Posts tagged AV
Posts tagged AV
I wrote this brief first person a year ago for a friend who asked on his blog if anyone in the AV industry would be willing to share their experience of September 11th. My story is not that of those far, far braver than me who were trying to escape the buildings and it is irrelevant compared to those who charged into the buildings attempting to save others. It is quite like the thousands who experienced the day first hand and offer it up only as one record of a moment that is still not settled in my head.
While my story is not about escaping from the burning buildings, I was there on that fateful day, to be more precise I was about 20 blocks away.
The company I worked for then and ten years later work for again installed and had service contracts on the multimedia components for the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the National Museum of the American Indian and several offices in and around the WTC.
On September 11th I was walking down the West Side Highway making my way to MJH when the first plane struck. I did not see nor hear the plan roar in as I was, in a youthfull bout of folly, listening to my music at an obscene level (wearing a pair of Sony MDR headphones which I still own). Just prior to the impact I received a pager message to go to an install job at the Guggenheim first. I was pissed as this was on the east side and uptown- completely in the opposite direction. I cranked up my music louder and turned heel to find the nearest subway station. By my reckoning I entered the Houston subway at about 8:35.
As I exited the subway at 85th and Lexington I turned on my radio to listen to WNYC’s morning edition in time to catch a report that a ‘small aircraft, possibly a helicopter had crashed into the North Tower. My first thoughts were of the B-25 bomber the crashed into the empire state building in late 1945. But that was a cloudy day with low ceilings, this was a clear bright blue day- odd. The news went on and I went into the Guggenheim.
We were finishing up some project rooms on the lower level when we heard a scream from a meeting room just down the hall. This was no ordinary scream - someone was hurt. We ran down the hall to find a great deal of commotion and on the rooms large screen TV the South Tower was also now on fire and visibly swaying. A second plane just hit, someone told me. I don’t remember sitting down.
As we sat and watched the live feed the news was reporting three, four, or more planes possibly being hijacked as flight control reported that their transponders were off. No one knew, yet, if this was just an attack on NYC or if other cities were to be attacked, but we did know that the subways were stopped and Grand Central had gone into lock down. Unsure of where the next strike would happen and what famous building would be struck next we decided to leave. We got outside just in time for my radio to crackle to life with high pitched voices describing the fall of Tower 1 - which we could see clearly from the front of the museum.
I could describe the horror. the shock- but what I remember the most is the near heavy quietness that overtook over the city. The scream of sirens that seemed ceaseless and the roar of fighter jets flying crossing patterns over the island broke initally through but eventually became swallowed up in the quiet shock.
All of the above does not consume me - it plays out like a TV show in my head, nothing more. What still haunts me are the posters and fliers of the ‘missing’ that were everywhere almost overnight. Thousands of faces looking back atop and surrounded by desperate pleas to call if someone found them (hopefully in a hospital bed with no ID).
Just about a week and a half after the event I was asked if I would be comfortable with heading down to ground zero to diagnose, set schedules and prepare the museums - especially the Museum of Jewish Heritage - for re-opening. Nothing could have prepared me for the devastation, the still smoldering steel and the smell. The smell of concrete, dust, and charred flesh. The latter hung in the air like a sheer curtain and lodged itself in your nostrils. The walkways were lined with plywood boards filled with the photos of the missing, notes of love and grief, stuffed animals, flowers and lockets. It still causes me to stream tears when I think of it, even now. The sense of loss is too great to ever diminish completely.
My Strongest memory is of walking into Grand Central two weeks after the event and making my way to the missing persons boards that were placed around the facility, (something, it seems, that everyone did regardless of the fact that the pictures never changed). The quiet urgency that seemed to become our new normal was broken by a cry that expressed pain, surprise and, something completely unanticipated, joy. As if one we gathered around the board moving in almost instinctively. Grim faces turned and contorted in ways that many of us thought would not be possible again. I saw on the faces of those around me the same quivering lips and the same streaming tears as on my face, along with the biggest grins. To this day, this moment, the memory makes me weep openly and smile - to have seen that missing posted plastered with large red letters scrawled across - FOUND! Thank You NY!
I have never hugged so many strangers before or since. It was a turning point. She was ALIVE! FOUND and in the company of those who loved her. To me, then and now it meant hope was still possible.
