So very tired…

Last night was the final fund-raising episode of Technology Bytes for this pledge drive. We did very well. Three shows during the run and we exceeded our overall goal for the drive. Last night was not looking like it was going to be a success until the very end. Our goal was $2280 and I just rounded it up to $2300 and pushed for that. About 1 hour and 15 minutes into our two hour slot we were hovering around $400/$500. Needless to say, I was sweating it. We kept pushing and pushing and in the final minutes of the show we went up over $2400. Whew!

After nearly 11 years on the air with this program I am still amazed at the support we get, even if our listeners like to make us stress till the last minute.

Speaking of support for the show, one of the best comments from a listener/subscriber was “Appreciates Jay’s subtle gay humor” which came after we were razzing Smiley who was our off air coordinator for the fundraiser. He’s an unabashedly flaming individual. The subscriber who made the comment was quick to point out that he is also gay.

For some reason members of the gay and lesbian community seem to like Technology Bytes. We get on air mentions from the Gay and Lesbian Voices program on occasion and even Ray Hill, Houston’s most famous gay man, never hesitates to drop a kind word about what we do. Perhaps there is a solidarity between our two social groups due to our shared ostrisization. I like to think that, in our own way, we are activists for a good cause and that is the reason for the good will from such a diverse group.

In other Technology Bytes news, Groovehouse has joined the crew to answer phones and screen calls to be on the air. So far, so good. He’s been in the control booth with Phliktid for the last two shows. We’ll see how he holds up after we banish him to the phone room of isolation

Next week we get back to our normal routine. It’s always good to get the support but I like just doing a normal two hour show withouth the added pressure of fundraising.

The end of an era

Kaveh Kanes is closed.

This is a sadness.

Technology Bytes has hosted our monthly geek gathering there since March of 2002. It was the scene of our 10th anniversary party featuring Drop Trio. It was the only place downtown to grab a good cup of coffee and have some relaxing wi-fi. The space was just COOL!


There’s a rumor that two long term employees may re-open it. One can only hope.

In the meantime we need an alternate location for the January geek gathering.
Maybe Cafe Artiste.

Ask and you shall receive

Doing radio on a public radio station for 2o years and it all comes down to one thing. Fundraising. Of all the feedback I receive about Technology Bytes this is where it counts. Three fundrasing espidodes this drive. 2 down and one to go.

Breaking it down:

last week’s goal: $2160
last week’s total: $2450

last night’s goal: $1920
last night’s total: $2331

next week’s goal: $1800
next week’s total: ???

Thanks to my awesome crew!
David, Phliktid, Barrett, Dwight and Peter
And thanks to all the volunteers who came down to answer calls and take pledges.

A grand experiment in tech radio

Aurora Losada
photo by Dwight Silverman

On the the show last night we took advantage of a special guest to try something new. We were joined in the studio by Aurora Losada, editor of the Chronicle’s Spanish-language publications. Dwight had told me that Aurora was a fan of Technology Bytes and I invited her to be on the program.

Hailing from Spain and fluent in Spanish, Aurora was a perfect candidate for us to try something I had been wanting to do for some time which was to take questions in Spanish, translate them, answer them and then give the answer back to the caller in Spanish. Aurora agreed and our foray into multilingualism took flight.

The very first call was from a listener named Carlos. It worked like a charm. The rest of the evening we had various Spanish speaking callers mixed in with our regular callers. I don’t know if it was technically “good radio” but it was a blast for me and the crew and the callers who spoke Spanish seemed to enjoy it as well.

To the best of my knowledge this is the first time a technology talk show has been broadcast attempting to field calls in both English and Spanish and to my mind, it was a HUGE success.

Thanks to Aurora for being such a good sport. As Dwight mentioned in his blog, when it came to all the good natured kidding around that we like to do, “She gave as good as she got.

The “Tower of Babel” affect was achieved when Bill called in from Germany via Skype and spoke a bit in German.

All in all, four languages: English, Spanish, German and Geek.

2005 Houston Press Best of Houston Awards

2005: Goods & Services

Best Tech Geek
Jay Lee

Jay Lee, Houston Chronicle Help Line columnist and co-host of KPFT/90.1 FM’s Technology Bytes, makes understanding the oft-frustrating wired world of computers possible for even the most basic of users. Lee’s strength is in his simple instructions and advice. But if you want to get hard-core, he can also out-geek any challenger on the methods of machinery. Lee first became interested in computers in high school in 1978 with a Tandy TRS-80 (that sleek design, the sensuous hot buttons…oh, wait, we’re talking about a machine here…), but he didn’t own his first system until the late ’80s. “It didn’t work when I took it out of the box, but I was able to sort it out myself. That’s when I knew I had a knack for computer troubleshooting,” he says. Lee notes that spyware is now the “single most common cause of computer performance problems today” and preaches with the zeal of Jimmy Swaggart in a whorehouse about the urgency to back up, back up and back up your computer’s data and files.