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A Christmas Story

Since it's the holidays, this week I decided to take a break and asked our Insiders to write a "Guest Column" for me. We had some great submissions from Forum posters like David Orban, Hobz, Zoic, Peter van der Linden, and more. Ultimately, I picked a holiday-themed piece written by guest columnist Patrick Green, AKA "Captain Tux." Thanks Patrick!

We've put all of the submissions from our Insiders in this week's Michael's Minute discussion Forum for your enjoyment. You can read them here.

Christmas morning found me surrounded by family. For many of us, this is the one day in the year we actually see each other face to face. In a few short hours, we all try to cram a whole year of life experience. It is a daunting and fascinating
Patrick Green,
guest columnist

dance that occurs while surrounded by gleeful children and a whole lot of food.

Our lives were of interest to many aunts, uncles and cousins. I recently left a VP of sales and marketing position to become a stay-at-home dad. It was refreshing to see how many people embraced the concept. They were curious about many things. How do we budget for one income and what occurs during the day? Interestingly enough, Linspire entered the conversation many times.

Saving money on some "odd" operating system did not really speak to them. It was when they received their stocking stuffers that they got curious. Everyone received a VCD containing a video slide show of my daughter's year in pictures set to Martina McBride's Happy Girl. The video contained captions, special effects, and moments at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, Navy Pier, Field Museum, as well as nearby botanical gardens, arboretum and parks throughout the area. Pictures of her
playing with jugglers and entertainers, holding fossils in her little hands, standing in speedboats, showed them our daughter has had quite the year that could not be had at a local daycare facility.

Click here to learn more about Lphoto

Cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents - all wanted to know how to make such a thing. Now they were ready to listen. Using my laptop running Linspire, I showed them that when my daughter and I go on our weekly outings I bring a digital camera and my laptop bag. We always end our weekly outings with a lunch and load the pictures into the laptop using a USB cable and Lphoto.

Using Lphoto, we decide which pictures are keepers and which are not. We then create a slide show and using a selection of short kids songs and whimsical classical pieces stored in Lsongs, we choose a song to accompany the slide show. Using MainActor, we merge the two together, add effects and captions and show mommy the slide show when she gets home from work.

Learn more about Lraiser
These outings have taken care of most of the pre-edit work. All we have to do is take the pictures that made it past the tough editing eye of a four year old and some of the captions we already created, re-edit to a longer song and add more dazzling effects.

They were amazed. They further could not believe the cost of Linspire 4.5 and the wealth of software available in CNR. It was fortuitous that I happened to have several copies of LinspireLive! in my Laptop bag. Christmas is about sharing, isn't it? ;-)

You too can participate in programs like this, contests, beta testing, parties, and more by becoming a Linspire Insider. For more information, visit the Insiders page.

-- Michael
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