Is a business model outside of the apple eco-system (or similar) simply wishful thinking or is there something to the reality distortion field becoming the norm?
My oldest son lost a tooth yesterday and called me with all the eagerness that a seven year old could muster about the event. Rooster, my name for him - no not his given name, was excited as this is a milestone, to him, toward teenage hood that others in his class were experiencing with more regularity. He was revved up like a rockabilly front-man in new town about getting a golden dollar from the tooth fairy. Gonzo, my youngest at five, expressed concern about the fact that an unknown and nocturnal creature would be in their shared room while he was asleep and unaware.
“How does the tooth fairy get into the house and put the money under the pillow” - Gonzo asked.
“Magic silly” answered Rooster.
“But magic isn’t real” retorted Gonzo
“If magic is not real then the tooth fairy can’t be real, mommy?… is the Easter bunny magical?” asked Gonzo.
Photo Credit David Sifry via EveryStockPhoto
Now here is the quandary. While some would simply gloss over the question with a ‘yes dear’ they use good magic’; I have never been fond of what I call magical thinking, of retelling the tales and lying to my kids about what I know is a fallacy that will either lend them to believe anything can be true or reject everything. To be honest, my sons would not allow such a glib off putting. Once my oldest came into an understanding of Christmas I wanted to de-stress telling him that Santa Claus was the deliverer of gifts, as you can expect I lost this ‘discussion’ with my wife as soon as she stated “don’t you dare”. If you are married you understand. I realize that this makes me sound like the kind of person who reads Charles Bukowski while Joy Division plays in the background but the reality is quite kinder than that. Still I do refer to ‘the Santa Character’ when I speak of him, but I do not overtly correct my kids. So it came as no surprise that my youngest would try to rationalize his fear by deconstructing what was causing him concern and that my oldest would try to accept it, despite himself, because there was the immediacy of money to be had if it were true.
This episode started me thinking. Is the AV industry facing a challenge to its fundamental way of creating installations and some of us are ignoring the fact that the bubble has burst because we still see money in the myth? We know the playing field is changing but by how much and are we truly on the cusp of the great change? Apple has taken the ecosystem model and made it both box store consumer friendly and powerful enough to satisfy all but the most finicky media-philes. Are we currently only mopping up the last of the ‘legacy’ installs while deluding ourselves that the tooth fairy will provide?
It has been suggested that we are currently in a hybrid moment which will shake out the industry into a more streamlined and unified methodology - just look at how every manufacturer MUST have an iPad app or be relegated to the out-lands. If we are indeed seeing this happen I feel that historians will note it as the Brundlefly period. Change is afoot but a hardwired and dedicated (and yes , proprietary) system has a place in the market, a shrinking market to be sure but one whose rock bottom is not zero. There is value in the model, with some modifications. Installations who need guaranteed reliability, durability and consistent operation require the standard model to insure it will not be filled with service calls and un-billable revisions.
Joseph Campbell - the great writer on myth and meaning- made a strong argument that myth may have been elbowed out of our day to day conscience by science but its value is strongest when we are facing the ultimate mysteries to stir a sense of awe, humility and respect for what we do not yet know.
The morning after the great tooth fairy debate, I had the following conversation with my boys while driving to school:
Gonzo - “Dadu,is magic real? “
Me- “ No,not the way you are asking”
Rooster-” Does that mean the tooth fairy is not real?”
Me - “What do you think?”
Gonzo - “Will I get a dollar when I lose a tooth”
Me - “Yes”
Rooster- “I’m not sure I want to know the answer today”
Update: November 28th.
Mark Coxon has a great retort to my post on his fantastic blog AV Phenom- Read it here- http://avphenom.wordpress.com/2012/11/28/508/
Marconi, the fantastical genius (second in renowned and sheer infamy only to Tesla, despite Yahoo Serious’s portrayal ) who brought us the ability to transmit information from one location to another without the need for miles of wire would be amazed but quite comfortable with our wireless world. After all the first wireless phone/media delivery system was in use by 1922. The tools and interfaces would no doubt astound him, yet the process and application would be as natural as reading the newspaper. The modern ‘Golden Age of Wireless’ is mother’s milk to most of us - we are as afraid of its presence, with a few odd exceptions, as we are of indoor running water. So why does it so often befoul and frustrate us?
