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NC #642 B2 Storage from Backblaze, Capturing a Total Eclipse, iPhone Forerunners, Parallels Toolbox

In what can only be considered prescient, Allister Jenks has a review of Backblaze’s B2 log-term storage solutions right as CrashPlan bails on home customers. I’ll walk you through how Steve managed to capture video and create an awesome photo of the total solar eclipse, while still enjoying the experience with minimal camera fiddling. Ryan Winkler joins us for the first time about two products I’ve recommended, Webcam Settings and the ATR2100 microphone. Allister comes back in with a talk on the Forerunners of the iPhone. Then I do an extensive review of all of the tools in the fantastic Parallels Toolbox.

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Forerunners of the iPhone by Allister Jenks

A colleague recently related a story to me which reminded me of the devices I had in my life which could be considered forerunners to the iPhone. I don’t mean in the sense of a phone – after all, that is one of the least used functions of my iPhone – but rather as a device for holding information that I can carry around with me.

Certainly some of my mobile phones fulfilled this role to an extent, but the devices I will recount now were dedicated to the task of capturing, storing, and divulging information on the go. You might think your smartphone took its cues from the world of hand written data, as iOS 6 and earlier tried to portray with skeuomorphic design, but in fact their forbears had already made this leap.

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Apple IIe Disk Transfer to MacBook Pro by Trevor Drover

Hello Allison and NosillaCastaways, Trevor from Canberra with something a little different. Usually listener contributions are about the latest software or hardware, however my experience is in part a journey back in time and addresses an archivists’ ongoing dilemma.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s Apple II computers were in widespread use in schools, homes and by professionals around Australia. The data saved to those big, old 5.25” floppy disks now languish in desk draws or storage boxes along with research papers and manuscripts.

The problem to be solved is how to transfer that historical data from those disks so that it can to be accessed now and in the future. Collections of papers and disks are sometimes donated to the National Library of Australia (NLA) and it is the responsibility of the NLA Digital Preservation Unit to try to make the data on the disks accessible to others.

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Hardcore History – A Podcast Recommendation

Bart again back with another guest post while Allison is away.

I want to share a podcast recommendation with you. Well – I say podcast – the content is delivered as a podcast, but it’s anything but a typical podcast actually. The content is meticulously scripted, performed, and produced, making it more like a collection of high quality audio books than a podcast. The schedule is also very atypical – a three to four hour show about four times a year. Some of the topics covered stretch over multiple shows, so they can build into 15 or even 18 hour epics – a meticulously produced 18 hour story with a well defined beginning, middle, and end – that really is an audio book IMO.

The show is called Hardcore History, and the brains behind it is Dan Carlin – a self-professed ‘history fan’. Dan is quick to point out that he is not an academic historian. He does not do original research – instead, he reads as much of the work put out by academic historians as he can, and then builds all that knowledge into a compelling story. The magic ingredient in my opinion is Dan’s ability to teleport you into the past. It’s not just a bunch of stuff that happened, it’s fully rounded human beings living in a fully colourised world having to make tough decisions. Dan spends a lot of time and effort trying to get into the minds of ancient peoples – trying to understand what made them tick, and hence, understand why they did what they did, why they reacted to situations in the way they did, etc.. Another very important part of what makes Hardcore History work is Dan’s understanding of the importance of context. Dan tends to start a new topic by going back in time to before the story he wants to tell so we can understand the world in which the action starts, and then watch that world transform as the events unfold. A story generally ends by projecting forward, contrasting the word before with the world after.
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CCATP #415 Bart Busschots Ponders the Mystery of the Christmas Star

Bart's opening slide Ponderint the Mystery of the Christmas StarBart Busschots takes us on a journey of discovery to try and see if we can determine what celestial body was seen in the sky on the night of Jesus birth in the city of Bethlehem. This discussion is not judgmental or prejudicial, but rather takes us through what we know of history at the time, what we know from the Bible and what we know from astronomy. Find out whether we can determine what celestial body or bodies were the Christmas Star.

When he gives this talk in person, he uses an application called Stellarium to demonstrate the night sky, and some scripts that he wrote that show the rotation and location of the celestial bodies at the time of Jesus’ birth in the city of Bethlehem. You can find links to download his presentation, Stellarium (which is open source and free for all desktop operating systems) and his scripts on his blog: bartbusschots.ie/s/2015/12/01/christmas-star-astro2-december-2015/


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