Numbers, Numbers, Numbers Everywhere

I am everything but a mathematician. I discovered a calculator and didn’t look back. I can’t even do long division! In fact I hate numbers. I remember one maths teacher saying “Numbers are your friends”… All I could think of was “I’ll wait till they turn around and stab them in the back”. Nope maths was and is not my strong point. But I can appreciate and admire maths and the beauty that can be demonstrated with maths. For instance, I love the way that fractals relate to nature and so beautiful yet are a pure mathematical formula. I also love symmetry but that might be the OCD tendencies I seem to have…

Numbers110872

What’s Special About This Number? exists for no other reason other than to identify what special properties a specific number has in relation to mathematics. While I do not understand most of the terms (Heck I did “Maths in Society” Okay!) I can see why this site will hold a fascination for some. I immediately thought of my brother who is the total opposite to me in relation to maths. As demonstrated by the fact that he is now a programmer and UNIX expert (read uber geek). He would love this site and it might provide a great lunchtime distraction for him. Funny I think our on-line worlds now reflect our personalities as we were growing up, off topic but interesting because I have never much thought about it.

A lot of work has gone into this page and for those that want to expand their knowledge of maths there are links to all the technical terms. The site that this page links to is WolframMathWorld and claims to be the web’s most extensive mathematics resource. I am no expert but it looks like it is!

A great fun site for all you maths and numbers geeks.

Sorry but you lost me after you told me the number zero has an identity… I thought that zero was not a number?

Whats_Special_About_This_Number?

Global Geek Podcast Number 8 is Out Now!

Hey everybody, just letting you know that the latest podcast is out. Sebastian and I had an absolutely great time preparing for it and doing it. In addition to that we have worked on the audio and we think that it is much improved.

This week we did some things that made a big improvement to the audio, for a start Sebastian bought a mixer and a great microphone (check out the set-up here). I really need to put some photos up as well. The other thing is that I tweeked my audio to try to eliminate some of the background noise that I can not avoid. My computer sounds like a 747 taking off! But here in the tropics you need that as it gets pretty hot. So to do that I turned down the gain and had the microphone very close to my mouth. What do you know it worked. Don't know why I didn't do it before. But I think one of the reasons was that I was not that good with the levels and could not get it right. So I am glad that my skill has improved and I managed to get it so that it sounds good.

Sebastian's additions to his set up has made setting the levels for the show much easier. The reason being that using a mixer on line-in means that you over-ride Skype trying to adjust your audio setting as well as the fact that you can push the sound higher than you would be able to otherwise. The result is that we had a podcast in the raw format where the levels were pretty close. That ment that I did not have to "compress" it much or amplify it nearly as much. The other thing that we did before the show this week was we forwarded Skype on our routers, without going into it; that means better audio and no use of super nodes – rather a forced direct connection. It was an absolute pleasure to edit.

Sebastian was a bit disappointed with the result, he thought it would be better than it was. But as I said to him, look at how we are recording it; we are using Skype, then Hot Recorder to record it. Then after editing it I am encoding it as an mp3, inherently a lossy format and looses some quality in the encoding. Factoring all that in I think that comparatively we have a very good sound, especially if you get out there and have a listen to some podcasts out there that I don't think spend any time or effort on their audio.

Just a note for our regular listeners to Global Geek Podcast that there will not be a show released over next week end as Sebastian is going to South Hampton for inspiration. But we will hopefully be getting a show out mid week next week as the following week end I am working and it is a big effort to get anything out. So It will work out anyway.

Don't forget to check out the podcast if you have not already and don't forget that you can listen to it straight off this page just find the "PODCAST" button on the right and it stream off the site for you.

Podcast Player Found! No Help from LibSyn…

Well I am as happy as a pig in poop! Yesterday I blogged about the LibSyn Player malfunction and the fact that I was not getting any help from Liberated Syndication with the problem. The no help thing has continued, step in the wonderful blogging community.

