Thursday, April 30, 2009

Mac Vs. Linux, My opinion

First this blog does reflect my opinion, and my opinion only. I am not trying to start any flame wars. This is an opinion formed from using all 3 major operating systems on my desk for the last year. I originally started the experiment to find, for the purposes of my workspace which OS could do which things best and to capitalize on the advantages of each and then measure which would bring the best user experience and the most proficient tools for completion of work.

I have previous experience in a tech support environment and felt that I was the unique person in the company to asses these points. With no IT Department that assesses new and interesting ways to do things and only worried about the broken stuff we already have, I decided to sacrifice my work flow and productivity to try and test the operating systems and tools available.

You will notice from the list in the subject of the blog that windows was not even in the contention. My reason for that is we are a 24x7 shop, but we do not receive 24x7 internal support and have no extra hardware around so reliability is paramount. With any user doing even innocent activity on the machine being able to be infected, rendered useless and then possibility impacting the network attached to the rest of the office provided already an intolerable situation which I preferred to avoid. The only reason I still used it on my desk was for compatibility of other departments in the company, but I have started a campaign that we need to do our work and not look pretty, so windows would not be considered.

This leaves us with a mac vs. linux situation. I'm partial to both for certain things, but I'm not such a fanboy of either to feel it would compromise my objectivity for the testing I was doing. I have to say that that with almost all of our tools being completely web-based, comaptiblity has become less and less an issue for my team. For example, where firefox is supported, it is instantly supported on all operating systems.


So I think that my conclusion would be a mac dual booting with linux or with enough ram to virtualize without performance degredation. I think the native linux OS behaviour brings some improvements to efficiency (i.e. copy and paste) while the mac brings graphics and a user interface that even the most novice can manage. With the dual boot or virtualized linux inside the back you could have the best of both. And who's to say, if you were already virtualizing linux then you could virtualize M$ if you needed to for any last hold outs to proprietary software formats.

I have really condensed a year's worth of experience here. I have also taken the "average" user far more into account considering the nature of the employees who will use the systems. But I feel that it would actually cover the complete spectrum and could easily be the one-size-fits-all solution which although is far more expensive would be a prodductive system for anyone you sat in front of it.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Podcast Review: Linux Action Show

The Linux Action show is one of my most recent additions to my podcast diet but that was my fault, not theirs. The two hosts Bryan and Chris bring this show to life. These guys both should have had previous radio experience. For sure, they keep it very upbeat and with that big radio voice drama that keeps your attention even if the topic is sleepy.

They cover all of the latest headlines involving Linux in the press. They give their sincere perspective on the situations they report on. They provide their opinions with disclaimers to their own point of view and usage which may differ from popular or zealot points of view. These two seem to have a very practical point of view and I would argue that this is more in line with most "everyday" users. While I have heard them offer respectful acknowledgement of points of view on both sides of the fence, they don't jump on a bandwagon just because it's in the press.

The audio quality of this hour long video/audio podcast is amazing. I haven't subscribed to the video and would be unjust for me to cast judgment on it here. I know they offer either in the feed selections available from their website. This show seems to be on a one week to two week pattern and I would suggest it to anyone who already had a pretty stacked diet since it doesn't occur very often. They have recently had a donation drive that might have produced the funds they need to ensure that it becomes a weekly show, but I would still find it very informative and very enjoyable.

Chose your delivery following the link pull-down available on their te the choices seem nearly endless. If you can't get this feed, it's your fault, not theirs. From this pull down are video or audio, choose your feed type, format type, there is ogg there is mp3. I don't think I've found an easier way to subscribe to a podcast, truly awesome if you find subscribing to any podcast challenging, you will NOT have that problem here.

I have to confess that I hope they do manage to make it a dedicated once a week show because I do enjoy it so. I know I already said it, but these guys could make reading stereo instructions sound exciting.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Podcast Review: Category5 TV

Unique video podcast which is a very good example of the sense of community that the open source and Linux community enjoy. The host Robbie Ferguson and co-host Carrie Webb are trying to bring a live call in show format to the web. The nice thing is that even though most of the tools that are used by Robbie are Linux or Open Source he does a good job also answering tech questions and responding to support questions for Windows.

I find that the Category5 show has that great sense of community where the chat room participants are as much as part of the show and a resource for the hosts as the hosts themselves. Robbie also does a good job of shooting to support the "Average User" who is the one who may not have high minded political ideas about the software used, but just wants it to work.

