Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

The Great Software Swindle : A Tale Of Engineered Obsolescence

Monday, January 28th, 2013

There was a time, not too long ago, when software that was more than two years old was NOT considered obsolete. Over the last decade, as update cycles have gotten shorter and shorter, software publishers have become increasingly anxious to drop legacy software from their support programs. I’ve had numerous battles with software companies lately over various issues that needed (in my opinion) some minor attention; retrieval of a serial number or a challenge/response code for example. Unfortunately I found that these companies (Steinberg, GRM, Waves to name a few) were completely unwilling, and in their opinion unable, to offer any assistance.

My problem it seems was that I was using software that was up to five years old. My reasons for keeping the digital status quo on my workstation are not unreasonable, either. To the software publishers though, I have outstayed my welcome and am now invited to sod off on my merry way unless I want to part some of my hard-earned yet scarce Nelson Eddie’s.

As I said, I have my reasons for resisting the upgrade urge. The last major upgrade I did was to migrate from Mac OSX Leopard to Snow Leopard, and this was one of the most brutally painful and disruptive upgrades I have performed. Not since the move from OS9 to OSX did an operating system cause so much havoc and disharmony to my Applications folder and my workflow. That’s another story, suffice to say it took many months to get my workstation back to peak operation. With this in mind, I’ve been reluctant go through another upheaval, so it has been a decision to stay pat. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (more…)

Final Cut Pro X – digesting the pandemic of outrage

Friday, June 24th, 2011

In case you missed it (which is hard to believe considering the noise on the internet) Apple released the long awaited successor to their professional video editing suite Final Cut Pro Studio this week. Final Cut Pro X was announced at NAB back in April to an eager user-base, and despite only seeing a few screenshots and an hour long demo of the top level features, expectation was colossal. It is now available in the App Store for the paltry sum of $299.

Final Cut Pro X has a bold new User Interface

After NAB everyone interested in FCPx had a pretty good understanding of these top level features; the magnetic timeline, the one-click colour correction, the background rendering and ingest, the Auditioning feature, the multi-format timeline and the Precision Editor for trimming clips. And of course the drastically renovated User Interface built around a solid metadata foundation. This was not your father’s FCP.

The Ball Is Always In your Court

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

As freelancers, we have to wear many hats, some of them less comfortable than others. Many creatives I speak to seem to agree on one thing, carrying out the more ‘business’ related tasks sucks. Whether that is doing the books or drumming up new business, most of us are far happier just getting on with the creative side of things. Which means the rest of our duties are often pushed aside and left unattended. (more…)

T-Mobile : How To Lose A Loyal Customer

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Well, dear T-Mobile, after more than 6 years of loyal patronage it’s time we parted ways. I used to proudly state how T-Mobile treated their customers fairly and for that good service, some loyalty should be rewarded. When the iPhone was released my excitement was tempered by my sense of loyalty to T-Mo. My reluctance to change carriers spanned the years between then and now. I even went to the length of buying a used 1st Gen iPhone that was jailbroke/unlocked to use with my T-Mo SIM. As newer versions of the iPhione were announced and released I stuck loyalty to T-Mo. As my old 1st Gen phone got more and more beat up I continued to resist the urge to leave the company who had provided fair and honest service, and jump ship to AT&T and a nice new iPhone with a faster processor and better battery life.


I Quit : When It’s Time To Move On, You Have To Move On

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Today, I took a bold move forward (I hope it proves to be forward) when I handed in my notice of resignation to my superior, the Chief Marketing Officer at Smith Micro Software. I had been with the company for just over a year, and despite the short tenure, I had outgrown my position there.

Heroes : Swimming With Dolphins

Monday, January 25th, 2010

Tonight is Sunday. Which means tomorrow is Monday and that means Heroes is on. I’m not so sure that is as meaningful as it used to be, as the show doesn’t feel as polished and tight storywise, as it did the first couple of seasons. The writing feels like its full of desperation moves and plot filler. I’ll tell you why.

Goodbye Nic Harcourt

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

I found out this week that Nic Harcourt, longtime host of KCRW’s morning show Morning Becomes Eclectic, is moving on to pastures new and will no longer be hosting the show. However, evening show Metropolis host and respected LA DJ Jason Bentley will be taking over the reigns.

I first started listening to MBE and KCRW when I moved to Orange County from London. Back then Chris Douridas was the show host, and I remember the ‘new guy’ taking over after a couple of years. It felt strange not to have Chris do the show every morning, but it did not take long for the ‘new guy’ to become part of the establishment of my morning routine. Hard to believe ten years has flown by since then.

Since Nic took over MBE has grown into an epic show, its hard to find a better show anywhere on the internet. As I think back over the past decade, there are so many great moments, great bands, great performances. As has been the case since I first found KCRW my music library has grown brim full of outstanding music I would otherwise not have been introduced to.

So with sadness I bid farewell to Nic and wish him well. I am so happy to hear Jason is taking over, I have been as big a fan of Metropolis as I have MBE. Great to know our mornings are in such good hands.

Boxee : The Killer App For AppleTV

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

Procrastinating earlier today, thumbing through the Twitter stream, I came across a link to Boxee. I clicked through to see what the deal was and was greeted with something I have personally been waiting for since AppleTV made it’s debut.

When Steve Jobs announced AppleTV at Macworld 2007 I was initially really excited. Finally a chance to watch the gazillions of podcasts on my 61″ Samsung HDTV from the comfort of my couch. I had Front Row already on my Mac, but had never used it because, well, my Mac is in my office and my TV is not. AppleTV promised the ‘lean back’ viewing experience for all the new media I had become partial to. Mainstream TV holds little interest for me outside of a couple of big shows (Lost, Heroes etc) and sporting events. I watch so much more internet content these days but being relegated to the discomfort of my office is a real turn-off, especially having been in that office for many hours already during the work day.


I’ll be at PodcampAZ 2008

Friday, September 26th, 2008

On November 1-2, 2008 I’ll be up in sun city, Phoenix, Arizona, for this years podcamp. It will be my first podcamp, I’m finally getting to attend one of these events. I usually don’t find out about these until I hear the buzz during, or more typically, after the event. This was what happened in 2007. So right there and then, back in November of 2007 I made sure I bookmarked the site, signed up for updates and registered as soon as registration opened.

Considering I will have to miss motion08, the exceptional motion graphics conference in Alberqurque, NM due to financial considerations, I am pretty excited to attend this event. It may be the only other conference I get to this year, after SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles this summer. DVExpo is coming up in December and I have been at that conference for the past 8-9 years. Last year was not so great so I think I will be giving it a miss this time around.

Which leaves PodcampAZ as one of the highlight’s of the autumn for me (along with my wife and son’s birthdays and NHL hockey resuming). I’m hoping to meet up with some of the great people I know from the internet, getting to meet them face to face will be interesting and probably a bit weird. I hope to learn a few new tricks and verify some assumptions about new media production. I hope to even be able to share some of my expertise and knowledge too. Isn’t that the point of the unconference. Ultimately though, I hope to meet new people, make some new relationships, initiate/instigate some new collaborative projects.

If you are going and want to get a drink and say hi, look me up on twitter

Apple iPhone Madness

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007
The day Apple released the iPhone the consumer world went mental. I wanted to try to capture this landmark event. I was banned from using my Panasonic Prosumer Camera in the mall, so i was forced to get what I could with my cell phone.