Audio Recording Techniques

Shure does a great job of generating content that talks about what they make happen in the music business. The latest Shure Notes that I get email notification of has a great article on recording a cappella audio.

The two biggest brain busters for me – when someone is emulating an instrument, you use the mic setup you’d normally use for that instrument and second, Brian McKnight’s older brother is in Take 6. I saw Brian McKnight at Stephanie’s on Newbury a few years ago, he was playing a PSP and had these two huge bodyguards with him. I still regret not paying for his lunch…

Speaking of audio, I’ve got to get around to recording The M Show #200.

Daily Life

New Laptop

I tend to hold on to laptops a lot longer than most people because I have to install a lot of software for everything I need to do at work. Last week my IT guy put a new machine next to mine and when I saw how dim my screen was I knew it was time for a refresh.Even worse, when my last machine died I just pulled the hard drive and put it into an older spare rig that was lying around just to spare myself the days of labor to build a new machine from scratch.Even for average users, an annual reinstall of windows can speed up a machine, it’s been over 3 years since my last rebuild. Some crazy stats:

  • My Windows (XP) folder was 5.8 GB, the new fresh install is 2.6 GB
  • Programs Files went from 6.3 GB down to 3.0 GB
  • I lost another 3 GB cleaning out the My Docs folder

But the news gets better – I’ll be doing the final tweaking this week and then the 64 GB SSD I ordered will arrive and I’ll put the fresh image on that. SSD is a Solid State Drive – instead of the normal hard disk drive with spinning platters, this “drive” is flash memory. No moving parts means a huge boost in speed and battery life, it’s silent, and runs cooler. Speed report to follow!

Brain Buster

Newspapers and my $100 Dollars

Jay has $100 of mine, it’s just a matter of when I can go pick it up. At the beginning of the year I put a line in the sand and said that Newspapers (and the 6pm News) would be gone by 2/26/13. Thanks to the comments of some readers, notably Chip who reminded me that AM Radio has yet to die, and Jay who put up $100 to say that he won’t see a day in his lifetime with no papers, I was convinced that although things will not get better for this medium, it wouldn’t die.

But then last month, I learned that what I consider to be Boston’s most iconic newstand is closing up. I had been convinced that it was a behavioral issue – and too many people enjoy reading the paper -  but what about the economic side? Printing news on paper and having people drive it around on trucks is a business model that can’t survive compared to delivering it online? Maybe I do have a shot at the cash by 2013…

Productivity Buster

Second Life Stats – Who Cares?

I’ve had this draft in my “stuff to complete” forever. As I was reviewing my drafts I saw this and started to laugh – have you been to Second Life recently? I sure haven’t. Here were the facts that I had picked up, which are probably horribly out of date – hey, what more do you want from a Saturday post?

As Vice President of Systems Engineering, Ian Wilkes is responsible for all aspects of IT infrastructure at Linden Lab.

LSL – Linden Scripting Language (they have their own….)

Grey Goo (This was sort of a virus that threatened to consume the island until it was stopped).

956 square KM, 8x San Francisco, 100TB of user-created content, 30 million concurrent scripts

Monolithic C++ App
Closed Source

Started selling in 2003

Daily Life

Stuff Worth Reading

A few pointers today to some things that I’ve been really impressed with:Curt Schilling has moved his blog, if you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to decide what major league team to play for check out his latest posts.

Scott Monty talks about using social media at Ford. They’ve also some Ford Video, and I’m going to have to dig deep find a photo of our vintage Fiesta, which looks nothing like the new Fiesta.

That reminded me of a GM post from Will,  which reminded me to post a new link of video on the Lincvolt.

Lastly in auto if you need a GPS I have a one-time code I can use to get a Navigon 8100T for only $299, which is half price . You have to see the 3D image to believe it, but tell me ASAP as they will probably go in the first few hours. (update, my offer has expired and it doesn’t matter, Pogue from the Times says it stinks)

Jenny outlines some gift ideas for the fairer sex. And that’s it for the linkbait,  except for Marketing Over Coffee, the best marketing podcast.

Geek Stuff

Blackberry Tempest

Today I found out that two of our sales guys who both bought Blackberry Storms have both returned them because they hated them. After digging for about 5 seconds I found David Pogue’s latest review also giving it a thumbs down.

I feel sorry for RIM, this will probably hurt…

Lead Generation

Lead Scoring

Yesterday I read a post on lead scoring that got me thinking more about how this process progresses.

I like Sirius’ approach in defining 3 major scoring criteria, but I would change the order:

  • Demographics – Although I would argue that if the demographics are wrong, they shouldn’t be in the database.
  • Behavior -A critical factor, when a suspect downloads a white paper or a demo that needs to trigger alarms.
  • BANT – This is an IBM software selling technique – Budget, Authority, Need, Timeline. I’d argue here that the sales guy needs to run with some of this

I’ve thought often about this table of information, but the post above introduced the idea of now scoring for multiple products – add changes over time and you have a full data cube. Who said marketing is a cake job?

There’s also one point not mentioned that is critical – your system also has to automate depreciation. It’s fine to start scoring everyone but if the same system fails to ratchet down the losers, eventually they are going to pile up.

For now, there’s only one way to do it – build it brick by brick. There are many decent tools out there (in fact I think I can see the path to get there as I’m going now), but it takes a lot of field testing to get to an automated system that can handle the load.

Productivity Buster

Why I Didn’t Spend $1,300 at Best Buy on Black Friday

As the IT Director of my family we’ve been updating the hardware infrastructure. Over the past couple of years everyone is migrating to Mac. I no longer loose Thanksgiving or Christmas time doing Virus Protection upgrades, and my family members now have a 50/50 or better chance of getting the pictures off their digital cameras (or better yet, even being able to look at them on said machine).

Unfortunately there is no Apple Store out in Western Massachusetts, not surprising given the falling population density and the loss of many large employers in the area. When Best Buy rolled out an Apple center within their store here in Natick I thought that the one out west would be similar.

Alas, it was not.

I talked my dad out of mail order so we could head over on Black Friday and see what they had. Unlike the Natick store there was no dedicated store section, just two lone machines on the long rack of laptops. Jobs’ fanboys are groaning now at the sight of a Macbook and Macbook Pro on the same asile as Acers and HPs.

The clincher was that after watching 3 sales people talk to folks checking out the Macs, we got our turn in line. Instead of just listening to the pitch (the same one other 2 customers got) about how cool they were, I hit them with the heat – “Yeah, we’ll take one of those.” This required going off to check the stock and talk to a manager, used-car lot style.

The punchline is that there are none to sell in the store, we were told we could go and get one on line, complete with (wait for it…) Free Shipping! The guy also said that when checking out we could take the customer survey at the end and tell them it would be great if they would stock the stuff in the store.

Of course, rather than do that we went straight to, ordered it there and got a special $50 off price with… (you guessed it) Free Shipping! And I didn’t have to spend 5 minutes digging through a survey to tell Best Buy not to over promise and under deliver. And it’s not just for the customers, you don’t have to have sales reps giving up valuable time on Black Friday telling people how great Macs are and that you don’t really sell them.