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Posts tagged with 'shot of jaq'


App Of Jaq

In the continued mission to inspire and encourage opportunistic developers to write cool little apps that scratch an itch, no matter how specific and niche, I have started work on App Of Jaq: a desktop app that scratches my itch to build the Shot Of Jaq experience right into the desktop. The first cut of the app will:

  • Provide simple and easy access to listening to the latest shot, using GStreamer to play back the shot.
  • Have the ability to tweet/dent/Facebook the latest shot with one-click using the Gwibber API.
  • List latest shots for one-click playback.
  • Show recent comments where you can click them to display them inside App Of Jaq and reply – this is shown using GtkMozEmbed.
  • Keep right up to date with the latest comments as App Of Jaq shows latest comments in a pop-up bubble using notify-osd.
  • Get one-click access to all the latest shots and other Shot Of Jaq resources with an application indicator menu.

Let’s take a look at a couple of screenshots:

The main window.

The application indicator: I don’t have the Shot Of Jaq icons yet, so I used the distributor-logo (hence the Ubuntu logo).

I am still working on the first release but hope to have it ready in the next few weeks and added to a PPA. Ultimately, I am keen to replace the web view of the comments and have a native GTK-driven commenting interface, bypassing the website entirely. I am also keen to build our new Shot Of Jaq karma system into the desktop app too. I am going to leave these features for the second release though.

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Shot Of Jaq is a ten minute, twice-weekly technology and Open Source podcast that is specifically designed to be the start of the conversation. We have taken care to build an environment optimized around conversation and discussion, and the Shot Of Jaq community is growing at a rate of knots. I just wanted to provide a few updates on the show.

If you want to check it out, here are the last three shows:

Shows come out every Tuesday and Friday, with Jaqback shows (special community shows where read out your emails) coming out about once a month on a Wednesday.

Remember, each shot is just the beginning of the conversation, so do join in to the discussion. I look forward to seeing you there. :-)

Shot Of Jaq Fan Goal

For the last half week we have been running a campaign to get our Shot Of Jaq Facebook Fan Page filled up to 1000 fans by Thursday. We are at 921 right now, so we are looking to you good people to get us up there. A great first step to help here is to join as a fan and then click the Suggest to friends link on the page and pass it on to your friends. The more fans, the more conversation, and the more fun for everyone involved. :-)

Another great way of helping is to pop a badge on your website. Doing this is dead simple. First go to this Facebook page and you should see this:

Select Shot Of Jaq from the Select a Page drop down box and the second box will have code you can take to plonk on your website.

Don’t forget to join the Shot Of Jaq Facebook Fan Page here!

Shot Of Jaq Scratchpad Launched

The whole point of Shot Of Jaq is to build a conversation and collaboration driven community around the show. As we re-iterate in every shot, we are the start of the conversation: ten minutes of short, sharp and fun discussion that we hope leads to continued conversation on

Since the show started, some community members have been looking to have a place in which they can work together on projects in and around Shot Of Jaq and we have not had such a resource available. We didn’t want to just throw up a wiki, disconnected and disjointed from the main Shot Of Jaq website…we wanted to re-think it. We now have a solution: the Shot Of Jaq Scratchpad.

The scratchpad works a little like this:

  • You can go to the scratchpad and without having to register or login, type in a name for your page into a box and a page will be created for you.
  • There, you and other Shot Of Jaq fans can work together to share information, collaborate an otherwise be fun community people. There are plenty of options for adding markup, tables, images and lots more to make your page as rocking as possible.
  • Discussion about your project and page is integrated in a special way: when you create the page it will also generate a hashtag (e.g. #soj_h) which you can use on Twitter and All messages on Twitter and containing the hashtag will appear in the sidebar on your scratchpad page. Sweet, eh. :-)

The Shot Of Jaq Scratchpad provides a simple way in which you can create content, work together and projects and discuss said content and projects on Twitter and and have it all integrated together, right here on, and none of it require frustrating user accounts, sign-ups and more.

So, with our new feature ready to roll, what kind of content and projects can you use it for? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Spreading The Word – we are really keen to help share each shot far and wide. We want people to join us in the conversation, but we need you folks to help spread the word. A page on how to publicise each shot would be awesome, with tips and tricks for our community members to use.
  • Transcriptions – for our deaf Shot Of Jaq fans, it would be fantastic to have transcriptions, and fortunately because shots are so short, they are not too much work.
  • Outreach Project – we have talked in the Shot Of Jaq Chat Channel about coming up with some stunts and ideas to spread awareness of the show – the scratchpad is a great place to scheme about this kind of thing!
  • Resources – want to create Shot Of Jaq website buttons, banners and other material? Add them to the scratchpad!
  • Your ideas go here…!

So ladies and gents, rock out with your pad out. :-)

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Recently I have been writing a lot about Lernid, an application that makes online learning events more fun and more accessible, and at the heart of what has enabled me to write Lernid is Quickly; a framework for scratching itches. Quickly has enabled me to re-connect with my coding mojo, and deliver the fruits of my labor to others.

As such, Quickly and I are friends. Good friends.

What excites me most about Quickly is how it helps opportunistic programmers to be productive and feel accomplished in their work. This in turn leads to huge opportunities around diversity in the application space. My excitement is not just about Quickly as software, but an ethos that is at the heart of Open Source.

To explain more about this, my friends at ZDNet published an article I have just written called Unchaining the opportunistic programmer. Go and check it out. :-)

For extra bonus Quickly content, check out our Shot Of Jaq shot too.

