Page Created: 9/10/2021   Last Modified: 6/7/2024   Last Generated: 6/7/2024

In chronological order below are links to each blog (my individual web log postings), excavated and curated by me after the fact to add a title and abstract summary, something I started doing since September 2021 once I remembered the importance of hearing temporal story pattern. I wanted to create something like a medieval chronicle↗, but it also allows me (and the public) to more easily find information in my previously-uncategorized, unstructured blogs that are not in my SiteIndex (which contains my named project and essay pages). They are classified into 3 categories of microblog (very short informational blogs), blog (normal ones), and superblog (longer, more thoughtful ones that could have become essays in their own right).

I also enjoy futurology, and so I've inserted occasional [BRACKETED GREEN TEXT] to note, through hindsight, items of interest revealed after the fact but not known during those earlier, primordial posts, as if Morpheus in The Matrix or Dickens' Ghost of Christmas Past↗ is annotating the events in a world that is now only a shadow, and it helps me to see this amorphous movement as I hear the whisper of the gas mantle lamp.

As the years of our entropic world pass behind us, our mind and body increase in complexity like descending into the roots of a tree, and like the enumerated floors of a roguelike dungeon, these posts are numbered as you descend. My current blog always shows my latest, un-summarized news at the top, but in this Enchanted Scroll of Chronos, to find its title and synopsis and find out just how many floors there are, you'll have to take the stairs and scroll down to the very bottom. Or, if you're a sorcerer of hypertext, you may snap your fingers to teleport there.

18/1/2014microblogWonderful Day - My very first real-time blog post on the day went live.
28/1/2014microblogBlog is Unstable - Bug fixing my new Scratched in Time blogging system.
38/1/2014microblogTori in Town - Went to see one of my favorite female vocalists.
48/4/2014microblogFirst Comments - Received my first two comments but my untrained spam filter accidentally blocked them.
58/4/2014microblogUnblocked Comments - Tried out my comment unblocking function for the first time.
68/6/2014microblogWatched Some Stuff - Watched Guardians of the Galaxy (by a local St. Louis filmmaker), Continuum, Doctor Who, and PBS Generation Like.
78/6/2014microblogPosted FAQ - Wrote up a site FAQ and posted it.
88/18/2014blogHistoric Tragedy - The historic police shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent civil unrest took place six miles away from me.
98/21/2014blogSensing a Zeitgeist - The complex reaction to the shooting showed me a generational shift in thinking.
108/22/2014microblogPeace is Returning - The riots had subsided and I went to the park.
118/23/2014microblogRan Around the Lake - Ran around the lake to the sound of cidadas and thought about buoyancy after watching a mishap with some home-built submarine inventors on TV.
128/29/2014microblogPublished 3 More Essays - Published my Contextual Bubble, Time Capsule, and Eye Believe essays.
139/1/2014microblogRan a Cloudy 5K - Ran St. Louis University Cancer Center 5K.
149/16/2014microblogBooks, Anime, and Motors - Read Complexity, watched Noragami, dismantled a laser copier.
159/30/2014microblogUsed Bookstore and MMORPG - Bought On Intelligence and began test playing Shroud of the Avatar pre-alpha early access release 10.
1610/8/2014blogConductive Ink, 3D-Printing and NDE documentaries - Months after I attended the Kansas City Maker Faire (with that giant Anubis out front), I got the cutting-edge CircuitScribe, watched both Print the Legend and an amazing NDE story from Rich Kelley (that has since been taken offline).
1710/28/2014blogMissing Airplanes and Musings on Role-Based Avatars - Watched Lost during an illness which reminded me of MH370 and Joseph Campbell archetypes. Played release 11 of Shroud of the Avatar. Began writing my (to be later named Unobtainium) essay.
1811/2/2014microblogReleased Scratched in Time 1.2 - Found bug in my blogging system and released fix in version 1.2.
