Theo Verelst Diary Page

Latest: 16 december 2000

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 familiy, christianity, and othercheats. The simple reason is that it may well by that some people have been ill informed because they've spread illegal 'copies' of mymaterials 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.

Previous Diary Entries

Dec 16, 2000

At some point I found it important to read these kind of pages on regular basis. I've not been daily lately, but at least another diary page is in order.


I got my TMS320C6211 Texas Instrument Digital Signal Processor sample. By UPS from the us, part value indicated as $35, finally it got through, for free, that is, isn't that something? Yep, though it takes some more to be applicable straight away (an windows 95 PC and a downloadable development environment), this is top of the world processor stuff, that may outrun even the fastest pentiums. The little (about a square inch) flat plastic chip with 256 (two hundred fifty six) little islands of solder on the bottom in the form I've got does up to over a Giga operation per second in this 150 MHz version, and has an architecture that to my knowledge outperforms any other single chip based DSP available today, at 1 gigaherz, devices (planned or available already, at least a few hundred MHz is commercial already I seem to remember) of the same series deliver up to 8000 MIPS, which is very much.

Comparisonwise, the Z80 system described on my pages can run up to 35 MHz or so, and then it does maybe 8 MIPS (million instructions per second) tops, depending on the type of operation. Thats 8 million operations, simple ones, against 1000 million 32 bit (big numbers) operations including two multiply operations per clock cycle. And then the dsp isn't even that power greedy, it would run of batteries, as far as I can derive from the specs. It shouldn't be two hard to design with, those 256 pins are prepared for many types of connections such as to memory to be not too hard.

But then again: 256 pins... They're spaced 1/20 of an inch (about a mm) apart, 20 on each side of a 4 row thick square circumference, I found out exactly the distance of the wires in well known flat cable. We'll seem, maybe a PCB is needed, or even easier a few hundred dollars developers board.

I found a few older I 960 (older 'fast' Intel processor) based network interface cards, with amoung other things some FLASH memory chips on an IC foot (detachable that is), which I may connect up to my synth prototype to retain memory data, so at least a PC isn't needed around to reprogram it all the time when the battery backuped ram isn't up to disturbances impinging on the circuits. Alternatively, I should simply shield the whole machine and fix the kilovolt pulse generating fridge interval driver, but why not experiment with some of the latest technology flash mems. From the same manufacturer they are available up to a mega byte per chip, and even 2. What's in the memory sticks and flash media cards (about up to 64 Meg I seem to remember, probably counted in bits) maybe more than one chip per card, or can't I get the seperate memory chips?

Anyhow, the sounds the synth produces already range up to more than fine enough, I've made a new one with double filtering, giving a good starting sound (minus the envelope, i.e. the volume change with time) for string type of analog patches, unheard of in many analog type of synths I'm familiar with.

It is not hard to imagine that I'm very interested in running my sound generator algorithms in real time on a DSP. Funny how TI sends these samples: a box of about 5 liters, containing nothing but the shipment letter and a little wallet-sized anti-static foil bag with (for electronicists) well known conductive carbonized foam the size of two big stamps containing the chip. The rest: only flints of plastic foam, imo a non-Ups envelope with bubbles and some card board would be fine, but then again. I'm not complaining.

The world

Thinking about the world as far as I can detect it in life and media, various questions arise in my mind. First, the world system in biblical terms is considered to lie in sin which means that as a system it cannot be considered good, leading to the question what then can be done in it. Basically: lead one's own life, I guess. Against evil, corruption, the ways of the system to oppress, exploit, abuse, reverse persons, faces and justice, and against worshipping the 'gods', leaders (in the bad sense of the concept) and demons of it, against greed for (excessive) power and money, unhealthy lust for all kinds of aboninable behaviour, and in general being enslaved more than needed to evil.

And than there is wrong doctrine, that is doctrine that isn't right, a blunt lie, has its source in demons, etc., where 'doctrine' means anything that one is taught as truth to live, think or act by. In biblical terms any gospel (message of good news, sort of) that preaches some kind of salvation that is not the salvation of Christ, clearly laid out by the early and later apostles is going to damn the listeners. Its even repeated as statement (2d Peter letter from the top of my head): anyone who has another gospel than clearly intended by New Testament teaching is damned. Actual biblical word.

The reasons? Oh my gawd: because it would be a lie to take someone else then Jesus as the son of God with corresponding authority and spiritual value, to start with. 'Follow this demon, and your life wil be rich, powerfull and better than anything else'. In the end. And oh, you must believe against all odds, and stuff. Usually with a lot of works needed from the believer to achieve salvation of some kind.

Basically, Christ (the real one that seems quite certainly to have come in the flesh about two milennia ago) offers salvation as a free gift: no-one can do works that will make him or her saved in His name, He is the One that died in place of me, and therefore statisfied Gods demand for justice for me, and can therefore open the way to God the Father. No works of my own can make that happen, even a natural persons' will isn't free to make a choice in realy accepting christ without the Holy Spirit making that persons will free, before a person can in their own hart accept Christ. That solid doctrine, I'm sure, well founded in the new testament, and essential to understand in this time of grace, the time where gentiles (non-jews) are equally part of Gods plan of salvation for the world as the jews. Where Jesus fullfilled the demands of the law as given to Gods chosen people, and can act as a person pleading with God for people who are, as He too at some point has lowered himself to be, weak and not, as He, without sin.

