About 22% (seriously, almost 14 minutes) of the October 23, 2014, meeting of the Hollywood Media District BID Board of Directors was devoted to an interminable discussion about buying new computers for the BID’s secret headquarters on Highland Avenue. You don’t have to watch the whole damn thing, and we have links to various subclips after the break. The upshot is that Steven asks the Board for $7000 to buy a MacBook Pro, a Mac desktop, and an iPad and they vote to give it to him.
Now, we put our heads together and shared all the different reasons we’ve ever heard from people as to why they need a Mac instead of a PC. There are essentially three of them. First, we know a graphic artist who says that in order to prepare super high grade digital imagery for commercial printers he needs to use proprietary Photoshop plugins that are not available for Windows or Linux. This is plausible. Second, we know a guy who edits music videos professionally who says a bunch of stuff we don’t understand about codecs and whatnot that probably amounts to the same sort of thing as the graphic artist’s reason. Finally, we know a 14-year-old girl who has to have everything Apple Apple Apple cause all her friends do and also Kim (Kardashian?) and they’re RILLY KEWL, MOM!!!1! Every reason we’ve heard that’s not like the first two is actually just like the third one. They’re RILLY KEWL, MOM!!!!
So, like, we get why the BID can’t outfit the secret headquarters with a linux box, because probably QuickBooks won’t run and, as much as we love FOSS, we will admit that there are legitimate interoperability problems between Libre Office and MS Word. But for the love of God, why does the BID need any kind of Apple products? Surely they’re not worried about what would Kim Kardashian say? The most tricked out iMac, with a 27 inch screen and a 3.4 GHz Intel core i5 processor, is about $2000 on Amazon. In fact, what are they even spending this $7000 on? Probably some is for software, but QuickBooks is only $240 and Adobe Pro is $110.
For under $600 one can get a Dell with the same specs as that iMac and a 27 inch Samsung monitor for another $200. A keyboard is $10. In other words, one can get more computer than anyone in an office is ever going to need for $800 without even bargain-hunting. A more realistically specced Dell is around $250 with a more reasonable 20 inch monitor for under $100. That’s $350, so for what they’re spending on these machines, one could get twenty functional desktop computers running Windows. It’s yet another shining example of the superior efficiency of private enterprise, we suppose.
Property owners in the BID, do you know this is how they’re spending your hard-earned money? Wasting 20 times what they should pay so Steven Whiddon can have flashy fashion accessories like the Kardashians and their teenage fans instead of actual office production machines?
And the 14 minutes wasted? This bit made it all worth while, at least to our correspondent:
Unidentified Interlocutor: Can I, I, what is your social media experience? Are you, are you, savvy with the Facebook and Twitter and all these different…
Steven Whiddon: [interrupting; don’t interrupt your Board of Directors, Steven, it’s another epic fail] I, I have accounts on both of those and I use them. I’m not crazy, uhh…
And it goes on from there. And on. And on. And on.
Here Mike Malick introduces the matter as an action item, explaining that the current computer is really, really old. Here Steven Whiddon explains that the BID really needs a new computer because all their financial data is in QuickBooks format. Here an unidentified interlocutor confirms that Steven is asking for a MacBook Pro, a Mac, and an iPad. And finally here the Board votes Steven $7000 for his computer needs. Image of Santa Claus on the bitchin’ bike has been released by its author under the GFDL and was obtained through the gracious courtesy of the Wikimedia Foundation as noted here. Image of Steven Whiddon is a public record, we suppose, and is therefore free for all to reuse.