The pencil note list

The finest Tech podcasts


Fabulous chemistry between the three participants, Marco Arment, John Siracusa and Casey Liss makes this a pleasure to listen to. A bit like listening in on a conversation between three endearing, geeky, friends. Both Arment and Siracusa bring very sharp insight and analysis into the issues discussed, having learnt their craft well with previous individual shows on the 5by5 Network with Dan Benjamin, whilst Casey asks the sort of questions that are in your mind as you listen.  The podcast benefits from the outspoken nature of the participants even when occasionally sounding forth on stuff outside of their expertise and, strangely, most people can listen to John Siracusa moan all day and still find it good fun.

Required listening.


Less cool with more productivity. Superficially, Mac Power Users presenters, Katie Floyd and David Sparks, are those two people in your office - you know - the two that always know how to get the printer back on the network and where the right folder is on the shared drive. But, after longer term listening you will become engaged by the warmth, expertise and taste they display. The relationship between Floyd and Sparks is quirky and just occasionally the approach can be a little too prissy but this is one of the best delivery mechanisms for a very broad variety of expertise and experiences. David Spark's field guides are awesome and Katie Floyd's over arching drive to improve every listener's capability is very engaging. The episodes have a longevity and can be good reference points if you suddenly want more information  on a specific topic such as paperless or Hazel.

Smart and informative.


Now in it's third home following stints at the 5by5 and Mule radio networks. John Gruber, the infamous host, likes to bill the podcast as 'the director's commentary for Daring Fireball'. Gruber's is one of the most influential and informative voices inside the tech community and this show provides much more detail and colour on his astute opinions than reading the blog alone. His laconic style of an old pro, sharing his views over a glass of bourbon is distinctive and fun but the quality of the shows can be dependent on the ever changing weekly guest, as Gruber has greater skills as a commentator than as an affable, enquiring host.

Sinatra on tech.


The Prompt-RETIRED

Hosted by Federico ViticciMyke Hurley, and Stephen Hackett and on the 5 by 5 network.

If Gruber is the master craftsman and the ATP crew are the experienced engineers then the prompt team could probably be described as the talented apprentices.  This is not necessarily a disadvantage as their style brings a fresh, modern approach and a bit more insight into what the 'kids' are thinking these days. With each co-host having a unique background — and accent — The Prompt covers the wide-reaching world of technology but the best episodes are when they press down in detail on a specific issue or passion. The chemistry took a while to build but is excellent now and the show feels like it is gaining momentum.

If it can be done on an iOS device Viticci knows how.