Transcripts

FLOSS 705 Transcript

Please be advised this transcript is AI-generated and may not be word for word. Time codes refer to the approximate times in the ad-supported version of the show.

Doc Searls (00:00:00):
This is FLOSS Weekly. I'm Doc Searls. This week Jonathan Bennett and I talk with Jeff Geerling. He's an alpha hacker, big in the Drupal world, has a lot of stuff on GitHub, but you see him all over YouTube. I invite you to look at his stuff. He has a lot of listeners, a lot of viewers, and he goes deeply into Raspberry Pie. We talk about how to make money with YouTube, lots of other related topics, and that is coming up next,

VO (00:00:30):
Podcasts you love from people you trust. This is TWiT.

Doc Searls (00:00:38):
This is Floss Weekly, episode 705, recorded Wednesday, November 2nd, 2022, A Slice of Raspberry Pie. This episode of Floss Weekly is brought to you by compiler and original podcast from Red Hat devoted to simplifying tech topics and providing insight for a new generation of IT professionals. Listen to compiler in your favorite podcast player. Hello again, everybody, everywhere. I am Doc Sos, and this is Floss Weekly. This week, joined by Jonathan Bennett.

Jonathan Bennett (00:01:15):
Hey Doc,

Doc Searls (00:01:16):
In Oklahoma,

Jonathan Bennett (00:01:17):
Somewhere on the interwebs <laugh>

Doc Searls (00:01:19):
Where you can't find his, uh, the right card for his, uh, or the thing that that failed you, your video card.

Jonathan Bennett (00:01:26):
What what? I have a nice major well capture card to be able to do H D M I input, and that has jumped off to hyperspace. I have no idea where it's at. <laugh>, I have a backup and every time I plug that in, zoom would hard lock. And so I'm on the, the tier three solution, the, the old, uh, 10 80 P log webcam, which works just not nearly as nice as the big DSLR over across the room.

Doc Searls (00:01:50):
<laugh>. Well, you're well, you're looking good. You, you're the one who got me to, to actually wear a jacket. You know, it's, uh, it's, you know, it's getting, the weird thing here is that it's, it's fall now. It's getting toward winter, but that means the furnace comes out. So it's hotter down here in the summer. It's too cold here cuz the ac the gold sinks and all that. But anyway, yes.

Jonathan Bennett (00:02:11):
Yeah.

Doc Searls (00:02:12):
So

Jonathan Bennett (00:02:12):
If I started, when I, when I very first got started, there's a guy I worked with that wore jean shorts just everywhere all the time. And that kind of annoyed me. So when I, when I started doing stuff on Mohan, I'm like, no, I'm gonna dress up a little bit.

Doc Searls (00:02:23):
Yeah, it looks good. It looks good. So, uh, our guest today is, uh, is is Jeff Geerling. Have you, have you studied his work yet?

Jonathan Bennett (00:02:31):
I rubbed shoulders with Jeff because of the, the touring pie, I think was actually the project. Um, but I've been aware of him because of some other things. Like, uh, he, he's the guy that got the idea that the Raspberry Pie now has a PCI Express slot, uh, not a slot, but a lane on it. Well, that means we could use a desktop gpu. Right. And, uh, turns out it's not that simple. And he's, he got nerd Sniped. He's invested, I think a couple of years, years into trying to make that work <laugh> with, with some success. I'm sure he'll be gladed to tell us more about

Doc Searls (00:03:03):
That. That's, that's one of the,

Jonathan Bennett (00:03:04):
He, he does some, some cool Linuxy Raspberry Pie stuff and we, we mentioned him on, on Hackaday from time to time.

Doc Searls (00:03:12):
Well, we'll have to see if we can get into that. I'm sure we can. Um, so I'm gonna go ahead and introduce him. Uh, uh, Jeff Geerling is our guest. Uh, he goes by gearing guy and most places online says his brief bio, um, a long time open source guy. Uh, he's got his own YouTube channel, which has a lot of stuff on it and I recommend it. Also, he also maintains, uh, many open source projects on GitHub. He's written four books, um, uh, that are also out there, which has been beat by three, um, <laugh>, uh, anyway, uh, so welcome to the show, Jeff.

Jeff Geerling (00:03:49):
Thanks. Yeah. And four books, but one complete, three incomplete, so not too much beaten, I guess.

Doc Searls (00:03:56):
Well, I have, I have one that I, the one I'm best known for is one that I was one of four people who wrote. So it's <laugh>. I got like one at a quarter, you know, but maybe cuz that one sold well and the other one didn't. Uh, uh, it's, it's a little different. So, so you play guitar. I see a guitar in your background there.

Jeff Geerling (00:04:14):
Not, well I, that, that guitar is actually missing a string and that string broke in 2020 and that's how long it's been since I've played that guitar. So,

Jonathan Bennett (00:04:23):
<laugh>,

Doc Searls (00:04:24):
If a pandemic happened and you did not play the guitar during that time, <laugh>, I would say you're not not fully committed. Uh, yeah. So, um, and, and I see the eclipse back there where you actually witnessed to the last eclipse. Yeah.

Jeff Geerling (00:04:38):
So it was cool. The, for anyone that doesn't know, there's another one coming up that's gonna go right through the middle of the US in 2024. So start getting your plans together for it. But this eclipse went right in my backyard. We were almost in the center of totality, so I rented camera lenses, I set up everything. We had cameras on our family to see, you know, the whole experience. It was, it was impressive. Like it was something that I had never expected it to be as cool as it was. And, uh, I got that picture out of it that was a set of images that I compiled and it was, it was,

Doc Searls (00:05:11):
Oh wow. That's great. What did you shoot that with with, uh, obviously

Jeff Geerling (00:05:14):
That was with my, I had a Nikon D seven 50 set up with a 500 millimeter lens and I just had it Oh. Focused on the sun throughout the day. And I, I had it, um, I had a timer cuz I, I wanted to manually take the pictures to make sure each one was good. So I had a timer and I'd go out there every five minutes and take a picture. And so I took all the pictures and put 'em on on that series. And I have, I have like 300 pictures of the actual eclipse <laugh>, but, you know, you pick the favorite ones.

Doc Searls (00:05:43):
I, I, I do photography, but I decided I'd rather experience the thing. And I, we drove from Santa Barbara to the very center of Wyoming, uh, with my son who was then, uh, he's 26 now, he's like 21 then. Um, and we could see the shadow of the boon move across the landscape, which is really cool. And, uh, I took a few shots, you know, but with a, you know, 105 millimeter cannon. Yeah. You know, but the main thing was, was just witnessing that and waiting to hear all, you know, the birds start chirping and stuff like that. Except there were no birds. There were no animals other than the humans. And there were very few of those, so we didn't get to see that. So, so, um, so, so tell us a little bit about the projects you're working on or you have worked on it. So if we go to your GitHub, what are we gonna be, what are we gonna see first? So

Jeff Geerling (00:06:35):
I've, like, my whole life I've been focused on open source, everything. I, I, I got my start in web development and web design, graphic design. And, uh, I started out using a system called Drupal, which some people might be familiar with. Drupal is one of the big web content management systems. And, uh, when I started on it, the community around DR was so helpful in getting me the answers I needed or helping me with some little code problem or helping me with a design issue. So when I, when I started doing that, I just loved the community aspect and that got me into all kinds of open source. And I, I started kind of saying like, if there's an open source way to do it, I'm gonna do the open source way. And, um, you know, on GitHub, I think most of the popular projects are things around automation, infrastructure with things like Red Hats, Ansible, and, uh, Kubernetes, things like that.

