Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Podcasts from the Past: The "Geek of the Week" Archives from 1993 and 1994

Everyone's talking about podcasting these days, but the concept of Internet radio is hardly new. Back in 1994 and 1995, yours truly produced a monthly show for called "Radio Macworld." It was 20 minutes of interviews and news, streamed via RealAudio 1.0.

The audio sounded like a muffled phone call. Back then, kids, we had to prepare audio so that it would stream on a 14.4kbps modem.

The other day, I stumbled on another treasure trove of old Internet radio: the Geek of the Week series produced by Martin Lucas and distributed by O'Reilly & Associates.

They're a great trip down Internet memory lane. In this gem, from October 27, 1993, a guy named Tim Berners-Lee talked about "the World Wide Web, one of the most innovative and exciting applications to be deployed on the Internet."

I'm listening to it as I type this, and Tim just mentioned how they can use a hard-copy teletype machine as a browser. I don't think there's a lot of that going on anymore.

The Geek of the Week archives are still available in RealAudio streaming format, but you can also download them in .AU format. iTunes won't natively play .AU files, but you can open them in QuickTime Player and, if you have QuickTime Pro, export them in an iTunes/iPod-compatible format.

And those old episodes of Radio Macworld that I produced? I have them on a Zip disk somewhere, and one of these days, I'll connect my SCSI Zip drive to my Quadra 840AV and bring them into the modern age.

Which, I'd be willing to bet, won't seem all that modern in 12 years.

Still streaming after all these years. Don't miss tonight's edition of Point & Click Radio, the weekly show that I co-host with my friend Bob Laughton. The show airs (and streams) tonight at 7 pm Pacific time. And we'll be podcasting soon!