A few thoughts...
I own nothing by Slate...yet. I like the man's passion. Some of the things he states are a little far-reaching for me, but a LOT of the comments he is greeted with seem to force him to take this stance. I'm glad he defends his designs, but its pretty clear to me that there will NEVER be one sort of "cookie-cutter" method of working. Some choose a mouse...some choose a track-ball. Some choose ITB...some choose hybrid. Very, very few places are purely analog anymore...sure, they exist, but at this point, I feel (as "cool" as that is), they are only missing out on some incredible tools and toys at this point.
Can I work entirely in-the-box? Sure I can...and a LOT easier, and with much better results than I could several years ago. Do I do it all the time? Absolutely not...but will on tight budgets/deadlines (same thing really). Will I do it all the time anytime soon? Absolutely not. Does that make it right? No. Does it make it wrong? No.
It just seems like too many irrelevant things are entering into this conversation. The Raven X1 should/will either stand on its own, and find a way into my (and others) workflow, or not. Do vinyl (probably the finest medium ever) sales have any place in this conversation? I don't think so; If Slate was attaching a cutting lathe to the side of the desk, then perhaps. CD sales? We all know they're declining. I think it is pointless trying to pinpoint exactly when they'll be "dead." We ALL have the tools to listen...and burn CDs, so who gives a shite about that?
I can see why CDs (and their decline) have made their way into the conversation, though...the inclusion of an iWhatever
dock. I think the first thing to clear up on it is that a "dock" is merely an adapter...pretty much universally to USB these days. In this case I would assume the dock just terminates to an internal USB port...extras of which are included externally for other phones/devices that don't have a standardized "dock" as common as Apple's. What is all the bloody uproar about? Its just a convenience...but a relevant one.
If Apple changes the dock protocol, will it render the Raven useless? No. Just swap out one $5 (tops) Dock to USB cable for another. If Apple eliminates the dock due to wireless electricity, will the Raven be a door-stop? No...because there will always be modern day dinosaurs like me (still on an iPhone 3G...waiting for the 5 to upgrade
) that will have a use for the "useless" dock for several years after.
One little connector has brought on so many spin-off conversations. I just don't get it. Its is by FAR the most "universal" connector out there...spanning multiple devices and generations...and its just a glorified USB connector...why all the fuss? Anyway...in the spirit of the thread...I'm getting off track...
If the Raven X1 stands on its own, and fits my workflow...which it appears it just might; certainly in one of my rooms...then great! But...if I'm told I MUST use a track-ball and MUST only use VCC, SSD etc, etc...I'm out.
Anyway...would love to see some updated glamour shots, Mr Slate! At least the conversation will freshen up because the naysayers will have new material to rip to shreds!
Keep up the good work. All the best,