(00:07:28):
Um, they're very popular because I, I was able to get into some of those ecosystems early on. And so some of my work is some of the things that are used a lot in those ecosystems. So, you know, some of the most popular repositories and things are surrounding my Ansible work. And I, I, I basically publish all the code that I ever write on GitHub by default. Uh, and that's just because I feel like it, it can help other people and it also helps me be accountable for security and things like that because if you're always publishing in public, you have a tendency to make things more generic and make things like any kind of secrets and passwords and things are always stored in a safer way. So that's just part of my whole philosophy on how I develop things too.

Jonathan Bennett (00:08:13):
It also makes it a whole lot harder to accidentally forget and, uh, leave code on an old hard drive that you then recycle or wipe or something. And then, you know, a couple months later, oh no, where, where was that project at? Oh, it's on GitHub

Jeff Geerling (00:08:26):
<laugh>. Yeah. Well, not only is all my code on GitHub and it's mirrored on my local computer, I also have a raspberry pie with a backup script that uses a tool called GI Up, which is open source. And it synchronizes all my GitHub code down to my local mass, which is replicated on a second, second mass and in Amazon Glacier. So I have at least five copies of every project up to date, at least every night. Uh, so hopefully I'll never lose any of that.

Jonathan Bennett (00:08:51):
<laugh>. I like it. Um, so I'm curious, what was the, what was the, the journey going from? Well you started out in web development and then got excited about open source. Where did YouTube come along? Cause that's kinda your, your, at least where you're known for these days, right?

Jeff Geerling (00:09:05):
Yeah, it's funny, the before web development even, I, I did, uh, my first ever job was at a radio station. So media and, uh, in radio, it's audio obviously, but they started doing a little bit of, um, video and pictures and things. When they got on the web they wanted to experiment. So I was kind of the guy who got to experiment with some of that stuff. And then when I got into college, um, I was able to get access to some, some camera gear and things and, and be able to do some cool, fun video projects for college for some classes. And I never took an official course on any of it. I just learned by doing. And my dad was also a huge inspiration for it cuz he would, he bought like the first MiniDV camera and let me go to town with it.

(00:09:50):
And I have probably a box full of little MiniDV tapes with all the embarrassing things that are not digitized yet. And, um, and I bought like a, a g three when that came out and it had a firewall report so I could plug the camera in and start editing. So really since like 2000, probably 1999 or so, I've, I've been doing digital video. And then in 2006 I started a YouTube channel and just put random things on it. If you go way back into the archives, there's, there's, I think the first video that is public is like thesis and the Minar, some college project I did for fun. And, uh, but then when the pandemic hit, I decided since I was working from home already and I had a book called Ansible for DevOps, I would kind of make this course for Ansible and make it free and public on YouTube.

(00:10:38):
And people started following it and they really seemed to enjoy it and, uh, it had a lot of traction. So I decided around that time to start getting serious about YouTube. So I started learning how the YouTube algorithm works, uh, kind of hacking into that, figuring out how to, how to make, uh, videos get a little more popular with better titles and thumbnails and the, the pacing of the content. So for the past couple years I've been focusing a lot more on that. Uh, but what, what's cool is that has allowed me to finally, um, I I don't have a full-time job for a big company anymore now I have, um, I do YouTube and my books basically in the blog. That's basically my, my full income. And, uh, it's, it's really cool because I get to work on open source projects and publish open source code and that's kind of my full time gig now, obviously editing video that takes time out of the open source work, but yes. But it's, it's been really awesome to be able to do that.

Jonathan Bennett (00:11:34):
Okay. Uh, I'm gonna go down the, the video nerd hole here just for a second. What, what video editor did you get started with and what are you using now?

Jeff Geerling (00:11:43):
So the first video editor I ever used, I believe was, uh, I think it was Avid. It was, it wasn't like the big production system, avid, they had a consumer version of it that they'd ship with the video capture card on an old Mac. And so I learned that and it was like, back then it was like, it is an, it's an nle a non-linear editor, cuz that was a new thing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, film was linear editing was not very fun. So digital editing was something amazing. And that's, you know, me getting my start there is kind of like if somebody got their start in digital photography and never did film, like you can, you get a lot more, um, you go from zero to a hundred a lot faster if you start in the digital realm. And that's, that's where I started. But then again, my dad, he bought a final Cut express, like the first version of that that came out. And that's, so I, I learned a lot more on that cuz that's when I got that parm Mac G three. And, uh, I started doing a lot more video, just fun production and stuff. So I still use Final Cut Pro, but, uh, I've used Premier and I've used Resolve, so, you know, all the, all the different applications and, uh, I mostly, I use Final Cut Pro because of the momentum. I've, I've used it for years and I know most keyboard shortcuts at this point.

Jonathan Bennett (00:12:57):
Yes. Oh yes. No, it, it is, it is quite the, it is quite the endeavor to try to switch editors. Oh, goodness. Um, have you, have you ever dipped your toes in on the other side and tried something like Caden Live or R Door for your, your video?

Jeff Geerling (00:13:10):
I did actually try Caden live. Yeah. I, I spent a couple weeks seeing if I could get into using Caden live on a really fast, uh, PC laptop. It was the, uh, I forget what, what, uh, version of the laptop it was, but it was one of those laptops like built to be like the best Linux laptop on the market. And Caden live worked pretty well. Uh, the only thing is like, there's a lot of little things that you do, especially on YouTube with titling and with transitions and things that they were a little bit harder to do in Caden. And, and the other problem is there's a lot of plugins that you just can't get for open source editors. And a lot of those plugins are things that make life easier for audio editing or for cleaning up, uh, video or stabilization, things like that. So, you know, for the raw editing, I didn't have a problem. It was just all the little things, the little cherries on top that make a YouTube video pop, which is necessary if you wanna get the views and, and have the traction. So unfortunately, I think right now the open source editors aren't to that state where you could really, uh, put 'em into a typical professional workflow unless you really pigeonhole it into the editing portion or if you're doing something simpler.

Jonathan Bennett (00:14:22):
Yeah. That, that seems to be the case. It's kind of the, the experience I've had as well. Uh, I got started actually using, uh, Vegas, Sony Vegas way back in the day. I think, uh, what Sony Vegas for or so, um, yeah, we're dating ourselves just a little bit here, <laugh>. Um,

(00:14:38):
I, I put the time in to learn Caden live and still when I sit down to do certain things with Caden live, it's like, oh, this is so clunky. It's, it's great, but it's, some things about it are just clunky. Uh, yeah, it's, it's like somebody that really knows what they're doing with the user experience side and the video editing side needs to sit down for about a year with the dev team and say, okay, we're gonna work this out. And then it would be, it would be great. It's about a year's worth of work away from being just great

Jeff Geerling (00:15:06):
<laugh>. Yeah, I think, I think that's for, for visual arts and for creative work, that seems to be the theme for all the open source tools. Like a lot of them have the great engine underneath, they just need some polish. But the hard thing is the polish is the one thing that, you know, a proprietary software setup often has the ability to pour tons of money and resources into the user research, into the, you know, the graphic design portion that open source communities just can't get

Jonathan Bennett (00:15:34):
Do. Do you think that is because of the funding? Is it, is it usually a money problem? Cause what what comes to mind is our door, I don't know if you've messed with our door much, but it's, it's mainly an audio editor and it is slick. Our door is great, especially with their new release. They've got some really cool stuff in there and people actually use it for professional music production. And, uh, one of the, one of the things our door has done is when you go to their website and you go to download a binary, it, uh, let's see, how does it work? Uh, every five minutes it inserts silence into your tracks, I think, and mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you have to pay to get a, to get a binary that works a hundred percent, you have to pay some money. No, not a whole lot, but a little bit. Uh, and I'm, I'm wondering if maybe that funding model has come done a lot to kind of help the polish to, to fund the polish, maybe.