I'm certain that a most succesfull contemporary and ancient implementation of the 'new babylonic' system tries to top this type of doctrine of or equal it for its followers, just like the roman catholic system from early on in our year counting even claims to be the only true church of Christ. Realy, they do, its in their books, nothing nice about it. To beat it, or appeal to others to form a counter party, the moslim system was invented in about the same time. Equally abusive, criminal in its hidden rituals, damning in nature, and fake in terms of offering salvation, or any way at all to get to know the real god. No bible codes here, no 'freedom' (you're likely to be killed when you want out), no mercy, grace, or any real greatness. Pityfull rite suckers, those demons. 'And the prophet went from holy city one, to holy city two; allah is great', 'in those days people will have nothing to give to eachother anymore, and then god (allah) can be god', why, are people to powerfull when they've got something to give eachother? I guess. People have got bodies and lives already, deamons want them, at least to have place in.

Suppose they're state religion, and you (I) are not willing to worship Mary as mother of God (I edited out some swearwords in this sentence), the Cybele demon as her deceased spirit and her little and big mother whores as God given life takers, that means trouble. Then if your not willing to play their 'pay for your salvation' game (variations are the old testament laws for paying thithes, i.e. a tenth of your income to the church: become a jew, go to church on saturday and pay it to the synagoge to fullfill that law and apply it properly, in the process insulting Jesus), in middle ages it paid for the churches' riches (see Italy) by making people buy absolution by paying money instead (or on top) of demonic possession by rosaries and hail maries, you're in real trouble unless you're rich enough (and in middle ages had no heriditary debts). Even worse: you could claim that the power of the state they claim to be divine, is not christian in nature, and that in a reasonably acceptable government, and respectable enough state system, they're illegal in their own life already, let alone in a position of power. Then you're in trouble for real, I guess.

Then again, this is history. Relevant history. People got burned on the stake, slaughtered, tortured, banned, threatened, that is every worst thing that can happen to people, for merely protesting against the world system that was and the catholic system 'in' it. And real christians certainly didn't invent complete oppression into one system of exterminating all jews, gipsies and gays as scapegoats to some deamon/spiritual authority (a type of deamonic spiritual being, see Ephesians) called nazism.

See 'the hour of power' christal chappel thing? Amazing. Bad. Not the gospel of christ. Not good management. What a greed, what an ugglyness, what a hypocrasy and lies in the name of Christ. No 'Soul with a Capital S' to be seen here.

I recently received an email from someone who escaped catholicism who wrote that her experience is that my pages on the 'Nimrod' idea were very much true, experience wise. The book 'the two babylons' by Alexander Hislop (it is available: in christian bookstores, reprinted/retypeset from its 30's original by some Michican publisher I think), contains a lot of secret stuff from the rc system, revealed by former victims, including a converted priest, which adds to its credibility. Amazing stuff. I've wondered why John in the book Revelation is described to be greatly amazed when He is given a vision depicting it: because of the stupidity in the face of a real saviour and faith, because of its horror, its size, or some other reason.

It appeals to unregenerated human nature maybe even more than freebies and greed to achieve some kind of supernatural or spiritual salvation by our own works, for instance keeping certain laws, sticking to certain rules, sacrificing (preferably costing others, but also sacrifices that achive nothing good whatsoever), and paying in some spiritual way. Now it makes sense to do Gods will. In general, that's without question the best idea, as long as that will is clearly known to be indeed Gods will and well understood as it has been uttered. After all the Nazis also claimed 'Gott mit uns', some may have believed it at some points. Unbiblical, and God cannot, as truthfull, reliable and respectable person be seen as someone that gives some 'special revelation' (watch out for those visions and images with many coloured light effects, usually strictly demonic), that is clearly inconsistent with His revealed written word, that is carried over quite reliably, with exception of some translation issues. In other words doctrines and 'revelations' which are not in line with clear biblical teaching are not acceptable to start with.

Nowadays people (calling or thinking themselves to be christians) are mostly not too much into 'doctrine' in the traditional sense of the word. They'd better be. Some type of doctrine is allways behind one's actions, explicit or not, and it would better be known and right what we take as the basic guidelines of our lives and actions, or it may well be bad, very obscure, and of evil origin and nature. What our natural families are about and teach us is probably the wordly system with its greed for power, worship of the spiritual gods people make themselves (counting up, what is it?) or take demons for, bondage by peoples' unability to be free from sin, spiritual, emotional and physical bondage, and the greed for money is biblically mentioned as part of the root of all evil.

For those who found the priviledge of a personal salvation by Christ, who hopefully have learned that than they can invite the (real, not that whiny or oppressive, hypocritical, self-working inducing pain in the but thing) Holy Spirit to live in them, enabling spiritual gifts and giving them power, it is important to realize that they were given a place in Gods family, as it were by adoption. See for instance Romans. That means new rules apply, Gods rules, which are about freedom, about truth, about works that He prepared, about finding the person that He sees in us, and the plans He has when we learn to understand what He wants of us in a world that is so full of lies, misery, and christians that would probably hardly recognize Christ and his characteristics if He told them who He was in their straight face.

