TechByter Worldwide

Speak softly and carry a large microphone

 

About TechByter

Not as old as dirt, but darned close ....

Some Things Change

Remember 1980s Technologies?

In those days, computers had no hard drives, 256KB of memory, 5¼-inch floppy disks that really did flop, "big" monitors with a 12-inch diagonal measurement, video systems with 16 colors and no graphics, and processor speeds of 5MHz or less.

Today people carry around 100GB hard drives in their shirt pocket, anything with embedded memory has at least 1000KB, floppy disks have been replaced by USB drives, monitors are huge and display millions of colors, and processor speeds are measured in gigaHertz.

The Weekly Podcast

Podcasts are usually in place no later than 9am (Eastern time) on the date of the program. The podcast that corresponds to this program is below. The most recent podcast is always located here.

TechByter's Position on Honesty

I'm in favor of it. I can't guarantee that reviews will always be accurate or that I won't change my mind about a product or service if the product or service changes, but I can promise to provide my honest opinion on every application or device mentioned.

Donations are Welcome & Encouraged

It's pretty clear that I would do the program without being paid for it, but in addition to the many hours spent every week writing, recording, and producing the show, there's the expense of hardware and software, site hosting, and such.

It's Like NPR on the Web

Unlike NPR, there are no "pledge weeks" every few months, but if you find the information TechByter Worldwide provides useful or interesting, please consider a contribution.

Music and Artwork

The microphone in the upper left corner of each page was created by Moi Cody and licensed through RGBStock. Although the image began depicting a microphone on a desk, I modified it so that it more closely resembles a microphone on a boom.

The theme music and incidental music are all the work of Jason Shaw at Audionautix. Jason is from Pittsburgh and says that he grew up listening to all sorts of music in the backseat of his parents' car on Sunday drives. "My dad would flip the radio from rock to country to classical. He seemed to love all kinds of music, and he infected me with that too!"

Jason Shaw plays multiple instruments, but he also uses sound samples, loops, drum machines, software synthisizers, and "whatever is handy." He says that although he can read music, he generally composes by ear.

TecyByter Used to Be Technology Corner

High Tech, Plain English. That's the tag line I used for several years starting in the mid 1980s when Technology Corner became a part of WTVN Radio's Sunday morning line-up. The program has expanded its coverage area from that of WTVN's signal (Ohio and bits of the surrounding states) to a website and podcast that have earned listeners and readers from coast to coast in the United States and from as far away as Canberra, Australia.


Starting in the mid 1980s, TechByter Worldwide was simply known as "that 15-minute segment Bradley and Blinn sometimes do on Sunday mornings." Over the years, it grew to consume one third of Joe's Sunday morning program. That continued until sometime in 2006 when it became a podcast and thus available to listeners not just in Ohio and parts of the surrounding states, but to anyone with a computer anywhere in the world. Cool!

I don't remember whether Joe invited me to be a guest on his show or whether I muscled my way in. At the time, WTVN was the voice of news and I was working there part time. For several years starting in 1982, I worked Sunday evenings and Monday evenings. Then I was assigned to Saturday mornings so that the same voice would be present every week.

That continued through the Taft years, Great American, and Jacor. Clear Channel is another story.

Technology Corner expanded from 15 minutes every few weeks to half an hour every other week, then half an hour every week, and finally to an hour every week. In commercial radio, though, an "hour" equates to about 17 minutes when you take out the time occupied by the commercials, news at the top and bottom of the hour, the weather every 15 few minutes, and two sportscasts per hour that were logged as 90 seconds but rarely ran less than 5 minutes each.

When Clear Channel entered the picture in the 1990s, I retired from doing the news, but continued to show up on Sunday mornings. Technology Corner continued until sometime in 2006. I had already registered a new domain name, TechByter.com, so I was prepared for the change.

Prior to 2006, my feeling about podcasters was typical of those who work in broadcast: We looked down our noses at them. If you're so good, we thought, why aren't you working in broadcast? Was I ever wrong about that! As a podcast, the program is reaching about the same number of active ears and active minds as it did when it was on the air. Maybe more.

The podcast allows you to listen at your convenience. And there's something else: Instead of having to pick the 20 to 25 minutes worth of useful information out of the chaff that is broadcast radio, when you listen to the podcast, you get the entire "hour's" worth of information in about 20 minutes.

The TechByter Team is Small: 1 Person, 2 Cats

  • ALT NAME

    Bill Blinn

    In the 1970s, Blinn wrote a paper for a class at Ohio State in which he predicted that computers would one day be be found in homes.

    Except for stating that these computers would fill the basement of the average house, Blinn's paper was more or less correct.

  • ALT NAME

    Scampi Cat

    Scampi used to come with me when I drove to WTVN every Sunday morning. Most of the time he was silent, but he seemed to think that it was important for him to meow whenever the microphone was on.

    He still likes to sneak out of the house occasionally.

  • ALT NAME

    Percy Cat

    Percy joined the staff when his owner, the TechByter's older daughter moved temporarily to a location where cats were not permitted.

    Despite his act as a bumbler, Percy has proved to me more intelligent that he would like us to believe and he bears an uncanny resemblance to Winston Churchill.

    He died in January 2015.

  • ALT NAME

    Chloe Cat

    Chloe arrived with Percy and spent 2 years in the basement until she was lured out with the promise of catnip.

    Although she is an uncommonly loud cat, Chloe is able to become invisible. She sleeps on the TechByter's feet at night.

Graphics Through the Years

The microphone shown in the early banner is an RCA 77dx. Nobody uses these any more, but they were wonderful microphones back in the 1960s. I used one at WCOL and, when I moved across town to WTVN, they had these microphones, too. They were everywhere in those days. You could work them close or you could work them as boom microphones.

The 2008 banner

In the 2009 banner, I replaced the microphone with a megaphone and a nod to Teddy Roosevelt's "Speak softly and carry a big stick."

2009

In 2012, I brought the microphone back, but using a much more antiquated image. Probably, there was a good reason for this, but I don't remember what it was.

For 2013 and 2014 the RCA 77dx returned but with an Adobe Audition screen in the background.

And then 2015 Arrived

This year, nearly everything changed. The look and feel, the site layout, graphics, and music have all been updated. The only thing that remains the same is the old guy on mic. Speaking of which, we started the year with a new microphone, too, and better soundproofing.

The microphone in the upper left corner of each page was created by Moi Cody and licensed through RGBStock. That's just one of the changes that has been put in place for 2015. A more complete description is included in the first program of the year.