Jeff Geerling (00:16:24):
Yeah. Yeah. I, I mean, especially for the graphic design portion, you, you don't get quality work for free in that world, unfortunately. Like, it, it's just, you can't, uh, somebody needs to devote enough time. And, you know, with, with a lot of code things and software, uh, you have corporate sponsors that'll, that'll sponsor patches and things, and you have individuals who can kind of dip in and dip out. But I find that the creative process, like building new user interface and, and putting up the resources to get, you know, I, in that editor, the, the really nice graphs and graphics and the motion and things, all those little pieces of icing that make the product really shine, that, that seems to always take that extra polish that, that does need funding. So that's, that's one area that even in, like in my work in Drupal that was always a pain point, was theming and design a lot of the other systems that had, uh, the companies that would sell themes and things, instead of giving away free open source stuff, they would have the better theming, they would have the better theme engines and things because the designers would be in that, in that court.

(00:17:27):
They wouldn't be in the completely free and open source court.

Jonathan Bennett (00:17:32):
Yeah. This, we, we talk, we talk with a lot of projects about this, and it seems to be one of the not entirely solved problems in open source, right? So like some projects just by their nature, it works really well for businesses to cooperate on them. I think Ansible is probably one of those projects because nobody sells Ansible. You use Ansible to make services that you sell, you use Ansible to make things, whereas, uh, Caden live, it's hard to sell a service on top of Caden live. You know, so the, the the regular open source model maybe doesn't map quite a hundred percent to it. And, uh, you know, we, we've, we've had our door, uh, Paul Davis on the show and talked to him about that and kind of the, the place that they've come to. So it is, it, it's interesting and, uh, hopefully one of these days, we'll, we'll all figure it out together. <laugh>.

Jeff Geerling (00:18:23):
Yep.

Jonathan Bennett (00:18:24):
Yeah. You wanna, you wanna talk a little bit about your, uh, your journey down the, the, the whole, the, the rabbit hole of the raspberry pie?

Jeff Geerling (00:18:32):
Yeah. So I, like I said, my dad has really introduced me to a lot of these things. He introduced me to electronics and um, I remember distinctly one of the first, one of the first computing experiences was he brought home kind of the husk of a 3 86 that was dead and said, here's this and I'll bring home some other parts. If you can get a working computer, it's yours. And that was my first, you know, dos six computer that I, I used and I upgraded that thing over the years. I eventually got it to a 46 and I got like Windows three one on it and I got doom running on it. All these fun things. Um, but he always would bring me these parts and I would put 'em together. So I was always deep into the hardware aspect. Uh, which is ironic because I'm a Mac user primarily. That's what I do my editing on what's what

Jonathan Bennett (00:19:16):
I, what went wrong, <laugh>.

Jeff Geerling (00:19:18):
Exactly. People are like, what? How can you, but I, I mean I've, I've always loved the hardware aspect, but on the flip side, you know, when I want to get an edit done, I, I use my graphical interface. I use a Mac and Final Cut, final Cut Pro in a lot of proprietary software. Um, but I've always wanted to continue down the hardware path for the past, you know, 10 or 12 years before the Raspberry Pie came along, there wasn't a whole lot of, I guess what you would call hobby computing. There, there always has been, it's a very dedicated community of people out there. Uh, but it wasn't like a mainstream thing. And it was hard. It was hard to get into it and you, it required hardware that sometimes wasn't well supported and things like that. So when the Raspberry Pie came out, I bought one like right away cuz I was like, this is cool.

(00:20:03):
It's cheap. And it went in a box. And that's how most people, and you know, you buy one and you're like, I can do all these cool things, but it ends up in a box or in your drawer. So, uh, a couple years later I started, um, just playing around with it. That's like, my dad would gimme things and I would play around and either they would break or they would work. And then sometimes if it works, you sell it and you get some money and then you realize like, oh, this is cool. I can do things, earn money, get more stuff and break more things. Um mm-hmm <affirmative>. So eventually I was like, I wanna get Drupal to run on here. Cuz I hadn't seen anybody else have Drupal the open source system running on a raspberry pie. This was 20 13, 24, probably 20, 20 13 I think it was.

(00:20:44):
And so I got my website to run on it. It was very, very slow and very horrible. But it was, it taught me a lot of things about how, how a system like Duple would respond to running in a really slow environment or with really slow networking. And so I started digging in deep, I, I built a cluster of raspberry pies called a bramble, because you know, if you have raspberries in a bush, it's a bramble. And, uh, so I, I made what I called the ramble, the Drupal Raspberry Pie ramble <laugh>. And, uh, I learned even more. I, I actually found a major bug in Drupal with the way that it would set up. Its, um, uh, one of, its kind of se fours for how it, how it interacts with multiple file systems, uh, across multiple pies in the web server portion. So I found that bug and I, at Dr.

(00:21:31):
Con, the founder of Drupal came over to the table where I was working on it, and he's like, oh, that's cool. And I'm like, yeah, I found this bug. And he's like, oh, that's even more cool. And it, it just like, little things like that are fun to me. And that bug probably didn't cause super high amount of grief for a lot of people in the world. It's, it's mostly a bug that would come up if you had networking issues. So if you're in Amazon and your DR system is going slow for some reason, you might run into that bug on the Raspberry Pie. I ran into it every time. So that was a cool thing. But, um, I don't know, for me it's always those fun little experiments. Uh, somebody said, like earlier today I saw someone posted that, uh, Jeff Gilling is like an eighties computer magazine, but for Red Ray Pies and I, I like that.

(00:22:14):
It's like, there's, there's so much potential, there's so many crazy things that we can do and we can always learn things. Some people, some people, some people I think, uh, don't get like, just exploration. Um, but that's where I learned so much about, uh, how Linux works. Um, you get really deep into the internals of Linux, how drivers work, how hardware interfaces. And, um, the nice thing about the Raspberry pie with that for me is it's on a lower level and always a few generations behind. So the documentation for things is actually better. And people have blog posts about the random things you run into that if you're on cutting edge hardware all the time, you're, you might not find those things. But, uh, I don't know. I I just love the kind of the hacker mentality and Raspberry Pie has, has really hit, hit the stride for that for me. And the big thing for me is the fact that it's supported by the Raspberry Pie Foundation or by Raspberry Pie themselves. Um, the sad thing for me is right now in 2022, it's so hard to find a raspberry pie I wanna share with people, I don't want them to be able to do everything I do. And right now it's so hard for them to be able to do it because you can't buy 'em. They're, they're not available anywhere in stock.

Jonathan Bennett (00:23:28):
Yeah. It, it's getting a, it's getting a tiny bit better. Um, you know, I think one of the things about the Raspberry Pie is it, it came along at the right time and it kind of, it, it, it got momentum. Uh, it hit critical mass where some of the other boards, you know, there was, there was the Beagle Bone, uh, there was the Arno, which there's still the Arno. Oh goodness, that thing, okay. The Arno hit critical mass too, but it's, it's in a different space than the Raspberry Pie. Um, the Raspberry Pie, the first one had just barely enough processing power to, to run Linux and maybe do something useful. Um, but you know, like you said, you have the Raspberry Pie Foundation and just all these different things came together at the right time that you hit critical mass with it, and now it's everywhere.

(00:24:15):
So you almost have better success depending upon what problem. So trying to Google a problem, um, you know, you're, your general approach to Googling is gonna be, okay, here's kind of what the problem is. And then Linux and well, you'll, you'll get some good stuff. You almost have better success these days. Okay, here's what the problem is, raspberry Pie. Because there's so many people out there using it and there's so many young people out there using it and maybe making dumb mistakes, which results in good answers being put on the internet. I dunno, the Raspberry Pie is something special. It's just cool.

