Scott Hanselman

Recent JavaScript Jabber Podcast - Microsoft, not Microsoft, and the Web

August 20, '13 Comments [41] Posted in Javascript | Podcast
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loraxI was a guest recently on a podcast called JavaScript Jabber. I enjoy checking out other folks' podcasts and how they run things. I actually talked to the guys about sound quality for about 30 min before the actual recording started.

Their show is about JavaScript exclusively so we spent about an hour talking shop.

Here's a few quotes...yes, I'm quoting myself. On my blog.  We talked about Open Source:

I don’t care if it’s not Entity Framework. If you want to use NHibernate or RavenDB or CouchDB, dude, knock yourself out. But ultimately, the dirty little secret about Microsoft is they want you to run on Windows. Okay, well you don’t run Windows. You guys run Macs. Okay. But maybe you’ll discover that Azure is actually a pretty kickass cloud service and you’ll run your stuff on Azure, which is Windows.

We talked about using the client machine more effectively:

I hear a lot of people say, "Hey, we run a web farm and we’ve got about ten machines in the farm and it just can’t handle the load. We’re going to need to buy an 11th machine." Then you talk to them and they’ll say something like, "Well we’ve got 10,000 people hitting the site," and I’ll think to myself, "Okay, you’ve got 10 machines in the farm and you have 10,000 people hitting the sites. All those people have quad processors, even if they have a phone. Are those processors really working hard? You’ve got 40,000 unused processors just sitting there and they’re waiting for your 10 processors to give them angle brackets. What if you gave them curly braces and let them do the work?”

I think the podcast turned out fairly well, although there was a little tension as I felt I was being asked to make declarative statements and defend historical stuff I didn't work on. I think I made it very clear that my opinions about the industry are just that, opinions, and mine alone. That said, we talked about node, JavaScript in general, the way the industry is moving with respect to where work happens (client vs. server) and a bunch of other things.

They called this episode "JavaScript Strategies at Microsoft with Scott Hanselman." Other than the "with Scott Hanselman" part, this title is problematic.

The hosts are fine folks and I had a pleasant time. I think because of the title of the episode this particular episode has been getting a LOT of Tweets and appeared on Hacker News and Reddit for a short while. I wouldn't have chosen this title, myself.

  • It implies I have anything to do with JavaScript at Microsoft.
    • I don't. I do work in Azure and Web Tools and I often give my opinions on the JavaScript Editor, on what we do with Node, and how frameworks like Ember and Angular will be presented in VS, but I am not in charge of anything. I give feedback just like dozens (hundreds?) of other random folks inside the Big House.
  • It implies I'm some how strategic, strategically involved or know strategery within JavaScript at Microsoft.
    • Again, JavaScript on the client is the Chakra engine and the IE team. I don't work for them, no do I claim (and never have) to speak for them.
  • It implies I'm a spokesman for Microsoft.
    • I'm an enthusiast and a teacher, but not a marketer or spokesman. I speak, and yes, I do have this blog, but it's mine and its writings and opinions are mine. I often write about Microsoft stuff because I work there, but I worked elsewhere for 15 years and blogged that also. I blogged and podcast before I got to Microsoft and I will continue to blog and podcast after I leave. I am not my job.

I would encourage you to check out the podcast episode yourself and see what you think. It also includes a complete transcription, which is a nice touch and very important.

Sponsor: A big thanks, and a welcome to Aspose for sponsoring the feed this week! Check out their Aspose.Total for .NET has all the APIs you need to create, manipulate and convert Microsoft Office documents and a host of other file formats in your applications. Curious? Start a free trial today.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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How to start your first podcast - equipment, editing, publishing and more

June 25, '13 Comments [18] Posted in Podcast | Tools
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Luvvie and Scott at BWBNYC

My friend Luvvie and I were speaking at Blogging While Brown this last weekend in New York City, amongst other things and events. Luvvie and I host a podcast called Ratchet and The Geek. I produce three podcasts - Hanselminutes, This Developer's Life, and Ratchet and The Geek. I do all of these on the side, for fun.

