Weekly Rewind #104

Time for another Weekly Rewind, number 104. It’s been pretty cold and icy in the UK over the last week and as usual we’ve all gone mad with panic. Trains cancelled, warnings on the news to stay home. I can understand people taking precautions but other countries seem to manage perfectly well with much worse weather. They must laugh at our hysteria. Anyway, despite the weather I have a lot to report back on from the last 10 days. So let’s talk about it…

I’ll begin with Saturday Jan 28th where I appeared as a guest on the Alt3red Egos podcast. It’s a comics show and it was great to geek out talking about The Punisher, Watchmen and some of my other favourites. I would never call myself a comic book expert but I do have a small collection of graphic novels and I’m a bit of nerd on the sly. Or perhaps not on the sly, most people can probably see it a mile off. The show was a lot of fun and it was released the following week, you can grab it here.

On the Sunday (29th) I edited another Free As In Freedom and rehearsed with my band 20lb Sounds. More on that later. Fast forwarding to Monday we did another live Linux Outlaws in the evening. Episode 249 to be precise. You can download the show now from our website – Linux Outlaws 249 “Inflatible Tanks”. I processed and synced up the audio later before bed. The following day (Tuesday) I got up early and headed to the offices of LJMU Open Labs on Edge Lane. I was there for the second day of our video course and we had a great time playing with all kinds of fancy camera kit. The course was led by Chris Chadwick of The Hatch who’s a lovely bloke and knows a thing or three about video production. In the evening I walked down to DoES Liverpool for a GeekUp Liverpool meeting where Chris was again presenting about video. I haven’t been to GeekUp in a while but I was glad I made the effort. I should get down there more often.

The Open Rights Group logoOn Wednesday it was a bumper podcasting day. I had a meeting early in the afternoon but scampered back to the studio to record our Linux Outlaws Digital Rights Update with the good folks from the Open Rights Group. It’s a new thing we plan to do every few weeks, probably a short section within regular shows but this time we wanted to do a full episode to introduce the idea. I edited that the following Monday (Feb 6th) and it should be released as episode 250 of the show very soon. Almost immediately after finishing one recording it was into another for FLOSS Weekly. I joined Randal for episode 200 which was an honour. Our guest project was Autotest, a powerful tool for automatically testing builds of the Linux kernel. It’s also used to test many other things now and seems to be growing all the time. You can download that as FLOSS Weekly 200 – Autotest.

After FLOSS there was time to quickly make some food before heading down to Liverpool LUG on Bold St. We had a talk on Java3D from Tony Burrows which I found most interesting. I looked at Java3D almost 10 years ago when I was in University but had lost touch since. It seems like it’s come a long way. Finally for Wednesday I headed over to Dale St after the talk to meet up with the band. We had extra practice for our gig. On Thursday I was at LEAF all day for Jelly. I also got some flyers printed for our gig on the Saturday and tried to drum up business. Then after Jelly guess what? Yep that’s right, more band practice. Our regular Thursday night practice this time.

an external shot of Sony's Studio Liverpool building in Wavertree

On Friday I was in need of a rest after a busy week but I did find time to rewrite my tech article for Seven Streets. It’s a really popular Liverpool website with news and reviews for all the goings on in the city. I was asked to become a regular technology columnist before Christmas which is a great honour. Unfortunately the first draft of my article went off on a tangent and wasn’t really Liverpool-related enough. I took another stab at it and rather than adapting the first article I just wrote a whole new one. Fortunately this was much better and the editors liked it. The article was published yesterday (Feb 7th) and it’s had many nice responses. Now I just need to come up with something for next month.

On Saturday morning I made the short walk over to the LJMU Art & Design Academy for TEDx Merseyside. TED is well known and I’m sure some of you will have been to one of their events or watched a video online. TEDx is a small independently organised event under their umbrella. This one was titled “The New Futurism” and I had no idea what to expect going in. When I got there it seemed to be a mixture of motivational talks, lots about giving birth and other rather random stuff. I wasn’t sure what to make of it all but I did find the stuff about facial expressions and reading body language particularly interesting. I chatted with friends and hung out there until mid afternoon when I had to retire and get ready for the gig. I met the band at our rehearsal room and we loaded the stuff up then set off for sound check. The weather was particularly bad on Saturday, the ice was thickening and we had severe snow warnings. The sound check went well and we headed off to get food before the gig. I got back there in time to see the opening band called The Dots. A trio featuring acoustic guitar, melodica and human beatbox, a unique sound indeed. They were incredible and I hope to book them for the Rathole Radio gig on May 11th @ LEAF. If I can find them again that is. Searching online hasn’t turned up much information. Fingers crossed.

We got on stage at just before 10pm and played a 35min set which was great fun. The crowd reacted kindly and although the weather had affected the turnout there was still a few people there. I put everything into it and was pretty much running on adrenaline for the rest of the night if I’m honest. We’ll be back there on Saturday March 3rd and I hope to see some of you there!

On Sunday I was pretty exhausted after the gig but I still found time to put together the tracks for another live Rathole Radio in the evening. I broadcast the show as normal and had a great time chatting to listeners as it went along. I released that yesterday and you can grab it here – Rathole Radio 71.

On Monday I edited the Linux Outlaws digital rights update and shipped it back to Fab. I also sorted out my personal site a little bit and caught up on other bits and pieces.


It’ll be an interesting weekend as I head to Preston for Hack To The Future. I’m going to be talking to a bunch of kids about podcasting, how and why to do it. That could be daunting as I’m no experienced teacher but I’m sure we’ll get on fine. We’ll have another live Linux Outlaws on Friday night at our usual time. I’m sure there’ll also be much to report on that I’ve forgotten. I’ll update you all next week.

Until then, take care of yourselves in that ice!



  1. Where do you here about all the events you go to?

    • @jon – Mostly I hear about them through friends and acquaintances. I suppose I’m lucky that way but I know a lot of organisers of local Barcamps and other events. I also hear about them from mailing lists. Are you based in the UK? Particularly in the North West? If so I suggest seeking out things like your local Linux User Group mailing list, the Geekup.org lists and others. Most of these events are also announced through those. Hope that helps in some way. Sorry I can’t offer more specific advice. Maybe it’s a good topic for a future blog post though. Useful mailing lists.


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