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Master Your Tools

Knowing what the tools in your kit are capable of is critical to success. But can you actually use those features? Do you really understand the implications of the more advanced features of those tools? Sometimes simple is better...and in any case, you better master those tools!

Master Your Tools

Watch this episode on YouTube.

Reasonably Accurate 馃馃 Transcript

Morning everybody. How are you doing today? Welcome to another show, another close out end of the week show of mornings with Mark. Today, I want to talk to you about getting the most you can out of your tool kit.

Now, where in the world did this topic come from? Well, oh man, I watched yesterday's show. Now those of you on the podcast. Count your blessings that you did not have to see the visual disaster. That was yesterday's episode.

It was a train wreck. In fact, the footage looked like it was filmed during a train wreck. Now, part of that was that I was on the go. Still not an excuse. I was on the go, but I was trying out some kit that I thought I understood how to use.

Obviously did not. Now, there's two things I was using that were relatively new to my mobile workflow. I was using a new smartphone stabilizer, gimbal, a really cool one from Mov and a new app to stream directly out RT mps instead of directly onto Twitter or to a platform natively.

Now, a couple things happen there. First of all, the video orientation messed up, that's due to the software and me not understanding a few things there and then the camera work was all over the place. So I am normally pretty shaky.

So if I and the monkey arm extended, you'll see a little bit of shake and vibration. Especially because the front camera on an iphone doesn't have any stabilization where the back one has some stabilization. So I try to compensate for that normally shoot on a tripod like I am today.

Even if it's a mini tripod, I've got a really great mini and super light portable for travel. But yesterday I was shooting on a gimbal which should have stabilized some of the footage, but it's not really good at micros shake.

It's good, better at macro, but I didn't understand as well as I thought I did how to use that thing. So you got footage that was like what all over the map? And it was really crazy and I apologize for that, but it did really to a great topic for today is that you need to understand the tools that you're using now, whether that's for me in video production, whether that's um you running security.

Um You need to understand the tools and here's a weird thing that I want you to keep in the back of your head. It's far better to know a less capable tool inside and out than it is just to be using a couple of little features in a far more capable tool that you really truly don't understand.

And the reason being yesterday's show, right, I was using top end kit, should have not been an issue, should have been able to provide high quality stream to you, regardless of where I was, wasn't able to, because I didn't understand it truly back to basics today.

I'm using my mobile kit here in the studio, but I got a far more simple setup. I've got a phone microphone, plugged hardwired into that phone on a stable tripod with a little bit of a light. That's it much higher quality stream.

Much more watchable. I hope. And you know, I know this kid inside note, I know what can go wrong. I know where the challenges are. I know how to adjust. OK. So lesser capable but far more easy to from my personal understanding and training level.

We see the same thing in security tools all the time where people are like, oh I need this crazy Cadillac amazing thing that does everything but then they don't even know how to operate it or use it.

We see the same deal with, you know, desktop software for average users. So one of the reasons why Google Docs has had such a massive rise. So G suite has had such a massive rise in the audience even though it's far less capable than, let's say Microsoft Office is because it's good at what people use.

So most people don't even crack the surface of Excel. Excel is an insanely capable spreadsheet tool, data analytics tool. Most people don't use any of it, right. They use some columns, they use some rows, some basic sums, some average, some means maybe some more advanced functions.

But that's about the end of it. All that stuff is in the G suite but G suite makes it easier to use because it bubbles it up quicker and lets you collaborate. It focuses on what's far more useful to most cases in that.

People can understand it and know the edges and the boundaries of that tool far better than they can. If something is massive and capable of excel, even though both will accomplish your goal, that's something we see again and again, with security people will get like, you know, they'll go for a certain type of tool and they won't necessarily understand all the capabilities of it.

They'll use it for a far subset, a small subset of those capabilities which isn't bad. Don't get me wrong. But then they'll never take advantage fully of that capabilities of that tool, which opens them up to some challenges and risk, right?

Because if you don't fully understand a tool you're using, you might not be using it properly, you might be opening yourself up to an exposure that you are not aware of. I had an anecdote years ago where I was working with a team we were rolling on a particular high end basically ISP grade IPs intrusion prevention system and firewall and structure.

And this thing was amazing. You could do anything that we wanted to end. But only a couple of us actually understood all of it. So we kept getting questions and people trying to push configurations that would actually make our security worse because they didn't fully understand the extent of the tool.

Whereas if we rolled out a much simpler system to use a much simpler, smaller subset of features, the people we were dealing with would have understood those configurations because it fit with their knowledge. So it's this balance and I'm not saying don't use advanced tools.

I love advanced tools. What I think the key takeaway here is is that you need to spend time to truly understand them. So make sure you're not opening yourself up to additional exposure, but also to make sure that you get the most out of them, right?

You want to get your value back because a more complicated, more advanced tool is probably going to cost you more money. You want to make sure that you're getting the most out of it. So good example back to me in my disastrous disastrous show yesterday that Gimbal was crazy capable, did a whole bunch of stuff that I probably am never going to touch.

So you know what I ended up sending it back even though it was amazing. I highly recommend it. If you need a gimbal if you know how to use a gimbal. But I'm switching back to a GoPro seven which has this Hyper stabilization software trickery to get those stable kind of shots because I know I can just click the button and I've got my footage.

So even though that's a far more capable tool in the smartphone stabilizing gimbal that I had, it was from MO by the way. And if you're in the market for one, don't go with the DJ, go with the MO.

It is amazing. And the free fly or just the movie straight up, it's from free fly. Phenomenal Gamble cinematic quality just capable of so many things that I'll never end up using because it's beyond my capability.

It's not an area where I'm going to be leveraging it all the time. So sent that back with a far simpler gopro set up that's going to give me the stabilized shot that I want with just the click of a button.

So less capable tool, but more understood by me, the ignorant user. And I don't have time to go into the, into the nuances of that gimbal personal example there. What do you think about your tools? How do you master them?

Do you master them? Do you find you get the right tooling set? Like how do you strike this balance? Let me know online at Mark NC for those of you in the vlogs. Much better vlog today.

Comments down below and as always for podcast listeners and everybody else as well, me at Mark N dot ca for email. I hope you have a fantastic Friday, a wonderful weekend. I will talk to you online and I will see you on the show on Monday.

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