Weekly Rewind #70

Hey folks, it’s time for another Weekly Rewind and Tuesday seems to have become the regular day for these now. I originally planned to post on Sundays but somehow the weekends have gotten busier for me over the last year. It’s been an interesting week though and I hope you’ll find this a good read, (I make no promises Pete) hehe 😉 Let’s go…

On Monday we recorded and broadcast a rather special edition of Linux Outlaws. It was our first with a guest co-host, Mr Adrian Bradshaw of Lugradio fame. Not to be confused with Brigadier Ade Bradshaw on of British Army fame as we discovered before the show on Wikipedia. Fab and Ade were getting progressively drunk as the show went on which made things interesting towards the end. It had a great vibe though and we all enjoyed it. We were also joined on the phone by our good friend and freedom crusader Bradley Kuhn. He announced his departure from the Software Freedom Law Center to work full time at the Software Freedom Conservancy. We had a fascinating chat about licensing and other hot opics in the Open Source world, you can hear that on episode 168 “The Brigadier Drops By”.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I was mostly busy with Drupal projects but I did find time to release Rathole Radio 36. I had to upgrade my LibSyn account to do so which will put show costs up but it’s all worth it. On Wednesday night I ventured into town and met up with some other members of Liverpool LUG. We spent time in the pub talking about geeky stuff and catching up. Sadly our planned talk at LSC had to be cancelled at the last minute, we should have another one next month though. I also found some time to help my good friend and partner in crime Anna B launch her new project, The Warsaw Blog. An insider’s view of one of most exciting and imminently fashionable cities in Europe. If you want to visit the place you need to read this blog to get the best tips on where to go and what to do.

A pic of the orange couch in Studio 2 where I spent most of Thursday

My (very) Temporary Office

On Thursday I got the train over to town for the Jelly Co-Working event at Studio 2 Parr St. I’ve really come to like Studio 2 in the last year or so since it opened as a bar. It’s so comfortable and cool inside. We used it for much of the social activity around OggCamp10 and it makes the perfect hub. I took my laptop and set up to do some work while parked on a rather comfy 70’s couch (see pic). There was free tea and coffee and it was great to chat to other people about what they did. It was almost that “water cooler effect” people talk about in offices. For someone who works alone most of the time it’s really good to have that interaction now and then. I spent most of the day editing Linux Outlaws which seemed appropriate in a recording studio. I also saw Ian McCulloch and Will Sargent of Echo & The Bunnymen having a smoke outside. I think they must be working on a new record as all their gear was being loaded in to Studio 1 and we heard some noise from there later when the door was open. On Friday I finished off the podcast editing and caught up with some other jobs, which brings us to the weekend.

On Saturday I drove over to Manchester for the PHP North West conference. I’ve been doing more PHP stuff lately by virtue of Drupal, and it’s definitely something I could do with brushing up on. This conference brought together some of the top PHP developers in the world and I was probably a bit out of my depth at times to be honest. It’s funny because I used to consider myself a pretty good programmer but after some time out of the game you can quickly lose your edge. The computer world moves so fast and you only have to look at books to illustrate this point, a programming manual you buy today will probably be obsolete by next year. There’s an old saying that you never forget “how to ride a bike”. That’s all well and good but what happens when you leave it a bit and then discover a back now has 15 wheels, a different control system and looks nothing like what you know? I watched some great talks and there was almost too much to take in about frameworks, development tools and more. My knowledge of other languages and web development environments probable helped me here. I was really pleased to see many of the delegates carrying Linux laptops out, lots of Ubuntu logos on view. There was the usual compliment of Macs but at least half the people had Linux machines and all the speakers were giving out bash commands and telling people how awesome their Linux servers were. Nice!

On Sunday I packed up my fancy studio mic and headed down to Wally Road to do some recording with the boys. We had technical problems during our last attempt but with more time and prep we hoped this would go a lot better. We spent a few hours playing and recording takes of different tunes. I then overdubbed guitar, vocals and even harmonica in one case. We now have great versions of “Jimmy Carter” and “Redemption Song” recorded. Gary is working on the mixes and I know I’ve said this a lot lately, but I really do hope we’ll have them available for you all soon. I still need to make us a proper website and we need a good logo for the band, but things are going really well and I think we’re improving all the time. The musicianship from all of us has gone up a notch in the last month or two, that’s satisfying. It’s great fun to be in such a cool band and I’m excited to see how far we can take it with gigs, recordings and more. I’ll keep you up to date on that.

Upcoming:

We’re already well into this week but we had another Linux Outlaws last night and I also recorded an interview for Rathole Radio which I’ll tell you more about next time. I’m off to see the new film Mr Nice tonight at FACT. I’ll let you know what it’s like next week but I may be critical. I know a lot about Howard Marks and I loved the book, so I’ll be tough to please. There’ll be more practice with the band later on probably and then there’s another live Rathole Radio on Sunday at 9pm. I’ll speak to you all again next week. Until then, take care of yourselves.

Dan

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