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OT: Sony - just as dumb as Pentax
Old 04-20-2006   #1
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OT: Sony - just as dumb as Pentax

Pentax made the world cock their heads quizzically to one side and go "HUH?" when they named their digital SLR camera line the "*ist", which no one knew how to pronounce.

Now Sony, who bought the DSLR line from Konica-Minolta when they exited the business last month, has announce the name for their DSLR line: "a".

Yes, "a". As in alpha, the lower-case first letter of the alphabet.

And the lunatics have truly taken over the asylum.

I blame the artist once again known as "Prince."

http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/d...sp?newsID=2771

Quote:
"The Sony α mount system of cameras, lenses and accessories will integrate advanced electromechanical technologies that are key to D-SLR performance, the versatility of the well-established Maxxum lens mount system, and Sony's renown in imaging devices and technologies. These include CCD and CMOS imaging sensors, as well as other image processing technologies, in addition to overall product miniaturization. People who have already made investments in many of Konica-Minolta's lenses and accessories will be able to take full advantage of Sony's new D-SLR cameras."
I'm thinking of a word that starts with 'a', but I don't think they'd like it, and I'm not allowed to say it here. But it describes my opinion of people who name things using words, letters, and other weird combinations that CAN'T BE PRONOUNCED.

Oh well.

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Old 04-20-2006   #2
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Well, on the bright side, it'll stick their camera at the top of an alphabetical list. Of course, some people may just tell them to stick it up.. uhm.. I better not finish

Despite the name, I'm looking forward to see what kind of fun stuff Sony will produce now with DSLRs. They are huge in electronics so I'm hoping something innovative. Maybe I'm just too positive today
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Old 04-20-2006   #3
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Well, they might be a smidgen better than Pentax because I can pronounce 'a'. *ist, I have no idea. Either way I agree that is is rather dumb.
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Old 04-20-2006   #4
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Bill, you are somewhat right, but (as also in the text you quote) it's about an "a mount system". They might have thought about this name just to keep consistency with the minolta af system they took over; and that was called officially A-MOUNT as well, although i know in the US it is "maxxum mount". Also, the maxxum/dynax stuff was always "alpha"in japan.

I also hope for good stuff from Sony. Discontinuing the two great minolta dslrs was a little bit too quick, in my oppinion, but i din't know anythong about the financial background related to this decision. A few more months and I might have bought one, esp now that i have a job again.
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Old 04-20-2006   #5
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"Maxxum" was good enough for them?

Idiots....
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Old 04-20-2006   #6
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you are forgetting the Olympus mu hat came a long time ago...
sold in the US as Stylus
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Old 04-20-2006   #7
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hm....doesnt α stand for alpha, and a stand for....a

im not seeing the confusion here, although I agree that it wasnt the best idea for a name, like Evolt, that sucks, and that pentax thing, yeah, the beggining of the end
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Old 04-20-2006   #8
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Marketing objective achieved. Here we are, all of us discussing the new name of a product that's not even for sale yet.

Dumb...or genius?
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Old 04-20-2006   #9
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A number of years ago, when I still lived in Colorado, the city of Avon (small mountain town) held a contest to name a new bridge that they had just built.

The people had had enough of all the nonsense surrounding giving things pretentious names, or names which could not be pronounced (this was when Prince was still calling himself something that cannot be said or printed without a special graphic symbol).

The voted. They called the bridge "Bob."

http://www.custerguide.com/quillen/eqcols/1991A301.htm

We need a little more revolution. Tell Sony to call the danged thing something else. Something PRONOUNCEABLE, spellable, and unique.

And by the way - if their policy wonks were clued in, they'd have figured out that the way to the People's hearts now is to be able to be found on eBoy and Google searches. Unique names do that. The word 'a' does not. Idiots!

That's what I'm going to call it. The Sony Idiot DSLR.

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Old 04-20-2006   #10
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Yes, this pretentious greek language thing will never catch on. Wh[s ever heard of the iPod nano, after all? ANd the Olypus mju never did much, did it? (Altho of course they renamed it Stylus for the US. Maybe if they'd called it Fred it would have been a success).
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Old 04-20-2006   #11
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It's not "a", it's "alpha". Just pronounce it "alpha"...
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Old 04-20-2006   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul T.
Yes, this pretentious greek language thing will never catch on. Wh[s ever heard of the iPod nano, after all? ANd the Olypus mju never did much, did it? (Altho of course they renamed it Stylus for the US. Maybe if they'd called it Fred it would have been a success).
Good points, well taken.

