Ezine Archives - 2001 - indevelopment.org

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It's one of those accidents that happen. I went looking for a proxy program, so that we could share the internet connection between our two computers. Searching, I came across AnalogX, the website, downloaded Proxy, joined the list and through this discovered the person behind, Mark.

AnalogX is a rare website. It contains interesting commentary, music and software that you'd actually bother to get around to paying for were it not free. I thought that Mark would be an interesting interview subject and I wasn't wrong.

Thanks for consenting to this. I guess by your output that you're a busy one.
Yeah... But it probably wouldn't be as much fun if it were easy...

1. What were the beginnings of AnalogX?
Well, originally AnalogX was the name for my band... The name I had used before was also being used by some Metal band up in Oregon, so I wanted one that would definitely be new and also had 0 search engine matches... And thus AnalogX was born.

2. Your site is rare in that it is non-commercial in that your programs are freeware and that you have not succumbed to advertising. I guess this free nature is important to you?
Yes, it is, but advertising doesn't particularly bother me. I think ultimately the 'new Internet economy' is going to be driven by those four little letters [free], although they'll more than likely be subsidized by something else. I don't think the current methods are really working, so I didn't feel compelled to institute them; and there's very little I like less than a piece of software with banner ads in them.

3. How then do you finance yourself?
How does anyone finance something themselves - I work! :)

4. Is the internet still in its infancy or going through its teen years?
hmm... Good question! I suppose it's really still in it's infancy - it grabs at anything shiny and new, puts it in it's mouth and chews on it for a second before deciding whether or not it likes it.

5. What's the future of AnalogX?
I have a hard time keeping track of what I'm going to do next week, let alone thinking about something as abstract as that... I can tell you a couple of objectives though. I would like AnalogX to be in the top 1000 websites in the world (it's in the top 10,000 now), I would like to put out my music on a major label, and I would like to release more cool programs and music. Oh, I will also have TShirts available in the near future, and in true AnalogX style they won't be able to buy them, I'm going to give them away with some fun contests... :)

6. Do you create out of necessity?
That's a tough question - Initially I would say no, but in retrospect whenever I have the opportunity I tend to, so in reality I may just be diluting myself to think that I don't need to. I enjoy doing other things, but ultimately I enjoy creating more...

7. Your thoughts on the MP3 format and on Napster?
heheh... I wrote a ramble up on my website last year about how I think MP3 is probably one of the worst things to happen to musicians - of course I encode all my stuff in MP3 format and make it available. I think ultimately music becomes much more consumer driven, and you'll see less and less of superstar bands because of the shear number of bands that can be heard. I think this will also cause labels to change from being primarily a distribution method into more of a marketing engine (which they already are). As far as Napster goes, I personally don't use it nor do I really endorse it's use - I think musicians that think Napster will help them be heard are crazy, site's like MP3.com are much more valuable because people can browse around whereas they can only search on Napster. That being said, I don't think Napster is doing anything legally wrong and going after them is just one more example of a frivolous lawsuit. One thing that does trouble me about Napster is some of the media's portrayal that copying music is OK, and that artists shouldn't be able to have copyrights on songs because it's just sound. I personally choose to allow people to download my music for free, but that's a choice that only I (as the musician) can make - a person can't just decide that someone else's music should be free and then start distributing it. Whew! That was long!

8. Your favourite piece of hardware? (Computer or musical)
Computer: NVidia video card (those guys rock)
Musical: Rhodes Chroma Polaris 2 (the best board ever)

9. Should microsoft be broken up?
In my opinion no... It's like punishing them for being aggressive in business, and guess what - I don't think ANYONE in business wants their competition to succeed. I think that the government was accurate in calling Microsoft a monopoly; I don't think there is anyone who would disagree with that. That being said, I the other key point is whether or not the monopoly is detrimental to society, and I think Microsoft has helped society far more than it's hindered it.

10. There are software companies that produce less in a year than you do. How do you maintain your prolific release schedule?
Partially it's the programs I choose to write and their scope, partially it's the fact that I work very hard to have a high amount of reuse between applications, which dramatically reduces development time. I also read quite a few books about the software development process and try all sorts of new approaches. One upside about having such a tight development cycle is that I get a hands-on idea of how almost all of the different development approaches work and what their shortcomings are; this then in turn helps me choose how to approach new problems when they occur. Ultimately I think anyone can do what I do, it just takes time, desire, dedication and figuring out how to use your time wisely...

11. How many emails do you receive?
It depends, but normally around 1,000 or so a day... It's pretty overwhelming. I used to reply to every single email I got, but it's now to the point that I can only reply to about 10% or so, and that takes a huge amount of time.

12. What was the last book you didn't finish and why?
It's *REALLY* rare that I don't finish a book, but the last one I didn't was the latest book in the 'Foundation' series (originally by Issac Asimov); it was written by someone else and I just couldn't get into it... The original series was great, so I was pretty disappointed, but it wasn't altogether unexpected...

13. Finally.... who's more influential: Kraftwerk or the Beatles?
For me it definitely be Kraftwerk; "I'm the operator of my pocket calculator!". While their lyrics were pretty lame, the music was top notch and their use of sounds and technology was incredible for the time.

Thanks for your time Mark, it's much appreciated.
My pleasure!

Related Link: whatever happened to analogx?

Images used in this article are (c) AnalogX and are used with permission

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