A few years ago I was invited in a sect (I call it now) called Church of Christ, where (so called) the gospel is preached, and the people I first met claimed they wanted to get back to the life the early christians had with eachother. Interested, loaded with scriptural knowledge and new materials (I was at that time already looking at translation issues) I visited their services a few times, and had visisted some of there members. One of them tried to convert me into what they call 'discipleship': jesus calling his disciples to found the new testament churches (called out persons) and their doctrines. 'and you will go to the ends of the earth, and preach my name, and these things shall follow you as signs: you shall cast out deamons in my name, and you shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall be healed.. '

A major trick on words here: they already WERE His disciples. then they in the correct sense of the word became apostles, sent out ones. Clearly they were is disciples (followers) before: they followed him around for three years already. Now this church of christ org takes this verse as being more important than pretty much the rest of the bible, and claims that you must be baptized in water (which is biblically merely an outward sign of having been cleaned, oh, and while they are at it, they conveniently or not mix it up with the baptism in the Holy Spitit, which is being filled with the Holy Spirit) and listening part of their organisation, including street evangelisation, or you're not a good christian, and rejected. I bet if I got my nice engineer income, maybe two tenth should go there, but that's mere speculation. Considering the lets say stupidity and compulsiveness about these kinds of rather idiotic doctrines, I'm sure there was more behind it all and more to it. If it weren't it's state as it is already, it would give christianity a bad name. I hope some with a real faith find their way out to some environment that doesn't just feed them gospel lines and delusions, and use em for wrong purposes, of which power without any question.

In the end I got actually thrown out by one because I didn't provide for my own living (at that moment, not regarding I worked more and longer then maybe that person self, and that I was doing f* bible translations and study, and in quite miserable circumstances quite against my will. Guess I couldn't (and can't) live of the gospel. I guess the god of this world was a bit to powerfull against it there. Or it was I that listened to demons too much. Nah.).


Lately I was thinking about what people are collectively thinking about, and what the unseen fabric of society is cancerously or maliciously made into. All day sometimes around me I see idioticness. People walking in the way making stupid alusions to things they clearly know about me, trying to make copies of persons. If it wasn't so clearly related to much evil it would be simply pathetic. Realy. I'm aware of spirits, that try to rule places, and that the name of Jesus frightens them, and that people of various backgrounds are not free of them at all, and seem to want to listen to them, but when I try to discern a lot of what I meet the city in general then regularly I think it must be directly related to following deamons that make people make criminal sacrifices, abuse children, be part of horrible scenes, and all kinds of absolute horror.

At a university one would expect some dignity and at least reasonably intelligent people, I regularly encounter the sort of students that seem to have embraced the new babylonic system and do nothing all day but try to implement the wrong parts of James 1, stealing and taking faces, wanting to get profitable (spiritual) places for themselves and their system, and clearly being not even impressed with the idea that it is very obvious that such a system isn't generally speaking successfull in achieving much happyness. As is evident. And also, people into lets call it satanism, demonic and abusive rituals, treasuresness, whoring, pimping, and I don't know what else, even in bad societies are not very successfull in arriving at very honorable positions, and usually don't realy become more rich or better of, certainly not personal-wise.

I know of course about abusiveness in student organisations, though only recently I realized how bad it must be, in terms of it being connected with lifetime physically and emotionally abusive practices that exist in far to wide circles. Wrape, physical torture, making woman into whores before they go to highschool, and worse if that is possible is not something I can link up with the concept of honorable and edified persons. Its either the one or the other, when you're not willing to seperate yourself from that, you're not going to be taken for anything worth while in intellectual or scientific sense in my opinion, that would simply be an insult to anything decently thinkable to start with. Luckily, the kind seems stupid to start with or as a result, which makes it a bit easier to deal with maybe, but still. The idea of occupying myself intimately with such in name instances of the human race revolts me.

Which brings me to the subjects of Nazism, fascism, right wing extremism. Historically, they have made their place in history by preaching various kinds of abusiveness, in the name of ideology, and I'm certain those women I saw in nazi institutions films and promos even were not free from the pressure of producing children like breeding horses, and that all kinds of games were essential to make Hitler Jugend fucked up forever by using induced girlfriend trouble through being witnesses and parts of satanist type of abuse scenes, just like certain families seem to get away with alive. Needless to say that the bombs in first and second world war were not without purpose.

I reflected on the meaning of 'sich Heil', as an exclamation of what? 'Heil Hitler' I understand, and clearly isn't nice. But sich means self, or oneself, and Heil means salvation, or the good, or something. Then in german it could be that Heil means something not so elevated, as in that 'the good of society' is indicated, and that 'sich' means that the 'self' is put up front, while in decent (german) communication the persons involved in the interaction are aware of it that the other deserves proper place, and that that proces in itself should be 'holy', or at least is of relevant elevated value. Thus the sich Heil thing could sum up the spiritual reality of leaving no space for another, maybe immedeately after betraying anything a person clearly is, and thus sums up the utter emptyness (of course filled by demons and evil leaders) that is taken for the place of what one oneself wants to fill. Thus replacing mutual respect in principle by the will to oneself take the place of what is 'good' and powerfull. And of course the ones being so would win, and wouldn't they all be so?

Horrible stuff.

It appears to me around me that it is literaly hard to find people to have a normal enough interaction with. Every little thing many people seem to be implementing something with that is not normally human. 'Hello how are you'? Knock knock. I met various kinds people the last few years, and all I can conclude is that something is keeping by far the majority of them to exhibit normal enough interaction patterns, possibly at times because of the miserable world system, most likely at times because they know about my not so average background and situation (which should not make it too hard to converse normally though), and probably I underestimate how much I've wanted and succeeded to develop myself in christian and other senses in directions I found desirable, and forgot what natural man is like.

