Theo Verelst Diary Page

Latest: 10 january 2001

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.

Previous Diary Entries

Jan 10, 2000

'Befehl ist befehl'

As most will know in german this means someting like an order is an order, which then has to be carried out, meant as an excuse for the atrocities in the name of nazism during WOII. I heard the expression when I as little, and thought is was funny at the time, sort of as in 'oh rene' kind of television series logic.

Thinking about what certain breed of people may be and are into, I see the expression as it must have appeared to the addressees at the time is was used first: a horrible way of saying: I'm not responsible for taking part in for instance the organized killing of a race of people, because I've only followed orders.

Maybe a worse one: 'ich habe es nicht gewuest' as in to indicate to supposedly not have known about for instance the gas chambers and their use.

The expressions are indicative of people not wanting to be responsible for their role in the system they have taken active part in, and I think it is essential for anyone to realise that no matter how we look at it we are always in some kind of system, and that it would better be good enough, for ourselves, and for others. Good enough in the sense that it has desired results that are measured in ways that are at least understandable, just, reasonable maybe, and in line with what can be understood as good enough human behaviour, including being against evil.

I wouldn't like to imagine what it has been like to live in germany at the time as for instance a victim kid, or as 18 year old draftee, or inhabitant of a bombed city. In the latter case I guess run like hell, in the first and second case maybe the same, but where? I guess desertion would be lethal. Then all the more I feel like and want to stress the importance of preventing ever having such a system alive and active anywhere where it can be prevented, because it will only bring misery and achieve nothing worth while, just like the nazi system could never be taken for achieving anything at all usefull, not even, maybe especially spiritually. The nothingness in fascism just the same.

The propagande machine in many forms, and the evil roots in society nazism was built on can easily be seen for what it is: no one can take mein kampf serious as truthful literature, or writing of any weight at all. No one would need to believe the shit about races Voltaires lie and all that when they think only a little straight. Any serious normal person, let alone serious and edified christian can understand that sacrificing the jewish race is not going to bring about anything worth while on this earth, unless you have a very warped and unrealistic religeous deamon, and are willing to remain stupid enough to even believe its doctrines.

Then how is it possible that so many millions are willing to take such lies and live by them so long and at such high cost? Appearently they are deluded enouhj, or think it is justified to have hope that their behaviour is at least at some point going to do them some good. Why bother, otherwise.

Nazism for some obviously meant power, probably certain riches, definately status, probably a spiritual state that was considered advantageious, maybe land and ideals of world dominion (more power), and I guess the idea of such a radical semi religion as an ideology made some hope anything they wanted as long as they joined the great machine, which is a severe danger that should never be repeated.

For many, it must have been a simple staying alive and literal survival situation, and probably a matter of a threatening power shift: if you can't beat them, join them. I guess some played along for other reasons, I think it is quite likely that all kinds of evil were projected, and that some were (preventably) deluded that a bad system may in the end at least achieve some good in the way they would hope. Lets say someone is a catholic abuse victim. Nazism will rule the world in the end, and in the process may kill those religious child abusers. Could be appealing, minus that than nazism would have to be better at least, or it just an incredibly destructive change of system with no improvement.

These thoughts are not based on nothing. I've lived and worked near semi persons various backgrounds and (as I found proof for later on) modus operandus, and I've been witness of their internal makeup and behaviour. Catholic and 'machine' type situations were regularly not too hard to discern, where I use the term catholic as in general fake religion, because I've underestimated the amount of evil in religions which currently bear other names. The power games amoung the ones I (mostly inadvertedly) worked with are not burned onto my retina, but I've witnessed scenes that were emotionally charged and symbolic of these two kinds of systems.

Without elaborating now (I need to think about what to recal and write), the main point to me is very clear: one gets born in a catholic village, where there is no way out of living with your own childabusing death worthy priests over your head, finds that the revolutionaries are going to violently overthrow their ruling, in the process maybe killing some, and are even winning. Then joining them isn't a hard choice.

If it wasn't for ^&%#$ religion.

And of course if they ar not equally bad or worse themselves. Which in the case of nazism obviously is true.

At least them the picture is clear. Psychology would call it projective principles (I've heard some even mention it as political/oppressive principle), which are bad enough, but completely evil and worth nothing else but complete abolishing if they are even used to permute the sources of evil in the great bowl of religious leadership. I don't feel at the point of persuing eloquent writing, but the last part of this sentence at least makes a point I find essential. And I do NOT agree that God does the same, as in that He is shuffling evil and sin around requiring sacrifices in the process. I think that the sacrifice of Christ was because God's standard of justice and holyness could not be fullfilled by any human being, and that Jesus made the way free to forgive in His name the ones He had chosen to be one with, whom He could justify and give of His life. And NOT because God wanted to make the principle clear that slaughter, abuse, and the taking of life and death are to be taken as integral part fo nature as He intended it. It is the result of punishment of sin against God, who is holy, and just (without sin), powerfull, and the source of life. And he simpy judged that His life is still subject to His laws, and that no man can claim to take the place He has to prescribe other laws, claim His position, or in general the right to ask for similar sacrifices He can demand, like eventual death of every person. And He has made clear in a long history what the difference is between His law and the doctrines of evil (religeous) leaders) and deamons. He provided his own Son as eternal and perfect sacrifice, as complete solution to the problem of sin, against so many miserableness, filthyness, and all kinds of evil where some claim to find even god in.

