Tag Archive for podcasts

If you use Flash Storage, do NOT miss this Storage Unpacked Podcast!

Silicon Wafer

Just a very quick post today…

I don’t often write blog posts either responding to, or recommending things, as I usually just fire them out on Twitter or LinkedIn.

That said, I enjoyed this particular podcast episode so much, I felt I needed to share it with my [two] subscribers via a post!


Storage Unpacked

I have been listing with great interest to Chris Evans and Martin Glassborow’s new Storage Unpacked podcast for the past couple of months. If you are either a storage afficionado, or even a generalist, i highly recommend it.

The particular episode I am referring to is Talking NAND Flash with Jim Handy, specifically Part One, released 6th Jan this year.

As someone who follows the storage industry with interest, this episode was a great insight as to the history and decisions which have led us to where we are with flash storage today, as well as some fascinating facts and figures.

I don’t want to preempt or spoil the episode, but for example did you know:

  • Nanometer scale productions actually mean working at the scale of millionths of a millimeter
  • Fabrication plants cost around $8 Billion each to make, and the machines involved in creating the chips cost about $100 million each!
  • It takes 3 months to create a single chip from the raw materials!

These, and other interesting things can be found on the episode, below – I highly recommend you check it out (and dont forget to subscribe to their podcast)!

Talking NAND Flash with Jim Handy – Part One

Further Info

I listen to about 20+ podcasts on a regular basis (the one and only good thing about commuting every day to the office!). I need to do an updated article on them, but in the mean time, here is a list of some of my recommendations:

The Tekhead Top 10 Tech Podcast Perfect Playlist Picks

The Tekhead Top 10 Tech Podcast Perfect Playlist Picks

I reckon that’s about enough alliteration click bait for now! If you are either a regular commuter or someone who travels a lot for work, tech podcasts are one of the best ways of staying up to date with the industry and do training without having to necessarily spend hours every week reading blog posts or El Reg.

More fool me of course, I actually do both!

As someone who is fortunate enough to work from home most of the time though, the majority of my tech podcast listening happens either when I go out for a daily walk at lunch time, when I’m traveling to client meetings, or when I’m binging on podcasts whilst getting DIY stuff done at home (it passes the time so much quicker!).

Either way, I consume a fairly large chunk of tech podcasts, and as the last time I posted a list was over two years ago, I thought I would update and re-post it here.

Tech Podcasts - Tech Podcast Meme

To be honest, not a huge amount has changed in terms of sources, though there are one or two new shows which were of such awesome quality, I had to somehow find time to squeeze them in! It’s also worth noting that I still continue to find BeyondPod as one of the most reliable and easy to use podcast consumption apps for Android!

All of these podcasts are great, but the following table is in the priority order I listen to them – you may read that as you will! 🙂

Recommended Tech Podcasts





Speaking in Tech

Weekly – Wednesdays

Irreverent, funny, NSFW, but thoroughly informative and entertaining consumer and enterprise tech news and interviews! Greg, Eddie and Sarah are like the Fox News of tech podcasting, only more sensational! 😉
In Tech We Trust

Weekly – Mondays

Unofficially competing hard with Speaking in Tech to be the best news focussed tech podcast out there! Unmissable!

GreyBeards on Storage

Monthly Satisfying my inner storage nerd on a monthly basis, Howard and Ray talk to existing and startup storage vendors about their products, as well as industry trends. I always learn something new listening to this show!


Irregular Though sporadic of late, vSoup feels like a comfortable chair you sit in and chat about IT with your mates. Insightful at times, and always entertaining!


Irregular Run by two fellow London VMUG members, I’d say this could almost be described as a quintessentially British view of tech industry news. Well worth listening to!


Irregular but often Well known industry veteran Justin Warren, talks with companies and other industry figures about the business of IT. A very unique perspective, which those of an engineering mindset sometimes have a tendency to downplay!


On hiatus? Although this seems to have fallen by the wayside, I am hoping this user and use-case focused show will make a return soon!

Around the Storage Block


I haven’t missed an episode of Calvin’s HP vendor show in years, and though I did recently feel the need to stop one half-way through due to FUD overload, it still continues to be a great source of information.

