Site Map - skip to main content - dyslexic font - mobile - text - print

Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes Monday through Friday.



Host Image
Host ID: 151

episodes: 11

hpr2701 :: First impressions of the Odroid-go

Released on 2018-12-10 under a CC-0 license.

I ramble on about my impressions of the Odroid-go, a 32 USD handheld system similar to a gameboy built to run game system emulators and various other free software. It’s also built to be harcked.

The summary is this is an easy to put together kit requiring no soldering, and runs classic console emulators pretty well. Well worth the 32 USD plus shipping in my opinion. Claims 10 hours of game play and that seems about right so far for me.

The systems emulated out of the box are:

NES, Game Gear, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Sega Master System, ColecoVision. Other systems of similar or earlier vintages have emulators that you have to install separately and boot into to run. I don’t think it will emulate newer systems. No Gameboy Advance emulator and I don’t see a Mame emulator. However, I do think this ‘might’ support Mame for some of the early arcade games like Asteroids and Space Invaders.

hpr2677 :: Thoughts on language learning part 4 - RPG.

Released on 2018-11-06 under a CC-0 license.

I thought I was done with this topic, but got to thinking about bringing a game to life it occurred to me it was a lot of work. So I thought about it some more and hit upon the idea of an RPG probably mostly played online where a key point of the game is that the players needn’t know the same language.

At first this seems like an odd thing for an RPG because the talking to each other is sort of a requirement. By now you’ve guessed that what I mean is that the game could be designed so that it assumes the players will have limited ability to communicate. And that drives how the game progresses.

I see two kinds of approaches. One is that players sort of team up by the their native languages so you might have people knowing different native languages working in smaller teams while the whole game has the goal of everyone learning the new language.

The other is that everyone could know a different native language and many or may nor cooperate with others but the goal of the game is everyone learning the same new language.

Submitting this show mostly because I’m curious what the community thinks of the idea.

hpr2629 :: Thoughts on language learning part 3 - game/story mode.

Released on 2018-08-30 under a CC-BY-SA license.

This is the last of 3 parts on my thoughts on language learning. This one introduces my thoughts on how games might be used in language learning. More or less the same concepts from the first two episodes only applied to game/story design.

NOTE: I’m not a game designer.

On the off chance this sounds interesting to you, hpr2620 and hpr2625 are the other two.

hpr2625 :: My thoughts on language learning communication applications.

Released on 2018-08-24 under a CC-0 license.

This is the second in the series of my thoughts on language learning. In this episode I talk about it might be useful to modify existing chat programs to use two spell checking databases, one for the native language and one for the new language and have words removed from the native language dictionary as the learner advances.

I did forget to mention that something similar might be done with the grammar checkers, too.

hpr2620 :: Thoughts on language learning part 1

Released on 2018-08-17 under a CC-0 license.

This is the first part of a 3 part series in which I ramble on about my thoughts on language learning. I’m no expert and I barely know one language well. In a nutshell:

  1. Teach as much as possible in the new language, focusing on vocabulary.
  2. Rather than starting with baby books, which might not be a bad idea, try to use a similar approach but assume the learners know a bit about how the world works.
  3. The goal is to get to about age 5-6 level in vocabulary so the learner can then switch to language books in the new language which already exist.

hpr2603 :: Dummy shares a tip and a tip/rant about asking and answering questions

Released on 2018-07-25 under a CC-BY-SA license.

A quick tip on using paper towel or dish rag to easily remove stubborn travel coffee mug rubber seals followed by a semi ranty discussion on asking and responding to questions in the context of “Let me google that for you.”

As a bonus, this is part of a series-ish set of shows I’m going to do recording with different equipment to give you the feel of the quality of shows possible with low cost equipment by someone who doesn’t know how to edit audio or speak to audiences.

hpr2477 :: Reading Audio Books While Distracted

Released on 2018-01-30 under a CC-0 license.