However, if I do a Google search for 'Olympus mju' that's pretty much what I get back. Same for 'iPod nano'. But try a search for 'Sony a'. I don't think this is going to have the result they'd otherwise enjoy if it were called the "Sony Fred."

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Old 04-20-2006   #13
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In defense of Roger Nelson, the artist otherwise known as "Prince" and staunch supporter of the deaf. The bizzaro symbol/name was the result of a major rights dispute with Warner Bros. In which even his stage name was being held as Warner property.

On the sony "alpha"- seems like "brand" gurus have stepped in to build recognition for the transition from Minolta to Sony ( I almost wrote "sushi" - I'm already thinking about dinner). When branding firms enter the picture one can always expect major wonkiness.

Something I did notice that I thought was a smart good will move- Sony will be honoring support for the recent crop of Minolta digital SLR gear.

Sony "A" ( or Α ) the camera brand formerly known as Minolta. Will the new line have Zeiss glass? Hmmmm... stay tuned.
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Old 04-20-2006   #14
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FM3a, P, 5D, R4, F4, OM2, Bessa-R3a, IIa, S3

Aren't all of these "pretentiously" "too long" to pronounce? What's wrong with "alpha"?

You got me with *ist, but "alpha"? Me no get.
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Old 04-20-2006   #15
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Bill, Maxxum and Dynax don't sound that much better, especialy in german.

As far as I know, the Minolta mount they'll use is already known as alpha mount in japan.
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Old 04-20-2006   #16
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Personally- I like the name Bob
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Old 04-20-2006   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avotius
hm....doesnt α stand for alpha, and a stand for....a
A doesn't stand for A. A is A. Or so one greek mathmatician once said. Only he probably said alpha instead of A. Anyway - I think they were trying to be 'cool' and make it unpronouncable, but just as the artist formerly known as prince failed (it's pronounced freak) this too fails, because the greek letter actually is alpha and that rolls off the tongue, pluralizes, possessives, and everything else better than 'asterisk'. But we couldn't expect an artsyfartsy starbucks drinking design major working his first paying job to know that.
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Old 04-20-2006   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielma
FM3a, P, 5D, R4, F4, OM2, Bessa-R3a, IIa, S3

Aren't all of these "pretentiously" "too long" to pronounce? What's wrong with "alpha"?

You got me with *ist, but "alpha"? Me no get.
Any one of those model names can be searched very effectively on eBoy or Google or Camerapedia, et al, with just brand name and model number.

Ford Mustang. Chevy Nova. Nikon FM3a. Olympus XA. Put brackets around them and search, you'll find them quickly.

"Sony a". Sorry, I think that is a terrible name. At least with the Nikon example, I know that it is pronounced EFF-EMM-THREE-AAA (long a). I don't think it is "EFF-EMM-THREE-AH (short a). A Sony 'a'? Is that a Sony "AAA" or a Sony "AH"? Or do I spell it "a" and pronounce it "Alpha"?

Hard to say, and even more importantly these days - hard to search for. Google is the future - embrace it. Google recognition and findability is an essential part of any marketing effort. Their marketing flaks should know that well.

As dumb-sounding as "Maxxum" was, a Google search for just the word "Maxxum" brings back exactly what you think it would.

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Old 04-20-2006   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fedzilla_Bob
Personally- I like the name Bob
Sorry - but it somehow seemed appropriate to the thread - as I just watched "Men in Black." Remember the twins?
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Old 04-20-2006   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fedzilla_Bob
Personally- I like the name Bob
As I recall, the Bob Club used to meet every year in Avon. I think they got bored of it and went away after a few years, but I could be mistaken. Not being named "Bob," one loses track.

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Old 04-20-2006   #21
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The name Bob doesn't allways mean success

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Bob
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Old 04-20-2006   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Socke
The name Bob doesn't allways mean success

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Bob
Bob Gates can murder any good idea.

