Since October 2005, Lab Rats has regularly produced its instructional videos on a weekly basis, with much fanfare from techie fans and techie sponsors. Hosts Andy Walker and Sean Carruthers are both technology journalists that came to the show with a fine pedigree of related experience. Besides writing for almost every publication, from the New York Times to a Chilean in-flight airline magazine, Walker began the popular Cyberwalker tech site, started Dig_iT magazine with PC World founder David Bunnell, and he also wrote a book called Absolute Beginners Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware, and Viruses. Carruthers has been in the tech journalism business since 1997 and can currently be found on Call For Help as a behind-the-scenes researcher and the on-air tech monkey Gadget Guy.
The site began as a video how-to guide to technology which most people already own, with episodes explaining how to maximize the Windows start-up function and how to set up security functions for wireless networks. Within a few short months it had progressed into new technology discussions and previews, as major convention invitations and corporate sponsorships knocked on the Lab Rats’ door. It still retains its initial mission statement with episodes about understanding your registry and instructional vids on how to clean your computer, but it has vastly diversified since its early days. The high quality episodes last anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, with minimal banter. They’re often shot in one take, mostly near a brightly-lit countertop with the discussed technology on display. Although Carruthers provides some light entertainment to offset Walker’s straightforward style, it’s a very dry show – which can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on what you prefer as a viewer.
These are qualified professionals who know what they are talking about. If you’re curious, every episode is worth watching, no matter how much you think you might know or how simplistic that week’s topic may seem. Even the episode on how to buy a Mac was informative.