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Monday 28 November 2005

Nerd TV Sucks

So I just downloaded Nerd TV #10, where Bob Cringely interviews Dan Bricklin. Bricklin is a particularly interesting guy, and pretty articulate and normal compared to other computer-industry old-timers, so I was expecting something good.


The reality? It’s useless. I listen to a lot of podcasts, and nothing I listen to for more than about three seconds sounds as bad as this. My home movies sound better than this. Nearly all public-access TV is (at least technically) better than this.

Apparently — this information is on Dan Bricklin’s weblog and seemingly nowhere else, certainly not on the Nerd TV site — Bricklin’s microphone failed, and all the audio is from the microphone on Cringeley’s shirt. That doesn’t explain why Cringely also sounds like crap, or why every episode of Nerd TV has sounded like it was recorded at the bottom of a well. It doesn’t explain why there’s even noise in the background of the record-it-once announcement at the beginning about the whole thing being supported by a grant from the CPB. It doesn’t explain why there’s been no noticeable improvement in the production quality after ten episodes.

If you went up to Boston solely or primarily for the purpose of recording an interview with someone, wouldn’t you check to see whether his microphone was working? Cringely wouldn’t, apparently. It is a shame that he is squandering his access to these people (and to the presumably free bandwidth available to him for distributing this stuff) with such poor production values.

See a 14-second clip here.

Posted by tino at 15:21 28.11.05
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We had to watch one of the Cringely PBS documentaries for the Intro to IST class here at PSU. Besides cementing my eternal dislike for all things Jobbsian (the interviews with The Steve were all about how great The Steve is, whereas every other entity he talked to (Woz, Gates, Larry) talked about what “we” did.), it was when he spent a minute of film getting naked to get into a hot tub with J. Random Elder that I had an MST3K moment: “Dear God, movie, stop! Don’t do this to me!”

That sentence was a bit run-on. Sorry.

Posted by: Twonk at November 28, 2005 03:44 PM