Well, I finally did it. I signed up for one of those free[fill-in-the-blanks].com offers. For a long time I thought this was a very obvious scam, but it apparently really isn't. For some reason most of these offers - or actually all of them that I've heard of - are offers for free gadgets - iPods, iPod Mini's, digital cameras, etc. But then I heard a spokesman (or maybe it was the CEO) of the company (Gratis Networks) interviewed I think on The Screen Savers a while back, and it did sound a bit more legitimate. Engadget also did a piece about this. There are also reports I've seen on the internet of people who've gotten
Apple recently announced a new Mac that I thought was just about my size, called the Mac mini. I say my size not really about it's size, which is truly small - smaller than a laptop but a lot thicker than one. The nicest thing as far as I'm concerned is the price, which starts at only $500. Macs have always come at a premium compared to their PC counterparts and it's no wonder because you have only one company making them, whereas there are probably thousands of different manufacturers making PC's and/or the individual components within them.
I've been thinking about getting an older low-end Mac to play with for a while. I've been a PC guy since 1990 (before then I was all about Atari computers), but Mac is undoubtedly a platform that a lot of influential people use. There are a bunch of programs which are really only available on the Mac. The Mac is of course better designed, but that I could really care less about. Really what would be nice about having a Mac at my disposal is the ability to have the same experience with my websites or other technologies that Mac users (albeit a somewhat small group compared to PC users) do. Lots of people also rave about the latest Mac OS X variants that are built on *nix (maybe even Linux? I can't recall). So, in affect this is also an opportunity to get into UNIX. I know I could install this on the PC and do a duel boot, and I've had a copy of Red Hat Linux for probably a good three or four years, but obviously I'm too lazy to try this out!
So, I'm not expecting this to arrive anytime soon, and heck, I'm not even expecting it to arrive at all, but I figure the relatively painless process of signing up is worth what seems like a relatively decent chance of actually getting this in the next 6 months. While $500 is pretty cheap, the one that they are offering through this site is a little more beefed up, and while I'd love to just go out and buy one of these today, it's hard for me to justify the purchase when there's a lot of other gadget stuff I'm hoping to purchase in the coming months which are much more defendable!
So how does it work and are there any catches? Well, basically, there seem to be three steps:
1) You sign up with your email address and a few other pieces of info like your contact info.
2) You sign up for one of these “offers” from various companies. Some are credit cards, some are services like eFax, and others are a bit scammier sounding. I picked one that sounds not very useful, but not at all scammy called Buyers Advantage - which deals with warranty and return insurance type stuff - but also not expensive and you can always call and cancel it within 30 days.
3) The final step is that you need to refer people to sign up under you. I guess that sounds a bit scammy itself, kind of like a pyramid scheme, but I don't think it is because it's only two levels. You don't, I don't think, get any credit when people sign up under one of your referrals.
So, this is where you, my little blog readers come in. You too, can experience this new and silly phenomenon and help out this blogger in the process without really spending any money! And you too may or may not get one of these cute boxes yourself in coming months. Here is my own referral link, and if you've already signed up for this offer or for the various other Free[fill-in-the-blanks].com, feel free to comment and include those. This was the first one I've attempted since it was really the first thing that was of that much interest, so I have no qualms with others piggybacking on this entry and adding their own referral links - the more the merrier!
posted Friday, 21 January 2005
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