Rosetta Stone Sponsors the QiRanger.com Year-End Contest

December has rolled around once more, meaning that the end of the year is quickly approaching, and what better celebrate that fact than with a contest. This time, I’ve gone all out and secured an awesome sponsor: Rosetta Stone.

If you’re not familiar with Rosetta Stone, you should. They are the premiere language software learning company. I’ve used them to learn Indonesian, Tagalog, and Korean. In fact, Rosetta Stone can help you learn more than 30 languages.

The current list of languages available from Rosetta Stone.

For this contest, Rosetta Stone has agreed to give one lucky winner a Level 1 software package of their choice! That’s a $179US value! If you’re thinking about coming to Korea, you’re all set! Going to France? You’re set! Want to visit the bush in Africa? Rosetta Stone can teach you Swahili!

Entering the contest is easy; just watch this video:



So there you have it! The contest is open now through December 16th (Korean Time). Simply attach a video response to the YouTube video stating what language you’d like to learn and why. Since the YouTube system seems to be going through some issues right now, you can also upload your video to YouTube and then email the URL of your video. You can enter as many times as you’d like and for as many different languages as you’d like. Once the contest closes, I’ll use Random.org to select one entry as the winner. I’ll contact that person through the YouTube message system to notify them and ask for their personal email address. I’ll then pass that along to Rosetta Stone so they can ship your winning prize directly to you!

I hope you’re as excited as I am about this contest. I’d like to offer up a huge thank you to Rosetta Stone for sponsoring the prize. Please be sure to spread the word and video around. The more people that know about the contest and participate means that I can work with more companies in the future and get some even more amazing prizes!

While only one person can win, I wish you all the best of luck and I hope you have fun with your video responses!

Here’s something that should put a smile on your face as well!



End of the week.

Another week has come to a close. With that, Jo and I sat back with a few cold ones and got caught up on some computer stuff. As you can see, I went for the Stylish effect.

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How do you end you week?

Techno Monday

… and we’re back. It’s hard to believe, but as I write this, a week has passed since my computer went a little off and I found myself without the device for the first time in a long, long time.

Being a little of a techno geek, I often wondered what it would be like to go without technology in the 21st Century. Sure it’s easy to do that on vacation (and it’s something I look forward to doing), but what would it be like to go without a trusted piece of hardware during a real work week.

I found out and was quite surprised.

Throughout the week, I found that I didn’t miss my computer. This was partly because of the iPhone and its ability to keep me connected. That, coupled with the computers at the office, allowed me to keep up with most aspects of my life. The one area that I did fall a little behind was responding to comments to my YouTube videos. However, I did finally find a workaround for that.

What did I miss? I missed Final Cut.




Without my copy of Final Cut, I found that my work was dead in the water. Sure, I could shoot a short movie and edit it in iMovie, but for the shorts I like to make and need to make for various projects, I need the robust power of a professional editing suite (even if I don’t know how to make everything work).

For nearly a week, I did no editing despite having three projects in timelines. All I could do is sit and wait for the repairs on my LCD to complete. When I finally got my machine back on Friday, I eagerly booted it up and wanted to get to work straight away. Unfortunately, there was a little glitch.

The LCD wasn’t the problem. It was the main board of the computer. Seems all the work I’ve been doing these past few years finally took its toll and caused some serious damage. With it being replaced, the machine was essentially new. I had to re-authenticate many iTunes programs, games, and Final Cut.

Here was the problem.

I didn’t have the serial number for my copy of Final Cut. I tried to recover the data from my backup, but nothing worked. I was planning on getting a new copy of Final Cut when I returned to the US this summer, but with projects due Monday, I needed something ASAP and made the purchase Saturday… and sent nearly 4 hours upgrading that night.

I’m so thankful I did, because things are so much more fluid now in the program (I was running Final Cut 5.1). I’m really looking forward to using more function from Motion and LiveType as well.It should prove very useful in the future!

This has really been a learning experience, since what I thought was vital was not… and what I took for a trivial add-on was more important that I could have imagined.

What item of technology is vital to your work?

An honest review…

It really is magic...

I have been using a computer for longer than I can remember. I think the first computer I used was back in the late 1970s and I have loved them ever since. For a long time, I used PCs, simply because I needed certain software and Macs didn’t offer me anything. Over the years, I liked, Macs, but really didn’t like their operating system.

That all changed when Apple decided to drop their old system and move to UNIX. For those not-in-the-know, Macs run an operating system that dates back more than 40 years. By contrast, Windows is roughly half that old, and is continually being gutted and changed. So each incarnation is a new product. Apple went with UNIX because there’s so much behind it. When you add in the Linux community, the programming resources become infinitely larger.

