Archive for September, 2006


Thursday, September 28th, 2006

To those of you who followed the much earlier thread on AES <-> SPDIF conversion, the matching transformers suggested (provided by markertek video) worked beautifully. No more clicks, no more pops, no more Sheer tears out his hair, just sweet audio, digital all the way through.

It’s amazing how much better it sounds, actually. It doesn’t seem like it should make that big a difference, but I guess when you have many sound modules going to one summing bus, all the noise from all of them kind of adds up. Also, I think the A/D in the Behringer mixer might be better than the A/D in the E-Mu modules. Ultimately, of course, I want to go digital all the way to the recording interface – and there’s no reason to think that I won’t be able to. The only problem is that for some reason the Panasonic and the Behringer boards don’t seem to be able to stay in sync. I might try a word clock cable or I might try feeding the Panasonic via ADAT instead of analog.

The problem with this kind of thing is that it can turn into a obsession. First, I just wanted to hand off my racks as optical so that I had less things to connect. Then, I started wanting to keep things digital throughout the racks. Now, I’m thinking of buying different versions of sound modules (the Command Station version of the XL-7, for example) in order to get SP/DIF outputs. I’m trying to figure out where I could find a upgrade card for my Emu 6400 to give it SPDIF or AES outputs.

All this in the middle of moving.

Sick sick puppy I am.

broadband in SoCal

Monday, September 25th, 2006

So, I now have broadband in SoCal. There’s one linux server there right now – not actually running anything yet, but at least it can be ssh’d into.

I’m very tired – cable guy came @ 9a..


Thursday, September 21st, 2006

If anyone cares, I’m now past my previous all time high on the day counter. Woo hoo etc.


Thursday, September 21st, 2006

This article is in reaction to Their guestbook was broken (I guess diety(s)-of-your-choice (henceforth referred to as DOYC) aren’t completely on their side) and I had written this whole big thing in it that I didn’t want to lose forever, so I’m putting it here. Please don’t feel that you have to read all, or even any of it.

I am assuming for the moment that this web site exists as a troll. As such, it’s a interesting beast, and some of the posts in this guestbook do appear to be worth reading.

For whatever it’s worth, here’s my stance on abortion.

Abortion is immoral if and only if a sentient/self-aware life form is being killed.

This brings up the question: When does a life form become self-aware? Obviously, we feel that things such as cows are not self-aware, at least not very, or we would feel a bit more remorse over killing and eating them. But yet, we’re very clear on humans being self-aware.

Heinlien believed – and stated in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress – that there’s a critical mass involved. Get a brain to a certain size, and self-awareness will just happen.

Others believe that our brains are merely radio receivers, and our bodies are merely shells – that we exist in some way immortal or outside the time domain of this universe.

I don’t know which I believe. Both sound plausable. However, if there is a omnipotent God, surely said being can move the soul thread / link from one body to another, probably with a trivial amount of work. So abortion doesn’t in fact kill a baby, it just closes a door. It’s also very, very unlikely that a baby that is less than four months old has enough of a brain for the soul-link to work IMHO.

If we are entirely contained in our bodies (which doesn’t neccesarily make us mortal, but getting into why that might be would take several pages) then a abortion becomes murder when the child becomes self-aware. This probably occurs somewhere around the second trimester. I know that abortion activists are always on about how the babies have a heartbeat from a few weeks in – but your computer can have a spinning system clock and still be unable to do anything but show you the bios screen – and a person can have their brain rendered useless and still have a heartbeat – people in comas sometimes never wake up, and yet their heart beats on even though they have gone from this world.

In addition, a child is a parasite until it is born. I think it is immoral to coerce women to support a parasite if they choose not to – although it’s not clear whether this or killing a self-aware lifeform is a greater wrong. I tend to lean on the side of no-abortions-after-life-is-self-aware.

However, I think that if the abortion activists really want to end abortion, what they should do instead of blowing up abortion clinics (which could easily kill a self-aware life form and therefore is about as bright as fighting to end war – but then, I suspect some of these people of not being the brightest bulbs on the string) is work on or support technological advances to make it possible to remove a very young (<3months) fetus from a female intact and raise it in a incubator. This way, abortions don't have to happen and the mothers don't have to be host to a baby they'd rather not be host to and there's still the possibility of the mother changing her mind and raising the child which, given some of the people I've talked to about their abortions, sometimes might be very emotionally helpful to the mothers much in the same way that the religious anti-abortion ads, sites, and clinics are very much not. I hope that if I've offended anyone, I've also managed to make them think at least a little bit.

It’s official

Sunday, September 17th, 2006

We got the house. My new address is 27262 Principe, Mission Viejo, CA 92692. We will be moving in on Oct 15th (plus or minus six weeks ;-)).

I’ve ordered data (1.5 megabit symetrical with 8 static), phone (2 lines with one busy-rolling to the other – I’ve decided to do my own voicemail using Linux rather than continue to pay the phone company to do VM for me – this lets me do a lot of neat things, and gets rid of their annoying quota. I’m planning on using one of the linux boxen – probably qm, since it will have the requisite two unused PCI slots – or possibly gateway, though I’m thinking of turning it into a windowze video editing workstation (it has a uberfast disk array on it which could be made even uberfaster by putting in tiny 10k RPM drives, and with QM and Chloe I think I have my linux needs met – although I may need to keep a redhat system around to run d3 on… )

Blah blah blah. The life of a geek.


Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

I’m really not too smart sometimes.. is the last session of MC with Joe. I apologize for the confusion.

MC show & Save The INternet

Monday, September 11th, 2006

One of our recent shows – the last ever with Joe – is here. It’s pretty good IMHO, though it starts out a little slow.

I’m not sure how I feel about this. On one hand, it’s a little scary to think of the broadband providers ganging up in a pack to perform acts of censorship and tax each individual packet. On the other hand, if they do that, we’ll just build a new internet without them, using all kinds of tricky amatuar techniques that will annoy the *#*% out of the censors, as well as make it much, much harder for the government to track our activities. I’m kind of suprised we haven’t already done this.

And, you might almost say that by definition, it’s the right of every network provider to choose what data they allow to travel through their networks – it’s just not very implimentable yet.

Primaility fun

Monday, September 11th, 2006

Okay, so I’m in the process of writing several tools to manipulate prime numbers (in between moving, doing my paying work, working on music, packing, and several other projects, so it’s mostly been slow going)

My goal: To find a equation that given prime P, will find the next prime Q, less expensively than having to factor. Yes, I know this is a fool’s errand. But I generally need a problem to give me a excuse to learn anything, and this is helping me learn about number theory.

(And yes, I do intend to return to my fusion research at a later date, and yes, I am still working on the car, and yes, I do understand that I have a problem with working on too many projects at once)

(To put it mildly)

Actually, here’s my current active projects list, in no particular order

0) Work
1) Two songs for my mother
2) Get back bass guitar ability
3) Pack
4) Move
5) Unpack
6) Prime number research
7) Battery pack exchange on car
8) BMS software R3

Another indicator that we live in a f***ed up world

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

The wikipedia has a operating budget of about $1.2 million a year – and they currently are reporting a $160k shortfall.

The corperation for public broadcasting is whining because they have had their budget cut from $400 million to $300 million.

Okay, I love PBS, but…

For blank’s sake.. $300 million dollars in government funding, plus all of the private and corperate funding.. and, if you all haven’t noticed, PBS basically runs ads just like any other broadcast system, they just call them ‘thanking our sponsers’.. well, okay, if you all want to kid yourselves like that..

The wikipedia! has! no! ads!. It offers information which may be biased or incorrect, but at least has a better chance of maybe bearing some resemblence to the truth than any other encyclopedia compiled to date. And they’ve got a budget shortfall, when their total budget is probably less than PBS spends on their fancy window offices.

Why can’t the U.s. government just kick a couple of million dollars over to the wikipedia people? Kind of, you know, eliminate any worry that they might not be able to keep the lights on next year?

Actually, it occurs to me that a mostly unbiased forum for collecting knowledge might be considered a bad thing by the current administration. Maybe even a very bad thing.

But I’m going to try and put on my optimism hat and hope everything comes out for the best.

In the meantime, I’m donating everything I would have put into politics this month into the wikipedia instead. Probably do more good there.

SQL database of primes

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

So, I’m generating a SQL database of the first million primes as part of one of those random side tangents that I go off on occasionally. So far I’m up to half a million, and I’ve made several optimizations. I don’t know that my primefinder is actually valid, so I’m including it for you all to critique:


# version: 0.06
$debug = 1;

use DBI;
use Time::Local;

$dbh = DBI->connect(“dbi:mysql:db=primes”,undef,undef) || die “Failed to connect to database”;

$SIG{INT} = \&shutdown;

# first, locate our current position

($current) = $dbh->selectrow_array(“SELECT loc FROM current_location”);

$counter = $current;

#$lastprime = 1;

($lastprime) = $dbh->selectrow_array(“SELECT MAX(prime_number) FROM primes”);

$counter = ($lastprime + 1) if($lastprime > $counter);

while(1) {

if(is_prime($counter)) {
$span = $counter – $lastprime;
$lastprime = $counter;
log_prime($counter, $span);
print “$counter ($span)\n” if($debug);

if(! ($counter % 1000)) {
$dbh->do(“UPDATE current_location SET loc = $counter, ts = now()”);



sub is_prime {

my $number = shift;

# could use much improvement

return 0 if ($number == 1);
return 0 if (($number != 2) && (($number % 2) == 0));

# $maxprime = (int($number / 2) + 1);
$maxprime = (int(sqrt($number)) + 1);

# test against all known primes thus far

$sth = $dbh->prepare(“SELECT prime_number FROM primes WHERE prime_number < $maxprime"); $sth->execute();

while(($pp) = $sth->fetchrow_array()) {
# return 0 if(($number != $pp) && (int($number / $pp)) == ($number / $pp));
return 0 if(($number != $pp) && (($number % $pp) == 0));


return 1;

sub log_prime {
my $number = shift;
my $span = shift;

$dbh->do(“INSERT INTO primes VALUES (NULL,$number,$span,now())”);

sub shutdown {

$dbh->do(“UPDATE current_location SET loc = $counter, ts = now()”);