Weekly Rewind #58

Hello again everyone, it’s been a while since I updated you with events in my little world and I apologise for missing last week’s post. Things have been a little hectic around here. I expected they’d calm down after OggCamp but in fact the calm didn’t last very long at all, about 5 days to be precise. I’m busy again now with various endeavours but I’m having fun, and that’s the main thing. So let’s get into what’s been happening.

Last weekend there was a big BBQ here to celebrate my 30th birthday. Many friends and family came to eat, drink and be merry, and I think we all succeeded pretty well. It was good fun to catch up with everyone and a fitting way to see in my 30th year. It wasn’t actually my birthday till Tuesday (May 25th) but we’ll get to that soon. After a very late night I pulled myself together and went down to practice with the band on Sunday afternoon. It was an epic session in blazing heat and we all lost plenty of fluids that afternoon. It was only about 30C which I know will make many readers in genuinely hot countries laugh, but when you’re crammed in a tiny little room with no ventilation and you’re trying to ROCK, it’s plenty hot enough trust me. I tried out my new foot controller for the Line 6 Pod XT I use on my guitar. It makes a big difference to the sound of a 3 piece band like ours and we can really change the dynamics a lot more. Being able to stomp on a distortion pedal at key moments in a song is great fun. It makes me feel like a teenager again, bringing back memories of buying my first BOSS distortion pedal when I was 13, and I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. I also somehow found time to edit the Software Freedom Law Show on Sunday and do a bit of other stuff.

On Monday night it was Linux Outlaws live as usual and we had great fun with that. We’re past our 150th show now and it still seems to go from strength to strength, something I’m really thankful for. The IRC chatroom was buzzing away and everyone had a good time I think. Late on after the show I did the preliminary editing and synced up the recordings before shipping them back to Fab for editing. I also did a bit of work on a Drupal site I’ve been developing. This became a theme right through the week as I’ve been doing a vast amount of Drupal work lately. It seems this area might grow into something big and I would really like to brush up on my PHP and Javascript knowledge. I’ve bought a ton of books to help with that in the last 2 weeks. PHP has always been something of a blind spot for me really, I’ve just never gotten that far into it. I’ve done plenty of programming in other languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, C# and even VB.net, but for some reason I never really bothered with PHP despite the popularity of the LAMP platform. I’m making amends for that now and working my way through this pile of books. So I intend to master it in due course. I’ll let you know how that goes.

The FLOSS Weekly cover art from TWIT

FLOSS Weekly 121 (feat me)

Tuesday was the big day, my 30th. I took some time out from work and just relaxed really. I caught up with friends and family and received an overwhelming amount of kind wishes from people on the net. I thank you all for that. My parents took me for a meal in the evening and I had one of the finest steaks I think I’ve ever eaten in my life at a nearby restaurant. It was lovely. Fab also published a special Outlaws episode dedicated to Fedora 13, released the same day. On Wednesday it was back to the grindstone, or the virtual grindstone in this case working on websites. In the evening though I was privileged to be a guest host on FLOSS Weekly with Randal Schwartz. I’ve gotten to know Randal pretty well over the last year and he’s a great guy, it was fun to host the show with him. We interviewed Jonathan Simpson of Freenode about what they do. Despite some monumental Skype delay on my part I think it went fairly well. I’ve had a lot of really nice comments and I’d like to do the show again in future if the chance arises. The 3 second delay on my voice will have to be sorted out as it did ruin my comedy timing though, I think that’s possible with some network tweaks. It was released as FLOSS Weekly 121 and you can download it here.

On Thursday evening I went over to Liverpool to see the Sugar Hill Gang live at The Masque, a venue I know well. I once did a gig in there to an audience of one person, just one person in a massive empty room, but that’s another story. The Gang were brilliant and I also enjoyed the support acts immensely, including a local ska/rap group called The Elementals. I shall be looking them up for Rathole Radio I think. I was a little shocked when the Sugar Hill Gang picked up instruments and started jamming in the middle of their set. I didn’t know they could play, and man they can really play. They rocked the house with many of their hits such as Apache (not the web server) and Rapper’s Delight, the first successful rap record ever made. I lost count of the number of times they shouted “somebody… anybody… everybody, scream!!!”, which of course we duly did. I’d almost lost my voice by the end of the night from shouting “hey… ho!” and many other things, that coupled with waving my hands in the air (like I just didn’t care) was very exhausting. Many thanks to my friend Will for getting me a ticket as a birthday present, I couldn’t have asked for a better gig as the first of my 30s. On Friday I did much more Drupal hacking, amongst other things.

Over the weekend I prepared Rathole Radio and spent many hours trawling through music to find something that made the grade. I enjoy listening through records but some people mistakenly think I just play and claim to like everything I hear. I don’t, I just don’t slag off stuff I don’t like, I choose not to mention it and move on. I filter out plenty of music that’s not much good in preparing each show and I like to keep the quality up. If I like a record I will play it regardless of what other think, but I certainly don’t like everything. This evening (Sunday) I broadcast and recorded the show, which went well. That brings up right up to date.

Upcoming:

There’s plenty going on in the next week and I’ll be doing a lot more PHP hacking. I’ve been asked to talk about that in detail but I can’t do that just yet as the site I’m working on hasn’t been launched. Once I’m at liberty to discuss these projects I will, you can be sure of that. Exciting times lie ahead I think, it seems I’m becoming a serious web developer again after some quieter years. Tomorrow I’ll be out playing with the band again and working on new material. I’ve written a couple of songs and I’ll let everyone hear those once they’re ready. We’ll also do Linux Outlaws live in the evening as always. You can join us for that at LinuxOutlaws.com/live from 7pm (UK). On Wednesday (2nd June) there is Liverpool LUG and if you’re in the area please come down and say hello, we’d love to see you. We’ll be at the Liverpool Social Centre on Bold Street from 7pm. There are other things happening in the next week that escape my memory now, but I’ll fill you in on those next time. Take care of yourselves till then and I’ll see you soon 🙂

Dan

Posted in Update
2 comments on “Weekly Rewind #58
  1. Thanks for being on FLOSS Weekly! We’ll definitely have you back, but if you can arrange to move england closer to the US in the meanwhile, that’ll definitely help!

    • Dan says:

      Thanks Randal I appreciate it, I’m working on moving the country closer but no matter how hard I paddle it doesn’t seem to move much 😀 I’m gonna sort out my network and do some latency tests. I’m also thinking of switching ISP. I’d like a static IP for work and my current ISP say they won’t do that, even if I pay them more. I’ll get it sorted 🙂

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