The Butcher Goes to Chi-Town

One of the best Screen Savers ever tonight, IMHO. Make sure to see the repeat if you missed it live. I think it had just the right mix of entertainment, tech, and help. It’s what we’ve been aiming for. What do you think? Is this what you want the Screen Savers to be like? If not, what would you change? I need to know!
Meanwhile, thanks to frequent flyer miles, I’m off to Chicago with Abby tomorrow. We’re visiting American Girl Place for a belated birthday present. We’re going with her best friend and her best friend’s dad. (If you know any 10 year olds you know what American Girl Dolls are.) We’re bringing Kit along with us for dinner, too. We’re also planning to see the mummies at the Field Museum, and I’ve got tickets for the Cubs-Dodger at Wrigley on Sunday.

So no show tomorrow, but I’ll be back Monday. Have a great weekend!

61 Replies to “The Butcher Goes to Chi-Town”

  1. Hi Leo!
    My geeky husband and I are fans of The Screensavers. I know it must be frustrating, but I also agree with the others that the entertainment is taking critical time away from the techie help in TSS. Call for Help makes me cringe. I find Scott to be too distracting and not beneficial at all to Roger’s work. And honestly, I am not attracted to this show because they go to “celebrity” houses. I’d also like to see less time with the geek sites. That eats up a lot of time, methinks. It’s nothing personal against Jessica. I think she could do more useful things, or at least take up less time. Personally, I think you and Patrick do a fine job on the show. The both of you are naturally funny and I think that chemistry between the two of you holds up on its own.
    I realize you are rallying for a more in-depth show (HUZZAH!), and if TechTV is smart enough, they’ll listen. What e-mail address should I relay my opinions
    to TechTV and most importantly, will they read it? I think if enough of us get together, we can like make TechTV listen an’ stuff. Oh, and heehee… Having
    more segments on the Mac wouldn’t hurt either. Heh heh. 🙂
    I really did enjoy the photoshop lesson (April 3rd) shown on the Mac. I’ve used Photoshop for 11 yrs. and didn’t know how to create realism so easily.
    D’OH!I would like to see comparisons between the Adobe, Macromedia, and other software for us digital artist techno geeks. I’m a Mac user (duh) and I’m
    dying to see more Photoshop tips. And btw, with Adobe’s Photoshop Essentials being released at $89, do you think Paint Shop Pro will last?
    Thanks for your time, Leo. I do appreciate it. Hi to Patrick!
    -ALi G.
    p.s. Don’t forget about good ol’ NYC, for one of the TSS On the Road shows!!!

  2. Oy, I am so jealous! You and Abby will have a wonderful time in Chicago, for sure. That’s my hometown you’re going to (it’s a toddlin’ town, in case you haven’t heard). The Field is one of the coolest places on Earth, IMHO, but like other bloggers I have spent many great moments at the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd, et al. As a wee chick, going to see that submarine just blew my mind. Again, many Good Dad points for you, Leo!
    I agree that last night’s show was highly wonderful, much of it being you, of course. Patrick also did good last night, perhaps he was taking caffeine on the sly? The premature ejection stuff was hysterical. And don’t worry, Leo, it happens to a lot of men.
    I really loved the interview with John Seely Brown. By necessity, much computer information is completely reductionist. Tips and tricks, little troubleshooting ideas, all bring the focus down so small, it’s really good to hear from someone who operates at the big picture level. Hey, I’ve got an idea! The channel should have a show with even *more* of those types of interviews. Lessee, we could call it “Big . . . . something”. Hmmmm. Let me think about this. 😛
    As for your request for comments, I agree with many of the things said already. I’m very glad that some of the old energy is back, but despite the extra half-hour the show seems just as rushed as before, if not more so. My gripe with the entertainment stuff is not so much the content but the repetition. Is Jessica ever going to do anything else but talk about those websites? Is *every* single Housecall segment going to look exactly the same save for the location? You are, by nature, very interesting to watch and listen to, so the tediousness is not you at all. I just wish that some of these types of segments wouldn’t get run into the ground because of overuse. We’ll always hold you on CFH up as a perfect standard, I guess. :o) Actually, I think very highly of Becky, she is genuinely talented at delivering information. I think we’ve all agreed that you leaving CFH was bad: the viewers and fans are all strung-out with grief and you’re having moments of realization that it was an awesome type of gig that you should try to recapture somehow. However, having Becky succeed you would have not been such a blow if they hadn’t also messed up the format so righteously. It seems that she got set up to bear the brunt of a lot of the bad vibes regarding the channel format, and that’s not fair. As always, the question is if management helps foster an environment where people can do their best work, versus an environment where people are trying to be effective in spite of how they’re managed.
    I hope you and Abby have a wonderful weekend!
    Midwestern-type Smooches,
    Jeannette

