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The AquaMinds Interview - David Mash (Berklee College of Music)
Tell us about what kind of machine you're running OS X on and what you think of Jaguar (10.2)?

I recently moved to using a single machine for all my work: a 17" PowerBook. I use it at my desk at Berklee, in my home studio, and on the road for performances and presentations. Its great now having one machine that meets all my needs! Jaguar is great for my work. As a musician, the speed and reliability of CoreAudio and CoreMIDI services make my life so much simpler, especially since I move between a variety of MIDI and audio setups.

How would you describe your professional work and focus? Why or how is your Mac important to your work and projects?

I move between a variety of work modes: I am a musician, performer, presenter, educator, author, and administrator. I have been using the Mac since the 512k for music making. I probably spend about 6 hours a day on average actively using my PowerBook, although it is always on! In my complex work life, with my focus spanning so many different activities and directions, the Mac is an essential tool in organizing and accomplishing my tasks.

What kinds of software applications do you use in your work?

I compose and produce my music with my Mac, today using Emagic Logic as my principle tool of choice. As a presenter I am now using Keynote for slides. I use Office X for a lot of my work - writing, spreadsheets for budgets, etc. And I use Apple's Mail application for email, my number one activity throughout the day.

Are you using NoteTaker now? How exactly are you using NoteTaker?

I recently started using NoteTaker to bring everything in my complicated, multi-faceted life into a single focal point. I started using outliner/organizer software back in the 1980s with ThinkTank and More. I was the founding chair of Berklee's Music Synthesis Department, and we originally created all the curriculum in More, using the slide feature for classroom presentations. I was so excited to find NoteTaker, and I am already using it daily as an outliner for the reports and proposalsn I routinely generate, but really more as a thought organizer for all my various projects. I have created a single document with pages for each project I am involved with, organized by function (music work, presentations, reports, proposals, ideas, course development). This is now serving as a launch pad for all of the files and URLs associated with each project. It brings everything together in one convenient way.

What NoteTaker features matter most to you? Why?

Services: what a great thing! I created clipping services for every project I am working on, and when I come across a web page or a document that relates to the project I use the services (either from the app menu or contextual menu option) to add the clipping to the project. Too cool. The recording tool is also helpful for making quick voice memos to myself as reminders on project tasks. The ability to grab web pages and store them in a document is also really helpful as I build purchase lists for gear and software. Also I have just started experimenting with highlight and summarize - very powerful!

Do you use NoteTaker with other applications? How?

I use NoteTaker to launch files in Word and Excel, and also to export outlines via RTF to Word for polishing. But services are the key to integrating my work between external applications and NoteTaker.

How do you describe NoteTaker to other users?

Its brain management software. ;-) The ultimate organization and thought development tool.

Before NoteTaker, what OS X tools did you try or use to meet your needs?

I used the outline features of Word, and I compiled folders of document aliases to keep in the dock to help organize projects. Kludgey and cumbersome.

What is the learning curve for using NoteTaker?

I gave it to one of my work study students with no explanation or documentation and she built me a notebook of web links in under an hour!

Are there other applications you intend to use NoteTaker for in the future?

I'll be looking for new ways to use this in workgroup situations over our network for further project management assistance.

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David Mash is Vice President for Information Technology at Berklee College of Music. He is charged with strategic planning and leadership in the successful integration of technology into all college processes. He was the founding chair of the music synthesis department, the first degree-program in MIDI and music synthesis in the United States.
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