Context in NPR terms: If the Hanselminutes podcast is "Fresh Air for Developers", then Ratchet and The Geek is "Car Talk for Techies," while This Developer's Life is a loving homage to This American Life.

At the conference, Luvvie and I hosted a one hour talk about "Taking Your Blog to the Next Level with Podcasting." All the links to the equipment we recommend is at this Bundle:

UPDATE: Bitly removed

Well, Bitly remove the concept of Bundles and BROKE all their links. So here is the list of recommended equipment, one link at a time:

We did a 5 minute "mini-podcast" live on stage at the beginning of our talk, then talked about how we produce the show and how it goes from concept to topics to a produced and published MP3.

For this post I'm focusing on what you'll need for a podcast in terms of Equipment and Publishing. I'm assuming you're able to decide on your own topic/theme and spread the word about your new show.

BlogTalkRadioPodcasting Equipment: Good, Better, Best

Let's take a look at your options, ranked from Meh, through Good, Better, and Best.


You could use BlogTalkRadio as a super-quick way to jump-start your podcast, but there are some limitations. The benefits are that there's no software to use. It's basically a recorded conference call. They handle call-ins for guests, archiving, delivery and bandwidth. However, it goes up from Free to $39 a month or more quickly.

If you are serious about the future of your podcast I recommend that you put a little more work into and and you'll have lots more control and flexibility.


If you are going to do Skype-based recordings or online interviews, get yourself a decent USB microphone/headset. These are NOT audiophile or good quality headphones - to be clear - but they are good enough for Skype and they are guaranteed to sound better than talking in to your laptop's tiny microphone hole.

Remember, your laptop may have cost $1000 but that tinny microphone hole was only $1 of the price. Have low expectations when using a laptop mic for a podcast.

Logitech USB Headset

If you get a microphone/headset, get one that's USB to keep the audio digital all the way into the laptop. Don't use 1/8" analog headphone jacks for recording.

For Skype interviews I use CallBurner to record the interviewee. Ideally your guest will also have a good USB microphone. Even better if your guest records a local file while you also record the Skype call. More on this technique further down in this post.



You may be able to get more flexibility if you move to a portable recorder. You can do interviews with these without carrying your laptop. You can also use your phone or tablet if you like. Ideally you'll want to make WAV files rather than MP3s. If you're editing your podcast later a WAV file will sound better while editing and won't lose quality. An MP3 is already compressed and then will get compressed again when you save your final podcast.

Consider a WAV file like a PNG, RAW file or BITMAP and an MP3 is like a JPEG. Edit in high quality files and export your final as a compressed MP3.S

Sony Portable Recorder

You can also add a small Lavalier (clip on) microphone if you like, then plug it into the portable recorder to better isolate sound for your interviews.


If you've got $80, consider a Samson C01UCW USB Mic or similar. This is an extremely competent mic that plugs directly into your computer's USB port. You can record into Audacity or Adobe Audition or even iMovie or Garage Band directly. For one or two person talk shows this is a great mic to start with.

Samson C01U

Also consider your room configuration. If you have a square room with stone walls and wood floors, your listeners will be able to hear every bump in that echo-y environment. I use a Portable Vocal Booth from RealTraps when sound quality really counts. This is useful for screencasts and voice-over work in a noisy environment.


I say "best" but I'm assuming you don't have an actual recording studio available to you. This is the setup that I use on all my podcasts. I use a Zoom H4N portable recorder. It uses an SD card to store the WAV files. It comes with two small mics at the top for starters, but then lets you grow by adding either microphones with 1/4" jacks or studio quality mics with XLR connectors.

Zoom H4n

I recommend Shure microphones. Two Shure PG48-XLRs with cables paired with the Zoom H4N will make great sounding podcasts. All the very best episodes of This Developer's Life were recorded like this. All the episodes of Hanselminutes where the guest wasn't on Skype were recorded in person with this very setup.

