Live From the Formosa Tea House, Session Two

We recorded another episode of Live From the Formosa Tea House this afternoon (the first episode is here).

You can download today’s episode (it’s an 11MB MP3 file) or, if you’re using iPodder or its brethren, you can set up an auto-grab via RSS 2.0 enclosures from our RSS 2.0 feed.

Self-flagellation about this episode:

  • We squeezed 30 minutes of content into 60 minutes of talking. We could probably lose a lot of the witty side-banter, and tighten up our conversation 50% and not lose anything.
  • The sound is better. We were in the back room of the Formosa Tea House, where it’s quieter and more isolated from the fray. Things got worse the more we went along because we forgot to lean into the microphone as our audio guru John advised. We need a big “LEAN IN” sign.
  • We were more focused: we had three set topics (Firefox, silverorange stuff and my phone adventures), and something of a structured “okay, now you’re the host” system worked out in advance. We can get better at this.
  • We flipped back and forth between “intended audiences” from “telling Ann Thurlow what Firefox is” (which will bore the techies) to “using FOAF and RSS and GPS to drive location-based Thai restaurant wayfinding” (which will bore the normal people). I don’t know what the solution to this is. Maybe there isn’t one.
  • Steven needs to read the how to pronounce Rukavina guidelines.
  • We have a nifty intro theme, courtesy of GarageBand on my iMac.
  • It was still fun and we’ll do it again next week.

Listener feedback is, as always, welcome.

Update: Here’s Steven’s original outline for the show:

  • Steven (me): Firefox 1.0 Preview Release (grilled by dan)
    • How did we get involved, how are we involved?
    • 1.0PR features/fixes
      • RSS stuff (live bookmarks)
      • Overall polish
      • New Find toolbar
      • update notifications
      • SSL visibility
      • Nice linux keyboard stuff
    • Usage trends
      • Different types of users
      • Default install
      • Spyware/popups, etc.
      • Numbers —
  • Dan: silverorange stuff site (grilled by peter)
    • reputations
    • vs. epinions/amazon-review
    • Google ads ($$$)
  • Peter: The Reinvented telephony setup (grilled by steven)
    • Why?
    • tech setup
    • costs
    • future ideas?
    • other VOIP stuff


Ken's picture
Ken on September 17, 2004 - 19:53 Permalink

Great improvements! I love the intro, where do the voices come from? Are they human or software?

Excellent focus on topics. You have convinced me that a conversation, even though it can’t be parsed/searched word for word, is a very worthy thing to put on the web.

I have been a phone geek since childhood, and was riveted by Peter’s Asterisk discussion. I was inspired by your Asterisk posts in the LAB section of this site. I now own two Digium cards, and had success with setting up Asterisk. My foray into VOIP has been stalled because of a higher telecom calling (I’m on a contract supporting UMTS equipment provided by Nortel to AT&T Wireless).
I know there are projects throughout the telecom industry to implement VOIP Media Gateway servers in Canada, even within Aliant’s network. So the costs and features will improve shortly.

Asterisk is the most exciting thing in telecom i have ever heard of, and I thank you again Peter for drawing my attention to it. I need ‘product radar’ like you have!

Bravo! Kudos! Brilliant! Can’t wait until the next one…

Stephan Segraves's picture
Stephan Segraves on September 17, 2004 - 22:35 Permalink

Really enjoyed this! The comments on Firefox were great.

Keep up the great work!!!

steve rukavina's picture
steve rukavina on September 20, 2004 - 14:05 Permalink

Hey I’m listening as I type to your radio program. I love the theme, and I love the ambience of the Teahouse. I also think your sound quality is fine — I can understand every word and you have a nice balance between your voices and the background sound.

I don’t really understand most of what you’re talking about, so the content I can’t really comment on. Stylistically, however, radio is my business, and I would say you’re doing it well. A good rule of thumb I think is the less contrived things can sound the better, although a certain degree of contrivance is almost impossible to avoid.

I like your show because it seems like you’re being yourselves, which is alot harder than it sounds when there’s a microphone in front of your face. I hope you keep at it.



Alan's picture
Alan on September 20, 2004 - 14:33 Permalink

I recall a trick for microphone distance from college radio days. Spread your thumb and pinkie as far apart as you can — pinkie on mike and thumb on chin should be the right distance. I do not know why there is a direct correlation between hand spread width and vocal volume but there you go.

Chris's picture
Chris on September 24, 2004 - 00:31 Permalink

The windows version of iPodder doesn’t download your feeds. Possibly something to do with the type=”application/x-bittorrent”/ attribute inside the feed?

Mozilla Firefox 1.0 PR
Azureus (Bittorrent Client)
Windows iPodder (…

Can you please look into this, as I’d like to set up iPodder to download the Formosa audio file automatically. I suppose I could download this myself (which I did) but it sort of defeats the idea of ipodder.


Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 24, 2004 - 00:34 Permalink

Feed fixed. Content-type changed to audio/mpeg. Sorry about that — a cut-and-paste error.

Chris's picture
Chris on September 24, 2004 - 01:52 Permalink

Thanks Peter, I appreciate the quick reply and fix.

I’m now faced with another problem where the windows ipodder script throws an error only with your feed. Even with a clean ipodder install.

It might be worth talking to the developer (if you have time) and see why this error is happening?

Thanks again.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 24, 2004 - 17:17 Permalink

I’ll see what I can find out, Chris. Thanks for the help.

Chris D.'s picture
Chris D. on February 1, 2005 - 12:36 Permalink

Greetings and thanks for great content , my personal tastes are for slightly more close mic-ing so the authorative and valuable information has more presence as the levels of voices in relation to background; sounds as if you are too far from your mic(s) .

As Podcasts go it is one of the more valuable ones I have listened to and enjoyable as well. I hope you guys keep at it since there is a definite ease to your rapport / delivery and the content is valuable .

Chris D.