Archive for August, 2011

Roots and Origins

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

my_father

This is my father, Captain Robert W. Kennedy. Yes, his first name is my middle name. The reason I worry about my lifespan is that he had a quadruple bypass when he was in his early 60s.

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air boss
My father served on the nuclear aircraft carrier Enterprise CVN-65. He was the Air Boss. If Tom Cruise had really been a naval carrier pilot like in Top Gun, my dad would have been the guy in the tower yelling at him on the radio. He had 20/15 vison, better than normal.

arch_of_swords

The Captain was married to my mother for 54 years. That’s called commitment. Here is one of their wedding photos showing the traditional “arch of swords” for the newliweds. He met her at a dance, cut in on a pimply Plebe, and never let go. They were married 8 months later after June Week of 1949 when he graduated and received those  ensign’s stripes on his shoulderboards.

hypercube

Here they are cutting the cake together. Yes, it was her day. He was a catch and a half, a handsome rascal with a bright future. I have her blue eyes; some of my other brothers look more like him I guess. We were dealt a very lucky hand from fate: good genes and good nurturing by a stable family environment.  Nature and nurture. No, not “good” racial genes. Let’s all grow up. Your computer doesn’t care what color case it comes in. A green car is not better than a blue car. Under the hood is what counts. There are good and bad genes in every gene pool; don’t you know that? For instance, I have a brother with Dupuytrens Contracture, named after Guillaume Dupuytren. It is a genetic condition found in a small percentage people of Scandinavian or Northen European ancestry (called the Viking disease) that cripples the hands by growing extra connective tissue under the skin of the palm and fingers. It makes it hard for him to type. He used to be a touch typist. Now I am faster than him with 2 fingers tapping. He has had two operations already. Me, I show no signs of it. Luck of the draw. No genome is perfect, ok? Let’s not get into genetic superiority bull. I have no time for that, and less patience. All I mean is we were descended from people who gave evidence of good genes by various means (good vision, memory, coordination, musical inclination, etc. That’s all I mean. My father was a crack shot, on the pistol team at the Academy.

If you want to get into differences in population average IQ, there is a new study out that suggests that the strongest factor in limiting the growth of human intelligence may be the presence of infectious diseases in the local area. It takes a lot of nutrients and energy to grow a human brain. Fighting infection drains the body’s resources, whether the body is a pregnant mother or a young child. Wow, what a surprise: in places where diseases ravage people and they spend a lot of metabolic resources trying to stay alive and fight infections, they don’t get to reach their full neural potential. Imagine that.  Me and my brothers were lucky to be born  in the U.S. where encephalitis, sleeping sickness, schistosomiasis, typhus, etc. are much less common than they are in some places. I weep to think of what happens to children born in other places, where they are still trying to build sanitation and water purification centers.

we happy few

Our loaded genetic dice were probably why my oldest brother got his PhD in computer science, specializing in machine learning. Another of us took Aerospace Engineering. With me it was always Physics of course. You know that by now.

My father logged out of the game in 2003. Always missed. I wish you could have known him. Patient. Strong. Gentle. Brilliant. Ten times the man I will ever be. It seemed that half the town showed up at his memorial service.  Imagine the funeral scene from Big Fish. He touched so many lives as a teacher (both NJROTC and math) a Scoutmaster, and a real stand-up guy. Practically a Norman Rockwell painting all by himself. He liked football and Beethoven and Spike Jones and folk music like the New Christy Minstrels and history books and canooing. He remembered fishing with his father and cutting the barbs off the fish hooks because they didn’t want to hurt the fish: catch and release.

enterprise
As far as I know, he never bombed or killed anyone; he didn’t even graduate until 1949, long after WWII was over. But let’s be fair. The Enterprise was involved in Vietnam, even though technically war was never declared. Even if he never personally logged anyone else out of the game, he was in charge of the takeoffs and landings of pilots who probably were doing it. I was so lucky to know him; not everyone knows their father.  He was born in 1926 just before the Great Depression; he’d be right at home in America these days!

In high school he rode a Indian motorcycle (I thought it was a Harley but I have been corrected).  and pumped gas part time. When WWII broke upon the world, he wanted to sign up for a new program that had enlisted pilots and he was in a hurry to do his share. His father told him: “Don’t be an idiot. After the war ends those guys will all be out of a job. Be an officer pilot.”

