Wrapping Up the AT&T "Lose the Laptop" Challenge - A Retrospective
We are now in the final days of voting for the AT&T Lose the Laptop Challenge. It has been an interesting four months writing about different topics and how they relate to the HTC Tilt 2 smart phone. You can see all of my articles on the Lose the Laptop site here. But I thought that it might be a good idea to provide a quick summary of all of my posts, all within one article. That way, you can see the evolution of the program in my mind. Hope you like them! And be sure to VOTE FOR ME on the Lose the Laptop site! Each vote that you make enters you to win the GRAND PRIZE of $5000!!!
Each of the post titles below link to the full article on the AT&T Lose the Laptop site. Also included is the first paragraph of each post and a tiny bit of Commentary about these posts.
April - "Travel" Theme
The theme for April was all about travel and how the HTC Tilt 2 can help with that.
Who has Time to Travel Anyway?
"Travel? Who has the time or money to travel nowadays! Sure I travel...a lot! From the bed, to the shower, out the door, to the car, to the train, on the train, to work, and back again. It's a great trip actually. I get to read the paper and occasionally do some writing." [Read more]
Commentary: I spent some time with my new gadget, the HTC Tilt 2 and took it around on my "travels" of errands, going to work and some other things.
What do you take when you travel?
"So you have packed your bags, they are in the cargo hold, and you are 30,000 feet over the glistening ocean, and you start thinking...did I pack the [fill in the blank]? Suddenly you get that big hole in your stomach and you know that you didn't hit an air pocket. It's an "oh crap" moment." [Read more]
Commentary: I tried to think about what I would want with me when I travelled with the exception of a laptop. When you really think about it, you don't need to bring a laptop, only a full featured smart phone (like the HTC Tilt 2).
That "Nagging" Voice - Getting Directions
"Men refuse to ask for directions. Perhaps it is an "independence" thing or has something to do with pride. Women, on the other hand, insist on the careful organization and planning of trips, stopping and ensuring that the way is meticulously laid out. This could go as far back as the early hunter and gatherer time, I'm thinking. Men would head off, with just their spears and adrenaline, hoping to track down the big prey and the women would stay close the home gathering the fruits and berries." [Read more]
Commentary: For this article, I tested out the AT&T Navigator which is a GPS service offered by AT&T and available on the HTC Tilt 2. It made me wonder what types of voices people want to hear coming from a GPS.
May - "Social" Theme
In May we were supposed to talk about being Social and Social Media. I definitely had fun with that, in fact, I was the Winner of the challenge!
"Lose The Laptop” in 140 Characters or Less!
"The next AT&T Lose The Laptop Challenge is upon me and it is all about Social Media. #LoseTheLaptop 
For my first article for the Challenge, I’m going to try something different, use only 140 or fewer characters at a time. " [Read more]
Commentary: I decided to be a bit creative with my first post around the Social theme, so I decided to make each line "tweetable", meaning that they were 140 characters or less (the restriction that all Twitter users face).
Social Media for the Rest of Us
"I heard an interesting statistic today that the smartphone sales accounted for only about 20% of all of the cell phones sold this past quarter. I was actually a bit surprised with that number. I would have thought that the percentage would have been a lot higher." [Read more]
Commentary: In this post, I take a look at how Social a phone can be and how we all exist in different technology bubbles or lack there of. Using a smart phone can get you along the road to being social, in many different aspects of the term.
The Ripple Effect of Social Media – Get Mobile for More Waves!
"We all know the well used imagery of throwing a stone into a pond and watching the ripples spread out from the center. The same imagery can be applied to social media, I believe. But there are different ways choose the rocks and throw them." [Read more]
Commentary: This post discusses the whole metaphor of social media being a pond, and each time that you interact with it, it sends out different types of ripples to other social networks and people.
Keep Track of your Kids through Social Media & a Cell Phone, But BE CAREFUL!
"I have always been a big proponent against the use of Social Media by children, especially when they are in elementary school. Interacting with Social Media is not something you want your kids doing at an early age, at least not until they can really understand its implications. However, as they grow older and more independent, loosening up the reigns a bit may not be that bad of a thing." [Read more]
Commentary: When your child is given the "independence" of owning a cell phone, you as a parent are given a new set of responsibilities. If properly educated, a cell phone is important for safety and emergency purposes. But on the flip side, there is the danger of social bullying and other privacy issues.
June - "Shopping" Theme
June presented us with another great topic to discuss - a smart phone and how it can assist you in shopping.
