Giving myself a chess gift

Guest post written by Nate Gregory

I’ve loved playing chess for so long now. I started playing it with my grandfather when I was really young and he would even let me beat him. But then I got good enough to where I started playing a whole lot better and could actually give him a run for his money. Well, I’ve continued to play chess for fun for the rest of my life and I thought that maybe now since I’m an adult with a real job, I should probably graduate from the plastic and cardboard set that I got for a couple of bucks at Walmart.

So I went online to try and find some nicer chess sets for myself. As I was looking through all of the different chess blogs, I ran across the site After I looked through it for a little bit I decided to sign up for one of the internet packages that I saw on there.

I found some directions for this really cool DIY chess set. I think I may just make that instead of buying myself a really nice set.

HP MediaSmart Webcam Software Logitech

My new laptop I ordered a few months back has a webcam built in. I looked all over my system, but couldn’t find a program to run it. I went over to and checked out any free webcam software they might have. Unfortunately, every time I would start looking, I would get interrupted by one of my sons and never got a chance to try anything out.
Last week, I took another look at the software on my system and actually found the webcam software. My laptop is an HP, and the pre-installed software is called HP MediaSmart Webcam. It’s really hidden. I found it under the Start menu, HP, HP MediaSmart menu. Kind of out of the way, but glad I finally found it. It was the first time I’ve ever used a webcam.
It’s kind of cool, but really strange, to observe yourself while you are working on the computer. You can use the webcam either as a video camera or a still photo camera. The software lets you enhance the photos or add effects. You can create an avatar. There are even share buttons to make it easier to email or share on Facebook, YouTube, Snapfish and Flickr.
Back before I bought this laptop with a built in webcam, I thought about buying a separate webcam. There are lots to choose from, different brands and models, different prices. Some of the popular webcam brands are Logitech, Microsoft and Gear Head. If I was going to buy one, I would most likely go with a Logitech, such as the Logitech HD Pro Webcam (C910).
I have a digital camera and a video camera, but I tend to use the camera and video camera built into my cell phone the most. To add photos to my Facebook, I just take a picture and send it off. I’ll have to give my webcam Facebook sharing feature a try and see how that goes, now that I know how to operate my webcam.