The Zoom also has the benefit of improving your YouTube videos. You can mount it directly to a DSLR camera with video capabilities and greatly augment the resulting video's sound quality. Again, the components in a DSLR are optimized for visuals, not audio.

Zoom H4n


Luvvie and I live in different time zones so we record local files with our portable rigs PLUS we Skype each other and record the call with CallBurner. This gives me THREE files.

Three files for one phone call

Why three files? Well, one high quality of my recorded locally as a WAV. One of my co-host recorded in high quality as a WAV and one of BOTH of us. The trick is that we don't use the phone/Skype track.

The phone track is just for lining up the two other tracks. This makes it sound like my co-host and I are in the same room together. See the three files below. My co-host is on top - notice her track is quiet. I'm on the bottom. The phone track is in the middle. Since these are separate tracks I can adjust Luvvie's track to make it louder and better match my track's volume.

I move our tracks around using the phone/Skype track as a guide. It tells me what we're supposed to sound like and gets our conversation in Sync. When I feel we are in sync, I mute the Skype track and listen to us talk.

Editing in Audacity

For complex show I'll use Adobe Audition and use the Effects Rack. I use a Speech Volume Leveler and a "Hard Limiter" to keep the voices at a strong, but not overpowering level. There are LOTS of great Tutorials online to show you how to use tools like Audacity and Audition.

Editing in Adobe Audition

It's like PhotoShop for sound! There are layers and filters and effects. Thinking about it this way greatly helped my mental block.


We recommend using LibSyn for your hosting and publishing your podcasts. If you are more technical you can certainly use Amazon S3, Azure Blobs or just your own existing host if you like. For shows like Hanselminutes that have almost 30,000 megabytes of shows, we use S3. Both Ratchet and The Geek and This Developer's Life use LibSyn.

LibSyn offers a simple platform for publishing and feed creation. It also has fantastic stats and can even make mobile apps for your shows if you want.

Our Stats

Your Feed

Podcast feeds are just like RSS feeds except they also include an "enclosure" tag. Services like FeedBurner and FeedBlitz can add this tag for you if your blog doesn't support it directly. While it's unclear how long FeedBurner will last, We use it for its easy podcast creation ability.


Make sure you submit your Podcast to iTunes and Windows Phone/Zune. I also suggest telling Rob Greenlee (the manager of the Windows Phone/Xbox/Zune podcasts) on Twitter about your show).

Submit from the iTunes app

Here are some other podcast directories you should be sure to target:

  • BlackBerry - You can submit your podcast by going to thePodcast submission page and creating a RIM podcast account.
  • Stitcher
    Stitcher - is a radio-like service that allows you to submit your audio podcast to. Submit your audio only podcast at the Content Partner page.
  • Tunein Radio - You can submit your Podcast to Tunein by sending an email to Broadcast Support.
  • DoubleTwist - Submit your show by emailing Support with your show's name, RSS, and description.


Ultimately you need an MP3 that shows up in a feed and a website to promote it. Everything you can do on top of this will only help you! Think about sound quality, topic quality, consistency, website quality, and technical details.

Sponsor: Big thanks to CodeProject for sponsoring the feed this week! What you can do with 215+ million business records? Dig into the data in the D&B Developer Challenge and post an article on CodeProject about what you could do with the data. Over $40,000 in prizes total are up for grabs. Check it out!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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This Developer's Life 3.0.1 - Cancer

February 1, '13 Comments [35] Posted in Podcast
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thebigcBig thanks from both my wife and myself for the outpouring of support after our Cancer announcement. Last year was a long year and the Cancer part of the year was particularly long.

We were very private about the whole thing and waited to tell anyone until we knew we were mostly OK. However, to my surprise, the day of the diagnosis my wife, who has never shown much interested in podcasting announced "I want to record an audio Cancer Diary. Can you do that?"

So we did.

We honestly didn't know if we were going to publish this when we started but after a month of editing late into the night, we are.

