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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

The thing that will save Custom

Posted on September 26, 2012 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (3)

When you look into an abyss, the abyss also looks into you.” -- Friedrich Nietzsche

If one isn’t careful, it can be far too easy to sneak past the protective guard rails, walk right up to the edge, and then lean over; peering deeply into the future of the custom installation industry and see nothing but a dark, cavernous abyss.

When talking about the future and longevity o...

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Get a job! 10 steps to becoming an A/V Pro

Posted on September 23, 2012 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

It doesn’t happen as much anymore, but there was a time when one of my top “Questions from Readers” was, “How do I get a job in the Custom Installation industry?”

And it’s easy to see why people are interested in this industry.  You get to meet tons of interesting people, nearly every project/day at work is different, and you’re constantly working with the newest technologies and coolest gad...

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Stone Brewing Co. - Tasting the Freesome Foursome

Posted on September 22, 2012 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (1)

Remember how I’ve been saying that this whole blog thing has been paying off in getting me new writing assignments and whatsuch? Yeah. Well you know what’s better than garnerig writing jobs through your exposure? FREE BEER! Damn straight!

So, I’ve now reviewed over 100 beers, and I figured...

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The best advice I can give...

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

If you could go back and speak to your younger self, you would probably tell young self some things like, “Don’t really stress over that high school calculus grade; despite what the teacher says, you really *won’t* ever use this stuff in real life,” or, “Only bad things are going to come from drinking that 12th Miller Genuine Draft!” or "You'll never regret the drink your didn't have the next morning" or “I don’t car...

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Beer Club Round 4: Double IPA 4-Packs

Posted on September 15, 2012 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (1)

American Double / Imperial IPA: Take an India Pale Ale and feed it steroids, ergo the term Double IPA. Although open to the same interpretation as its sister styles, you should expect something robust, malty, alcoholic and with a hop profile that might rip your tongue out. The Imperial usage comes from Russian Imperial stout, a style of strong stout originally brewed in England for the Russian Imperial Court of the late 1700s; though Double IPA is often the preferred ...

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Sierra Nevada: Rediscovering an old lover

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

True story: there was NEVER any beer in our house growing up. My dad *hates* beer. In fact, I'm not even sure that "hate" is a word that accurately reflects his dislike of beer. The highest praise that he’s ever given to a glass of cold, malty-hoppy suds after taking the most tentative of sips was, “Well, this one doesn’t make me want to vomit.”

So, it probably points to something in our DNA that my brother and I ...

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Babes in Boothland

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (9)

There was a bit of a hubbub at CEDIA this year when a major, well-respected trade journal decided to run a “fun” (their words), “Hottest CEDIA EXPO Booth Babes” contest during the show. (I’m not gonna say who it was. Except it wasn’t Residential Systems or Sound + Vision, whom I write for. You can Google “Hottest CEDIA booth babe” if you want to know...)

Amidst the Twitter pus...

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CEDIA 2012: The Most...

Posted on September 11, 2012 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Another CEDIA EXPO is in the bag, and this show marked my 14th in attendance. There have certainly been a lot of changes for my EXPOs over the years; from those wide-eyed days of running around the hallways checking out the HD Garden of Delights, grabbing every piece of literature I could stuff into a backpack and sneaking into parties uninvited to being a member of the press, grabbing every USB drive I can stuff into a backpack and attending “under embargo” meeting...

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CEDIA EXPO 2012 - Day 1 Recap

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM Comments comments (0)

My first official, non-press-related day at CEDIA EXPO began at 5:50 AM after The Darryl Wilkinson's alarm went off. It sounded like an angry, malevolent, homicidal robot had burst into our room and was augmented with the flashing of the the iPhone's arc sodium light that punctuated the staccato bleeps and blaps of the hostile robot intruder. Since I had no idea what this was, I leapt out of bed yelling, "I don't know what's happening?! Why is this happening?! What's going on?!...

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CEDIA 2012 - The Videos

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (211)

I had a new strategy to covering the CEDIA EXPO show this year; I wandered about the showfloor aimlessly with no real plans or specific objectives and when I found something that looked interesting, I'd pop in to take a closer look. If it was really interesting, then I'd ask the exhibitor to talk about the product while I video'd them. Quick upload to YouTube and BAM! I've got my show coverage done!

So here's the videos I sh...

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#CEDIA12 - Now with at least 4D!

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

This moment finds me in the US Air Lounge in Charlotte, waiting for my connecting flight to Indianapolis for the annual CEDIA EXPO. (I’ve already come face-to-face with the cruel, harsh realities which are life as a lowly Silver Elite member, cast down on high from the Olympus of Gold Elite status as I didn’t even get a bump up to First Class for my Myrtle leg today. Oh, how the mighty have been humbled, forced to sit on the wrong side of the curtain, smelling the a...

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Tech Troubleshooting: Basics 101

Posted on September 2, 2012 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)

If you own an A/V system sooner or later you are going to face an issue where something doesn’t work. This is an absolutely sure as death and taxes. You’ll go to use your system, you’ll do the same thing you’ve done a hundred/thousand times before, and past performance will not guarantee a future result. Usually this can be boiled to down one of three “got no” things: Got no picture, got no sound, or got no picture and no sound....

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