YouTuber Spotlight – Green Ham Gaming

Grab yourself a cup of tea, or a beer if that’s more your thing, because it’s time to talk about a YouTuber whose style of tech videos could make anyone do a double take.  🙂

In the few times I get related to other YouTubers, it’s usually either Druaga1 or Green Ham Gaming.  Most likely this is due to the casual “over the shoulder” style that I employ when tinkering with technology.  The idea is to create a virtual version of going over someone’s house and watching them tinker with something – something I’ve seen other YouTubers do with computers, cars, shopping trip “hauls”, you name it.  🙂

Trivia Alert – In my Playoutsideland spoof skit from 2012 I referenced going over a friend’s house being something you did on the Internet.  There’s a lot that this joke references.  Playstation Home at the time, Minecraft, Second Life, ActiveWorlds, perhaps YouTube videos as well…  😀  Right.  Let’s talk about Green Ham.  🙂

Tim James from Green Ham Gaming takes my tech video style and throws it completely in reverse (should I expect that because he’s from Australia?  😀 ).  Instead of casual film-first-ask-questions-later basically creating a more casual “go over a friend’s house and watch them mess with tech toys” approach he actually does a more narration-driven and cinematic type of video where if I wanted to try that myself I would record the narration into the video editing software first and then add clips later.  I’ve tried that a few times, though with how he seems to be inspiring some tech folks to try this themselves maybe I should join the fun.  😀

What First Got Me Watchin’:

This one’s an easy one.  I blogged about one of his videos shortly after discovering his channel in mid-2015 and did a RadioStyle podcast too – both regarding this video thingie…  😀

The rationale was simple.  I had recently tinkered with a Dell Optiplex 760 that I was taking from one building at the 925 to another and wondered if one could take a Core 2 Dell box and put a small GPU in it to make it into a gaming console.  I wouldn’t do that these days though unless I knew I could swap in an SFX power supply if the Dell “tube supply” ever died.  😦  I’m not in the business of getting snookered by proprietary nonsense anymore.  😦

Green Ham Gaming Today:

It’s little wonder folks relate me to Green Ham so much.  Mr. James has pet names for his systems, likes to make old computers dance, and has a gaming and multimedia focus on the computer tinkering that he does.  I don’t know if I should take that as a hint that folks might want more narration-driven content from me or not, but I might consider it when we’re not getting snowstorms every 3 days here in New England…  🙂

Shortly after seeing his console killer I also blogged about his little showdown between a $100 PC and an XBox 360…  🙂

…and yes he has this thing for smoking computers…  😀

Also worth noting – while I’ve been pondering something more along the lines of his style, the reverse has already happened.  Tell me if this seems familiar…  🙂

…and of course how could we forget The Incredible i5 Dell, perhaps the inspiration for my next Dellasaurus.  😀

Not to say he doesn’t already have a Dellasaurus…  😀

…or another Dellasaurus…  😀

…actually wait.  He seems to have a collection of them.  😀

… and a Gateway?

The fun thing is that it mostly doesn’t matter what order I paste these in.  A lot of the Green Ham videos are not all that time sensitive, so like other binge-watch-friendly channels one can easily bounce around through the back catalog until they’ve finally watched it all.

It is in light of this fact that I openly invite you to zip over there and start bouncing around the back catalog.  However, because this is a blog entry about Green Ham Gaming we owe it to ourselves to end with Shenmue’s Tomato Convenience Store theme again…  😀

Where Are The Greenmarks?!!  😀

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“YouTuber” Spotlight – Roadkill

I think it’s about time I gave a shoutout to a show that has been a big influence on The Wacky World Of MultimediaJay even though it’s not related to computers.  The very concept of what Roadkill is as a car show though is a total ringer.

