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O/T: Thinking about getting a laptop


Guitarzannie

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I could use a lot of advice.

 

I heard that Comp USA will be going out of business after the holidays. I badly need to replace my 7 year old computer. It constantly shuts down (had it in for service once) and I can't even watch YouTube videos on it. If I want to watch YouTube, I have to go to the library.

 

I have been thinking about replacing this piece of junk desktop with a laptop. I have decided to go the laptop route after seeing some musicians take their laptops to gigs. I'm far away from being able to do gigs yet I am thinking about the future.

 

Right now my basic use for the computer is word processing, surfing the net and using microsoft money.

 

What do you suggest for a laptop and what kind of OS do you suggest. Right now I am using Windows ME, which I have had problems with since day one. I have never used a Mac, but it probably wouldn't be a problem with learning how to use one.

 

All answers will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

Michelle

My new baby is a 2002 Collectors by Ovation

 

I think this is a cool song title -- "Can't Remember to Forget"

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I'm a Mac guy but ME sucks. I took it off my wife's computer and put on XP and it completely changed it, made it such a better more stable computer.

 

ME is probably 1/2 your problem.

 

Laptops are awesome. Get wireless internet going in the home....awesome!

 

I will let the PC guys weigh in on XP vs Vista etc, but yeak go for it...get a laptop. You can get a nice one for inexpensive nowadays.

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Windows ME is one of Microsoft's most forgettable efforts. It may be the OS should go, and your PC could still be OK. I was on an ME system last night, and the hardware seemed fine, but it was doing the same crap you describe.
Never a DUH! moment! Well, almost never. OK, OK! Sometimes never!
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I'm a Mac guy but ME sucks. I took it off my wife's computer and put on XP and it completely changed it, made it such a better more stable computer.

 

ME is probably 1/2 your problem.

 

Laptops are awesome. Get wireless internet going in the home....awesome!

 

I will let the PC guys weigh in on XP vs Vista etc, but yeak go for it...get a laptop. You can get a nice one for inexpensive nowadays.

 

Fumbly, thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

 

Actually, the guy that fixed my computer over a year ago didn't think that Windows ME was the problem. He did end up removing spyware, etc. and my computer did run pretty good.

 

I like the portablity of laptops. I'm not quite sure what the guitar players were using their laptops for. I think it was to help them tune their guitars, but I am not sure.

 

I will look into wireless internet also. I don't know which companies are the best for that. I do see that WiFi is available in lots of public places.

 

So much to look into. It's not as much fun as looking into guitars and or amps though. :) I'll definitely be looking into amps next year.

 

Michelle

My new baby is a 2002 Collectors by Ovation

 

I think this is a cool song title -- "Can't Remember to Forget"

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Windows ME is one of Microsoft's most forgettable efforts. It may be the OS should go, and your PC could still be OK. I was on an ME system last night, and the hardware seemed fine, but it was doing the same crap you describe.

 

I won't forget it, that's for sure. I am leaning towards a new laptop, but I'll have to see which would be more economical. I think that my monitor is starting to go too. Every once in a while, the screen turns pink. My computer doesn't have a virus, so I don't know if that is a monitor problem or an OS problem.

 

My computer is 7 years old, and I didn't pay that much for it to begin with. To get my computer fixed again, it may be more than what the computer is worth.

 

Michelle

 

 

My new baby is a 2002 Collectors by Ovation

 

I think this is a cool song title -- "Can't Remember to Forget"

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I have seen guys use a laptop as their primary rig! John McLaughlin does this and has all his guitar synth sounds in there as well.

 

I have a tuner in mine and also Amplitube 2.

 

With a solid laptop you can put recording software in there, notation software, sequencers etc etc etc.....and send e mail!

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I have seen guys use a laptop as their primary rig! John McLaughlin does this and has all his guitar synth sounds in there as well.

 

I have a tuner in mine and also Amplitube 2.

 

With a solid laptop you can put recording software in there, notation software, sequencers etc etc etc.....and send e mail!

 

Sounds cool!

 

MIchelle

My new baby is a 2002 Collectors by Ovation

 

I think this is a cool song title -- "Can't Remember to Forget"

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If you are looking for a laptop for music purposes, and you are near a Guitar Center...they recently partnered with Dell to provide computers for music/audio purposes.

