April 3

The Hillbillies Want To Kill Me
A preview of next week’s NAB convention

by David Nagel
Senior Producer

It's spring. Glorious spring. The birds are singing. The crickets are chirping. The rustics are cavorting around in their idyllic pastures like little Pans flirting with the nymphs and dryads of the forest.

Everything happens in spring. It heralds the renewal of life and the the next leap forward in nature's well intentioned dance of eugenics. It also signals the annual event I like to call "Kill Dave Nagel Day." You may refer to it as Daylight Savings. But such a euphemism can hardly mask the fact that April 2 marks the time of the year when the farmers get their revenge on me for all the mean things I've said about them (like calling them hillbillies) by taking away an hour of my life.

"But Dave," you say, "the sun comes up so early now, it would be wrong not to set the clocks forward. It's a waste of precious daylight."

Fools! Do you think I haven't heard that argument before? Why can't you just get up an hour earlier and leave me out of it? I'll tell you why: The hillbilly farmers run this country, and they've bought your loyalty with the fruits and vegetables of deception. Ah, but how cheaply you're bought! How bitter the fruit of your conspiracy! How limp the vegetables of your betrayal!

"O.K., Dave. I think you better just calm...."

Don't patronize me! You think me mad, but I'm the only one who can see the Truth! The farmers control everything—the bread you eat, the the soap you bathe with, the bed you sleep in.

"O.K., let's pretend for a moment that the farmers do control the world. Why would they want to cause you harm? I mean, you, Dave Nagel, specifically?"

Well, that's just it, isn't it? Why indeed? You might as well ask why aliens try to conceal the fact that they're doing experiments on you or why Microsoft plants DumbChips™ in people's foreheads to make them use Windows. The reasons are self-evident.

"Well, that makes sense. The farmers really must be out to get you. Spooky."

Yep. And what's worse, this year I'm going to run into most of them in their own natural habitat—Las Vegas. See, spring is also the time of the National Association of Broadcasters' show, held in Las Vegas, which I'll be attending for the very first time this year. So I'll be dodging rifle shots and chewin' chaw loogies as I race in and out of the convention halls housing this monster event. But have no fear. Not even the hillbillies can stop me in my effort to bring you the best Mac coverage from this year's show.

"Ooh, does this mean you're going to write a NAB preview? That actually sounds relevant."

Not with that attitude.

"Sorry. Your columns are all very relevant."

And?

"And you're smart and handsome."

Much better. O.K., well, see, the way things work around here, nobody likes to give out information before a show. They save up all their best stuff for big events so they can hit the broadest range of reporters possible. When they do give us information before a show, they make us sign non-disclosure agreements so that we can't let slip their big secrets until the timing works right for them. We play along so that we can see the stuff before anyone else and so that we can get the stories written and ready to go the second the NDA expires. What this means for you is that I can give you no direct information whatsoever about new product announcements.

"Crap."

Language. This is the Internet, not Fox TV.

"Sorry. What can you tell us then? You can't just leave us hanging like this."

Well, we're going to be wined and dined by some of the biggest names in content creation. Assuming the wine and food are good enough, we'll have a lot to tell you about their new products. Here's a short list of the agenda:

  • We'll be meeting with Boris FX to get a demonstration of Boris FX 5.0 and Graffiti 1.0. Good stuff there. Boris FX 5 started shipping Friday. The NAB show will mark the first public demonstration of Graffiti.
  • We'll hook up with Pinnacle/Puffin, who have some 'splaining to do about the future direction of Puffin software now that they're under new ownership. We'll specifically look at what's in store for Pinnacle's Targa line of accelerator boards for Mac and Puffin's Commotion.
  • We're going to get a demonstration of Final Cut Pro on ICE. Gotta love that.
  • What's Apple got cooked up for the show? Maybe nothing. Maybe something. We'll find out.
  • And Adobe, Apple's booth neighbor, is never at a loss to throw out some juicy tidbits at a show like this. We'll see what they have going on.
  • Macromedia's gathering the press together to talk about Flash. That can't be bad.
  • Anything new from Discreet for the Mac? Doubtful but hopeful.
  • Plus we'll be attending a whole mess of press conferences from Avid, Media 100 and about a billion other companies, all eager to to tell us to tell you their immediate hardware and software plans.

We're going to be there in force with reporters and camera crews to bring you news and demonstrations from the show floor, all delivered in QuickTime format for your easy viewification. We'll also have lots of text-based news for those of you who can read as well. (No, getting this far through my column is not proof that you can read.) So stay tuned. I'd love to tell you more, but my work day is over.

"Hey, your work day wouldn't be over if it weren't for Daylight Savings."

Quiet, you.

Post a message in the Creative Mac World Wide User Group.

Dave Nagel is the still somewhat new Senior Producer of Creative Mac. An eight-year veteran of the print publishing world, Nagel covered a broad range of topics in the areas of technology and marketing. As a Mac psychofanatic since 1987, he's finally landed his dream job: earning a living writing about his favorite topic. If you have something to say, please send a polite e-mail to [email protected]. (Let's not try to bring him down from his euphoria too soon.)

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