Packet Pushers

Multiple per week

I’m no network guy, but if I have the time, I always try to catch a few episodes and learn something new. I’m never disappointed!

Professional VMware Brownbag


I generally dip in and out of the amazingly awesome vBrownbag tech podcast content depending on what I am studying at the time. I have a massive amount of respect for the effort these guys put into providing free training for the community! Just brilliant!

I Opened up a Can of #VUPaaS and it was Good! – Podcast Review

VUPaaS Logo

I recently had a 7 hour day in the car thought I would catch up on the first half a dozen episodes of the new VUPaaS podcast and see what it was like. The Virtualization User Podcast as a Service was started at the end of 2013 by Gurusimran “GS” Khalsa (@gurusimran), Chris “Cisco Kid” Wahl (@ChrisWahl) & Josh “Mute  you in a Heartbeat” Atwell (@Josh_Atwell) and is focussed on users of virtualisation tech.

One of the things which immediately jumped out at me about the format of the show is that there is a lot of discussion around user requirements, which as a Solution Architect, is exactly what I do all day! In that respect it is particularly interesting as the show has (to date) included a wide range of different users from different industry verticals and different backgrounds, environments etc. It’s fascinating to me to understand the reasons behind the design decisions which have been made, and how that has panned out in implementation.

Another great element of the show is the real-world hints, tips and experiences which are brought to light by the guests when they discuss the issues they came across in implementation, or for example Chris Mohn discussed some of the tools he uses to “get the job done” as a consultant. They also had our own #LonVMUG regular Ed Grigson talking about Oracle, Cloud, DevOps and everything in between.

One other type of “user” I would be interested to hear from on a show (even just a one-off), is one of the decision-maker “users”; a CTO/CIO/IT Director. It would be interesting to understand how they make their decisions and what information sources drive them to procure something that their employees then have to implement (sometimes without necessarily engaging those people in the decision making process!).

I have enjoyed the show so much to date, it has immediately jumped into my Top 4 favourite podcasts. I would definitely recommend you check it out!

My current podcast list is as follows (in order of preference):




Speaking in Tech

Weekly – Wednesdays



~ Every 3-4 weeks



~ Monthly



~ Weekly


VMware Communities Roundtable

Weekly – Wednesday Evenings


Around the Storage Block



Packet Pushers

Multiple per week


Professional VMware Brownbag



GreyBeards on Storage

~ Monthly


Puppet Labs Podcast



One wee tip if you want to start listening to more podcasts is to have them set to auto-download onto your Android or iPhone overnight. Then by the time you get into the car in the morning they’re ready to go! On Android I use BeyondPod for managing this.

That about wraps it up for now but just to reiterate, I highly recommend you too open up a can of VUPaaS at your earliest convenience!

Tools to Reduce Information Overload – Part 1 – RSS & Podcasts

Like many in the IT industry I am finding more and more that keeping up to date with the latest technology advances, whilst remaining sane and keeping my wife from killing me, is becoming trickier by the day! Between the tens or hundreds of blogs, podcasts, Twitter, Facebook (ok that’s more personal, but you get the idea!) feeds, its hard to both a) manage that information, and b) keep up with the sheer volume. This is especially true when you consider the volume of brilliant content being produced by bloggers within the virtualisation / Cloud (gag) industry alone…

I used to be fortunate enough to work from home 80% of the time, which meant that it was relatively easy to keep up with all the different streams, feeds, etc by simply having a second machine and screen up and running when in the house. Since starting a new role as a Solution Architect, I am lucky to be at home one day every few weeks, so I have been forced to rethink my strategy.

I have always been a bit of a fandroid, however after starting the new role, I was presented with a shiny new iPhone! After I got back from gagging in the loo, I had to think about how to integrate the Apple app ecosystem into my current Android (tablet and phone) setup, so the number one requirement moving forward was that apps should be able to communicate, access and share information outside of their walled gardens!

