Weekend Q & A

Yes, this feature is supposed to be up on Fridays, but the Apple TV review took up too much time.. Sorry about that. Back to the questions now.

Josh has a computer purchasing question:

I have been flirting with buying a Mac as a second computer to tinker around with. What is your recommendation for a first time Mac buyer (other than the Mac Mini)?

MacBookThe MacBook. Especially if your primary computer today is a laptop, I think you’ll be impressed with the speed and power of the MacBook for the price. (About $1200.) If you’re more of a power user, then you could go with the current Mac Pro set-ups, but they tend to start at $2000. They’re very powerful and expandable (four drive bays!), but I imagine you won’t want to start your Mac life on such a large investment. (I did, but I was nuts in those days. Thankfully, it paid off handsomely and I’m still using that computer daily, 3 years later.)

On the other hand, you’re stuck using a non-Mac monitor at that Mac Pro point, so an iMac would be a worthy investment if you prefer a desktop. It’s obviously not as expandable as a Mac Pro nor as portable as the MacBook, but it’s a pretty standard Mac computer that has a stunning monitor that won’t cost you an extra grand. Really, those screens are HUGE on the current generation iMacs. (Sadly, you’ll be paying for the screen AGAIN the next time you buy an iMac.)

Is that too mushy? What kind of computer set-up do you have today? What do you use your computer for? Is lots of storage a key point for you? Are you just using your computer for e-mail and web surfing? Do you just want a multimedia system that’s easy to use? These are all things that could swing my vote one way or the other.

Hope that helps.

Paul C. wants podcasting answers:

Did the idea of doing the Pipeline Podcast come up out of the blue or had you tinkered with the idea a couple of times before getting around to it? Are you surprised it caught on and that you have lasted this long in doing it in, more or less consecutive weeks? Have you ever thought about adding in any new features to it like a top 10 worst sounding books of the week or reader’s mail/questions?

I had toyed with the idea of doing Pipeline Radio a year or more before the podcast began. The idea was to record a minute long thing once a week that we could post on Fridays with some short review/thought/something or other. It didn’t go very far because I didn’t have the time to pursue it past writing up a couple of scripts, one of which I turned into an early Pipeline Podcast. That was more along the lines of an Andy Rooney style editorial piece. I was also worried about bandwidth consumption at the time. Broadband wasn’t so pervasive, and even a minute of audio would be a slow download in those dial-up days.

When I read about podcasting in December of 2004, I knew I had to jump in. I did college radio. I did local radio up until about a year and a half ago, as a matter of fact. I wanted to use that training to do a podcast, and so I started the Various and Sundry DVD podcast and The Pipeline Podcast at the same time – Christmas Break, 2004. I had the time that week to set up a system to produce two weekly podcast shows. Once I started, I was hooked.

Eventually, the DVD podcast faded away. That was due to a lack of time and, honestly, a decrease in DVD and movie viewing habits. While I still enjoy the weekly discussions here on the blog for new DVD days, I didn’t feel comfortable TALKING about a bunch of movies I wasn’t familiar with for ten minutes a week in a podcast.

I’m not surprised the comics podcast has lasted this long. I’ve never been able to give up on comic things. Pipeline is coming up on its eleventh anniversary now and I have never ever once missed a week. Never taken a week off. I’ve been late a couple of times, I’ve pre-written things a few times, but I’ve never missed a week. I don’t think there’s another comics columnist on-line who can claim that.  I doubt there’s a print columnist who could say that, either.  This next Pipeline is the 563rd or 564th edition. I ain’t giving up on it. The podcast comes secondarily to that, and I’ve never hesitated to just skip a week when I had to. I missed a couple of weeks due to illness and one or two weeks due to scheduling and technical troubles.

The main problem with the podcast is that it’s a timing thing. The new comics release list comes out late on Monday after my chance to record a podcast. I have to record it on Wednesday, or else it’s dated by the time Wednesday night comes around. If I miss that window, I’m sure lots of people just skip over it.

I would like to do more with the podcast. Honestly, I would. I even get requests about that all the time. Oddly enough, most of those requests thank me for doing a show that’s so relatively short to the rest of the comics podcast world, but then ask me to add more stuff into it.

The simple fact of the matter is that I don’t have the time to do more than I am doing right now with the podcast. I do it because it’s not a huge hassle to spend a half hour on Tuesday nights recording and publishing the thing. Sometimes, I can even pare that down to less than 20 minutes. Even the monthly PREVIEWS podcast can be tricky to schedule out with Jamie (as it is turning out to be this month – sorry, Jamie) and finding a solid hour to an hour and a half of our lives to record.

Finally, Ezekiel asks:

What do you think of the new Hulk trailer?

Haven’t seen it. If it doesn’t show up on the Apple TV in HD, I’m not watching it. I imagine it’ll show up in there eventually, though. I hope. I do want to see what this thing looks like.

That’s it for this week.  Post more questions below, please!  I’d love to answer them in upcoming Q&As.

3 thoughts on “Weekend Q & A

  1. Other than Misery Loves Sherman, are there any other daily comic strip sites you check out?

  2. Okay, Augie, here’s a quick question for you:

    “I did local radio up until about a year and a half ago, as a matter of fact.”

    What station and what was your role? DJ? Regular guest? Talk show host?

  3. Kind of and add-on to Phil’s question, can you give us any humorous anecdotes from your time in radio or any bits of advice you picked up along the way? Was it enjoyable or a pain trying to come up with different topics to research/chat about that? Would you ever go back into radio sometime in the future?

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