Wise words. So my father applied and was admitted to USNA at Annapolis Md. and graduated and became an officer and a gentleman. By the time he graduated in the Class of 1949 with a degree in Electrical Engineering (NOT electronic — transistors barely existed back then), the war was over. He stayed in for the long haul, rising up to Air Boss of the Enterprise, until they kicked him upstairs to the Pentagon.

My father’s IQ was once measured at 160. Fellow classmates described him as “smart, with flashes of genius.”  After he had been in the navy for a while they were afraid he was getting bored and asked him what he’d like to do.  He said something like, “How about some graduate school?” What the heck? Who ever heard of a pilot going back to grind the books again? Peering at fine print is rough on eyes, and my father was a pilot. But they sent him to Monterrey for postgraduate school and later, to MIT to do a Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering, and American University in DC.

I have dim memories of following him to AU to a wall of cubbyholes where stacks of Hollerith punch cards dropped off by students nestled wrapped in the printouts they had produced when they were run. Talk about getting in on the ground floor of computing! It was called batch processing.

He wrote code for the Whirlwind, a computer based on 5000 vacuum tubes that was built at MIT when the Navy (in WWII)  decided a computer could be used to run a flight simulator to train bomber crews. In other words, this is the simple truth: my father was around maybe the first computer planned to be used for Virtual Reality. I’m not making this up! It seems that programming is in my blood, as well as Physics. “I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band.” He and Lloyd Hoover used the Whirlwind I to do the intensive calculations needed to simulate the reactor physics they needed for their Master’s theses. The thesis was on using beryllium  shielding to reflect neutrons back in to the core, to make flux and thus power more uniform, allowing higher output without melting the inner core.

cover page

Here is the first page. I am in contact with Lloyd, who is still alive, and who has scanned part of his copy into a PDF file for me.

cover page
And here is the Abstract. You will see it is as I have described.

You can find the Whirlwind Computer at Wikipedia. According to them, “It is the first computer that operated in real time, used video displays for output, and the first that was not simply an electronic replacement of older mechanical systems. Its development led directly to the United States Air Force’s Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, and indirectly to almost all business computers and minicomputers in the 1960s.”    Quite a nice project, eh? Without all those minicomputers, do you suppose Jobs and Wozniak would have decided to build the Apple? Whirlwind was — and is – part of computing history.  And my dad got to be there, at MIT, and program on it.  In his quiet way, my dad touched history.

He was the kind of guy who would go into the kitchen and bring you a dish of ice cream or a root beer float without being asked, while you were watching TV. Like he could read minds.  No, he was just that kind of a guy. A man of few words, and every one of them well-chosen. And a handsome devil.

flowchart Lloyd and my father were sent to MIT as a result of plans to develop a nuclear-powered jet airplane. Would have run a long time without refueling, like the Enterprise, but I guess you can understand why I am glad they never built it; imagine all the radioactive contrails! You see, the idea was, suck in air, superheat it in the core of an on-board reactor, and let it spew out the back to get thrust. No gasoline needed, just uranium or plutonium.  Unfortunately the design contemplated was only subsonic and the buzz of the time was supersonic.

fishermenOn my father side I was decended from Irish-American engineers. On my mother’s side I was descended from artists and musicians. I grew up in a house that was like a little museum or art gallery, with my grandfather’s and my mother’s paintings hanging. We weren’t rich (you don’t get rich on a Navy salary) but we had riches: each other. He had 5 sons. We all played musical instruments except my father: piano, flute, guitar,violin. O0ps! *CORRECTION*. My mother reminded me that my father DID play the clarinet, like my Uncle Jim did. Hmm. I have no memories of it. I grew up listening to Beethoven (and the Spike Jones my dad liked).

sailboat
My grandfather on my mother’s side had to wear special shoes because he survived polio and had a club foot and a withered leg. It didn’t stop him from getting work during the depression. He used to go out and buy groceries for friends of his who were jobless. He had a photographic memory. He was afraid to read too much and fill his head up with too much information. He painted these pictures you see here, and many others.


crashing_wave

I have no complaints about my childhood. I was very lucky compared to some; we never starved, and after the Pentagon my father retired to Florida. But he didn’t stop working; he got a job as a NJROTC instructor in the local high school. No, that’s not exactly correct. What he actually did was, he flew down to Florida from Virginia where we were living, interviewed, was offered the job, accepted it, looked at a house, bought it, and then told us about it. My father had no trouble at all making fast decisions. A pilot who hesitates in the clutch is soon a dead pilot. I remember his irritation when he was pulled over for driving 56 MPH in Georgia, his first ticket. I think he could have handled our blue-and-white VW bus safely at any speed it could manage.

my cat

Okay, this is enough for now on this. I have to eat, buy cat food for my weird cat (does anyone have a normal cat?) and work on another article on gaming or something. Back soon. –MRK

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New Rules

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Fed UP

“I’ve one foot in the graveyard,

And the other on the bus.

