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Apr 15

Michael LeClair
4/15/2012 8:44:00 PM 

This year’s Public Radio Engineering Conference was held at Caesar’s Palace. My morning walk “across the street” from the Flamingo took me right to a side entrance with a suitable Roman Temple look: columns and a sturdy pediment above them. But wait- who are those larger than life size pagan images above the doors to this temple? Can it be Judy Collins, Rod Stewart and Elton John?

It’s just one of those freakish moments that reminds you how different Las Vegas is from anywhere else on the planet. The PREC overall theme was centered on “doing more with less.” That leant a bit of somber tone to what is already a very serious engineering conference.

A lighter note was hit by Kelly Parker from Wheatstone. At this point the large majority of service calls to Wheatstone for technical assistance come back to wiring difficulties of all kinds. To help avoid some of these problems, Parker showed a series of photos in actual installations as a guide of what not to do to general laughter in the audience. Interestingly, the worst photos seemed to be work that was done by people who self-identified as IT professionals.

Some in our field feel that the world of IT has more appeal these days than broadcast engineering. Clearly our approach to wiring is different.

This theme was expanded upon during the first two hours of the Saturday Ennes workshop. Presenter Wayne Pecena discussed the ways in which broadcast engineers can build their IT skills and why this has become essential. I hope it inspires others as much as it did me to pursue industry certifications in IT so that we can begin to get respect as for our knowledge of IT as well as audio and transmission. It’s time we stood more as equals in a realm in which many of us are already quite expert.

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