Fridays are turning out to be one of our favorite days of the week here at ZDNet. Not only because TGIF, but also because it's the day we get to deputize ZDNet's next Product Tester of the Week. In addition to getting some enjoyment out of giving away free and hopefully useful stuff to ZDNet's audience members, we're also seeing a new pattern emerge in the explanations from readers as to why they should be selected as the next deputy product tester: humor. When we first started the program, the entries were mostly technical with a few funny ones. But now, more of the entries are humorous than not and it's only a matter of time before humor plays a role in who gets selected (as long as there's still a shred of evidence that you'd also make a good tester).
This past Monday, I posted the details and video on this week's givaways: Two Futura Laptop Desks from LapWorks, each valued at $30. I discovered Lapworks back in 2002 when the company put out its first Laptop Desk (still my personal favorite). I called it the "lap of luxury" and I still stand behind that assessment. To this day, that lightweight collapsible shield (fits in any shoulder bag) that sits between my thighs and my notebook computer keeps my legs from burning up. When I first wrote about, so many people wanted one (a lot of burning thighs out there) that it crashed Lapworks' Web server. Since then, a lot has changed. Lapworks' servers can now handle the load and notebooks seem to be putting out more heat not less. In this week's entries are several reminders that Apple's notebooks are notorious for getting very hot. But also in this week's entries was a healthy dosage of humor. Here are segments from some of the entries that had us laughing:
Howdydo: ..... [This] is the perfect cure for what my wife has been predicting for years [that] I'll become sterile after have my HOT laptop broiling my chestnuts day in and day out....
Tux.Bobble: ....[It's a] conspiracy to promote mass-sterility among male engineers at my college. (school name withheld, because I don't want to be sterile AND broke from a lawsuit...) ZDNet should help start the revolution. I'm only 20, but won't be able to have children by the time I'm out of college, at this rate!.... [DB: Sterility is emerging as a big theme. But methinks Lapworks would get itself in trouble if it advertised that their desks prevented sterility. That said, we've heard that overheating your, um, chestnuts can wreak havoc on a man's "tadpoles."]
Techcub: ....Not only would I be able to wear shorts in public again (trust me - its not easy explaining why all the hair is missing from my upper thighs), but also my partner and I would not have to pack wrestling costumes to decide who gets to use the hotel room desk. [DB: Sounds like a YouTube video waiting to be made] CherokeeLover: A Laptop Desk would make doing my job much faster since I would not have to take constant breaks due to Laptop heat and I would therefore be able to spend more time with my family. [DB: And here we thought technology was supposed to save us time]
Greenheart: After the week from double-dipped Hell, I could use something distracting to think about instead of the dead battery in my truck, a dog in intensive care at the vet hospital, my significant other's chronic bad attitude, and the fading hope of world peace in my lifetime. [DB: There'll probably be a happy ending for the dog and the truck (what else does a guy need?)]
Wardlyn: ....it would allow me to put the laptop down safely and play with the dog who can be more demanding than my wife. [DB: You're wife doesn't chew up your furniture and shoes? You're one lucky man] Gopalkamat: My wife, my 3.5 yrs old daughter and I all use our two laptops in our bedroom most evenings for a good 1-2 hours. I use it for emails and reading blogs/news, my wife uses it for her emails and Orkut, and my daughter loves to play and watch videos on NickJr.com. [DB: You have a daughter with the same name as one of Google's social networking services?]
Mjwsatx: My Presario has burned off all the hair on my thighs and my wife has started calling me a girlie mon. [DB: Dude, trust us, her nickname for you has nothing to do with the missing hair on your legs]
We loved these and the many other humorous entries and we look forward to seeing more. So please keep them coming (especially for next week's giveaway which will be a shoulder bag from Targus that rocks). And now, for the two winners:
JCallenback: I am the manager of an IT department for a Non profit company. We have a couple dozen Child development staff that use laptops when visiting child care homes. Sometimes they get hot and the staff don't have anywhere to put the laptops other than their laps. I would love to test this product to see if it will solve the issue. We can't really buy a product to test it because of funding rules. [DB: Hopefully, if the Futura proves useful, the funds can be unlocked since the investment won't be for speculative testing]
Jim Johnson: ....I have tried several solutions ranging from a #2 pencil under the back edge, and both passive and active cooling gizmos. I'm 'okay' with my current solution, but if I have to operate from my lap or a small surface it is really tough to use a mouse which I prefer over a touchpad..... [DB: There's much more to JJ's response than just this. But as the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. There's nothing like a person who has come up with their own solutions to test a commercial solution that does the same thing]
Congratulations to the winners. We'll be in touch to arrange for shipment. As for those of you who didn't get deputized this week, please keep trying! Who knows, you could be next week's lucky winner!