Formula 1 Insight

A Cast from the Sidepod
As I might have mentioned before, I am not as young as I used to be. Although I have been into computers for over ten years now, there are still plenty of micro gadgets that pass me by, too new-fangled and strange for me to get my head around, as grey-haired as it is.


And that is how I have felt about podcasting for some time now. Just a way for barely-literate people to spread their disease, I thought, another way for the gabble of incessant chatter to invade our peace with mindless nonsense. That's old-fogy-speak for, "I'll never be able to learn how to use all this new stuff..."

Every so often something comes along to change my mind on these matters, however, and recently it happened to me again. It's all's fault, with their fancy gadgets and tempting suggestions that we listen instead of reading. Okay, I thought, let's find out how we operate this thing.

Now, to an old geezer, it's not immediately obvious how to go about listening to what they have to say. On the right there is a big purple graphic suggesting that I subscribe to iTunes (whatever that is) so I assumed that I had to do that first. I clicked on it.

Well, dear reader, be warned; that click leads you into a maze of Appledom, where shiny, softly-glowing programs instal themselves on your poor but proud old Windows computer and then challenge you to find out how they work. I did eventually manage to get everything working, although I must also admit that it played a podcast other than the one I was hoping for.

I grew tired. I closed the flashy thing down, telling myself I'd return at a later date and attempt to hear the desired podcast. And it was at that point that I noticed a little graphic sitting underneath the title of the Sidepodcast post. A little muted, self-effacing thing, sort of muddy, tan in color, and with a speaker icon and arrow sitting quietly atop it.

I knew then that I'd made an idiot of myself. It dawned on me that here was the route for us benighted Windows users who only understand computers; that other fancy thing was for those modern, hip types who have such a thing as an iPod (whatever that is...). And my suspicions were confirmed - clicking on it produced an immediate result, the dulcet tones of some sweet lass and her learned sidekick telling me all that I ever wished to know about the latest in the F1 world. Ah, the marvels of modern science.

So I am a convert to this new-fangled thingy, the podcast, at least when it comes in the form of It makes a pleasant change to sit back and listen for a while, instead of scrolling, forever scrolling. And, talking of scrolling, the blog's pretty good too; in fact; I will be adding it to my links page when I can summon the energy to edit the HTML (yes, a MadTV blog requires that one gets one's hands dirty every once in a while).

Have a listen yourself - I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Here's the link.


Dan M
Renault also has a very informative pod cast. I know there car is ugly but they are very open with information.

If that link doesn't work try googleing it. Why isn't googleing a known word in my spell check program?
Date Added: 03/08/2007

Actually I did know about the Renault podcast, Dan - I was exaggerating for dramatic effect just a little in the post. ;) But you're right, it's very good. Another one not to be missed.

Your spell checker doesn't know the word "google" because it's like me - old and wary of newfangled things... :D
Date Added: 03/08/2007

Nothing wrong with some honest HTML editing now and again, keeps your hand in. ;)
Date Added: 03/08/2007

This is true, Mad - I wasn't complaining... ;)
Date Added: 03/08/2007

Pity us poor linux users who find that absolutely *none* of this software is written for us.

Although we usually find a workaround in the end.

The autosport podcasts are quite good sometimes. Don't know if you can download them if you're not a subscriber to their website though.
Date Added: 03/08/2007

Ah, no need for pity where Linux users are concerned, Patrick - after all, you are the wave of the future. Or you ought to be. How I wish that someone would fix the two problems with Linux that make it inaccessible to the ordinary computer user; if they did that, it would conquer the world.

I have never noticed an Autosport podcast. Presumably that means either that I'm not looking carefully enough or I'm not a subscriber. This bears closer investigation, methinks...
Date Added: 03/08/2007
Patrick, apologies if you're unable to listen to the show. our intention has always been to be as accessible as possible.

i don't have a linux machine, but would you be willing to help us figure out a solution for linux users?

we have an MP3 feed of our shows, available here:

i'd kind of assumed that MP3 files would basically play on any system, but if this doesn't work for you please yell.

also, thanks for the plug Clive :)
Date Added: 03/08/2007

My pleasure entirely, Sidepodcast. :)
Date Added: 03/08/2007

Dan M
I'm am also a part time (90% linux/ 10 % windows for games) linux user. I use a program called Wine. Its a program that emulates windows .DLL files and makes it possible to use almost all windows programs on Linux. It can be a little tricky to the average windows user to install (and then finding where you installed) programs on linux.

It works great with non-graphic intensive programs such as Quicktime or your favorite MP3 player.


I knew this job would come in handy eventually!

Date Added: 03/08/2007

You have mentioned one of the two aspects of Linux that make it impossible for lay users to consider, Dan: installation. I tried several versions of Linus a couple of years ago (even spent money on them and bought books) but the weird system for installing programs defeated me. And if I can't install stuff, then Wine as well stays in its box.

Linux does things in a way that is totally foreign to those who have been weaned on Windows and most of us are incapable of understanding why it does things the way it does. And, without that understanding, we never get the hang of it.

What Linux desperately needs is someone who understands our problems in this area and gives it an interface that pretends to work the way Windows works. I don't really care what goes on underneath - just make it look logical, that's all I ask... ;)
Date Added: 03/08/2007

I am a habitual skeptic so I always doubt new technologies that appear to be fads. For example, I did not enter into blogging until about four years after my friends got LiveJournal accounts. I still haven't got a LiveJournal account. I do not have a MySpace account, thank you for not bothering to ask. ;)

I listen to some podcasts but most of them are about "free", independent, or low budget musics, and are like radio shows. (A few literally are radio shows, archived in a downloadable format.)

I do not use a player device to listen to them... actually, that's a bit of a fib. There is an old Rio Volt in my car, and a PDA I reprogrammed to listen to music in computer format.

Since 2002 I think I've bought less than 10 actual compact discs, my music is almost exclusively in digital format now.

I'm a Linux user, so my player of choice is amaroK:

Why don't I download so many talking podcasts? When I would want to listen, I'm usually in a situation when I can't focus on the talking!

Many podcasts can be heard through builtin flash players, much like the one to the right of my blog page.
Date Added: 04/08/2007

As a generalist, I love the way Windows is good enough at everything. I know that musicians are into all sorts of operating systems and software that look weird and wonderful to me but I'm just happy that my PC produces sounds reasonably close to those intended. And that flash player on your site is a little gem, Chunter - one click and off it goes without any sudden pauses for downloads (I'm listening to it now - love electronic music).

I, too, haven't bought a CD in ages. YouTube is a brilliant invention, isn't it? Oops, perhaps I shouldn't have said that - but I never bought CDs even before that, honest! At least now I can pass on what I find to others who might buy...

As for blogging or LiveJournal, I was introduced to the game by my son, Mad, and have always used his system, apart from a brief period with WordPress when I blogged for a network. I was joking when I mentioned about some bits still requiring HTML of me - I enjoy it, really I do!
Date Added: 04/08/2007

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