Desktop: The real definition of fun

Purim is the time for parties and entertainment - and, if you're smart, you can cash in!

By DAVID SHAMAH
March 8, 2006 12:45
4 minute read.
megillat esther 88

megillat esther 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Purim is the time for parties and entertainment - and, if you're smart, you can cash in! I tell you, I came up with a gold mine this time; in fact, I almost didn't want to print this and share it with anybody, it's so good; but what can I say, I'm just that kind of guy! Share the wealth, I say - and believe me, there's plenty to go around this time! You see, Purim is the season for partying. Every institution and office has something going on - whether it's a staff dinner where an employee lampoons the boss (most likely a soon to be ex-employee, I should say) or community centers that put on productions, musical or theatrical, for their members. You, as a matter of fact, may have been drafted in the past to come up with something fun/funny for your group, as a matter of fact. Those who have gotten stuck with the job know how hard it is to come up with a program that will fill an hour, not offend anyone and not put everyone to sleep. And if you think about it, those three objectives are often very contradictory! Next time you get drafted for the job, though, don't turn it down; say "yes" and follow my sure-fire formula to a new career in the entertainment industry - with karaoke your key to fame and fortune! I kid you not; this one is a winner! Karaoke bars are big business, and people love to ham it up in front of the screen. You don't have to come up with lame or insulting wisecracks to get people into a fun mood, and there are lots of party games you can come up with using the music and lyrics. Imagine your local organization Purim party with people singing and dancing, having a grand old time - with you as the star for having come up with it! The only problem - the budget! Until now, you've had to go out and hire someone with an elaborate and expensive karaoke set-up to come out and handle your party - putting the idea of a karaoke party out of reach for many. Until now, that is; thanks to KaraFun, you can run a first-rate karaoke party for next to nothing! Everyone knows, of course, how karaoke works. You take a standard, well-known hit, suppress the voice portion of the song and scroll the lyrics on a screen, allowing the performer to sing the song in their own voice. Usually, a dedicated karaoke machine, which costs many thousands of dollars, is employed to do this. Well, KaraFun is like big league karaoke - this program has got it all! When you play files in karaoke (*.kar) format with the program, the music plays and the lyrics scroll down the screen, along with a suitable background. You can use kar, wav, midi or MP3 files, and KaraFun can suppress the vocals that come with these files (assuming the words and music were recorded on different stereo tracks). You can change the tempo of a song, as well as its pitch, echo and volume. There's also microphone input, so that a participant's voice comes out through the speakers along with the music - and you can even record a voice/music combination. In addition, KaraFun lets you connect your PC's video out connection to a TV, which will display the scrolling lyrics! So far, so good; but that's not the part that's going to make you rich. You see, KaraFun comes with a companion program, KaraFun Editor, which lets you take music files and attach to them your own lyrics, creating brand new, personalized karaoke songs based on famous tunes - and making you the hit of any party. Picture this: You get a gig running, say, a retirement party at an accounting firm. When you canvass for the job, you take down some personal details of the retiree, along with tidbits and running jokes at the firm, with some of the "victim's" co-workers who want to wish their friend well supplying details. At home, you make up a few ditties using well-known tunes (there are lots of sites to download free midi files suitable for use with KaraFun Editor, including -http://freekaraoke.com - and, for Jewish songs, http://www.jewz.net. Here, for example, is a sample lyric I came up with using "Hava Nagila" as a background tune: Morris and Irving, They are, oh so deserving, for their unswerving efforts to balance the books! They take pride in conserving Money, for their deserving Customers, even when they are unfurling insults at them, calling them all crooks! (Rhymes courtesy of the free rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com; just type in a term and get back a long list of rhymes!) On the day of the party, you shlep your computer (which you have already) and a TV monitor (ditto), down to the office to set up a karaoke sing-along for the honoree - to the fun and delight of participants, who didn't realize how much fun they were going to have. But of course, it's you who will be having the real fun - when you count the money you make on the job! KaraFun is free for personal or home use. The free version has almost all the features of the pay versions ($59 for a personal license or $119 for a full license, required for using it professionally). For all Windows 98 and better systems. ds@newzgeek.com

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