But then still, normal personhood should be doable, instead of un-human complete bull, evasiveness, clear schizofrenia (that is combinations of contrary emotions running wild), and partwise reason for the nazi thoughts: the incredible greed to 'take' faces (a good enough james 1 translation), where reciprocity seems to indicate that from as soon as possible onward respectability, education, personality and everything else valuable is reversed in the interaction, and by default and completely ignored lets call it betrayal is never reversed. Not that I'm not strong enough by make up to be able to go against that sort of stuff, but it is so completely senseless, so lame, utterly empty, non-fruitfull, boring, good for nothing. As I'm rereading this text, I saw a CNN item on some Dutch subjects: the houses in a new type of lowland city (Almere), and some artists. Utterly depressive. The spiritual thing I loath myself regularly was almost written all over it. And it was impossible to seperate some shots from direct nazi life film fragments, and I don't think I exagerate. Brr, I know God deals with the nations, and that a main factor there is the promise to Abraham and his descendants ('the jews'): 'blessed who blesses thee, and cursed who curses you'. Quite relevant, in practice. I remember cassette tapes from Derek Prince dealing with these subjects on a biblical basis. For a standard reference book on sects and their biblical exposure and refutation see R. Freeman's 'Every wind of doctrine', probably still available, which is quite reliable.

With abuse figures as high as I derive from some books, there are clear reasons that peoples' shame, fear, and unhumanness is so evident, but it isn't a pretty sight, or a way out, to become such as others in the past have wanted to be, and in the end didn't succeed in anything at all except total destruction.

More Music

During teen times I had copies of at least two ELO (electric light orchestra) albums, and I liked, and still like btw to listen to a whole album. Though some even 70's music gets played, sometimes just little bits on commercials, only an occasional 'mister blue sky', 'living thing' and the first blipb of 'here is the news' (by a dutch broadcast organisation) were heard by me in a long time. Quite good, pleasant, meaningfull and advanced music though.

I remember a for me unclear statement of a musician I knew reasonably well some time ago, that didn't lead to a dispute, because that between us didn't make sense, but it was clear and unacknowledged by me, namely that in most blues songs (read: all) brass stabs and brass lines are out of place and sound horrible. Statements with this person were not made in puffed up ways or in pushy, bluff talking sense, though it was a clear statement. I listened, and liked, to BB king for instance at the time, for instance 'paying the cost' and 'thrill is gone', which has (almost blatant when I think now) brass ensamble lines in it, they're well done and in tune, and the songs have space enough and all. At the time I didn't think much about it, recently I heard 'thrill is gone', and some other blues songs with those kinds of tataaa, tatataaa in them.
He was right.

The main point being that even though a relatively simple chord scheme, not necessarily complex scales and superficially listening seemingly doable rythms gives music that isn't even starting to get boring after I've with some intensity dealt with it for many years (more than a decade at least), it should still be kept limited in certain ways to make it better. And that somehow it is possible to think of standards of lets call it estaetical acceptability, or pleasingness, that seem if not universal than at least applicable broadly, and without much need for deals to be made as to what is or isn't good. Even in absolute enough sense to use as a term: good or not good, bad, distatefull, against pleasureable, meaningfull. It lies in the expression without any question, but music, and definately blues (and derived) music contains more or less objective emotion related content that seems universal and objectively tangible. For human beings, that is. Probably no one can listen to Rock around the Clock, or Hey Joe at proper volume without clear responses, goosepumps, humming, whatever. Less people will be quiet for 'all blues' (e.g. Tutu) by Miles Davis. Without the (interesting enough) comparison between guitar solos in rock around the clock (or blue suede shoes, to mention another archetypical blues schema based song) and trumpet minimals in 'all blues', both are refined and very not simple musical utterances, with profound strength, both are blues songs with some of the aforementioned limitations, yet completely different, and effective.

Now why are they, generally speaking, of musical quality, and are others not? Many hit songs from the last 5 years or so make not much more musical sense than that they express unmusical ideas, anguish maybe, general flatness. One would better get a Rory Block CD (female us blues singer with enough talent and skill to take serious in the long run), and play some real music on those polyester modern speakers (I heard the futuristic pioneer system: it can actually be listeded to, though I'm not too sure about hearing fatique), even when its supposed to express the shallowness, freakyness, unrealness, unhumanness that many seem to want to express, than at least let music express misery of certain kinds (spiritual?) and not become advocates of those things itself by taking similar shape.

See North Sea jazz 1999? Takes more backgroud knowledge, by and large. A musicians ball? Not realy, but it takes more musical knowledge, and of course Jazz (related) knowledge to understand and follow, for instance some standard songs known and often used in jazz, and of course harmonically and rythmically it is more challenging, though enjoying it is easy enough, I guess. Last year: major gospel influenes, and focussing on main musical values: what's important, what's the essence, and proof that music can be uplifting, at least somewhat alive, expressive of doable emotions, and nice enough, all together. Coincidence or not, I knew quite some of the (vpro nightlong broadcast) basic material and musical references, which would not necessarily to be so, but even without regarding that, it contained at least some joy of performing and listening maybe outside the popular, but accessible and in my opinion relevant.

