Keep Practising 19: Podcast Player Roundup

I’ve trialled a few different podcast player apps over the past few days. This is a short summary of my findings, after trialling Apple Podcasts, Castro, Overcast and Pocket Casts.

My letter to Amiga Format

In the most recent episode of my podcast Hemispheric Views I mentioned the time I was featured in the Workbench section of Amiga Format magazine.

I loved the Amiga, and I subscribed to Amiga Format in addition to a few other British and Australian Amiga magazines. The highlight of my month was riding my bike to the newsagent to collect my reserved copy.

I always liked the productivity and system utility applications more than gaming. I was a weird kid like that.

Amiga Format’s Workbench section was the Discourse forum of its day. People would write in with questions (with letters as this pre-dated email) and the magazine experts would publish the question and provide a helpful response. It was this section where I learned so much and to this day, Internet forums are still the best way to learn things.

In any case, I recall being stumped on a problem so I wrote in to Workbench asking for some help. I am sure I sent it via Airmail, but even still, getting a letter from Australia to the UK, then into the printing and production cycle resulted in something like a 6-month lead time. I think I had forgotten about it after a couple of months.

Imagine my surprise then, when months later, I see my name in print, in the world’s best-selling Amiga magazine. This was huge! It was the April 1992 issue. That would have put me at 14 years old. Maybe I was 13 when I wrote the letter, who knows?

I kept my huge pile of Amiga magazines for years. Eventually, though, I had to say goodbye. I kept the issue that I was published in for longer, but finally I had to say goodbye to that one also. But I never forgot that I was in the Amiga Format magazine that had Felix the Cat on the cover.

That takes me to now. My friend and podcast co-host Jason Burk writes the best show notes in the podcasting business. He found and linked to an entire online archive of Amiga Format magazines. This was what I needed. I found my Felix the Cat cover, and brought up the issue.

There it was. Page 209. Workbench. “Missing Drawers”, from “Andrew Canion, Australia”. My letter lives on. Amiga Format

Article Full Text

Missing Drawers

From: Andrew Canion, Australia

I have been attempting to design my own split image icon for use as a drawer. I have copied the Empty drawer from my Workbench 1.3 disk. I have then split this icon using the IconMerge program on the Extras disk.

I then edit it with IconEd, and saved the two images back to disk before joining them into one icon with IconMerge again. The actual changing image works fine when I click once, but when I double click to open the drawer itself. I get an error message telling me that the drawer cannot be opened. I’m a relative beginner, so tell me in simple terms what am I doing wrong?

An icon is just a picture to click on. What you’re miss- ing is a directory with the same name (in this case, empty). You’re clicking on an icon, but your Amiga cannot find anything with the same name. To make a directory from the Shell, type:

Makedir nameofmydisk:Empty

It should work then. For nameofmydisk, put the name of the disk that you’re editing icons on. If the name has spaces in it, then you must put double quotes around the whole thing, for example:

Makedir "Name of my disk:Empty"

Keep Practising 18: US Election

I voice my anxiety about the forthcoming US election. I worry about the place the United States of America holds in the world, and what might happen to this in the future. I also have concerns about what might happen within the country, irrespective of the result.

Keep Practising 17: Exercise

As I’m no longer playing basketball, I’ve gotten fat and sore. Exercise seems to be my only option. In Nerd Corner, I talk about new audio configurations and a trial of Hindenburg Journalist.

Keep Practising 16: Hemispheric Views

A quick update on another podcast project I’ve been working on with two other friends. Hemispheric Views has launched and we are quite proud of it.

Hemispheric Views is Go!

I’m excited to have worked with two other great people to put something new out into the world. Working with Jason Burk and Martin Feld, we have released the first episode of a new podcast, Hemispheric Views.

Our topics for this first episode range across condiments, technology and the price of petrol. Over time we anticipate the show will have a technology bias but we are interested to explore how Martin and I as Australians interpret things in comparison to Jason in the USA.

I’m proud of this first episode and I’ve got high hopes for our continuous improvement.

If you can find the time to have a listen, that would be amazing. Ideally, you’ll enjoy it enough that you will subscribe in your favourite podcast player app, and tell a friend about the show.

Have I Found a Fix for Logitech Mouse Judder?

2020-08-31 Update: No, I have not found the fix.

I mentioned in Episode 15 of Keep Practising that my Logitech mouse was giving me the #$%@s with respect to the amount of judder and unresponsiveness on macOS. This problem exhibited irrespective of whether it was connected to Bluetooth or the Logitech dongle.

Good news. I may have found a solution. Early days yet, but since applying this fix I haven’t experienced the issue again.

I can’t take credit for the fix. That goes to ‘rubytraindriver’ on Reddit/r/MacOS.

The suggestion was to remove, and then re-add, both Logitech Options and Logitech Options Daemon from the Mac’s Accessibility options, within the Security & Privacy preferences pane, Privacy tab.

This simple - but entirely obfuscated and obscure fix - offers another example of how infuriating the Catalina macOS security model is for users.

I’m not on the Big Sur beta, but I hope that it does better at this stuff than Catalina.

Keep Practising 13: Interview with Patrick Canion

Andrew is joined by his brother, Patrick Canion to discuss his work and life, most notably how he has made the transition to living in Switzerland after spending his entire working life in Perth, Western Australia.