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Old 04-20-2006   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
"Sony a". Sorry, I think that is a terrible name. At least with the Nikon example, I know that it is pronounced EFF-EMM-THREE-AAA (long a). I don't think it is "EFF-EMM-THREE-AH (short a). A Sony 'a'? Is that a Sony "AAA" or a Sony "AH"? Or do I spell it "a" and pronounce it "Alpha"?
Good point. Sony is going to have to "alternatively" name their product as "alpha" (i.e. spell it out). But it's not "Sony a", it's "Sony α".

(You don't say "N" when you say "PI", for 3.14159...etcetc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
Hard to say, and even more importantly these days - hard to search for. Google is the future - embrace it.
The future?? I've embraced the past since 1999; been doing it since before it became a verb.
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Old 04-20-2006   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gabrielma
The future?? I've embraced the past since 1999; been doing it since before it became a verb.
But only recently did Google become self-aware and begin to issue orders. And I, for one, welcome our new search-engine overlord.

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Old 04-20-2006   #25
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But only recently did Google become self-aware and begin to issue orders. And I, for one, welcome our new search-engine overlord.
ah. I won't go there. The overlord's lord is ...
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Old 04-20-2006   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XAos
Sorry - but it somehow seemed appropriate to the thread - as I just watched "Men in Black." Remember the twins?
LoL yes I remember the twins-

For me and my familiars Bob is more accessible - Robert can be a bit "precious"
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Old 04-20-2006   #27
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How exactly do you pronounce *ist?
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Old 04-20-2006   #28
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Lifted from the Pentax forum on DPReview:

I believe the "*ist" nomenclature was a creative idea from Pentax Japan to denote the versatility of the initial pentax DSLR systems. As in ART*ist, JOURNAL*ist, PUR*ist, or PERFECTION*ist... you get it. Maybe the general idea was to be a name that can encompass every aspect of photography, they leave it up the individual to define their own photography. Kind of Zen, New Age, but I'd Definitely welcome the return to a more classic nomenclature like K1D, K100D, or K1000D, or even as simple as "D"
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Old 04-20-2006   #29
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I don't see why the name of the system matters. I don't care if the DSLR is called stinky doo-doo, if it takes amazing photos I'll just cover up the name with a piece of electrical tape.
Oh, and by the way, the *ist is pronounced IST, exactly like it's spelled
This thread doesn't make me too happy. You're all bashing my primary SLR because it has a weird name. Big whoop :/
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Old 04-20-2006   #30
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Hey, I'm not bashing - I love my *ist DS, and I know Bill uses one too. I'm just amused that I wasn't able to work out that explanation for myself! Shows I'm a linear thinker.
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Old 04-20-2006   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
Or do I spell it "a" and pronounce it "Alpha"?

Hard to say, and even more importantly these days - hard to search for. Google is the future - embrace it. Google recognition and findability is an essential part of any marketing effort. Their marketing flaks should know that well.
Try actually searching Google for "Sony α" and see what happens. Several hits come easily near the top of the search list... "Konica Minolta and Sony Agree to Jointly Develop Digital SLR Cameras ... *2 “α-7 DIGITAL is marketed as “Maxxum 7D” in North America and “Dynax 7D” in other ..."
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Old 04-20-2006   #32
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Yes, I also have a *ist DS. And I love it. The name is stupid. Not just too cutesy for words, but also useless for searching on the 'net. Say I'm looking for accessories - it is easier to find Nikon FM3 accessories than it is Pentax *ist DS. In fact, I usually just search for Pentax DSLR.

And the Sony a is even more stupid. 'a' is an actual word in English, and so common that it is totally disregarded by most search engines, even if you put it in quotes.

Dumb, dumb, dumb. All in the name of being 'hip'.

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Old 04-20-2006   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougg
Try actually searching Google for "Sony α" and see what happens. Several hits come easily near the top of the search list... "Konica Minolta and Sony Agree to Jointly Develop Digital SLR Cameras ... *2 “α-7 DIGITAL is marketed as “Maxxum 7D” in North America and “Dynax 7D” in other ..."
I did. I got a lot of junk at the top that had nothing to do with the Sony a. And what you're getting is only due to the story being topical. When the a is old news, you won't be able to find it with dynamite. Now do a search for Maxxum. Ha. Game set and match.

