Random Thoughts

Tech, words and musings from an Englishman in Seattle

A Brit Abroad - April 16, 2006

Good Lord, it's been way too long! Five months since my last podcast.

Well, this afternoon I decided enough is enough and I locked myself away in the office to put this together. Of course, I was a little bit rusty and forgot to check all the myriad of settings, so the latency of the audio hardware had somehow bumped itself up to around sixty milliseconds instead of the usual four, combined with the fact that I left the processing effects running whilst recording, resulted in some weird stuttering in the audio recording.

Sorry about that.

Also, the PC wasn't as isolated as usual, so there's a bunch of hum.

Anyhow, you can still hear me, and I'm back! So welcome to another edition of A Brit Abroad! In this solo edition I chat mainly about the setting up of the new company - SwitchGear Software.

Today's music is by “My Morning Jacket”, “One Big Holiday”, taken from the Wired “Rip. Sample. Mash. Share.” CD.

At just over 22 minutes and weighing in at 15.3MB, It's A Brit Abroad!

Things talked about in the show:


G'Day World!

Yesterday evening I had the distinct pleasure of being the guest host on The Podcast Network's G'Day World with Cameron Reilly. It was a blast.

We chatted about a bunch of stuff including the new venture, Flight Simulator, movies, tech news and interesting aussie phrases…

G'Day World is probably the longest running subscription I have in my podcatcher, and it was very cool to finally be a part of it - I'd love to do it again if Cam will have me :-)

Check it out and download it over on TPN…

A Brit Abroad - November 26, 2005

Welcome to another edition of A Brit Abroad! In this solo edition I chat about Thanksgiving, cameras, the Xbox 360 and my upcoming conversion to Windows Media Center.

Today's music is courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network. “Coma Girl” by Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros and “Fire Escapes” by Supercreep.

At just over 35 minutes and weighing in at 24.2MB, It's A Brit Abroad!

Show Notes

00:00 Name and date check.

00:05 Intro sweeper and music.

00:16 Introduction to the show.

01:15 Planning for the show.

01:31 Podcast Paul's Swaziland Aids Appeal.

04:40 Thanksgiving.

08:33 Buying a digital SLR.

11:42 Music: “Coma Girl” by Joe Strummer And The Mescaleros.

17:00 Xbox 360.

17:30 Windows Media Connect.

18:14 Photo Story.

19:00 Jeff Minter.

21:50 Windows Media Center.

26:02 Cablecard for MCE.

27:54 Music: “Fire Escapes” by Supercreep.

34:30 Conclusion. Comments welcome, both text and mp3 - steve@steve-lacey.com.

35:06 End.


Feeding BritCaster.com

A Brit Abroad - October 13, 2005

Today I have a very special guest! It's been eight months since the last time we did a podcast together, and as band practice was cancelled for today, my very good friend CJ joined me for an almost live and uncut edition of the show!

Amongst other things, we talk about life as a home dad, music, vasectomies(!), iPods, Dylan and Hockey. We also drink beer.

Today's music is by our band, Spank, and we get interrupted by the dog...

At just under 45 minutes and weighing in at 30.9MB, It's A Brit Abroad!

Show Notes

00:00 Name and date check.
00:05 Intro sweeper and music.
00:19 Introduction to the show.
00:32 CJ introduces himself.
01:47 Home dad.
03:19 How Steve got into playing the guitar.
09:08 Break to get beer.
10:53 The band's upcoming gig on November 16th at The Central Club in Kirkland, WA.
14:40 Music industry pushing for more money from online sales.
21:03 Friends having babies.
22:50 Friends back from Iraq.
24:05 Bob Dylan.
25:57 MAudio USB audio gear.
28:00 Music by Spank - Flotsam.
32:08 Video iPod.
36:06 The dog gets annoying.
40:35 Hockey is back.
42:05 A failed joke.
43:04 Conclusion. Comments welcome, both text and mp3 - steve@steve-lacey.com.
44:35 Outro music.
44:55 End.


A Brit Abroad - September 20, 2005

As usual, it's been a while, but this time I have a really good excuse!

Today I talk about the new nipper, microphones, Apple's "Geniuses", Guitar Center, Katrina and PodcastCon UK.

Today's music is by me! It's my new solo track Ferryman.