1911/4/2014blogReturning to Microcontroller Game After 20 Years - Built a Raspberry Pi-based development environment and began programming the ATtiny1634 (although I hadn't revealed the chip I was using yet) in C language for the first time to create my mythical electronic game, a version of which later became my Tiny Room in Tiny World solar-powered roguelike game, but I didn't release any details at that point.
2011/19/2014blogThe Loneliness of the Long Distance Programmer - I had built up my skills in C again and was deep into programming the ATtiny roguelike but had to confront the fact that my focused virtual world projects always take time away from important things in the real world.
2111/21/2014blogGot Map and Monsters Working - I finally revealed I was working on a roguelike and successfully created algorithms to generate my randomized game map and got basic melee working between abstract roguelike "actors". I decided against thin walls, C++, and objects, pondered how to use stats, and observed curious, unexpected behavior.
2211/30/2014blogGot Command System Working - I began comparing our spatial existence to roguelike simulations after building a text-based command system, discovered an interesting benefit in deterministic pseudorandom generators, used bit-level optimizations for space, added an HP system, and found curious analog with the monster graveyard and the real world. Note that I did not reveal my Morse code interface at this time.
2312/5/2014blogDesmond's Trap - I redesigned my dedicated AVR programmer so that it does not depend on a repetitive manual pushbutton like Desmond in Lost but allows programmatic control so that I can program remotely. But Desmond's fear turned out to be justified as my virtual world ended in electrical cataclysm when I burned out two Raspberry Pis due to freak coincidence.
2412/6/2014microblogSt. Nicholas Day 2014 - Happy happy!
2512/21/2014blogAn Interstellar Morse Code Christmas - My 25th post was the last one before the 25th (Christmas), and while feeling its spirit, I revealed that I was studying International Morse Code to communicate with a machine (my roguelike engine), built my first Morse encoder and decoder, and used Base-26 for a positional numeral system. Oh, and I saw Interstellar.
2612/31/2014blogA New Year's Eve Reflection on Blogging and SDR - After my first year of blogging came to an end, I reflected on whether or not it was worthwhile and began experimenting with my first RTL2832U-based software-defined radio receiver that I received for Christmas.
271/8/2015blogPublished Another Essay, Began a Chaos Class - Published my Unobtainium essay in the cold with a cold, watched Snowpiercer, and began an online class on complexity science and fractal mathematics at the Santa Fe Institute.
281/16/2015blogPublished Transhuman, Watched Some Films, Added Creation Dates - I began to resume my philosophical mindset that winter and began to publish a new series of philosophical essays, the first being an inquiry into immortality and futurism called Transhuman. I also added creation dates to my page metadata for historical purposes and watched Mr. Nobody, H+: The Digital Series, and Nebraska.
291/20/2015microblogPublished The Observer - On a philosophical roll, I published my essay The Observer.
301/27/2015microblogPublished Pattern - A week after publishing my previous essay, I published another essay called Pattern.
312/2/2015microblogPi 2 Announcement - Was excited that the Raspberry Pi 2 was officially announced (this later became the basis for my important packet radio and 3D printing projects).
322/2/2015microblogHappy Groundhog Day 2015 - Happy happy!
332/17/2015blogBegan Physical Prototyping and Got a Pi 2 - Made some design decisions on the direction of my roguelike game and began a series of physical prototypes (none of which have been revealed to the public) using a variety of non-traditional fabrication methods. [THIS FORMED THE GERM FOR MY IDEAS ON "DE-IMMERSION"] And I finally got my first Raspberry Pi 2.
342/19/2015blogPassed Class - I passed my class at the Santa Fe Institute with flying colors, and it was a rewarding experience that helped me refine my fractal philosophy.
353/4/2015blogTools and Prototyping - While continuing my roguelike game prototyping, I wondered if I need additional tools like 3D printers or whether or not I was seeking perfection in the wrong place.
363/23/2015blogRunning and More Prototyping - The physical prototyping of my roguelike game has continued, and I began to get philosophical, seeking new approaches to find magical combinations, beginning to find hidden boundaries in Nature. I got new shoes, began my spring running again, and watched the films Parallels, Automata, and K2: Siren of the Himalayas.
