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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Playlist: Recently Added

Posted on December 31, 2010 at 2:27 PM Comments comments (0)

Getting ready to head down to Florida and see my parents for the long weekend; with the month changeover, and the crazy way that we created the alternating month day off schedule long-long ago, I’m scoring both Saturday AND Monday off this weekend.  So prior to Rav-4’ing it up, I decided to add some fresh music to the John Pod for the 6 hour journey.


A while ago, we started doing some business with ...

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So cold...So VERY cold...

Posted on December 30, 2010 at 2:46 PM Comments comments (1)

We installed a Control4 system on Monday and Tuesday for what would be considered a “local celebrity.” This entertainer was really into the idea of controlling his house with his iPad and being able to  have remote access to check on his home from anywhere in the world, etc. And during our initial meeting he whipped out his iPad and showed me the Control4 demo software app he’d downloaded.



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Get To Know Me!

Posted on December 29, 2010 at 3:14 PM Comments comments (2)

Hello, I'm John Sciacca, and I'm sitting in my cozy black leather office chair, wheeling around my office like a regular captain of industry. I'm wearing a pair of olive khakis and staring at a 15-inch Dell CRT monitor and listening to Napster played through some horrible Micro Innovations speakers.  Obviously, we can't all be me, but if you'd like to increase the odds of fulfilling your dreams like I did, then I have one piece of advice for you - Get To Know Me! How did I...

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THX: What WON'T You Certify?

Posted on December 28, 2010 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s December, so that means I’m wading through the stack of December dated magazines in the heaping pile next to my desk, and the one that has slowly struggled its way to the top of the angry, growing pile is the December issue of Home Theater. Even though Home Theater is the biggest rival to my benevolent benefactor, Sound + Vision, and even though I should probably hate it and all that it stands for, I don’t. Truth is, I still enjoy rea...

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Doesn't Matter, Had Scotch!

Posted on December 26, 2010 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (1)

Yesterday, some friends had a Scotch tasting get-together. Apparently this is an event they hold annually, but this is the first time that I’ve been invited to join their little soiree. They all get together, and break out their highest-shelf goodness and bring it over in an “I’ll let you try mine if you let me try yours” kinda thing. Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not much of a Scotch drinker. In fact, prior to yesterday, my entire lifetime liquor...

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I've been Wiki-fied!

Posted on December 26, 2010 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (45)

You know that I’m addicted to my blog’s analytics. And recently had some special where I could buy this upgraded analytics program called, umm, Spy. And, well, Spy does just that. I can see what goes on at the o’le site in real time. And while I try not to Big Brother you people – texting you messages asking you things like how ya doing, how are you enjoying my posts, whatcha gonna read next, etc. -- I can see when you come, whe...

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December 24 Client Types

Posted on December 24, 2010 at 1:07 PM Comments comments (2)

My dad just called me. He asked how business was going around the holidays. Normally that answer would be something like, “Fairly slow, you know, just taking care of those last minute, super-ultra-crisis service calls of, ‘Please! Dear God! PLEASE help me! I have a house full of guests and I can’t get Little Drummer Boy to play on the audio system! Help!’” But today we are actually kind of busy. So I thought I would describe four different CTA clie...

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I am Awesome.

Posted on December 23, 2010 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

First, I would have to say that, yes, I agree. I AM indeed awesome.


But apparently I was unaware the global reach that my actual awesomeness had obtained. Awesomely, all on its own self-aware-awesomeness, of course. The kind of awesomeness that inspires lyrical odes and people to name complicated and manly drinks after it. The kind of awesomeness that could look Chuck Norris straight in the eye and not go blind or ...

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What a difference a day makes!

Posted on December 22, 2010 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Monday is often described in song, often as Manic, Blue or New Moon-ey. But no one quite hit my particular Monday as succinctly as George Michael did in Battlestations where he proclaimed, “Monday was the worst day…”


Yesterday – well, actually, TWO days ago, Monday the 20th if you are trying to keep a totally accurate Box Score at home – was a less than stellar day. Of course,

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My Day, Yesterday

Posted on December 21, 2010 at 10:27 PM Comments comments (0)

I feel a tad grieved in spirit and soul that I have been remiss in posting any updates recently. But the winds of change have been blowing here at Custom Theater; blowing away those sweet, orange-cinnamon-smelling, tropical island spiced winds of John having little to nothing to do, just slowly swaying in a hammock and singing, “Underneath the mango tree, me honey and me make boolooloop soon.” Instead, the currents have changed and with them they have brought in a n...