Jeff Geerling (00:24:49):
Yeah. Yeah. And I, I think also like the Raspberry Pi Pico, this is, uh, the, this is the pico w the new one that's I think $6, um mm-hmm. <affirmative>. It's also kind of reignited a little bit of that hardware hacker mentality that I had from my youth that my dad brought home an FM radio kit one time from Radio Shack. And I remember soldering it together thinking it's like, oh, you mean like you can actually make this thing that receives radio. You don't have to buy it from the store. <laugh>, same thing with the, the Pico. You realize quickly with that and likes P Home and P 32 devices that you can wire up to sensors and to, um, a thermometer or to a soil soil sensor for gardening. All these different things that you can do, you realize, like, it's not magic, it's people make these devices that we buy that are Internet of Things devices. And if you do it yourself and understand how it works, it's actually pretty simple and you can do it better than off the shelf solutions a lot of time. So, um, that, that's been really cool for me too. And, and luckily the Pico, the Raspberry Pi Pico is actually available. So some of the projects that I'm working on right now with that, I can actually say like, oh, and you can go buy one instead of, and watch me do it <laugh>, you know.

Jonathan Bennett (00:26:02):
Uh, so have, have you gone down the route of something like learning Rust to program the Pico? That seems like that'd be a, a real interesting learning experience to do Rust on the bare metal for the Pico?

Jeff Geerling (00:26:12):
Not yet. Um, I'm, I'm still working mostly in higher level languages. Like I use Micro Python on the Pico, uh, and I mentioned P Home, which is basically a way to use, um, a tool to build a kind of a thing that runs on the Pico instead of you doing it yourself. I'm working on a video for that right now, but, uh, the reason I do that is most of the time I'm trying to build things that are more beginner friendly, uh, because it, it plays better on YouTube. So it's, it's easier, it's a wider audience. Uh, and also with an eye towards the future. I have four kids and I want to, uh, you know, I wanna start doing some more projects with them. So I, I wanna start in a way that they could approach right away instead of digging straight into like, we're gonna learn C and Assembly today. <laugh> I learned, I learned on php, which is pretty high level, and, uh, you know, I think there's, there's a valid approach to either way going straight into a deeper level, uh, with the hardware, uh, versus going high level, which is a lot less optimized and you can run into other problems and, and have memory issues and things. But, um, for me, I, I typically tend to stick to the more beginner friendly, uh, setups.

Jonathan Bennett (00:27:25):
Okay, now you say that, but you've got projects like the Petabyte Pie and trying to strap a desktop GPU to a raspberry pie. I'm not sure those are exactly beginner friendly <laugh>.

Jeff Geerling (00:27:37):
Yeah, I don't know, maybe, maybe I, I should, uh, reevaluate where I go with some of those things, but it, I, I, even with those, I still try to go back to the roots of, you know, this is a storage array, it's a hard drive and it's 60 hard drive, but it's a hard drive, you know, or how are we getting the hard drive into the raspberry pie, and how do we get that bigger and more exciting? So in those videos, sometimes I do go pretty deep and I, I can see in the YouTube analytics, it shows you like parts of the video. And I'm like, when I get into a deep dive on the M P T three SAS driver, it's like the viewership is like, drops down. So, you know, it's, but, but I still like to do some of that. I still like to, you know, I guess part of it is pride. Like I can still do something cool, you know, I don't, I'm not just a beginner, but, uh, but it's, it's, it's fun to, to see that.

Jonathan Bennett (00:28:26):
Do, do, keep in mind that there are, there are some, some really geeky folks, like, you know, there's a good crew over at Hackaday and we follow some of the stuff you do too, and we really appreciate the, the deep dive bones. There may not be as many of us as, you know, your, your whole channel, but there there's a decent handful of us that really appreciate it.

Doc Searls (00:28:43):
Well, you're gonna get a bunch of shallow dives from me who go <laugh> from one video to another, to another, to another, to partially prepare for this show. Um, got a number of questions actually about the whole YouTube thing, but first I have to let you know, let everybody know that this episode of Floss Weekly is brought to you by compiler, an original podcast from Red Hat devoted to simplifying tech topics and providing insight for new generation of IT pros. It's hosted by Angela Andrews and Branch Semio, and it closes the gap between those who are new to technology and those behind the inventions and services that shape the world. Compiler brings together stories and perspectives from the industry and simplifies the language culture and movements in a way that's fun, informative, and guilt-free. You wanna stay on top of tech without the time spend and original podcast from Red Hat compiler presents perspectives, topics and insights from the tech industry free from jargon and judgment.

(00:29:44):
They want to discover where technology's headed beyond the headlines and create a place for new IT professionals to learn, grow, and thrive. Compiler helps people break through barriers and challenges turning code into community at all levels of the enterprise. In one episode, they cover the Great Stack debate. The software stack is like an onion or a sheet cake or lasagna, or is it, that's a big question. It's often described as having layers that sit on top of each other. The reality, however, is much more complicated and learning about it can help any tech career. The Great Stack Debate is the first episode and compiler series on the software stack. They call it Stack Unstack. They explore each layer of the stack, what it's like to work on them, and how they can come together into a whole application. Another episode covers are we as productive as we think the pressure to balance productivity with passion projects, personal responsibilities, or just with a need to rest is challenging. Their team spoke with tech-minded creators in the productivity space on how to achieve full focus and how to make time for work relaxation and creativity. This is a good one for people like me. I'm an a d d case from the beginning. I can use all the help I can get on all that stuff. So learn more about compiler red.ht/twit. Listen to compiler in your favorite podcast player. Will also include a link in the show notes by thanks to compiler for their support.

(00:31:18):
So, so Jeff, you're, um, you were saying earlier that your day job is actually doing all the stuff you love to do <laugh>. And, uh, especially with, with the YouTube thing, some of your, I mean, most of your, your videos have hundreds of thousands of views and your, and one of them I think is over a million, like 1.2 million on, uh, one of your raspberry pie ones. So I've never done tried to do this. I have, like <laugh> YouTube sent me a note saying, Hey, you could make money doing this. And I have not posted a video since 2009. So <laugh> again, like 45 years. So, so I'm wondering, I mean, what's this business like? I mean, is it a business for, I guess that is a business for you, you make it? Is the money from advertising, I guess? Is that how it goes?

Jeff Geerling (00:32:08):
Yeah, so when I, when I, uh, finished college, I actually set up an llc, it's called Midwestern Mac, llc. There's a website for it you can even check out. And, um, when I, when I did that, I also monetized my YouTube channel way back when. And this was like 2008 or nine. It was around that time when YouTube said like, you can monetize your videos, you can earn money from them. And, um, at the time, I had a few videos up and they would get a few hundred views a year or something like that. So I got like a dollar a month, month maybe not much. Uh, you can't live on that. So, um, over time though, there's a whole economy that's kind of grown up around YouTube specifically for people who, uh, do either educational content, some people do pop content, you know, there's, there's big YouTubers like Mr.

(00:32:56):
Beast in the World, uh, and PewDiePie and things like that, that do more popular culture things, gaming and, and challenges and what whatnot. But, um, there's always been a, another community on YouTube for education, uh, tech, things like that. That's kind of, I, I see it as kind of an undercurrent. It, it's never something that you see bubble up to the top of like, oh, these are YouTube people. It's more like, oh, that guy's on YouTube. And so, um, I kind of wanted to go that route with my content and, uh, before I made the dive into doing YouTube and, and my books full-time, I planned out like, what are the numbers I need to hit to be able to make a living off of this? And so, uh, one of the strategies I had, which was something already from my open source work was, how can I get funding, uh, kind of a crowdfunding model, but, but people who watch my content on YouTube, people who use my open source tools.

