There’s a quoted stat in the Wikipedia article on cord cutting that states that cord cutters numbered about 900,000 in 2008, and 9 years later, it had increased to 22.2 million. I’m a tech guy, to be certain, but I don’t really tend to jump at every new tech trend, and cord cutting is yet another area where I was late to the party.
All the great replacement programming in the world is of no good to the cord cutter without replacement hardware — the subject of this latest in my cord cutting series. In fact, for me, the hardware was as much of the motivation to make the change as anything else. And after thinking for weeks now that I’d invest (heavily) in recent-generation Apple TV units, doing my homework suggested a different approach.
Any cord cutting exercise begins with an analysis of what you watch, and how you’re going to replace it all when you get the scissors out. And this is the part that pains me. Oh, it’s nothing to do with the scissors; in Cord Cutting 1, I mentioned the ever-escalating bill for DISH Network, whose cord I was planning to cut. When I canceled service last weekend, the bill was just over $105 a month. And what did we watch?
DISH Network and I go way back… It was 1997 (by my recollection) that I first signed-up for service; the company I worked for at the time counted Echostar (which started DISH) as one of its clients, and I seem to recall we got some deal to sign-up initially. Regardless, other than a few months along the way, I’ve been a customer since. No longer.
In this first of a series on “cord cutting,” I bid farewell to DISH, and my words for the company? Don’t let the screen door hit ya where the dog shoulda bit ya.
When I first looked at the MacBook Pro design that remains the template for today’s models (the so-called Fourth Generation design, with the Touch Bar and USB-C) back in early 2017 (a few months after their release), what I saw was a technically impressive, and very expensive laptop. It was a nice subject for a technical review for a magazine, but considering that I was actively pondering a new computer for my music-making activities at that time, I decided in the end it was simply too expensive. To equip one the way I needed it would have approached the $5,000 mark. Think about that for a moment: Five. Thousand. Dollars. For a hunk of technology that sits in your lap. I took a pass, and bought an iMac instead.
I did end-up buying a copy of the very latest MacBook Pro a few weeks ago, something I already mentioned, but after even more time using it, I’m reflecting a bit on the decision — while sort of scratching my head (and marveling) at Apple’s mindset.
Over the years, I’ve brushed-up against something about our increasingly digital lifestyles: Digital “stuff” can, and often does disappear in an instant. I suppose the same could be said of physical objects (anyone who’s lost it all in a house fire, tornado, hurricane, etc. knows this of course). But with digital, connections with our past, our own sense of place, manifestations of our memories… They’re all so temporary. And there are lessons to be learned here.
When Apple first rolled-out the Touch Bar on their MacBook Pro (MBP) line, I had the chance to review a well-equipped MBP for a magazine article. A two week period of hands-on time isn’t enough to truly judge any particular feature, but I was left thinking that the Touch Bar was a complete novelty, something I’d never appreciate — which was a prevailing view at the time in the press. But actually buying a new MacBook Pro recently gave me the chance to live with the feature awhile, and I’ve changed my view.