“This is the show where we play with cars, and you point and laugh,” say the hosts David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan at the very beginning of episode 1.  This simple idea has been something that has completely worked.  🙂  Even though Roadkill cars are usually pieces of junk that these guys are doing everything they can to squeeze any amount of decent performance out of (sounds like what I do with computers 🙂 ) it still makes for a more than entertaining car show, even if you don’t tinker around with cars all that much.  😀

What First Got Me Watchin’:

The first episode I ever saw was something near and dear to folks like myself who grew up in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of hicks out in the woods – the Cheap Truck Challenge.  😀

The “Channel” Today:

Still under the Motor Trend umbrella on their variety channel and as of 2017 sponsored by Dodge, Roadkill is a show series I highly recommend that one binge watch.  As a matter of fact I’ve recently seen the series pop up on Netflix, but the show’s still on YouTube and still sticking to its guns.  🙂

I particularly like these TV-inspired “little web shows” on YouTube and echo Freiburger’s take on the whole “staying on the web” thing where television can be pretty snooty nowadays but in terms of creative freedom YouTube is still where it’s at.  Plus, notice what’s happening here.  As much as the show features these guys tinkering with cars, it’s in the context of events they have going on, like a drag race they want to go to or see if they can get a beatermobile all the way to Alaska from California, much like how my computer tinkering is the day to day response to things I want to do, so it’s not straight up computer videos like everyone else, but there’s a certain concentrated coolness to it.

2017 is a Semper Reformanda year of reform for me.  One of the things I might do later this year is retool everything to more closely resemble how this show does things.  I like their assertive “guys having fun tinkering with stuff” approach, and think I could learn a few things from them.  I’ll leave this Ethan Meixsell track here as a possible main theme should I choose to take this path…  🙂

YouTuber Spotlight – TRONICBOX

In what should come as no surprise to anyone, TRONICBOX’s channel (hereafter referred to as TronicBox because my Caps Lock key actually moves  :-D) is the latest channel I’m playing over and over again.  Not bad for a tipoff from YouTube’s own Twitter account for YouTube Creators…  😀

Channel Overview:

TronicBox is a musician, gamer, and software developer from Saskatchewan, Canada who happens to be able to hit 80s period piece remixes of today’s songs out of the park.  It’s rare to find some good old fashioned Passion Project YouTube without the sways and influences of monetization, but TronicBox completely pulls it off.  Donations only of course since the record companies leap all over the ad revenue and would leap all over him if he sold these tracks on iTunes, but I’m sure a screengrabber and strip the video can make for some listenable tracks I think…  😀

What First Got Me Watchin’:

The aforementioned tweet on @YTCreators referenced an 80s style remix of GOTYE’s “Someone That I Used To Know.”  Anyone who’s heard it on the radio in the last few years knows that it sounded like a dorky combination of The Police and some kid bonking around on a xylophone.  Who would have thought it could totally have gone New Wave back in the “Colorblind Decade.”  😀

For years I wondered what would happen if GOTYE dropped the gimmick crap and put a real drumbeat in that song.  The 80s echo drums take it up to 11.  Even my Dad thought it was a real 80s song.  😀

The Channel Today:

Oddly enough YouTube’s Creators Twitter introduced me to the latest upload.  We’re actually perusing the back catalog in this section, though the channel launched in 2016, so it’s more of an egg than a Spring chicken.  😀

TronicBox lends to the authenticity of the remixes via some tricks like vocal-leading on the keyboards and using certain types of sounds and EQ.  I definitely can imagine myself as a little kid in a Radio Shack or something (remember them?) listening to one of those big stereos blasting New Wave and the constant “DOOOF!!!! DOOOOF!!! DOOOF!!!” of overpolished 80s drums with a ton of echo effects, because you know, gotta cover up the fact that the drumbeat’s outrageously simple and the drummer can barely play… err … back on track now…  😛

Here’s Katy Perry’s Firework song totally sent back to the age where colorblind fashion and hair that could be seen from space was totally the rage… so long as the Soviets never renewed their threats to nuke us…  😛

Oh yeah.  I can totally imagine Katy Perry dressing like this and being on one of those 6:00 AM kids-just-caught-the-bus workout shows that various Moms and sitters I knew back in the day used to watch…  😀

Then there’s what he did to Ariana Grande…  😀

A dash of Billie Jean in the beginning, but it’s crazy how well these vocals and the backing track go together.  I could imagine some more sultry 70s-influenced synth queens back in those days singing something like this.  Not exactly Deniece Williams, probably more along the lines of Missing Persons, but I could totally imagine Ariana Grande making this exact song if she hit the charts 30 years ago…  😀

