Tag Archives: podcast

Ian McMillan’s eight favourite podcasts

Radio 3’s Ian McMillan was on a special edition of the Radio Today podcast all about the station the other day. Turns out he’s a connoisseur of the podcast form. He gave Trevor Dann a list of his favourites:

  1. the various Monocle podcasts, especially Tyler Brûlé’s books and magazines podcast The Stack, The Urbanist and The Menu.
  2. The University of Rochester’s 3% – books in Translation.
  3. The Bad at Sports contemporary art podcast.
  4. The All Things Radio podcast, an American radio industry bulletin.
  5. The Radio Today podcast, natch.
  6. The Radio Stuff podcast.
  7. The Guardian’s venerable industry podcast MediaTalk.
  8. The Freelance Web podcast, which is for people who make their living as… well… freelancers on the web.

BTW, listen to the end of the Radio Today podcast and you’ll hear Radio 3’s head of speech Matthew Dodd and Falling Tree‘s Alan Hall talking about doing speech on a classical station and Between the Ears‘ twentieth anniversary.

My inspiration

I’m not a geek. I missed the boat. When I left school they’d just acquired a computer. It was a mysterious, chattering presence in a room in the maths department – a teletype connected to a mainframe somewhere – and I never met it.

But when I first encountered a computer – in a roomful of brand new Macs at the Polytechnic of Central London in 1985 – and set about learning about them, I beetled off to one of those Soho newsagents that still set my heart racing, with their rows and rows of exotic imported glossies, and looked in the computer section. The magazine I settled on and made my bible was called Byte.

Byte was recklessly terminated in 1998. I still miss it. It was a quite awesome monthly crash course in IT – a kind of undergraduate degree in magazine form. Long, gripping articles about chip design, network architecture, software and AI. I honestly owe more to Byte than to any other source of knowledge about computers.

Byte, which for most of its life was published by McGraw Hill, was no web pioneer. In fact, for a while, during all the really early frenzy (during which I helped publish a magazine that was all about the web), Byte was almost a holiday from the Internet – a place you could go to read about VLSI chips and ethernet while the rest of the world was going web crazy. When they decided to have a go, they did it in a very Byte way, though.

They put a man called Jon Udell on the case – he was a staff writer and he was given the job of building the magazine’s web presence and documenting the process month-by-month for readers. He brought the whole thing to life with a really forensic attitude to the emerging tools – and invented a bunch of new ones along the way. These days he works at Microsoft and he’s an influential geek with an interest in all sorts of developing areas – and his ‘interviews with innovators’ are published as part of the IT Conversations podcast.

But this one’s a bit different – a rather modest, one-hour conference speech about ‘the architecture of context’, in which he lays out his own, partial history of the net and remembers some of the lessons he learnt in the Byte days. Fascinating and inspiring.

The MP3 is from the IT Conversations podcast. Definitely worth signing up.