But the thing that always grated me with Apple was their mice. I hated the one button thing. I was always used to two, three, or more buttons on a mouse. When I first got my Macbook Pro, I opted to get the Mighty Mouse. It’s a Bluetooth wireless mouse with several options. It offered left and right clicks (based on sensor inputs), had a trackball, and side buttons. I loved it. I could do everything with it.

However, the biggest problem with that mouse was the trackball. It would always get gunked up. When that happened, you either couldn’t scroll one way, or even at all. After three years and countless cleanings, my Mighty Mouse’s trackball finally gave in. I needed to get a replacement. Since I like the Bluetooth aspect of my mouse (it keeps a USB port free), I needed to get another one. Apple’s only option is the Magic Mouse, which they introduced last year.

It’s sleek. It’s sexy… but only has one surface and effectively one button. It allows for left and right clicking and solved the scrolling issue, by using the surface of the mouse as a touchpad. But, I had grown used to using Spaces and Exposé with my Mighty mouse. What was I going to do? Go to YouTube of course.

I found several tutorials on how to make better use of the mouse. this lead me to MagicPref. It’s a free program you install on your system to manage the Magic Mouse. It offers far more customization that I’ll ever use, but it now allows me to use Spaces and Exposé by creating special clicking areas (middle click for Exposé and three-finger click for Spaces). I love it and highly recommend this free program for anyone with a Magic Mouse.

Sans Computer…

This will be the last post for a short time… The computer is going back to the store once again. It appears that the mic on board is a little messed up and causing some static when using Skype. Normally it isn’t that big of an issue, but I’m in the process of setting up to record 3 on-line episodes of the YouTube Family Feud this weekend… and now that’s on hold since people can’t hear me.

It sucks a bit, since I need to use the computer to edit a few films for school (remember those UCCs?). I will spend next week filming those projects and then I’ll edit them once I get the system back. Then I’ll have to really get cracking to film those Family Feud shows. I can’t tell you how bummed I am that I had to cancel this weekend’s shoots. I’ve been trying so hard to get everyone together… and once I finally did, I fond the HW problem.

D’oh!

Vaycay…

Another weekend has ended here in Korea, and the two best things about it???? 1) I got to spend it with Jo and 2) it was the first weekend of my vacation. That’s right, I’m on vacation and can’t wait to have all sorts of fun in Seoul with Jo.

Saturday, we left for Seoul, since Jo was finally feeling better to do some shopping. Jo’s been dying to see a real street market, and I thought what better place to show her than Namdaemun. We walked about 25% of the market and picked up a few things for the apartment (and I managed to shoot a little video too).

It was a lot of fun, and a place we’ll probably head back to, since we found a few cheap import stores. I picked up some extra power plugs, while Jo was focused on getting things for the kitchen. In fact, with this last outing, we’ll be able to round out the kitchen and take some new photos/video of the apartment so I can show you her mad organizational skills.

Sunday, we met up with another couple and visited the War Memorial. It really is one of the best museums in Korea. We got there at 1.30 and stayed until 5pm. There were even some exhibits we couldn’t get to, since at that time we needed to head into Bundang for another function. I want to take Jo back to the Museum again, since we really didn’t have an opportunity to see the outdoor exhibits, and she needs to see that!

This week will have us running around to a few places, getting things taken care of for our wedding. Today is also the day that I must say good-bye to the laptop for a few days, since it is the best time to have it repaired. We’ll be departing this morning for Gangnam and I’ll drop it off at UBase before we make our way into Itaewon for some shopping and exploration. If all goes well, I should have it back by the end of the week- something that I am really looking forward to seeing.

Just in case I don’t get the laptop back before the end of the week, I want to extend our warmest holiday greetings to you and yours. May the Christmas season bring you joy and peace.

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Impossibilities!

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Yesterday, I started my first day of formalized and structured learning of the Korean language. Yes, I have been in Korea for some time and have managed to pick up reading Hangul (한글), but not at the pace or in a way that really means something to me. So I did what I always do… turn to my friends at Rosetta Stone and purchased the learning software.

Over the years, I’ve used Version 1 and Version 2 software packages, but this is my first time with the new and improved system. I can honestly say that it is amazing to see how far they have come in the past few years.

What makes this system so much more impressive than the past two, is how the lessons are built. Previously, I found them quite boring (although they were effective). This time, all the elements are present and it makes for quite a challenging hour of instruction. However, I did run into one problem.

During the pronunciation phase of the lesson, I was to replicate the syllable 수, which sounds like “soo” or “su”. No matter what I did, the computer wouldn’t recognize my speech and I was left staring at the computer, jaw agape. I’m hoping that today’s efforts will be greatly improved and that over the course of this week, I’ll be able to master Lesson 1.

The course is somewhat different than those in the past, in that each Level is broken down into four units, with four lessons each. My current plan is to spend a week on each lesson and compete one Unit a month. This should see me competing Level 1 in January with a mastery proficiency.