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05/02/2003:

i am as you as you are me

i am a big lover of music. in the last several years, i have heard more and more about bands using Pro Tools to do their own recording and editing. while a full set of Pro Tools can run you upwards of $10-15,000, many small bands can spend $500 and buy a set-up that allows them the freedom to record wonderful albums; i think someone mentioned in passing that Kevin Tihista used Pro Tools to record most of his fantastic debut CD. i guess products like Pro Tools are taking over, b/c according to this Rolling Stone article, 4 out of 5 pop CDs are made using Pro Tools or like products, which sounds like an amazing statistic. be sure to listen to the MP3 that the writer made with the help of legendary producer Butch Vig; it's not "Hummer" or "Lithium" but it isn't total crap either.

ok ok, i know i am becoming a zealot with this 'new iPod kick' and i haven't even gotten mine yet; so in that regard, it is like i drank the kool-aid prior to even visiting Guyana. nevertheless, Georgia College & State University has a very cool program utilizing iPods. check out the course example from the Humanities and Fine Arts class The Gothic Imagination. i think it is very cool that an educational institution is trying to inspire those who have to attend. congrats to GCSU for being inventive and big ups to Apple for their continuing work with educational programs.

while i am talking about the iPod i'd like to mention what i think is a sharp business move by Apple. during my undergraduate b-school days i often thought about how smart Honda was as a company. in the early 80s Honda came out with a line of 'economy' cars for the US market, headed by the Honda Civic. these cars were small, inexpensive and got a gazillion miles to the gallon; since this was during the era of rapidly rising gas prices and a crushing recession (kinda like now), many people bought these cars out of necessity, rather than desire. but in a twist of good fortune (or more likely smart product development), the Civic owners found themselves with cars that were built with excellent quality, lasted forever, and as such, they were pretty much adored by their owners. here is where the smarts comes in on Honda's part. see, Honda knew that economies are cyclic and eventually the recession would end, consumers would demand larger and more loaded car models, which would be reminiscent of the 50s and 60s (at least in size and price). Honda bet that the young boomer college grads and family starters would eventually want new cars, cars that were not about economy or no-frills, and that these people were going to remember the quality and design of their little Civics and think, "hey, i sure would like to spend $50K on a decked-out, leather adorned, family car, like maybe a Pilot." Honda consistently score tops in several vehicle categories and their consumers are some of the most loyal ever. why am i talking about Hondas to make a point about Apple and the iPod? b/c i think Apple is using the same method, let's call it 'foot-in-the-door/upgrade' marketing. see, i don't own a Mac, or an iBook, or a Powerbook. the last Apple computer i truly used was in about 1990 when Baylor's English labs were all Mac. that's 13 years. since that time, i have not only gone PC, but my career is PC. not many people write code on a Mac. design graphics and web sites? sure. but write code? not so much. but i am getting an iPod and i bet you one thing: if i love that iPod like people in the 80s love their Civics, i bet our household ends up with an Apple computer. why? b/c that $500 investment is going to open the door for me, exposing me to the quality and ease of use that Apple users rave about. this is something i am not likely to experience without an iPod, b/c i, like most people, won't "switch" when it costs me $2-3K to test an Apple PC; the barrier to entry is too high. time will tell if this is part of Apple's plan, but i am sure many a PC firm eyes the iPod as a 'marketing gadget' that could threaten their mainline sales. you never know: every week i see a farmer at the front of my subdivision driving around inspecting his crops in a beat-up 1996 Honda Accord. ISYN. ;-)

lastly, tonight i leave you with William Gibson's thoughts on blogging. enjoy!

Replies: 1 Comment

good point. my household has 2 PCs and a Mac. I use both, although mainly PC. I also used both in college--the journalism dept. used Macs and the bus. school used PCs. I wish I knew more about Macs though--but I am slowly but surely learning more.

the wife's Mac will surely be used more in the upcoming couple of years with her classes. they gave her a list of stuff they'll be using--all on Macs. Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign (rumor is this will take over Quark someday), Quark, Imageready, Flash, Dreamweaver, After Effects, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, and Fontographer.

Make your own fonts? Sure. Whatever. Ah, college...

otterco said @ 05/03/2003 08:29 AM CST


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