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Dan Benjamin
Founder of and author of I've got a cobra snake for a necktie.
Founder of and author of I've got a cobra snake for a necktie.

Dan's posts

We're working on a 5by5 Best of 2011 show, and I was wondering if you could share some of your favorite moments from your favorite 5by5 episodes. Please add them as links, and as the list comes in, be sure to plus your favorites. We won't necessarily get them all, but I'd love to hear what you think.

Wireless Bridging Advice?

I'm moving my in-home studio from one room to another. I can't move the cable modem jack to the room I'm moving to, and unfortunately this house wasn't pre-wired with Cat5.

I can't have ethernet run here without major remodeling work, which we can't do. In a past life when I was in IT, I ran ethernet cabling for a living, and I've already explored this option.

I already have an Airport Extreme and Airport Express setup here. It works of course, but it's slow.

I'm considering powerline ethernet adapters like the Trendnet (

I've also heard about some fast wifi solutions for this, but I don't have any experience with them. What would you recommend? Please share the model numbers with the links, if you have em!

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I'm working on an update to my 2009 article, Top 10 Programming Fonts ( I have a pretty good list of fonts going already, but it seems that I always miss a few.

So this time around I wanted to open the floodgates a bit and invite you to share your favorite programming font with me for scrutiny before I start writing the article.

My requirements for consideration are two:

1. It must be a monospace font. I get that there's a special breed of developer who enjoys coding in Zapfino, but for the purposes of this article, I'm sticking to monospace.

2. It must be free to download and use as a programming font. Last time I included Consolas as an exception because it's included for free with many applications, but generally I'm looking for free fonts.

Please include a link so we can try out your suggestion.


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I like Jim's stance.

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If you're into comics, you probably have a lot to say about DC's New 52. +Andy Ihnatko and I talked about this in Episode 1 of The Ihnatko Almanac (, and more recently I talked with +Jason Snell and his crew on Episode 61 of The Incomparable (

Of the New 52 titles I've read (and I've read just about all of them), these are my favorites:

- Action Comics
- All-Star Western
- Aquaman
- Detective Comics
- Justice League
- Batgirl
- Batman
- Batman: The Dark Knight
- Batwoman
- Demon Knights
- I, Vampire
- Swamp Thing

I'm on the fence about a few of those, but I'll probably stick around with them for a few more issues. Here's my current short list of must-reads from DC:

- Aquaman
- Detective Comics
- Justice League
- Batgirl
- Batman
- Batwoman
- Demon Knights
- Swamp Thing

Which titles will you be sticking with? Why?

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One thing +Andy Ihnatko mentioned on today's inaugural episode of The Ihnatko Almanac ( was that you shouldn't be collecting the #1 issues of DC's New 52 with the expectation that they'll become valuable.

If we'd had more time, I'd have liked to discuss this more, but instead I'll just share my rule of thumb when it comes to collecting comics, especially the print versions:

Don't collect comics because you're trying to make money. Instead, collect the issues that feature the art and writing you like most, or that tell a story that's important to you. These are all things you'll likely want to revisit down the road, or have on hand to share with a friend. That's what's worth collecting.

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I started up a brand-new podcast today with Dan Benjamin over at the 5by5 Network. It's called "The Ihnatko Almanac." The first episode is already online and I hope you'll check it out.

I'm still doing MacBreak Weekly, of course! I love that show and I hope I get to do it forever. The Ihnatko Almanac is actually about 95% non-tech-related. Its loose mandate is to talk about all kinds of clickable arts: music, books, movies, comics, articles, and art that we've seen recently and which you can get through via a mouse click.

Our first show is all about DC Comics' major restart, for example: not only have they re-launched all 52 of their regular monthlies with new Issue #1s (so that they're great jumping-on points for anybody who hasn't been a regular comics reader) but every issue is available as a digital download on the same day as the printed comic hits the shops.

The show's been in the works for a long time. We committed to the show months ago and then Projectus Gigantus took up all of my time the whole summer. But hey, now the show's up and running. I hope y'all like it.

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Episode #1 of a brand new show on 5by5 with +Andy Ihnatko is live. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

I'm looking to replace an aging (and slowish) router with something newer, and I'd love your recommendations. I'll be getting one to connect to my cable modem and soon our redundant DSL connection in bridge mode, and then directly into our 24-port switch.

Here's what I'm looking for:

- Firewalling and QOS capabilities, NAT, DHCP, etc.
- Dual WAN ports
- Gigabit ethernet (on the LAN side)
- No VPN necessary, but fine if it's there
- Ability to disable wi-fi entirely
- Can handle the kind of Skype and streaming traffic we do here at 5by5

No wi-fi? That's right, I already have an Airport Extreme which we frequently turn off entirely with an electronic timer that kills power to our wi-fi device. So I'm open to a device that has wifi as long as I can completely disable it and use my existing (albeit strange) wifi setup.

Budget is around $100-200.

What do you recommend?

Regarding 5by5 and Video

When I launched 5by5, we did video for almost every show. It was more work and a lot more overhead, but it was fun and added a neat aspect and an additional dimension to the shows.

Though many audience members enjoyed the video, the number of actual video downloads wasn't huge, maybe 10% of the audio downloads for each episode.

Additionally, most of my co-hosts disliked video, and it could be a burden on guests to get the right camera, lighting, etc. As I started doing more shows (which I was still editing and producing myself), it was easy to let the video component slide until, eventually, we weren't producing any video-versions of our episodes at all.

Going Forward

I still believe video has an important and fun role to play at 5by5. And now, with +Faith Korpi as our Producer, we have in-house video production talent.

We intend to do more with video, but I'd like your thoughts as we determine exactly how we'll do it, what we'll do, and the overall direction we take.

Did you (or would you) like to watch the video versions of our shows? How important is video to the way you consume and enjoy podcasts? What about when co-hosts or guests can't run video, would a stream of the 5by5 studio and crew be interesting, even if just on the livestream (

What do you think?
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