Carrie, while not so technically minded does a wonderful job of helping Robbie monitor the chat room for feedback and in reflecting on his descriptions of solutions. That is to say when Robbie has explained something for the "Expert User" that Carrie does a good job of asking the follow up questions. The interaction between the two hosts is supportive and pleasant while never distracting from the material of the show itself. The more impressive bit is when Robbie "flies solo" and doesn't have Carrie there to help him stay on top, that Robbie does a good job with multitasking. With only the bare minimum of pauses or chat feedback missed Robbie can hold his own solo, but I confess I prefer when Carrie is with him.

This hour long video podcast is viewable online while offering direct access to the chat room, if you are not sure what software you might need to participate, the website has everything built-in when you get there. The Category5 team have made participation easy if you can be there when the show is on. I would recommend this show to users of all levels so that the more experienced can help and give back to the community and the technology newcomers can gain valuable knowledge.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Podcast Review: Linux Journal

The Linux Journal offers a video podcast which I would almost describe as "micro". They are labeled as "Linux tech tip of the day". With a three to five minute video podcast which most often is a screencast. With well recored audio and time lapse video clips where waiting is needed is well done. At the site linked above there is also a live weekly show advertized.

I've not been terribly surprised by the content as I am an experienced linux user, but I have been pleasantly surprised by a few of the episodes. When Sean Powers started there was an occasional hardware review which were well done also. But this podcast comes in 3 to 4 times a week and is very short. I can't think of any podcast diet that doesn't have room for this one more podcast, it is the waffer mint of the podcast dining experience.

Sean makes a point to demo software on different distributions from Ubuntu to Fedora. He goes through from not installed to using the application. Sean is clealry spoken and clear in his instructions getting to the point of installing and using the application without beating around the bush.

I highly recommend, even if you aren't floored by the content to watch this video podcast for the purposes of comparison. I find it is good to mate a very short video podcast like this beside a long winded audio podcast. Just to balance it out and see the differences in the format of the show.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Podcast Review: Ubuntu Uk Podcast

The Ubuntu UK Podcast is a bi-weekly round table of the topics of the day most specifically pertaining to Ubuntu. Having some stars of the Ubuntu community on the panel regularly, this podcast has the clout to invite quite a few impressive guests up to and including Mark Suttleworth.

These guys have friendly banter, giveaway contests and very well informed opinions covering topics from specific package development all the way up to DRM. With collective knowlege and experience as deep as it is wide, the subject is wide spectrum but always pertaining to Ubuntu.

The team also managed to attent most of the current linux community conferences and fesivals. They have provided "in the field" interviews from both UDS events during 2008. They also cover some of the topics and philosofies of what goes on behind the closed doors when the Masters Of The Universe get together.

The interesting bits are when the podcasters talk over product reviews related to Ubuntu as well as how they manage to use those products. One of the great advantages of Ubuntu is that there is usually more than one way to "skin a cat" so hearing from expert users and what formula of applications they combine for their experience is invaluable.

Anyway, it's a great listen, available in your prefered format and providing about an hour every two weeks means you will usually have a chance to offer feedback before the next episode. I have to say also that the guys on the team participate acitvely in the IRC chat room that they sponsor on the Freenode network. All of them are very approacable and there is a great sense of community around them.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Podcast Review: NASA podcasts

NASA has an amazing list of podcasts. Some of this content is in HD and all of it is informative or amazing. I was born only a year after man landed on the moon. My fascination with the space program only grew through the development and lifespan of the shuttle program. I find all things space to be interesting, and some of these podcasts cover the very newest and cutting edge of what NASA is working on.

This collection of podcasts allows you to pick and choose from your favorite missions, audio vs. video and frequency. I confess that I have chosen a video only, HD version where possible and most missions. These podcasts do not come at alarming rate.

The production quality of most is pretty high, with special note are the ones from JPL and the Chandra team. The selection offers some that are geared for kids while others are pretty "educational" and rich in material covered.

If you have any interest in space, the technology of space missions, astronomy or just keeping track of general NASA activity, this site is a fantastic resource for your podcast selections in the NASA catalouge.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Command Line Fu - The Website

This has to be my newest favorite site. I get excited like a kid in a candy store when I talk about the Command Line Fu website. So, here we go.

If you have read any of my previous blog posts you know that I favor the command line and text CLI environment for productivity. Likewise, it returns the processing and computing power of the computer back to the user. Yes, you must be a bit more practiced and read in order to make this a practical "lifestyle" change. I would argue with the users who prefer the GUI interfaces who say that it is too difficult or only for hackers.