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It has been a few weeks now since Aq and I started doing our new podcast, Shot Of Jaq. What a crazy few weeks.

As some of you will know, we did LugRadio for four years, and we really got into the habit of the LugRadio formula. Four year and 2million downloads later, I am proud of our achievements there: I consider it a success. That feeling of success has a negative side-effect though: jitters. Just before we released our first Shot Of Jaq shot I felt the same jitters I did just before we released LugRadio Season 1 Episode 1. In many ways the jitters were worse: we knew a lot of LugRadio fans were going to be checking out the new show, and even though we have made it clear that Shot Of Jaq is not LugRadio, we want to meet people’s expectations. Even though it is early days, I am really happy with the response so far.

The whole point of shot Of Jaq is that each shot is (a) no more 10 or so minutes long (b) the shot starts the conversation and (c) encourages the Shot Of Jaq community to weigh in and share their thoughts, thus continuing the conversation together. The format is new, I am not aware of anyone taking this approach before, but so far people seem to be getting into the approach, with some rather awesomely referring to it as shotcasting, which is pretty darn cool.

So far we have released the following shots, newest first, with the number of comments right now shown in brackets:

Each shot you can listen to from your browser and get involved in the conversation right away. Want to subscribe, well check out our MP3 and Ogg podcast feeds. I hope you check it out and we see you there.

So far things are still really new and we are beginning to settle into the format, as well getting used to doing a podcast after a year of not doing LugRadio. I have to say, it is pretty exciting getting back in the saddle, and thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of the show. :-)

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Yesterday we kicked out our first proper episode of Shot Of Jaq and I am chuffed to bits with the response. Right now it stands at 42 comments, and I am sure this will continue to grow.

The whole idea behind Shot Of Jaq is that our 10 minute shot acts as the start of a conversation, and then the conversation continues on With Shot Of Jaq being something of an experiment, I am tickled pink that our first shot has generated so much interesting discussion. I am also excited that we are seeing the beginnings of the Shot Of Jaq community forming, and we have some awesome community members already knee deep in the Shot Of Jaq spirit. Thanks so much to you all for throwing both feet in and getting involved. If you have not yet joined the conversation, go here and join us!

In the interests of making sure the Shot Of Jaq (and Severed Fifth) sound quality is top notch, yesterday we got up at 4am and went shopping on Black Friday. There I bought a new studio computer (Quad Core Athlon 2, 8GB RAM, 640GB disk, 20″ screen), new control surface (Tascam FW-1082), bought Aq a Shure X2U XLR to USB for his side of the recording (I will give him one of our Sennheiser mics) and I have some other bits on my list to upgrade.

The next episode of Shot Of Jaq will be out on Tuesday. Looking forward to it!

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Just a quick note to let you good folks know that the Shot Of Jaq website is now open at – come and join the beginnings of our community. If you have no idea what Shot Of Jaq is, read this.

The very first episode of Shot Of Jaq will be released on Tuesday 24th November 2009. Exciting times!

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Announcing Shot Of Jaq

Some of you will know Stuart ‘Aq’ Langridge. He was one of my fellow presenters on LugRadio, a show that we did that took a loose, informal and irreverent take on Open Source and Technology. He was the other longest standing presenter on the show which lasted four years and had over 2million downloads. We wrapped the show up in the middle of 2008.

LugRadio was a huge fun, but we wrapped it up because we felt that it had reached the end of it’s natural life. All four of us were conscious to not flog the ‘ol proverbial dead horse, so we wanted to go out while we felt show was on a high. While none of us have looked back, Aq and I have both talked about how LugRadio has left a gaping vacuum in our lives, but we were conscious to not resurrect the show for all the reasons I have just shared.

So, today Aq and I are announcing our new podcast Shot Of Jaq, and we are both rather excited about it. Many of you are likely to draw parallels to it and LugRadio, and while there is undoubtedly a LugRadio vibe there with us both being on the show, I wanted to clarify that it is not LugRadio 2.0 due to some key differences.

Shot Of Jaq is going to be something of an experiment. It is a new type of show, at least for us, and the first time we have both done a format such as this.

This is how it works. Aq and I are going to record a series of bite-sized shows which we are referring to as shots. Each shot will be about 10 minutes long and cover a given topic. We will release each shot at where you can listen to the juicy nugget of fun right from your web browser or alternatively, download the show in MP3 and Ogg format. We will also have podcast feeds.

A key part of Shot Of Jaq will be encouraging discussion when a show is released. With LugRadio we did this by releasing a show and creating a thread on the LugRadio Forums, and the community would discuss the topics there. With Shot Of Jaq, the discussion takes place right there on the website where you can listen to and download the show. This makes it a doddle to listen to the show and get involved in the discussion.

We have already recorded a few shots and aside from the different format, Shot Of Jaq differs to LugRadio a little in terms of feel too. It still focuses on frank, honest and entertainment-infused content, but it feels fuller in terms of material and focus. When we did LugRadio it was based on the kind of the discussions we had in the pub, and Shot Of Jaq is a bit more journalistic. As I said earlier, this is still something of an experiment and if you compare and contrast LugRadio Season 1 Episode 1 with the last studio show we did, we did a lot of learning and made a lot of changes to refine the show. This is almost certainly going to happen with Shot Of Jaq, and who knows what kind of changes we will make. Then again, friends, that there, is the nature of experimentation. :-)

The countdown has begun at and you will be able to hear our pilot show on Tuesday 3rd November 2009.

In the meantime, follow the show on Twitter and and join the #shotofjaq IRC channel on

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