-- my podcast, web and editing setup

- the computer

Home computers, always a strange topic with me. I go thru phases which generally coincide with my employment status. During college I really craved having the latest and greatest at home. To the point where I built almost everything myself. Then as I started working in the multimedia arena I came to the conclusion that when I went home I really didn't want to take work with me. So technologically my home setup became extremely simple. Then when I started teaching, it became almost non existent. No Internet except for my smart phone and a kick butt Shuttle computer I built in 2003. This lasted me all the way til 2011 when my job status changed again.

I needed internet access and didn't really want to pay for it. I also needed to update my home software to current industry standards. So I bought a laptop for about $500 and the complete Microsoft Office plus my preferred software, the complete Adobe Creative Suite. This allowed me to keep in practice and go to free wifi spots such as Starbucks and McD's to get online.

The laptop is an HP Pavilion dm1, which is basically a netbook on steroids. I chose it mainly for the blue tooth capability, long battery life and it's processor which is at the bottom end of what is required for the newer 64bit programs from Adobe. It running with a 1.6ghz processor, about 3gb of RAM and 300gb of storage.

- the software

I have to admit, I'm an Adobe nut. I know there are people out there that praise the MAC but it's mainly their software they praise. How it works so smoothly and is so integrated. Let me tell ya, it has nothing on the Adobe Suite. Every program in it is fully native with each other and works. While generally competitors might have one version or another that is critiqued as better overall Adobe has proven to be the industry standard and benchmark year after year.

Now my formal education in these products was from '97 to about '03. Let me tell you they have become much simpler, more refined and much more powerful. Unfortunately with the exception of PS, IL, DW, FL and iD I feel like I'm starting back at square one using these programs. Many of which are new to me. Premier Pro is especially kicking my butt because we only spent a few weeks on it in college and I haven't touched video or sound since.

  • PhotoShop (with ImageReady) is the industry standard in photo editing. It's powerful enough now that I think you could spend a career in just this program and not master everything. If I'm working pixels, I'm working in PhotoShop
  • Illustrator is my favorite program and I don't get to use it enough here. It's the only one where you start with nothing and create from scratch. Most every other program you start with a picture, video or sound and edit it. Illustrator is the purest artistic program I know.
  • DreamWeaver is a WYSIWIG editor to make web pages. I have to admit I only use a limited amount of this program. I started editing back when the web was new and we used text editors like Notepad. I'm comfortable editing code. The reason I use DreamWeaver now is the file organization and that it changes the color of tags which makes finding minor errors easy. Ya, I said it, I like the colors. Just look at the artistic organization of my code if you don't believe I hand code everything. DreamWeaver's text editing back end is an evolution of a wondrous program called Homesite that Adobe purchased a long time ago.
  • FLASH is a blast of an animation program. Yes it's crude, buggy and Steve Jobs despised it but... it's completely native to the Creative Suite and it works seamlessly with Illustrator.
  • InDesign is a great print layout tool though I have to admit that up until getting this latest version of the Creative Suite I used PageMaker when I needed to design things like brochures. Ya... very oldschool. But sometimes the old school ways are enough.
  • Premier Pro is just kicking my butt. I'm truly having to start from scratch learning this program.
  • The other programs in this suite are Acrobat and GoLive (yuk), Fireworks, Contribute, After Effects, Soundbooth (excited about learning this one), OnLocation and Encore.

- the accessories

My big purchases to start this podcast were:

  • 2 discontinued Kodak Play/Sport video cameras for about $100 (Kodaks version of a FLIP)
  • A Yeti microphone from Blue

I already had:

  • Nikon D70 with several lenses that where handed down to me from my grandfather. I love the fact that you can use most every lens made by Nikon on even their latest stuff because of their dedication to the original mount.
  • An original FLIP camera
  • My iPhone whose video and picture taking capabilities come in handy. Plus the iMovie allows for simple video uploads on the go.
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