 

Here's the news story:

 

http://www.prosoundnews.com/publish/news/Dell_Teams_with_Guitar_Center_Billy_Bob_Thornton.shtml

 

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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I like to spend as much time as possible in the Linux world, but reality forces one to do Windows if popular apps are to be used, so I have a dual boot.

 

I haven't tried Vista, but comments from users who use a lot of audio apps have scared me away from switching from XP...STILL a lack of driver support for Vista.

 

One thing is fer sure...laptops aren't easily as upgradable as desktops, so make sure you spend enough for your unit to run all the apps you will want to run in the future. In fact, write down everything you want it to do and then choose your laptop with that information in mind.

 

I am buying one sometime next year and plan to drop at least $1,500 because I want it to have more than enough power for recording and sample playback.

A Jazz/Chord Melody Master-my former instructor www.robertconti.com

 

(FKA GuitarPlayerSoCal)

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I use a laptop most of the time - my desktop is rarely on.

 

I've always used IBM (now Lenovo) as I used to take students round the factory in Greenock, Scotland, and saw that they were handbuilt. Always have found them extremely reliable. Don't know how Lenovo build them.

 

I'm currently using a T43.

 

G.

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=738517&content=music

The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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If you are looking for a laptop for music purposes, and you are near a Guitar Center...they recently partnered with Dell to provide computers for music/audio purposes.

 

Here's the news story:

 

http://www.prosoundnews.com/publish/news/Dell_Teams_with_Guitar_Center_Billy_Bob_Thornton.shtml

 

Buying a computer from a guitar store is like buying a guitar from an ice cream vendor.

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Bill...I think you miss the point...there is a symbiotic relationship between an audio/music store and a computer manufacturer (the ice cream vendor has nothing to do with guitars ;) )

The GC stores are working with Dell to provide & configure audio/music ready systems...

...which isn't something you will get from a computer store (Staples...etc), department store (Sears...etc)... or even directly from a computer manufacturer unless you buy specialty audio/music systems like Sonica...etc.

 

Of course...if you need a computer for other purposes, not music...then yeah...buy elsewhere.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Get a Gateway laptop running Vista or XP and you will love it!!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Man, you are right on the money :thu: ! I picked up an NX570X from Gateway direct with Intel processor, XP and IE 6 for right around $600(waited for Gateway discount to appear). Absolutely perfect for what you're doing. Includes 4 USB buses, 2 FW buses, Ether bus and 1G RAM. It comes with MS Works, but MS Word is additional $$. I had a copy of Word 2002, so I just installed it. Works fine. XP is kind of a proven OS, so I went with it instead of Vista. IE 7 is also prone to problems, so IE 6 is the OS of choice here.

 

Best, Paul

WUDAYAKNOW.. For the first time in my life, I'm wrong again!!
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My company bought 12 Dells, in a year and a half, they were history. Week power supplies and propitary memory ($$$) These were desk tops. I hope they have fixed them

 

I have owned Toshsiba's since laptops came out. Thay have all been bullet proof. HP is now making a pretty good laptops.

 

I would agree on a Lapto rather than a Desktop now. Unless you need to run several PCI cards (PCs) or SCII cards, a laptop has all the power and HD of Desktops. One of the things that esktps have over laptops is memory. Most high end laptops are limited to 2 megs of ram.

 

Most good laptops have docking stations available that alow youto use a huge monitor and additional add on cards.

 

OS for PCs? ME isn't even supported by MS. It was a POS. XP service pack 2 is one of the most stable OS I have ever used. VISTA is supposed to be good but I have some software that is non replacable that VISTA will not run. I usually give MS'sOS a year before converting. It gives them a little more debugging time.

 

Hint on MSWORD. Get the student - teacher edition. It is 1/3 the price and has a 3 user license. It gives you the full Office Suite.

 

Peace

 

 

 

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And the dirty little secret of all the PC pro's out there selling and fixing PC's is that,...they all, or most have Mac's at home. Usually a MacBook Pro 15" or 17".

 

Depending on who you are,...they will never admit it to you!

 

Hmmmmm...

 

(if you don't watch what the competition is doing,...you won't know what you need to steal)

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My company bought 12 Dells, in a year and a half, they were history. Week power supplies and propitary memory ($$$) These were desk tops. I hope they have fixed them...

 

Mmmm...I dunnoI see Dells getting slammed around here quite often.