Why were the Rolling Stones? What the hell were the Beatles singing about? I have a good idea what Purple Haze and Red House are about, just as 'another brick in the wall', and 'sultans of swing' find their place easily. Does one 'learn' the music of 'Happy days', or is it just there after two, three times listening? It was for me, though I think I was forward, at 11 or so I liked and could sing (mimus quite some lacking english) 'love the sound of breaking glass', 'Chuck he's in love', 'are friends electric', 'don't go breaking my heart'. 'blueberry hill' got me worked up, just like 'le freak', and I could easily relate to 'tutti frutti' and such, but also liked (not from my own radio recordings, but from records) Jim Reeves, Ernie ford, even James Last, some organ record I'd like to hear again (a famous hammond organ doing popular and semi classical songs with absolutely breathtaking quality, amazing technology), I could sing 'Tom Dooley', and 'Ruby Red', 'the lion sleeps tonight' from singles, and had a strange enough liking for 'plaisir d'amour', 'John Henry' and other songs from protest singer Joan Baes.

Per day quite some hours at highschool I would listen to tapes with amoung others queen albums, which I for the better part could sing inside out, and in fact contained more to the point lyricks than I suspected. That is (at least) music, and there is clear content. ' Whats that fin on the back part of the deal...', seaside rendez vous ' give es a kiss', good old fashioned lover boy , ' but still I fear and still I dare not laugh at the wise man' (ask your soundblaster to do the a capella and stereo effects that, in 4d, for all I care), ' jaws was never my scene and i don't like starwars', 'you're by best friend', 'crazy little thing called love' are clear enough, and some (beautiful) songs like '39 (from A night at the opera) seem to describe principles as a whole. At least then there is some meat to it all, and if the world is about to be ruled by little imaginitary figures from liveless, flat, slightly scary 3d animations, fake and shallow, or nazi spiritual gurus, we'd better get that to pieces, or start with some of the sources of badness, bondage, or lies. May be 'tie your mother down' is applicable, when applied to the spiritual world. (A more dressed up page would have little movies, mpeg sound fragment links, discography and 'buy album suggestions' buttons added. This is just a diary page, there's room for improvement. The last song is an appropriate starting point for this thought, though looking up just short excerpts from Hendrix songs on gave me thrills. mpeg or realplayer.)

The beeb showed a movie yesterday with old black and white fragments of dances accompanied by orchestras, amoung which a Jive orchestra and some dances. Wind instruments, swing, tight, rythm, skillfull real playing together. Made bugle boy look pale, nice jazzyness, try THAT on a synthesizer. Ha. Good use of brass (and reed of course) instruments.

Who sang 'love don't live here anymore' from Rose Royce? That luckily was a band song (for me) at some point, pitty that the studio musicians that did those albums can't be seen as performers that will at some point do the originals (again).

Dec 17, 2000

I'm out of wires. I have these long enough hard core flatcables to connect 8 bits at a time in breadboards and 1/10 inch female connectors, and I've used them all in the dma interface which connect my synthesizer microcomputer with a PC printerport. Not that that is bad, but I've spread the circuitry around, and in the process used all those cables, now I only have single wires which easily fit in a breadboard, and some phone cable, which also fits, though that's a bit thin.

I should do the right thing, solder some real cables with flexible flatcables and pins I can get from some circuitboards, put some more circuits on the general purpose printed circuit boards I used for the rest of the processor logic, clean up my breadboard circuit layout for more space, seperate the fridge circuit, and probably some more. Then again, a microcomputer should be able to drive a general 220V switch circuit, including an old refrigerator with startup pulses, and the circuit I have now at least provides me with a working sample player, keyboard/display interface, and synthesizer functionality, so I'll wait a bit until I can do more significant upgrading. Luckily at least I saved some anchient computer boards with various connectors and some broad flexible flatcables, which are always usefull. For those who don't know what the hell I'm talking about, flatcable is the kind of cable that for instance connects a harddisc unit in a personal computer, it looks like a grey band of a few inches inches wide, with a lot of parallel wires clearly visible in length direction. Basically a lot of thin wires on a row with flexible plastic to hold it all together.

The computer system can be seen on pictures on the synthesizer progress page from my home page, though those are older pictures, about the same amount of circuits (one extra circuit board, and some of those white plastic board with holes in em full with parts and wires) have been added, and the circuit boards are not as neatly connected with those flatcables neatly connecting only at a few points: more like the big desk picture, with colored wires (the ones I'm out of) all over.

Note that the pictures I refer to contain circuit boards where every wire and every circuit is put there by me and my own hands, nothing was prefab. The complete boards I mentioned before are finished products I consider playing around with or generally take electronics parts from, such as the flash RAM (memory) chips I mentioned.

Anyhow, the circuit boards in the pictures make the display, the long row of 8's like on a very big calculator, light up with anything I like, look whats happening on the keyboard of the old TI calculator, where the keys received labels with all letters and numbers, and also pay attention to any key being pressed on the baby piano keyboard, and sound a sample when one is pressed.

Those samples are made in software, in way that resembles the circuits in an analog synthesizer. Thats what I'm into now, at least. It is possible to go about all this differently, and to drive an analog synthesizer circuit, which in fact I have on another of those little white hole things called breadboards, and let the micrcomputer control the knobs of such an analog circuit. The reason I want to imitate the analog circuits with the processor (the computer) is that digital circuits can simulate the sounds quite a lot of analog circuits can make together, and that it is easier to built fast computers than high quality analog synthesizer units, where every little thing in the sound must be made by an electronical circuit such as in radios and amplifiers. Also, these electronics are noisy, get out of tune when the heating is on, and all kinds of other things that make the sound more charming, but also harder to manage.