This episode of This Developer's Life takes a half year of our lives and many, many hours of audio and turns it into a single hour show that Mo and I are happy to share it with you today.

This Developer's Life 3.0.1 - Cancer

I hope you enjoy the show and that you and yours are, and remain, healthy.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Podcast Update with Guest Spots and a New Show - October 2012

October 30, '12 Comments [6] Posted in Podcast
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I've been on a podcasting kick lately. Not for any particular reason, but a number of things have come together that have found me as a guest on a number of podcasts. I've also had the good fortune to have a number of great guests on Hanselminutes lately.

Lots of folks who listen to podcasts are doing it while commuting. I hope you enjoy these additional podcasts and perhaps they'll edutain you during your daily commute.

I hope you take a few minutes and download a few of these shows.

imageStackExchange Podcast #35

Just last week my buddy Joel Spolsky had me on the 35th episode of the new StackExchange Podcast. I've complained about podcasts that are "just talk" before and brought my prejudice to Joel's show, but we have so much fun just beating each other up that I have to admit defeat. Not ever podcast has to be dense with information and content - and this episode is no exception. ;)

I hope they'll have me back soon.

ratchetandthegeeksquareAnnouncing - Ratchet and The Geek #1

Just a few days ago I launched my third podcast as a collaboration with my good friend Luvvie. Luvvie is a social media consultant and popular humor blogger that I've known for years. We've been kicking around the idea of a podcast since early this Spring. We have such fun when we call each other on the phone, why don't we start recording our calls? (and adding a little structure.)

Luvvie has blogging, social media and marketing expertise, while I'm a coder and teacher. We both like the same music, pop culture, TV shows, movies, gadget and technology so we have mashed it all together into Ratchet and The Geek.

We'll be doing the show late late on Thursday nights every two weeks.


Fanboy Radio #616

I've been REALLY getting into Digital Comics via Comixology over the last year and blogged about it in some detail (with animated gifs!) and earlier this year I was a guest on an episode of Fanboy Radio.

Fanboy Radio (or 'FbR') is a radio talk show all about pop culture and entertainment from the fan's perspective. It's also broadcast on the radio in Fort Worth, Texas.

We had a great chat, covering the rise of digital comics, Comixology, GuidedView technology and lots more. The guys were a lot of fun and it was an opportunity for me to geek out about something that isn't programming or computers. (I DO have other interests, you know.)

imageSimple Mobile Review (SMRPodcast) #136

Last month I was on Simple Mobile Review at the invitation of Chris Ashley. We talked about phones and NFC technology and if it will ever take off. We discussed the new iPhone 5 and teased Robb for sticking with his BlackBerry.

It was a great time and we spent a bunch of time teasing each other, which is an important part of any good podcast.

dramaThis Developer's Life - Drama

Some of you may have missed the most recent episode of This Developer's Life from last month. Rob and I asked ourselves where does drama come from? How do we react to it? How much drama can be created by simple semicolon? We explore The Great JavaScript Semicolon Affair with guests like

  • Peter Cooper Friendly publisher, programmer and author
  • Derick Bailey Consultant and aspiring microprenuer
  • H. Alan Stevens Father, Geek & Speaker
  • Dave Ward Software developer focusing on jQuery and web application usability.
  • Sara Chipps Just a girl, standing in front of a compiler, asking it to love her.
  • Tenderlove When I'm not trimming my beard, I'm hanging out with my lady.

This Developer's Life is sponsored out of kindness by the epic win that is DevExpress.

Hansel-Minutes-LogoHanselminutes Podcast Rollup

If I may be so bold as to say Hanselminutes has been pretty good lately. I've had some great guests - many suggested by listeners! - and some great conversations. Here's just this month:

This week's show has a special offer for listeners from DNSimple, my DNS service of choice. Four months free at Did you miss one of these shows perhaps? Why not subscribe now so you don't miss another show?

