• I’ve Eaten The Forbidden Fruit – and I’m Now A Big Apple Fan!

    May 29th, 2010

    With some trepidation, I made the switch to an Apple MacBook Pro laptop in January of this year. (if you can call a computer with a dazzlingly-clear 17-inch screen a laptop). There was a bit of a learning curve – but I was amazed by two things: How intuitive the Mac was, and how terrific the Apple One-On-One trainers were.

    As I spend my sixth decade roaming this earth, I wondered how difficult it would be to learn a whole new language, and way to use programs on a Mac. The answer – incredibly easy. First off those Apple trainers made it very comfortable to learn the Mac way. We met at the Starbuck’s Store near the Apple Store in the mall – the relaxed atmosphere matched the trainer’s demeanor. They had me up and running with confidence after just a few sessions.

    But the most amazing experience in my switch to a Mac was how intuitive it is compared to my old PC’s. The programs make sense, using them is very easy, and the computer “learns” email names and actions that I tend to use the most often and creates shortcuts to make my life easier. It was a very smart move to a Mac.

    So, last week I get an iPad. Here we go again – another new device to learn. What a piece of cake. Once again I am highly impressed with the Apple geniuses who designed and built this wonderful device.

    It starts with registering for 3G Wi-Fi service. It is as easy as turning on the iPad, answering some questions, giving them a credit card online – and BAM! (to quote John Madden) – I was in business.

    They don’t give you any other instructions – or a manual – which is kinda scary for a guy who is used to relying on printed advice when learning something new. I guess they want you to explore and customize the iPad for yourself. (Truthfully, this week I found a manual online and it has helped answer some questions as I try to dig deeper into the nuances of the iPad).

    The App store is a magical place. It has something like 20,000 apps to choose from – many of them absolutely FREE. I explored the site, and downloaded about a dozen of them in an hour or so this week. I was most impressed with a new free app from The Weather Channel. It has a wealth of local weather info, radar and maps that will challenge every local TV station website for information and customization.

    I guess, as I think about it, I have had a little slice of Apple for quite a few years – with about 16,000 songs on my iPod. But that is an antiquated device compared to the MacBook Pro and the iPad.

    So – go ahead take a big bite out of the Apple. It’s a darn satisfying experience.


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  • Confusing your customers: What day is it?

    May 11th, 2010

    I’m not sure when it started – but it has spread seemingly to every station in every market in America. “It” is the penchant for reporters to say – “Monday night” in their packages – when IT IS Monday night. Why are you confusing your customers?

    I’m sure some consultant will be blamed for this stupid idea – but I have been on a one-man crusade to stop this crazy practice. Alas, I have failed miserably.

    I’ve been told the idea is to make the story make sense on the next day’s morning newscast. That’s great, but why sacrifice today’s newscasts to make the context right for tomorrow?

    I may be slow – but when I hear someone say “Monday night” – and I know it IS Monday night – my brain pauses to say – “does he mean last Monday or tonight.” While this crazy idea usually only surfaces during late newscasts – I actually saw it used during a 6 p.m. newscast last week on the East Coast.

    So – I beg producers and news directors everywhere to put a stop to this crazy idea. If “tonight” is important to the context of the story – have the reporter say it. I believe that in 99% of the packages it is NOT necessary. Here’s an idea: Write the anchor intro to let us know it happened tonight – and then they can do the same thing on the morning newscast the next day.

    Let’s put an end to this customer confusing practice right now!


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