Radio Active #96: Go Go Gadget!

Radio Active PodcastIn this episode, I say goodbye to a canine friend and welcome a new one, explore dungeons, and blast aliens in Nuketown’s Ready Player One Replay.

I introduce my new side gig podcast, the Lair of Secrets, the podcast about gaming and being a geek by two forty-something geek dads.

Finally, I geek out about the gadgets in my life. They may not be the newest or the shiniest gadgets out there … but they get the job done.

Getting the Show

  • Get the podcast.
    • Note: The original version of Episode #96 was missing the music track, which led to strange bouts of opening silence in the intro. This version fixes that.

Nuketown News

  • Ready Player One Replay
    • I’m replaying every game mentioned in the book. I’m only a chapter or so in, and I’ve already reviewed 16 games.
    • The original plan was to review a game a day … but that’s way too much work.
    • Better to take it in batches and enjoy the games as I play them.
      • My favorites so far?
        • Robotron 2084 – frantic retro fun.
        • Smash TV – Also frantic fun, slightly less retro.
        • Akalabeth – A prequel to the Ultima series of games by Lord British. I’d never played it before and it was great discovering how it was connected to my all-time favorite run of games.
      • Worst games?
        • Zaxxon, by far. I have pleasant memories of playing it as a kid … but today, it’s agony. Stupid false perspective. Stupid controls. Stupid missiles. Stupid 40-year-old reflects.
  • Recon went back to the Seeing Eye in March. Puppy ‘S” – named Steven – arrived in April.
  • Lair of Secrets Podcast – the new side gig
    • The podcast about gaming and being a geek by two forty-something geek dads.


  • Is there anybody out there? We’re looking for podcast promos! Send yours to us at

My Gadget Life

  • I’m not a huge gadget guy … but I have a lot of gadgets.
  • I like tech that works and works well. I don’t need to keep up with the Joneses (even if one of my dogs is named Indiana). If the tech does what I need, then I keep using it.
  • Here are my current go-to gadgets:
    • Apple MacBook Pro 12″ (circa late 2012): You’ll notice a lot of Apple products on my list. Sure, they can be a little more expensive, but in my experience, they work well and they last. Case in point, my MacBook Pro, which is still pretty spry after 4 years of heavy use. The only problem is the battery, which is down to about an hour of usable time, but the replacement cost is reasonable.
    • Apple iPhone 12: Until recently, I had an iPhone 7. My most recent cold-weather campout killed the battery, so it was time to upgrade. I wasn’t sure about the larger size, but after a few days of using it, it feels natural. Excellent camera, very speedy performance.
    • Apple Watch Series 6: I’m on my 3rd Apple Watch (started with Series 1, then got Series 3, just moved to Series 6). Stuff I love:
      • The Health and Activity apps keep me honest about my physical activity (and motivated to improve it)
      • It’s water-resistant, so I can swim with it (and record my swimming workouts!)
      • It Bluetooth syncs with my earbuds, so I don’t need to bring my phone on runs if I don’t want to.
      • The cellular option lets me leave my watch at home but still answer texts and calls (I don’t use this, but it’s nice to have the option)
      • It’s great at finding my phone. Which I lose. All … the … time.
    • Apple Airpods Pro: I had a string of crappy Bluetooth headphones that worked ok for jogging, and then broke. I invested in the Apple Airpods Pro in January because they were water/sweat resistant and worked well with my devices. I wasn’t disappointed.
    • Apple iPad Air 2: I’d love to get the larger iPad Pro just to read digital comics … but that’s not a compelling enough reason to upgrade (or worth the extra cost). Mostly used for reading PDFs, note-taking during meetings when laptops aren’t appropriate, and comic books through Marvel Unlimited. Also games, or rather, one game: Sentinels of the Multiverse.
    • Amazon Paperwhite: The Paperwhite is my go-to device for most of my reading these days. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still pick up the occasional print book, but I prefer digital these days. Digital books take up no space in the house (a serious consideration for someone who reads as much as I do) and the Kindle’s far more portable than a hefty hardcover (I’m looking at you, Oathbringer) which is important when camping and backpacking.
    • Nintendo Switch: Nintendo’s new console can be docked to a TV or used on the go; I usually do the latter (which usually means “going” to my couch). My favorite game is Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
    • Nintendo 3DS XL: I love my 3DS. It’s been superseded by my Switch, but there are still games on here I want to beat, namely Fire Emblem Fates – Birthright and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
    • Playstation 4: The workhorse console for my family – we use this for streaming television and movies as well as playing the occasional game.
    • Xbox One: A first-generation version of the console that’s barely holding it together, but is my son’s go-to gaming platform with his friends.
    • Anker Soundcore 2: My workhorse Bluetooth speaker. Outside, inside, camping, whatever – this rugged speaker comes with me.


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A few of my favorite gadgets. Credit: Ken Newquist

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