(00:33:48):
Uh, so I set up a Patreon and at the same time that I set that up, a GitHub sponsors was a new program on GitHub, and I had a Target. I said, I have to be able to make enough money to pay the mortgage and my health insurance. And, uh, you know, and, and if I have growth and I can get to the point where I can do that, I know that I'll be able to grow enough to be able to replace some of my income at this point in my life. <laugh>, I'm not making nearly as much money as I did when I did software consulting, but, uh, it's enough to live on and it's enough to pay for health insurance and things like that that are very important for me in my family.

Doc Searls (00:34:26):
Yeah, I'm, I'm, I'm looking here. You have sponsoring on GitHub and sponsoring on Patreon, and then, um, you've got a Bitcoin address. <laugh>,

Jeff Geerling (00:34:35):
Yeah, the Bitcoin. I think I've, I've gotten about 16 bucks in my life through that Bitcoin address, but it, it is funny, some people do find my website and I'll get like a $20 donation on PayPal. And, uh, I always send an email and thank people because it like, to me that that means the world that somebody, it's so rare for somebody to see something that somebody puts out for free in the world, whether it's open source software, blogs or whatever. And, and, um, not only thank them, but also give them something concrete in return. Like, especially for, for me, a lot of times if I find a piece of software that saves me a few hours, I'll just go and see if there's a donation button. If there is, I'll give 'em 10 bucks or 20 bucks or 50 bucks or whatever it is, something to show that person like, Hey, you saved time in my life and that's, that's huge for me. Here's a concrete thanks for that. And so many people, they, they might get a buck a year or 10 bucks in a year or something. I earned my living off of it, so I know the value of it. But these people, you know, you get a donation that's something more sizeable and it, it can make, make a difference. You can be like, wow, there might be a future in this. That could lead to some sort of sustainability for me.

Doc Searls (00:35:44):
You know, there's a, there's a nonprofit I, I work on, uh, it's small. It has potential to be really big, but still it's small. Um, and to test the donate button on it, I actually sent it five bucks yesterday and I'm thinking, I said, need to send a note to myself because I did send a note to the one person that gave us money like five years ago in that thing. But that's, but I'm wondering how the market works there. I mean, in, in the sense that, you know, I'm, if I'm famous for anything, it's for having said markets or conversations and you're kind of showing that with that when you have hundreds of thousands of views, do you have a sense of how many viewers that is? Like, like what your constituency is and what that the dimensions of that conversation are?

Jeff Geerling (00:36:27):
Yeah,

Doc Searls (00:36:28):
YouTube

Jeff Geerling (00:36:29):
Actually

Doc Searls (00:36:29):
Gives you a knowable thing.

Jeff Geerling (00:36:31):
Well, YouTube gives you a pretty deep insight into the audience that your channel has. And I've seen it evolve a little bit over the years. It's <laugh>, this is something that I, I personally, I want to change it a little bit, but it's 98% male and, you know, it's computing topics, uh, electronics, things like that. That's kind of the world that we live in. But, um, um, it gives you an idea of who you're talking to. And so part of the whole YouTube game is figuring out how you can gain an audience, how you can grow the audience, and how you can kind of keep them engaged. And I think that's, that's one of the reasons I, I like being kind of in the undercurrent, the tech and education space is, uh, the community around it is not like toxic. It's not, uh, annoying, divisive and things like that.

(00:37:18):
Usually when there's any drama or something, it's because someone made a technical error and that's what we, you know, if somebody does something wrong with software or makes a statement that's a little bit incorrect about the speed of a cpu, like those are things that we can, we can kind of fight each other on. And, and, uh, it's more of a fun and uplifting thing rather than tearing each other down. So that's been my thing, is trying to, trying to find that community, which I think I have found a really nice community in YouTube of people who are interested in electronics, interested in Linux, uh, open source, raspberry pies, things like that. And, and also just the idea of hacking things to do things that they weren't meant to do, um, in a fun and positive way. And at this point, I'm trying to make sure that that's sustainable.

(00:38:03):
Uh, so not only feeding back into the books that I write, so the books also provide a source of income, but also making sure that that feeds back into the, the community that I have through Paton and through GitHub. Um, and, and because YouTube may or may not be forever, I don't think it will be. Uh, and typically a channel like mine would have a lifespan of seven to 10 years. We're just starting to get metrics on that in the YouTube world. Uh, so, you know, you have to plan for that. I, I, I'm planning for retirement cuz I'm going to retire someday and I wanna make sure that if YouTube goes away completely, I can still do things in life and I can still do these projects and, and share them in other ways too.

Doc Searls (00:38:42):
Well I, I, I'm not a good example of retirement cuz I never will <laugh>

Jeff Geerling (00:38:48):
Well, I'd like to retire someday. I don't think I will

Doc Searls (00:38:50):
Pitch for it all the time, but yeah, I get pitched for cuz my demographic. But I'm, I'm wondering, I mean, you know, we're um, we're looking at the back channel here and the 90 x percent male thing is, I mean the Lit Journal, which I worked out for 20, almost 25 years, um, we were owned entirely for a while by women. All of our executive team was women and our readership was between 99 and 100% male. And uh, and it's, uh, and I'm just wondering, I mean, do you have any ideas about how to get more, I mean diversity in there, I mean an advantage by the way I should say about, about the whole tech thing is that you're dealing with the concrete. I mean, you know, there are facts here, right? You know, there's not a whole lot of misinformation cuz it just doesn't work. Right. Um, yeah. But I'm wondering if um, if you have any ideas about that. I don't. I I've, you know, we tried a lot and didn't get anywhere with it, so

Jeff Geerling (00:39:51):
Yeah, no, I, I've, I've actually experimented a little bit with some of my videos, uh, changing up the style or the thumbnail and title and things like that to see what things might attract a little bit more diversity in the audience. And sometimes I've gotten videos up to like eight to 9%, uh, female audience, which is, it's interesting to me. And usually what the difference was is if you focus on less technical aspects and more personal aspects, at least for my channel, that's, that's been the, the keys and, um, but, but it's, it's a strange thing. I, I don't understand it because most of the teams I've worked on in the past software teams, most of the teams have been like, you know, two to four, the ratio's been closer to to 50 50 a lot closer than everything I see online with, uh, readership and viewership on YouTube and like you said with Linux Journal and things like that.

(00:40:41):
So it, it's a weird, it's a hard not to crack. I don't know. I I I have seen toxic behavior from parts of different communities and it, it kills me every time I see it. But it's, it's definitely not the norm. And I, I don't know what else, uh, has to happen to kind of shift that over time. Cuz I know one of my daughters does seem to like some technical things and it'd be cool if she had a future in it, uh, but it would also not be cool if she was discouraged by some things that she encountered.

Doc Searls (00:41:11):
So, so you say you have four kids, um mm-hmm <affirmative>. What's, what's the breakdown of those and how much are they involved and what you do?

Jeff Geerling (00:41:18):
Uh, the oldest one is nine and, uh, he's, he's interested in some of the things I'm doing and he, he likes kind of maker space things and, and things like that. But we, we also are pretty careful, especially since, since I'm so deep in YouTube and social media and things. I also, and I worked for a company that did, uh, personalized advertising for a short time and uh, I know the dangers in a lot of those areas. So we are very careful about their online life and, uh, technology use and things like that. It's, it's funny, the people that are the most careful are the people that are the most technologically literate, I think. So, um, we've intentionally kind of held them back a little bit from where I think some, some of my peers would have their kids be if they, if they were doing YouTube stuff and all that.

(00:42:03):
Uh, but you know, we kinda let them express what they're interested in. And so far, uh, you know, they, they don't have as deep of interest in electronics and raspberry pies and things like that. But we'll see. I, I mean, the other part of it is my wife and I have decided we're not gonna let our kids have an online presence until, you know, at least that they're, I mean, 13 is like the minimum age, but I think it'll be beyond that cuz we've seen some of the struggles that people have being online. And as children, especially if you have, you know, I'm, I'm Jeff Gearing on YouTube, but I'm also dad at home. I don't want to, I don't want those worlds to cross over and cause conflict between my kids and I or cause problems for them at school or anything like that. So we, we basically leave them out of the online life at this point.

