Where’s Bob?

Well, this picture says it all:


There’s nothing like hanging around Shinjuku at 7 in the morning because you woke up at 4am due to jetlag and couldn’t get back to sleep. Doing a good job at Adobe means you get to repeat it around the globe. Having to go to Tokyo for 1 day to do a press briefing may sound like a suicide mission, but the results in terms of getting the word out about our video products coming Back to the Mac and introducing the former Serious Magic products DV Rack and Ultra to the Japanese market for the first time were definitely worth it. The auto-translator on the aricles in the aboe links are a hoot — my colleague Hideyuki Komura’s name came out as “Old Sonhideyuki”.

Well, thanks to the amazing Komura-san and Shinichiro-san of Adobe Japan (with me in the photo below) we had a great press briefing in Tokyo today.

My goofy smile comes to you courtesy of sleep deprivation due to having crossed 17 time zones the day before.

One of the major highlights of the briefing was all the reporters bum-rushing the stage to get a photo of DV Rack running on my Mac Book Pro in Boot Camp. Mark Randall, if your reading this, I wish you could’ve been there, you would’ve been very proud (to fill the rest of yez in, Mark founded Serious Magic, invented DV Rack, and is now our Chief Strategist at Adobe).

For those of you paying attention to the technical stuff, Japan uses the NTSC standard for TV just like the US, but they use a different setup for their black levels (0 IRE for black, as opposed to 7.5 IRE which is what we use in the States). DV Rack has a menu option to adjust the setup for black to 0 IRE which was an amazing foresight considering the product hasn’t been available in Japan until today.

Getting to the Adobe office in the Osaki section of Tokyo can be an adventure in itself. Like NYC the best way to travel is by Subway, but trying to find your stop on this map can be a bit confusing if you can’t read Japanese.


If you wanna read more about the things you’ll encounter if you visit Japan, read my BizFlyer blog here. You’re also welcome to use this handy cheat-sheet of useful Japanese phrases (bad transliteration courtesy of me).

Watashi no namae wa _______ des.
My name is ________.

Good Morning.
Ohio goziamas.

Good Afternoon.

Good Evening.

Thank you.
Arigato goziamas.

Pleased to meet you.
Hajime mashite.

One beer, please.
Ichi beeru, kudasai.

Coffee, please.
Kohi, kudasai.

Tea, please.
O-cha, kudasai.

Excuse me.

I am sorry.
Gomen nasai.

I like this.
Ski des.

This is good.
Eee des.

May I have the check, please?
O-Kanjo, kudasai.

I don’t speak Japanese.
Nihon-go dekimasen, gomen nasai.

I don’t understand what you’re saying.

Do you understand me?
Wakarimashta ka?

Where is the toilet?
Toire wa doko des ka?

What is it?
Nan des ka?

The Japanese language is actually not that hard as far as pronounciation goes if you’re an English speaker. But, just like in New York, people talk crazy fast in Tokyo so understanding what people are saying can be impossible even if you speak fluent Japanese.


That’s my name & title in Japanese. Unfortunately “Bob” does not fall within the pronunciation guidelines of Japanese, so I can be either “Bobo” or “Bobu” (apparently I’m the latter in this nametag) and my last name winds up being “Donron”.

I’m trying to learn some more Japanese for my next visit. Stay tuned to see how I make out. And also stay tuned for an explanation of what IRE means and why you should care.

In the meantime, I’ll send a limited-edition piece of Adobe swag to the first non-Japanese speaking person who can figure this sign out. I’m completely baffled, but for some reason I can’t help wishing I was the guy on the right.


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