 

My "company" buys thousands of Dell desktops and laptops every year...and for the most part, they seem to function pretty darn well!

Sure, you can get the lemons and the breakdowns...but weve used other brands in the past, and the problems were a LOT worse than with Dell.

 

In the last 3 years, my IT section alone has received about 100 new Dells...and all of them are functioning without any issues, but, we buy the high-end Precision laptops and the better desktops models.not the stuff on bottom of the heap.

 

YMMV.....

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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I've got a little Dell Inspiron 6000.

It's given me great service but to be honest, I don't know enough about different brands to recommend it or not.

 

I will say this though, after 2 years, both my battery and charger went out on me.

I just had to order both which cost me about $125.

 

Oh yeah...you don't want Vista...XP is the best.

 

Randy

"Just play!"
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I could use a lot of advice.

 

I heard that Comp USA will be going out of business after the holidays. I badly need to replace my 7 year old computer. It constantly shuts down (had it in for service once) and I can't even watch YouTube videos on it. If I want to watch YouTube, I have to go to the library.

 

I have been thinking about replacing this piece of junk desktop with a laptop. I have decided to go the laptop route after seeing some musicians take their laptops to gigs. I'm far away from being able to do gigs yet I am thinking about the future.

 

Right now my basic use for the computer is word processing, surfing the net and using microsoft money.

 

What do you suggest for a laptop and what kind of OS do you suggest. Right now I am using Windows ME, which I have had problems with since day one. I have never used a Mac, but it probably wouldn't be a problem with learning how to use one.

 

All answers will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

 

Michelle

 

ME is one of the worst operating systems ever. MS doesn't even support it any more.

 

You can get a deal from Dell these days. I'm using Vista and love it (on my homebuilt desktop) but get 2GB RAM if you go that way.

 

IMO Vista will turn out like XP...it'll get better with age. A year after it's release it's already light years ahead of its original self.

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Actually, the guy that fixed my computer over a year ago didn't think that Windows ME was the problem. He did end up removing spyware, etc. and my computer did run pretty good.

 

Erm... and how long has it been since you've removed "spyware, etc"? Have you done it since then?

 

 

One thing is fer sure...laptops aren't easily as upgradable as desktops, so make sure you spend enough for your unit to run all the apps you will want to run in the future. In fact, write down everything you want it to do and then choose your laptop with that information in mind.

 

+100! :thu: That's one thing I learned the hard way.

 

Being used to desktops I didn't take much notice of the specs when I bought my first laptop. I figured I'd just upgrade my way out of any problems. And of course, it wasn't quite as easy as that! :D

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Bill...I think you miss the point...The GC stores are working with Dell to provide & configure audio/music ready systems...

.

 

Sorry, I don't agree.

 

I believe that it is another way to throw appropriate buzz words at the unsuspecting consumer, to seperate him yet again from his money early, before he truly understands what he needs.

 

Dell makes good general purpose computers for the average guy with average needs, not killer high performance boxes of any type. GC sales people are usually not the most knowlegable in the world. Do you seriously expect them to suddenly hire a bunch of computer experts, savy at tweaking the OS for max performance and knowing things like which power supplies or disks run most quiet, how to eliminate MS Messenger or turn off AutoInsertNotification, (which are simple things) or with the skills to address any really difficult computer issues? Do you really expect the WalMart of musical instrument sales to somehow morp into a tech shop? It defies logic. No, my friends, this is marketing. You say, "...The GC stores are working with Dell to provide & configure audio/music ready systems...". If either party knew anything about the subject, you might be on to something. But they don't.

 

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Bill...I think you miss the point...The GC stores are working with Dell to provide & configure audio/music ready systems...

.

 

Sorry, I don't agree.

 

I believe that it is another way to throw appropriate buzz words at the unsuspecting consumer, to seperate him yet again from his money early, before he truly understands what he needs.

 

Dell makes good general purpose computers for the average guy with average needs, not killer high performance boxes of any type. GC sales people are usually not the most knowlegable in the world. Do you seriously expect them to suddenly hire a bunch of computer experts, savy at tweaking the OS for max performance and knowing things like which power supplies or disks run most quiet, how to eliminate MS Messenger or turn off AutoInsertNotification, (which are simple things) or with the skills to address any really difficult computer issues? Do you really expect the WalMart of musical instrument sales to somehow morp into a tech shop? It defies logic. No, my friends, this is marketing. You say, "...The GC stores are working with Dell to provide & configure audio/music ready systems...". If either party knew anything about the subject, you might be on to something. But they don't.