And the passengers do trample

each other in the rush…”

Ian Anderson, living legend

All right spammers…GAME ON!

I didn’t want or need to do this but you have pushed me to it! I can learn anything when I really need to, so when you pushed me, I learned. From now on, NO comments will be published until I get a chance to vet them. And I REALLY didn’t want to have to make it that way! I’m only one guy. There’s no team of people I can delegate it to.  I literally do not have time to spend  suppressing all the noise when I could be putting up new content. For free. I haven’t made a dime on this website. I’d like to, but it’s not my primary focus. Money is no good to me if I don’t live to spend it.

So. Done.

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Painting a Pentahedroid

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Painting a pentahedroid with pencils and ping-pong balls.

The simplest regular 3D solid is the tetrahedron.

Have you ever seen a  bubble with sharp edges? Let’s make one.


I couldn’t sleep tonight, so I took apart an old tootsie roll I found lurking in a drawer and stripped the cotton off 6 swabs and stuck them into the pieces of the tootsie roll to make a tetrahedron. You don’t have to make a perfect tetrahedron for this to work.

Now find a container deep enough to dunk the tetrahedron like a donut. Put water in it and add some soap. Dunk the tetrahedron. If you do it right, you will be surprised to see the 3-space projection of a 4-D hyper-tetrahedron (a pentahedroid) appear as the soap film, moving through time, balances forces and achieves stability, anchored to the tetrahedron as a base.

(Can you guess what happens next if you touch the bottom of the swab tetrahedron to the surface of the soapy water one more time, and then lift it? No?  Why don’t you try it out? Hint: I don’t mean the bubble will pop.)

If you click the picture above to enlarge it, you can clearly see the edges of the soap film, straight and sharp, connecting the four corners of the swab tetrahedron to a point at the center of the artifact. The tetrahedral symmetry of the soapfilm recalls to mind the bonding symmetry of the Carbon atom. Cute, ain’t it?

It also happens to be part of why diamond is so strong. What we call diamond is just an allotrope of carbon, a giant polycarbonate molecule with each carbon atom, ideally, bonded to 4 other carbon atoms.

We used to think the only way you could make diamond was to either (a) be Superman’s best friend, so he could crush a chunk of coal into one for you, or (b) look for places where carbonaceous material got squeezed really hard, and probably at high temperature too.

Now, there are lots of ways to make diamond. It’s been done with high pressure (had to build a machine for that; superman was out of town that year), explosions, ultrasonic cavatation, and chemical vapor deposition. We can even “dope” diamond with impurities and make diamond transistors which can operate at higher temperatures. Fact is, synthetic diamond is used to make heat sinks to conduct heat away from high power transistors and semiconductor lasers; diamond makes an excellent material for this because it is a superb conductor of heat but does not conduct electricity in a pure undoped state.

Truly we live in an age of marvels. When I took my electronics classes as an undergraduate heat sinks were made of aluminum. Now we can afford to make them from diamond. All of diamond’s unique properties stem from that tetrahedral bond structure.

There is another important thing to remember about carbon. It is the element all life on earth is built around. Those bonding angles make possible a dazzling multiplicity of molecular configurations, which includes, among them, DNA.  Everything is connected. You can look at a pile of sticks and a bit of soap and uncover the basic symmetries of the molecules of life. We are surrounded by wonders. –MRK

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New Wizard101 page

Monday, August 29th, 2011

Rift I was inspired by a compliment from one of my readers named Matha Sabaj today, and I promised to get back to the Spiral and give some more advanced tips and advice for wizards who are beyond the simple go get ‘em style of combat that works fine at lower levels. For all I know now, you or your kids are routinely scragging the Kraken and ready to rumble in more advanced areas where the rough-and-tumble is harder to manage without a little more strategy.

Ok, here is the new Wizard101 page.

The new page is up on the right-hand navigation. I’ll be fixing it up with graphics after I get some sleep –MRK

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Hurricane Parties and Hypercubes

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

hyperspace

Well, Hurricane Irene has begun hammering the coast, but it slipped by me down here in Florida. I live way out in the boonies on the “Nature Coast” of Florida aka the Gulf Coast aka the West Coast. So far out on the edge that Irene didn’t even tickle us here.