Programming in 'C' course, a taste

We can't start this in a another way of course than saying 'hello world':

   printf("Hello World !!\n");
This program would be a little text file lets say 'main.c', where the .c extension denotes it is a C program.

This piece of program code in a high level language sais mainly that there is a file to be included in the program which contains standard definitions for doing certain types of input and output, that the main code fragment, or 'function', that is a piece of program with a seperate name does a printing job, and that the content of that printing job is 'Hello world !!' as we planned. We could change the text, and the program would print that text.

The semi colons are obligatory to end a line, the curly braces are to keep portions of code together. This text file is presented to program called a compiler, in this case the C compiler, which sees what it says, and translates this human readable source code to what is called object or machine code, which can be understood as commands for the actual processor, such as a pentium.

(more later)

Illegal broadcast

Interestingly, the electronics world has shades of democracy that usually are not too black, it seems: parts are available freely enough, information is availabe in abundance about theory, parts, circuits, and even the latest and sensitive technology is at least reasonably openly available and free for competitors. Some things however, are illegal for other reasons: missile control parts, maybe bug devices, phone tap machines, police communication scanner / descramblers (although I'm not sure that's just undesirable), cable television illegal descramblers, etc.

In line with the sort of 'possible to laugh at' at least double logic sometimes present in electrical engineering circuits, lets say like a 666 checksum on every little piece of merchandise in the supermarket with a bar code on it, I bought, or was given as birthday present, I don't remember, another piece of potentially highly illegal electronics with a name that nicely hides this nature: a measurement transmitter. No kidding, this was a few watts or so, microfone input fitted illegal FM transmitter which neatly on the label was officially called measurement transmitter.

I had this kit when I was maybe still in primary school, and later on I heard that at least 'illegal' 3 meter sets were also officially banned from stores, though in the same store I had mine from only a few years ago it still has a little bag with electronics in the window with still the same official label, and, in line with another interesting electronics world phenomenon, even the same price tag. Only in line with this particular retailer, it might even be the same stock. I hope those french woofers I got via them are also still on stock with the same price, and in some quantity (good for a kilowatt for instance) in some time to come.

Anyhow: a little device like this, with an oscilator based on a little curl of copper on the printed circuit board of about two windings as a coil, and a trimmable capacitor as resonating circuit, powered by a still used transistor with or without little hat of aluminium as a hearsink, and maybe two handsfull more of electronics parts, was mine for the using for about 20 guiders. Seriously when used to its potential, this thing is illegal enough to make the neighbours call the rfc or equivalent, their open-air radio (completely common in those days) and television reception would realy be quite in trouble because of this thing and a good enough battery. Not that it is very powerfull in terms of CB set power, although maybe a wat or so is not funny, especially when mirrors (additional unwanted broadcast frequencies) of the signal are spread out all over the fm, tv, and airliners reception band.

Mine was restricted. Seriously restricted, and I was neat enough to hardly (...) ever transgress, in fact for simple reasons: I had been informed that if the rfc would come and cross measure where my signal was coming from, they would not just fine me and confiscate the transmitter, but also the attached audio equipment, which may not have been my pride and joy as they say, but was certainly valuable and irreplaceble for me at the time. So I was carefull, and left the little pcb in the tin (sigar box) enclosure to shield the main radiation, except for two small antenna parts coming out of the box.

Recently, I from memory built roughly the same circuit on breadboard (those things are handy, though normally not first choice for radio engineers, I'm certain), and it worked! But because I had no capacitor of the right value I had to fake one with parallel wires, which made it sort 'spread band' and not too powerfull on its 5 volt supply. Fun enough though, I broadcast some police and other CD's from the at than point macintosh workplace to another place with a tuner as wireless connection.

