Last week, in response to Chris Koehncke’s blog post, I set about creating a couple of sample recordings to support my belief that a headset trumps a laptop’s built-in microphone. Along the way I came to a couple of realizations, or perhaps I should say remembrances, of things that I hadn’t thought about in a long while. There are numerous subtleties to the matter of microphones.
Microphones, like most things, are built to address specific applications. There are microphones for recording studios. Microphones for stage performers. Microphones for board rooms. Microphones for mobile phones. Even a microphone for that cheesy tape recorder that you bought at Radio Shack back in the 1980’s when it was still a great gadget shop.
Yesterday the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch property posted an article called “10 things not to buy in 2014” by AnnaMaria Andriotis. Hey, it’s the end-of-the-year and lists are sprouting up like mushrooms in the morning dew. I wish they held as much value as those edible fungi. Still, I suppose there’s little point in being listless at this time of year.
I really do need a new computer bag. After over six years on-the-road the old one is starting to become unworkable. In reality, I want my travelling suite of goodies to be a lot lighter than in the past, which implies not only a new bag, but reconsidering what I need in that bag. I think that I should be able to do more with less to carry.
Before someone again refers me to a MacBook Pro or MacBook Air let me add that I am a Windows user. My employer is a Windows development shop so its kind of unavoidable. While I genuinely admire Apple hardware, I’m not such a fan of some of their business practices. So I prefer to look elsewhere for hardware.
Like many people I’m making a New Year’s resolution with respect to losing some weight. However, in my case the sphere of concern to be addressed is my computer bag. It’s simply too heavy and I’m finally planning to do something about that.
In truth I’ve needed a new shoulder bag for some months. I’ve had the same one for about five years. It’s an HP branded ballistic nylon bag that I got two laptops ago. I really like the design of the bag, but recently it’s started to look a bit ragged. One of the zippers is even broken.
This past weekend, during a break from tending our new pup, Stella and I had occasion to see the movie Up In The Air. I’d not seen it before, at least not from start to finish. Now that I have seen it, I think I understand why some members of my family thought that the film reminded them of me.
It’s true that I am something of a corporate road warrior. That is to say, my job involves more than the occasional bit of travel. Since the beginning of the year I’ve been to Las Vegas, New Jersey (twice), South Bend IN (twice), Jackson MS, and Berkeley CA. As I write this I am in fact en route to Charlotte NC to give a three-day training course.
As The Beach Boys once harmonized, “I get around.” Further, I’ve been in this line of work for just over fifteen years.
All of that only serves to illustrate that I have at least some experience being on the road. In that time I’ve come to appreciate some relatively simple pieces of technology. Occasionally a modest little item, perhaps acquired by accident or mere happenstance, can actually improve your quality-of-working-life on-the-road.