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High Fidelity

Years of my life have been spent pursuing high fidelity home audio. Before leaving college I added $1500 of audio equipment to my debt load. Securing a decent job was a big help in never regretting that decision, but I never regretted that decision. I pushed those MB Quart speakers hard for the five years between buying the system and having kids. Now it gets abused less for Kind of Blue than “Despicable Me.”

In the past year I realized that I spend a majority of my day in a home office, working and listening to music. The task was again at hand to higher-fidelity my audio. This time I got into more classic components. Still spending a non-trivial stack of money, I sought out ADS speakers from the early 80’s and a turntable to match. It was great fun to build this office system. Countless improvements no doubt remain. It sounds damn fine. Damn fine.

Our family camera is the now classic Nikon D40. I’m not going to call this a prosumer camera, but it is definitely nice. With this camera it is much easier to snap children who always seem to be at a thirty frames per second to our twenty-four.

At work we are pretty adamant about quality over quantity. I think the term “quality” can be confused. My pursuance of high-performing media equipment is not the most important aspect of quality. There is value in the accurate reproduction of a performance. It is minuscule compared to the value of the original performance itself.

While I love to hear James Spaulding harmonize with Freddie Hubbard in as pure a way as possible, I do not begrudge the bewhited iPod listener his musical experience. Photo snobs go on about Instagram being a place only wannabes enjoy, but this is far from true. Any Hefe-izing or hyper-focusing is not going to change the fact that the best photos capture a moment in time for eternity.

The essence of software quality is also not about the correctness of reproduction. Quality is not applying design patterns liberally to your code, but creating tight and streamlined features. The new hotness has no place in a quality system - unless it does. There is no objective quality checklist, but rather solving problems in as straightforward a way as you can muster.

New browsers and new web standards will not save your software. You must now, as always, capture an idea in code. Do not lament your lack of experience. You may not deliver that Nikon D7000 photorealism, but to start a simple cellphone camera shot will do. The joy of software is that once a quality idea is captured it can be recaptured again and again until the beauty becomes magnificent.