At just over 23 minutes and weighing in at 16MB, It's A Brit Abroad!

Show Notes

00:00 Name and date check.
00:05 Intro sweeper and music.
00:19 Introduction to the show. Introducing Jasmine Susan Lacey.
02:21 New microphone - Rode NT1-A.
02:50 Rejigging the home studio.
03:55 Guitar Center and the microphone purchase.
06:32 Promo: Podshock - A Dr. Who podcast.
08:37 Exchanging an iPod - a tale of frustration with the "Genius Bar" at an Apple Store.
14:34 Brief Katrina thoughts that led to my new track.
15:02 Music: Ferryman.
19:17 Flight Simulator PM helping out in Katrina relief effort.
21:07 PodcastCon UK.
21:52 Promo: Britcaster.
22:31 Conclusion. Comments welcome, both text and mp3 - steve@steve-lacey.com.
22:48 Outro music.
23:07 End.


BritPack number 4 is alive!

The latest edition of the BritPack is now live! I'm number two in this line up - the theme of which is "10 years ago and 10 years ahead".

In my segment I wax a bit philosophical due to the recent birth of my daughter - my appologies...

Direct link.

Britcaster entry.

A Brit Abroad - August 15, 2005

Ok, so I think I'm just going to fess up and call this a monthly show from now on as, of course, it's been another month since the last one!

Today's show is a tad special as I'm joined by my lovely wife Nabila. We chat mainly about the differences between living as Brits in the UK and USA, including housing, builders, shop staff, getting your nails done, the people and the telly...

At 26 and a half minutes and weighing in at 18.2MB, It's A Brit Abroad!

No show notes today as this is a general ramble... oh, and yes I know it's Monday, even though I said Tuesday in the show...


A Brit Abroad - July 13, 2005

Again, another month has passed, but this time I'm on vacation, so hopefully this will become a tad more regular. Maybe. Anyhow, welcome all you iTunes users!

Today we talk about the events in London, Gnomedex, show notes as OPML, golf and fail miserably to talk about anything related to life differences between the US and the UK (sorry Paul, next time. I promise - I'll have the wife do it).

Today's music is by the band I'm a member of, Spank.

For this show, I've encoded at a higher bitrate, mainly because I've been jealous of the audio quality of the other podcasts I listen to that are encoded at a higher rate, but also because I'm not paying for the extended bandwidth as these are now hosted on libsyn... Please let me know if you have any issues with playback.

At exactly 32 minutes and weighing in at 22.1MB, It's A Brit Abroad!

Show Notes

00:00 Name and date check.
00:04 Father and son discuss podcasting.
01:13 Intro sweeper and music.
01:30 Introduction to the show.
02:30 London bombings comment.
04:32 Kev's moving to New Zealand!
06:51 Comments from Canada.
07:33 iTunes - bandwidth, UI and playlist issues.
13:34 The Britpack Number Two at Britcaster.com.
14:12 Gnomedex
17:00 Show notes as OPML.
22:58 Music from Spank - "Trance".
27:35 On sabbatical - playing golf and writing code.
29:58 Conclusion. Comments welcome.
32:00 End.


A Brit Abroad - June 14, 2005

Once again, after too long an interlude its podcast time. Today we talk about British podcasters, Powerbooks, podcatching software and driving on the wrong side of the road. Today's music is by Neon Brown - go and buy their music now!

At 31 minutes and twenty seconds and weighing in at 14.4MB, It's A Brit Abroad!

Show Notes

00:00 Name and date check.

00:04 Intro sweeper and music.

00:38 Introduction to the show.

03:38 Skype call starts with introductions and banter.

01:00 What's coming up in the show.

01:41 Ident.

01:50 Neil Dixon and Britcaster.com.

02:40 The Britpack, put together by podcastpaul.

03:42 A Minor Technicality excerpt.

05:42 Podcatcher software and thoughts regarding the Apple iTunes announcement.

09:01 Podcast search engines.

09:47 Music from Neon Brown - Nice Feathers.

12:07 Live audio pop debugging...

14:00 The Powerbook affair, including some personal history and thoughts on the Apple/Intel announcement.

20:36 Ident.

20:50 More music from Neon Brown - Pants Then Shoes.

25:40 Name check.

26:00 Expanded version of my Britpack segment on the differences between UK and US driving habits.

29:03 Ident.