When the sound of such circuits is accurately captured by a computer, and can be used just as versatile, for instance by having knobs that tell the computer to imitate a knob being turned in the simulation of the synthesizer runningin a computer program, the computer synthesizer can for instance make more than one note sound at the same time without having have a complete analog synthesizer circuit for each note that is played simultaneously, just by running the same program module twice or more times in parallel. Computers too have their limits, but the principle of running a piece of program a few times at the same time is doable, it requires programming good enough, and it must be possible for the computer to do a little task fast enough to do it a few times in the same time interval, but principally, more than onenote can sound as long as the whole thing is good enough, without the need to add circuitry.

The current prototype doesn't run at full speed, and uses an old processor (equivalent at best with the very first PC's), but does have a comuter infrastructure that is powerfull enough for extensions, and that allows very direct control over all parts, which makes it lets say apt to respond, contrary to for instance a modern PC that can play samples over the sound card, but that takes up to significant fractions of a second before a keypress on a connected keyboard actually makes the note sound. It at least does two samples at the same time now, so the principle of more than one note sounding at the same timeis proven, except it at this moment means that one key sounds two notes, and not that more than one key on the baby piano keyboard can be pressed to make polyphonic music. Not that that is impossible, I just didn't program it yet.

Why two oscilators? Basically, it makes the tone thicker, more interesting, it is common practice in synthesizers to have more than one oscilators, that is tone generator units. They are tuned a little but apart, or even a number of notes, like the strings in a (detuning) piano. The fact that this synth uses sampes makes it more versatile than a normal analog synthesier, because they cannot play back a little piece of recorded sound. The samples, lets say the little piece of audio tape which play whats recorded are made in (another) computer program, which at this time pretends to be like an analog synthesizer, that is, it makes noises in the same way a machine with nobs and wires would.

The simulation of such a machine is not easy. To realy simulate such a machine, electronicists have programs called circuit simulators, where every part of the circuit (hundreds, even thousands of em: transistors, resistors, chips, capacitors, etc) is entered, then a big enough copmuter starts computing what the circuit does, and after some time the electronicist gets graphs from the computer about the behaviour of the entered circuit. In fact I've put examples of such an 'official' electronic simulator on my website, little circuits, and even some bigger circuits are shown with their circuit diagram, and the output of the simulator in the form of tables of voltages and current, and graphs of the same. I've even taken the output of such an official simuator, and made a sample with it (in wav format, hear for yourself), though that is not so easy, and in this case not as accurate yet as I would want it to be, though good enough. Those simulators are good enough, 6,7 digits of accuracy are achievable, but just when it gets hard/interesting sound-wise, such as in filter circuits that start to generate tones themselves, the simulator requires extra care to be taken.

So the principle is clear: a circuit simulator program gets the circuit of an analog synthesizer, virtually puts the power on, and out come the output signals, which can, with some work, be put into samples for for instance a soundcard. Now imagine we turn a little knob, play another note, or yank one of the synthesizers modulation inputs such as a wheel or the aftertouch (pressing hard on a key): the whole simulation changes in way that cannot be computed beforehand, unless it would be possible to tell a simulator running in real-time that some of the circuit has changed while its running. That in principles would be possible, but practically is far from easy, and not implemented in normal electronicist software, and it is very questionable if it is possible with average PC's lets say to put in a complicated synthesizer diagram, and than simulate that fast enough to generate samples in real time. An interesting subject, maybe a nice PhD.

The idea now is to find practical ways of achieving the goal given these limitations, mainly by introducing acceptable simplifications and being smart, sort of like the idea behind mpeg compression: is it possible to make music sound good enough with smaller files, and if so: how. Mpeg is not easy, it takes quite some knowledge to properly understand, and a lot of research has preceeded the software that implements it. To make a simulated synthesizer in software also requires background knowledge and research, and may easily, just like mpeg, lead to limited results, though for many cases, like mpeg, be well worth it. For sound purists, mpeg contains simplifications, for instance by removing frequencies in a sound that are very close to another frequency, that are definately not acceptable, because they make the listening experience on good enough hifi systems less good. And that is verifyably so: most mpeg coded music is not recovered completely when it is played back: it has changed, or been distorted in the process. The funny or interesting thing is that the simplification that is the result of mpeg codingis not always unpleasurable, it has the tendency of making the sound spectrum sound more 'clean', less cluttered, which is quality-wise definately not better, because things are actually missing, but it gives a certain open impression that isn't the worst to listen to.

But when it comes to a quality amplifier and player driving quality speaker systems, and the starting material is produced good enough, has got good stereo information in it, including placement of the instruments, and the musical material is not dead boring but has interesting transients and harmonic content (try well recorded drum recordings, Police records on equipment of 20 years ago on not to badly produced CD's are a fine example, that is not sequenced, badly sampled washed away in simplistic pc effects horsesh*), the results of an A-B comparsion should be overwhelming. No chance you'll throw away the originals for the mpegs, unless the mpegs are lossless, that is the decompressor and reproduce the exact material, usually at low compression rate, sort of like zip file contains everything you put in it. Usually not the case.

