More success…

King Xerxes!I am the King! I am the King!

Well, my little podcasting video was an enormous success, so enormous in fact that I am left scrambling looking for a better site to host my files. As of three o’clock this afternoon, over 58 people had downloaded at least some part of it, which choked a lot of my available bandwidth. Luckily, my brother runs websites with much greater bandwidth requirements, so I suspect I’ll have an easy solution fairly soon. Till then you can take advantage of Gordon Smith’s generous offer and get it from his mirror site. Hope that helps.

Incidentally, the illustration on the left comes from The Project Gutenberg eBook of Nonsense Books, by Edward Lear, which contains many illustrations and bad limericks. Give it a peek.

Bandwidth Monitoring…

I’m getting hammered enough that I thought it might be prudent to install some software to figure out just how hard I am getting hammered. Voila, courtesy of rrdtool and SNMP.

Bandwidth Graph!

I started downloading an ISO image, which is why the green line peaks up so high, but the perilous bit is actually the blue line. In theory, I can get a bit more than 30KBps on the uplink, but significant fractions of that rate make my cable modem slow.

I’ll probably tune up the script I use to monitor this, and may make it a regular feature here on brainwagon.

The first rule of podcasting…

I just finished listening to the latest of Dave Slusher’s Evil Genius Chronicles (love the show Dave!) and thought I’d merely give my comments about a topic that he brought up: the common criticism that the only thing podcasting is talking about is podcasting itself, existing only for the self-gratification and aggrandization of people who make podcasts.

To anyone who would like to lodge this particular criticism, I would merely respond with two questions:

  1. If you are upset with the content of someone’s podcast, why are you bothering to listen to them?
  2. If you think that you know better about what the format and content of a podcast, why aren’t you bothering to create one for the enjoyment of those who are forced to listen to the rest of us?

Podcasting, as exciting as it is to some of us, is essentially still an experiment. There are lots of things that need to be done to streamline the creation, distribution and consumption of podcast feeds. People have good ideas, and are using the bootstrapped version of this medium to distribute these ideas so that the evolution of this idea can proceed rapidly. If you’d like to criticize, perhaps you should do so by example: by writing the software and creating the podcasts that shame the rest of us into doing better, or shine light on areas of darkness that we have not yet explored.

Dave seemed to be a bit angry, I’m just amused. People sometimes ask me why I build telescopes when I could just go buy one. If someone asks you that question, there is likely to be no answer that you can give them. Similarly, if someone thinks that podcasting sucks, well, then tell them to feel free to ignore it. Time will unfold and show us one of two outcomes:

  1. Podcasting emerges as an innovative, important new style of media, and they finally catch the trailing edge of its importance, or
  2. We are all deluded, and it’s just a flash in the pan phenomenon of no significance.

I can take being wrong a whole lot easier than I can take the knowledge that I had the opportunity to participate in some small way to the propagation of a cool new idea and I let it slip by because some people thought it was dumb.