My argument up to this point has been that the GUI allows for visual processing of instructions for expected actions and behavior of applications. Which means that you have to actually read, comprehend and use the help files (known as manpages) that will give you nothing short of full access to the power of every command line application.

I do not exclude myself from this observation, that even now, with my daily use of the command line that I have only but begun to scratch the surface of the commands and applications at my disposal. Most of the references that I have in my previous command line posts have to do with end user applications rather than "true" command line super powers.

The underlying issue of ease of reference, seeing practical working examples and then applying the use of the commands is constant. As I just said, even for myself. Well all of that is changing. The Command Line Fu website is filling the gap of general command line super powers and ease of reference.

I highly recommend this site. I personally access the site and it's material in 3 different ways. First, I navigate to the site and use the search function in order to try and find a previously submitted example of how to use a command. Second, I subscribe the RSS feed which then goes into my reader each day. Usefull commands I flag for later closer examination. And lastly, I have used the site to submit some of the commands that I actually use in my production/work environment.

This site is a very good example of community that you normally see in the open source community. I know this is going to sound like hippy-tree-hugging-free-love stuff, but it's true. Command Line Fu makes it easy to contribute, and even better, contribution doesn't take much effort. It asks only for the command line and a brief description of what the command is expected to do.

Wonderfully simple in design, efficient in use. While at the same time not being just ugly (like some really geeky sites can be). I have this site bookmarked in my Delecious and recommend it to anyone who might be eager to learn. If you follow my twitter, you might just find some references to the site, when I see command line goodness, I will be the first to spread the word.

Two thumbs up.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Podcast review: Earth-Touch

Picture 1.pngThis podcast is an amazing video podcast which offers nature HD footage. I'm not sure what resources they use at Earth-Touch but the results are truly impressive. As I have my computer connected to my full-HD television, the approximate 8 minutes a week that arrives is visually stunning.

In this video podcast, there are amazing footage of animals in the wild from all around the world. There have been insects from Indonesia and rhinos from Africa. Usually filmed on the backdrop of amazing vistas and views, these scenes are breath taking and, in full HD, clear and crisp to the point of amazement.

If you have children, do no longer get to see the old "Mutal of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" this is the perfect substitute. I am old enough to remember being exposed to raw nature footage and films a great deal in what was "children programing" from my youth. I can say that learning of the far away places from which these animals come inspired me on more than one occasion to pick up an encyclopedia and learn something.

If you are into wildlife photography or just plain enjoy footage of elephants and lions in such detail as to identify singular hairs blowing in the wind, this show is a must have. I highly recommend this show no matter you personal motivations for watching.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Podcast Review: Inside CNET Labs

These guys keep it real. Maybe a little too real, at the Inside CNET Labs podcast. With Dong and Eric with their water cooler bravado. It harks me back to the days when I was a Network Operations Center (NOC) technician. We were the secret keepers of the knowledge. We were core to keeping everything working, but not be shown to guests. We were stereotyped as lacking interpersonal skills, brash and uncouth.

Well, that IS what these guys are. It is that raw geek banter with a spattering of technologies. If my blog reader were the kind of person who missed any peers with which it geek socially, I would recommend that he listen to this podcast in place of real friends. Especially the friends that you would see once a week and only for about a half hour.

I find this podcast to be a pleasant social and comical interaction with the spice of tech which only geeks share. These sound very much like guys you might want to hang out with during your lunch break.

While having shared concerns of being taken off the air since there is no official sponsor of the show (as most of the other CNET podcasts have). I would blame this on their reckless use of language and typically politically incorrect banter. I would not be honest if that was not one of the reasons that I like the show so much. I find these guys talk the way that real guys talk to each other. I do hope this show is with us for much time to come.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Podcast Review: Fresh Ubuntu

Fresh Ubuntu is a podcast that is primarily the adventures of Harlem as he explores the Open Source world via the Ubuntu experience. Joining him is Peter, who adds to the conversation and brings with him normally a segment called the "Man Page Minute". This almost weekly, 40 min to an hour long adventure is the linux experience from the point of view of the newcomer (or at least closer to it). Harlem, who started his adventure only a few years ago shares what is his perspective on the linux experience.

This show for me is enlightening in that I haven't been a newcomer to linux for some 10 years, and things have changed quite a bit. I know that supporters would say that no one has the time of it that we had back then. But it's important to hear what little bits still need to be done. While also sharing the current tech news as it pertains to linux and major distribution releases these two carry what is usually a fun show without the heavyness of very technical details.

