People have been making New Year's resolutions since calendars were first invented. "I'm going to alphabetize my CD collection." "I'll use the Soloflex as more than a clothes hanger." And the biggie - "I'm going to get a job that I really enjoy."
Given that this issue features S&V's awards for the finest gear reviewed in 2006, I thought it would be a good time to talk about how reviews are handled and products are selected for awards. I'm sure you think a reviewer's life is all sunshine and rainbows.
Adding wiring to an existing home can seem as daunting as building the pyramids. How do you run cable from one side of the room to the other, let alone from one side of the house to the other? If it were as simple as draping wires across the floor or stapling them to the wall, you'd do it yourself.
I usually cover topics geared toward consumers, but this month's column is really meant for my fellow installers. (Of course, non-installers are welcome to read what follows; you might gain insight into how we choose to feature certain installs.)
As a custom installer, I find that education is one of my main jobs. Every day, people come into my shop seeking advice on how best to spend their A/V dollars. And whether their budget is $1,000 or $100,000, they want to be sure they're getting the best bang for their buck.
Every September, thousands of the world's best custom installers converge at the CEDIA Expo - the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association's big annual show - to check out the latest and greatest products. This year's event, held in Denver, offered an amazing array of things worth swooning over.
People often ask me, "How do you keep up with all the new technologies? The market changes so fast." One of the best ways to stay current is to attend trade shows where the latest gear is on display and you can actually talk with the folks who designed it.
Computers have never really been my thing. I like them and have owned one since I was 8, starting with the incredibly unpowerful Atari 400. But I'd always considered them just the next step toward a better videogaming experience. And while I love gaming, plunking down $2,000 for something I'd use almost exclusively as a gaming rig seemed a little excessive.
Remember back in high school? It seemed like everyone went to the Senior Prom. But as the party started winding down, the cool kids pulled away in rented limos and headed off to hotel rooms around town to continue partying the night away.
Certain things will automatically mark you as uncool. Walking down the street wearing a Michael Jackson "Beat It" jacket, for instance. Or admitting you voted for Sanjaya. And I certainly don't expect to wow the ladies with the fact that I belonged to my high-school chess club - all 4 years.