374/10/2015blogParasitic Effects and Prototype Hell - I continued to prototype my game UI via trial and failure using various combinations but could not get the materials that I wanted to use to work within my design constraints, hoping to find a magical optimal path, but the physical world was unforgiving.
384/16/2015blogFinally Found a Working Design - After two months of intense work, I finally found a working interrupt-driven design for my game UI (a version of which became the UI in my Tiny Room Tiny World game) and began thinking about the concept of Time itself.
395/8/2015blogNo Response from Roguelike Conference, Began Training for 5K - I requested to speak at the International Roguelike Developer's Conference in Atlanta but didn't hear back. Increased my running training for upcoming 5K. Began writing another philosophical essay (which later became The Armchair).
405/9/2015microblogI Spoke Too Soon - Due to e-mail communication error, the conference organizer didn't get my request and said I may be able to speak at the upcoming conference. Yes!
415/29/2015microblogScheduled to Speak at US IRDC Tomorrow - This was notice that I was confirmed to speak on May 30th at the US IRDC and created new A Tiny Room in a Tiny World project page. (note that I didn't mention that over the past 20 days I had worked furiously to convert my game prototype into a proof-of-concept version and wrote up a presentation for the conference.)
426/3/2015blogReturned from the US IRDC on Solemn Note - After my wonderful experience in Atlanta, I returned home to find out that one of my old running teammates had passed away. [AND JUST LIKE CHARIOTS OF FIRE, I LATER WENT TO HER VISITATION AND REUNITED WITH OLD TEAMMATES]
436/7/2015microblogPublished The Armchair - After all the profound events of the past week, I decided to publish The Armchair.
446/7/2015microblogHigh Schooler Broke the 4-minute Barrier - The running memories just don't stop, for I found out at our teammate's funeral that the 7th high schooler in US history in my very own city reproduced the herculean feat of Roger Bannister.
456/25/2015superblogThe Clouds - I watched Twelve O'Clock High, Time to Remember, and even some documentaries on the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic phenomenon. This brought back memories of the flying model toys that I built as a child while finding out that Shenmue III was to be a reality. The isolation of the clouds are a cozy place for one's intellect and pristine virtues, but can be a hazardous one for relating to one another in the world on the ground.
467/2/2015superblogThe Secrets of the Story - In trying to add balanced gameplay to my roguelike game, I began looking at the story itself as a "fixed something", along with secrets, that can widen the mystery of the game using language with very little code required, leveraging our uniquely human context.
477/16/2015microblogBegan Two More Essays; Old Classmate to Go to Space - I began writing two more essays (which later became Binary Opposition and Unity and Separation) and found out that my former school classmate, Bob Behnken, was selected by NASA to be one of the first 4 astronauts to go space aboard a Commercial Crew rocket.
487/23/2015blogBegan Researching the ESP8266 - I began my first cursory research into the now-famous ESP8266.
498/5/2015blogSpaces, Story Deconstruction, Videocard Research - I visited the Lantern Festival at Missouri Botanical Gardens and began visualizing spaces and their relation to stories as part of my roguelike programming, deconstructing stories into 3 basic elements: The Structure, The Secret, The Details. I continued writing my two essays and researched the Nvidia Geforce GTX 750 Ti to speed up my 3D game engines. Watched SAO II and Plastic Memories.
508/27/2015microblogBuilt Packet Radio Interface, Published Project Page, Enrolled in Fractals Class - I built my own "super interface" to allow remotely-operated packet radio with my UV-5RA and Pi 2, described my adventure in my Packet Radio article, and enrolled in Fractals and Scaling at Santa Fe institute.
518/29/2015microblogPublished Two Fractal Essays - I published Binary Opposition and Unity and Separation.
529/22/2015blogQuantum Perspective - I've been concerned that I've been neglecting the concept of quantum computation in my fractal models and tried to reconcile this using the analog computer and radio as an analogy to show that our perspective causes us to see differences when there may be none. Watched I Dream of Wires.