  3. Hi Leo! I am such a fan of yours. I discovered The Screen Savers about a month a go and have consistently watched and taped almost every episode. I unfortunately missed the show last night that everybody is raving about. Hopefully it will be rerun so that I may see it. I was wondering if you guys could offer Tech Tv to have TSS on for two hours. That would allow, like others have said, better pacing. Also, since you are getting into viewer suggestions for books, DVDs, etc., you could have a deffinite segment near the end for that specifically. You must get hundreds of suggestions for movies and books so it would be no problem picking suggestions for that segment. Also, if you had the extra time you would be able to take more calls and/or spend more time with those callers. I also enjoy the new “Leo’s Boot Camp.” I feel that iif you were to pool those callers with more simple questions together so that you could take more that one or two at that time it would be even better. And with the lengthening of the show, like I taked about, it would make that a great and strong segment. I, myself, have a familiarity with computers but find myself not knowing as much as you guys, of course, so I often identify with those Boot Camp questions and would love to see more of them per show. And Leo, Jessica is a very attractive, well spoken woman. It seems to me that having her talk about geek sites is useful but perhaps she would be able to do and interview from time to time or perhaps you could send her on a remote to some new tech attraction in or out of the area. Like I said, she is extremely well spoken and it wouldn’t surprise me if she had a background in tv or radio. Also, I was thinking what about if you took those faxs and callers you couldn’t get to on the air and posted them in a section on the website. You could also take some interesting email questions then and put them in the same section on your site. Well, just a few thoughts that I had.
    Again to reiterate, I love the show and the direction it is going to be more inclusive. Please, get more time for the show. Thank you.

  4. the show has been good but i haven’t felt like i have learned anything since the change.
    One think i hate the most is when you come back from commercial and you introduce your guest that you are going to talke to. We find out their name and what they do then its time for another commercial. ?!?!? you just had a commercial 2 mins ago. then after the 2nd commercial you talk abot what ever they came to talk about.
    Martins lists have been good.
    i like the house call segments but the video should be a little more showing help, not just show roger sit and start working then have scott doing stuff in the house for a 2mins then show them both leaving.
    Jessica and Megan are great but they seem to take up a lot of time.
    and i really miss the time you used to spend on the e-mails and faxes. when you got to the last commercial you say that when you come back that you will be reading out e-mails and faxes but you have bearly read any since the new format. why don’t you and patrick go sit on the couch to read the e-mails.
    Thanks for asking our opinion
    brandon clark
    on a side note i qualified to win a brand new car yesterday from our local morning news show “Good Morning Arizona”. I will have a 1 in 19 chance to win the new car. i will find out if i win May 23.

  5. Oh come on now, the best show ever? It was ok in my opinion.
    The best show for me was when Chris Breen from MacWorld was co-hosting, and I got to hear some of Chris’s piano playing. There were more Mac related questions answered as you could imagine.
    Of course Leo wasn’t on that show, but being the Mac fanatic that I am I’ll put that aside. I really enjoyed that show. Of course I never miss Leo on Call For Help for his Mac tip! 🙂
    Other than that, the best time for me would be the Kate and Leo days.
    Sure Patrick blows Kate away in sheer computer knowledge, but the show had some
    firepower! There was nothing more than I loved to do than stay up to 12AM with my laptop watching The Screensavers back in the day.
    Now I wait until 1AM cause of the TechLive changes, and really find myself turning TSS off sometimes. The interviews are sometimes cool, but the show seems to get into a rut of the same format. You need to shake it up!
    Ok now I’m going to make my last comment about Martin Sargent. This guy is way
    too intelligent to be reduced to a TOP 5 list. Honestly, I don’t look forward to it at all. Martin should be answering calls like you are, and so should Roger for that matter. Martin used to break out the blackboard all the time, and explain in depth what is going on in a computer component. Now, I mean he is doing goofy stuff like geek makeover, and TOP 5 lists. I feel bad for him.
    Then again this is my own opinion. I have met Leo and Patrick in person in the ZDTV days, and it was cool. I’m still watching TechTV alot, but I have to admit
    sometimes it is just plain boring. Before I had ZDTV on 24/7, but now I don’t feel bad turning it off sometimes, because I know how the show is going to go.
    -Don