In highschool time, the transmitter was used for various thourough purposes: to see how for electromagnetic fields I could generate would carry (not that far, but more than interesting enough, and on battery power), to make music broadcasts, to make voice contact, and sometimes even to control a model car with. As can be found from my other pages, I was into audio in all the forms I cound use: tapes, records, mixing, collages, tape montages, quality reproduction, etc. I liked to make things sound good, and even though it was satisfactory to spread my music in the receivable environment, the audio quality of this transmitter, as of many like them, was little short of poor for hifi purposes. And of course, it was a measurement transmitter... Anyhow, I at the time invented a effective remedy for this problem, that in fact I had (and have) not heard of from other sources, which was simply: feedback. I short, I received my own broadcast signal by my tuner unit, made sure it was in counterphase from the signal feeding the transmitter, and mixed this feedback signal with it in a considerable amount. The result, apart from oscillation with too much feedback, was audibly much better frequency response, and audibly less (harmonic) distortion, in fact making the signal of quite acceptable audio quality (I think loop amplification was at least 20 dB or so), distortion and frequency range wise.

I had a friend living about half a block away, who regularly listened in, and who in the beginning communicated back using a light with semi morse code in the window. Later on, it was decided to tackle the communication more professionally, and I built another transmitter, for little money, without buying the kit, and we established full duplex links between our rooms after school. Little music, microphones with high enough sensitivity, that worked. One time, I even brought my equipment to school for an offical illegal project broadcast station, with so little power however that not even the whole school territory was covered.

I found out soon enough that the metal shields in concrete are like 'cages of farraday', that is they tend to shield of electromagnetical signals quite a bit. Two or three layers of them and the signal would be minimized. Reflections and their interfearences were even worse: I sometimes tested my transmitters' reach by taking my army-imitation kind of portable radio with S meter outside and walk the neighbourhood with it while leaving some music on to be broadcast. The patterns of good and bad reception made not too much sense, sometime behind a lot of building the signal was fine, while for instance downstairs close to the door my then 4 story high parental home, the signal had to pass through too many floors with shielding, or the metal letterboxes messed the signal up, I don't know but then reception was poor. I'm certain the ground also took part in the transmission, but I'm still at a loss as to various phenomena I remember. That s meter (signal strength) made quite quirky motions sometimes walking only a few meters while 50 meters or so away from the transmitter. Those wireless phones must have found ways around similar problems.

I think it was in the time I used a simple acronym based on the letters of my name for my small radio station that MTV came into existence, funnily enough simply my full initials.

My electronics 'hobbies' at university were almost strictly of solid foundation: I made OTA based VCA circuits which in spite of their measurement instrument-like setup were rejected from my main audio chain for its distortion figures, though the chips I used I also found in D&R mixer components, I made software (in BBC computer basic) that did complex matrix inversions, circuit parsing, and graph drawing for any smaller than 30 part or so linear electronics circuit (I wanted to know what equalizer filters responded like, for instance), I made motor control units with pulsed EMK feedback measurement, made a electronic lesley unit with noise reduction for keyboard use, and then later on I started C/unix development on my then extensively used 68000 based Atari ST computer.


The first magnetical recordings, I read long ago, were recorded on iron wire, which I found funny. I had books about all kinds of audio related subjects from childhood on, and this particular book I remember was already not up to date when I first read it. It had sharp enough black and white pictures containing all kind of tape recorder related content, from coconut halves for mimicing horse hoofs on the road for radio plays, to a stylish picture of the First Portable Compact Cassette Recorder, with the 3 way slider knob, while I in fact already had a more recent also philips cassette recorder. The book was a varied reading source, with all the technology, including how tape magnetisation works (bias, hysteresis, track ordering on reel to reel versus cassette tapes, NAB curves, saturation, airslit, frequency range and tape speed), applications from sound effects to synchronized dia presentations, tape editing and music studio recording issues such as mixers, microphone techniques and acoustics, and even all possible standardized DIN plug connection diagrams, including impedance adaptations. Thourough reading material, and I borrowed the book more than once, I sort delved into all that with pleasure.

I made music tapes from radio material, and as soon as I built my first sound mixers, I also played DJ on tape, made collages of tape edited materials, in fact for some time I did actual tape cutting on an old, heavy, sturdy reel to reel tape recorder with a self developed siccors and cellotape method, though my later often used pause button cassette deck approach was much prefered. I also had various recordings of conferances, commedians that is, and recorded directly from TV, technologywise interesting and unusual at the time (seperation transformer needed), regularly from shows from a dutch comedian called Andre van duin.

Recently the radio show the 'dick voor mekaar show' (I'll not be a drag with a dutchmans engish translation that is funny in dutch environments) reappeared on radio. I was frequent listener at the time, it is two people doing imitations of a whole scale of fictive characters which have since long had their own existence in holland, hardly a soul who won't know their voices and names straight away. Absolutely hilarious stuff, it would require sound examples to explain, I'm not sure written text can examplify the content. On tv I only remember one serious part of a regular 2d man on the shows, where an in fact serious declamation of a heavy weight poem in dutch is sort of in 'not on purpose' sneakingly rude manner interupted by the commedian. A part of the poem I have in memory, its worth quoting, I'd still know a part of the act to make it sound right, for those who know it its funny

'In de diepte van het stampend rollend schip daar staat de stoker in zijn zweetdoek.'