Down the Podcasting Microphone Rabbit-hole

Oh boy, it’s happening to me. Some months ago when I made the decision to start doing some podcasting, I did my research and selected the Rode Podcaster microphone as my weapon of choice.

It’s been working fine for me, but at the same time, I’ve never been totally certain that it’s the right mic for me. I’m an amateur and I’m learning as I go but the Podcaster struck me as sounding somewhat ‘thin’. Plus the gain from the mic was really low. Research suggests this makes absolutely no difference whatsoever to the end result but it still made me curious about other options.

The Podcaster was not cheap so I’ve been reticent to spend more money on hardware. Yet I could resist it when I saw a good price on the new Audio Technica ATR 2100-X which is a combination USB/XLR microphone. I’m still in the USB world directly connecting to my iMac. I haven’t - and at this stage don’t want to - go down the preamp rabbit hole.

Today the ATR-2100x arrived. I’ve given it a 45 second test to date, so this doesn’t act as a review. What I noticed immediately is that it sounded richer and the gain was definitely higher. However, the dynamic range was therefore more limited compared with the Rode Podcaster. In the test I did, the Podcaster handled it all whereas the ATR-2100x experienced clipping.

I will keep experimenting and will likely record my next episode of Keep Practising with the new Audio Technica.

All this is to say, it appears I may be starting the slippery slide towards becoming an audio gearhead. Send help!

Keep Practising 12: Wrestling

I’ve always noticed a distinct intersection between those who like basketball and those who like wrestling. In this episode I discuss my history of watching wrestling. It used to be WWF/WWE, but these days I am more excited by EPW (Explosive Pro Wrestling) - an indie show that operates out of Perth, Western Australia.

In Nerd Corner I talk about my recent dalliance with the fundraising/supporter platform Ko-fi.

Keep Practising: 12 - Tipping the TBT2020 Winner

I was bereft not being able to record an NBL Pocket Podcast today. So to assuage my sadness I have brought in my son, David, to provide the hot tip. Who does he think will win the tournament? Tune in and find out!

Be sure also to check out the daily podcast we’ve been recording at the NBL Pocket Podcast. Each day we have broken down the TBT2020 tournament and provided a perspective from the point of view of the Australian NBL.

Keep Practising: 11 - Graeme Speak, CEO & Founder of BankVault

I welcome a special guest to the show, Graeme Speak of BankVault. BankVault has developed a cybersecurity product that can circumvent security risks such as key logging and man-in-the-middle attacks, by offering passwordless logins.

As well as discussing the BankVault product, Graeme discusses his approach to entrepreneurship. We talk about the differences between business in Perth, Western Australia where BankVault has been founded, and San Francisco, California where he is currently based.

A conversation about the risks and benefits of kitesurfing also ensues.

Graeme Speak on LinkedIn

Keep Practising: 10 - Why Am I Doing This?

I consider why I am doing this podcast, and why I gave it the name Keep Practising.

In Nerd Corner, I note my disappointment with how Apple has handled the HEY App Store situation, but note my pride in how my article about replicating the Hey workflow in regular apps has been received.

Brené Brown, Unlocking Us, Episode 1

Keep Practising: 09 - Racism is not cool, featuring David Canion

Today I welcome my son to the show. He wanted to address the issue of racism, which has been on his mind of recent times.

Keep Practising: 08 - Joe from NBL Pocket Podcast

I am joined by special guest Joe, host of the NBL Pocket Podcast. We talk about Joe’s experience making the podcast that is focused on the Australian National Basketball League.

We discuss favourite players and coaches, his best interviews, the NBL product today, and how the league engages with its fan base.

We also consider what makes for a quality NBL TV experience.

It was brilliant to be welcomed as a guest by @martinfeld on his Lounge Ruminator podcast. We dived into our respective histories of computing. So much fun.

Keep Practising: S01, E07 - The Last Dance

Keep Practising: S01, E07 - The Last Dance.

I give my thoughts on “The Last Dance”, and remember the time that I met Phil Jackson and Luc Longley.

I celebrate the big news from the NBL, and specifically the Perth Wildcats.

In Nerd Corner this week, I’ve been improving my webcam setup and installing Windows on my iMac.

Keep Practising: S01, E06 - Life in Isolation

Keep Practising: S01, E06: I reflect on how COVID-19 has impacted life at home and on Perth more broadly. In “Nerd Corner” this week, I talk about using Stream Deck in combination with Keyboard Maestro.

Keep Practising: S01, E05 - Meditation

Keep Practising: S01, E05: I take on the hippy-dippy topic of meditation, have some follow-up with regards to Australian basketball and introduce a new segment, “Nerd Corner”.

Keep Practising: S01, E04 - Basketball

Keep Practising: S01, E04: Basketball. Andrew reminisces about his basketball playing days, and provides us with a scouting report on his own game. 🎙

Keep Practising: S01, E03

Keep Practising: S01, E03. A potted history of computer gaming.

Keep Practising: S01, E02

Keep Practising: S01, E02. In this time of COVID-19 quarantines, I consider the value of social media platforms to my life.

Keep Practising: S01, E01

Keep Practising: S01, E01.

Andrew starts a podcast. As is the cultural norm, this first podcast episode is dominated with talk about podcasting.