There are other remixes too for songs by Fifth Harmony and Justin Bieber, but this YouTube Spotlight has taken the longest to write because I’ve listened to each song in full as I’ve written this.  😀  Here’s to hoping this channel is just getting started…  🙂

Oh, and IN YOUR FACE, TAYLOR SWIFT!!!  If you’re going to go all 80s references everywhere, go all in.  😛  Let’s close with the Sledgehammer remix and call it here.  😀  Heck, TronicBox even threw in a saxophone solo here.  😀

YouTuber Spotlight – Cereal Time TV

The new YouTube landscape as of the end of 2016 features YouTube taking lessons from Netflix and emphasizing watch-minutes, hoping perhaps that folks will start binge-watching YouTube the way they’d binge-watch… well….  :o)

Some channels on YouTube, however, are conducive to binge-watching.  🙂  Combine not-so-time-sensitive content with some concentrated coolness, even if the topic’s completely random, and you can easily end up with a channel where you’re asking, “Have I really just been binge-watching videos about THAT?!!”

Enter Cereal Time TV.  A channel of that sort about…. CEREAL!!!  😛

What First Got Me Watchin’:

I recently did a pseudo-spoof of the old Chris Bores Breakfast Rants on YouTube and somehow in the process I went looking for videos about Nintendo Cereal.  After a few food dare videos where people bought one of the remaining boxes of the 25+ year old cereal on eBay and tried to actually still eat it, I eventually wound up at…  😛

I particularly like the 80s-sounding theme for all these videos, which actually does remind me of an old 80s cereal commercial, even if it is… a tad minimalistic.  “Cereal Time.  Cereal Time.  Cereal Time Whoaaaaa.”  😛

The Channel Today:

Now for the twist.  Usually in this part of these entries I show more videos of stuff they upload nowadays, except I just subscribed to this channel last night!  😀

Even if I hadn’t though, this channel is so consistent that other than minor graphics changes you’ll find yourself just going from video to video all around their back catalog, and you know what?  You won’t care.  😀  They also have an old-school recommended next video instead of a Call To Action at the end which I’m sure is rigged to take you through their back catalog one video at a time until you’re staring blankly at some wall asking yourself, “Have I really just spent this much time watching these many videos about cereal?!!”

Don’t believe me?  Here’s the video for Cheerios.

..and here’s Lucky Charms.  😛

…and here’s Cap’n Crunch.  😛

…and to get a little more obscure and date myself further, here’s Crispy Critters.  😛

Notice a pattern yet?  😀  Basically the way this works is go to their channel page, click the magnifying glass thingie, and then type in the name of a cereal and see if there’s a video yet.  If not, go back later and try again lol.  😀

Despite its humble subscriber and view counts, this channel is probably the best example of a channel that can really suck you into its back catalog.  😀  Perhaps as YouTube tries to take some hints from Netflix we’ll see more of this sort of thing.  😀

Oh joy.  😛  My Recommended videos are now almost all Cereal Time episodes.  😛  I can’t possibly imagine why.  😛

YouTuber Spotlight – VenetianPrincess

Perhaps the largest rollercoaster relation to other YouTubers that I’ve had over the years is none other than VenetianPrincess herself.  From our humble roots in the mid-2000s with me visiting her Stickam fan feedback chats and sending video responses in the days of a more social YouTube to the evolution and de-evolution of YouTube in the following years, it’s probably crazy for me to even give her a shoutout in the first place.  Times have changed, and we have changed though as YouTubers, so given the mess that she’s been through I find it most appropriate (and respectful to boot) to leave the past in the past and hope she can turn her channel around.

Channel Overview:

VenetianPrincess over the years has represented the best of what YouTube could be for someone as a place where someone can work hard, express creativity, and have their efforts be rewarded.  Once the most-subscribed female on YouTube, she built her channel via good old-fashioned hard work and creativity, and her success should send a clear message to YouTube on what they should aim for in terms of user-generated content – the ability for someone to make something of themselves if they put in the time and effort and not have algorithms undercut them at every turn.

