KFAT and #western106

Just completed that long overdue migration of #ds106radio this week from Canadian Web Hosting (props for a solid 5 years of hosting) to ReclaimHosting.  Broadcasting studio is now setup in a shed on the top of ReclaimHQ and the new antenna is broadcasting stronger than ever with an upgrade to Airtime 2.5.1

Given that the radio schedule is long overdue for a revamp + the fact that #western106 is in need of a country station, I started looking for some syndication candidates for the schedule.

It has been my great fortune to find “the only dead radio station you can listen to on your computer.” KFAT left the airwaves in 1984, but in its short 7 years on the air gathered devoted fans.  It appears the fans and the station recorded hundreds of hours of broadcasts – all of these broadcasts are streamed 24/7 at www.kfat.com.

Here’s a bit about KFAT from Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America that illustrates why I think these recordings are a perfect fit for #ds106radio and #western106 listeners for the next few months:

It may have been the only commercial station, a listener later declared, where you could hear Slim Pickens introduce a Dead Kennedys record.  There was a joke a lot of the DJs like: “It’s all country music. It just depends on what country you come from.”

KFAT was a country music station, but it wasn’t like any other commercial country operation.  It was a freeform country station run by hippies and hip rednecks … there were those weird promos it ran, like the station identification announcements that featured “famous people sneezing.” …

If the Summer of Love had taken place in a garlic-growing country town, if Berkely’s longhaired rebels had preferred George Jones to the Jefferson Airplane, if Jerry Garcia had joined Bill Monroe’s bluegrass band – well, then it would have been a very different world, and KFAT would have been a commercial triumph.  Instead, it was a financial failure, a strange tributary of ‘70s radio that didn’t lead anywhere in particular but sure took an interesting route.

“You know what?” he said. “We could create a radio station that, masquerading as a country station, is like a twenty-four-hour-a-day lampoon of country music.  But in the process, it’s playing folk music, it’s playing music with a living-in-the-country feel, whether it’s the Grateful Dead or George Jones.  And mixed in is inventive production, and mixed in is satire and engaging, interesting characters who have funny names.”  He loved the call letters Lorenzo had come up with, but ge figured they could take the idea further. “Not only do we want to call it KFAT – we want to call it The Fat One. We want to give it that image, to have a big fat cowboy logo.” KFAT, Yurdin suggested, should feel like something vaguely forbidden – like an old Mexican border blaster or a distant black station in the 1950’s South.  It should unusual, eclectic, and exciting.

I have been listening to this stream syndicated over ds106rad.io/listen for the last 2 days and loving it.  Looking forward to digging further into KFAT and #western106 over the next few months.  Also … I think #western106 & #ds106radio may be just the platform needed to launch that freaker country band …




‘The Prisoner’ + ‘The Prisoner 2’ video games

With all the great in-browser software emulation emerging over the last few years I thought I’d take a cue from Jim regarding The Prisoner game released for Apple II and see if I could find an emulated version.

30 minutes into my search I not only found .dsk files for both The Prisoner and The Prisoner 2, but a great piece from The Digital Antiquarian that digs into the backstory of the game developments.  Some great bits:

It consists of some 30 individual BASIC programs which are shuffled in and out of memory as needed by a machine-language routine, the only non-BASIC part of the structure.


Throughout all this the game is constantly trying to get us to reveal our resignation code, through ploys obvious and subtle. The most devious of all comes when we visit the Hospital. In the midst of an absurd free-association personality test, we are suddenly dropped to BASIC with an apparent error message. The natural reaction to the above would be to LIST line 943 to see what the problem might be. If we do, however, we have just lost. The number 943 is of course our resignation code, and we have just been tricked into revealing it. There was never any real error at all; we are still in the program. We are still the Prisoner.

There isn’t much different between ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Prisoner II’ – story is essentially the same with ‘The Prisoner II’ adding a first person perspective to the maze/map puzzles.

If you are digging #prisoner106 give ‘The Prisoner’ a shot by downloading this prisoner.dsk file and loading it into this javascript-powered Apple II emulator.

‘The Prisoner II’ is available at archive.org and offered via MESS below:


#ds106radio update

Photo via @noiseprofessor

For the first time since 2011 #ds106radio went down hard – for 48 hours.   I won’t go into the details of what the ice weasels reported when they entered the station, but they felt it best to reno the studios and broadcast tower by eating most of the station.  Luckily, the weasels replaced all they ate with new equipment (except for the audio library – starting afresh there).

The ice weasels did leave the station in better shape than they found it though … metadata from NiceCast now resolved!

Showing Track Titles in the Stream

Nicecast will include track titles right in your #ds106radio LIVE stream, so your listeners know what they’re hearing. Nicecast automatically reads track information from the following applications:

For other applications or for manual control, Nicecast can read track titles manually from a text file.

This file must be located at ~/Library/Application Support/Nicecast/NowPlaying.txt.

Follow this format:

Title: Our Station Could Be Your Life
Artist: Nobody’s Listening
Album: We Jam Econo
Time: 04:20

All fields are optional, or ‘N/A’ if not available. Nicecast will read from the file every 15 seconds.

Note: When the NowPlaying.txt file exists, Nicecast will always read from it. If you wish to have Nicecast automatically pull titles directly from the source application, be sure to remove the NowPlaying.txt file.