29:07 I wasn't ranting. Honest. Passport hassles.

29:50 Conclusion. Comments welcome. Thanks to Neil and Phil for the idents.

31:02 Outro music.

31:20 End.


Podcasts As An Idea Pitching Tool

Over on VentureBlog, David Hornik talks about how Fred Wilson is using podcasting to receive pitches from startups - the elevator pitches. This is a very cool idea. Basically people tag a pitch with a del.icio.us tag "fred'selevatorpitch" and then he subscribes to the RSS feed. That way the pitches end up on his media device, ready for listening when he has the time.

I like that a lot. It could be used for so many other things too...

Delving deeper though, del.icio.us rss feeds don't support enclosures, so I'm not sure how this works at all. Maybe some podcatchers will download content specified in the link tag?

That aside, it's still a cool idea.

The BritPack Podcast Coming Real Soon

Over on BritCaster.com, podcastpaul is putting together a joint podcast experiment "The BritPack". Hopefully it'll be out today.

The basic idea is that a bunch of British podcasters put a five minute segment together and these get put together into a single show. I contributed my five minute segment last night which I'll link to as soon as the main show has come out (I don't want to spoil the fun). I'll syndicate the show through my feed as soon as it appears.

While you're over on the site, please check out some of the other fine British podcasters. This is a great site, put together by Neil Dixon of the "a minor technicality" podcast.

This is fun. Check it out and listen to some fine British accents for a change.

A Brit Abroad - Saturday May 14, 2005

Today I have a special edition of A Brit Abroad for you. On Thursday night I recorded a Skype call with two friends in the UK, Ian Dixon from The Media Center Show, and Phil from Clanlife.

With no real plan we basically geeked out and got all Engagety. I hope you enjoy it! We plan on making this a regular occurence.

At 35 minutes and forty seconds and weighing in at 16.4MB, It's A Brit Abroad and Friends!

Show Notes

00:00 Name and date check.
00:05 Intro sweeper and music.
00:38 Introduction to the show.
03:38 Skype call starts with introductions and banter.
04:11 The XBox 360 announcements.
05:06 Phil talks about his work at Clanlife and the game hosting business.
09:08 3G mobile networks, GPRS and comparisions between mobile in the US and UK. UK wins.
13:15 Bandwidth cost differences between US and UK. US wins.
13:45 Digital broadcast media lagging in the US.
14:30 We all started on ZX Spectrums and Amigas...
15:30 Perfect Dark Zero on XBox 360.
16:00 The MTV show.
16:30 Watch the Colony video.
16:50 A nice cup of tea.
18:05 Phil wants to move to the states and a potential job for his girlfriend.
18:45 Aluminum or Aluminium?
19:50 Trillian's use of Wikipedia.
20:28 Agile Messenger on Symbian.
20:50 Ian talks about his work.
21:25 Ian's Media Center Show podcast on The Podcast Network.
23:40 How I record the show.
24:50 Katana, my RSS aggregator and podcatcher. Ways of listening to podcasts.
33:20 Call wrap up, plans for more shows and goodbyes.
34:48 Conclusion.
35:20 Outro music.


Upcoming Podcast

I just finished up a Skype call with a couple of guys in the UK - Ian Dixon and Phil from Clanlife. After a couple of initial Skype hiccups, we chatted for around 40 minutes about all sorts, including XBox 360, game server hosting, audio players, Pocket PCs, mobile phones and tea.

The audio is a bit clippy, running Skype and Cubase at the same time recording a three-way conference call must be taxing some part of the system, but it ain't too bad.

After a bit of editting, expect the show to, ahem, show up in a couple of days.

So as they start their day in the UK, I'm off to bed.

A Brit Abroad - May 7, 2005

It's time for another edition of A Brit Abroad!

At just over 22 and a half minutes and weighing in at 10.4MB, we listen to some music, play some Gnomedex promos and an audio comment and find out what I've been up to for the past month.

Links To Some Of The Things Talked About


A Brit Abroad - April 9, 2005

I found a spare hour today while Julian was taking a nap which means that it's time for another edition of A Brit Abroad!

At just under 26 minutes and weighing in at 9.64MB, I talk about some movies, new video gear, Flight Simulator and give a few plugs to people. And, of course, some music curtesy of The Trash Monquis.