What First Got Me Watchin’:

Creativity – sheer creativity – is what first got me watching in 2006 when she was featured on the front page of YouTube.  Back when vloggers ruled the roost usually via turning on their webcams and talking for a bit I thought I was breaking the mold by using my AV background a bit in some videos at the time, until VP showed up with this.  =-O

In a world of webcams, vlogging, people YouTubing with digital cameras, and 100 MB upload caps, this was genius.  She kept the series going and branched into other story-driven skits of sorts blending traditional vlogging with character acting of sorts and a bit of fantasy with reality.  Hey wait a minute.  That’s sort of what I do with WWMJ.  Have I really taken that much influence from her?!  =-O

Trivia – When I reference “Lounging Around The Geekhouse” etc. it’s a nod to her “Lounging Around The Castle” roots that first got her featured on YouTube.  🙂  She may consider it her worst video ever because of its age and crudeness, but even if we’re laughing at where we came from, it’s still what it is.  Heck.  There was a time I wanted to play around with blue screens and make a parody response channel to her called BarbarianWarlord.  😀

Her blend of fantasy and reality perhaps was best expressed in a video she still has on her page from the Disclosed series about her husband’s X-Box back in the day…  😀

Not to say she didn’t try other things though…  🙂

Her Channel Today:

Following some successful music videos using blue screen effects she did some parodies over the years that earned her a whole new audience, though oldtimers like me still hoped she’d eventually return to more story-driven content in time.  That’s not to say those parody years were a complete waste though.  All of this served to expand the breadth of her uploads away from her “Chroma Key Castle.”

The cheesy parodies had humble roots…

…but eventually got past the silliness of their source material and took on some humor of their own.  😀

Not everything was a parody either.  She’s done some covers too, perhaps even more somber or serious ones.

It’s also nice that silly skits didn’t completely go away either.  😀

In more recent years she has gone through a perfect storm of things just going wrong one after another.  In terms of a channel turnaround or reboot though, I’m certain it could happen.  🙂

YouTuber Spotlight – Hak5

Technically “Hak5Darren,” but we can get past silly technicalities when talking about the longest running tech show that I’ve been interested in on YouTube – ever.  🙂  Hak5 is a hacker/security/modder/tinkerer show that in no small way has influenced The Wacky World Of MultimediaJay and its more offbeat approach to things.  Plus their distinct lack of drama and insistence on keeping ownership of certain rights when joining networks has contributed to the show’s longevity in a day and age when even web shows can be cancelled on a whim like it’s still TV (TekZilla -> TekThing anyone?).

Two freebies for those wondering about this show’s influence on me.  The raster clips for time lapses in my videos hail back to the early days of Hak5 when they still called it “Hak Point 5” and “Jay’s Geekhouse” was at least partially inspired by the old “Hak 5 House.”  🙂

Channel Overview:

Hak5 was first introduced to me as a hacker show which doesn’t do the show justice.  It’s more along the lines of tinkering with things.  Part of that of course is hacking and network security, but I’ve also seen my fair share of mods, voiding warranties, snooping around “under the hood” of certain devices, and even iconic pet named tech thingies like the WiFi Pineapple.  🙂  Calling it a hacker show clouds what the show’s about and gets people thinking Hackers Vs. Security Admins at Defcon or something.  😛  Needless to say, as one of my favorite shows of all time on YouTube with a ton of longevity to boot, it’s definitely worth watching. 🙂

What First Got Me Watchin’:

Hak5 is basically the last remaining show that I still watch from the IPTV Introduction I watched on TechAnvil’s long gone channel back when he was doing Tech Vlogs in 2006.  (The exception being TWiT, which was audio at the time as Leo had returned to his radio roots).  Yes, we’re talking about vintage YouTube here from when I was first getting started 10 years ago, a.k.a. back in the day.  🙂  Nowadays the video is a who’s-who of shows that aren’t around anymore – except Hak5 of course.  🙂

The show being described as “hack scene” kind of veered me away for a bit due to my more multimedia presentation focus, but ultimately my curiosity got the better of me…  🙂

Fun stuff.  I was thinking I’d be looking at a Linux command prompt for an hour, but in my younger and dumber days (emphasis on the dumber) the idea of “hacking” meaning modding something was… a tad of something I hadn’t considered.  :o)

I actually sent the USB Hacksaw to the security admins at my 925 at the time and they were like, “Whoa hadn’t thought of that.”  Been paranoid about USB Autorun ever since.  🙂

