The Studio is Live

After tons of research, contemplation, internal fights over whether I was crazy or not and lots of consultation with my “production engineerCody I finally made my podcasting studio decisions. Even more, I acted on them.

That’s the studio as it is today, Tardis and all. In fact, when I posted an earlier version of this image on Facebook, almost the only thing people could focus on was my giant Tardis in the background. No joke I had half a dozen people ask me if I had an actual Tardis in my apartment. Of course the answer was yes. Yes, I have a real Tardis in my apartment.

To be honest, I’m just happy that I have so many awesomely nerdy friends who knew what a Tardis is. Whovians unite!

I wrote in a previous post about the items I was purchasing to build out my studio. What you see above is a little different due to some hiccups in the process and some lessons learned. Continue reading

2014 Budget Podcast Studio

Welcome to part two of my podcast equipment buying guide. This guide covers all the basics for a great sounding, mid-budget podcasting setup. I’m calling it the “Budget” podcasting studio but I promise it’s better than most podcasting setups out there. It’s probably better than a lot of the setups your favorite podcasts have. Seriously, you’d be amazed…

Earlier I wrote up a “Bare Bones” podcasting studio equipment guide. It skimped out on the mixer, had no dedicated digital audio recorder, used cheaper microphones and headphones. This system is a dramatic step up in quality and will allow your podcast to grow without making more immediate investments.

Out of the box you’ll be ready to podcast with hi-fidelity audio across four microphones and even bring in audio from extra sources like a Skype call or even one of those “morning zoo” sound machines.

There is a great iPhone app if you feel you need to go this route…  But I digress. Continue reading

2014 Bare Bones Podcast Studio

Welcome to part one of my podcast equipment buying guide. This guide covers all the basics for a great sounding, low-budget podcasting setup. I’m calling it the “Bare Bones” podcasting studio but I promise it’s a solid start.

truly bare bones setup would probably just be you, your iPhone and a voice recording app, but let’s not stoop that low. No, this setup will get you going with everything you need to do a show with a guest or co-host and sound great while doing it. Continue reading

Rethinking the Ike’s Place iPhone Application

If you were to ask ten San Franciscans for the best sandwich shop in town I wouldn’t be surprised if they all exclaimed Ike’s Place as the best sandwiches. Ike’s menu is absolutely astoundingly huge with eighty listed sandwiches and many more secret sandwiches that only the cool kids know about.

I’m a bit spoiled to be honest as I live just one block away from an Ike’s. I found myself tempted to eat one of their gargantuan sandwiches just about everyday back when I worked from home. Thankfully I had the willpower to know better. Their sandwiches range in price from $10 all the way up to $20 (though the average price is $10.60) and they’re famously large with The Kryptonite sandwich clocking in at 5,700 calories!

Those same San Franciscans that would have suggested Ike’s Place would also add the caveat “But be ready to wait in a long line or order ahead.” Ike’s Place is so popular that they’ve been kicked out of their shops at least twice (?) since I moved to San Francisco. Neighbors pushed them out due to the extremely high traffic. Ordering ahead of time is absolutely essential with some wait times exceeding an hour!

Thankfully Ike’s Place has an iPhone app for ordering ahead of time (no online ordering through their website which bewilders me). It’s made by mCommerce Innovations Group and it’s pretty horrible. Look Ike Shehadeh, I LOVE your sandwiches. I just want the best for you guys which is why I wrote up this post. It’s full of criticisms, corrections and the like but it’s also full of solutions and love.

Disclaimer: I’m not a real designer, I’m not a UX/UI expert for some big dev company, I’m not a real programmer or a guru at any of this stuff. This just what a casual user, who has a touch of OCD, observed when trying to order a sandwich from his favorite sandwich shop.