5310/12/2015blogAnime and Arabic - I've been going to physical therapy for shoulder pain and watched Parasyte -the maxim, Charlotte, GATE, Fate/Stay Night, World Trigger, Classroom Crisis, and the 2005 BBC Egypt. I mention Nicholas Reeves discovery in Tutankhamun's tomb and memorized the Persian alphabet (today based on Arabic letters), similar to cursive English.
5411/2/2015superblogUnifying Scientific Thought Through Fractal Thinking - After curing myself of shoulder pain and completing my class on fractals where I encountered empirical rigidity, I wrote about the unsung importance of rationalism in science and that it can be unified with empiricism through fractal thinking, using the writings of a prominent brain surgeon (who has since passed away) to show the importance of diversifying one's mindset. Also watched Aldnoah.Zero, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, and Magi: The Kingdom of Magic.
5511/28/2015blogPi Zero Announced, Watched Some Moving Pictures - I mention that the new $5 Pi Zero was announced and how important this news was (which indeed was important to me in later years), watched Ex Machina, the final season of Continuum, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, and Eureka Seven. Pondered our perception of time in motion pictures.
5612/6/2015microblogHappy St. Nicholas Day 2015 - Happy happy!
5712/9/2015blogProject Curation - Released new versions of my site source code which add features that allow me to more easily curate it: hashtags to create a personal folksonomy, an Edit mechanism for faster editing, a Yearsago plugin to preserve time spans, limited Textile markup to my blog system, and external hyperlink arrows. Also published new Tag Search, Knowledge Curation, and Favorite Animation pages.
5812/11/2015microblogReleased Scratched in Time 1.4 - Released new version of my blogging code to add HTML anchors to my blog (the very feature that allows this Chronicle of Blogs page to link directly to my individual blogs).
5912/11/2015blog3D Storytelling Technologies - I began experimenting with Google Cardboard and 360 degree video and decided that I needed to build a 3D printer. I explained that simple perspective is more important than stereo depth perception for 3D storytelling.
6012/13/2015microblogBlog Crashed After 2 Years - The MicroSD card on my blog/comments server failed for the first time, and I had to replace it and rebuild the software on a new F2FS file system.
6112/14/2015microblogImproved Blog Linking Code - After my blog crashed, I decided to add a Bloglink macro and improve my blog anchor code to preserve links in my site source code and released new versions.
6212/25/2015microblogMerry Christmas 2015 - Merry merry!
631/1/2016blogBuilt 3D Printer as New Year Brings Historic Winter Floods - The new year began with flooding caused by historic levels of rain in my area, shutting down much of our infrastructure, followed by sub-freezing temperatures. Holed up inside, I built my first 3D printer and published The Third Dimension. Sadly, my friend's nice game-playing grandmother passed away the day before.
641/18/2016blogGot Nvidia GTX 750 Ti, Musing on Graphics Technologies - I received a new videocard for Christmas, and this, along with my recent experiments in 3D technologies, prompted me to widen my technical The Third Dimension essay into philosophical territory.
651/28/2016blogPlaying SOTA and Deconstructing the Roguelike - While playing Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar development release 25 on my new 750 Ti and my manually-configured TV EDID settings using the Unity 5 engine, I was excited and nostalgic for a combined Ultima and Ultima Online experience which I had "hoped" the game would become (but sadly did not). I mentioned the importance of "physics realism" [THIS IS IRONIC, SINCE THE LATER VALHEIM DID MOST OF WHAT I HAD HOPED SOTA WOULD DO ON THE UNITY ENGINE--SEE POST FOR 2/17/2021] I mentioned the importance of using computers for creation instead of consumption since building the RPG shows us valuable "liberating constraints" about our lives, similar to narrative structure and deconstructed the RPG into 4 elements: The Quest, Crafting, The Treasure, The Legacy.
