Theo Verelst Diary Page

Wed Feb 8 2001, 2:30 AM

I've decided after good example to write some diary pages with toughts and events.

Oh, in case anybody fails to understand, I'd like to remind them that these pages are copyrighted, and that everything found here may not be redistributed in any other way then over this direct link without my prior consent. That includes family, christianity, and other cheats. The simple reason is that it may well be that some people have been ill informed because they've spread illegal 'copies' of my materials even with modifications. Apart from my moral judgement, that is illegal, and will be treated as such by me. Make as many references to these pages as you like, make hardcopies, but only of the whole page, including the html-references, and without changing a iota or tittel...

And if not? I won't hesitate to use legal means to correct wrong that may be done otherwise. And I am serious. I usually am. I'm not sure I could get 'attempt to grave emotional assault' out of it, but infrigement on copyright rules is serious enough. And Jesus called upon us to respect the authorities of state, so christians would of course never do such a thing. Lying, imagine that.

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Wed Feb 8 2001, 2:30 AM

I've been thinking a bit about making an interactive demo of how networks work, probably because I don't like a certain idea I can't think away easily enough, that there is a game going on around about computers, like probably about anything worth while in this world, where there is more attention for certain logic, which isn't logic, which is about some sort of alledged ownership or authority, and which has nothing much to do with how the machines actually operate, and where computers and their programs are to praise some sort of idol or semi-god, instead of being just fun enough or usefull.

Sort of like we make this C++ program this way, and everytime it shows its wonderfull sides, we all pray to mecca and belief it has been done in the Best Way, because all these little and big things in it point to all these horribly incredible Thoughts, and all our medicinemen have agreed it was realy bad that way.

I think I'll have time to go into that, too, about the 'mothers of harlots' and their being abonibable, and why it is evil in Gods and my and probably quite some others' eyes to be in and into that.

But first, how magical are computers? Remember the three planes with one light example? How can we compute the light distribution in a little scene with for instance 2 A4's and a area light source, assuming the pieces of paper influence eachothers brightness, which is often so, a red and a white page will make the white one a bit red, for instance.

I checked yesterday, the equations which in mathematical form can give answers to those questions, for instance telling us how much light in total can be 'seen' from one sheet of paper of the other, without minding that the light bounces back and forth between the papers, have been considered over 200 years ago for the first time, and solved for special cases, where the 4 fold integration needed in it could be solved. Only in 93 'siggraph', the leading graphics yearly conference, had an article on solving the 'general case'. Dealing with the light bouncing back and forth, is what economists call the 'steady state' solution of all the paths light can flow through, which unfortunately for the problem solver are nearly infinite, which makes the whole equation an interesting exercise, requiring methods known in physics as neumann inversion, which I can explain liking to lets say engineering and other exact students of reasonable advancement, but lets say, the idea is that the infine bouncing back and forth can be computed to infinite accuracy.

Infinite means theoretically one can express the outcome of the computations in formulas which need not be approximated, and even when they are, then at least we have a good basis to found the approximations on, and test them by.

I've done my share of scientific writing, at the time intended for a PhD thesis theoretical portion, going into the computer programming based on those equations, including the two principles I mentioned, which is rare, except that that was when I already couldn't trust who I dealt with anymore, I handed prints of that work to my main professor and project leader at the time, but they didn't want to work with that, and probably made them lost, including quite some programming work report and manuals. They aren't on the universities' web server, either, no one bothered putting them up there, and I'm sure they'd have been hot stuff enough. I guess I should have learned to write thesis material dusty to begin with, but then I wouldn't have had the same ambition they had. Hmm, tough one, it seems.

Are computers exact?

I've just put on tcl/tk (version 8.4, which is stable and widely available, and happens not to use dos commands while installing) on a machine, and wanted the ftp package, which I knew can easily connect up to some ftp site, which proved not completely trivial. It appeated to be not present in the 8.4 distribution, so I got it seperately, but installing it without some installing shell takes some attention, in short putting all the subdirectories in 'modules' under lib/tcl8.4 in the tcl/tk file tree is good enough to type 'package require Ftp', and get the desired ftp commands handy.

