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…….
**The debt was eventually paid off.
***The speakers are the only thing I still own of the original set up.