Doc Searls (00:42:51):
Do they have, um, they, I take it then they don't have phones of their own, or if they do, they're very rudimentary ones.

Jeff Geerling (00:42:58):
No

Doc Searls (00:42:58):
Flip phone or,

Jeff Geerling (00:43:00):
Yeah, right now they don't have any phones or anything. We have a family iPad and that's used in a monitored area of the house. Um, and, you know, we're pretty strict on it, I think. Um, it's, it's a hard battle too because like, I do remember when I was a kid, my dad would bring that computer home, that was when I was 10, so none of my kids are quite 10 yet. But, uh, I remember having that freedom also gave me a lot of opportunity. But, um, the internet was not a thing at that point. We got a modem a couple years later. So giving people full access to the online world to comments and to forums and things like that is, that's a totally different thing these days. And I, I think so far our society hasn't really figured out the best way to handle that yet. Um, and I, I think we're all experimenting with it. We're taking a little bit stricter approach than most people probably, but it feels like that's a better approach, um, than to kind of dive head first and give our kids access to things that, that, uh, we don't have as much control over.

Jonathan Bennett (00:44:02):
Yeah. You know, I've, I've thought about this too. So I've got, I've got two kids. I've got a three year old boy and a one year old girl. And, uh, so they're, they're too young to even really be having the conversation with them yet about the internet or any of that. But I've thought about that cause it's coming. And so I've thought about things like, first off, I've got a responsibility of how much I put them on the internet. Like even, even from a, uh, a, a consent viewpoint, right? Cause like they're, they're too young to have an opinion on it. So I wanna be, I wanna be kind of conservative about that, that uh, you know, I don't, I don't wanna take advantage of their <laugh> of their, of their cute little of their cute pictures, right? Like, you could do a YouTube channel that's all about your, your, your little kids being cute, but then you think, well, what's gonna happen in 10 years when they, when they realize what you've done with them and they go and they look back at it, you know, I, I don't want my kids to eventually say, you you sold me on YouTube <laugh>.

(00:45:04):
Yeah.

Jeff Geerling (00:45:04):
That's, that's a huge struggle. And you know, there's, there's two sides to it as well. Even if you have like a private social media account, which a lot of my friends do, and they share pictures of their kids, you know, Halloween was big. Everybody shares hundreds of pictures of their kids on Halloween. Um, it's, my wife and I discussed this quite a bit. Uh, we basically decided we don't want to have any photos or anything attaching our kids image to an online presence until the kids decided to do that and until at least 13. And you know, it, it's funny looking, looking back on that decision with where we are with like AI and machine learning right now, it might even be a better advantage for them or it might be a disadvantage who knows how the world turns out in terms of like health insurance or car insurance or things like that where it can look at a history of a person online and say, this person has a risk profile that's too great for us to charge, or they charge more or less. These things are, are things I'm thinking about all the time. And uh, you know, the more data that you feed into that system by posting pictures and posting statements and things, the more data that these companies will have to kind of aggregate a profile in every person on the earth, even if that person never signed up for a service. And I think that's a little bit dangerous. <laugh>

Jonathan Bennett (00:46:19):
Yeah. Even hear horror stories these days about people go to try to get a job and uh, one of the first things that the place looking to hire them does is pull up their social media accounts and, you know, peruse through all the things that are publicly available. And it, yeah, it, it's a, it's a big deal posting things on the internet, and I'm not, I'm not sure that, like you say, a a young kid really fully understands the, uh, uh, the ramifications of maybe what they do online. And that's, that's not even to discuss the, the dark side of the internet and all of the nasty things that are potentially out there that, that if, if you, if you don't know what to not look for, you can stumble into and yeah, that's not good either. <laugh>. Yeah,

Doc Searls (00:47:03):
It's, it it's a different world right now. I mean, uh, the world digital beings, we're being digital right now. You know, you're living is in, in the digital world. All of us live in this digital world as well as the physical one. And and it's miraculous. It's miraculous that really at no cost, we're in video form with each other in audio form no matter where we are in the world. Um, uh, and I mean, I'm on calls almost every day with people in Australia and Europe and other places, and there's no sense of distance. Um, my wife's joke about that is not even a joke is there's no gravity either. We're just kind of floating here. Um, there's no sense of grounding and and kids need that, you know? And, and I remember when, when I was a kid, um, I remember, you know, I started kindergarten at five years old in a suburban New Jersey.

(00:47:55):
It was really blue collar, suburban New Jersey. And, um, and my par my mother took me to school the first day. So this is the way home, go to school the next day, you know, going to kindergarten, I walked to kindergarten a half mile through city blocks and, and you know, parents just sent kids out, you know, get outta here, go, go play outside somewhere and hope they came home, you know, and now everybody's like hyper concerned things gonna happen to the kids and everything. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And there's actually even more to be concerned about, about being the kids getting pickled in, in, in gossip online, over which the parents have no control and where, where facts don't matter <laugh> at all. Yeah. You know, and rumor and gossip, which is really important to civilization is an awful, awfully big part of what we do online. Um, so I I I don't have an answer for that other than knowing that we're really early in whatever this becomes. That's sort of my sense of it. Do you have that feeling as well?

Jeff Geerling (00:48:59):
Yeah. Oh definitely. I think that our kids' generation is gonna be the first one that actually has some answers and it's gonna take a long time to get there. And sadly, I think we're still gonna see tragedy a lot. Um, I I I also think like, you know, even, even though we're very strict about it when they go to school or when they go to other places, obviously we don't have the guardrails at our house at those places. And, but it's funny, like the funny thing that I see, and this is one thing that I do like seeing in my son that, that I see in a lot of, uh, kids that have this curiosity is kids will find ways, no matter what guardrails you put up, they'll find ways around them as much as they can to satisfy their curiosity. You know, they, they found out that through their school, uh, computer, uh, in, in the school's kinda locked down sense, they can still form an online community around.

(00:49:48):
I think it's uh, uh, scratch The code editor Scratch has basically an online kind of private forum, but you can get around it and, and find ways to interact with other people that do scratch. So kids will find these ways, uh, but the key is, are we setting them up for success? Are we showing them, you know, how to interact with people better or, uh, you know, or not at all sometimes. And that's, that's the struggle that we have. Um, because especially as, you know, if, if Mark Zuckerberg gets his way and everybody joins the Metaverse, that's a completely different, uh, interaction model than going outside and playing with your neighbors. So how, how do we make it so that both are good experiences and we don't have, we don't lose either, because there is value, like you said, in this, in this virtual space that we're in. Uh, but we have had experiences in our lives that make it valuable. If someone doesn't have the experience of being person to person before that changes things. And, uh, I think, I think it's gonna be probably one of the great challenges for the next generation is figuring all this out and making it work instead of, you know, whatever we're doing right now, I don't think it's working that well. Judging my society,

Doc Searls (00:51:02):
<laugh>.

Jonathan Bennett (00:51:03):
Oh, I have thoughts about that. And I know Doc has some other things he wants to get into, but I wanna talk about something else of value. And that's Club TWiT. Club TWiT is another great way to support the TWiT network. You get access on TWiT as well as some other really interesting things. Like, there's a few shows that are exclusive to the Club twit Discord, one of those being the Untitled Linux Show. Uh, the weekly Linux show that I and a couple of other guys host, and we dive deep into news, some technical stuff, command line tips of the day. Uh, it's a lot of fun. And then also coming up on this court on the 17th, they convinced me to do an ask me anything and be live with Ant, I believe. And so get, get on Club Twi, get your questions in there, and, uh, you can torture me with the weirdest questions that you can come up with <laugh>. So those sign up for Club TWiT. It's just $7 a month. It's twit tv slash club TWiT and join today. And we thank you for your support.