 

 

Bill

 

:thu:

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If either party knew anything about the subject, you might be on to something. But they don't.

 

I hear what you are saying Bill...but you are jumping the gun a bit, aren't you? This Dell/GC relationship just got into swing about a month ago...so maybe time will tell just how much better of a buying experience one has there...VS....going into Staples (or wherever)...where you are guaranteed NOT to find anyone that has any experience with audio related apps for computers.

 

Guitar Center can now match Dell systems with music editing software and interface hardware that is intended to be a comprehensive, one-stop solution designed to be simple to set up and use for anyone creating music, according to a statement. Guitar Center initially will be offering Dell Inspiron 1521 notebooks and Inspiron 531 desktops for music production.

 

That sounds to me like they are trying to make things easier for the entry-level crowd who is clueless about audio/computers.

If they don't buy from there...where DO they buy from and get accurate info about audio related software?

 

I think it's a very smart move on Dell/GC's part...as up to now, most "info" is gotten via places like this forum or users groups...etc...and that rarely leaves a newbie walking away with a loaded computer under his/her arm.

I believe that is what Dell/GC has in mind...a one-stop-shopping place where you can walk in, order the computer and the apps that best suit your needs, and have it all set up and ready to go before you get it home.

 

Maybe a year or so from now we'll know just how well it worked out, but I don't think we can be so negative about it before it's even tried...don't you agree?

 

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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"That sounds to me like they are trying to make things easier for the entry-level crowd ..."

 

Buy any Dell or Gateway, and any firewire or USB interfcae. Done deal. Want it easier? Buy only RME or Lynx interfaces. They are the most pain free, sound the best, and offer the best support. You could even use a Dell laptop.....I use one for low track count remotes, with an RME Fireface 800 and Sequoia 10.

 

"...who is clueless about audio/computers."

 

This is the point exactly. Neither is Dell or GC. This is like Walmart carrying computers for mom and pop. Look at how both Dell and GC model their businesses. Combining the methods employed to be successful general-purpose retailers will not create a better specific purpose computer. Even if they consulted from a staff of people who build audio computers to select the pieces/parts and software for the boxes (which would not happen...) then they cannot maintain the support staff.

 

"..If they don't buy from there...where DO they buy from and get accurate info about audio related software?"

 

The exact places that you complain about... forums like these. But the buyer has to discover what forums are good and what are not, who to trust and who not to trust. Then there are computer box houses aimed at selling the audio computer... again, some are good, some are not. Worse, it is a moving target as employees come and go. But you'll do better there than you will from any music retailer.

 

"I think it's a very smart move on Dell/GC's part..."

 

I agree. they should make piles of money from unsuspecting and unknowing comsumers.

 

"I believe that is what Dell/GC has in mind..."

 

I beliebve that they have something else in mind. I think that they see a bunch of turkeys ripe for plucking, a new market heretofore untapped except by small shops.

 

"Maybe a year or so from now we'll know just how well it worked out,..."

 

How will we know? Sound Blaster sold a lot of cards to an unknowing public who were just happy to have audio at all and VERY HAPPY to get it cheap, nevermind that the companies selling the good cards were unable to get any recognition. And the companies that make really good quality components and software are unwilling to take a cut in pay to make GC rich, so you can expect to see a limited list of 'recommended' pieces/parts from this alliance, tossing a bunch of mediocre computers into the market.

 

Many years ago I built a few systems from Dells as the starting point. I could not do that today and get acceptable performance for my needs.

 

The average Joe maybe doesn't need as much (or want as much)... that is what sells Stella and JL Player guitars over the Les Pauls and Strats.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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I think more than likely it has come apparent that certain Dell models run well with such and such music recording apps and so this led to the deal with GC to market these computers as audio computers.

 

The thing is that most of the big software developers are performing tweaks and upgrades that address issues of registered customers who have filed problems with customer support. So really most computers and most softwares play nice right now. The problems come often when other software is added that is not compatible, or memory is added that is dubious or whatever.

 

Also, there is always some deep system tweaking necessary in my opinion to get things to be sharp.....with PC I suppose it is BIOS tweaks. With Mac, Pro Tools does not like virus software, sleep mode, widgets, Spotlight, NAP mode on G5's, hates iSight etc etc.

