Sep 23

I started listening to podcasts back in 2007. It’s actually a great way to learn and be entertained while doing something else such as taking exercise for example. Soon after starting this blog in 2008, I posted the podcasts I listened to back then.

My listening habits have changed over the 7 years till now and some very good podcasts have just faded away. I’ve cut out a number of tech podcasts and replaced them with some thought provoking material. I thought it might be worth updating my current picks again now so here we go.

Knightwise.com

I’ve stayed with this podcast pretty much right from the start. I’ve always wanted to move away from Windows at some point and this podcast has helped me on my journey. If you’re interested in cross-platform computing then this one is definitely worth a listen. Knightwise has posted some great podcasts recently including his essential Android apps (KW708), and cross-platform security (KW801).

WNYCs Radiolab

Again one of the earliest podcasts on my player. Science and philosophy. Always thought provoking.

FrequencyCast UK

Keep up-to-date with the latest UK tech news.

mintCast

A little rambling, but useful info on recent Linux Mint releases. But some of the stuff just goes over my head as with many things Linux.

NPR Intelligence Squared

Top thinkers debate today’s issues, but perhaps understandably, a little too US-centric. However, there are occasional interesting topics such as Does Science Refute God? and Is Death Final?

Point of Inquiry

A podcast from the Center for Inquiry, a think tank promoting science, reason, and secular values in public policy and at the grass roots. Point of Inquiry has apparently consistently been ranked among the best science podcasts available in iTunes.

Tech-Vets

Two tech vets, Mike Smith and Carey Holzman, discuss tech issues, the tech repair business and listeners’ questions.

The Ihnatko Almanac

Andy’s views on tech, movies, music, and photography among other things. Here’s a man who can produce an off the cuff, yet incisive and well formed verbal masterpiece on just about any topic. That’s about the closest I can come to describing this great podcast and uncanny talent.

You Are Not So Smart

A book, blog and podcast exploring self-delusion, irrational thinking and scientific skepticism.

Well that’s my current list. If any of these topics don’t cut it for you, have a look through a Lifehacker post from a few months back where the readers recommended a great list of podcasts. There should be something there for everyone.

What are you listening to now?


Dec 29
My Top Tech Finds of 2012
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Tech tips | icon4 December 29, 2012| icon31 Comment »

collage2012

Seeing as it’s nearing the year-end, I thought I’d round up the best web apps, services and tech podcasts I’ve come across during the year and which I’m still using and enjoying. Follow the links in each category for more information.

Tech podcasts

I haven’t tracked down a great many new tech podcasts this year and unfortunately, some of my favourites have faded away or are in limbo. The best new podcast I can recommend is the Ask Lifehacker Podcast which started up in February and has become one of my regulars. They offer great tech tips, favourite downloads and answer readers’ tech questions. If you listen to podcasts, give this one a try. And if you can suggest a great tech podcast, let me know in the comments.

WordPress plugins

Best find here has been the nRelate plugin which shows thumbnails of related content below all your posts. Have a look below this post to see it in action.

Web apps

I discovered Trello this year, a great project management app – and you don’t have to be part of a team to use it either. Great if you have to keep tabs on what stage each of your projects is at.

Top find

I kept the best until last – Reddit. Strictly speaking, not a new find as I’ve known about it for a few years, but this has been the year I really came to appreciate it. I found a great set of subreddits and started reading regularly and trying to contribute when I could. I think the secret of Reddit is finding those subreddits that really appeal to you – there are thousands out there. Once you’ve done that, you’ll start getting a lot out of it and you’ll find many of the conversations really stimulating. I’m also finding that I’m starting to pick up great tech tips on Reddit to rival my RSS feeds, and I never thought that would happen. So try putting Facebook aside for a while and have a look at Reddit.

What are your best tech finds of 2012 that you are still using? Drop a comment below.


Aug 20

I still enjoy listening to tech podcasts, particularly in the car or when out walking and occasionally blog about the tech podcasts I enjoy. I thought I should update the list as my last post on this subject was over a year ago and I’ve discovered some great new ones since then.

asklifehackerpodcast

Ask Lifehacker podcast has been going since about February and covers tech tips and advice, great downloads and answers listeners’ questions. A great tech podcast and well worth checking out.

Technophilia podcast features three writers from the MakeUseOf team, and has been running since November last year. It covers tech news, tech tips, gaming  and some tech discussion. A bit more banter and discussion here than in the Lifehacker podcast, and if it bothers you, some profanity.

Experts Exchange

The Experts Exchange Tech News podcast covers the latest tech news and often has a guest expert who contributes on the Experts Exchange Q&A forums.

I’ve started listening to a couple of others but don’t know if they’ll become regulars yet so I’ll leave them to the next tech podcast update. Finally, a mention again for Tech-Vets. This tech podcast with Carey Holzman and Mike Smith is one I try to listen to soon after downloading it. These guys dispense great tech tips and advice and is well worth checking out. There were a couple of great shows recently when Mike reinstalled Windows 7 and added an SSD. There’s lots to pick up on in there.