I would strongly recommend this podcast to the linux newcomer for it's information and vocabulary. I would sagely suggest this for the linux expert so that you can appreciate what a newcomer might be faced with today and understand what a new users needs might be today. Also, both Harlem and Peter are very resonsive to feedback and appreciate all they receive. These are just a couple of good guys who are trying to talk about the unpopular subjec of linux.

With no major sponsorship, these guys are on the up and up, so there is no fear that their views have been compromised to the all mighty dollar. The podcast has gone through it's troubled periods and extended hiatus from time to time, but has always come back and is currently on a pretty steady production schedule. This show only covers a bit of tech news that would no longer be relevant, and despite Harlem asking no one to do it, it would be a good idea to dive into the archives to see the path that Harlem and his podcast have walked.


Saturday, April 11, 2009

App Review: Terminator

Terminator is a wonderful gnome-terminal supplement. By supplement I mean that most of the defaults for Terminator are taken from the gnome-terminal application. Terminal windows are very practical and utilitarian things. There is one that I have found that adds great usage to the practicality of the command line. I dare say, that the terminal that I use today is staggering compared to the terminal sessions used on ancient Unix systems of old.

But I digress, this article is about the Terminator application. This application strives to do one thing more than gnome-terminal, to be able to split the single tabbed session into multiple parts. Since this starts sounding like something incomprehensible, I decided to add screenshots of what it can do. I would like to disclaim that it can do a few more things above and beyond the features that I will list here, but the ones I point out are the ones I find to be most important to me and the ones that I use every day.

First, the splitting of the tab. This can be done horizontally or vertiacally as many times as you desire. Clearly, some of those choices will depend on screen dimentions and personal preference of the information that you are viewing in each session. Screenshot below shows a single tab (does support multiple tabs) split once vertically, and one of those split once horizontially displaying 3 terminal panes. These pane divisions are also adjustible in size using the mouse to drag the windows much like you would resize a windowed application.

Notice the comments diagrammed in the screenshot. I have annotated the points made previously.

Then there is the simultaneous writing in multiple panes. This can be confusing and only used after some practice. I would suggest to use it for making/editing the same text file on two machines/folders for the first time out. There could be some bad side-effects of this activity if not executed well. However, due to the nature of my work this is an amazing feature which only one other app currently offers. Here is a screenshot of this feature in action. I should point out that the user can select/deselect members of the "group" at any time, and can select as many panes that are members of the group, so this is not an all-or-nothing solution and is as flexible as the user himself can think to be. Again, for multiple machine configuration files, routers and switches or even just multiple folders with the same files within this is a an amazing feature.

I have to confess that with my recent discovery of the Command Line Fu website that this becomes the killer app for me. I can now tap the full power of the terminal without having to launch the same application multiple times or having unseen tabs going ignored. With Terminator open and using the "Focus under mouse without raising window" offers me a blinding speed with flick of mouse and keyboard to interact with my computer systems in a very powerful way.


Friday, April 10, 2009

Podcast Review: Linux Outlaws

Awesome Linux show with an international flavor. Here we have Fab from Bonn and Dan from Liverpool. These guys mention all of the recent distro's, mention all of the latest and greatest applications upgrades and new stars. For an hour each week Fab and Dan dive into the weekly tech news with a VERY linux centric view of the world. I have to say that they have their opinions and share them with vigor.

Although outspoken, they are not hipocrytes. When they are just as guilty of using freedom hating software or hardware they will share that also. This honest view of the world from the linux geek's eyes is refreshing. They do have interviews of guests from time to time and they are one of the longest running podcasts dedicated to the Linux community.

I have had the pleasure of working in Germany before and I have to say that now that I'm in Italy it's refreshing to listen to Fab go on. With his simple declarations of "Fail" and "Crap" have become the halmarks of the podcast. I do sometimes miss having that voice that is irreverant and not concerned with how his opinion is received. Fab and Dan through caution to the wind and just say what they feel they need to say while making any policially correct changes to it only after it is out there.

There is profanity used from time to time. But I would say that it is not excessive and is a fair representation of what would be heard in the real world or workspace. Although I might be a bit more forward thinking than most, I am comfortable letting my childeren hear this podcast. I'm sure their little ears have heard much worse fall from my own mouth, so I would not be so judgemental of a podcast of a couble of guys telling it how they really feel.

