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The 20Q Podcast Interviews – Video, Mac, Photo, Writers & More

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Ben Straw is a fellow podcaster on the Tech Podcasts Network and has a Mac Mini with a G4 processor and is short on RAM because he is worried about opening up the beast to change the RAM and possibly breaking the case. This is despite him being a get your hands dirty type of geek that swaps out parts and makes a Dell into a Hackintosh. For example he changed the network card in the Dell and also the video card to be able to get the MacOS working.

Only changed to the Mac properly as he was a Windows fan up until about a year ago. He did have contact with Macs in 2003 with a Bluberry iMac which was sold through Ebay before getting any use from Ben. He tried a previous Hackintosh but was unsuccessful but now for the last 7 months or so has running OSX. Ben even produces a and it doesn’t make much difference to his approach to the podcast.

Ben has been with Mac OSX long enough now that he finds it confusing to go back to Windows. He was telling me that he was very untidy in the way he arranges his files on the desktop and all over the place. The audio connections baffle Ben for how it works and how is able to record with his Heil PR20 mic connected to a Yamaha mixer. We talked microphones and I told him about my Behringer B2 studio mic I use for the podcasting and the mixer and also about the Shure SM58 which get used with the Canon Vixia camera.

Ben is planning to make a video podcast at some time and is finishing up with a tech based podcast he has been doing moving on to a podcast that he will do with a friend that is a truck driver. It will be stories and tales from the road. His mate is a hoot that loves talking so should be a fun podcast.

Terminator surprisingly gets a mention in the podcast – ‘I’ll be Back’ Automator and Applescript are not part of the staple diet for Ben, he found it a bit fiddly to use. Talking about tagging of files I mention MetaX which is an application that will tag video files.

He gets his Blackberry filled with podcasts and music by bringing in content with an RSS feed reader, and tells me how Windows media player messed things up with bring in some of his music.
Most expensive application he has is CS3 for Photoshop and uses an application that works out colour. The first things that he would put on a new machine would be TinyGrab which is a screenshot application that would be similar to Skitch. Ben also has to have Skype on his Mac along with Text Expander. I like Text Expander too and I have recently upgraded to the latest version. Ben likes to use Textexpander to do some automatic spell checking.

DropBox gets a recommendation, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Filezilla has hot been working as well as he would like so I suggested that he might try Cyberduck for FTP file transfer.
Bens’ Twitter usage gets the Tweetie application and he has recently found it to be not functioning as well as he would like, but prefers if because he doesn’t like Adobe Air applications like Tweetdeck. Memory sucking pile of rubbish, but II have been using Tweetdeck because it has so much more in the way of facilities.

Ben uses GarageBand for his podcasting and has made about 80 podcasts on his Mac. He does other creating things with the Mac too like images creating in Photoshop.



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Dirk was a little concerned before the interview that he was being interviewed in English and his mother tongue is German. He need not have worried seeing as he speaks English brilliantly and we had a super conversation about how he uses his Mac. Always good to hear from people from other countries, we don’t practice xenophobia here on Mac 20 Questions.

He tells me that he like the browser Flock and I have it on my computer here too. It is swwet that it has blogging tools built in. Trails and Houdah Geo are mentioned because of the geotagging possibilities that are available in iPhoto09.

I had never heard of Mellel which Dirk uses as a text editor. I use Textwrangler and Bean in that department.

Finance Software:
iPhone:
Record/Plan your exercise:
Needs no explantion, an absolute MUST HAVE:
RAW picture editing:
Picture editing part1:
TOP! Picture editing part2:
Text editor for those who like it easy:
Geo tagging for all photos:
the other browser:
THE software, GTD:
my blogging tool:
better than LitteSnapper?!:
another MUST HAVE:


Contact me if you would like to be featured on the Mac 20 Questions Podcast. I am looking forward to hearing from you.

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I met through Twitter and it seems that the is where we met all of our new friends these days. As Paul was saying about Mac’s and is also a bit true of Twitter, there is a cameraderie between the users of certain software, or hardware or hogs.

