Rob O'Connor

Lecturer/Geek/Musician/DJ/Eejit

Irish Beats 23rd May 2021

Your weekly helping of fresh Irish music! All Tvvins, Saige, Amerik, James Vincent McMorrow, Moxie and more! My guests in the virtual studio were Steve Wall and Simon O’Reilly, chatting about their new track ‘Rise With The Sun.’ It was mighty craic talking with the lads, learning how they created their track using WhatsApp and Dropbox. Full playlist after the jump.

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Falling Down a Pi-hole

As part of a 4th year module, some students and I performed some test on Pi-hole, a network level ad blocker for your LAN. We wrote a short article about the experience and published it on Medium.

You’ll find the original piece here, but I’ll copy it after the jump to keep things handy for myself on the blog! Written by Andrew Brennan, Gianluca Zuccarelli and myself (they did most of the work BTW!)

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Irish Beats 2nd May 2021

For the Bank Holiday weekend, I decided to host a mini music festival on Irish Beats, playing an hour of live performances from stages big and small. The line-up included The Academic, when young, The Frames, Cathy Davey, Alex Gough, Wallis Bird, U2 and more! Of course, that was after a collection of fresh bangers from Anim, Wild Youth, The X Collective, Bantum and Soda Blonde. Lots to wrap your ears around!

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Irish Beats 25th April 2021

Plenty of new sounds to get your ears around on Irish Beats this week. Played stuff from Imelda May’s chart-topping album, Villagers’ new one and many more. Lots of guitars on the show this evening for some reason. Perhaps it’s the influence of my guest Dara Quilty from the band Apella. Who knows?!

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Irish Beats 18th April 2021

This week was pretty hectic for new Irish releases, so I kept the music coming thick and fast on the latest radio show. The playlist was made up of fresh tunes from the likes of Reuben Hester, KinetiX, Ruth Anne, SYML, Cat Dowling and many more. The wonderful Ann Scott was my guest, chatting about her new album ‘Lily.’

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Irish Beats 11th April 2021

I didn’t much in the way of new music on the radio last week because of the vinyl special, so I tried to squeeze as many fresh tunes into the latest playlist. 32 tracks in two hours is no mean feat! The second hour was devoted to track from the folk genre, allowing us to shift down to second gear and become a little introspective.

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Irish Beats 4th April 2021

It was an all-vinyl affair on this evening’s Irish Beats as I dug into my collection to bring you some of the warmest homegrown sounds around. There was one electronic selection before breaking into the guitars – well worth turning your radios up to 11! The second of the show was a documentary following one WIT student’s quest to get into the format. ‘Gianluca Wants a Record Player’ asks questions like what’s so appealing about vinyl? Who’s listening to the format? Does it really sound better than Spotify? Should Gianluca go ahead and get a turntable?

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Irish Beats 21st March 2021

Last night was the first radio show I’ve done in a while that didn’t feature an extended interview. I enjoy talking with people, but it was nice to focus on the music too! I managed to squeeze TWENTY EIGHT whopping tracks into two hours on the radio this week, with new music from Chasing Abbey, Tolu Makay, Inhaler and more as well as classics from the likes of David Holmes and Fred. ‘Be My Friend’ by Holly Macve is a track that’s really wormed it’s way into my brain. Her new album ‘Not The Girl’ is out in April, so I’ll definitely keep an ear out for that.

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Five Ways To Celebrate Irish Culture in 2021

Another St. Patrick’s Day has rolled around and many parts of the world celebrate Irish culture and heritage by painting things green. While this can actually be nicer than a curmudgeon like me might admit, I’d like to suggest some alternatives that reflect the Ireland of the 21st century. All are lockdown friendly and better for your health (physical and mental) than drinking shite green beer.

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The Machine Podcast – Walton Institute

Last week, we published an episode of The Machine podcast all about The Walton Institute, which is the new name for the TSSG research group in WIT. I’m proud o say that once upon a time, I worked with these folks (and completed an MSc by Research there). I’ve tried to keep up with their activities, though it’s become increasingly difficult as the years go by – mostly because the group has grown so much.

The TSSG originally had a telecommunications and networks focus, which was the area I largely worked in. However, over the years they’ve broadened to include all aspects of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and more importantly, lead some ground breaking cross-disciplinary research.

The Walton Institute isn’t just a renaming – it reflects the change in ICT research over the past 20 years and how the folks are looking towards a wider future. I’m very enthusiastic about this. I get a kick out of seeing how computing technology can be applied to other areas in a positive fashion. Are the results always for the better? No! However, I firmly believe that when people actually think about problems, we can come up with innovative solutions. What can I say, I’m an optimist.

Anyway, I enjoyed the chat with co-directors Sasitharan Balasubramaniam and Kevin Doolin who’s enthusiasm is infectious – for research and the opportunities for the South East.

This week, I’m recording an episode with some TSSG/Walton staff members about Virtual Reality and Augment Reality, so that’ll be proper geeky.

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