A few commands are enough to connect to for instance this web sites' ftp server, and upload a text file, in this case I've even used an editor I've made in tk, which is easy enough, and made a function button automatically save and upload the latest version. That works smooth, and in fact the whole this nowadays is multi threaded enough to have an upload going on, while happily typing on in the editor window, I just print a few lines in the console window to show wether the upload works.

Getting that all to work without too much typing is good challenge, there are essentials involved, the system is not at all set up by me, and it all works smooth enough, and is obviously usefull, I type my text, I press one button, and presto, a new web page.

Magic? No, I know pretty much everything that goes on between my key presses, and the little dots goin on and off on the screen, and the electronical signals passing under the ocean to pass internet packets, not everything, and not at all allways in detail, but I could reproduce even most of it all, in working fashion, so there is no part I need to be magical about, except maybe why electronical and magnetical fields are gouverned by maxwell's equations.

Maybe there is a magical feeling about it all when it all works and when such power as spanning the world and putting millions of pixels on and of in desired patterns preferably with great expressive power in the programming. Fine, probably that makes people feel elevated or amused, or something, fine. But no magic, except maybe that random numbers can show interesting properties, but not as in the great brother has suddenly gained a voice and speaks autonomously about the great cosmic truths. Or as in, we have enchanted these electronics, sprinkled holy water over these supplies, hooked it all up, made it pass through fire, prayed to our favourite which doctors about where a few wires should go and what colour they should have, and suddenly the great odin has blessed us with a certain machine which is better than all others, and its software to be praised forever, not amen (means sort of: don't slither down this path, you wouldn't like an embrace with it, and certainly not become intimate either way with it, ever).

No sir. We have resistors, to begin with. They are made of carbon or of metal film, on ceramic carrier, with leads attached on wither side to make it easier to connect them with. They have a resistance of so many ohms or Volt/Amperes, which are printed on them by color codes. We have rings of black brown red orange yellow green blue purple gray and white, which represent 3 digits (0 through 9) and an exponent, and at the end gold or silver or deep red to indicate wether that value at room temperature is within 10, 5 or 1 percent accurate. Anf they come in 1/32, 1/16, 1/8 ... to 4 Watt or so enclosures, which become bigger as they are supposed to consume more power.

That is solid enough. They are linear parts, the more voltage you put on them, the more current they draw, twice the voltage, twice the current. Which can be measured, yes sir. Sir? Are they quick? Yes very, millions of times per second, easily, and then still at every point in time voltage divided my current gives a fixed number, called the resistance.

Is n't that something? Knew that when I was 8 or so. Ha. I could measure it, too, and indeed it always added up, unless something was wrong, that probably gives a little boy hope that electronics aren't going to be all to unreliable, which is pleasant, though could be boring.

Variable resistors, that was better, for instance a volume control. Even better: variable resistors which can be driven to change their value electronically, so one circuit can drive another. A not so bad solution was to take and LDR (light dependent resistor), and a little light bulb, or red LED, tape them togehter, and closed of of external light, and drive the light to influence the resistance of the ldr. Which in principle could change the current through another light, which somehow could drive another LDR, so complicated circuits could be make.

A transistor is a bit like that, except that the light needs very little power to burn and can steer quite some current through its sort of ldr, which I found very interesting at 10 or 11, when I had started playing around with them, as amplifiers, as switches, as part of an aleternating circuit, for a flashlight, for instancel. I could built circuits by heart, and easily played around with variations and parameter changes, so I had a reasonable idea after some time of how to built audio amplifier stages, generators of various kinds, and logical circuits with the transistors and parts I had. I read electronics books by the dozen, I'm sure in a few years I'd quite thoroughly gone through all shelves of electronics books in at least two libraries, and I don't mean the kids section, and in fact I'd understand quite much of it as early teenager. Filters where hard when they weren't standard kinds (logically) or at least piecewise invertable circuits, I didn't know about mna matrices and such until university, unfortunately, maybe. High frequency circuits were partly graspable, some circuits I understood fine enough, I had several self-built 3 meter transmitters, real small ones, though that circuit, too, I realy could analyse only much later, others where hard.