662/1/2016blogThe RPG Triad - In studying the RPG as a story in order to procedurally-generate exciting roguelike games using minimal code, I found a way to unite my 3-part narrative deconstruction on 8/5/2015 with my 4-part RPG deconstruction to form an abstraction that I call the "RPG Triad".
672/10/2016superblogAncient Civilizations and the Roguelike - I watched Inuyasha episode 144, played Pixel Dungeon, and began reading Graham Hancock's new book Magicians of the Gods. In studying ancient civilizations in order to properly incorporate secrets into my roguelike "civilizations and context", I found cultural, language, and mythological similarities between the East and West, often expressed in anime, but I critiqued improper stereotypes in certain films based on comic books.
683/3/2016blogBegan Designing New Portable, Line-of-Sight Packet Radio System - I began researching APRS and Line-of Sight propagation from my geographical location, designing a new amateur radio system "sat project". [THIS WAS MY FIRST VAGUE MENTION OF WHAT WOULD LATER BE CALLED TRILLSAT]
694/29/2016blogRunning, Repairing Cars, Watching TV, and Programming EPUB Generator - I had been getting back into running, watched Bakuman and The Rockford Files (which I described in some detail), performed some car repairs, and programmed an EPUB generator for my site that I use internally in case I someday decide to publish an E-Book. I had been trying to purchase a Pi Zero for my sat project but was unsuccessful.
705/12/2016microblogSite Went Down Due to Thunderstorm - While working on my radio project, my site went offline the day before when a thunder and hail storm knocked out power.
715/22/2016blogBuilt Working AX.25 System on Pi Zero - I finally got hold of a Pi Zero and revealed that I had been programming a lightweight, self-powered, AX.25 based radio-relay around a Baofeng UV-5RA, including modifying its flash memory, designed to be elevated high above the terrain, like a satellite analog, and (like the previous storm) explained the importance of communicating in times of emergency when the infrastructure is down. Briefly explained the pseudoterminal testing, Unix delimiter and Python concurrency issues.
726/16/2016blogContinued Programming Packet Radio System - I was heavily into the packet radio programming and continued to encounter and solve Python concurrency issues.
737/12/2016blogAnime, Shenmue III, and Juno - The 3rd season of Bakuman (one of my favorite anime) was finally available in the US, reminiscent of my wait for Shenmue III. Watched Flying Witch, Steins;Gate, The Asterisk War (with an amazing scene), and NASA Juno entered Jovian orbit.
748/5/2016microblogBoth the Olympics and US IRDC to Begin - Mentioned that 2016 US International Roguelike Development Conference starts tomorrow in Brooklyn and the Summer Olympics opening ceremonies start later today.
759/17/2016blogKnee Injury, Watching TV, Taking a Break From Projects - For the first time in 3 decades I could not run due to knee pain. [THIS WAS LATER CONFIRMED AS PATELLAR TENDONITIS WHICH BROUGHT MY RUNNING TO A HALT FOR 3 YEARS AND PREVENTED HILL RUNNING] Took break from difficult radio project and watched Re: Zero - Starting Life in Another World, Stranger Things, and Cosmodrome, musing about Psychedelic Furs and the powerful NK-33.
769/22/2016microblogUPS Failure and Router Corruption - In a rare chain of events, my UPS failed and took out my web server which caused router memory corruption, requiring me to reconstruct it.
7711/13/2016microblogStarted New Job, Studying for General Class License, Auto Repairs - I started a new job as a scientific Linux programmer and at the same time was taking classes to study for my General Class Amateur Radio License (an upgrade from my Technician License) and had no time for much else. I also had to replace the starter and ignition wires on a broken down vehicle.
7811/16/2016microblogPassed General Class License Exam - I passed my Amateur Radio exam to receive my new license.
7912/19/2016blogImproving Roguelike Morse Decoder, Bug Fixes, and Writing - During the winter cold, I began to improve the Morse code decoding algorithm for my roguelike game [THIS WAS MY SIMTHEO ALGORITHM], had to workaround issues/bugs with my 3D slicing software and my ATTiny programming, and resumed my essay writing.
