegas:
Deborah Cartwright, Lily Kwan

Detroit:  Reine B., Ross R

Jacksonville
: Sarah, nikromatt 

Sacramento:
MOLLY CAPEL, Ben 

Atlanta:
Mir, Steven
Lindsey

Philadelphia: Brett
David, Laura
Blankenship

Tampa : Maria, Ruthie

NYC:
Krista K, Dan B2

Orlando:
Marci P

****************************************************************************************************

Continue reading

 

Giveaway – MetroPCS: Orlando

WINNERS ARE LISTED HERE

Being a mom of a tween has opened my eyes to the complexity of finding the
right cellphone and service plan. I found the pay as you go plans to be a
perfect fit for my family. When TechMamas.com was contacted about this
giveaway, I thought it would fun to share with my readers.

CLICK
HERE TO FIND OUT DETAILS ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY ON THE MAIN GIVEAWAY POST.

To celebrate the new $40 Wireless For All Plan!, MetroPCS has
teamed up with TechMamas to giveaway Samsung Messager™ II phones and 90
days of free service to two readers, each day between April  13 – May
5
. Winners will keep the phones and can purchase
service plans for their own use, after the 90 days of free service.

This
post is for the Orlando contest which will be open from April
13 – May 5
. For each coverage area giveaway, prize winner MUST
live within 20 miles
of the the
Orlando area. Entrants can determine they are in this
coverage area by plugging in their address at the following link:
http://www.metropcs.com/coverage/

TO
ENTER
Please comment. On the comment, please explain what you would
use the phone for.
Is it for yourself? For your tween or teen? For another family member? Share what you would do with the phone if you won. Winner will be chosen at random on May 6.

Disclosure:
This is not a paid giveaway (rather a treat for my
readers). TechMamas.com was given one Samsung
Messager™ phone and 90 days MetroPCS service for review purposes.

 

Giveaway – MetroPCS: NYC

WINNERS ARE LISTED HERE

Being a mom of a tween has opened my eyes to the complexity of finding the
right cellphone and service plan. I found the pay as you go plans to be a
perfect fit for my family. When TechMamas.com was contacted about this
giveaway, I thought it would fun to share with my readers.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT DETAILS ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY ON THE MAIN GIVEAWAY POST.

To celebrate the new $40 Wireless For All Plan!, MetroPCS has
teamed up with TechMamas to giveaway Samsung Messager™ II phones and 90
days of free service to two readers, each day between April  13 – May
5
. Winners will keep the phones and can purchase
service plans for their own use, after the 90 days of free service.

This
post is for the NYC contest which will be open from April
13 – May 5
. For each coverage area giveaway, prize winner MUST
live within 20 miles
of the the NYC area
. Entrants can determine they are in this
coverage area by plugging in their address at the following link:
http://www.metropcs.com/coverage/

TO
ENTER
Please comment. On the comment, please explain what you would
use the phone for.
Is it for yourself? For your tween or teen? For another family member?
Share what you would do with the phone if you won. Winner will be chosen
at random on May 6.

Disclosure:
This is not a paid giveaway (rather a treat for my
readers). TechMamas.com was given one Samsung
Messager™ phone and 90 days MetroPCS service for review purposes.