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Old 04-20-2006   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jano
Well, on the bright side, it'll stick their camera at the top of an alphabetical list. Of course, some people may just tell them to stick it up.. uhm.. I better not finish

Despite the name, I'm looking forward to see what kind of fun stuff Sony will produce now with DSLRs. They are huge in electronics so I'm hoping something innovative. Maybe I'm just too positive today
Yeah, and all their crap will be propietary, when you install their software on your PC it will mark images for tracking, report back to Sony surreptitiously, restrict copying of your own captures, and the software will not work on some machines but will work on others. But it will be Sony, and everyone knows that's good, right?
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Old 04-20-2006   #35
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Quote:
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Yeah, and all their crap will be propietary, when you install their software on your PC it will mark images for tracking, report back to Sony surreptitiously, restrict copying of your own captures, and the software will not work on some machines but will work on others. But it will be Sony, and everyone knows that's good, right?
All true, but fortunately, they say they will support the CF memory cards that the Maxxum 5D does/did. Since I run Linux anyway, none of the software matters to me. Just a memory card reader and The GIMP with UFRAW and I'm straight. Sony, Pentax, Minolta, it's all the same to me.

Open source software is so nice.

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Old 04-20-2006   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock
I did. I got a lot of junk at the top that had nothing to do with the Sony a. And what you're getting is only due to the story being topical. When the a is old news, you won't be able to find it with dynamite. Now do a search for Maxxum. Ha. Game set and match.
Hi Bill -- If you searched for "Sony a" you will certainly get a lot of what you're not looking for. I rather suspect you did NOT search for "Sony α"... If you had, you'd find the very first reference is relevant, including the brief quote I supplied. Google is dumb; it doen't find what you mean, only what you type in.
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Old 04-20-2006   #37
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Quote:
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Hi Bill -- If you searched for "Sony a" you will certainly get a lot of what you're not looking for. I rather suspect you did NOT search for "Sony α"... If you had, you'd find the very first reference is relevant, including the brief quote I supplied. Google is dumb; it doen't find what you mean, only what you type in.
Doug, please trust me when I say I was writing regular expressions and teaching librarians how to do internet searches before there was a world-wide-web. I'm an early adopter, my first Usenet post is dated 1991, my first dialup internet account was in 1985. I was there when Yahoo was created, and way before Google. I know how to use it.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...22&btnG=Search

Returns a Newsweek story on the Sony spyware debacle.
A 1997 story on the Sony Navicam (whatever that is).
Remote Control for Sony A/V equipment

And so on. The first mention of the Sony a is...ah, after four pages I gave up. None that I saw.

Now, could I have crafted a query expression that would have found just what I wanted? You bet. At least I think I could. But I won't bother. And why should I? I'm the consumer. If Sony wants to advertise to me, they can find me, or make it very easy for me to find them. A findable Google search does that.

Joe Sixpack is not a Googlemeister. They type in "Beer and Boobs" and carry on with their porn or whatever. If Sony wants to sell to them, they need to be easily found in a simple brain-dead Google search. Simple as that.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&l...um&btnG=Search

A Google search for one word - Maxxum - gets me exactly what I'm searching for - and that's the point.

Sony is being incredibly stupid. And there you go.

Best Regards,

Bill Mattocks
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Old 04-20-2006   #38
amateriat
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Originally Posted by bmattock
Ford Mustang. Chevy Nova. Nikon FM3a. Olympus XA. Put brackets around them and search, you'll find them quickly.
Well, maybe I wouldn't find the Saleen replica of Parnelli Jones' 1970 Boss 302 'stang that I was drooling over this afternoon, but, point taken.

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As dumb-sounding as "Maxxum" was, a Google search for just the word "Maxxum" brings back exactly what you think it would.
Agreed. Just make sure you're typing in Maxxum, as opposed to Maxxim. Otherwise you'll wind up with a lot more than a letter's difference.


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Old 04-20-2006   #39
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Originally Posted by kyle
How exactly do you pronounce *ist?
As I recall from a Pentax handout at the time of introduction, the spoken name is "Star-ist D" (the asterisk supposedly representing a star...look, they made it up, not me). Yes, I thought – and still think – Pentax was being a bit too clever for their own good. But I'm biased: the last good-though-slightly-unusual camera name, IMO, was Hexar.


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Old 04-20-2006   #40
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The saddest thing is that at a minimum they wasted the equivilent of 1 person's lifetime in meetings to decide to go with the "Alpha". At the max, they dished out big bucks for someone to tell them the same thing.

The best news is I have a Sony Credit card for my expense account, guess who is going to get an Alpha for free

Mark
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