dys4iK‘s Lilac (256k VBR mp3, 1:21:32, ~120MB)

_Set List_

Stama & Nick Proteus – People and Places from the Past (Original Mix)
Soul Tan and Tone Depth feat. Heroic – Back to You (Original Mix)
West London Deep – Inside my Head
Piece Process – Synthsations (Luke Fair Remix)
Piece Process – New Driver
Distance – Vertigo (HedStatic Remix)
Chus & Cebalos vs Tedd Patterson – In Stereo (Mucho Dub Mix)
The Funky Badgers – Funky Tramp (TFB Original Mix)
Smokin’ Jo & Washington present The Black Europeans – State of Mind (D-formation Remix)
Chris Cargo – Saddle Funk (Graeme L. Remix)
Mateo Murphy – Contact
Christian Varela – Carlos Duran (Christian Varela Remix)
Mateo Murphy – Meltdown
Ant – The Tempest
Kristoff – Digital Degenerate (Original Mix)

Engineered by Wohali. Produced by Psykotic Productions.

[EDIT: Link changed to one with unlimited bandwidth.]

more detail

OK, I’m still being somewhat hyperbolic. I just think that “everything digital” is just as stupid as “everything analogue.” All of these technologies have their place. I am unconvinced that digital is always better than analogue, nor do I feel that digital technology is as tangible of a concept to intuit as analogue technology. I posit, though I have not yet really tried to prove, that as the world itself is approached mostly analogue by the human brain, that an analogue means of interaction makes more sense. This is regardless of the fact that, at some low level, reality is quantized. That said, we still have a wave function that makes sense, and interpretation of that falls back on some generally accepted macroscopic principles that are easily grasped without the use of math. Digital, beyond a few bits, becomes exceedingly complex to explain in plain language.

Bah, this argument is still really ill-formed and not well thought out. Maybe I shouldn’t post when I’m sleepy.

analog everything

Curse the digital world. Curse it all to hell.

I was re-researching SCA broadcasts, and finally read up on all of this IBOC HD Radio digital broadcast stuff. And I read back on an older Motorola technology called Symphony. It really looked like Motorola’s effort was all we needed. Digital-quality broadcasts in analog, with multipath resolved and dynamics concerns virtually eradicated. Symphony looked like the way to go. But digital broadcasts are winning out anyway, and I can’t figure out why.

And yet all we end up with is digital everything, presumably because people like zeros and ones better. And, they prefer telling you whether you’re allowed to make a copy of a specific sequence of zeroes and ones or not. Grrr. There’s so many interesting things that can be done with analogue signals in general. And our technology has clearly caught up without having to redo everything as digital. The days of just rigging up a simple AM radio out of parts you have lying around your basement are going fast…

I’m angry again. There is a better way, I’m sure of it. We can fix this. Even if I have to have classes and classes of Grade 3 kids building AM transmitters and receivers, just to prove it can be done.


Last week I started work towards my second Masters degree, this time in Education at University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). I am not surprised, though I’m still dismayed, at how little representation there is of math and science curricula in the student population, and even more so at the general lack of competency in basic information system skills amongst today’s teachers.

But, then again, perhaps my happiness about my own ability to stay abreast of information is all for nought. If I’m to believe this report, reading email can lower your IQ worse than smoking cannabis regularly.

The Register’s article also linked to another article, this one focused on how computers are lowering the intelligence level of our children, primarily because they can be so gosh darn fun and distracting. The article makes a point I’ve been making for years and years now:

“The pervasive use of advanced technologies and their low cost have reduced hands-on experiences for children, including the simple but overwhelmingly rewarding experience of taking things apart and putting them back together. Without this, technology becomes a mystery, leading to a perspective that might well be called ‘magic consciousness’,” observe the Alliance for Childhood authors.

We have been able to produce simple enough computing systems that can be disassembled and understood by children since the 1970s; we have easily been at the point of making these affordable to all but the poorest of social strata since the 1990s. And, yet, all we can do as business owners is keep pushing the absolute latest and greatest technologies, completely unqualified, into schools at exorbitant cost – only to have those very same machines resold back to the public years later, for a fraction of the original value. The complaint? The machines turned out to be a major waste of effort, because no one knew exactly how to use them.

