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Mouth Silence [03 Aug 2014|05:41pm]
(revised August 8th, 2014)

Just felt like I needed to catalog all of the eggs I've found/heard about with Neil Cicierga's awesome remix album, "Mouth Silence".

1. The album cover shows Neil giving the "silence" gesture

His fingers are in the shape of an "L"

2. The Comments field of the MP3 files' ID3 information spells out a message when the tracks are arranged in a certain order.

2a. Sort the tracks in alphabetical order by song name
2b. Comments spell out "SO MUCH 2 DO SO MUCH 2 SEE" (spaces added for clarity)

3. Track 9, "Transmission" contains a series of numbers, which when decoded also refer to something Smash Mouth related.

3a. When arranged in pairs, rather than the groups they're in, you get: (they're slightly grouped in pairs in the recording)
    83 77 65 83 72 - 77 79 85 84 72
If you treat these as decimal values of ASCII text, you can decode this to:

4. Track 19, "Piss" contains morse code for "Some body once told me" https://twitter.com/Wrathematician/status/492127519898730497
5. There are hidden audible messages in certain key points in the mix, which are disguised as ominous rumbling noises.

Speed up the recoding by 1600x (approximate) to hear these, quietly in the mix.
In the tracks:
5a. 1. "Goodbye" "Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me, I ain't the sharpest tool in the shed" (into 2.)
5b. 9. "Transmission" (whistling) (into 10.)
5c. 10 (end) "Love Psych" (into 11) (Hey now, you're an all-star)
5d. 16 (end) "Numbers" (into 17) (All that gitters is gold)
5e. 18 (end) "..All use a little change" (into 19)
5f. 19 (end) "..the mold"
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meds [17 Dec 2013|04:49am]
Changes i've noticed since I've been on medication. (including some from the previous post)

  • my head is quieter... i don't get distracted as easily

  • i have better attention to read longer things without randomly thinking about other things

  • similarly, i can 'think' a song from beginning to end. Previously, i'd be thinking the words/melody, but my brain woud constantly race ahead of itself and i'd skip around... or i'd forget i was thinking the song, and think about something else

  • when i sit in my chair at work, i sit with better posture

  • I'm more awake in the mornings and night on less coffee

  • things that used to give me anxiety/stress do so less. I can almost shrug them off. of course when that was a primary motivator to get things done, suddenly that motivation is gone.

  • when i look at text, i see the letters more literally and less symbolically (I can't read upside-down well anymore)

  • when i "zone out" which doesn't happen often, instead of defocusing on something far away, it get sharper

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meds [15 Dec 2013|04:15am]
As of a couple months ago, I've been on Wellbutrin. This has helped quiet some of the noise in my head, and has made things a bit clearer.

For example, literally clearer are trees and things in the distance, because instead of my eyes defocusing and glazing, they pinpoint in on something "out there."

The one I find the most interesting, took me some time to realize what was going on. I tend to process images as what they literally/actually are, rather than what they represent. For example, trying to read upside-down. Before, the text looked fuzzy, and I could kind of flip the characters over in my mind, and read upside down quite well. Now, the letters come in sharp, and they just look like upside-down letters. It's significantly more difficult to read upside down.

On the other hand, my mind doesn't wander when I read something long. In the past, a couple of pages in to *anything*, and I'll be thinking of something else with my eyes still moving. Now, i can get through lots of text without a problem. And if my mind wanders, I realize it immediately and am able to go right back in. When I used to read stories to Jasper at night, I'd constantly be stumbling over words to speak what I was reading, whereas now, I can read through books outloud quickly without any stumbling at all.

So, trade off better right-side up reading for no upside-down reading ability? That's a deal I'm happy to take.
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jlj client [03 Nov 2013|01:43am]
weird. my livejournal client 'jlj' (last updated january 2006) doesn't seem to be logging in, even though it has the correct user/password combination. I wonder if something changed on the server.. i don't even know where to look for that anymore.. hrm
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Focus with a short depth of field [03 Nov 2013|01:59am]
Today, at BarCamp Rochester I was taking a lot of pictures using the Nikon D70 with the 35mm f/1.8 lens. (fast, with a small depth of field.) When shooting with this lens, I leave the aperture at f/1.8, because if I wanted to lose that look, I'd just take pictures with my iPhone. (35mm * 1.52 = 53.2mm effective field of view)

But I've realized something when looking through the pictures today...

I do have it set to lock the metering when I hold the AE-L button on the back, so that I can pick a point to meter on... I also have it set for AF-S, that is, it takes the focus reading once when you half-click down the shutter, so that I can focus for a point, then compose the shot.

But that's the problem. For many of these, I picked a focus point in the middle, depth-wise, of the shot, without really thinking about where the focus would be with regard to composition, or the subject of the photo. Being that two people standing side by side can have one in focus and the other not, this is something very important to consider when composing and focusing for a shot.