Doc Searls (00:52:02):
Hey, so, um, <laugh>, we're holding onto Jonathan there. Um, I wanna talk, um, the, the, the highly professional kind of TV we call tv and what's happened to tv. You've had quite a number of, of, of, uh, videos on that. How do, how do, I mean, while some people are busy cutting the cord on cable, you're talking about cutting the cord on Netflix, which is what people got the court on cable for and how the great promise of Netflix, I mean, I had the long, for the longest time, I just thought if it was a movie, it was ever produced in history. Netflix has it in its library, and that library is mostly gone, and 90% of what they're producing is no, no better than the crap that we got away from on cable. Nobody knows where sports are anymore. I mean, I, I, I don't know. I mean, I, I wanna see there's a, you know, a New England fan. So, um, where are the Patriots playing? I don't know. Is it on on Fox something? Is that something We have a Roku tv, you know, trying to, and you have a, you have a cool video about how to make your own smart tv. I think that's kind of cool. So mm-hmm. <affirmative>, tell us how, how you kind of have been riding those trends and where you're going with that.

Jeff Geerling (00:53:11):
Yeah, I, I mean, history repeats itself. Netflix became cable and kind of changed their model and all, all these different streaming services now are basically cable companies, but even worse, because now you have to subscribe to 12 instead of one. But all the prices are increasing, they're adding advertisements. The content is just, you know, churned out garbage now. And, uh, like you said, the biggest thing for me was when I saw Netflix come out that was, you know, that was around the time I was getting into my career and before I had a family and things I just saw, like Netflix could be the vision of we can watch any movie, and that's really cool. You don't have to go to Blockbuster anymore. But then as time went on, all the movies went off the service and it's like, well, what's the point of Netflix?

(00:53:53):
There's, you know, maybe one good show a year that they put out, maybe two or three depending on your likes. But, um, uh, I, I kind of got disgusted with it and decided to go back to a model that I was doing before Netflix, which was, I would rip DVDs onto my computer so that I could watch them, you know, from another computer or whatever. Uh, and so now I'm back to that again. I'm, I'm, when I buy a a Blueray, I just got, uh, the Top Gun Maverick. I'm gonna put it on the computer so that my wife and I can watch it on our tv, because otherwise we'd have to subscribe to some other service that I, I don't know, paramount Plus or something. But like you said, it's, it's hard to even find where things are. When I was a kid, I remembered, uh, growing up loving to watch Cardinals baseball and Blues hockey, the two teams here in St.

(00:54:40):
Louis. And the reason was they had free over the air TV broadcasts almost every week of one or two games. And so as a kid, I would learn how to, how hockey worked and things and how, how baseball was played and all that. But now, you know, it's like, well, this week it'll be on Fox Sports, or I don't, I think that's not even a thing anymore. This week it'll be on Ballet Midwest, and next week it'll be on ESPN and Apple tv, and it's just, it's too confusing to keep up with it. Uh, the one, the one thing that I saw that was interesting, I don't know how it'll play out, is it, it looks like with, uh, the major league soccer, they're planning on having either free or paid access without blackout restrictions for their games. But it's, again, on Apple tv, it's like, it's so hard to get into sports nowadays because you, you can't even follow it without subscribing to five different services or paying a hundred bucks a month for something.

(00:55:31):
I'm not gonna do that to watch a couple games a month. So I, I wish these, I wish these companies would figure out like, you would put an end to piracy if you just made it easier for people to see things. I, I'm willing to pay. I, I do pay, I have paid for years for different things, but I'm not willing to pay seven different services, six different rates that change every month. And for me, I'm not gonna pirate, but a lot of people, the answer is, well go to piracy because it's easier. And sadly, it's easier to pirate content nowadays because you sometimes you can't even watch, even if you're willing to pay a thousand bucks, there's some content that you just can't watch because it gets black hole, it goes off of streaming services. So anyway, I, it disgusts me how, how bad that's gotten, like with how good we had the vision with Netflix originally, with how bad things have gotten is everything fragments again.

Jonathan Bennett (00:56:24):
So when you, when you talk about that, what comes to mind is Steam, because with vi computer video gaming, there was a similar problem. And, uh, steam really kind of solved it. And, you know, people would pirate and you find out that when you finally make a good platform and you put a whole bunch of titles in one place and you make it easy for people to buy what they want, the the piracy problem kind of tends to go away. And, and that's interesting. And well, I, I won't, I won't rant about computer video gaming because that's not what we're here for. Um, so I'm, I, I could, I could, but no, <laugh>, I'm curious, what, what front end are you using for your, your smart TV that you made? Are you, are you doing code or, uh, ro code, which

Jeff Geerling (00:57:12):
We ha we have a couple Apple TVs. And the reason I chose those is because, like of all the different devices, it seems like they're the easiest for a kid to pick up a remote and click around and figure out. Uh, but we use Jelly Thin for, uh, the media library. And, um, on the Apple TV we actually use a, a app that the kids call Doritos because it, the shape of the logo looks kinda like a Doritos. So they're like, oh, we're gonna go to Doritos and watch Barrens name bears. So they, they pop in there and it's called Infuse. Uh, but there is an app for Jelly Finn that's coming to the Apple tv. Uh, but that we chose Jelly Finn because it is, it's, uh, open source, uh, fork of, I think it was MB and, uh, jelly Finn, the community around it. Again, just like with Drupal, the community around it was the reason I, I stuck with it. Instead of something like Plex, which a lot of people choose, um, it feels a lot more open, uh, supportive and positive and, and just the way that people develop plugins and basically integrate it with everything. Uh, it, it checked off all the boxes that I had and, um, you can see on, on that article some of the reasons why I chose it.

Jonathan Bennett (00:58:19):
Yeah. Now have, have you gone down the route yet of trying to digitally capture over the air TV you live in, in St. Louis? I think so. There's, there would be, yeah, a decent handful of over the air channels to choose from too, potentially.

Jeff Geerling (00:58:31):
Yeah. Yeah. I do have an HD home run, and usually we use that. It's integrated with Jelly Finn, uh, usually that's used when there's a tornado warning. We pop it on our iPad down here and watch in the basement and make sure that we're not gonna have a tornado run us over. But, uh, I feel

Jonathan Bennett (00:58:46):
That,

Jeff Geerling (00:58:47):
But yeah, I've thought about it. The thing is that, you know, like you mentioned earlier, a lot of the content moved to cable and then nowadays it's moving to streaming services. Seems like over the art TV doesn't get as much of the good interesting TV shows anymore. So, you know, besides reruns and things, which there's less value for me to watch older shows, uh, there's not as much that I really want to record off live TV to watch later, like at TiVo. But I can do it. I I've thought about it for a couple shows.

Jonathan Bennett (00:59:17):
Yeah, there's, you know, you mentioned sports, there's some sports things that are available there. Um, it, it really is interesting though, to kind of, to, to cut all of those things and go to your own solution. Um, it's, it's pretty neat that it's possible now, although I think aren't, aren't we all technically violating the dmca uh, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act when we, when we rip our DVDs and Blue Rays?

Jeff Geerling (00:59:43):
<laugh>? Yes. Technically still. So the, the, uh, EFF and a couple other organizations have been working to change that law because it, it's kind of crazy. Like you can buy a DVD or a Blueray and you can make a copy, but if you break the encryption, if you take the bits and rearrange them in a way that lets them play back on your computer, then all of a sudden you've broken the dmca. Unless, unless you're a, uh, educator showing the, the TV for criticism in a class, or you're somebody that's remixing content for either journalistic purposes or something like that. So technically, when I made the video about it, I remixed the video into a video to, to criticize Hollywood. So is it legal <laugh>?