This podcast is a linux geek "must" to their podcasting diet. It is not a show that is technically too far beyond the newcomer to linux. But a newcomer might find some of the names and jargon used a little daunting first time out. I would tell the newcomer to listen to this podcast and try to keep up and google the things he wasn't sure about. As a nice little treat, the guys add music to the end of their podcast which is normally quite enjoyable.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

My Firefox Extensions

Everyone has their own selections of Firefox extensions that makes their work-flow or surfing experience great. What I don't see a lot of is people posting the list that combined is their favorite or ideal web browsing tool.

I decided to put my list together, as we are "on the eve" of the release of a new version of Firefox, since in a few short months some of these may not work (until updated by the developers). This list is valid when using the Firefox 3.0.1 browser.

Here is my list:
Tabs Open Relative - this lets a "open in new tab" action produce a tab just right of it's parent instead of at the end of the lists of tabs. This is really helpful when doing google research and find multiple links you would like to follow from a single source page.

Snap Links Plus - This allows you to design a unique mouse selection/movement to draw a box around a list of links on a page. Upon selection, this extension opens the included hyperlinks in new tabs. In conjunction with the Tabs Open Relative extension, these just fold out just right of the active, or parent, tab.

Auto Clear Search Box - This extension automatically clears the searchbox in the navigation bar of the browser once used. I use this in a 3 step process. 1.) Use ctrl+k to activate the searchbox itself. 2.) Set " = true" in about:config, which opens a new tab independantly upon pressing enter from the searchbox. 3.) this extension then clears the seachbox and I am then able to repeat the process with minimum mouse/keystrokes.
***Note: you will have to register to install this one, no's free.

CustomizeGoogle - Well, this is for anyone who uses google's services. There are a great many customizations which can make that experience better and more secure.

Delicious Bookmarks - Well, online bookmarking is something you use or you don't. I do, to share links with others, remember research points or to collect information when troubleshooting an issue. This is a pretty good extension if you are signed up for the Delicious service.

Foxmarks Bookmarks Syncronizer - This is a smashing syncronizing tool. Makes all of your firefox installs on all your different computers. This tool syncronyses bookmarks and saved passwords. This is the tool that I moved to after google's Browser Sync was dropped from development. There is encryption for protection and there is need for an account from Foxmarks to let it work.

Gmail Notifier - does what it says, sits at the bottom of the browser offering a small unintrusive display of new messages. Supports multiple Gmail accounts and display prefernces.

ASNumber - Like it implies this tool displays the Autonomous System Number of the host where the website is. It also does a whois lookup to provide you with the information of the owner of the network where the website lives. Just remember that who owns the website and who owns the network may be different.

I find that this collection of extensions provide me with a great experience and enhances my surfing expererience. I hope this list might help someone put together thier favorite list of extensions too. Please add your favorite to the comments.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Podcast Review: You Look Nice Today

The single funniest podcast I have ever heard. I don't want to talk about who is on this podcast in fear that it might give a prejudice of the content of the show. This half hour show that comes into my podcatcher every two weeks or so is a pure joy.

These cats, have tapped into the warped sense of humor that is the experience path of my life. With the random tangent thinking that harks of Monty Python with the silver tongue of professional orators, this show has me on the floor laughing so hard that I often have to pause the podcast until the tears finish to stream from my eyes.

The format is that it is a conversation of these 3 friends to which you are privy. They are candid, politically incorrect and at time quite vulgar. It is, in fact, exclusively comedy and shouldn't be taken for anything more serious than the red squeaky nose of a circus clown. It is a delight and I truly look forward to the surprise that is the arrival of a new episode of "You look nice today".

Highly recommended. For me it's a nice break from the more informational formats that I normally listen to. I mean, I have mostly tech podcasts which even if they have a fantastic amount of information they can be dry. This is the single comedy podcast that I have managed to remain subscribed to. I find that I am not very fond of stand up comedy recorded and sent down a podcast pipe. Let me promise you now, this show is NOT that.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Encrypted backup made easy

As security of information is important to me, I've been trying to think of a way to manage private information, while keeping that information backed up.

I had thought about something simple, like a free ssh shell account. And there, storing my pgp keys as well as an encrypted file with my text password file. I decided that would not be a good idea since the machine where I put those keys and file would have someone (anyone) else as root who might, if clever enough, hack into my account. In addition, those accounts are usually very space limited to a measure of megabytes which would keep the text file just fine, but isn't large enough for much else.