Just a quick and dirty episode on my attempt to solve the problem of listening to audio books at work or anytime you can't fully concentrate on the important thing, the audio book, of course.


I have more time to listen to books than to read them. I have no issues listening to audio books on my commute or when taking walks. The problem occurs at work. I have about 4 hours a day I could be listening to audio books. Over the years I've tried countless times, all with the same result. I get distracted by work and find I've missed key parts of the story and end up listening to music or podcasts I don't mind missing instead.

There's nothing wrong with music or podcasts I don't mind missing but that doesn't help with my growing list of books I want to 'read'.

I decided to treat this like a regular problem and break it down to see if I can find a solution to this problem.

Here are the variable I have to play with. These might be different for you.

  • Book in one file or broken into chapters
  • Listening speed

Design goals

Be able to listen to an audio book and have reasonable comprehension. Super Simple. I can't be seen as messing around with my player more than whatever it is that's keeping me from my player :)

Normally I listen to books in one large file because at one point in time it was easier for me to keep track of them in my player and bookmarking was easier for my little brain to handle. But I got to thinking this might solve the problem of wasted time when needing to repeat sections of the book. If the book were broken into pieces, I wouldn't need to repeat as often. I tried listening to 3 chapters at a time and had two issues. The first is that 3 chapters is still quite a bit of time and I was repeating sections I didn't need to repeat. For example, I might have been able to follow along with chapter 1 but not chapters 2 and 3. This meant repeating chapter 1 or messing around to manually skip chapter 1 when I repeat. Not good.

The second issue I had when listening to 3 chapter chunks was spoilers. If I got distracted during chapter 1 but not chapter 3, chapter 3 would contain spoilers for chapter 1 and chapter 1 would be spoiled on the re-listen :)


As it turns out listening in 1 chapter chunks solved both of these issues. So now I play one chapter on a loop until I feel I comprehend it well enough and then move to the next. This reduces the time when I need to re-listen because I was distracted and is simple because I only need to mess with the player when I'm ready to move to the next chapter.

It also reduces the spoiler issue. While there are still spoilers, they are limited to spoiling the same chapter. A good enough compromise for me.

As far as playback speed goes, I like to speed audio up when I can concentrate on the audio but prefer to listen at normal speed when I can't.

Other considerations

Some content might lend itself more to being broken into chunks by time rather than chapters. After all, not all chapters are the same length and podcasts don't usually have chapters. Assuming I decide to stick with this approach, I'll probably try running podcasts which require one to pay attention through a script that splits them up into chunks based on duration and treat those chunks as chapters in books.

If you try this and find it useful and/or have modifications, by all means, share.

Also, if this is a well known technique, feel free to make fun of me. It'll be fun listening to the comments being read on the community news show.

hpr2399 :: Using Super Glue to create Landmarks on Keyboards

Released on 2017-10-12 under a CC-BY-SA license.
Using Super Glue to create Landmarks on Keyboards

hpr2287 :: Desparately Seeking Saving RMS - Introduction

Released on 2017-05-09 under a CC-BY-SA license.

My start towards the RMS ideal.

hpr2057 :: dodddummy on oats

Released on 2016-06-21 under a CC-BY-SA license.

hpr0671 :: How I Found Linux

Released on 2011-02-28 under a CC-BY-NC-SA license.
Another in the series on the journey to linux.


Visit our booth at Linuxfests Northeast and Northwest

Book Review

The book is Badge Of Infamy by Lester Del Rey and read by Steven Wilson. It is available from The direct url is
From "Daniel Feldman was a doctor once. He made the mistake of saving a friend's life in violation of Medical Lobby rules. Now, he's a pariah, shunned by all, forbidden to touch another patient. But things are more loose on Mars. There, Doc Feldman is welcomed by the colonists, even as he's hunted by the authorities. But, when he discovers a Martian plague may soon wipe out humanity on two planets, the authorities begin hunting him for a different reason altogether."

Become a Correspondent