Petaluma, you ask? Part One


In an earlier post Two months, it was only supposed to be two months, I explained how a became a Leo Leporte fan. I realise that I became so distracted by my fellow passengers, on the flight to California, that I never quite finished the story.

After Tech TV became G4, and G4 drift off into never-never land, I moved on. I got to a point when I no longer had the time to build my own computers. I just bought the top of the line Sonys and added bits and pieces as the computers aged. I stopped buying computer magazines by the pound and started finding my tech info on the web. My old PC Magazines became occasional tables before they were finally sent to recycling. Then one day something happened that I would have never dreamed of.

In 2009 I bought an Apple product. Now I am not counting my iPod or my iPhone. Though both were technically an apple products the two were not enough to lure me into the Appleverse.I had become tired of using a big black tower as my media server. It looked horrible in the living room. I went to Best Buy to talk to one of their techs to see if I could get a slimline PC to put inside my TV console. (If you remember when Best Buy hired people who actually knew about the things they were selling, you are as old as me.)

He directed me to the Mac Mini. I hesitated, but what harm could there be? One little Mac, couldn’t hurt. I mean, the iPod was only for music; the iPhone was only to have Google Maps for transit directions. Wouldn’t the little Mac be just a media server? You see the slippery slope I was going down? I took the tiny white box home. I waited until the next day, when I wouldn’t be working and could clear the whole day for setting up the new server. I even went over to the bookstore (remember bookstores?) and bought Switching to Mac For Dummies. Not that I was switching! I just remembered how much I hated Macs when I was forced to use them as a journalism student.

The next morning, I ate a hearty breakfast and got to work. The last time I had set up a media server it had taken me 10 hours, and lots of tech support calls. 45 minutes later I as lounging on the sofa watching one of my favorite movies on my 52 inch TV, without a computer in site. … Fast forward 60 days. All the PCs were gone from my home. My primary work computer was a 13 inch MacBook Pro. All my pleasure was spent with the Mac Mini, which was soon joined by a second Mac Mini in the office.

It was around this time that I was speaking to my ex, exchanging memories of when I used to work on my computers while watching Tech TV. I asked, “I wonder whatever happened to Leo Leporte.” As soon as I was off the phone with my ex, I did a bit of searching (I almost wrote “Googling” but I think I was using a different search engine back then.) That is when I learned that he had a podcast. Not just one, but a whole podcast network. I was glad to see that there were podcasts on TWIT.TV for both Mac and PC people.

I became a huge fan, just another one of the TWIT Army. I managed to visit the Brick House Studio once, before the operation moved to the East Side Studio. Try as I might, I wasn’t able to arrange another visit until after I retired.

My friends wondered, and asked, “Why are you going to spend a week in Petaluma before going to South America?” After having to listen to me wax on about how long I had waited and what it meant to me, they were sorry that they had asked. I was so excited, as the days ticked by, until I could  finally walk into the studio and met Mo, the security guard.

August 20 -21, 2018

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I arrived at the studio on Tuesday morning, about 10 minutes before showtime. I knew from watching the podcasts, that Leo was perpetually late on Tuesday mornings, so I had plenty of time, before iOS Today started. Security on the studio is what you would expect of a place that has such a high profile on the internet. If you want to visit the studio you need to email tickets@twit.tv to let them know you are coming. There are not really any tickets and you are not charged anything. While I was checking in, Mo, the security guard,  had me write my name and where I was from. “Leo likes to know who is in the audience,” Mo informed me.

I was turned over to Colleen Goldstein, a Supervising Producer at TWiT, who showed me where the restrooms were before taking me back to the studio and introduced me to John Slanina (JammerB), TWiT’s lead studio engineer. He told me where I would be sitting and what to expect. John was exceptionally warm and welcoming. It was as if I was part of his family, who had come for a visit. Megan Morrone popped in from time to time, as if looking to see if Leo was there. Finally she settled in at the table, and Leo was soon on set. The set was already lit for recording the show, so as he went past me there was no way he could have seen me, sitting with the other guests. I saw that he was in a hurry to get the podcast started, so I didn’t call attention to myself, though I chimed in with the “Hello Leo” along with the other guests.

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I was a little shy about taking too many photos, though John Slanina had told me that I could take as many as I liked … without flash. When Leo got settled in his chair, he picked up the sheath of papers which were waiting for him. Suddenly he looked up and said, “Sam? I didn’t see you there!” Now I don’t want you to think that I am some old friend of Leo’s … Of course I would like you to think that, but actually we had only met once before and had over the years exchanged occasional emails. Leo told the other audience members who I was and we chatted for a little while before the podcast started. When the podcast was over, I returned to my motel to work on sorting through my gear and to have lunch. The motel had dismal WiFi, so I wasn’t able to work on my blog.

AFter lunch, I returned to the studio to watch the recording of MacBreak Weekly, and was waved past Mo’s desk, since I was already signed in.

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It was so much fun watching the recording of my favorite show. I wish I had taken more photos. After recording was done, cake was served. I was disappointed that Alex hurried out of the studio while Leo was recording the lead in for the show. I would have liked to meet him, but it seems that though he is so expansive on camera, he is a bit shy in person.

I had enough time to go get a late lunch before returning to the studio to watch All About Android being recorded. I am a little embarrassed that I temporarily lost the only two photos I took during the recording of this podcast. They were wedged in between photos I took while I was sorting out my travel gear. Losing them actually made me forget to write this part of the post until I was working on Part Three and noticed that I hadn’t mentioned meeting Florence Ion and Jason Howell before.

One might wonder why a dyed in the wool Apple fangirl like myself would be a fan of All About Android? I love watching the podcast for two reasons. One: it is very entertaining. Two: it keeps me from being Android Curious.

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Only one of the photos was good enough to use

For the past year, on All about Android the hosts have been kicking off each show by tasting a new type of Oreo. (Android Oreo, get it?) Though the ritual took place before the show during the live showing, it was moved to the end of the show in the on demand version, because some viewers did not like seeing the hosts eat on camera. Since we have gone past Oreo and are now on Android Pie, I was really expecting pie, but it was the last Oreo tasting. As part of the audience I was able to partake in the ritual. After that morning’s cake, I only took one of the offered cookies.

It was quite late when I got back to my motel. I turned on the TV and watched it until bedtime, wishing that the WiFi signal wasn’t so bad. I would have rather been catching of up the YouTube folks I follow.

Continued in Petaluma you ask? Part Two

 

Categories: Geek Life, United StatesTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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