The lack of consideration of this on a bunch of the shots make them a bit distracting/confusing to look at.

I'm really glad that I've shot a few hundred shots with the camera since I got it a few weeks back, because I think I'm mostly at the point now where if I think about something I want the camera to do, that I know it can do... that I can make it happen. I also am starting to get the muscle memory to know where the switches, knobs and buttons are on the thing. I'm really starting to feel comfortable with it... and the 35mm prime lens on it makes it nice and light, to boot!

As a sidenote, I'm starting to post pictures that I really like, that I've taken with this lens to this Tumblr blog (53point2mm).
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Meds [20 Sep 2013|03:45pm]

So, I'm on drugs now. Well, medication for ADD-PI, Wellbutrin... but technically, it is a drug. Here are some changes I've noticed in myself. It's likely that they all are real changes, and not placebo effects... although to be honest, I don't really care which it is. It's working for me.


  • focus in meetings - i end up focusing on the person talking, sharply
  • instead of zoning out and defocusing my eyes, i end up sharply focused on something.
  • I can get up out of bed much quicker in the morning
  • I know that i have all of these responsibilities, but instead of being worried about them, i just know they're there... they're not heavy on my shoulders anymore.
  • I generally feel more upbeat, and less "ugh"
  • emails i write happen much quicker, and are much wordier than before, like i want to say more and i get it out.


  • fingers and feet are a very little bit tingly sometimes
  • stomach is a very little bit queasy at times

I'm sure there's more, but i can't think of it right now.

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Me and Portable Recording [23 Apr 2013|05:19pm]

Ever since I was a kid, I loved making audio recordings.

I remember borrowing a cassette recorder from my 3rd grade class (I think it was 3rd grade) and walking around my neighborhood with a microphone, recording various things. I may still have tapes of this somewhere. I should find and capture those tapes...

My dad got a small portable Panasonic? Sanyo? recorder at some point, which I used for a while, and I picked up hand-me-down cassette recorders along the way as well. I had recorded thunderstorms at home, or while camping, as well as "shows" of whatever. I had recorded fake commercials with my across-the-street neighbor, Brian, as well as various other things with him. I of course used the cassette recorders to load and save programs from my Texas Instruments as well.

Back then I knew that I liked doing this stuff, and had always wanted an Olympus Pearlcorder microcassette recorder. There was something about them, so small, that I really liked. In high school, I did eventually get a Radio Shack microcassette recorder, and I had transferred some Monty Python recordings onto a long-play tape, and some Morrissey onto the other side of the tape. It sounded horrible, but it was mine.

For a while, I had a "portable" Sony reel-to-reel deck which I loved the sound quality on. I recorded a show with my friend Dan, which I had eventually thought I would convert to CD when I heard about the fancy new Tandy CD Recorder that was out on the horizon.

I made, and then eventually bought a better recording interface for my Amiga, but somehow never made the connection that I could record live-audio with it. I wish I had.

Later in college, I picked up a Sony stereo recording walkman. That came with a small stereo lapel mic, and I had recorded a few things with that, including the "Loews Jingle" ("thank you for coming to Loews! Sit back and relax... ENJOY THE SHOW!") as well as a few movies I went to, including Mallrats, because why not. I had considered at this time to buy a Sony portable DAT recorder, but thankfully I decided not to get it.

At one point, I borrowed a minidisc recorder from Boba, which I recorded some conversations with friends about software/game design, as well as on another camping trip. There were issues with that one though, in that even though it recorded digital, I couldn't get the files off of the deck digitally. It was frustrating. I eventually analog-recorded the output from it and saved that as MP3s.

When the iPod revolution came, I eventually got a Belkin Tune Talk microphone device from my friends at Belkin, which was good, but I still didn't do much self-recording. I did build a "bootleg-mic" for my iPhone that has a lessened gain on it to record live concerts and such.

It wasn't until recently that my love of portable recording was once again rekindled when I found in the recycle pile at work, a Sony ICD-PX820 digital voice recorder. I love this thing. It's tiny (about half the width of my iPhone), records excellent quality (up to 192k mp3), has a mic input which I'm still exploring, can play back mp3 files as well... I've put some music I like onto it as a "just in case' kind of thing. It's also excellent in that it keeps time, so i alwayus know when something was recorded. It can split recordings, etc. And like typical Sony design, all of the controls feel different, so it's easy to use without light. I just love this little thing.

I'm considering using it to do a short (2 minute?) podcast, or at least to do personal recordings once a day to help clear my head. I've already used it a few times in the car to capture notes while i was driving.

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Amiga Restoration and Presentation [28 Mar 2013|06:08pm]

The plan...

Since this is more substantial than a Twitter or Facebook thing, but not really a completed "project" for my GeodesicSphere blog thing, I thought I'd just post this here.