Continue reading

Chill Out Y’all, it’s Just Instagram “Ruining” Itself Again

All this talk today about Instagram adding video and how that is going to ruin it reminded me of all the talk about Facebook acquiring Instagram and how that was going to ruin it. It didn’t just in case you were wondering. Also it reminds me of that Instagram added Android devices and how that was going to ruin it. Hell, remember when people remarked that Instagram changed some filters and how it was going to ruin it?

Let’s go over that again.

  • Did filter changes ruined Instagram? — No
  • Did adding Android ruin Instagram? — No
  • Did Facebook’s acquisition ruin Instagram? — No
  • Will the addition of video ruin Instagram? — No

Instagram adding video is not an Instagram decision. It isn’t about expanding features within the app answering a feature request from its 100 million users. It’s simply about Facebook’s continued battle with Twitter as the dominant social network.

They battled over acquiring Instagram, Twitter lost. Twitter births Vine as a response (6 seconds long video service, no filters) so Facebook’s natural response is to add video to Instagram (3 to 15 seconds long video with filters). This just a week after Facebook added hashtags, a Twitter staple, to their network. Don’t even get me started on URL shorteners, Google+ and “firehoses.” Continue reading

MetaWatch Strata, a Smart Watch for Nerds by Nerds

I’ve had the MetaWatch Strata for a few weeks now and thought it was about time that I share some thoughts on it. But first I’ll answer the question you’re probably asking, “What the heck is a ‘MetaWatch?'” It’s a smart watch, a watch that connected via bluetooth to your iOS or Android phone. “Oh so you mean a Pebble watch?” No. I mean a MetaWatch.

That is the MetaWatch I have, the Olympian Blue with Digital Camo Band. I’ve had mine for just under a month and I can confidently say that it has changed my life for the nerdier (and maybe even for the better).

MetaWatch was brought to life and into our lives via a successful Kickstarter campaign. It wasn’t quite as successful as the Pebble Watch campaign, not even close really, but it was a success none-the-less. In all honesty I don’t know why so many people got so excited about the Pebble. It got over $10,000,000 in Kickstarter funds and a second round of $15,000,000 after the campaign ended.

Pebble raised over $25,000,000 and yet they had issues getting them to customers. Meanwhile MetaWatch raised just over $300,000 and they were shipping to customers a month later. That’s impressive. Also the MetaWatch is both dorkier, cooler and just overall a better watch than the Pebble. I’ll never understand why Pebble won the money race. Continue reading

iPhone 4 won’t update to iOS 5.1

UPDATE: It’s been fixed! Thanks to my friendly and always helpful Twitter friends @jdyates, @mrfrank505, @ropiko, @richmackey, @josephjaramillo, @Apple9511and @shuether for their suggestions.

Turns out the fix was as easy as using a different computer. Turns out (and I only sort of know what I’m talking about here) the issue came from when I used an iOS jailbreak tool to unlock an iPhone for my trip to Europe and Saudi Arabia. It redirected the activation from Apple to Cydia which is why I got the error message below.

There are two fixes, either edit the host file through Terminal or just do the update on a different computer. Since the command I had to fix through terminal didn’t work, I tried the update on my MacBook Pro and it worked like a charm!

So I have this iPhone 4 which is in absolute perfect physical shape, only has three months of use yet after around iOS 5 Beta 3, the phone stopped working correctly, the digitizer stopped working reliably. That is, sometimes after unlocking the phone, you could not swipe to unlock, the screen was remapped and a swipe to the bottom didn’t do anything, sliding across other parts of the screen would move the unlock button to a degree but never enough to unlock.

I had to keep this phone unlocked 24/7 or risk having a phone that was unusable. I eventually was forced to buy the iPhone 4S. Since I was running a beta version of iOS and couldn’t undo that after Beta 4, Apple would not honor the warranty.

Do you have any suggestions? DFU restore and regular iTunes restores do not work. I’ve tried numerous times to upgrade this phone to the latest version of iOS 5 and 5.1 with no luck. I have even wiped it from its built in restore feature but that hasn’t worked.

Hopefully someone reading this will have an idea as I am all out of them!