801/25/2017blogPrimes, Parallel Worlds, and the Pi 3 - The new year 2017 turned out to be a prime, and I mentioned the mysteries of adjacent primes and their densities, including logarithmic spirals, and the connection between our two parallel worlds of meaning and representation. I also got a Pi 3 for Christmas, compiled my roguelike map generator to work for ARMv8, and finished my new Morse decoding algorithm. Watched Passengers, Gravity, Arrival, Twin Star Exorcists (an anime about parallel planes of existence).
813/13/2017blogF2FS Blog Crash, 3D Printing Sat Project, Life as Geometry, Pi Zero W - Another thunderstorm took out my blog server, and I went back to ext4 since F2FS (that I switched to on 12/13/2015) was too fragile. Continued writing essays, played Minecraft, redesigned the housing for my sat project, and bought a Pi Zero W to replace Pi Zero. Mused about geometry in mechanical things (including spheres in Nature) and the way engineering solutions naturally converge with existing bodies of work. Used OpenSCAD, Slic3r, Printrun to begin 3D printing in PETG. Watched Rogue One, O Homem do Futuro, Bubba Ho-Tep, and waxed about self-similarity and self-delusion through Coscarelli's films.
823/17/2017blogSat Project Antenna Design and Modeling - I was deep in antenna design reading The ARRL Antenna Book with its nomograms, used 4nec2 for modeling, and narrowed it down to three 2-meter designs.
833/29/2017blogSat Project 3D-Printing Difficulties and Malfunction - Encountered and circumvented numerous problems printing precision PETG parts for my sat enclosure with my kit-based RepRap 2020 Prusa i3, including burning out my hot-end thermistor during a 12-hour print. [THIS WAS TRILLSAT'S CENTRAL BATTERY FRAME]
844/11/2017blog3D Printer Repairs, Built Dummy Load and 2nd Packet Radio Interface - Received new hot end part and repaired my 3D printer, but I got another wrecked part and had to adjust the stepper current and lubricate the bearings. Built my first 50-ohm dummy load and had to scrap my first packet interface and build a smaller one to fit into the tiny space in the housing. [THIS WAS TRILLSAT'S RADIO BOX] Ran radio on 7.4 volt DC-DC boost converter for first time and noted the complexities of RFI. Decided to add BJT MOSFET drivers.
854/12/2017microblogPublished SIMTHEO Algorithm, TrillSat, and Music Videos - Published Morse, Decoded page which describes my new improved Morse code decoding algorithm. Published my my TrillSat page for the first time (but only as a placeholder, slim on details), and published a list of my favorite music videos.
866/5/2017blogHome/Auto Repairs, Wurm Online, and TrillSat Assembly Difficulties - Had to replace capacitor on my home AC after lightning destroyed it, replace my car battery carefully to preserve OBD-II computer memory, played Wurm Online for the first time, and had to solve unforeseen problems assembling TrillSat's 3D-printed parts.
877/31/2017microblogTaking a Break, Fantasy Worlds and Fiery Spheres - Studied virtual worlds and watched anime again while seeing the first images of Jupiter's Great Red Spot taken by the Juno Spacecraft as the earth and moon orbit closer to an upcoming solar eclipse.
888/6/2017microblogSolved Final TrillSat Structural Problem - I continued to encounter problems with TrillSat's 3D printed mechanical frame and finally solved its capstan friction problem. [THIS WAS THE INCORPORATION OF THE BALL-BEARING PULLEYS]
899/3/2017blogSpeedy Big Car Repair After Piasa Visit, Difficult TrillSat Final Assembly - My car broke down during what should have been a relaxing drive to Alton, IL to photograph the ominous Piasa monster and pick blackberries, and I had to perform a herculean water pump, timing and balance belt replacement in a time crunch of only two days. Completed final assembly of TrillSat, sealed the solar panel gasket and added last-minute mechanical fasteners and aluminum bar to counter problems in the design. I had to boost the motor current to offset its unexpectedly heavy weight.
