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Old 10-16-2013, 05:45 PM
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Merry Podcast #31 -- Christmas Geeks & Technology

Episode #31 is uploaded and ready for listening, this time exploring geeks and technology tied to Christmas.

What? Don't think we can get an hour out of this topic? Think again! We explore the History of Video Games and their impact on Christmas.

We also explore the story of a 19th century genius -- a scientist and, well, geek, really -- whose boyhood obsession with snowflakes led to a career that touched the fields of weather, agriculture and...Christmas.

Christmas at the forefront of technological firsts -- music recordings, movies, radio broadcasts, text messages and more -- are explored, explained and where possible, shared. We listen to a Christmas recording from 1898 as well as the Christmas music of...outer space.

Where else can you get this stuff?

If that's not enough we finally take a good long look at Christmas commercials in time, which oddly dovetails with changing technology.

We have some news and music, most notably the latest from Straight No Chaser with Cee Lo Green from their new album debuting on October 29th of this year.

An hour, folks, one solid hour of geeky bliss.

Enjoy.

Right click here to download.

Last edited by Jeff Westover; 10-16-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 10-17-2013, 05:44 AM
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Now were talking as Network Admin and all around Geek this is my type of podcast. thanks again Jeff for all the hard work you do around here.
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Old 10-17-2013, 06:00 AM
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look forward to listening to it
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:30 AM
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I listened to part of it on my morning commute. I was tickled to hear the old "Sleigh-Ride Party"! Here's a little trivia: When that was recorded, a method to mass-produce from a master recording had not yet been invented. The quartet would record maybe 10 or 12 cylinders at a time (i.e., 10 or 12 recording machines would be running simultaneously), the recorded cylinders would be removed and new blanks put in their places, and the quartet would record again---and again, until enough records were produced.

It was evidently a very popular record, because there are several recordings out there by various quartets (the Edison Quartette, the Greater New York Quartette, the Peerless Quartette, the Invincible Quartet, etc.) over a period of years using a nearly identical "script." It was also re-recorded at various times, probably when the stock on the shelves got low and the public demanded more.
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:10 AM
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About to begin listening to it at work! Thanks for your hard work, Jeff and everyone else!
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by MerryCarey View Post
I listened to part of it on my morning commute. I was tickled to hear the old "Sleigh-Ride Party"! Here's a little trivia: When that was recorded, a method to mass-produce from a master recording had not yet been invented. The quartet would record maybe 10 or 12 cylinders at a time (i.e., 10 or 12 recording machines would be running simultaneously), the recorded cylinders would be removed and new blanks put in their places, and the quartet would record again---and again, until enough records were produced.

It was evidently a very popular record, because there are several recordings out there by various quartets (the Edison Quartette, the Greater New York Quartette, the Peerless Quartette, the Invincible Quartet, etc.) over a period of years using a nearly identical "script." It was also re-recorded at various times, probably when the stock on the shelves got low and the public demanded more.
I was thrilled to find it. You have any more of this kind of stuff?
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Westover View Post
I was thrilled to find it. You have any more of this kind of stuff?
Yes ... I've collected a bunch of pre-1925 stuff off of various websites, and they range from wonderful to barely listenable. Here are a few sources (I want to use some on my radio programming, so don't jump in all at once!):

The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project (search on the keyword "Christmas")

The archive at Tinfoil.com (you have to hunt through the list)
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:20 AM
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More links:

78 RPMs & Cylinders at Archive.org (Search and hunt)

Voices of Christmas Past on Archive.org

Another collection on Archive.org (it says 1920s, but it actually ranges from 1911 into the 1940s)

The Library of Congress website also has many recordings that you can listen to, but not download ... but I don't have time to fish up the exact link right now. (Called into a meeting!)
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:33 AM
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I'm not thinking so much of the podcast or radio at the moment for this stuff (though we should showcase it when topic-appropriate). I'm thinking we should set up an archive here that people can download from.

That's kind of what we do...
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Westover View Post
I'm not thinking so much of the podcast or radio at the moment for this stuff (though we should showcase it when topic-appropriate). I'm thinking we should set up an archive here that people can download from.

That's kind of what we do...
That would be a super resource!! There are files scattered all over the Internet (the links I posted are only a sampling---there are more recordings out there), and the amount and accuracy of information that's attached to them (dates, performers, and so forth) are pretty scattershot, too. Wish I had the expertise to sort out the accurate information from the inaccurate, but I'm no expert ... I just dig the old stuff. Some of the recordings are recitations or spoken instead of music---those are cool, too. I've never had the time to save and catalog what I've come across. I should get better at bookmarking these things. There are also some sites where you can listen to these things, but not download them (e.g., the Library of Congress's online collections).

The early history of recording as it relates to Christmas would be a fascinating study for someone who has the time and passion to delve into it. I know just enough about it to wish I knew more.
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