I have been playing with Truecrypt since they managed to make the hidden partition inside of an encrypted container. They have addressed a very important point that with the current legal environment it is possible to be forced to surrender your password for an encrypted volume. Truecrypt does this clever thing that lets you determine one of two filespaces inside the encrypted volume based on the password given. That is to say, that after you go through the process with Truecrypt that you may then open the space with pictures of the family and with another open the space that has all of your top secret plans. In this way you may satisfy the volunteering of your "password" without volunteering any information. Plausible deniablity and all that.

So, this is a neat solution for secure security, but then how to get that volume around. I mean, a usb key with a 1Gig file on it is fine, but then when you drop it in the toilet, run over it with your car or otherwise have something nasty happen to it, that information is lost. So, I looked at Getdropbox in order to see if that would work. The free account there holds 2Gig which is more than enough for locking in the keys to the rest of your private world.

The Truecrypt volume is mounted like a file system, you know, like a usb key or a 2nd internal hard drive. It would seem that the automated backup portion of the Getdropbox application sees the unmounting of the volume as a revision to the file and then starts the process to upload the file anew and syncronizying with all other clients connected.

The big bonus is that both the Getdropbox software and Truecrypt are available in all 3 major operating systems (Win, Mac, Linux). Which means that in all the different systems and all the ways I may access any of that software from any machine (given I can install the apps). Double bonus is that both of these, the Truecrypt application and the Getdropbox service is free. This means there is no "border to entry" due to sticker price. Clearly anyone could come up with other solutions, I just find this one to satisfy my security needs while being available anywhere and only to me. Worse case, even if I'm busted, I donate the weak password to disclose only my shopping list from last week. If you haven't used either of these apps, I highly recommend both. And if more space is what you need, there is a paid version of Getdropbox that offeres more space.


Podcast Review: Mackbreak Weekly

Another star in the fleet of podcasts from Leo Laporte on his TWiT Network. Guess the topic of this one. With the topic of each weekly podcast being focused on the world from the Mac point of view. Make no mistake all of the members of this regularly cast panel have all drank deeply from the special Apple juice.

The podcast which normally is just over an hour long each week is filled with software reviews "picks of the week" as well as some very good exposure to what is the philosophy of Apple. Along with a very jovial interaction between the members of the panel and quite often even opposing points of views I feel this podcast gives very good depth to the topic which is Apple and all things Mac.

I'm slightly jaded since I own a mac, and find the hints and software that are disucssed of interest to myself. I highly recommend that mac owners listen to this one. I suggest, for the others to listen with interest if only to expand your exposure to how the other half live. I know there have been times I wanted to engage in a linux vs. mac shouting match with the pre-recorded podcast for lack of acknowledgement of anything non-mac. But then, I remember that it is the focus of the show and if there is a forum in which there should be a group of fat-brains talking about the world from the exclusive point of view mac, this is the place.

While they typically cover Apple news exclusively, they also discuss tech trends and how they might affect the Apple universe. During slow news weeks, again, with a fabulous panel the team can usually find something to talk about. Even on the weeks where the topics are not so inspiring to me, their engagement with each other is always entertaining.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Podcast Review: GeekBrief.TV

Cali Lewis has a show that became her day job. I recall that when I started watching her show that it was almost exclusive gadget and product review. Now she sets her 6 min a day sights on projects and activities that are not exclusive product of the tech news scene but also for the geeks in her audience who just like scale airplanes up to new computer interfaces being designed in design and research centers.

Cali, who speaks amazingly fast and clear covers quite a bit of ground in her daily show. While moving at a blistering pace still manages to add her subjective view of the stories she's covering. While one of the prettiest tech reporters I've seen, she does an amazing job of letting her social responsibility appear on the show. While in one episode we may hear about a charity that has her interest, on the next we may have a Kindle unboxing.

I've not seen her reporting as slanted by the bias of what kind of systems she uses herself. But when she's really into stuff, it comes across on her show (for the better I think). Her story is an interesting one, if you have the time to go way back in the archives, then you be able to let her tell her story to you. If not, just check out her blog and read it :)

I recommend this, especially to my hardcore linux friends, since Geekbrief exposes me to some of the more mainstream tech. While Cali isn't interested in the stange server stuff that I am configuring, I find it helpfull to know what the latest drool worthy gadget is out there. I have to confess it is her show that has prevented me the ackward moment of "What is this Kindle thing you speak of?" at the water cooler.