The feeling of the holiday season is in the air: people are whistling, the birds are migrating, and Old Jack Frost has decided to pay a visit once more. Of course, when you’re in South Florida, that means that the air outside has dropped to a nippy 22 degrees – Celsius, that is. Yes, the sweater inducing room temperature is almost too much for us Floridians to handle, but we get through. When it gets this nice and cool, one can’t help but be happy, think about music, love, and look nostalgically back at sitting down in front of a warm glow, taking in some of those wonderful holiday treats: Cookies, Cocoa, and HotJava. In fact, this time of year makes me think of that wonderful holiday classic, “The Night Santa Went Crazy,” by the masterful Al Yankovick; it’s what I like listening to on the long drives from Ft. Lauderdale to the frozen tundra of Tampa, FL, where my family takes residence. It’s always interesting to pull up next to the house and see them there, enjoying the weather next to their Igloo. Holiday traveling: there’s nothing in the world like it.

Of course, the feeling of the holiday season isn’t just about temperatures, travels, and things remembered. To a great many of us, this is the season for giving – kind of like celebrating a month long birthday party. Of course, we here at Developer Shed are always in the giving spirit towards our readers, which is why this month we’re giving away a FREE Sound Blaster MP3+ USB External Sound Card. That’s right, folks, you no longer have to sit through those long flights and drives with nothing more than the crappy sound card your laptop or PDA came with. This nice little item allows you to have high quality sound in even the most aurally challenged portable devices.


This is truly a highly desired item, by man and beast alike!


But how, pray tell, do you enter this month’s giveaway?

The rules are simple:

1) Write and submit an article to norbert@developershed.com, with the subject "Developer Shed MP3+ Contest" for publication in any of our websites and win this awesome device, featured in an upcoming review. (Don't worry. The review was written before our marketing monks came up with the contest, so the review's content has not been affected.) The article, a tutorial, hardware review, tech-oriented personal experience tale, or news-worthy report on a tech related field (no corporate business coverage of “X, Inc. is suing Y.com,” please), must be about one of the topics covered on one of the following websites: Dev Shed, ASP Free, Dev Articles, Dev Hardware, and SEO Chat. This pretty much covers all aspects of development and today’s technology. The article must be at least 1500 words in length, subdivided into at least 5 pages of information. (Check out http://www.devhardware.com/hardware/how-to/809,1/ for an example of what we’re looking for.)

2) The Contest runs until December 31, 2003, so your article must be in by that time. Articles may be submitted in the following formats: DOC, SWX, RTF, TXT, and HTML (please do not use the “Save as HTML” function in MS Word or Star Office). If there are images in the story, please send them in a .ZIP file containing both the pictures and the article. Articles (and inquiries) should be sent to norbert@developershed.com, with the subject "Developer Shed Contest Entry."

3) Judging will look at subject matter, quality of content (so make it interesting), and grammar. In fact, chances are that if we have to edit it, you ain't winning. It might still be published, so not all is lost! You may yet still have the chance at the fame and geek chic that comes with having your writings read by millions worldwide. I don't want to have to spend three days correcting grammatical mistakes, though - I'm not your English teacher, daing it!

By submitting an article you agree to give Developer Shed exclusive publication rights to the story. All the credit for genius, however, will stay with you, so no worries about my placing our grubby little name on the story and claiming that it’s our brainchild. The winner will be announced on the website and via phone call, or e-mail, or IM – which ever is easiest to reach him/her at.

Start your typing!!!
Gnorb

P.S.
Check this posting once in a while in case there's something which needs to be changed in the contest rules.