Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Spencer Katt descriptions of Windows

These are quotes from what is reportedly the last Rumor Central column by "Spencer F. Katt" from eWeek magazine (December 15, 2008 issue, pages 48 and 49).

Windows 3.0 - the first usable version of Windows

Windows 3.1 - the first of Windows to actually work

Windows 95 - the first version of Windows that anyone would actually want to use

Windows 98 - the first version of Windows that no one actually needed (soon to be followed by many more, including the ultimate unneeded OS, Vista, which would supersede.........)

Windows XP - the first version of Windows that enabled productive work to be done.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Pro Tools vs. Mackie Traktion

Some quick thoughts regarding the interface on these 2 programs. Pro Tools is probably the "industry standard", and you don't hear much about Traktion. I use both - Tracktion in my home studio, and Pro Tools LE at the college where I teach, in the piano studio.

Now, I used Pro Tools waaaaay back in the mid-90s, so I've watched it "grow up". But still, I find the Traktion way of doing things much more intuitive. Not having to switch screens to mix or edit really helps my workflow as I'm mixing, whereas Pro Tools requires a switch back and forth between editing and mixing.

To insert a plugin - in Tracktion you drag it down to the track - in Pro Tools you have to insert it into an aux bus on the mixer. This means that if you're in the middle of editing a passage and decide to add a plugin, you've got to leave editing, switch to the mixer, insert the plugin, yadda yadd yadda....

So does Pro Tool 8 still bounce tracks in real time? NO! That means that it takes 45 minutes to bounce down a 45-minute track. Tracktion's bounce speed is limited only by your computer system, not the second hand.

Still, Pro Tools is a good thing to know. I still like Tracktion better (and I get more work done faster with it).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What should I do first?

As someone who tracks a lot of different areas (technology and music are the two top-level categories) I've been struck this morning by the vast plethora of possibilities. So how is a businessperson supposed to decide on a course of action? As a musician and as a businessman, I'm told that I need to be marketing myself - and here are a ton of places where I can do that online. MySpace, FaceBook, LinkedIn, BrownBook, YellowPages, tons of musician directories, personal website, iTunes, Twitter, Feedburner.... the lsit is essentially endless.... and oh yeah, don't forget about video marketing and podcasting and....... It's probably the same way it's always been (which method of marketing is the most efficient for a given product) - the difference now being that I can do all of this myself given my skills in using online resources (plus some serious html/data manipulation skills - which are not necessary for many of these tools. Writing, however, is an essential skill.) But how do you decide what is a good use of your time? For me, I tend to avoid the "hot new thing" - Twitter being the thing at the moment. Yes, I'm on FaceBook, and linkedin, and mySpace, but none of them are a religion with me. I do a podcast on occasion, and several blogs like this one - but again, none of these are my focus. I do them for research purposes, partly - and partly for business reasons and online visibility - and partly because it's interesting. I've looked at Twitter - but I have work to do, and can't take the time to care what a particular Biz Guru is doing at the moment. I need time to think about what I'm working on, and to interrupt that thought-flow with a 160 character message about how someone is at Starbucks and the line is real long is ludicrous - even if they were Seth Godin (though I doubt Seth would be tweeting about Starbucks). So how do you decide? Dunno. I'm still experimenting with all the online marketing things. It's not boring!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Are Students as Techno-Savvy are they are supposed to be?

I would argue not. There's a myth out there that students are just wunderkinds when it comes to technology - and a lot of adults actually believe that it is somehow genetic - that there is some innate ability to understand technology that adults have grown out of. Hogwash! There are as many ways to approach tech as there are people and students are no different in that respect. I have had numerous students tell me what techno-idiots they are. I believe they cover it up though - don't publicly admit it - until faced with a technology challenge. I'd say a key difference between the kids and the adults is that adults tend to only use what they perceive to be immediately useful, while kids tend to explore more. Perhaps this is a time issue - kids have more time because they don't have a mortgage, car payments, bills, etc. Since th estudents have more time, they can spend the time learning something new - like that new cell phone feature, new computer game, new whatever. Adults tend to only learn it if they have to - or worse, figure they CAN'T learn it because they've been out of school too long. That's just sad.

Monday, June 30, 2008


TubeMogul is a service (free) that I stumbled across while thinking about creating a vodcast (i.e. video podcast) for GovAccessMusic.com. It allows you (after some setup work) to upload a video ONCE and publish it on several different video sharing sites. Sweet! For example: ONE upload now shows up on
Google Video YouTube Revver MetaCafe Yahoo Video Daily Motion Veoh ... plus others.
The links to revver and Yahoo aren't available yet.
The service even tracks views and clicks from all these other portals. It's a well-designed site that is easy to use.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

the 3g iPhone - so?

(Disclaimer: I'm not an Apple employee, nor do I write for any Mac magazines/tech publications/etc.)
Steve Jobs announced the 3g iPhone today at the 2008 WWDC (WorldWide Developer's Conference). My reaction? "Well, it's nice, but it isn't going to change my life". (Sorry, Steve! Well, no, not really.) Why? Part has to do with how I use technology. I don't NEED to be texting all day every day. I don't NEED to have web access on my phone (I do however need to take a break from the web!). I don't NEED to be spending $100/month for cell phone service for one phone! (OK - I do spend close to that, but that's for THREE phones - and I pay by the message for texting because I'd rather spend $2.00 a month for the few that I get/send versus $5 or $10/month for a capability that I won't use.) Call me cheap - but I'd rather spend the bucks on groceries...or gasoline. What's nice about the new iPhone?
  1. The user interface - wicked simple to work
  2. Web access, especially using the 3g network.
  3. The flush-mount headphone jack. You gotta admit that Apple at least changes something when they mess it up - the recessed headphone jack in the original iPhone was a mistake.
  4. The lower price
So why won't I be getting one, even at $199?
  1. I don't need it. The little dinky LG phone I'm using has served me well, and it does what I need it to do.
  2. I don't need to spend the money on something that is "cool", but adds little to functionality to my life as it stands.....and would add complexity.
Yeah, it's a nice gadget. But I've gotta go buy milk instead.