Seesmic is a site I have not mentioned on here yet but it is well worth a look it a site for video social networking. too.

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Favourite Podcasts

Apple Quick Tips (It’s a video podcasts from Apple only a minute or 2 each but quite useful)
BoagWorld
Buzz Out Loud
Buzz Report
Car Tech Video
ChannelFlip
Cranky Geeks
Diggnation
The Disciplined Investor
DL.TV
FLOSS Weekly
Friday Night Comedy Podcast (Hillarious Comedy shows from the BBC)
The Guild
Hot Cocoa
International Mac Podcast
Loaded
Mac OS Ken
Mac OS Ken Day 6
Mac Round Table Podcast
MacBreak Weekly
MobileTechRoundup
No Agenda
NosillaCast
PCMag Radio
PixelPerfect
Robert Llewellyn’s Machine of the Week
Scam School
ScreenCastsOnline
Stephen Fry’s PODGRAMS
Systm
Tech5
Technet Radio
Techzilla
This Week in Photography
This Week in Tech
Tiki Bar TV
The Totally Rad Show
Typical Mac User Podcast
Windows Weekly
Wine Library TV
You look Nice Today
Your Mac Life

Software:
VMWare Fusion
Adium for Chat
Skype
Adobe Photoshop CS4
Adobe Dreamweaver CS4
Adobe Flash CS4
Final Cut Studio 2
1Password
TextWrangler
Transmit
PathFinder
Microsoft Office 2007 via VMware Fusion
Microsoft Office 2008
iLife’09
iWork’09
iPhone Developers Kit
Skitch
Blogo

Browsers:
Safari
Firefox
Internet Explorer via VMware Fusion

Gadgets:
Rhode Podcaster Microphone
AKG K77 Monitor headphones
Drobo and Droboshare
Apple TV
Nintendo Wii
Xbox 360
Sony PS3
iPhone 2G
iPhone 3G
2002 Harley Davidson V-Rod
2005 Harley Davidson Roadking

What a long list of playthings, After all of that I am thinking I don’t have enough toys. I will have to go and get some gadget therapy.

Video:
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Sponsor of the show is and .

Last autumn I met Chris Pinchen at Podcamp Barcelona along with Don McAllister. The Podcamp was a success and of course amongst the podcasters there, there were a plethora of Mac users. Amongst the Mac persons  Chris Pinchen, who was also the organiser of the Podcamp. I have already conducted an interview of Chris for the Podcamp and naturally he had to be considered fair game to be a victim (I mean interviewee, just joking !!) for the .

He is a Ludd Geek and you will find out the meaning of that in the podcast. Chris wants Apple to design a computer and software that he can command solely by voice as he doesn’t seem to like typing. He uses . Amongst the favourite applications Garageband comes top of the list, with him being a musician and that’s what he like to mess with on a day off and just messing about computing.

Chris works as an English teacher and likes to use Spaces to organise his desktop in OSX and he tell us all about that in the interview. With Spaces he likes to use apps called Dock Spaces and Space Suit to make it work better for himself.

He uses Google docs to store the work he does with his English students, so he is definitely not afraid of using the cloud to store files. Another place of storage he uses is called on which he has 2 GB of storage space for back ups. You get 2GB for free and unlimited space for a small monthly fee. I am a user of Mobile Me so have some storage space there. Don’t use it that much, but perhaps I ought to.

Chris also mentioned as an application he uses and asked me to mention Scrivener. I downloaded Scrivener after hearing about it from Andy Inhatko on Mac Break Weekly. Andy is a journalist with a Boston Newspaper and regularly comments on things Macintosh, he waxed lyrical about saying what a boon it was for him as a professional writer. I have really only had time for a quick look, but it looks nice and has a full screen mode that forces concentration on the job in hand. Skitch is a tool that you can use to do screen grabs and then annotate the image. I have it on my computer but often forget about it and go for the Cmd,Shift+4 to make a screen grab. I have just used it to do a test of  it again and I like it – Must leave it open and ready to play with, for sure.

Chris is doing some translation on a site called and is organising an event called which will take place in May.