My name is George, and I am writing to you from beautiful Melbourne, Australia. I used to have a whole heap of guff here on this page with my life story, but then I figured that if I’m going to have a page here that hardly anyone is going to read, that I would at least put some more interesting content on it.
I am a web developer by day (mainly neck-deep in the LAMP stack, but I’m finding I’m increasingly spending more time on the front end of things), but outside of work I’m mainly dabbling in one of my favourite pastimes — retro computing, which if you don’t know what that word means, I basically enjoy mucking about with the computers that your parents probably used when they were in school.
I have other hobbies and interests too, naturally, but I really enjoy retro computing, and judging by the content that’s on my site as I write this, I do a fair bit of it. I mainly use my Commodore Amiga 1200 (the darling of my humble collection) but I also have a a penchant for the Apple computers of yore.
I recall reading an about page of someone I follow on Twitter, and rather than having their life story in word form on their site, they wrote a small piece on what podcasts they listen to, which I thought was a pretty good idea. I can’t for the life of me recall whose site this was from, so I do apologise in the (very) off chance that this blogger finds out. Here goes:
- Accidental Tech Podcast — goes without saying really. John Siracusa, Casey Liss and Marco Arment talk about tech, Apple, programming and the occasional BMW chat. I really like listening to this podcast, even the occasionally long episodes that can be more than 2.5 hours. I generally find (read: see on Twitter) that the podcast can be polarising — you either really like it, or you really don’t. Probably the only negative I sometimes hear in the podcast is that opinions are occasionally stated as fact, so if you keep that in mind it’s quite good.
- Amigavibes podcast — a musical podcast showcasing demoscene tunes. This podcast I find you won’t hear from for a long period of time, and then all of the sudden 10 episodes appear in the feed. It’s good listening while I work (with headphones in of course), if you like listening to chiptunes. It’s chiptunes, but like 16-bit sounding, so it’s not as bloppy and bloopy like some other podcasts further below.
- Amigos — a podcast about the Amiga, but from a US perspective. These guys have come a long way from their very humble beginnings, and put a lot of effort into their production values (especially their video version, which I don’t subscribe to). It’s interesting to hear how (poorly?) the Amiga was received in the US, and what genres of games the US market was interested in compared to the European / Australian perspective.
- Car Talk — reruns of the NPR radio show featuring Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers themselves. Surprisingly, this is a show that my wife doesn’t mind listening to in the car.
- Chicken Lips Radio — hosted by two Commodore 64 fans. I have a C64 myself that I’m still trying to learn the ropes with, so this podcast helps with informing me on what’s new for the platform. The hosts market the podcast as a source for all things Commodore, but their content is scant on the Amiga subject, which is slightly disappointing. To be fair, the hosts are quite entrenched with the Commodore 64, and have admitted their lack of knowledge with the Amiga platform, but they’re learning albeit slowly.
- Connected — this is my go-to podcast for all news and opinions about Apple. It has a good international flavour, which I enjoy. This replaced MacBreak Weekly after I had enough of Leo Laporte eulogising Android on his show all the time and rubbishing the iOS platform.
- Do Go On — a trivia podcast hosted by three Melbourne-based comedians. A topic is chosen a few days in advance, and each host takes turns making a report on said topic every week. Very entertaining.
- The History of Personal Computing — hosted by two American retro computing enthusiasts, where they discuss old computer tech and eBay finds. Many of their episodes have spurred me to see if any of these retro computers are on eBay at that moment, to add to my own collection. The audio quality could do with improvement on this podcast (I recall one episode where a host’s printer was whirring away in the background!) so maybe one for the car and not the headphones.
- I Love Green Guide Letters — a Melbourne based podcast where the host reads out the whiny and pedantic letters to the editor of the Green Guide (Melbourne’s version of the TV guide). The guest hosts / comedians on the show is what I find most entertaining about this podcast.
- The Retro Hour — if you watch any Amiga clips on YouTube, then you will be familiar with the two hosts of this UK-based podcast. Although Dan and Ravi are big Amiga heads, their podcast does cover retro gaming in general, so if Sega Mega Drive, or Amstrad CPC464, or ZX Spectrum, or whatever is more your thing, I’m sure you will still enjoy this podcast. They tend to land quite a few interviews with some of the big names in game development from the 80s and 90s. A great listen.
- Song Exploder — the host interviews a music group or artist or producer about a particular song they have recorded, who then meticulously explain the thought process or inspiration for each section of their song. Very well produced, and have featured artists such as Metallica, CHVRCHES, Iggy Pop, and Weezer. The Björk episode where she explains how Stonemilker was created is my favourite.
- 99% Invisible — a great podcast on how design has impacted our lives, whether we have realised it or not. Very well produced, and short enough to not bore you with details. Highly recommended.
- The Allusionist — discussion on the English language and how linguistics are evolving, even if we don’t realise it is.
- Bitjam Podcast — this is one of those chiptune podcasts that sound like it was produced on a Commodore 64 (not a bad thing!) The SID chip is featured heavily on this podcast.
- Hello Internet — this podcast is full of intellectual discussion, and I get sucked into their discussion and before you know it, 2 hours have gone by. Hosted by Brady Haran and CGP Grey.
- Open Apple — a podcast about the Apple II. The hosts are friendly enough, despite their extreme bias against all things Commodore or Atari (boo Atari) but the Apple II is getting a bit of a resurgence in popularity in retro computing circles of late, so how else am I suppose to keep my finger on the pulse of the Apple II platform?
- Retro Computing Roundtable — one of my favourite podcasts. Most of the hosts are 8-bit fans but the show is quite meta and tries to encompass all things retro computing, especially the culture. The eBay finds they showcase is my most favourite section of their show.
- Retro Mac Cast — I think this is the longest running podcast today that I still listen to. The show has been going on for over 10 years now and I’ve been listening to it for almost the entire time. The hosts focus naturally on the classic Mac platform from the original Macintosh all the way up to the last of the PowerPC line.
- Twenty Thousand Hertz — a podcast about the stories behind the world’s most recognisable sounds. This is still quite a new podcast, but the productions values are quality and episodes like the 8-bit episode (naturally) and the Siri episode are great. Think of this as the 99% Invisible but for sounds instead of design.
So you can probably tell right now that I listen to podcasts a lot. I listen to them in my car, on my commute to work, while I’m at work, on my commute home, even at home when I’m doing chores. I’d be happy to know what podcasts you listen to — feel free to let me know on Twitter.