It’s late now, nearly 2AM EST and I sit here, as usual, in front of the computer that is most of my life, reflecting on past and imaginary glories. There is a story I want to tell, something I wanted to tell long ago. It was a long time ago when I actually thought I had something important to tell the world, but without resources and mass media it was damned hard to get the word out. Now that the Internet is here I have a chance to reach more people. If you are a physicist like me, or a musician like me, or are interested in hyperspace like me, you might find it interesting. And yes, it is a true story, the story of U.S. Patent #4,231,446.

Once upon a time, two nobodys in backwoods Florida created the tesseract loudspeaker. How do I know this, since most don’t? That’s easy. I was one of those nobodys: my name is on the patent as the co-inventor.

hyperspace I had just returned to Florida after spending two years at the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland studying Engineering Physics.  My father was a career naval aviator who retired to Florida; he had five sons and three of us tried to follow in his footsteps. NUmber 1 (William) graduated from USNA and served on nuclear submarines. Number 4 (David) graduated from USNA and became a back-seater (radar intercept officer or “RIO”) in F-14 Tomcats.

I was the only one in the family to apply, receive a Presidential appointment, attend USNA and then NOT graduate. It was because I saw the handwriting on the wall: unlike my father, I wear glasses and would never have qualified for Aviation. Unlike my older brother, I wan’t making the grades to qualify for Nuclear Power school. I faced the fact that I was surviving the hazing but would never have a career like my father’s.


prank

So I resigned and left. Was it because I couldn’t take the pressure? No, I had already made it through the hardest year (Plebe year) and another year besides. But I just didn’t see myself sitting on a destroyer or cruiser for 20 years of boating. So I left. It should have been obvious where I was going: I had the university of Florida (Gainesville) send me a catalog of courses. I figured my future was in Physics, not Floating.

Enrolling in UF continuing my major in Physics, I ran into a friend from my home town who was there as a Business major (back then you had to be a Business major to take programming courses; the IT degrees did not exist). We resumed discussions we had begun years earlier, about things like Hypercubes (tesseracts), Moebius Strips, and Klein Bottles.

tesseractOne day I decided to construct a cardboard model of one of the projections of the 4-dimensional hypercube onto our 3-space. This surface is usually drawn by drawing a little cube centered inside a larger cube, with the corners connected. Well, drawings are nice, but I wanted to hold it; I wanted something tangible.

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inside-out tesseract modelI quickly saw that I could make six pyramids with their tops cut off (like the pyramids of Mexico and so on) into square faces; shove them together and the six square tops of the truncated pyramids would form the little cube inside the bigger cube. So I started cutting and taping pieces of posterboard.

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inside-out tesseract modelOnly I put it together inside out. While I was taping it I realized that there were two ways to put the pieces together. I already knew how the one way would look, so I taped them together the other way, taping the bases of the pyramids together so that the tops of the pyramids faced outwards in the up, down, left, right, forward, and backward directions.

When my friend saw it he was amazed; neither of us had seen anything like it before. He made some models himself, with complete pyramids, not chopped off at the top, so that it looked like a cube with pointy pyramids sticking out from each face (see above for the tiny wood model I am holding).

hypercube

While we were holding the cardboard models of these inside-out projected tesseract shapes and we noticed something; they seemed to be pretty resonant.  Hollow objects are like bells or organ pipes: they vibrate strongly at their natural resonant frequency determined by size, and much less at other frequencies. But these durn models seemed to be resonating to all of the frequencies. I told myself it was probably because the cardboard wasn’t thick enough. But it was weird: we could feel the music, all of it, when we held the hypercubes.

When he went home for the summer my friend showed the model to his father and suggested it might make a cool shape for a loudspeaker enclosure. His father, who had actually built loudspeakers as a hobby when he was younger, told my friend that the idea was ridiculous.

Tom

Never tell a genius he is full of baloney! Tom went straight to his room, pulled down a couple of his paintings, scraped the paint off them, cut up the masonite with a sabre saw, and created the world’s first tesseract loudspeaker enclosure. He fastened a little speaker to it and went to go show his dad a thing or two. When they turned it on, they were floored. The little 3-inch woofer was putting out more bass than it had any right to…and all the other frequencies too!  And there seemed to be less distortion! AND it was omnidirectional — putting music out in all directions. AND it had an amazing transient response — which MLSSA testing shows as an easily-seen difference in the “spectral decay” or “waterfall” plot of the regular vs. hypercube speakers.

