Errol Douglas: My technology

Errol Douglas, recently nominated as British Hairdresser of the Year, explains how his Sony MZ35 mini-disk player is a winning piece of kit
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The Independent Online

I mostly use this when I am travelling to shows to record, edit and plan seminars that are visual and sometimes written. It's useful to be able to listen to what I've planned, whether it's a presentation or a music segment for a show. I just plug the adaptor into my car CD player and radio and it comes out of the car speakers.

I mostly use this when I am travelling to shows to record, edit and plan seminars that are visual and sometimes written. It's useful to be able to listen to what I've planned, whether it's a presentation or a music segment for a show. I just plug the adaptor into my car CD player and radio and it comes out of the car speakers.

I've just come back from Australia, where I was speaking about how I got to where I am in hairdressing. I call this the "Pride" seminar. It was a big motivation talk in front of 500 entrepreneurial hairdressers and I'd already taped it on the mini-disk to get comfortable with it before speaking live. The quality is so sharp that if I'm doing an auditorium show I can give the whole player to the sound person and they feed it from there through the main drive.

I tape on and off it by putting the mini-disk through my computer - just like a normal CD-Rom, but with an adaptor lead. It has a little microphone that can also be plugged in. At first I didn't find it easy and it took me ages to learn to do the basic recording with the mini-disk. But recently I've made time for reading its manual when I'm travelling.

It makes you use your brain, and I like that. I'm not really aided creatively by the player, but it helps to make what I create look good. It's also one of those great bits of technology that people like talking about. One of the girls in my salon is a complete sound gadget freak. Her boyfriend is a DJ and she told me how to edit and do things like search and erase tracks. It's so easy: you enter titles of tracks that you can then search for and record a track in the middle of.

I try to keep abreast of new technology; in this profession you get wind of so many new things from travelling overseas and people telling you about them. A couple of months ago I went to the States and was enthralled by my friend's incredibly compact Mini DVD recorder. He has got one installed in the two back seats in his car along with a portable.

There are few hi-tech pieces of equipment for a hairdresser, because everything is manual in the salon. But we make up for that at the hairdressing fashion shows, which have gone berserk using digital technology, lasers, videos - anything they can to make the show stand out.

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