Is this the first digital kiwi man?
Alan Potter wants you to get the best and leave the rest.
Technology can scare some people but it can also change your life for the better. If you need a guide through the wonders of technology... meet Alan Potter, the digital man.
I have been passionate about electronics since I was a young boy. My father was a talented electronics technician making all sorts of useful things, we had a timer system in the 60’s that woke us up every morning with a choice of two radio stations, it came on 6.30am sharp with Buzz O Bumble on one channel and the National program on the other. From there my interest is things electronics grew.
At age 10 I set up a radio station in my bedroom with a valve powered turntable and firstly talking into a piece of wood shaped like a microphone that I painted a windsock on, so when I got it close to my month the black came off all over my mouth. For Christmas I was given an Akai tape deck I would then feed my turntable and another tape deck (Dads) into mine and use it to mix two sources so I could mix music and record my radio programs onto tape.
At age 13 I started a radio station at my college during the lunch hour so I could do what I loved and more than one person (me) could listen in. I found I had more fun in the setup and production of the station than the actual radio show. I had a passion it was for things electronic and electrical. Starting a project from scratch designing it and seeing it through. I ran discos and once did a 40 hour famine in the common room supplying a PA system, music and commentary for the weekend. I worked in the electronics wholesale market for 8 years supplying electronic components, building very good relationships with manufacturers and building a large customer base.
I moved into the retail market in 1991 and because of my passion for home theatre was one of the first to setup displays using Hifi videos and stereo systems connected to TV’s in the showroom. Hifi videos were very new to the market and my colleagues could not figure out why you would want to put the sound from your video and TV into the stereo. Hifi videos were $1500 and combined with a stereo and TV would set someone back $4-$5000. It was amazing to see the uptake over the next few years and now of course you can have thunderous digital surround sound for a few hundred dollars.
My passion for the technology saw me taking every new device home to play with, any new model be it a Hifi video or even a special type of TV it would make it way to my place to try out so I knew exactly how it worked this became very exciting when I bought home my first DVD player with Dolby digital decoder built in. I sat down and played a demo disc, my surround sound stereo system came to life and I was blown away with this digital surround sound. DVD had arrived and I loved it.
Technology has jumped forward in leaps and bounds since then; now we have high definition DVD, digital TV, portable video and music devices, wifi computers, DVD recorders, just to mention a few. Technology, while it is great and I personally love it, scares some people to death.
One of the latest developments for New Zealand is FreeView digital TV and satellite TV in general. This technology makes it possible to supply high quality digital pictures into your tent if you like. Go just about anywhere in the country and catch up on the news or your favourite soup. This development means people who had to go without or had picture quality so bad it was hardly worth bothering.
I have literally seen thousands of customers in my 16 years in retail and I like to think they leanrt something from me be it how to set the clock on their VCR to full installations advise on home theatre, LCD, Plasma, Projectors etc. This is a passion for me it’s not a job. My advice is from pure testing, if I don’t know the answer and I can get my hands on it I’ll test it and see, if I can’t get my hands on it I’ll do the research and check my information.
I love doing it. What scares some people to death excites me. What frustrates them, challenges me.
If you need a guide through the wonders of technology... I can help. I am Alan Potter, the digital man.