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God, I’m so predictable, a creature of habit.

My dirty little secret is I am a Radio 4 junkie. Yes, I really am. My alarm went off by turning on the Today program every morning, except on Sundays, when I got Farming Today, and it didn’t turn itself off until after I had left for work.

The radio in the kitchen was on all day, aural wallpaper as I pottered about – In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, Eddie Grundy and his latest schemes, and even the occasional letter from a Mrs Trellis of North Wales – all day, every day.

Sad, isn’t it? And after that year on year immersion I am STILL not a socialist. Amazed?

So what happened when I left Blighty? Cold turkey, although admittedly with the occasional lapse.

Changing the subject, I have just set up a dedicated media computer, radio, movies, tv card, Internet connection, every CD ripped to disk giving me a juke box with thousands of tracks. Great machine. Wanted to do one of these for ages.

So what am I doing with it? Here in Queensland?

Yep, you guessed, I am streaming Radio 4.

Working in the office, watching a movie on my general purpose pc, working on a document, it doesn’t matter, Radio 4 on in the background.

Leave home in the morning? Radio 4 is playing. Get home at night? Radio 4 when I walk through the door.

All of which serves no purpose at all, other than as a lead up to and explanation of the following statement -

I was cooking dinner and listening to Jenni Murray on Women’s Hour tonight – look, I’m ten hours ahead of the UK, it’s all heavily time shifted .

There, I have said it. Anyway I was getting a bit annoyed at the attitudes everyone present was expressing (Yes, I know; not just Radio 4 but Women’s Hour, what should I expect?). The topic under discussion was Universities and the way students were turned out. Everyone, academics and journalists, accepted as given the idea that the Universities role was to educate students for a job, the ideas of knowledge for knowledge sake, and that a university was a community of scholars, simply didn’t get a look in.

What became clear listening to these people was that although the polytechnics have renamed themselves universities, the reality is that the universities have all become polytechnics.


  1. NickM says:

    “Changing the subject, I have just set up a dedicated media computer, radio, movies, tv card, Internet connection, every CD ripped to disk giving me a juke box with thousands of tracks. Great machine. Wanted to do one of these for ages.”

    Care to elucidate? I want a two box strategy. Sky Box and another box that does everything else. I want to record to HD and I don’t want Sky+ because I want potentially to get it off the thing and onto DVD. I also… want to connect in a VCR because my wife has tons of videos and I want to be able to jig them over to DVD. Has anyone ever made an internal vcr drive for a PC? I doubt it but that would be neat otherwise it’s a three box solution but a computer – and a very quiet one – though I am cooling fascist will be the centre of the rig. And yes, it will allow net access via wifi so I’ll be able to blog o0n the sofa. The Nick shall never be silenced! Cripes, I’ll be able to watch TV in a window on the 32″ Samsung panel and live-blog the news… Now where can I buy a catheter, diapers and a large stock of microwaveable food? It’ll be just like ’95 when I played Civ for 28 hours straight and worked my way through a crate of Virgin Cola and then developed a urinary tract infection. Ended-up nuking the Germans but I still got to Alpha Centauri. And that was emperor level and I started-up next to the Mongols and that’s never fun.

  2. Angry Exile says:

    Well, if we’re confessing I have been known to listen to BBC London now and then because I like Robert Elms’ show. And then there’s the UK papers on my RSS… oh dear.

  3. Ryan Roberts says:

    I find the spittle flecked rage that the Today programme induces in me a good way to wake up in the morning. I do listen to less and less R4 as a I get older though, which is an unusual way round.

  4. RAB says:

    Yes I used to have radio 4 on all day too, but since they started 5 live, I tend to have that on instead. The mayo show is particularly good, but I will have to find something else soon as he is not making the pointless move to manchester and is apparently moving to radio 2.
    The wife is a big 4 fan though still, especially the Archers, made all the more interesting as our next door neighbour is now the Vicar in it.

    Does any other country have anything even half as good as radio 4?

    Since you are streaming it Cats, how do you get round the “Not available outside the UK” thingy you crafty sod?

  5. CountingCats says:

    how do you get round the “Not available outside the UK” thingy

    That doesn’t seem to apply to the live radio feed. Can’t watch newsnight anymore tho. Haven’t seen Paxman sneer for years.

  6. Bod says:

    Just need to find a UK-based proxy server so the source IP of your connection appears to be somewhere in the Septic Isle.

    They are out there, but I’ve never felt the need or desire to find one.

  7. DavidNcl says:

    I don’t listen or watch enemy propaganda at all.

  8. Sunfish says:

    While people are confessing…

    I still listen to cassettes in the car. “Fruitcakes” by Jimmy Buffett this morning.

  9. CountingCats says:

    Care to elucidate?

    A very pretty white tsunami case, a load of junk inside. A motherboard and AMD single core processor, both rescued from other peoples discards, an Avermedia hybrid tv card, both analog and HDTV, DVD R/W and wifi card. Plugged into a 19″ scavenged LCD display. 5.1 speakers.

    All media is shared to all computers from a central server, which is also firewall, gateway to the rest of the system, business webserver and server for Cats.

    All pretty Heath Robinson, or Rube Goldberg to our American friends.

  10. NickM says:

    Jeezus Cats!

    If that machine goes down…

    Funny thing about this job is the amount of stuff you end-up just “acquiring”. I have a motherload of 17″ CRTs that I have no idea how to get rid of. My main machine drives two 21″ Dell Trins (not Susannahs) and they ain’t going anywhere soon – not seeing as they weigh 35kg a go.

  11. Bod says:

    My gawd, Nick. You must have an awesome suntan up so close to a brace of CRTs

    I’m about to build a media PC myself – again, a pile of stuff lying around, depreciating to just about nothing, just makes me want to cry.

    I desperately want to ditch my cable TV service. Of course, the whole deal is bundled, so cable internet without TV is only $40 a month cheaper.

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