What tech podcasts do you listen to? Any great ones I’ve missed?


May 24

Soon after I started blogging, I wrote a post on my Top Tech Podcasts. That was back in 2008 so I thought I’d revisit it with the tech podcasts I now listen to. I’ve moved on a bit since then but some old faithfuls are still there. These are mostly all audio podcasts as I like to listen while walking.

Podnutz

Podnutz has burgeoned into a great network of tech podcasts – and not just for computer techs either. The originals are still there but Steve has added shows on Linux, Android and others. And then there’s Nutz at Night, as Steve says late night tech talk about nothing, yet something. You might even call it a show about Tech and Life… but no-one’s made that connection yet! Anything can come up here – tech, YouTube videos, likes, and dislikes. There’s a regular band of co-hosts now and strangely, it’s one of the first shows I listen to after downloading it.

CNET to the Rescue – great tech advice and tips dispensed by Rafe Needleman and co-hosts. Like Carey Holzman, Rafe is another podcaster whose advice I always look forward to hearing.

FrequencyCast

FrequencyCast – UK centric podcast on digital TV, technology, media news and gadget reviews, presented by the inimitable Carl and Pete. A monthly show with shorter mid-monthly updates. Good show notes and full transcripts as well! Show 61 focused on Streaming Media and is well worth a listen if you want to stream music and video to your TV.

The Home Tech Podcast – Just discovered this one a month or two back and it seems pretty good – tips, how-to’s and simple solutions to your not so simple technology questions with a revolving panel of hosts fronted by Jim Collison, The Average Guy.

WNYCs Radiolabs – I had to mention this one again, one of my favourites. If you don’t try any of these podcasts, give this one a go. Professional, great presenters and thought provoking stuff. And a terrific archive of podcasts you can dig into.

Radiolab believes your ears are a portal to another world. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience. Big questions are investigated, tinkered with, and encouraged to grow. Bring your curiosity, and we’ll feed it with possibility.

evernote2

Evernote – Obviously a podcast about the latest developments in Evernote but the banter and off-beat humour between the hosts are a feature here.

Tech Stuff – From the guys at How Stuff Works, Jonathan and Chris delve in some detail into some of today’s top tech topics.

I should also mention TechVets with Carey Holzman and Mike Smith. Covering PCs, PC repair, PC utilities and info for repair techs, it’s just returned after an 8 month break. Perhaps now that Carey has left Computer America we might see a more regular schedule again.

Well that’s my current list. What’s yours?


Sep 12
Top tech podcasts
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Podcasts, Tech | icon4 September 12, 2008| icon32 Comments »

Podcasts have changed the way I consume media. Until about a year ago, I used to listen to radio on and off throughout the day, mostly news and talk channels. Then I discovered tech podcasts. Now I get the news first thing in the morning on the radio and that’s about it. Why? Well with podcasts you can listen to what you want, when and where you want. You can pause it, replay it, or fast forward through an item or ads you aren’t interested in.

Another big plus is that if you have a tech query and you can’t find an answer on a forum, many podcasters are happy to try to answer questions if you email them. Very often they will read out your email if they think that other listeners can help. If you have a suggestion or a show topic they’ll be delighted to receive them, or drop them an audio message for example as an mp3 attachment to your email. Very often they’ll play it. Not like radio at all!

Podcasts are real easy to download. I use podcatching software called Ziepod. You could also use Juice or iTunes. Then I copy the files over to my trusty Samsung YP-Z5 1GB mp3 player. Ziepod is one of my essential applications. I’ll mention more in later posts.

So, what do I listen to? Well, I’ve already mentioned three tech podcasts in my second post but here’s a complete list with a little info about each one. I’ll start with the unmissables:

Mike Tech Show: Going since March 2005, this show covers tips, tricks, cool sites and software. Mike has a great aura of enthusiasm for all things tech. He talks clearly and explains things well. The podcast archives and show notes are a terrific resource.

The Knightcast: Knightwise has developed the knack of recording a podcast on his daily commute. I’ve no idea what other road users think as they pass this guy seemingly talking to himself in his car! Living on the edge of real and cyberspace, Knightwise concentrates on making tech work for you. He’s clearly an expert on networking, security, virtualization and Linux. Great podcast and excellent music. I’ve discovered many new artists through the Knightcast.

The Aussie Geek Podcast: What can I say. For me this is probably the best all-round tech podcast. The hosts have brought their wealth of experience gained doing the Global Geek Podcast to this new labour of love. Covering tech news, applications, sites and services, the Word from the Wise (a weekly rant from Knightwise; brilliant) and listener feedback, I look forward to this show every week. Great banter between the hosts Dave, Cait and Keith, language aplenty as they make their points and always some new site or app to check out after they finish. Highly recommended!

Podnutz: Started around March this year, Podnutz and Podnutz Daily are THE podcasts for PC troubleshooting, and setting up a PC and laptop repair business. On Podnutz, Steve has a different guest each week, although his solo show on computer repair was really instructive. I’m not a technician, but I’ve learned so much from this one on how to stay out of trouble and what to do if things go wrong. Highlights for me so far were the shows with Carey Holzman and Scott Mueller.

