Podcasts after the hype

I’ve been listening to podcasts for a few months now and after an initial bout of enthusiasm have cut down to a couple of hours a week. This is partly due to my current routine only offering a certain amount of time for listening and also getting bored with the content on some of the shows I listened to. The shows I still listen to are great, they are relevant to me and nothing similar is available in the UK on traditional radio.
The only way I can see myself consuming more podcasts is if in future my car can automatically download them and play them back. This is not a feature my Ford Galaxy currently offers. The shows that still make the short list are Slacker Astronomy, .Net Rocks, In the trenches and Chuck Chat, no prizes for guessing I’m a techie. I think podcasting is here to stay and will grow and grow, it seems obvious that more pseudo stations like ‘Techpodcasts.com’ will appear offering themed content from many sources and making it even easier to consume. I wonder if a paid subscription model will appear and be successful, I personally doubt it, the advertising based model seems to be more likely.

I’ll be in Woolacombe @ Windfest this weekend.

I will be drinking beer here…

Red Barn

Attempting to kitesurf here…

Woolacombe Beach

If you have ever fancied trying your hand at kitesurfing this weekend is a great opportunity to come along,  learn about the sport and have a go. Lots of manufacturers are demoing kit and there will lots of knowledgable people on hand to give advice.

Windfest Website

EDIT: I just checked the forecast no wind, guess I’ll just have to drink beer all the time.

Election Fever

The Uk has started the process that will culminate in a General Election on May 5th. For the next few weeks all we will see on the television is Michael Howard or Tony Blair or some other politician.I will probably vote Liberal this time, if I vote at all. I will vote Liberal for the simple reason they opposed the war in Iraq.

What I would like to see and what I feel would make the UK more democratic is the introduction of voting over the internet. If this can be succesfully introduced and shown to be accurate and not corruptable then I would like to see it extended to all major issues, like the Euro.


Apparently I should vote green at the next election

Who Should You Vote For?

Who should I vote for?

Your expected outcome:

Liberal Democrat

Your actual outcome:

Labour -1
Conservative 1
Liberal Democrat 21
UK Independence Party 6
Green 33

You should vote: Green

The Green Party, which is of course strong on environmental issues, takes a strong position on welfare issues, but was firmly against the war in Iraq. Other key concerns are cannabis, where the party takes a liberal line, and foxhunting, which unsurprisingly the Greens are firmly against.

Take the test at Who Should You Vote For

Cheap Mobile Podcasting Tip

If you want to make simple podcasts or sound scene tours on the move and on the cheap then read on. Buy one of them there portable mini-disc players Amazon are advertising them for £40 and get a mic that can plug into a micro jack socket and you’re in business. Once you have recorded your podcast you will need to play it back into the PC and digitize it unless you go for one of the more fancy models that can link to a PC with a cradle.

I created a podcast using this method the other day and was very happy with the results.

There aren’t enough UK A-list bloggers

This is a feeling I’ve developed since my introduction to the blogoshpere a few months ago, the US has a host of heavyweight blogging stars that are discussing issues. Some of these issues transcend national boundaries so are of interest to all, however, some are truly domestic issues and of little consequence to non US citizens (i.e. me). Every now and then I go on a crusade looking for UK based uber bloggers but rarely turn up much. Maybe it is just a matter of time or I’m not looking in the right places.

If you know of any UK bloggers who have a razor sharp up to the minute mega blog writing skills then let me know, I’d appreciate it.

What Visual Source Safe doesn’t do for us.

I work in a small dev team of seven people. I manage at any one time two or three developers and what Visual Source Safe (VSS) doesn’t offer me is a way to track what these developers have worked on. This is important to me for three reasons firstly as a sanity check when something goes wrong and I quickly need to check which team members worked on it. Secondly as a productivity guage that shows how much code has been added or updated by a developer, this is a blunt instrument but if nothing has changed then this is a sure fire way of discovering your developer is surfing the web all day 😉 .Thirdly to facilitate code review for team members.

Essentially what we need is an audit trail that can be reviewed on a developer basis. The reason (I’m guessing) this functionality is not present in VSS is because it is not built on top of a relational database like Sourcegear’s product Vault and not designed to support source code control for a team like ours. I am just about to evaluate Vault .

I have already blogged about Visual Studio Team System (VSTS) pricing as have many others and I have read a lot of developer blogs that indicate VSTS is not aimed at teams our size either on price or the way roles are individually defined, although as far as I’m concerned the jury is still out on this. If it does turn out to be true it leaves dev teams like ours between a rock and a hard place.