With many analog synthesizer software simulatons, at least similar effect play an important role: the results may have clear resemlance with the analog thing, but lacks much in terms of beef, fatness, interest, punchyness, clearness, and often flexibility. My current simulator program that generates little samples used in the microcomputer does a limited simulation job, in the sense that the whole spectrum of analog possiblities isn't readily available. But my backgroud knowledge has driven me to focus on subjects I know are sonically important, and often under-represented in such simulations, of which simulating the filter of a synthseizer is important subject. And as I've mentioned, it is getting there where I can make sounds that are strong and good enough at least to use next to the real thing without looking stupid. AND, I know what I'm doing most of the time, that is I'm hardly making lucky guesses, and even a scientific enough foundation isn't lacking, though I'm interested (that is not at all finished) with all the required theory.

At the risk of being a technical/scientific diary writer, a little explanation is in place. In the first place: samples aren't ideal. One can imagine that an electrical signal changes gradually with time, that is when graph of the voltage is made of a signal coming from a cassette player for instance, there will be frequencies in that signal hopefully from about 20 Herz to 20 thousand wiggles per second (bit less usually), and the changes are gradual, that is it is sort of like a graph from a seismograph, the pen doesn't jump, and the motion can be rapid, quirky even, but always a continuous line is drawn by the pen. Then the cassette adds some noise to the music, that is the pen would wiggle a little in random motion when no music is on the tape.

Now there is no good appearant reason when we take such a signal, chop it up into pieces, lets say at CD rate: 44100 pieces per second, give each of those pieces one voltage, put those voltages as bars on another piece of paper, that the results on that piece of paper look or sound the same. In fact: they won't. If we take lets say a million of those samples per second, it may look ok enough, and the result may sound similar. On the casette tape, the signal may change at a rate of 20 thousand times up and down per second, just like the tweeter in a speaker system will do when it is driven with such a signal, that is highest audible and usefull frequency. When such a signal is chopped to pieces at merery a bit over twice its frequency (44100 times), it can be imagined that it is not easy to find back what the original signal was like from those samples, and in fact: it isn't.

Interesting fact is that fourier theory tells us that in theory, for a signal that lasts long enough, it is possible yet to reconstruct the exact signal with samples taken at least twice as fast as the fastest wiggle (highest frequency) in a signal. Thats the Shannon sampling theorem. 2d year electrical engineering stuff, very not- trivial, but it can be proven, though I add again, it in theory is than needed to have the signal available over a long period of time, but than it can be reconstructed from the samples with infinite accuracy if needed. CD players don't do that 'reconstruction' perfectly, they do a fairly good job in most casesm but definately not perfect, which is why when they were introduced 15 years ago (well, on some scale at least), audiophiles were not extatic in general about the perfect sound quality, even though the frequency range and distortion and noise figures should have made them that.

Than was not just a matter of imperfect electronics, that is that the CD and the digital to analog conversion in itself were good enough but messed up in practice by imperfect circuits, but also a result of the signal processing they applied. When the samples are read from a CD, the sigal that I've mentioned like with the chopped up seismograph paper, they are fed to the amplifier after they were put on a row after filtering, that is they are made smooth again. That smoothening now is the problem. There are very well known and diverse ways of making electronics smooth signal, and so they did in those (and modern) CD players, but they for certain do not smooth such that our original 20000 Herz signal is found back after the filter without distortion. The trick here is that when the signal lasts long enough, the result looks fine, just as they were shown and specified in those days, maybe a little bit louder or softer, but nothing to worry about outside very high spun audiophile considerations (maybe this one after 10 minutes is just a very little touch too brittle..). Then what's the prob?

Transients. In short: the phase of the signal for certain will have changed, most likely considerable, that is when the original seismograph paper is held next to the CD output one, the 20kHz wiggle looks the same in nice enough round shape, and of course it takes the same amount of distance (time) for each wiggle, and the height of the signal (the amplitude) is practically the same as compared to other frequencies, but the time scale is shifted. Maybe even more then a few wiggles. Which is seemingly not that bad: the signal is fine enough, and the ear is not that sensitive to phase shifts, certainly not in that frequency range, but it for certain is problematic when various signals are present together, because then their interaction is changed. And then the worst: the beginning and end of the signal is different, that is the start time has changed a bit, and the shape of the signal starting to wiggle, and decaying is changed. And ears are sensitive to that, in lower frequency ranges, where the effect also plays a role even quite sensitive, it is the way in which we place instruments (in time and in the stereo or quadro sound picture) and determine important properties of the sounding material.

And then we didn't discuss the vertical, amplitude side of things yet. Because the signal is not just chopped up into little time pieces, but also digitized, that is the signal-voltage from the cassette deck (or lets say the master tape recorder in an (analog) studio) is measured by a computer circuit that has certain amount of numbers to do the job, in fact it normally has about 65 thousand (2 to the power of 16 is 65536) voltage levels it recognizes, and all voltages fed to it are rounded to these voltage steps. Percentage wise that seems fine: hundreds of a promill or something, but the ear is sensitive, it can listen to music at lets say a hundred dB audio pressure level, and than can listen to details in a passage at 40 dB. 60 dB difference means that the signal is a thousand times softer, then for that signal there are only about 65 different levels levels left, a few percent error when we're not lucky. And THAT is audible. A few percent is not acceptable for a bit of a quality system. Problem. Simple solution: take more bits, such as 20 or even 24, then the while dynamic range of the ear is covered good enough.