Podnutz Daily: When I heard he was starting a daily show as well as the weekly, I thought to myself this guy must have great energy and I just hope he doesn’t overdo it. However, Steve’s pulled it off brilliantly. He clearly has the podcasting bug. There’s a live TV link while he does the podcast. He covers the repairs he has done throughout that day. Again a great resource for anyone interested in PC troubleshooting and repairs. CitizenX has done a terrific job on the show notes recently so this should be another useful resource for troubleshooting.

This Week in Tech: TWIT is one of the first shows I listen to each week to hear the latest from the tech world. I don’t think Messrs Laporte, Dvorak and Norton need any introduction. A different panel each week, always topical, lively debate and often very funny. I’m one of the listeners who happen to enjoy Jason Calacanis’ appearances.

PC Mag Radio: This really is a great show. I enjoy the banter between Robyn, Sascha, Lance and Co. Great source of info on new hardware developments, phones, applications, etc.

Windows Weekly: Leo and Paul Thurrott discuss the latest developments in the Windows/Microsoft arena, phones, internet TV and anything else tech that takes their fancy. Paul really knows his stuff. What he doesn’t know about Windows isn’t worth mentioning!

Net at Night: Leo and Amber McArthur look at some new sites on the Internet. Always very entertaining and usually they uncover a new app or service worth checking out.

PC Mechanic: Dave gives a quick resume of a couple of important tech issues. Short but well worth a listen.

Alternageek: Linuxchic and Techmonkey with their insightful look at recent tech news, social networking, cell phones, etc. One for the geek. Some of the stuff goes over my head but very good all the same.

WNYCs RadioLab: Wow! Thanks to Download Squad for mentioning this one on their blog earlier this year. This podcast will really get you thinking. Since I’ve been listening they’ve covered: songs which you can’t get out of your head, the infinite universe, genetic engineering, shopping malls, deception, and a brilliant cellist called Zoe Keating, all in great audio with intriguing sound effects. Really thought provoking stuff and well crafted. You must try this one!

Going Linux: Now that I’ve managed to get Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibex to see my network, I’ve just started listening to the Going Linux podcast. Just the thing for anyone using Windows who is considering learning about or moving to Linux. I’m going though all the archived shows at the moment.

Now to the shows I catch when I can:

Geek News Central: Todd’s take on tech. One of the first tech podcasters and clearly very good at it. I just can’t fit in the two shows a week though so I listen when I can.

boagworld: Unbelievably the only UK podcast in my top tech shows. Website design. Again mostly way over my head, but they do have some items of interest to me.

The Tech Guy: Podcast from Leo’s weekend radio shows. Everything from PC troubleshooting, phones, TVs, DVD, home theatre to digital photography. Big plus here is that he drops the radio ad breaks from the podcast.

Computer America: Carey Holzman must be the most clued up guy I know when it comes to Windows troubleshooting. I try and grab the Friday shows especially when Scott Moulton (data recovery) or Scott Mueller (PC troubleshooting/repair) are on. Big minus here is that they don’t drop the radio ad breaks from the podcasts. But I guess someone has to pay Carey and Craig’s wages.

Cranky Geeks: Just as the title says. Well worth dropping in on.

A lot of work goes into producing these podcasts and show notes, by dedicated geeks very often in their spare time. Many of them are frontrunners in the tech field and have a wealth of information to pass on. Guys, I really appreciate what you’re doing.

Have I missed any you like? I’d love to hear your top tech podcasts. Drop us a comment with your picks.

Last edited: 17th November 2008


Aug 31
Tech podcasts …tech inspiration!
icon1 techandlife | icon2 Podcasts, Tech | icon4 August 31, 2008| icon31 Comment »

I have to give a mention to a couple of people who have fired me up to get more involved ‘blogging about tech’. I’ve been using PCs since 1988 and have been on the web since 1998. Spent some time on a couple of good UK PC forums, but it was only when I discovered tech podcasts that I started to develop a real interest in tech. The first podcast I found was the Mike Tech Show which is great because I’m really interested in PC tips, tricks and troubleshooting. I’ve been through the complete MTS archive and learned a lot from that. In the course of listening to those archives I came across a promo for The Knightcast, another great tech podcast with a fine host, Knightwise, and brilliant music.

Knightwise is Belgian so a bit closer to home for me. In 2006/2007, he did a spell as co-host with Dave Gray, Tim Smith and Keith Murray on the Global Geek Podcast, yet another superb podcast which then added Cait as co-host and has recently transformed into the Aussie Geek Podcast. This one is also a must-listen.

I listen to about 20 podcasts a week but these three have held my interest right from the start. For anyone interested in ‘how to tune technology into your everyday life and let tech work for you‘ as Knightwise would say, I can highly recommend these three tech podcasts.
I’m sure I’ll talk more about them all in future posts. I’ll also give a complete list of all the podcasts I listen to later.


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