10 Reasons Why You Need a Smartphone when you Shop
"I'm not really sure how we did it in the past. Shopping without a cell phone, that is. To me, if I even leave the house for any reason and I don't have my cell phone, if I'm 10 minutes or less away from my house, I will turn around and go back and get it. The only exception is if the trip is going to be very short, but even then, those short trips to the grocery store, for example, really warrant a return trip to pick it up." [Read more]
Commentary: In this post, I listed out 10 Reasons why you should have a smart phone with you when you shop. I'm sure there are more than just 10 but these were the ones that I came up with.
10 Father's Day Shopping Tips – But First, Bring your Cell Phone!
"With Father's Day right around the corner, how are you going to make your Dad (or husband) happy? For me, any type of gadget will make me grin, but that is probably not what each and every dad wants. The best bet is to develop a strategy with your siblings or kids in order to work together to get the best gift for Dad. When it comes to shopping, especially if you are doing it at the last minute, dividing and conquering is the best tactic. But how do you ensure that the "Dad shopping army" doesn't buy the same thing or gets hung up not knowing what to do?" [Read more]
Commentary: With Father's Day approaching, I wanted to hand out 10 more tips to help with the Daddy Shopping experience.
"As the sliding glass door closed, I knew that something was wrong. But I couldn't quite put my finger on it. I hoped the feeling of the unknown would pass but for some reason, it only helped to raise my panic level a bit more." [Read more]
Commentary: This was the first "Short Story" that I posted to the challenge. The idea was that the story would show yet another use case for using a smart phone when you go shopping.
Shopping With Limericks & a Cell Phone
"There once was a challenge from AT&T,
That made my brow a bit sweat-y.
To write about shopping,
Got my brain really hopping,
As I wrote on my Tilt 2 by HTC." [Read more]
Commentary: I decided to continue on my creativity streak with this post and wrote 5 limericks about the Lose the Laptop challenge. Limericks are always fun to do, and the challenge was to make them work with the theme of shopping.
July - Talking about the Entire Program
With July marking the end of the Challenge, we were given the liberty to write about anything and our thoughts on the program. I elected to do a Short Story called "The Mobile Spy."
The Mobile Spy
On the Run - The Train Station (Part 1)
"The acrid electronic smoke still lingered in his nose. He panted as he ran through the doors of the train station, carefully yet quickly glancing over his shoulder. He slipped through the front entrance, but did not take the main revolving door. You can get trapped too easily in those, he remembered his mentor telling him. Instead, he entered through a side door, sticking close to the shadows." [Read more]
Commentary: I decided to take another stab at creativity and wrote out a 4 part short story that would fold in the other 3 themes. The first theme I tried to fold in was around "travel" so the story is set in a train station.
The Mobile Spy
Cypher, Location & Discovery (Part 2)
Catch up on Part 1 of “The Mobile Spy” here.
"He wondered how the hell they had found him. It must have been his business contact, Mark Z. He should never have trusted Mark. He should have known better. There is something about information exchange that is just inherently risky, especially with information of this caliber." [Read more]
Commentary: The next theme I tried to incorporate was that of "social media". Hopefully I was obvious enough about the naming of the only character, Mark Z(uckerberg) as the guy possessing the social database with everybody's personal information. I also put in some location awareness applications and other social aspects.
The Mobile Spy
“The Final Purchase” (Part 3)
Catch up on Part 1 of “The Mobile Spy” here and Part 2 here.
"He enjoyed the obscurity that the shadows of the train station provided him. He easily slipped between alcoves and doorways, at times jumping into the moving crowds. Everything was falling in place the way that he had planned and he was in the final stretch. Only, he hadn't planned on them catching up with him so quickly." [Read more]
Commentary: This third part of the story contained a few aspects of "shopping" (getting a taxi over the phone and buying something at a local store). Hopefully the suspense was building on the story to captivate my readers.
The Mobile Spy
Ending It All” (The Finale & Part 4)
Catch up on Part 1 of “The Mobile Spy” here, Part 2 hereand Part 3 here.
"He slept most of the way. He hadn't realized how running on adrenaline had made him so incredibly tired. He only woke a few times to have his ticket checked and to peer out the window to identify his surroundings. But after each check, he slipped back into a deep slumber." [Read more]
Commentary: The final part of the story was designed to pull everything together and hopefully end with a witty final line. Please let me know if it worked!
So there you have it. All of my posts from the AT&T Lose the Laptop Challenge. Please take some time to read through all of the articles if you feel like it but definitely VOTE FOR ME!
HTD says: I definitely enjoyed the opportunity to participate in this innovative program and I want to thank AT&T for allowing me to share.
July 27, 9:33