By season 3, Hak5 was a show I wanted to binge watch.  Screw Netflix.  😛

I made plans to binge-watch from the beginning, and….  I’m still making plans all these years later.  😛  Duhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh lol.  :o)

I still watch the show, but just not in the way I wanted to back in the day…  🙂

The Hak5 Channel Today:

Besides still being around, Hak5 has become an umbrella of sorts.  Today they’re hacking things in 2 seconds apparently…  🙂

For things that just can’t wait until the next Hak5 show, they have ThreatWire, the first of their other shows I found out about.  🙂

TekThing is under their umbrella too these days.  Makes me wonder if the Hak5 folks are out to rival the TWiT network…  🙂  So long as what happened with Revision 3 doesn’t happen with these groups anytime soon.

This entry has been a long time in coming, but here’s to wishing all the best for Hak5 for decades to come.  🙂  They also have handled team changes exceptionally well too, so I’d say they even serve as a great example of how to develop a show like this in the first place.  🙂

Let’s close with a recent experiment of theirs with 360 degree video.  Cool stuff for the up-and-coming VR technology out there.  🙂

Trust Your Technolust indeed.  🙂

YouTuber Spotlight – Ashens

How utterly ironic that while I’ve parodied the heck out of this guy on YouTube I have yet to do some kind of shoutout article like this on him.  Indeed.  What started out as just a silly style parody on my own channel has become a semi-regular thing because reviewing cheap rubbish on one’s couch is pretty darn addicting.  😛  Well the irony is no more.  It’s time to talk about the undisputable King Of Humorous Sofa Reviews himself – ASHENS!!!  🙂

Channel Overview:

SOFA REVIEWS.

That sums up most of what Ashens’ channel is all about, and is quite iconic in a sense that the two have become rather synonymous much in the same manner as the Angry Video Game Nerd and satirical retro-game reviews, and also like the AVGN Ashens has a movie, though unfortunately the disc-release was UK-only last I checked with the rest of us folks having to watch it digitally on YouTube.  Stuart Ashen also does acting and cartoons and other stuff from time to time, usually with a bit of dark sarcastic humor on the side, but really he’s taken the sofa review and made it his own, such that anyone else borrowing the format can expect to get called an “Ashens ripoff.”  😛

What First Got Me Watchin’:

I’ve been a fan of Ashens’ videos almost since the beginning of his sofa reviews.  I can’t remember what possessed me to look for cheap electronic knockoff rubbish back then, but the first video I saw was the one featuring “Satan’s Ringtone.” 😛

There were others too, my favorite being the tabletop Outrun review.

An honorable mention being Guitar Fever and the birth of the sad onion and “hello” intro… 😛

The review that inspired my very first parody though was the 13:37 long (lol) review of the Vii – that infamous Wii ripoff from the mid-2000s. 😛

What can I say?  Ashens has had no shortage of good snarky commentary over the years.

Videos I’d Recommend:

In more modern times Ashens has expanded his horizons – so much that this article isn’t going to do his videos justice in terms of recommended videos.  For crying out loud, go watch them all.  Plan on spending a day playing catch-up if you aren’t already familiar with this sofa review internet phenomenon, however for the sake of actually having something in this section, here’s a sampling of some more notable zingers from more recent years… 🙂

..oh what the heck.  Let’s just post his channel trailer.  That’ll sum it up.  😛

This Channel Today:

Ashens is still very much a thing today, now more than ever.  He covers more categories, reviews more rubbish, tries to eat more notoriously out-of-date food, basically takes sofa reviewing to a whole new level.  Plus, his type of review is strangely addictive.  I’ve tried talking about cheap stuff without a sofa in today’s day and age.  It felt like something’s missing.  😛  Ashens once played the part of a wacky deranged shrink or something but though he seems to have dropped a lot of that stuff nowadays perhaps watching his videos over the years is still messing with me a bit.  😛

Oh well.  All hail the undisputable king of sofa reviews, and I hope I can figure out what to do about my addiction to pastiching the guy’s format.  😛  I don’t want to be to Ashens like the IrateGamer was to the AVGN, but at least I’m willing to admit that my “imitation as the most sincere form of flattery” is indeed inspired by his videos.  😛

Ugh.  My head.  😛