Thursday, July 21, 2005

AM Radio

Nerds are strange beasts with stranger tastes.

Today I remembered how I really like AM radio. I got to work by bus, and decided to plug some noise into my ears other than the usual traffic and city noise. I always try to carry my AM/FM radio around (it's a Sony digital something (I noticed people expect brands and models of gadgets mentioned in nerdy blogs)), since I'd rather listen to something weird/new than my good old CD collection, which I actually hardly listen to. MP3 players are also not my thing, since I'd soon get fed up with the same songs all the time, or I'd loose several hours a week managing playlists. I like radio, and today I tripped on the band button and suddenly was (gladly) dragged back to the AM universe.

Static, white noise. I could listen to my GSM cellphone receiving a message before the phone announced it. I also heard the clicks and feeps of my answer as it found its way into data packets and off the air. Sometimes a bit of 60Hz signals when the bus was close to high-voltage lines. And over all that, information. I think that's what I like about AM radio. It's much too low-tech for trendy, fashionable, "pop culture" things, so all you can get is raw information and news from interesting people. Hey, I even voted (YES) in this interactive poll about whether we should pass a city law to forbid smoking on any public closed place.

As I write I also remember how my trusty radio was one of my best friends when I spent 6 to 8 months working in Brasília, only coming back to Porto Alegre every two weekends. Brasília is a nice city, but you HAVE to have a car in order to get to know it and I didn't. It was like breakfast-work-lunch-work-dinner-(work?-)sleep. For days and weeks (sometimes weekends). After the first few weeks of walking around the hotels and work, I didn't really have a lot more to do than read in my room and listen to my radio. I started trying to find the weirdest radio ever, and the candidates were usually religious radios of all sorts. They were really fun to listen to, specially during the night.

So now, as I work with IPv6, security, Unix and embedded devices, I listen to good old AM radio (and love it). Go figure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Morar em Brasilia sem ter um carro leva as pessoas à fazerem coisas estranhas para passarem o tempo ;)