Weekly Rewind #78

Hello everyone and welcome to another Weekly Rewind. It’s been a busy time lately with lots of changes in my life, I’ll try to report them all for you here. The biggest change being that my long search for a new home in Liverpool City Centre is over. I finally have a flat! There’s no furniture in it yet really, but that doesn’t matter because at last I have somewhere to put everything when I get it moved. It’s the beginning of a new adventure and I’m actually sat in the flat writing this to you now. No internet on the land line yet but I’m running the gauntlet of comparing suppliers and trying to actually get it all reconnected with BT (British Telecom). I have the laptop tethered wirelessly to my Android phone like a proper geek, so I’m not totally disconnected. I’ve still been busy with other things like podcasts, music and websites while all this is going on, so let’s get into it.

Last time we spoke I was sat in a coffee shop waiting around for an appointment to view this very flat. Let’s pick it up from Wednesday Jan 19th, which I called my “pod-a-thon” because I did FLOSS Weekly at 5pm and immediately followed it with Linux Outlaws at 7pm. I’ll talk about FLOSS first since that fits with the schedule. It was nice to be back on the show again with Randal. We talked to John Hugg about a fascinating database project called VoltDB. It runs entirely in memory, offering blazing speed but still retaining stability and fault tolerance through some very clever methods. You can hear all about that in FLOSS Weekly 149. I was co-host this time but I’ll be in the captain’s chair for 3 weeks in a row now as Randal is away. Coming up we have Chris McDonough next week talking about Pylons, the Python web development framework. The following week it’s Dan Walsh from Red Hat joining us to talk about SELinux and I still haven’t had any luck booking a guest for Feb 16th yet. I’ve emailed loads of people but it’s been tougher than expected, I’ll get it fixed up very soon. I also have FOSDEM coming up in between all those shows, that should be fun.

So onto Linux Outlaws, which was great fun as always. We got started a bit later than planned as I sloped off to make some food and we weren’t ready till 8pm. Plenty of people stuck around and joined in with us though. That’s always a massive part of the live show for me, the interaction. The following day I synced up the recordings and sent it all back to Fab for editing. He released that later as episode 187 “Let Me URL-shorten That For You”.

A picture of Roschach from Watchmen in his trademark hat and mac.

Who Watches The Watchmen?!

The following day I had a nice surprise when some unexpected gifts arrived in the post. A very generous listener of Linux Outlaws – who doesn’t want to be named – sent me a trade paperback copy of Watchmen by Alan Moore. The best graphic novel ever made in my humble opinion. There was a lot of fuss over the film about 2 years ago, but as with all film adaptations there are massive chunks of sub-plot left out. It was still a long film though and it’s tough to condense a book. Rorschach has long been one my favourite fictional characters from any medium. It’s strange to say that because he’s not a nice guy at all, but his character is so wonderfully written by Moore. I had a copy of the book many years ago but lost it, now I can reacquaint myself with it’s brilliance. They also kindly sent me a copy of Red Dead Redemption for the PS3. It’s been out for a while but I never got round to playing it till now. It’s basically Grand Theft Auto set in the Old West. You have a horse instead of a car and so on. I’ve been playing that a fair bit when time allows and escaping into another crazy world created by Rockstar Games.

I went to band practice on Thursday evening and we began work on our set for the next 20lb Sounds gig on Friday Feb 11th, at LEAF in Bold St, Liverpool (The old LEAF has now closed). We’re doing a much shorter set than last time, it’s going to be 30 minutes of all our own material which is exciting. We have 8 or 9 songs now and I’m really proud of them. We need to get recordings of the new ones and make a proper CD with nice artwork, I’d even quite like to make vinyl. In the meantime we’ll hopefully have some video of the last gig available on the website soon. It’s taken a while to process it but I’m assured it’s coming. On Friday I moved all the old Rathole Radio shows I had on Dreamhost to Archive.org. I let the Dreamhost account lapse and I’d forgotten there were still a few RR shows on there. It took some time uploading them all to Archive.org but it’s an amazing service and seems a very appropriate place to put your archives.

On Saturday I made a little video about recording internal sound playback on your Linux system with Pulse Audio. I haven’t actually released that yet as it needs a tiny bit of editing and I’m not the most experienced video editor. It’ll give me a chance to try out some video editing options on Linux though, see if any of them are actually any good. It’s a complaint a lot of people have about the platform. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’ll also let you know when I post that PA video. I want to start getting more frequent and more useful content back on this blog.

On Sunday I dashed over to Liverpool for a quick band practice and then headed home for Rathole Radio in the evening.  The show went well and I’ve learnt after doing 44 of them that preparation is everything. I often spend a hours selecting tracks, choosing the order and then listening to them in sequence to see how it works. You can’t always tell that from the eclectic nature of the show but I do put thought into the overall order. It’s still random, just my kind of random.

On Monday I picked up the keys to this new flat and came over here to hang out for a bit. I say “hang out” but I didn’t even have a chair at that point, so it was more just standing up really, in a relaxed fashion. We did live Linux Outlaws as usual in the evening and that went very well. It hasn’t been released yet as I write this but Fab is working hard on it. Tuesday and Wednesday I worked on a Drupal site for someone and got back into geekery. On Thursday it was band practice again and yesterday we recorded another Linux Outlaws special about Meego 1.1. Last night I went out with the band and also a load of other friends in Liverpool, I then spent my first night at the new abode. It was great to be able to walk home in 15 mins at the end of the night. I’m sure I’ll get used to that novelty in time but it’s still the honeymoon stage. Right, that brings us up to date.

Upcoming:

I have another Linux Outlaws coming up on tomorrow afternoon. We just moved it forward to Sunday instead. Keep an eye on sixgun.status.net for more updates. On Wednesday I’ll be at the helm of the good ship FLOSS Weekly again and on Friday I jet off to Brussels for FOSDEM. How cool is that? I truly live a charmed life, for the most part. I’ll try to get that PA video and perhaps a short review article out before I leave for Europe. There’s no live Rathole Radio next weekend because I’m away. I will have a pre-recorded show featuring an interview with nerdcore legend MC Frontalot though. So stay tuned for that.

Until we speak again, take care my friends and be lucky 🙂

Dan

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