Read the full blog post here
Episode One of our newest show AV Social is now posted "Join The Conversation"
This Show includes +Matt Scott +Scott Moody +George Tucker +Dawn Mead and +Cindy Gallop of ‘Ifwerantheworld.com
Rave Pubs just published my most recent missive - ‘Knit One, Purl Two.
"Go ahead n’ pull, you might get what you want or a surprise worth waiting for, depending on your point of view. With the music business still in disarray and profits bleeding out like a moonshine still at the wrong end of a ATF shotgun the pundits have declared, yet again, Rock’s demise. "
Photo source = http://links.laughingsquid.com/ via blog.craftzine.com/
Now that the noise and overstimulating barrage of products, specifications, digital signage and the after effects of copious adult beverages has diminished- I want to propose what may seem a counter intuitive idea. Blasphemy even.
The DIY home control fan is your best bet for future client growth. Yes I said that out loud.
Read more here.
Here’s a fork, Dig In- it’s nutritious and delicious
Episode 10 of AV Week brings new blood with Adrian Boyd, Matt Scott returns as our international correspondent, and George Tucker joins us.
We talk about AV Week, the InfoComm industry celebration of all things AV. Cheryl Regan from ICIA gives us some tips and ideas on how to promote the industry where you live.
Crestron has killed a long beloved product; we mourn the passing of the Adagio line. How would you like a control system you can control with your brain? We’ll explain. Also, George explains how to build your very own satellite. Plus, we have the next big market for you integrators… senior citizens.
Here’s a fork, Dig In- it’s nutritious and delicious
Help us promote this fine handmade show- we appreciate your support
AV Nations AV Week Podcast, Episode 8 now Posted!
It is the Audio Visual Podcast of Technophila - minus the restraining orders.
Witness Baby! Witness!
My fellow RavePubs blogger and all around dynamo Dawn Meade (aka AV Dawn) just published a great call to arms in evangelism for the AV industry.
Evangelism contains within it a need for the delft skill of engaging those who want to learn, resisting the desire to teach those who do not care and, most difficult of all, leading the misinformed to see the folly of their own premises.
AV is a grand wide pleasure dome from the DIY to the toys of a Sultan. You can preach to me the lifelong benefits of a Plasma but if this is not my budget no amount of preaching will help. Now, tell me how to make the best of what I can and I will see that the work to do so, in the end is equal to a step or two up. I may need to go though the process but in the end it is gentle evangelicalism that will ring in my ears.
Can I get a Witness!?
SoundCheck to have a live call in broadcast on Summer Stage Collapses. You can listen via web at http://bit.ly/o4vi17 #avtweeps. More….
From the show description:
In the world of concert promoters, summer 2011 can be summed up in two words: stage collapses. Today: A discussion about outdoor stage safety and regulation following the deadly accidents at this summer’s music festivals.
WNYC - the public radio here in NYC has many great shows including SoundCheck which explores the creation, industry, artistry and sheer joy of well, new sounds.
From latest my Rave Blog Squad post #AVTWEEPS
Perspective can change everything, running straight line the countryside is truly bucolic but when the train jerks ‘round a turn you find that the rolling hills hide a shanty town. Which side of the tracks your business is living on can be a fluid line. One month you are in the middle of richly appointed houses with green lawns and blooming gardens the next morning it is in a freight yard of dinged cars and grimy out buildings.
How could this happen? Perhaps you rode the line too far without checking; All lines end somewhere and these places look nothing like they do on Sodor. Anyone who has ‘ridden the rails’ will tell you that the first rules -(after keep away from the bulls) - are to keep an eye on where the train is heading and to be wary of junctions.
Click the image to read more
Episode 0001 “Bring Out Your Dead!”
Tim Albright has tapped a vein with the creation of his Podcast “AV Week” part of the AV Nation community.
Are you useless? I am and proudly so and I think you could do with being so too.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment before we proceed — you should strive to be useless and leading by example, encourage your staff to be the same….
click the image to read more
My First Post for RavePubs
Not only writers get inspired by the collections of NYPL. Following up on our Centennial Celebrations, check out this article about some of the greatest inventions that got their start at the Library… including polarizing lenses, which were instrumental in the birth of 3D movies.
Muybridges so Cool He’s Gotta Wear Shades 3D TV and the Consumer Electronic Follies