  6. Ok reading the blog messages at the top, made me want to add one more thing to my post.
    Jessica and Megan.
    I really don’t care for Jessica for some reason. I agree with what someone said
    above about it taking up too much of the show. Last night was really annoying with the bell. It was cute once, but then it got annoying.
    Really I don’t see why Jessica is there other than for teenage boys, and dirty
    old men to stare at. Do not get me wrong Jessica is a really nice, sweet girl.
    I just don’t care for her presence on the show. I’m sure a lot of perverts out there will argue with this! 😉
    Now Megan I think is great. She needs to be there to update the site, and plays a good low key position on the show.
    I used to hate when Becky Worley hosting Call for Help on
    Fridays, because that was Leo’s show. The more and more I see Becky on TV, I have come to love when she is on. She is very knowledgeable just like Leo (Ok Lets face it Leo’s brain is HAL,) and I’m starting to enjoy Call for Help again.
    All in all I’m still struggling in my brain with the remembrance of the ZDTV days in my head. Sometimes I wish I could just program my subconscious to get over it!
    Hey then again, “It’s not my fault!” 🙂
    -Don

  7. I think what they are doing with Jessica and Megan is an experiment of sorts. while I don’t know how it will eventually end up, I think they are both nice and I would hate to axe anyone’s job purely on my opinion. so as long as they are not outright annoying and otherwise pleasant I accept them as part of the show. should they be there? I don’t think that’s for me to say. the geek site has merit, but I think it’s more of an experiment to brink back a woman’s perspective or perhaps presence to the show. I like them both. Not that I wouldn’t mind input from other females on the show. I think Sumi did a great job with her digital camera review and should be brought back from time to time. Kate I’ve never really seen, though I do have a gamers perspective and would appreciate any input along that line as well. Patrick is great. I think he compliments Leo perfectly. The show does seem a little rushed, but I still love it and I think they’ll get any kinks worked out after a while. Martin is also a great addition to the show. I cannot say how to divide the time between everyone. They all are good. I’m sure they will all have a job there for a long time to come and no matter how much we see them they will continue to push themselves forward in one way or another at tech tv. I would have never guessed Leo would give up call for help. Now it’s not even on my cable, so I have no idea how Becky and Scot are doing. Anyway I love the show. No matter what form it takes I will continue to be an avid viewer. Taping shows at one am to watch over the weekend if I have to. Keep up the good work Leo and enjoy your holiday with Abby. There is nothing more precious than family. You are very fortunate to have such a wonderful bond with your wife and children.

  8. HI Leo!
    I love the show! Our Time Warner in Columbus, OH just added it within the past month or so. Sure glad they did! I love the main format of the show. Have never seen the old version of the show so I don’t have the ability to make comparisons. I agree with an earlier comment about using Jessica for interviews or remotes though, the geek site snoors me. I do enjoy the bootcamp. The intro to it is really funny. Here is a suggestion for something to add to the show or perhaps TechTV could give you and Patrick a two hour special for this. The idea is for a “Blast from the Past,” indepth reviews of the computer dinosours of the past that have brought technology to where it stands today. I would love to see how far we have really come over the past 30 years or so. Three years ago I finally made the leap into the 70’s and bought my first PC. Oh yeah! I’m hooked now. I read whatever I can on these darn things. The other day my hubby came home and asked if my PC was broke because I was actually watching TV when he came in the door. (I was watching the Screeen Savers! *grin*)
    Anyhow, I would really love to see something done in regard the the “Blast from the Past” idea.
    Take care and “Keep on truckin!”
    Sincerely,
    Andrea Heslin