Links To Some Of The Things Talked About

A slight correction to my aural speculations: I lived near Highbury and Islington tube station in London.


My Podcasting Setup

My Podcasting Setup

Uploaded to flickr by Steve Lacey at 23 Mar '05, 11.40pm PST.

Here's my podcasting setup: Windows XP SP2 (P4 3.2GHz, 1GB RAM, PCI Express mobo, SATA drives) running Cubase SX3. A Shure SM58 Beta into an E-MU 1820 audio breakout box. Monitored via Behringer headphone distribution amp.

All printed effects done in Cubase. Audio direct monitoring and headphone mix/effects done in the 1820 box. Zero latency. Yum.

A Brit Abroad - March 23, 2005

It's been a while, a whole month in fact which means that it's time for a new edition of A Brit Abroad!

At just over 25 and a half minutes and weighing in at 11.8MB, today's show is a recap of the month, more details on Katana (my podcatcher and RSS aggregator), and some music curtesy of The Trash Monquis.

Links To Some Of The Things Talked About


Scratch The Podcast, It's Time For A Movie

I really wanted to get a podcast done today as it's almost been a month since the last one. Maybe tommorow - I've got a new mike setup that I'm dying to try.

Instead, Nabila and I watched "Sky Captain and the World Of Tomorrow" - a cool film with an incredible visual style.

I'd been wanting to see it since it came out as the trailers felt very like "Crimson Skies", which I worked on for a while.

Wow. And was it ever.

Crimson and Sky Captain must have been seperated at birth! If Crimson was made into a movie, this would be it (and vise versa I should think). If you love Crimson, you'll love this film. It gets two geek thumbs up.

KUOW To Start Podcasting

This afternoon I was driving Nabila's Jeep to Rosehill Car Wash in Kirkland (which, if you live on the Eastside, is the best carwash around). As soon as I switched on the radio I heard that beginning March 1, KUOW (the local NPR station) is going to start podcasting a lot of their shows. Unfortunately I can't remember which shows, and I can't find any information on their website.

As aside, it was an interesting moment as I haven't listened to any live radio in ages as I prefer podcasts now that the M3 is hardwired with my iPod. And what should the first radio I listen to be about? Podcasting...

A Brit Abroad - February 23, 2005

With the help of a few frosty libations, it's "A Brit Abroad" with special guest CJ Ingram!

In this special episode, weighing in at 31 minutes and 38 seconds, and 14.6MB, CJ and I chat about anything that comes to mind, play some podsafe music, have a little listener competition and generally set the world to rights.

Links To Some Of The Things Talked About


Upcoming Podcast

Just to whet your appetite, on Wednesday we'll be having another episode of "A Brit Abroad". This time I'll have a special guest on the show - CJ Ingram aka Bushrod, guitar-playing, lead-singing compadre from the band!

ObPlug: On another note, go vote for the show on Podcast Alley. There's only one vote so far and it's from me...

90th Most Popular Podcast?

According to iPodderX.com (ok, so it's a Mac only product, but it's the most popular podcast client for that platform) my podcast is the 90th most popular in their directory. My word, how did that happen? From my logs, each of the podcasts seems to be avereraging around 500 downloads, so I guess that ain't bad. But 90th out of the 3536 now in their directory?

I guess I get to be the popular boy!

A Brit Abroad - February 10, 2005

I'm feeling better and have things to talk about! A new sweeper, the telly, listener comments and of course podsafe music by Spank! Weighing in lighter than normal at 20 minutes and 9.2MB, it's "A Brit Abroad".

Links Talked About


A Brit Abroad - January 14, 2005

Weighing in at 25.5 minutes and 11.8MB, it's "A Brit Abroad".

The wife is out, so it's time for a podcast. I talk about bandwidth, upgrades, my dog's bowel movements, change, some books and play some damn fine music.

Links Talked About


Podcast - A Brit Abroad

Yey! Finally my first podcast. Weighing in at exactly 24 minutes and 11MB, it's "A Brit Abroad".

I talk about (of course) podcasting, but from a production standpoint; the band's new CD and it's mastering - giving some an example of pre- and post-mastering and why it's a good thing; some personal history and the games I'm playing.

Links Talked About

Update 12/30/04: As an experiment, a BitTorrent download is available here.

© 2001 to present, Steve Lacey.