Big ContactYesterday I recieved a comment on the post that was an answer to my prayers. Rob from New York Mets Baseball Podcast put me onto Big Contact's Feed Player. To say that it is unreal is an understatment. It is feature packed and the main thing is: It Works!

In actual fact this player has more features and more options than the LibSyn did! Features like having a list of previous shows as well as the most recent show to play is great. In addition to that there is the function of being able to see the show notes from the player! There are also instructions on how to "subscribe" to the show… AND Adam has just assisted me to make the player "detach" from the page, allowing visitors to surf the web or work elsewhere and listen to the show. Very cool. There is more but I think you get the picture. Oh and did I mention it is free?

Please head over to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage and check it out, especially if you are looking for a player. There are many other customisable features that podcasters may want to modify to suit their needs and the very fact that you can is another big plus.

Many, many thanks to Rob again and hey Rob I have talked to Sebastian and we are only too happy to plug your show on ours so if you would like to send us a promo we will slot it in. Because that's how the world should work.

Stay on the look out for more changes to the Global Geek Podcast Homepage… woot this is going to good…

LibSyn Player Removed!

Well the Global Geek Podcast has been going very well. The website is working great, accept for the LibSyn Player; which has been broken for nearly two weeks.

LibSyn PlayerThe player is just a web page application that allows people to "stream" the audio directly from the web page. It is also detachable so you can surf the net and listen to the show. About twelve days ago, after the upload of show number 004 (I think) it broke. It failed to update with the new show and the situation stayed that way. For me the player does not work at all. For others it might play any show that we have published, at random! Not good.

You might think that this is a minor thing, but you would be surprised to learn that this is the way that most people listen to the show. The majority of people appear to not know about aggregators or "podcatchers". So the fact that it is broken is really affecting our statistics, we have seen jumps in other episodes that should not have occurred and a downturn in the numbers for the most recent show. We are fairly sure that it is related to the player not working. Part of trying to combat this was to put the WordPress Podcast Widget on this blog, you can go to the streaming page and listen to the podcast from this and download the podcast with the right click "save as" command. But it was not a total solution. We have also tried to search for a decent player from somewhere else but we are having trouble finding one that us gumby people can put on the page and looks good.

So after all this and three emails to Liberated Syndication I have removed the player from the site, I just hope that people click the "POD" button to listen to the show or download it manually or preferably subscribe to the show using a podcatcher of some description. I recommend Juice as a free option, open source and it works. For a payed version of an integrated podcatcher and RSS reader I recommend FeedDemon.

Still hoping to get the player fixed and reinstated on the website but until LibSyn get back to me my hands are tied. Normally they are good with support but on this they have sucked.

Global Geek Podcast 004 is Out Now: Go Get Some Geek

Well I am very happy with the end result of the published podcast. If you have not listened to it before now then please give it a go.

I was very, very peeved that I initially lost two and a half hours worth of editing work. I am not sure what I did in Audacity but I think in blaming myself I am blaming the right person and "thing". So tonight I sat down and started again, from the beginning. Now I am very pleased to be finished. I had a lot of editing and splicing of tracks to do in this one, which was a challenge but well rewarded in the end product. I am leaning heaps as I go.

The one thing that I was absolutely stoked about was the fact that the audio levels were spot on, I had to do very little stuffing around using the compressor. I did normalize the final edit and amplify it and that's it. Setting our levels is always tricky with the methods that we are employing to record as I might have said before. But the attention to detail has been worth it.

One thing that has irritated me is the fact that when I uploaded the podcast tonight the LibSyn player in the top right of the page did not update! So please if you listen to it using this method please either download it, or click the symbol next to the post with "POD" on it. Alternatively the widget here has been updated so that you can listen to it from here! I have shot off an email to LibSyn and await a response from them. I do know though that over the last couple of days they have been working on their servers so this might be the reason. Also because of this, if you can not connect to the website please try in an hour, as LibSyn believe that this is the only length of down-time to expect.

Other than that, enjoy the show!