Chris Hannah

Personalised radio station #

I was browsing Hacker News just now, and I came across an interesting question asked by user l2silver:

[What is the] most interesting tech you built for just yourself? - Hacker News

It's an interesting question, and I'm sure a lot of tech people could some up with something interesting. But probably none as delightful as this answer from sriram_malhar:

My MIL is 93, and the only tech she can really deal with is turning on the radio and TV and changing channels.

She is fond of music from old classics (from the 60's and earlier), so I hooked up a Raspberry PI with an FM transmitter and created her own private radio station. She tells me what songs she likes and I create different playlists that get broadcast on her station. It preserves the surprise element of radio, and there is nothing in there she doesn't like.

The tiny FM transmitter is surprisingly powerful. Her neighbours (of similar vintage) are very happy too, so their requests have also started coming in :)

Now, that's personal tech. My favourite part of it is that it still preserves the feeling and spontaneity of listening to radio. Perfect solution, and requires no extra learning at all!