But one could get me a 101 electronics circuits book, and I'd explain well enough 90 of them, which was good hobby. And built circuits, too. I liked making light organs, for instance, apart from amplifiers and such. I had a challenge of making car headlights driven by major thyristors flash at the beat of the music, and for instance wanted them to become a running light triggered by the bass drum. That would require reliable power drivers for the lights, which can take a little logical circuit signal to put the lights on and off, or even little voltage to make the light dim gradually. It would require of course a running light circuit, which could be triggered well, without errors. And then of course a circuit to make a trigger pulse from the music, and a filter to get the bass tones out.

Funny enough, I liked trying those things out, I didn't realise much at first that the bass drum wasn't the only low frequency and strong signal, the bass guitar would often be similarly loud and mess up the counting of pulses. And of course, for the majority of people probably not knowledgeable about triggering digital circuits, digital pulses coming from music signals must be quite processed before they are neat and clean pulses, otherwise they'd trigger the circuit many times instead of once.

So I'd put on a song with good rythm I'd like, and start adjusting some dials, to make those carlights swing to the beat of it. Fun.

And apart from the sort of show magic, there was a lot of unknown in it, but nothing magical, they were electronics, and nothing more, though up to complicated and capable jobs. No magic. No tricks, unless you count using pantyhoses for a fan drive belt as a trick, that was roughly the level of electronics omnipresent because of my lack of funds.

The sort of holy ritual or reverence to computer parts wasn't there either, I built computer parts myself, and that was even more logical then electronics, complicated, but logical. No vague ideas, marketing concepts, unspoken but heartfelt convictions, secret guidelines or little magic potions or prayers to be rosaried or whatever. Maybe cool specs and enclosurers to be topped of, but noting obscure or occult about it.

No special 'ideas' to be kept in mind, either. Except of course the laws of electronics, which are realy quite stringent: it never works until you get everything in the picture right enough. The number of circuits on can make with 10 parts of two wires at least is amazing, the probabilty of ever hitting one of a few hundred usefull variations is very small, one has to know what one wants, get all parameters right, desings right, built right, adjust everything, then things are fine when they are within the possibilities of the available parts, otherwise probably nothing comes out.

I computer software, it may seem that certain forms, emblems or names are very important, and that certain techniques or types of programming are divine by themselves, or that it is not even a status symbol anymore to make or have something that works good, but that all is released into a sort of being which makes no sense to me.

From an electrical engineering point of view, computers, and their software may be complicated, and at times hard to predict, but certainly completely defined and definable unto great detail and usually with complete accuracy. The only problems here are for instance a signal on a network of which the exact timing isn't known exactly beforehand, or an error such a powefailure or just a disc or memory error. Mainly all other things can be excaclty measured or simulated, with billionth of a second accuracy, and with complete certainly as of wether normally a program will rerun the same result when fed with the same data, so that its result is dependent on the program and the input data alone, nothing else

Every little bit means something in the computers, unless it is not used, and every of its many millions of transistors must be taken into account to get to fill picture of its functioning, which of course is very complicated. But when they are taken into account, another, hopefully fast, computer can compute or predict exactly what the machine does, with not a single bit uncertain or in error in billions. Without magic spells, 5 times a day bows, or special absolutions, the thing and its programs follow a logic which is or can be known beforehand, and current computers rarely fail in applying their logic, and realy programming without knowing about the machines' logic is not possible, at some point one does not just drag and drop object, but is aware of the pentium, its memory and its overall structure, or whatever processor, and needs to know how the real thing works, before building the foundation for a higher level programming language or programming system.

