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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Thoughts on Podcamp Philly 2007

by Ken Newquist / September 9, 2007

For a while, it looked like the Unconference was going to live up to its name: while Podcamp Philly had a list of proposed seminars, we didn't get a concrete schedule until Wednesday. No worries though -- Podcamp's organized chaos congealed at the last moment, providing a rambling structure to a Saturday full of podcasting goodness.

The chaos lurked just behind the corners as folks tried to use the guest ids scribbled on  whiteboards around the Drexel University classrooms to log into the wireless network … at least until they figured out that the IDs only worked on the lab computers. Wired connections for the wandering bands of Mac, Windows and Linux laptop owners were scrounged however, giving rise to deep-sea scuba-like drama as people swapped Ethernet cables back and forth to share net connections.

The sessions were about what you'd expect at any conference: some good, some blah, with the best ones being those that encouraged audience participation (the exception being Apple's GarageBand session, which gave a lightning fast overview of the software, but still managed to provide some helpful insights into it.  Of course, the conference itself was free, which gives it an edge up over many conferences I've gone to that had so-so seminars but cost a few hundred dollars.

Podcast Philly 2007: Using Garageband for Basic Podcasting

by Ken Newquist / September 8, 2007

Presented by Mike Wolk, Senior Systems Engineer, Apple Inc.. He provided a quick overview of how to use GarageBand to record podcasts and enhance them with photos and web addresses. I knew a lot of this, having used GarageBand before, so I'm just focusing on what I didn't know.

If you right-click on a photo in Safari, you can add it right to your iPhoto Library

Need to record your lectures with PowerPoint/Keynote slides? Use Profcast to record, then edit in GarageBand.

Podcamp Philly 2007: Help, I hate the sound of my own voice!

by Ken Newquist / September 8, 2007

Presented by Rick Glasby, Crashbang Digital, who discusses what mic to use, where to record, and how to tweak your audio setup.

Which mic to use: you want to use some sort of condensor mic:

  • Samson CO1U - cardioid sensor
  • Audio Technica AT2020 - phantom power, cardiod sensor
  • Blue Snowball Mic (cardiod or omni directional, about $100, USB connection).
  • Alesis USB podcasting mic (usb, stand, headphones)
  • Tascam US-122LTNT (requires mixer, but uses a USB mixer)

USB Mics

Podcamp Philly 2007: Your Podcast Statistics

by Ken Newquist / September 8, 2007

Presented by Rob Safuto, RawVoice and the New York Minute Show. Talks about gathering all sorts of different statistics for your podcasts, from downloads to web statistics to community feedback.

Start off with round-table introductions and thoughts about statistics. Ideas include:

  • Libysyn
  • Know Your Audience - engagement
  • FeedBurner - RSS feed, media
  • Know Your Web site - Google analytics,

What's your goal:

Podcamp Philly: Audio Editing Techniques

by Ken Newquist / September 8, 2007

Presented by Mark Blevis, Electric Sky and Canadian Podcast Buffet.

The workshop's popular enough to push us into an overflow room. That means we can't interact with the presenter, but we do have wired connections and power! Mark is using Cubase on the Mac. Starts off talking about the ancient old days of tape editing, then transitions to digital editing.

First up, the clean cut, doing simple editing of clips with little background noise.

Game Day: Quest for the Sunsword

by Ken Newquist / September 7, 2007

Some how Pierce Haligarth has survived his fellow Lightbringer, Donegal, cleric of Daern. The cleric fell while Pierce and his fellow adventurers sought the Amulet of Ravenkind, which they'll need to fight the dread Count Strahd of Castle Ravenloft. While Donegal rests in his gods eternal fortress, he's left the rest of the party to hunt down the other critical magic item they'll need: the fabled (and long lost) sunsword.

Imagination's Toolbox Back in Development

by Ken Newquist / September 6, 2007

Imagination's Toolbox, a gaming system designed around rules-light play, is back in development over at This has been an on-again, off-again project of Berin's for a while, and I'm happy to see it on again. He's got a bare-bones version of the rules up on the site (by bare-bones I mean it's a simple text file, not that it's only a skeleton outline of the system).

Netheads for 9/5/2007

by Ken Newquist / September 5, 2007

I've got a file on my desktop that includes all the stuff I want to write about on Nuketown, but never seem to get to. With a nod toward Uncle Bear's Random News Tables, I've decided to resurrect Nuketown's Netheads as an irregular column about irregular things. Expect parenting tips, science fiction goodness, and general geekery.

Washington Post: In Praise of Skinned Knees and Grubby Faces

Conn Iggulden, co-author of The Dangerous Book for Boys praises the diverse upbringing that he and his brother got, including everything from learning to use pocket knives to stories of Artic explorers to sports you could actually win. Inggulden rails against a society that threatens to make our kids too safe, denying them the pleasure of launching a model rocket or carving their initials in trees because of the eternal, intangible menace of the worst case scenario.

WSJ: The Baby-Name Business

Having a hard time picking a baby name? Hire someone to do it for you.

Anti-Harry Potter Email Confuses Satire with Satan

by Ken Newquist / September 4, 2007

It was a big summer for Harry Potter. The seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released, as was the fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. After reading the first and seeing the second, I was reminded of a hoax I've had sitting on my hard drive for a few years, just waiting to be debunked.

It's entitled "Magic Vs Jesus" and it claims that not only is are the Harry Potter books inherently Satantic, they are also causing a mass conversion to Satanism among today's youth. And it's got the quotes to back them up.

Unfortunately for the e-mail's author, the quotes it so feverishly believes in were taken from a fictional article in the satirical webzine The Onion.

Here's the original e-mail:

Subject: Fw: Magic Vs Jesus

"Jesus died because He was weak and stupid"; this is a quote from
6-year-old Jessica Lehman of Easley, SC, after reading the HARRY POTTER BOOKS!
"Hermione is my favorite, because she's smart and has a kitty,"

The following is an email sent for the American Family Association:

Dear friend:

This is the most evil thing I have laid my eyes on in 10 years ... and no
one seems to understand its threat. The Harry Potter books are THE
NUMBER ONE selling children's books in the nation today. Just look at any Barnes