For once my long-time love of computer history and trivia has finally paid off for me! One of the Information Technology magazines that I have been a long time subscriber to, InformationWeek
, decided to hold a several month long computer and IT trivia challenge called "The Great IT Challenge." I played the challenge, answering, rating, and submitting questions every day for three straight months to earn points. The competition's leader board only showed the top 10 contestant's scores, and I wasn't even close to those 10, so I had no idea how well or poorly I was doing in comparison to the others throughout the competition. Even so, I stuck with the competition for the full three months anyway, because as I said I absolutely love computer trivia and I was having a lot of fun answering questions and coming up with new ones to submit. It turned out that it was a really good thing that I did stick with the competition, because some time after it was over I was notified by the publisher of InformationWeek
who told me that my three-month score was one of the top 25 scores. That meant that I had won myself a t-shirt to celebrate that fact, and even better than that, I had also won myself a brand new netbook computer!
I was absolutely floored by this news, because I had no idea that I was still in the race for any kind of prize, let alone a good one!
Even more fortuitous is the fact that this prize couldn't have come at a better time. My current laptop is an old no-thrills Compaq business model that I bought used when it came off of lease many years ago. While it has given me many good years of faithful service, it is now 10-years old and I have already had to buy two new replacement batteries and three new replacement power bricks for it to keep it chugging along. I also had stopped bringing it to my Microsoft .Net User Group meetings because it could no longer run the latest version of Microsoft Visual Studio and Expression Studio effectively, which meant that I could no longer use it to follow along with the coding examples being presented by the guest speakers each month. And since I have been out of steady web development and programming work for about two-and-a-half years at this point, there was no hope of me being able to afford to buy a new laptop at this stage. I have no idea what brand or model my new netbook is going to turn out to be (some sponsor agreement keeps them from telling me I guess, so it will be a surprise), but it has *got* to be better than what I currently have. And if I can use it to once again follow along with the presenters at user group meetings and hands-on programming workshops (which I use to help keep my skills current while I am looking for work), then it will be a real game-changer for me!
Now I don't yet have the netbook in my hands, and I haven't received all of their paperwork that I need to fill out yet, so it's still too early for me to really start to celebrate at this point in time. While I don't have any prior experience with this company, I never received a prize that I won from a video game competition that was hosted by another organization last year, so I know not to get my hopes up too high until after I have actually received the prize. But even so, I can't help but feel pretty happy right now, so in the words of the glorious pony Fluttershy, "Yay!"