 

To say any computer is maximized for audio out the box seems a big claim. Each developers sofware has little quirks.

 

I just spent a while looking at the Logic forums and there are a bunch of guys having issues, especially guys who have upgraded to studio from a previous version.

 

I don't know about these Lynx, RME and Sequioa deals Bill@ raves about always....I am not a PC user....maybe they are indeed the hot ticket for PC. I did look them up out of interest and seem to remember the whole setup is not inexpensive. But then even Logic guys are saying one needs the Apogee converter with it and it is like $2500.

 

This is not a simple road. I has gotten much better but it is a path laden with landmines.

 

This is why so many guys when they get stable will not upgrade anything.....they stick with what works day in and day out.

 

Sometimes a simple OS upgrade will throw you into a world of $hit.

 

I agree with Bill that this is marketing driven.......might not be all that bad for an entry level guy......but they will find soon enough that all is not as easy as it sounds.

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This is not a simple road. I has gotten much better but it is a path laden with landmines.

 

 

"...certain Dell models run well with such and such music recording apps and so this led to the deal with GC to market these computers as audio computers...."

 

yeah, with the additional point that the software and interface vendors -will- have to be those willing to play ball with GC in terms of discounts, pricing, etc. (part of my issue, since GC is a BIG GORILLA. He may start off wanting to play nice, but eventually ....)

 

" ...most computers and most softwares play nice right now. The problems come often when other software is added ...."

 

This is probably the biggest difference between PCs and Macs and the source of the most headaches for PC software and hardware vendors, and end users. A guy buys one piece that doesn't follow the spec, and it can hose the whole works. (For YEARS Matrox offered their cards, with MS approved drivers. Then offered you the option of going to their site to get the 'new, improved' drivers... which hogged the PCI bus and hosed audio recording. But gee, didn't those games look good?)

 

Pro Tools doesn't like lots of stuff (My Tascam DA-30 was on their list of dissapproved hardware...), so for the sake of this conversation lets not confuse the OS with individual softwares, each which may have different requirements. But your point: "To say any computer is maximized for audio out the box seems a big claim. Each developers sofware has little quirks." is a good one and bears consideration. On one hand, you want the easiest software to configure, that will work on the most available systems. On the other hand, you want max performance. To suggest that two companies that focus on the first consideration to the exclusion of most everything else could provide the latter is not a likely scenario.

 

"...these Lynx, RME and Sequioa deals Bill@ raves about always.... setup is not inexpensive. "

 

No, and I make no claims to inexpensiveness or appologies to the fact that I definitely go over the top for my own rig....I ran a studio and generated plenty of cash to justify the expenditures. But I am always careful to keep in mind that my needs may not be your needs, my budget may not be your budget.

 

"But then even Logic guys are saying one needs the Apogee converter with it and it is like $2500."

 

Just a point... Apogee is like Toyota, not like Porche.

 

"This is why so many guys when they get stable will not upgrade anything.....they stick with what works day in and day out."

 

If you have a 2007 Les Paul with everything on it that you wasnted, do you replace the parts in 2008? Why? Did something break? NO? Then WHAT MADE YOU THINK THAT YOU NEEDED TO UPGRADE? Oh, the MANUFACTURER TOLD YOU TO? Well, then, I guess that it is clear that we needed to do this. Seriosuly, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is such a computer nerd concept..." there is a new driver/plug in/whatever, and I just gotta be the first guy to get it...." Why?

 

Bill

 

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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..Seriosuly, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is such a computer nerd concept..." there is a new driver/plug in/whatever, and I just gotta be the first guy to get it...."

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"If it ain't broke, you ain't trying hard enough" (Quote: Red Green/The Red Green Show-1997). Perhaps a better mantra for the 'me-me, gimme-gimme' generation.

 

Best, Paul

WUDAYAKNOW.. For the first time in my life, I'm wrong again!!
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..Seriosuly, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is such a computer nerd concept..." there is a new driver/plug in/whatever, and I just gotta be the first guy to get it...."

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

"If it ain't broke, you ain't trying hard enough" (Quote: Red Green/The Red Green Show-1997). Perhaps a better mantra for the 'me-me, gimme-gimme' generation.

 

Best, Paul

My friend has a saying, "If I can't fix it, I can fix is so that nobody else can fix it."

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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