At this time my brother James (2 of 5) and me (3 of 5) were experiencing the joys of a summer job as Graveyard Shift “Custodial Hosts” at Walt Disney World.  James got to polish the brass and I got to mop floors and wash monorail windows, knowing kiddie fingerprints would be all over them ten minutes after the park opened the next morning.

Tom could have kept his discovery for himself. He didn’t. He insisted that my name should be on the patent too, since he had gotten the idea from my inside-out hypercube model.  So we worked on the patent application together. Here is the first page. We decided to avoid a lot of hassles by referring to the geometry by its traditional name: the Rhombic Dodecahedron. There were a lot of ways to use the geometry; we needed a lot of expensive drawings to cover all of the feasible variations. Drawings1. Drawings2. Drawings3.

tesserax
Yes, we had dollar signs in our eyes. Wealth was just around the corner. All we had to do was get a manufacturer to license the design and pay us royalties, and we’d be on our way to wealth and security and fame.

Ever hear of the “Not Invented Here” syndrome? People who make their living doing something are rarely happy when something new comes up that makes previous designs obsolete — unless of course they invented it. We ran into this problem quite a bit over the years.

The problem was, Tom and I didn’t invent the field of Audio Engineering, and it had existed long enough, its experts concluded, to have learned all about how loudspeakers work. What we had discovered simply didn’t fit into the paradigm. Loudspeaker enclosures are considered a known science, with well-known problems and equally well-known products designed and engineered to overcome said problems. Maybe I would have agreed with the experts, except (a) I didn’t have any degree yet and (b) I have ears.

If we had had the resources to just swing into full production and show them up in the marketplace, history might have been different. But we didn’t, so we made the mistake of wasting a lot of time and family funds trying to convince the experts. So we began constructing, demonstrating, and testing prototype after prototype, being naiive enough to think that working models would be enough to show we were not crazy. No one argues with a working model, right?

hyperspace So we bought conventional loudspeakers and converted them. Sometimes we converted both the left and right units; sometimes we converted one and left the other in its original enclosure. We found we could do this with plywood, sheet metal, plastic…the shape didn’t care, as long as it was the right shape. (Geometry is powerful; a parabolic dish works just as well in tin or aluminum as it does made of solid gold.)

Along the way, we picked up bits of audio engineering to help us explain the differences, and worked on a mathematical theory to explain why the shape was such an improvement. You see, traditional woofers are dipole radiators — they shout “out” of the box but the back of the woofer shouts INTO the box. And that interior energy is the problem; if you confine it and try to muffle it with stuffing, you get a less efficient speaker (and distortion). If you cut a vent to make a “ported” loudspeaker, the “backwave” (which is 18o degrees out of phase with the “frontwave”) interferes with the frontwave at most frequencies, making a boomy box that performs unevenly, though it is more efficient than the sealed or “acoustic suspension” design because you arent throwing away half of the energy by keeping it inside the box.

The problem is, those were and still are the two main loudpseaker designs. A couple of rascals with PhDs in audio engineering called Thiele and Small codified it in their theory, which attempts to predict how loudspeakers behave based upon the “Thiele-Small Parameters” of a particular design, which you plug into an equation to predict the frequency response curve.

So when experts asked us what our Thiele-Small parameters were, we looked dumb. So what if our tesseract loudspeakers outperformed their conventional ones? At least THEY had a mathematical theory that other people believed. “You made our speaker omnidirectional? Nonsense!”

After we failed to interest anyone in using this fantastic technology, spending ourselves broke, I grew discouraged and enrolled in the University of Central Florda (Orlando) to finish my degree in Physics.  The patent was granted on 11/4/1980 and my B.S.Physics degree was awarded on 12/19/1981.

Thinking maybe it was just a matter of degrees, I applied and was accepted into physics grad school at Florida State University (Tallahassee — where the hanging chads fall where they may). At this point I was still ignored like a crackpot — but a crackpot who was in a doctoral program! Maybe when I was Dr. Kennedy they experts would at least listen to a demonstration….

