Some mistakes hurt less than others.

Back in the summer of ’02 I was preparing to attend my fourth college in five years, and be less than halfway to a degree. Yes, I was a wonder student.  This time would be different…because I was majoring in film.

Knowing that the school did its editing on Final Cut Pro, on Macs, I figured a good way to get ahead would be acquiring a Mac of my own and learning the software.  I looked at the PowerMac systems of the day and quickly realized that I didn’t have $2999 for the box, let alone anything left over for a monitor or the actual software.  Being the young american consumer I am, I took the next logical step: took out a loan.  And not just any loan, but a super heinous, high interest, never gonna get out from under it loan.  It was offered by Apple for students, but really given by MBNA*.  I took out $4000 at 27%**.  That was the starting rate!  I wasn’t sure if the rate could get any higher should I miss a payment (which I did).

I was the proud owner of a PowerMac G4, dual 1ghz processors, 1gb of ram, and an 80gb hard drive.  It was the fastest machine on the block.  I paired that with a pretty Apple 17″ studio LCD, Harmon Kardon Soundsticks*** and the Final Cut Pro academic edition (which still ran $300).  Wow.  I was awesome.  And instantly crushed with debt.  What a terrible purchase.  Though, after spending 4k in ten minutes, the guys at Apple were cool enough to throw in a firewire cable that I needed.

Looking back, having the headstart on the editing, and owning my own editing station (no waiting in line for me, thank you kindly) helped me be the film department all-star that I was.  I was also the film-dept flake who shat the bed on on independent study project, pissed off half the faculty, and watched my senior thesis crumble into flames when the lead actor abruptly moved four hours away in the middle of shooting.

In the end, it’s also why I have my job here.  And why I’m so comfortable next to my smoking fast Mac Pro 2.66, 3gb of RAM, etc…….

*Fuck MBNA.

**The debt was eventually paid off.

***The speakers are the only thing I still own of the original set up.


7 responses to “Some mistakes hurt less than others.

  1. thegirlfromtheghetto

    Wow, this sucks … but did you graduate? I’m curious …

  2. Yes, I had to take a bunch of CLEP tests to pull together some last minute credits, but I eventually graduated. Oh, and I took a Geology class BY MAIL to satisfy my lab science requirement. They mailed me a box of rocks, and each week I’d run some little tests on them and complete online quizzes. Best lab ever.

  3. I worked with Mac G4s when I was studying design. To tell you the truth I don’t see what all the fuss is about with Macs. I find them an expensive type of ordinary.

    27% interest is a crime against humanity!

    I think that there’s a lot of hype in the world and it’s only purpose is to make one feel dissatisfied with what they’ve got so they go out and buy some more stuff.

    I went through all that madness with photographic gear. I used to own a Rollei 6008 and 6006 plus a Sinar P with 50mm, 150mm and 300mm lenes and every accessory made by Sinar. I had Broncolor strobes coming out of the wazoo.

    Then one day I realised I was living in a fools paradise and sold the lot! It was like taking a desparately needed dump…….. oooooo it felt so good to get rid of all that shit!

  4. Bite your tongue, boy. There will be no Mac bashing here. Strict censorship. If you can’t tell, I’m rather partisan.

    I spend my working days in front of the monitor. I have for years. And OSX is simply better. Better interface, better features, far more reliable. I think it’s worth the premium.

    I totally hear you on the photo gear. I’ve been working with my used Canon 10d for four years now (it’s a 7 year old camera), and I’m just now considering an upgrade…to a used, 2 year old camera. The camera business is reliant on making your 7fps feel inadequate when the next model can do 8fps. The buy/sell boards at FM are chock full of people upgrading from last year’s best to this year’s. Perhaps the pros can find worthwhile benefits…

  5. “OSX is simply better”

    Who said denial was just a river in Egypt?

    Get Job’s hand outta yo ass muppet boy!

  6. breathlessmini

    How do I make my 10D take good pictures? I’m partial to the D70 still as the Canon continually diappoints me.

  7. You have to adjust the thingie behind the viewfinder. Just kidding. It’s just familiarity. And I always shoot about 1/2 stop under so I’ll have room to fix the exposure on the computer.

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