Episode 635(144) Retirement Talk and Technology
This is Retirement Talk. I’m Del Lowery.
In this podcast I want to talk about the challenge of keeping up with technological change. As a case in point I want to use the creation of this podcast Retirement Talk. I’m not trying to talk anyone into starting a podcast unless you really do want to start one. I’m just using it as an example of what it takes to keep abreast of some technological demands.
Of course all of this gets easier as time passes because they continue to make computers, programs and instructions simpler and more user friendly. We can turn to Google and YouTube for assistance. It seems to me that there is always an answer on these sites to any questions I have. It is very easy to find a Video or a step-by-step guide to solving almost any tech question.
This podcast has turned into a retirement project that is now starting it’s fourteenth year. The web traffic that it generates has tended upward ever since it began. The need for technological expertise and tools has also tended upward. It seems like there is always a need or urge to change something.
Thirteen years of podcasts and several different computers have been used in its production. I really can’t keep track. The main reason for the change of computers is the desire to be able to move around with my writing. The desktop gave way to a laptop which gave way to a more portable laptop and then that laptop gave way to the Netbook. I really couldn’t believe the convenience and weight of the Netbook. I could carry it around and not even know it was there. The keyboard was comfortable. And the new technology gave me as much or more than the original desktop or the laptop. And now that netbook is so far in the distant past in my memory that I don’t even remember using it or who made it or what it was like. I have to rely on a former podcast just to bring it to mind. I have used other desktops and several laptops and several different iPads to prepare the podcasts of the last several years.
The audio sound was first recorded using the same program that I used for perhaps the first 10 years. The microphones were the same – Equitek – I got them through E-bay. The microphone stands were the same. I was very satisfied with the sound captured. I did purchase a handheld digital recorder for using on the road or in the field. I used it in producing perhaps three programs over the years. It worked well, but I seem to rarely need the instant availability. Today the iPhone serves this purpose.
Then that all changed with the creation of an audio website called Audacity. It presented a much simpler and direct way to record quality sound. I had to learn how to use it and it is yet a continuing process.
I have used several computer programs to create the website. I don’t even remember them all. It seems like I would use one and then be pulled in another direction by someone or something else. Today I use Dreamweaver and I am told I should be switching to something much more simpler and user friendly. I even started to do that very thing and then got pulled up short by just adjusting what I present on the website as created through Dreamweaver. I’m sure Dreamweaver would not be my choice today if I were just starting to build a website. Creating a website has become much simpler since I bought into Dreamweaver.
Two other programs have been with me the entire time in order to publish this podcast. Feedforall is one that sends each episode to all sorts of other websites that help people find it and alerting them that a new episode has been posted. ITunes is one. Google is another. There are others. Feedforall is a program that distributes an RSS (Real Simple Syndication) for my podcast. There are other ways of doing this but this is the one I first used and continue to use. It works.
The other program that had to be used and set up was Filezilla. It is a program that allows me to send my finished podcast to a web hosting service that puts it up on the Internet. I have used this program throughout the life of my podcast. It works and I have had no issues with it.
The web hosting service I have always used is Network Solutions. It is a major player in American web hosting services. It is the company that I connect to through Filezilla to publish my weekly podcast on the Internet. If you are going to have a podcast on the internet then you must have a web hosting server. Once again it was just another one of the many programs to become familiar with and manage. It is the only one for which I have to pay a yearly fee .
Mobile screens have presented an ever changing technological challenge. Fortunately for me most of those changes have not affected the preparation and distribution of the podcasts. The programs I use to produce and distribute have adjusted to make the podcast available.
Suggestions continue to roll in on changing the website so it will be more appealing or user-friendly. That is one aspect of producing the program that is forever. I have been willing to change the site continuously but it does require time. It seems like I get into a mode to make changes and then let it sit for several months. It is fun to learn how to create a new web look, but it is not my first love.
Retirement is a special time in life. We have choices. We have time and if we are lucky we have the economic wherewithal to live the life of our own design. Of course many realities are beyond our control and thus limit our choices. But after taking those into consideration it is only our imagination that limits our field. My choice to create this podcast has now served me well for thirteen full years and continues to interest me and others.
My venture into the ever changing technological world has not been without reward. It has required effort and some costs (and I might add no financial reward - people are always telling me I should make some money off of it) but it has kept life interesting. I have been buoyed by the response of listeners. I have heard from many people from a wide range of places and an even wider range of topics. It is always encouraging to know that at least someone is listening and carefully considering their own life as they head into or experience retirement.
This is Retirement Talk.
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