Inside Intel

I’m on a plane as I write this, going from a family vacation in Kansas City to Portland, OR (with a quick stop in Phoenix).  I’m headed to an Intel conference called “Upgrade Your Life” and get to spend tomorrow with a group of amazing bloggers, as well as some of the smarties who work at Intel.  I feel like I’m going to Disneyland.

Intel and Me

A little background on my short-but-amazing relationship with Intel: I met Alison Wesley, who works in Media Relations at Intel, at the BlogHer conference in Chicago last summer when I won a Dell Mini 10 netbook from Intel and Heather Spohr.  I reconnected with Alison again at another Intel event a few months later, and we chatted about how hard it can be for the average person to buy a computer that fits her needs.  At the time I was shopping for a new desktop.  I’d been using a laptop for a couple of years, and while I loved it it just wasn’t meeting my needs anymore.  But even though I like to think of myself as somewhat tech savvy, shopping for a computer was making me a little crazy.  I didn’t want to over-buy, but needed to make sure that it would be powerful enough for everything I like to do, from editing HD video to spazzing out with fifty different windows open (yes, I know there’s probably medication for that, but getting a better computer seemed simpler).

Alison hooked me up with Dan Snyder, who works in Technical PR and has been at Intel for 15 years.  Over the course of a long phone call, he was able to dumb things down enough for me to understand.  I felt confident that I could now choose a computer that would fit my budget while still being up to the challenge of being abused by me.

In the end, Intel and CyberPower PC were nice enough to give me an amazing Viper computer with an Intel Core i7 Processor that I can run NASA from, but I used my new-found knowledge to write a computer buying guide that has helped other shoppers navigate the waters, and I was able to walk into Best Buy to get a laptop for my mom for Christmas and know what I was talking about.  That felt good.

Intel Labs

A couple months ago I went to an event that showcased some of the innovations being worked on at Intel Labs.  What is Intel Labs?  Well, as far as I can tell it’s a place filled with really really smart people who get to think up cool shit all day and then try to make it happen.  Seriously.  At least that’s what it sounded like to me.  I love that.  I love innovation.  I feel like there’s a good chance that cancer won’t be cured by someone working on a cure for cancer, but by someone working on something entirely different who stumbles upon something new and runs with it.  That’s how a lot of things get invented.  I’m not saying that the people at Intel Labs are going to cure cancer, I’m just saying that mold growing on a petri dish was the spark behind penicillin. It’s smart to have scientists working on a wide range of projects, because you never know what they’re going to stumble upon.

The stuff I saw was amazing: a machine that can read to learning disabled or visually impaired people by putting the book, cereal box, pamphlet, or whatever onto the machine; a search engine that tells you if the source of a search result is reliable or just some nutjob’s rant; a system that helps kids work independently in the classroom when the teacher simply can’t help thirty kindergartners at one time; and since I’m such a TV addict, I think I’ll need to devote a whole post to what they’re doing with TVs (can anyone say Google TV?  And that’s not even all of it!).

Tomorrow’s Conference

So, I will try to remember to include the hashtag #IntelUpgrade with all of my tweets tomorrow, and this is where I should get the full disclosure from Intel out of the way: In accordance to the FTC Guidelines and the WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that Intel Corporation has covered my travel, accommodations and costs related to my visit to their Oregon-based offices.

I’m really excited about going inside Intel tomorrow, and am blown away to be included in this amazing group of bloggers:

Alli Worthington – Blissfully Domestic, @AlliWorthington

Asha Dornfest – Parent Hacks, @parenthacks

Beth Blecherman – Tech Mamas, @techmamas

Christina Tynan-Wood – Geek Girlfriends, @xtinatynanwood

Helena Stone – ChipChick, @chip_chick

Jeffrey Sass – Dadomatic, @sass

Kristen Chase – Cool Mom Picks, @coolmompicks

Mia Kim – PopGadget, @miakim

Michael Sheehan – HighTechDad, @hightechdad

Suzanne Kantra – Techilicious, @SuzanneKantra

Please, check out their blogs, follow them on twitter, and soak up as much of their smarts as you can (as I plan to).  And if you ever have a computer question, ask @Intel_Inside – they should really charge for the great advice he gives, but thank goodness they don’t.

See everybody back in Brooklyn in a couple of days!

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has Compensation Levels of 5, 7 & 8. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information. Amy also blogs at Filming In Brooklyn, Behind the Screen, and the NYC Moms Blog.

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