Having done some fairly in-depth research on different free and paid apps available on both Android and iDevice, I have re-jigged my setup for each information stream as follows:

Blogs / RSS Feeds

My old method for keeping up with blogs was to simply add them into Outlook’s built-in RSS reader. This was brilliant as you can then assign Outlook rules to feeds, to remove any junk articles, or move articles you wish to highlight into other directories –  a superb feature! Unfortunately this doesn’t have any feasible remote access / sync options (other than RDP which I already use if I am online) so I decided to move all my feeds up to Google Reader to track instead. The migration was really simple as I just exported all my feeds (over 50 of them!) from Outlook as an OPML file, which I was then able to import into Google Reader. Much quicker than having to add each manually! The only thing you lose at this stage is their folder structure, but you can then go to Options\Subscriptions and add the blogs into a single layer of subdirectories. I choose to separate mine by subject, e.g. Virtualisation / Networking / Storage / Tech News / Training etc.

Filtering the Junk –  FeedDemon Pro
To get rid of any articles you are / aren’t interested in, you need the ability to mark them as read / unread in your Google feed. After testing a few different apps, the best I found (for now) is called FeedDemon Pro (currently version 4.1). The free version is a a simple RSS reader with tagging, podcast sync, etc but the pro version (paid for) allows you to filter articles as either “mark as read if…” or “mark as read unless…”. The biggest bugbear with this app is that you can only do a positive or a negative filter on each feed, but not both. I would love to see this ability added in future versions, for example I follow the HotUKDeals feed, where I like to keep any post with tags like “SSD”,”Kindle” etc, but I want to remove any posts with the word “Win”, “Competition” etc. This was possible with Outlook, but not FeedDemon, which is a shame.

This app is left running 24/7 on my workstation VM at home, as it is only able to filter content whilst running (obviously). There have been a number of sites which have come and gone over the past few years offering filtering of Google Reader content, but I can’t see there being an easy way to monetise them, which probably explains why they have virtually all gone offline within a year or two. For now I will stick to the local filtering option but if a clear SaaS-type google reader filter emerges and sticks around (such as perhaps FeedRinse), I’d happily take their service (and even pay a couple of quid a year for it!). Frankly I don’t know why Google don’t just add this functionality natively?…

Once the feeds have been filtered, I needed a way to access them on each of my devices. For that I use the following apps (which each mark items read / unread in the feed so they all stay in sync, irrespective of vendor and device!).

Android –  gReader
Not the prettiest interface, but a great app which works on my phone and tablet, and provides all the usual sharing options, plus the ability to offline cache whole articles should you wish to do so. It also has generated voice options so you can listen to blogs if you so wish (e.g. in the car).

iPhone –  Reeder
I really like the nice clean interface, and the huge array of sharing / integration options. For me, this is the app to beat when it comes to mobile RSS reading. If it came to Android I would be first in line to purchase!

PC –  Outlook integrated Google Reader
This takes advantage of Outlooks ability to display whole webpages within Outlook folders. As per this article on Lifehacker “Just right-click on the folder, choose Properties, enter the URL to Google Reader on the Home Page tab, and then check the box for “Show home page by default for this folder”. You can even use the full URL to a specific folder in Google Reader, or create extra folders in Outlook and use a different URL for quick access to different views.”


Many of the above applications will support auto podcast downloading, but to keep things simple and seperate out this high storage requirement (average podcast is 30–100mb in size), I prefer to have a dedicated app. My preference is to listen to podcasts in the car as it passes the time a little quicker on my 35–45 minute journey to and from work, and you can generally listen to a podcast a day that way.

Android –  BeyondPod
My preferred app (which I use solely on my Android) is BeyondPod. This app has been designed brilliantly and integrates perfectly with my car’s audio system via bluetooth, auto playing the current podcast playlist as soon as bluetooth connects, pausing for phone calls, and saving my place when i turn off the ignition ready to continue where it left off on my next journey! In addition it will auto connect my phone to my wireless network overnight and download the latest podcast episodes I have subscribed to, ready to play at my convenience.

I have also just noticed time running away with me, and this article doing the same, so I think I will split this out into a couple of pieces covering Twitter, email and offline reading / Pocket next time. Please feel free to comment on how you manage your feeds or anything else related? More next week!…