Archive for August 2006

Irish Independent reports on the bustling Irish blogland

August 30, 2006

From today’s Irish Independent (subscription required, free).

Irish language activists are one of the interest groups flocking to the blogosphere. Having started his Irish blog, Imeall (imeall.blogspot.com), a little over two years ago, Conn O Muineachain has, without quite planning it, found himself taking the first steps to a full-blown media career. Some 1,000 readers visit O Muineachain’s blog each week, enough to persuade Irish language newspaper La to offer him a column.

Since then, his alternative career (he is an engineer by training) as an advocate for the Irish language has flourished. The launch several months ago of a podcast on his blog – podcasts are downloadable radio shows – has brought further exposure to O Muineachain. As a result, he is now contemplating a career in radio.

“From last April, the podcasts have been broadcast as a conventional radio show on college radio in Galway,” he says.

“And recently the Broadcasting Commission asked me to put together a series on social networking for transmission on independent radio stations. Suddenly, I’ve got a very busy media life – I’ll probably have to take someone on to help me with the new project.”

I ought to clarify that it was I who applied to the BCI and not they who approached me – but it has a nice ring to it all the same, doesn’t it? 🙂

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DIY Broadband With The WAN Wizards

August 9, 2006

Since we moved house two months ago, I’ve struggled to publish a daily podcast without even a telephone in the house, not to mind broadband. With the launch of An Líonra Sóisialta next month it could not be sustained under those conditions.

“So why did you move to an area without broadband?”

It’s a reasonable question! However, broadband is not the only factor governing choice of home! (No, really! 😉 ) To be honest, it’s more a question of timing: I fully expect commercial broadband will be available in my area within a couple of years. And anyway – I had an alternative in mind!

For many years now, amateur enthusiasts have been building private wireless networks all over Ireland. They’ve been especially active in my part of the country: Clare, Galway and Limerick.

Last Saturday I had a visit from two local wireless experts, Dave and Bushy. By the time they left, I was connected via another node 20 miles away across the Shannon Estuary.

Now I’m a member of a private network. It’s kind of exciting – like being on an old BBS! I’ve even got internet web acess via a number of proxy servers provided by other members.

Those servers are a courtesy, as are the backhaul links on the network. I must be careful to respect these community resources. Also, I don’t have access to other internet services such as FTP, Skype or even basic email (web-based gmail is OK). And while there is plenty of activity such as gaming on the private network, I can’t access Second Life or even the iTunes music store.

My next step is to work with another member to provide me with full internet access via DSL at his end. If your interested in more geeky details, check out the Flickr pictures. Or visit the community at irishwan.ie where you’ll find some seriously smart and commmitted people working for their communities and for their own enjoyment. Thanks lads!

What’s on my MP3 Phone?

August 5, 2006

Listening to Podcasts on a Mobile PhoneTroy needs an iPod?  No he doesn’t.  I don’t!

Silly boy Troy!  What he needs is a smartphone, camera, media player – one device, carry it everywhere.

Click on the picture for a Flickr post describing my podcast listening kit, using my Nokia 6680 and a couple of attachments.

Yesterday, in my column for Lá, I listed the 15 podcasts currently playing on my phone. It’s not necessarily my top 15, or even any particular recommendation – just a random cross-section. 15 podcasts I downloaded from my subscriptions on Monday night – published sometime between Saturday 29th and Monday 31st July.

Well OK, I do recommend one, unreservedly.  PW Fenton’s Digital Flotsam is in a class of it’s own.  But the point I wanted to show is the sheer variety of subject, quality and style of podcasts.  That, and the fact that you can bring them anywhere.  These aren’t 15 podcasts you should have on your phone (or iPod – if you must 😉 ) – just 15 you could have!

Check out the list at An tImeall.  You don’t need to understand Irish.  (Ask Bernie!) URLs are linked to each podcast home page, along with a reference to the number and filesize of the episodes I listened to.

Flickering, Brightening

August 4, 2006

It’s been a very difficult week in our family as my 6 year old niece was seriously injured in a car accident last weekend.  Today she left the Intensive Care Unit to continue her recovery on the Children’s Ward.  Get well soon Aoife.  All our love and prayers.

Raidio na Life to Broadcast “An Líonra Sóisialta”

August 1, 2006

More good news for An Lionra Sóisialta.  Radio listeners in Dublin will have an opportunity to hear the series when it begins in September.  Dublin city’s Irish language community station Raidio na Life join Galway’s Flirt FM in agreeing to broadcast An Líonra Sóisialta.

Watch this space … 🙂