Bert Kersey

Bert Kersey

Apple II developer, bird fancier

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Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Bert Kersey. I am currently shooting, writing and editing an 80-minute video about the birds of California. In my spare time I play with Photoshop. Thirty years ago I was writing and publishing utility software for the Apple II - those were the days.

What hardware do you use?

I have owned only Apples since 1979. I currently use a 2008 17-inch MacBook Pro exclusively. For video editing, it's connected to an Apple external display and a G-Raid 2TB drive. I have backups on various G-Raid and LaCie drives scattered about my property and at a friend's house, just in case.

My wife gets my laptop hand-me-downs and is beginning to whine about her 2006 PowerBook's old-fashionedness.

I shoot birds with a Sony HDR-FX7 HDV camcorder and a Century Optics 2x tele-extender (2400mm, 35mm equivalent). I call wild birds to my camera with an iPod photo connected to a small Radio Shack speaker. It works!

I record narration with an Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone, connected to my Mac.

I drive a 1997 Monaco Dynasty motorhome, which serves as a 30,000 lb. bird blind, recording/editing studio, and mobile hotel room. I'm in it right now, writing this. It's dark out and I sometimes forget where I'm parked.

I pick up internet on the road with a Verizon USB dongle.

And what software?

Sorry, nothing unusual:

  1. Final Cut Pro
  2. Soundtrack Pro (for recording narration)
  3. Adobe Photoshop
  4. Microsoft Excel
  5. Toast, TextEdit, Mail, Safari, iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD
  6. Monster Fair Pinball

What would be your dream setup?

Hey, I used to edit film with scissors and glue, so I'm living my dream right now.

A Mac Pro would speed up video editing, but it wouldn't be practical on the road. Bigger cameras would be better, but HDV is a great lightweight compromise for what I'm doing.

In 1982, I was interviewed by Softalk Magazine and I was asked what a dream setup might be for the future. I went out on a limb and imagined:

  1. Smaller, less fragile floppy disks (smaller than 5-1/4 inches)
  2. The ability to do typesetting on my desktop.
  3. Movies on the printed page.

#1 was introduced in 1984 with the Mac. #2 became a reality in 1986 with the LaserWriter. As for #3, I guess the internet is the next best thing.

So I'm happy with my setup, but a more rugged MacBook Pro case would be much appreciated.