At the middle school where I volunteered recently, every classroom had an original iMac (in the fruity colours), and yet they mostly went unused – and I know the Toronto District School Board worked hard to try and make good software available on each of them. Heck, I could make use of an Apple ][+ in every classroom to enrich, but perhaps it’s unfair – I could program them to do what I want. Macs with System 8.5 or 9 can do incredible things; my high school made a point of teaching everyone HyperCard, and instructing folks in doing various presentations with this technology. Logo was another popular computing attempt, one that seems to have lost a lot of momentum after the TI-99/4A dropped off the market (it had a fantastic Logo + sprites implementation).

I’m gonna stop here before I get too frustrated to be coherent.

goodbye neon

From Hobart: The Dodge Neon is being phased out.

17:42 <@Hobart> "hi"
17:42 <@Hobart> I guess if it launched 10 years later, the Neon would drive up 
to the screen and say    a/s/l ?
17:44 <@Hobart> hm, coworker suggested "OMG"

I think it’d say LOLLERZ. What do you think it’d say?

interdicting your money

The Interdictor/nola-intel project has officially ended, amidst controversy and confusion. So the direcNIC folks were more than they let on — big deal. It doesn’t make their photos or information any less relevant. If you really must read the gossip, go here , but be warned: there’s libel here, and I want no part of it. None of us are saints.

That said, there were *interesting* things on the radio scanners that the media wasn’t covering, and that we had word of **first** on the ‘net. So to those of you who called it “Team Geeky” and don’t think it was worth anything — I recommend you check over the logs (there are more, email if you want links) and see the interesting facts that slipped through the cracks on CNN and FOX. Like the early report about the NOPD shooting Army Corps of Engineers contractors trying to repair the Danziger bridge. Or early reports of rapes in progress at the Astrodome, the Convention Centre or the Superdome. We wanted to help, all we had was a scanner, IRC and a crapload of bandwidth. A lot of good can be done.

Finally, while this is a “PG” or “PG-13” rated website, I personally feel there is nothing wrong with a little pr0n or swearing now and again for adults. And, don’t forget, IRC is not for kiddies. We swear, we cuss, and we paste absolutely crude links that would make a sailor blush. Be above 13 years old at a minimum, regardless of the network, before you sign on. And get your parents’ permission, please. There’s a lot of evil people out there, so you best beware.

gravatars and markdown

All of you LJ folks, I highly recommend getting your Gravatar. These Globally Recognized Avatars can be used anywhere, anytime, on just about any blog or BBS site…except, not yet on LiveJournal. :)

If you have a Gravatar, and use your registered address when you post on An Atypical Life, your 80×80 Gravatar will appear next to your comment, with a link to your LJ or other website. Alternately, you can use the text:


to insert your gravatar directly into the post.

I’ve also activated Markdown for this site, for easier formatting wiki-style. There’s some syntax hints if you need ’em, but Markdown is amazingly intuitive.

pic heaven

While in Tokyo, I shopped at the world famous Akizuki Denshi, a small electronics shop that sells, amongst other things, fabulous kits. On the chart for this weekend: a PIC chip programmer (photo of my kit, assembled, including the 4.0 upgrade) that I’ve been needing for a while, and a JJY clock receiver (Peter Evans’ assembly, photos and translation). There’s one modification to the kit I made: rather than directly choose the polarity of the DC jack via hard-wiring the jumpers on the lower left, I used a bit of a pin header I had left over from the JJY clock receiver kit and some leftover 2-pin jumper blocks from my PC. (It’s unfortunate they didn’t do what Tristate did with their JJY receiver, where a rectifier is used to accept either polarity of DC voltage input. Ah well, it keeps the component count and cost down, I guess.)

Now, I’d wanted the JJY clock receiver to run off of WWVB, the similar station broadcasting out of Colorado, and to set up an NTP stratum 1 server for my house. So I bought a 60kHz ferrite antenna and 2 60kHz crystals to run the thing. I built it up yesterday, and powered it up, only to realize that the signals have some differences in both their encoding and their bit patterns.

So, sooner than I’d been expecting, I built up the PIC programmer so I can reprogram the JJY clock receiver to understand WWVB. Rewriting the code will be my project for this week; it’s reasonably straightforward, but this is my first taste of PIC code. At a glance it looks very 6800-esque, with some reminiscence of 6502 (naturally). I think I’ll enjoy PIC assembly. ^_^

I’ll post a photo of the JJY … er, WWVB receiver once it’s working.