Grad school was boring compared to what I already knew. And the math was, well intense.  I was trying to wrap my mind around elliptic integrals and Hermite polynomials, while I took quantum mechanics and classical (Lagrangian) mechanics. But I didn’t seem to be getting the traction I needed.  I moved north to Delaware, where I was a night adjunct at Wesley College teaching evening calculus-based physics classes. After that I moved to Maryland and got programming jobs, eventually doing ASP Web development for Sylvan, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Agile Access Control. I built more tesseract loudspeakers over the years, demonstrating their power and purity for Pier Six Pavilion in the inner Harbor in Baltimore and many others.

The patent expired in 1997;  it was a little humiliating that none of the major companies (even ones we had contacted about it) bothered to copy it. We couldn’t make money on it, couldn’t even get people to make it for free. It still works. The prototypes still work.

When I was laid off from my telecommuting job I struggled to make ends meet in the relatively expensive northen Virginia. Eventually I was broke, unable to sign a new lease, and moving back to Florida.

Sorry, that was a long story, I guess. But it’s a true story. Not the story of my life, because hopefully I will have a few more chapters before I shuffle off this mortal coil. But the story of the tesseract loudspeaker. The patent exists. The prototypes exist. We have independent tests to prove our design reduces distortion and flattens frequency response. But no one’s listening.

Heh. I bet you thought I’d be trying to sell you something by now. No. I need money, yes, like a lot of people. But this isn’t a landing page or a squeeze page; I’m just trying to share the information, still trying to get it into the ears of someone who can find more applications. I’ve got a few ideas there, but forgive me if I don’t disclose them all without more patents; I’m still ready to tilt at a few more windmills before I retire into even further obscurity.

hyperspace Okay, boo-hoo, I didn’t get rich. Waugh! So what? Life goes on. And there are always new contributions to make. Shapes that affect wave behaviour are amazingly important to technology: look at the Dish network and try to imagine it without parabolic reflectors. The inside-out projected tesseract has, I suspect, a lot more to do for us if we give it a chance. –MRK

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Questions and Answers

Friday, August 26th, 2011

 

questions

Still alive.  That’s not something I say casually after having a stent put in my circumflex artery three years ago.  My boss Ed Smith drove me to the hospital and quite possibly saved my life for a little longer; I was stubborn even when an invisible person sat on my chest.  Every day is another day past my warranty. Thank you for your comments and time; I thought I’d answer some frequently asked questions rather than reply to a dozen people with the same answer.

How am I feeling? Pretty good. I’ve been eating better, less, and exercising with 3-mile walks since I came back to Florida and I have dropped 50 pounds in the last year.  (Don’t make me post my older pics: the clothes no longer fit.) With any luck I might survive long enough to pass on a good deal more information before I log out of the game of life.


loudspeaker
How long have I been doing this? Well the website was set up way way back around 1997 to try to spread the word about tesseract loudpseakers. No, that’s not a misprint, although the title of U.S. Patent #4,231,446 is Resonating Chamber. The blog appeared much later, in 2009.

 

Platform. For those of you who are curious about my platform, it’s Wordpress hosted on a Linux box. It’s telling me to update to 3.2.1 but I’m not what you would call an “early adopter” of “improved” versions of software that’s already working for me. I still run Windows XP Professional on my working computer, and it works fine compared to what I’ve heard about Vista and Seven. The style I use is WordPress Default 1.6 by Michael Heilemann. I’m not really about fancy style…but I try to make up for it with content.

The hosting I use is at https://myhosting.com and the server is in Canada. My friend Adil Asik recommended them to me and I have never had a complaint. If you have a need for fast, secure problem-free hosting, I highly recommend them. Not the cheapest. But much better than the cheapest, so use them and save on tylenol.

(Tell ‘em customer ID 42644 sent you when you sign up if you want to help  me out. )

Linking  To This Site.  Yes, feel free. if my servers ever get burdened I’ll worry about that when it happens. So far I am hardly overwhelmed. It was a very proud day for me when the folks at Wizard101 posted a review of my article on their game and a link to my blog. I’m less proud of some of the ad links their kids see on the posted comments. But that leads me to…

Fair Warning. I’m always glad to hear someone has actually read my work. For along time I just neglected the comments, being more of a programmer and developer than a pro blogger. Now I see I have over 26,000 comments, and you’d never believe how many are merely ads shoved in to sell pills, gambling, or sex websites.  For those who have been subjected to these, I am sorry. For those who posted them, I give fair warning: I believe passionately in free speech, but if all you want to do is advertise without reading, without trying to participate, expect your comments to dissapear soon. I have begun the pruning, and I am obsessive enough to git ‘r done eventually.

–MRK

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