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Best Buy minus 3D = Dropping, Dropping, Dropped!

Posted on December 19, 2010 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

With an entire weekend between us and my last post, I’m hoping that you’ll remember that I was reading through one of the latest issues of TWICE recently that recapped the Black Friday after action report. One of the things that the Weekly – that̵...

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Not So Black Friday: Aftermath Action Report

Posted on December 17, 2010 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (1)

I was reading through the latest issue of TWICE -- This Week In Consumer Electronics -- magazine earlier today. I make it a habit of leaving all of the latest issues of TWICE and Custom Retailer and CE Pro and countless other industry pubs that literally seem to procreate in our mailbox on the floor in a rapidly pile around my desk. This pile starts neat and stacked and arranged by arrival date, but it inevitably gets knocked askew at some point, causing a disarray of book...

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Landing the Great White Whale

Posted on December 15, 2010 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Call me Sciacca-mael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely — OK, it was yesterday to be exact – having little or no money in my wallet save for several credit cards and an old fortune cookie fortune, and nothing particular to interest me on the Internet, I thought I would roll about a little in my comfy black, leather office chair and see if any business was to be had in this part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the liver and regulating...

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Lauryn, the artist: A Self Portrait in Two Parts

Posted on December 14, 2010 at 5:22 PM Comments comments (1)

I won’t lie; I would really love it if Lauryn would embrace my love for writing. I like to picture us sitting side-by-side on the couch one day, she with a hot cocoa, me with a latte, some cerebral, writerly jazz going on the stereo, each of us with our laptops out – me with a PC, Lauryn with a “Oh, dad! Why can’t you be cool?” Mac book – as we share WiFis and work on our writings. Bouncing ideas ar...

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Price Matching Version 2.0 - AFTER the sale

Posted on December 14, 2010 at 3:13 PM Comments comments (0)

The Internet has changed everything, making the world a smaller and far more accessible place. You can become an expert on any subject no matter how arcane, find and connect with old friends, watch your favorite obscure Japanese game show, or just order some chocolate-covered insects, all without needing to put on a pair of pants. Whatever your fetish or fantasy, the Internet is standing by, 24/7, ready to serve.


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A busy John is a happy John

Posted on December 13, 2010 at 8:46 PM Comments comments (0)

Giant megadonopolis amount of stuff going on in the micro-cosmos which is John-world today. All of which kept John crazy busy, and as you know, a crazy busy John is often a happy busy John. Plus, we all know that the Devil finds works for idle hands, and John had NO room to be doing any extra work for anyone else today. (Thus concludes the third person dialog...)

First, before goin...

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Am I Blu? Yes I'm Blu...

Posted on December 10, 2010 at 12:38 PM Comments comments (0)

When we last left off on the exciting serial drama which is my latest system upgrade, I was waiting for the imminent arrival of the new Kaleidescape Disc Vault. You’ll recall that I removed my Marantz pre-amp/processor (which has since been sold on Audiogon! To a guy that says he met me at CES one year. Whe...

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How I Trained My Dragon. With Liquor.

Posted on December 8, 2010 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (1)

As I’ve mentioned in the past, Dana is no stranger to couponing. She has given our printer – purchased under the guise of some kind of journalism need heretofore unrealized – a singular purpose in life, which is to inkjet out barcode after barcode in $.50 to $1.00 increments. In fact, she spends SO much time at the computer swag-baggering her way through Internet coupon sites and is so intimately involved with couponing that I could probably start calling her ...

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MCM: Most Comely Maidens

Posted on December 7, 2010 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (5)

The consumer electronics industry is known for a lot of things – entertainer and raiser of our nation's children, sworn servant to its unholy master The Darth Lord iJobs, destroyer of worlds – but a smoking hotbed of beautiful babies it is not. In fact, it is often a beautiful baby wasteland. (Granted, the industry isn’t attracting a ton of Don Drapers and [insert name of other attractive guy here] either. When the annual spokesperson for our biggest ev...

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Worth Wine-ing about

Posted on December 6, 2010 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (2)

Generally, I view things like special membership clubs, introductory offers, and friends-and-family insider deals with a heaping pinch of organic Sea Salt. (It is, as you know, one of the things which White People Like...)

Before joining any sounds-t...

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