inessential by Brent Simmons

Introducing The Record - Season One, Episode One

The Record, a new podcast, brings you the stories you should know about the Mac and Cocoa development community. Chris Parrish and I are the hosts and producers.

In case you don’t know Chris: Chris and Guy English are Aged & Distilled. They make Napkin. Chris used to be at Rogue Sheep, where he worked on (among other things) the Apple-Design-Award-winning Postage.

How The Record Got Started

Here’s where I was lucky: I went to college in Olympia in the ’80s when Nirvana was playing dorm parties. In those days there was no tradition of Olympia bands, or even Seattle bands, making it big. (Heart and Jimi Hendrix aside.)

At the time I didn’t think anything special was happening. Nirvana didn’t stand out for me — they weren’t any better (yet) than a bunch of other bands.

And then — extreme fast-forward — a couple years ago I went to the Nirvana exhibit at the Experience Music Project. There I saw a playbill that listed a band that included two of my roommates. There were photos of people and places I knew. And the various artifacts — stickered-up guitar cases, handwritten mix tape inserts, all these mundane things — had been transformed, under the museum’s lights, into a history worthy of attention.

The exhibit was about a band, but it was also about a time and a place — a time and place that I remember.

I started to think about everything that had been missed. Shows that weren’t taped. Letters gone missing. Stories forgotten.

Our Community

I’d been thinking about this podcast since before seeing that exhibit, but seeing the Nirvana exhibit pushed me into deciding to do it.

Our community reminds me a little of the early Seattle music scene, and more than a little of the early days of television. Apps are still a new medium, and these are the early days. It’s my theory that future people will want to be able to look back at what we’re doing today.

We already have for early Macintosh stories. And we have the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. So there is some precedent for the idea that we’re creating a history worth remembering.

I’m concentrating on the part that I know about: the Mac and Cocoa development community. (I leave it to other people to cover other communities.)

So I finally started talking about the idea — after Xcoders meetings, at the Cyclops, naturally — and Chris agreed to produce it with me. Perfect.

We started recording in the spring of 2013.

Since we’re still in the thick of things, maybe we’re in time to capture the stories worth remembering. Many of them, anyway.

Seasons and Themes

The first season, Seattle before the iPhone, will be nine episodes. We’ve already started recording the second season.

We’re not limited to Seattle, but we’re starting there, because that’s where we live and we have a great community here.

We’re not being totally strict. At least one of our guests lives here now but didn’t live here then. Another lives here part time. Not every guest is a programmer, because we’re interested in the wider community.

And we’re taking care to record people you haven’t heard from before. There will be some veteran podcasters, but most won’t be. (The most talkative among us don’t have a monopoly on stories.)

Finally, all of our episodes so far have been recorded in person. We think they turn out better that way. We may not be able to keep it up indefinitely, but we’ll record in person as often as we can.


Thanks to the Omni Group for providing recording space for eight of the first nine episodes. And for feeding us!

Thanks go to Chris for doing the hard work of recording and editing. I get to just assume it will sound good, and Chris actually makes it sound good. No small job.

And special thanks go, of course, to all of our guests. The first one is Luke Adamson — who you may not know, but you should. (Wait till you hear how he funded his first NeXT box.) Go listen.