Today some questions and answers from the e-mail inbox.
Q: I'm in the market for a new phone and have narrowed my choices down to two. How does the new HTC Droid Incredible on Verizon Wireless compare to the Apple iPhone?
A: Very well. A recent video on Cnet.com compared the two and for the first time ever, the Apple iPhone came in second place. The reviewers liked both phones, and all of them have been Apple iPhone users for some time.
However, bear in mind that the version of the iPhone used in this comparison is likely to be upgraded soon, and we don't yet know exactly what features it will offer. While the recent misplaced next-generation Apple iPhone episode provided comic relief and some information about the phone, it would be a mistake to assume anything at this point. Simply put, wait a bit and see what Apple has for you before choosing between these two phones.
One thing is to compare the two phones' carriers or networks, assuming that the iPhone remains available only on AT&T. This is a major issue, as the phone cannot perform any better than the network it runs on. So far, Verizon is the better choice by far, but AT&T has promised to improve its service this year. Be sure to read up-to-the minute reviews and articles online on this subject before you buy.
Q: I enjoyed your article concerning lessons from your music and technology careers. How would you compare the business aspects of these two fields?
A: I would say that one is a growth industry while the other has been withering on the vine locally for some time, but offers great online opportunities.
A career in technology will be a good choice for some time to come, simply because everything in our culture depends upon computers and electronics in general. There are career opportunities in every area imaginable all over the world.
While some jobs have become less desirable, the general outlook is great as long as you are willing to educate yourself constantly and to be adaptable to any situation in which you may find yourself. Corporate clients and friends tell me they value highly skilled people who are willing to adjust to their company and be generally productive.
As for music, I have both good news and bad news.
First, the bad news. If your goal is to play locally and make a good living in clubs, it's probably best to forget it. Friend and fellow musician Dalton Roberts and I have often bemoaned the loss of the local music market.
Over the last 20 years, there has been a steady decline in venues for musicians. While there are indeed still a few places to play, there are certainly not enough to support even a small percentage of qualified local musicians. Add to this that the pay in most clubs is close to what it was 20 years ago or even less.
So much for being negative: Here's some good news. The Internet has made almost anything possible. To promote yourself or your band, start an e-mail list to support a web site with your music. Give away a portion of your music to create interest. Create a product that has such value people will want to buy. Ally yourself with causes and or businesses. And have fun, which is the point after all.