Now this may not be the biggest problem for music without too much dynamic range, we don't all listen to well recorded symphony orchestras, and for popular nusic the dynamic range normally suffices even for high standards, but the result of the quantizing, that is the rounding to available signal voltage levels is not just that the signal becomes inaccurate at low levels, it also makes it harder to do the reconstruction mentioned above accurately. The theoretical reconstruction proof requires that the samples are infinetely accurate, not calculator numbers with a few digits, because then the reconstruction isn't perfect in theory anymore. Now it would go pretty far to go into the real problem, but in short the moment at which a sample is made, and the comparison of the smoothing of the original seismograph paper before this happens (which is required) and the smoothing the reconstruction filter does, in combination with the discretisation results in even more trouble.

This subject is not just under construction, it is also not fully covered to my knowledge level here.

dec 18, 2000

Lots of stuff seem to call for it to be written down. Lets see.

The law on my personal data

Last week I've been reading in the law department again. What the hell is a 'safe haven' in terms of personal data on the internet? It seems that european law sort of dictates rules on data management for in this case outside EC companies, and that the US response has been that they make a special provision to let american companies exchange data over a european law approved instance nicked 'save haven'. Collective type approval is kind of the idea.

Now what the heck is that? Who has its what reversed here? Grmbl, Grmbl. Lets' see. So when personal data are somehow recorded, there is legislation to make sure this all can happen decently. Good. That's reassuring, and in fact I recently read the dutch rules of some 5 years ago, that basically give me the right to access and correct ANY stored record of personal data, anywhere in Holland. Fine, thats logical, that means they can't just make all kinds of (possibly phoney or at least erronous) records about me, without the legal right to verify this and with legal backup to apply corrections if needed. This is also true for medical data, and of course, the law also forbids unauthorized use of personal data records.

About that European Union / US data exchange: this is official, man. This is the stuff we pay taxes for, this were all kinds of european committee members get all kinds of wonderfull membership state paid trips for to arrange, this the real, 1/5 th of the world leadership game. The reason for my response being that this european way of wanting to enforce some I-don't-know-what is that a governmental (EU) body must be informed or involved in any safe data site. Aha. So a central organisation must have access to all the data. Well well, lawyers?

Safe haven. Aha.

Lets say my Yahoo mail account has my data in it, which it does, than some John Doodle diamantcolar at the european politburo must have that data, too? What? How is that? I'll see if I can look this stuff up before jumping to conclusions, but still.


My interest in philosophy is official since I was halfway my electrical engineering study. I followed a course on the history of philosophy, also of science, and passed the official exam after the two course parts by writing a good enough essay on standard questions about Protagoras (man is the measure of all knowledge) and Plato (well known, mainly assumed the existence of 'pure', that is theoretically perfect, forms), and the course of greek philosophic history unter few hunded AD., and the essay part on a comparison between the sophist and sceptist philosophers schools, which I attacked from a knowledge-theoretical angle, of course dragging in poor ol Carl Popper to do not big company management, but essential theorems about 'logik der Forschung' first.

The idea being that Poppers main idea probably can be summed up as follows: the things we learn in science are never for certain, but when experiments keep supporting a certain theory, than the theory is worth considering. As soon as there is one counter example for some theory, it has been disproven, and therefore untrue, but until that moment, it can be accepted for the time being. Than the idea is that the process of trying to disprove a theory is a major scientific and valid activity, and when after many such attempts a theory still is not disproven, it is worth considering as true. Of course always until it would be disproven.

Now the idea is that I wanted to observe that there is a development in acquisition of knowledge where time is the major factor not just in ascertaining the truth of a theory, that is it takes time to make a theory tested, but also in influencing the level of knowledge being produced and put up for testing. One starts with simple problems, and as one progresses, the available knowledge and communication/observation methods give confidence to aim for more complicated knowledge. Interesting questions being how such a process runs, where I gave the example of a child: it starts to understand simple things, light and dark, if-I-cry-do-I-get-milk, the faces of people, more complicated mechanical inferences and induction, until in the end maybe scientific questions. My main deliberate limitation for the sake of a decent essay and line of thought was to take only the amount of time as a parameter for making assesments about knowledge growth. Could be interesting to read again, I guess a neatly printed copy is still at DUT, in Prof Doorman archives.

Can't resist the obvious enough remark that in philosophy, unlike the complement in some 'other' sciences, one tries to make easy things complicated. I did formal logic (fun enough, but it did take me 3 exams), but I'm not sure about the right expression for the sort of inverse of this statement, then again, its just a little word game.

Recently, I visited a lecture on science and religion (a favorite theme and J Scofield song I had the pleasure of performing, too). Evidently, I honour the point of view where science and religion that I find acceptable can not in any lasting way be contradictory. That is when religion makes a statement, science cannot make a contrary statement in my opinion without raising questions, and an argument that needs to be resolved. Not politically, but practically. The earth created in 6 actual days? Nah. Hebrew doesn't say that. That sort of stuff.

I might put on some notes of the lecture, mainly I was in myself prompted at the need for decently dealing with these issues, especially when people are involved for whom the intellect is important part of their person.

James again

Now what? The epistle of James interests me amoung other reasons because it is the very first piece of new testament writing, the author was Jesus' brother, who was the head of the church of Jerusalem less than a generation after Jesus was there Himself.

There are some other pages, mainly reachable from my DDS homepage, where some of my greek findings on James (1) are presented, including my view that this first new testament piece of writing probably starts out with essential truth.