Sponsor: Big thanks to this week's sponsor. Check them out, it's a great program, I've done it and spoken to actual live humans who help you get started writing an app! Begin your 30-day journey to creating a Windows Store app or game for Windows 8 or Windows Phone today. Your Idea. Your App. 30 Days.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Hanselminutes Podcast 323 (and more) - On Empathy with Leon Gersing the Ruby Buddha

June 16, '12 Comments [5] Posted in Podcast
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It's been a while since I updated the Podcast category of my blog. I never got around to making a script to do it for me and I started to feel like some weeks were just blog posts of lifeless podcast announcements. Regardless, my podcast(s) march on. I've even got plans for a third that will surprise you.

I did want to share, however, a few episodes lately that really seemed to resonate with people. If you haven't listened to one of our podcasts before or are looking for a good episode to jump in on for a long drive or airplane ride, then these are great places to start. I'm particularly happy with them.

First, as a reminder, Hanselminutes is a 30 minute "commute time" mostly podcast whose goal is is to NOT waste your time. I try to get right into the conversation with minimal "how's the weather" conversation. I've been doing the show consistently - weekly - with Telerik and Carl Franklin's support since January of 2006. That's over 300 episodes! 323, in fact, at last count. All are available in the archives and the ones marked with an asterisk (*) include a transcript which is useful for the hearing impaired or those learning English. We're currently catching up on transcripts with the goal being a consistent release schedule and a complete archive.

I also do a podcast with Rob Conery called This Developer's Life, although more sporadically as the work we put into the show is INSANE. DevExpress pays for the bandwidth and supports the show and we can't thank them enough.

You can tweet both DevExpress and Telerik and thank for supporting these two labors of love as without them, the shows would not exist.

This Developer's Life 2.0.8 - Learn

Recently Rob and I posted a new This Developer's Life episode called "Learn." We talk to two engineers and very different places in their careers with very different academic experiences. One a professional engineer and author with many years experience but a Liberal Arts education in a non-related topic and the other a 17 year old home schooled Microsoft intern who builds rockets in his spare time when he's not mastering parallel computing. Please do subscribe to This Developer's Life, add This Developer's Life to your iTunes or even give us a review. You can get the complete back catalog of 23 episodes. More are coming soon.

Hanselminutes 323 - Empathy with Leon Gersing

I spoke to Leon Gersing (@rubybuddha) on Hanselminutes a few days ago. We spoke about empathy and people. What causes one community to be empathetic and another not? What really drives us as creators? Is it money, tech or the potential connection we can have to other people? We also covered promiscuous pairing, kindness vs. empathy and the user connection. I really have warm feelings towards Leon and what he stands for and I really think this is a great episode you should check out. You can also find and subscribe to the complete archive for Hanselminutes on Feedburner as well as Hanselminutes on iTunes.

Hanselminutes 319 - The Making of How to be Black with Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston has extensive experience in being Black for more than 30 years. Baratunde was the Digital Director at The Onion until recently and is now striking out on his own with a new venture called Cultivated Wit. He keynoted SXSW this year and is currently on tour promoting his book "How To Be Black." He talked to me about how he used technology to turn his memoir into a New York Times bestseller. He's a comic, a writer, and a social media expert and gave me my own actual in-real-life "Black Card" that I use to impress the whitest of relatives. ;) 

Hanselminutes 317 - It IS Rocket Science with Holly Griffith

What? I thought this was a tech show! Fine, here's Rocket Scientist and former Space Shuttle Flight Controller Holly Griffith, now an International Space Station worker bee. Holly is an engineer who has worked in and around space and aerospace for her entire career. Holly and I talk space, engineering, fuel cells and I try desperately to keep up.

Hanselminutes 314 - More Relationship Hacks with Scott's Wife

Almost two years after our most popular show to date, my Wife Mo is back! How does one manage a mixed (geek/normal) marriage? Can Scott and Mo agree on the fundamental laws of physics? Check out part one also and yes, we are still working on the book. Sigh.

I hope you enjoy the shows!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.