So is it not possible to make a programming environment with a certain, imposed, logic, for istance a word in red must appear every now in then in the program sources or they don't work? Sure. Anything the customer wants. But then it is just something constructed, and I'd like to know why and how it is put together before being assumed to understand and live according to the rules of a certain way of programming or computer use logic. When my wordprocessor suddenly expects me to reverse-type every 17th word, simply because that is how some guru sais the spirit world is best pleased to his or her advantage, I at least want to be informed in decent and precise manual pages about it, and of course want my chance to have a good laugh and once and for all change in software supplier. And to call a reporter or a consumer inerest group. Or I'm displeased.

The other day I turned two more windows machines into X windows machines, by letting another windows 2000 server read shared files to start a cygwin 'bash' shell, and then start the Xopen86 X root up, which lets itself happily be managed by for instance a linux desktop manager, or simply by twm on the 2000 machine. I did the same trick for a windows95 machine on another network, which reads the same cygwin files to start cygnus, and then can run X just the same. And they can exchange X windows, of course, which is fun and usefull. And they behave fine.

Maybe I'll give the experiment some more attention, because cygwin is extensive and very usefull, and because this way the installation can be network shared, which saves a lot of installation time and disc space. It was necessary to make some registry update files, also for the windows95 machine, otherwise the cygnus root would be wrong, which makes it probably very laborious to get the startx script to run right.

Abominations of the earth

Some time ago I spent time writing about what I'd perceived in various ways about the most horrible kind of excuses for man because I found it important. I think it still is, and that it is definately sign of damnation that certain evils in this world are the way they are and that so many are blind for simple enough logic concerning them.

When certain people are into child abuse for instance, the question is not wether maybe we should take some position against them. We must, and strongly so and effectively. And not wonder wether we maybe should learn something from them or find it all part of something usefull. And when whole countries are effectively run by such kinds, without anyone as it seems realizing themselves that they've lost a very basic human judgement criterion, maybe because they were helping the very rich and powerfull, or because some spiritual authorities have them unhealthily charmed a bit more than a correctable, which is that when people are into all kinds of amazing games and schemes and circuits and God knows what, they can still be nothing more than pretty much the lowest there is, simply child molesters. And therefor they're nothing. Nothing human. Nothing feminine or realy motherly. Nothing special. Nothing interesting. Nothing capable of judgement. Nothing normal. Nothing worth noticing. Because they are child abusers. Not yack, but ratatatata, dead. That's the only logical answer. No one can wrape and torture and kill children and claim any respect or place in a normal world, ever. Ridiculous.

Probably there is some jupiter or Mary in the sky who makes that all seem very questionable, if we want to be as the satan god we need that sort of stuff maybe, but I think that is non sense, has never proven to be true, and will only ever prove to be lies, like that thing is, too. Its a system without legitimation, right to exist, reliable logic, good fruits, or use, and is just damnation, should be made extinct, and will never be missed. For anything. And anyone knowledgeable about it or in it would better not have been, because there is nothing realy to gain in it. And seriously, I don't think a single rich is realy going to give you money when you sacrifice your children in some way, the lottery is probably better investment. Or the bank.

In certain ways more people then I'd like to believe are more nuts than I can imagine. I understand: blackmail. And it has always been there. Bla Bla. Of course. And holland has been sold to the devil, and will be lost forever, and therefore lets give it all up and jump from the roof. No. People can be better of. That babylonic system (both sides, mind you are in the same system, realy neither the beast nor the whore are a solution, and are just as desired by rich and powerfull as by you, and they are just as little powerfull over the spiritual as you, usually), brings no good. It probably isn't designed to . You'd better be out it and not belief in it. Always. And the idea that we tolerate it and the peopl in it with its horrors is an outrage.