  9. Wow, a chance to share my 2 cents worth of knowledge… how can I resist? i can’t. Ok, I’ve been watching less than a year, so I saw some of the “old” TSS when it was an hour long, and I have Tivo-ed it every night and really love it. I also used to record C4H and Silicon Spin, but since TSS went to 90 min. I only record that. OK, here is a list of what I fast forward, sorry if anyone’s feelings are hurt…. the chat bit, the geek challenge bit (see Tux, press play), the Geek site of the day, anything with Scott Harriot, House calls, Geek makeover, Geek Site of the Day. [People are asking, Do you watch ANY of it?] I love the techie bits where Leo and Pat show Linux, it’s over my head, but I like to learn about it, I love the live interviews, Boot Camp, phone calls/net camera calls, Geek Library, software demos (even on software I don’t own,) hardware demos, I used to love Marty’s chalk board lectures (he did one on cass latency (sp?) that was very informative)…. I love the building of UGM and the installations of other hardware, the “cable rounding” segment, etc. Ok, that’s now about 15 cents worth of my feedback. I love the show, and I realize it takes a lot of different information to attract allkinds of audience members, so do whatever you like, I’ll still be watching (and fast forwarding.) Oh, and please let Marty do more than those lists, he is a great addition to the mix.
    Elizabeth Branch

  10. greetings intrepid bloggers, just wanted to let leo know i’ve solved the big problem everyone’s been talking about (the new “improved” tech tv) try pitching this – we extend tss another half-hour?!? and then eliminate call for help. juggle tss around so the 1st hour is geared towards beginners and hosted primarily by you, and the 2nd hour is more advanced and fast-moving, which is quite in pace with it’s multi-host approach. geez you might even want to air the first hour a few hours before the 2nd hour. you could even rename the 1st hour! what you’d want to call it is beyond me, though.
    but 4 real!!!! tss keeps gettin’ better!! i love all the additions (jess, megan, scott, rog) they all deserve more airtime (more martin too!)(and more kate)! maybe if we started a fund to buy all the commercial time on tss and just let leo and crew work straight through them (if they’d be so kind) i love the idea of a show that goes more in depth, especially if it’s respective website is as wonderfully kept up as tss’s webpage(thanx megan). i rarely catch call for help anymore, i like both becky and scott, but i don’t think they have good onscreen chemistry together. hey leo i was wondering if your disturbingly knowledgable side kick patrick is related to the infamous norton who wrote column with the legend mr. dvorak. also does he (dvorak) use the dvorak keyboard layout he invented to speed up typing? oh well i see that it’s 4am and i must flee for higher ground now.

  11. Seems to be that they are trying to cram a variety of segements into TSS as well as Tech Live, to try to appeal to a wide, wide variety of viewers. segements of which the basic subject of the segment should be a on-going show in itself.
    Jessica and Megan are ok but what they do can be combined into one person, woman. I get the feeling Jessica is there to show ‘attractive women can be a geek’ and ‘the average geek woman’ to pull in male viewers and not to offend the women. Just more of the ‘Hollywood’ style of designing a show. The show does seem to be improving as time goes on (is someone who has a say so actually listening to the viewers?)and it’s almost there, but not quite yet. I actually am enjoying it again instead of being a struggle of frustration to sit through. Can the Leo and Pat running in. Is stupid looks very forced regardless of how hard they try to make it look natural. If this show goes on indefinitely ( I HOPE), how many ideas can they come up with for Leo and Pat to come running in? Just have the stand at the table as they used to. It looked more comfortable and natural for them both and fits the show better.
    They do seem to be taking more calls, which is very enjoyable. Have cut back on the ‘a zillion half a second interviews and segments) and have fewer but more in depth interviews, how to’s etc. which is sooooooo much more informative as well as enjoyable.
    I’m glad they stopped Martin from doing the stupid stuff. He’s too intelligent to make a clown out of him. True humor is not going for the low road but sure to grab a laugh. Martin can be used intelligently in a humorous manner.
    I know that much of the show has to be scripted, especially as it’s been expaned to an hour and a half, but I enjoyed the more natural banner between Leo and Patrick more than the more scripted banner.
    Keep working on it, so close to being there, an intelligent, informative show with some legimate humor throw in. As as I’ve said repeatedly, I wished they’d quit trying to “Hollywood-ise” all of Tech TV. It doesn’t work in this genre.

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