Like the proverbial kid in the candy store or like the child squirming in anticipation on Christmas eve awaiting Santa’s arrival – my happy emotions are spilling over into ecstatic giddiness following the arrival of the Fedex sleigh which delivered my brand spanking new upgrade of Adobe’s CS5 Production Premium. CS5 is Creative Suite version 5 and the production premium version has been bundled with multi media artists in mind.
Over the previous 20 years I have puttered about in Photoshop and up until late 1994 I was also working with Adobe Premiere video editing software. With my recent acquisition of the Canon Rebel T2i that shoots Hi-Def 1080p video, I found a renewed interest in expressing myself once again with moving pictures. Hence I needed an upgrade to my dated software.
Last week, armed with a 15% off coupon from the Arizona Cold Fusion Users Group, of which my wife Caroline is a member, I took the plunge and upgraded my license of Premiere Pro to this new suite of image and video tools. Installing the 16GB behemoth had me on pins and needles and, when the install status read 100% complete, beaming at my monitor with a gleeful smile waiting for nirvana. But before it would install even 1%, I had to enter the requisite serial numbers and sign in with Adobe Live. Signing in I am presented with another gift, Adobe Story beta. Story is a browser based and desktop based script writing application that looks awesome.
I can’t help but think back to my first computer, the VIC 20 with software on cartridges and printed in the back of magazines. When I upgraded to the Commodore 64 in 1982 with a cassette tape drive, I was duly thrilled to be one of the first people in Los Angeles to own this technological marvel. With a 1Mhz CPU made by Motorola, an impressive 64KB of memory, and a screen resolution of 320×200 pixels featuring 16 colors, who could have imagined where we would be today?
Today my software arrived on 4 DVDs and was installed on a PC that runs a CPU with two cores running not at one million Hertz, but at two billion eight-hundred million Hertz. Memory shot up from those sixty-four thousand bytes to my present eight billion bytes. Likewise the display has moved beyond 320×200 pixels showing 16 colors to one displaying 1920×1200 pixels capable of showing off 16 million colors.
Atop all of this we have moved away from 8-bit operating systems to 64-bit systems and the tools this bandwidth opens up should never be taken for granted. The stories I craft on my word processor are easily published on my blog to be shared with the world. Google Translate can offer them up in 58 different languages. Through YouTube I can broadcast video that was previously the domain of television broadcasters but today I have a capability beyond what was state of the art just 15 years ago – my video can be seen instantaneously and on demand, globally. With a free application I can publish and self distribute a novel, a cookbook, a coffee table photo album or I can choose to sell my work in ebook form from a number of websites without ever requiring a publisher or acceptance by a corporate book seller. Same applies to magazines now, thanks to HP’s new print on demand service called Mag Cloud. A programmer no longer waits for a publisher to pick up his or her work, or for a magazine to publish the code to be entered by hand by the end-user, it is packed up and uploaded to the App Store where the buyer grabs it for a few dollars and downloads wirelessly from their phone or via WiFi.
The opportunity for us humans to express ourselves and share our worlds with one another is just as alive and well today as it was back in the hayday of 1999 when the internet gold rush was on. The difference is that many people are not seeing this incredible new opportunity where we have moved away from postage stamp video and dial up to a broadband, multi media, high definition, self contained production studio where the finished product will be indistinguishable from professional studios. There is no more dividing line between consumer and creator besides the limitations of those who would rather watch the parade go by instead of being a part of the parade. I’m still working on my multi-dimensional holographic 5.1 surround immersive augmentation of reality – stay tuned.