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Blog // Thoughts
February 16, 2013

The Disappearing Box

If you live in a culture long enough, some things just seep in. Change and adaptation is inevitable. This past week we celebrated Chinese New Year. This was my seventh Chinese New Year in East Asia (five in Hong Kong, two in Singapore). One tradition associated with Chinese New Year involves giving your home a […]

If you live in a culture long enough, some things just seep in. Change and adaptation is inevitable.

This past week we celebrated Chinese New Year. This was my seventh Chinese New Year in East Asia (five in Hong Kong, two in Singapore). One tradition associated with Chinese New Year involves giving your home a really thorough spring clean. The belief is this sweeps away bad luck and makes room for wealth and happiness to come in.

Hidden In The Cupboards

I’ve always loved spring cleaning. I find a wonderful sense of lightness in removing clutter and reorganising stuff. And, there’s a certain kind of joy in going through old things and deciding what should stay and should go.

In recent years I’ve come to apply the “one year” rule very often; if I have not used something within the last year, I consider throwing it out. Of course, the one year rule works better for some things more than others. It’s great when applied to T-shirts and everyday kitchenwares, but less so for books or tools.

This year I found myself taking a long hard look at the software boxes living in a cupboard in the studio. I tend not to keep the packaging for most software. But I had kept a few boxes and three in particular stood out for me.

The Ever Shrinking Logic Studio

Logic In Three Versions

This is the evolution of Logic pro over the last three editions. The big box on the right is Logic Pro 7, which was released in 2004 and retailed for U$999. I picked up Logic Pro 7 three months after it was released, when I was living in India. It was actually a Christmas gift from my wife, a wild and extravagant vote of confidence in my decision to go back to music full-time. Back then Logic required the use of a USB X-Key to operate and came bundled with Waveburner (for editing CDs) and Apple Loops Utility

The other bog box is Logic Studio released in 2007. Logic Studio was an expanded software suite, which included Logic Pro 8, MainStage, a new programe for live performance, Soundtrack 2 (now discontinued) and audio for video production programme, Compressor 3 and a big library of loops and samples Apple had previously sold as Garageband Jam packs. The USB dongle was gone and the price was dropped dramatically, to U$499.

The smaller box at the front is the last Logic Studio, which came out in 2009 and contained Logic Pro 9 and MainStage 2 and Soundtrack Pro3. Apple were able to reduce the size of the box because the gargantuan manuals that used to ship with logic (the two for Logic 8 weighed in at over 1700 pages) were now only available os PDFs online.

These days Logic is no longer sold in a boxed version with discs, but is only available online from Apple’s App Store. The products have been unbundled and you can buy Logic Pro for U$199, MainStage for U$29.99 and Compressor 4 U$49.99 while Waveburner, Soundtrack Pro & Apple Loops Utility have been discontinued.

The big boxes have disappeared.

The Dissapearing Act

Back in the 80s there was a store in Sydney that used to sell computer games. I can’t even remember the name of the store, but I do remember it was nearly impossible to park nearby, especially on a rainy weekend afternoon. The place always had a buzz about the place, as people would pick up games like Doom, Sim City and the like. Of course, stores like that are just a memory now, a blip in our collective cultural history.

I don’t really miss those days. For the most part, the way we buy software now, online and through App stores or direct from the makers, feels better, cleaner and demands less from us in terms of time and space.

Like I said, live in a culture long enough and it just seeps in. Change and adaptation is inevitable.

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