While this goes on, there are regular interuptions from the, first invisible, comedian from behind a curtain, some muffled coughs first, until a real load ughe ughe attracts the (little) performers' attention, and only the head of the commedian becomes visible after a few wild gestures 'come here', and the performer is by an absolutely ridiculously dressed commedian asked what he is doing? The nice but decidated answer is 'I'm reading a poem here', 'but that is not what we had appointed isn't it!'. In the following scene the comedian starts to make fun of the whole dramatic and serious declamation obviously against his idea of the show by stupid imitations and funny remarks, while sort of hiding behind the curtain in semi inconspicuous ways trying to signal the performer. Hard to write down, very funny stuff, on audio tape this scene wouldn't completely work, but many other were, and before the advent of the home vcr they at times made me later listen to shows after bed time.

Jumping to my highschool graduation year is the first time tapes actually made me a profit, though not much and after much honest work. There was a goodbye stage play for a leaving director, and I was still the unoffical head of the technical committee, responsible for a major part of the audio and lighting part of the production of teacher staff and pupils. Without getting into the fun enough parts of that, there was a recording made of the play (ever try to do voice amplification of untrained, freely walking actors in a gym without the budget for even one wireless ?), and I had with some friends at the time proposed to duplicate the recording to as many people as wanted copies, promising copies at my quality levels, that is not just run of the mill copy machine results.

We made a list of interessees, and ended up with a few hundred requests for 1 or 2 tape copies on basic or good quality tapes. As habitual, my 2x3.5 bedroom ended up as studio, this time with about 6 or 7 cassette decks and my reel to reel master tape deck and mixer unit with buffered outputs to drive all the decks. This was production work, and it wasn't all too handy to make various types of copies, and make the tapes decent enough, without much blank. I had mastered and tought ('one two , go') the trick of almost inaudible simulataneous master player / recorder stops and restarts over pause, so different tape running times would not upset the parallel recording sessions, and we in the end ended up with a few hundred tapes of good quality copies, and were of course left with the administration and distribution of the whole lot. Fun enough for once, and we had satisfied customers, and of course made a mild profit for our efforts. At least these were good and legal copies.

Language findings

Today I found out that Homers' supposed writings came into existence quite at the same time Isaiah (the old testament prophet) propesized. In fact a little after, both about 750 BC. Homers' Illias and Odesseus seem to have been oral chants or poems, put in memorisable form for oral recitation even on music that possibly were collected by Homer into the well known books. I was interested in a few things, first: is it true that the citations in new testament, for instance by the recorded words of Jesus can tell us something about the language differences in the thora (old testament), the prophets (like Isaiah, of later date) and the hebrew known and understood in Jesus days? Second, what's with James 1 in terms of the normal interpretation it should be given how it was intended, and third: are there greek and hebrew resources that clearly influenced the writing style, content or imagery used in this chapter.

Progressing Sounds

I've added a envelope generator to the synth sample generator program, which in addition to the linearly interpolated first 16 harmonics (graphically represented) from the beginning to the end of the sound, and the the filter cutoff and resonance idem, adds a linear attack and decay with sustain level to the sound.

I wasn't sure it would be good enough in 8 (9) bits, and wether the sounds would be much different, but it had good effect, also because the VCA, the unit (in software) that changes the volume with adjustable rates, is active before the filter unit. The filter is sensitive to sudden signal changes, especially when it is nearly resonating, and a sudden amplitude change thus influences the sound character on top of just the volume.

I've made a clarinet and accordeon type of sound, both musically good enough, which is not that easy, and a number of syntetically oriented sounds, most quite usefull, that means the signal path is good.

Also, I've tried a piano type of sound, which of course is not like a real piano sample (yet..) but definately a good sounding electrical piano type of sound enough to make me wonder about what it would sound like ina polyphonic version.

Lastly, I made drum sounds (its like turning the knob on maybe not a minimoog without mudulation sources yet, but definately worth it), a bass drum getting on the speakerss nerves easily enough, a type of snare drum-ish sound I remember from my Poly 800, and even the type of organ drum sounds I used to find quite attractive, sort of like in 'in the air tonight', the sort of hollow 'plick' heard regularly. I remember these were not easy when I made electronical circuits long ago (see also my more recent electronica circuits page), and now I found that as I expected a good resonance (and as I found some years ago also for the BD: a good pitch curve) make then almost up to organ standard. Maybe some more cabinet and or resonator bank simulator stuff would be nice, ore a few oscilators together, some noise of shapeble source, maybe a double decay section on the EG for VCA and filter, and some distortion, preferably in the filter would make it more top. Noise is available by simply in various forms clippling the harmonic generators output when overdriving their intermedeate signal 'bus'.