Doc Searls (01:00:27):
Oh goodness. So we're done into the boy, this, this, this is a topic that's close to my mind and heart where we just gotta do house. And I'm thinking we actually have a gigantic crawlspace. There's like, it's 10 feet high in the attic and I could put antenna up there, I could put, put a rotator on it. And cause all we get locally is the local PBS station, but there's, there's nothing there. <laugh>. I know. There's nothing there, you know, and it's, uh, cause there's, there's nothing there. There's nothing. I'm cable either. You know, Roku has like lots and lots of ancient TV shows that I liked when I was a kid, like in the sixties. And you'll look at like Gun Smoke or, um, or uh, uh, Bonanza. They're really bad. I didn't know they were bad at the time. <laugh>, they really are bad.

Jeff Geerling (01:01:17):
It's really bad. Horrible. Got a giant 4K display, <laugh>.

Doc Searls (01:01:21):
I know, I know. And it's all in, in, in, you know, one quarter K or whatever, you know, whatever, whatever that was that they shot at 16 millimeter and you know, and it's, uh, it's terrible. Anyway, um, quick one, we're cuz we're at it pretty much outta time. Is there anything we haven't asked you'd like to, I guess to have asked, um, that we you could answer quickly before we go?

Jeff Geerling (01:01:45):
Uh, not really. No. I, I've, I've been so it's funny, like I mentioned way earlier in my history in computing and stuff, I remember when Twit was a new thing and uh, TWiT it's funny, like TWiT has been, it's been like an undercurrent in the world of tech in different areas for so many years. And, uh, I didn't realize how many different podcasts there are these days. Uh, in kind of the Twitter Twitter verse, what do you, what is, what is it called? The whole group, the collection of all the Twitter podcasts, <laugh>,

Doc Searls (01:02:14):
I guess

Jeff Geerling (01:02:14):
That's, so it was cool to see, you know, how so many of these are still going on today and, and still, uh, popular and, and have really cool guests on 'em. And I'm, I'm honored to be on it finally after so many years ago when I was like, oh, that's a really cool whatever podcast that I would see on Twitter. And now to be able to be on one, you know, it's a little point of pride for me.

Doc Searls (01:02:34):
So last two questions are control questions. What are your favorite text editor in scripting language?

Jeff Geerling (01:02:40):
<laugh> Text editor. So if I'm on the command line nano, but typically Sublime Text, I've used that for about a decade now. Um, and I, I like it because it's a good, a good graphical interface for Mac, windows, and Linux. Uh, and what was the other one?

Doc Searls (01:02:56):
Uh, scripting language, I think. Get it? I

Jeff Geerling (01:02:59):
Oh, scripting language. Yeah, yeah. Uh, I, I go between Python and php. It depends on if I'm running it on like a raspberry pie or on a web server. So one of those two.

Doc Searls (01:03:12):
Cool. Well it's been great having you on the show. Um, we'll have to have you back at some point, um, cuz I'm sure you'll be covering a lot more topics as time goes on. So thanks an awful lot for, for coming on the show. It's not to have, yeah,

Jeff Geerling (01:03:26):
Definitely. Thank you.

Doc Searls (01:03:31):
So Jonathan <laugh>.

Jonathan Bennett (01:03:33):
Yeah, that was fun. That was

Doc Searls (01:03:35):
Good. Uh,

Jonathan Bennett (01:03:36):
Yeah, we, we could've, uh, we will have to have him back cause things will continue to change and we could've talked about a whole bunch of more things. Um, I I gotta, I gotta convince him to try Flask next time he is on so that he can write Python code on his web servers too. Cuz that's a lot of fun. <laugh> no, that's

Doc Searls (01:03:54):
Maybe raspberry pies come into the world again. You know, I I did not even know that raspberry pies were we got getting scares.

Jonathan Bennett (01:04:02):
Oh no, it's been, it's been bad for like a year now. I mean, you can, you can get 'em, but you gotta pay about three times what they're worth. I mean, you gotta pay 120 bucks to get a raspberry pie off of eBay. It's bad. Uh, getting a tiny bit better, but still that, that supply chain is, is in rough shape.

Doc Searls (01:04:19):
Where, what's the, what's the, what's the, the fior in that chain? <laugh>, what the, do you know, is it, is it stuff from China or Russia or some other thing?

Jonathan Bennett (01:04:31):
I'm,

Doc Searls (01:04:31):
I'm not

Jonathan Bennett (01:04:31):
A hundred percent sure. Um, yeah, we would, we would have to, we'd have to bring somebody on from the Raspberry Pie Foundation to really give us the answer to

Doc Searls (01:04:38):
That. Yeah. Of I,

Jonathan Bennett (01:04:39):
I know in a lot of cases, I know in a lot of cases it's not your main chips like the Raspberry Pie is is the, the soc on. It's a Broadcom, I know in a lot of cases it's not that Broadcom chip, it's the little tiny power regulator is what they can't get ahold of. And so I don't know if that's exactly what's going on with the pies or not.

Doc Searls (01:04:58):
Interesting. I've got an old one, maybe I should put it on eBay <laugh> sitting in a closet in New York. I got it for my, my son who decided that after scratch, he wasn't interested in Tech <laugh>. So he liked Scratch, but it didn't go very far after that. So, uh, yeah, we're moving along here. So what do you got to plug before, before we get off?

Jonathan Bennett (01:05:18):
Okay, so you can follow me over at Hackaday, uh, and, and Twitter. I'm still on Twitter. I'm, I also am on Macon, but I'm not jumping ship off of Twitter, at least not quite yet. Uh, JP underscore Bennett there. Um, and then on, on the Discord on the club, TWiT Discord, we're doing an ask Me Anything on the 17th and that, uh, that should be fun. I think it's with t uh, just have a conversation about, about me and my history and things that people wanna know. So looking forward to that too.

Doc Searls (01:05:49):
Excellent. <laugh>, I should say, I'm, I'm, I'm also in the back channel here telling a a, a renter how to reset the modem on <laugh> in our house.

Jonathan Bennett (01:05:59):
<laugh> Tech support

Doc Searls (01:06:02):
Live all these, I was doing live tech support there. Yeah, it's in a wiring closet downstairs. The right one, the left one's only got the switch that goes out, you know, <laugh>. Anyway, so great having you out here Jonathan. And uh,

Jonathan Bennett (01:06:16):
Yeah, good to be here.

Doc Searls (01:06:17):
You know, we'll see the next one and I, I have to plug next week, next week we have a very, very special guest. It's uh, Greg Crow Hartman, also known as Greg k h um, go to the Linux colonel mailing list, the L kml and you'll see his half the things going on there are his and Alpha maintainer of the Linux colonel for a long time. Um, and he'll be calling in. That's gonna be a really interesting show. And so that's coming up a week from now. I will be somewhere else actually than here <laugh> cause I jump around. So until then, great senior guys, I'm drss is FLOSS Weekly. You'll see you then.

Ant Pruitt  (01:06:52):
Hey folks, I'm Ant Pruitt and what do you get your favorite tech eat that has everything. A club TWiT gift subscription, of course, TWiT podcasts keep them informed and entertained with the most relevant tech news podcasts available with the Club TWiT subscription. They get access to all of our podcasts ad free. They also get access to our members only Discord, access to exclusive outtakes behind the scenes and special content such as AMAs, which I just love hosting. Plus exclusive shows such as End Zone, Mac, end Zone Windows, and the Untitled Linux Show Purchase Your Geek's gift at twit tv slash club twit. And it will Thank you every day.

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