The effort started out as something fun to do for Barcamp in a month. The crazy idea was:

  • An old video camera hooked up to the video input on my Amiga 1300 Genlock, plugged into my Amiga 1000 computer
  • The Amiga 1000 would be running Deluxe Paint, or something similar
  • People would draw over live imagery
  • The output of the genlock is hooked to the video input of my Canon Optura Xi
  • The Xi can save screengrabs of the video to jpegs on its SD card
  • EyeFi SD card is installed in the Xi
  • EyeFi software drops the new images into a folder in my dropbox
  • IFTTT script looks for new images, and posts them to Tumblr.

Live screengrabs of people being silly posted to tumblr, using technology that spans back to 1985.

The main problem starting out is that my Amiga 1000 keyboards were lost in the basement... I hadn't seen them since before we moved. I did eventually find them, along with my Amiga 500, Weller soldering iron, and a few other bits that I hadn't seen since 2008.

The other main issue was that I didn't want to leave my original hard drive sitting there on the barcamp table. I wanted to dupe it, and simplify the setup a bit.


At the same time I decided that my Barcamp presentations would be authored using Deluxe Paint and Deluxe Video probably. I loved the old look of them. Since I found the A500 (and a day later, its power supply), my plan is that I will make a self-booting playback diskette contaning the presentations. I walk up to the podium, plug in my Amiga, get its video output going to the projector (in this case, i'll use an A520 or SuperGen for color video output). Then the presentation will start, and i'm displaying 320x200 to the big screen. Hilarity ensues.

It's still unclear whether the podium has a valid composite video input, so I will also do screencaps through the Xi, or capture a video of the slides and use that to present with, playing it back on my iphone or something. Either way, this shouldn't be a problem.

Genlock Machine..

I got a couple of blank SCSI drives (100-400meg) from my officemate, and the plan was to format one, copy everything from my 100 and 150 to it, and use that.

So I plugged in one of the new SCSI drives, replacing DH1: on my Amiga's Dataflyer 1000 SCSI chain. It found it, formatted it, then proceeded to quickformat over DH0:'s bootblock, wiping that drive clean, losing everything on it.

After some net scouring and questioning at Amiga.org, I found that the tool I need to use is Dave Haynie's "Disk Salv". I want to use the latest version, so that means I need OS 2.0. My A1000 can't easily boot to 2.0 -- i need software-based ROM tools which I cannot find (or they're on that hard drive). I can use the A500 but it has a 1.3 chip in it. I have an A2000, with 2.0, but the machine is VERY flaky right now. I don't trust it to repair a hard drive. The A2000 also is missing a keyboard. I was all set to make an A1000 - A2000 keyboard adapter, but then I decided to go a different route.

The A500 was missing its Denise video chip, so I popped the Denise out of the A2000, as well as its ROM. Booted it up, red screen. (Rom issue) I soldered on the standard Amiga 500 ROM jumper from pin 1 to pin 31 (the A500 is wired correctly for 256k roms, but not 512k roms). Now, it booted up perfectly.

Data transfer

Next I needed to figure out how to get software onto it. THere were a few ways it could be done, in my arsenal.

  • Serial network + Amiga Explorer (Cloanto) - I can't find my Cloanto discs, so this was out as an option.
  • Serial network + ZolaTransAmiga (free) - the first thing I tried
  • PC 720 Low Density Floppy

For the serial network, i found my old 9-25 adapter, and rewired it to be correct. It seemed to work on the A500, but i wanted to use it on the A1000. I built a DB25M-M gender changer so I could do this. (only to find a storebought one the next day.) I was able to get the receive software over, but it wouldn't work with the serial port properly. After a lot of futzing on the A1000 and A500 in 1.3 and 2.0, i gave up on this option.

Next was the super low tech 720k floppy. I borrowed a USB floppy drive to format some old DSDD floppies, and use them to transfer stuff from my Mac to the Amiga. After a few hours of failed formatting, I learned that USB floppy drives don't support non-HD (1.4meg) disks. Amiga has low density drives. This means that I need to use an older windows machine that has support for floppies. I dug out my old Toshiba Libretto, popped in a floppy, formatted it 720k, and it's finally good to go! The only problem is that the Libretto uses the PCMCIA port for its floppy drive... which is where the network interface plugs in, so this can't work for the long run.

I may need to dig out my old Thinkpad, drop in its floppy, perhaps reinstall Win95, and use that. Or perhaps dig out my old Windows desktop PC, and use that since it has network and floppy.

Once i have that, i can use floppies as a conduit to get ADFs of presentations over to the A1000 to be burned to disks, and more importantly, to get DiskSalv over onto a floppy to fix the A1000.

The next step then is to restore that drive, reformat the new drive, with it as the only one in the system, and then restart with all disks, copying over everything to the new drive, and then refreshing it back to the original disk.


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