After that harrowing experience with our old server dying and setting up shop on a new server, the Nerds are back once again for a brand spanking new episode! And they’re not alone: joining them are their dear friends from Robert’s neighbor to the North, Brian and Bianca of the Square Waves FM podcast! We get around to talking about podcasting, gently coaxing Brian to get back into podcasting (because we miss his dulcet tones so!), letting Robert discuss his newfound obsession with Amiga computers, and hearing Brian and Bianca share their stories of their recent journey to Japan, where we always wish that everything were cyberpunk as hell and half of those comics we used to read really were real life!
All this and more, on today’s ultra delayed episode of NATM!
Well, that was a fun romp! Our old server decided to keel over and die in the most horrific way possible, forcing a new droplet to be spun up and everything we had rescued from the old server into a new one!
It’s midnight in Denmark, and late evening in New Jersey. Normally, the Nerds record these episodes during the daytime, but this time they’re up during peak nerd-hours, and shit’s about to get real.
Net Neutrality is one of the big topics of the hour, especially since this was recorded around the time it was make-or-break for whether or not Ajit Pai and his oversized mug would be successful in gutting the free internet that we know.
Depressing world news aside, there is also time for levity, too. How do you get your anime fix when you’re a young teenager in the States? Well, it’s not how you get your anime fix when you’re a young teenager in Denmark, that’s for sure!
Also, did you know this? Rob didn’t!
All this, and more, on tonight’s midnight special of NATM!
The sun has come out, and we’re giddy as teenagers! So grab a seat at the nerd clique’s lunch table, ‘cos we’re about to talk about old games, emulators, MT-32 ROMs, and the big boxes that got away from us. Robert got stiffed on an otherwise great deal on a box copy of LOOM, and I tell an embarrassing tale of young larceny committed against a box copy of Space Quest II: Vohaul’s Revenge.
Also on the program: Japanese industrial, sweltering heat, how to crowdfund a vinyl record pressing, and whether or not we know anyone in the Montreal area (seriously, Robert wants to know — he needs a place to crash).
So it looks like we had a little hiccup earlier when Troels uploaded Episode 5: I noticed that I couldn’t stream the episode, nor could I download it. “File not found”, the site said. Wait… how’s that possible!?
So I wondered if perhaps there was a problem with the filename. All of the episodes to date are named following the pattern “NATM_epX.mp3”, which means consistent across the board.
Time to hop into the server to see what’s up with this weirdness.
What’s the first thing I see when I get to the folder containing all of our precious podcast booty?
Ahh! There’s the problem! In Linux and all Unixen, files can have unique names even if you name it in ALL CAPS. So you can have HELLOTHERE.jpg and hellothere.JPG, and they’re two completely unique files as far as the OS cares! We need to change that natm_ep5.mp3 into:
Because the stream was explicitly pointing to NATM_ep5.mp3! Now it works!
Robert went to the Vintage Computer Festival recently and is super excited to talk about it. For once, we manage to stay on topic for more than five minutes, before gears inevitably shift and turn to just general video game nerdery — particularly with regards to consoles and sound chips. (The Genesis is screechy; the Super Nintendo sounds like it’s playing in an adjacent room.)
We do a quick cursory appraisal of the new Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell movie, which features a Danish actor, and try to be sensitive to the controversy surrounding the casting choices while simultaneously not giving in to outrage. Thankfully, we get off that topic pretty quickly and start talking about the anime sequel, Innocence, and the Playstation 1 game.
As always, we inevitably start getting into the cultural differences between Cuban and Danish cuisine — the primary difference being that Cubans actually have cuisine — and where you must go to get good Cuban food in Miami.
The latest episode of Nerd Against the Machine has a theme tune at the start and finish of the episode. It’s not something I cleared with Robert before throwing it up, and maybe I should have. I didn’t even think we needed a theme tune when we started this show. But I threw this one in there this time, and hopefully he likes it. Maybe you will, too.
It’s a really old tune that I did back in — I believe? — 2008 at a LAN party. I went with a friend of mine I used to play in a band with, and we had this idea that we would document the event with a piece of music each day. That idea fell apart pretty much by day 2, but I did manage to get one tune out of it.
It was appropriately titled “Monday,” named after the day on which it was composed. It was done in Propellerheads Reason 3, my music making software of choice back then. It’s terribly mixed, even by my standards of that time, because it was really just a throwaway piece of music intended to be part of a much larger collection of songs that never happened.
The bits you hear in the episode are just the first and last 20 seconds of the tune. If you want to listen to (or, for some reason, download) the full track, you can do so here:
Today, we were supposed to talk a bit about making music. And we do get around to that — in about the last 5 minutes of the show.
The rest of the show is taken up with anecdotes about high school (and the differences between American and Danish high schools), Japanese computers, and how to apply Commodore 64-esque filters to your computer graphics.
As always, it’s a free-flowing, borderline chaotic whirlwind of pure nerddom that we know you’ll love, because we do, and our tastes are impeccable!
Hello, howdy, good day to you all, and whatever you like to greet others with! Robert here, sticking his head out from his cave where he takes care of all the nice little back-end stuff that keeps this lovely little site shoved all up into someone’s cloud running! I just wanted to give you all a little behind the scenes look as to what this site is running on, and what it takes to keep it running.
For starters, this site is of course running on WordPress, running on a cloud server running Ubuntu 16.04 (because penguins, dammit!) Hosting for our little site is provided by those awesome, awesome folks at Digital Ocean, and the hosting is in NYC, just a stone’s throw from me!
As I’m a sysadmin and engineer by nature, I’m the one who basically makes sure that the site doesn’t go kaputsky on us in the middle of the night or something drastic like that. 🙂
But that’s just a nice little look into what we’re using to run this site. Troels does the front-end (makes it look nice); I keep the engine running in the back-end. An excellent combo, no?
After a three months’ pause, the nerds finally get back together to discuss what’s been going on over the holidays.
If you like danceable music made under Nigerian dictator rule, rare vinyl records, or what happens when you give four nutsos from San Francisco the means to do a CD-ROM game, you’ll probably find some treats in this episode.