909/9/2017blogTested TrillSat Mechanics Under Weight and Remembering Past Heroes - I had some old tool failures, but my tests of TrillSat's mechanical system were successful (excluding the weight of the circuit boards), and I bought a cheap new soldering iron and multimeter to begin constructing its control circuitry. I noted that I didn't make my wire channels large enough. And one of my childhood neighbors passed away the week before, the father of a family that enabled me to run my old intercom projects that inspired TrillSat [HIS WIFE PASSED AWAY 3 1/2 YEARS LATER, SEE POST FOR 4/10/2021]. Watched Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes of Apollo and saw one of those heroes himself rescued from a hurricane as the biggest solar flare and CME in a decade took place.
9110/19/2017blogCompleted Circuit Board B After Two Attempts - I completed TrillSat's Circuit Board B after underestimating MOSFET complexity and the size of the high-power circuit and had to completely scrap my first board, switching from through-hole to dead-bug style. To my relief, my power regulation circuits were now 100% working.
9211/3/2017microblogAdded Two More MPUs and a Dock, More Car Repairs, Got Wurm Unlimited - I decided to add two more microcontrollers [THE ATTINY 1634] to TrillSat to eliminate its difficult wiring issues which surprisingly rose to prominence. I also added a new docking system. [THE QI SPACE PORT] And as usual, I also had to perform an emergency auto-repair on the hydraulic lines. Bought Wurm Unlimited and watched Stranger Things season 2.
9311/25/2017blogFinished TrillSat Circuitry, Blog Failure, New ATtiny, and Underwater Glider - After 2 1/2 months I could stop soldering and resume programming again. I described the complex RF, wiring, voltage and current difficulties and saw news on the KRACK vulnerability. My blog/comments system went down again, but this time due to upstream bug. I noticed that the new ATtiny 1616 was released. [FOUR YEARS LATER, I BOUGHT ITS VARIANT THE ATTINY 3216, SEE 2/25/2021 POST] I saw the wonderful open-source underwater glider win the Hackaday prize this year.
941/16/2018blogCore Motor Programming Complete, More 3D Printing, Wire Management Woes, and Extreme Cold - I completed TrillSat's core motor programming and closed up the case for the first time. I also 3D printed two more parts, shaped sheet metal, and explained importance of prioritizing wire management. The winter temperature was 3 Fahrenheit (-16 Celsius) and dropping.
952/6/2018blogFalcon Heavy Launch Motivated Me to Continue with TrillSat's Infrastructure - I watched the amazing first launch of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket and saw those twin boosters land, which was unforgettable. This and other rocketry developments helped me prevent burnout as I used a radial saw to build TrillSat's frame and carry case. [THIS IS THE WOODEN TEST FRAME AND ARK]
962/20/2018microblogCompleted TrillSat Frame and Case - Completed them and am in final process of testing, calibration, and writing (with some minor assembly and programming left before demonstration).
974/7/2018microblogPublished TrillSat Project and Entered 2018 Hackaday Prize Competition: Open Hardware Design Challenge - I published all of the details on my TrillSat page, created a project page for it on, and entered it into their big competition.
986/1/2018microblogReleased TrillSat Source Code, Entered Hackaday Robotic Module Challenge - I released my TrillSat source code under GPL 3.0 in preparation for the upcoming deadline for the second challenge.
996/6/2018blogEntered Hackaday Power Harvesting Challenge, Created C Library for SIMTHEO SSH, Playing Wurm Puts Failure in Context - My oven ignitor and garbage disposal failed, [I FINALLY REPLACED THE DISPOSAL 3 YEARS LATER--SEE 8/17/2021 POST] I had a tricky car problem to diagnose and repair, and my TrillSat BLDC motor burned out in a cascade failure on March 30th which I finally replaced and improved, along with its Gyrofan. I didn't win anything in the two Hackaday Prize challenges but entered the 3rd challenge. But playing Wurm Unlimited helped to put failure in perspective and made me realize that it's only one side of a larger geometry. I also created my first C library in preparation for SIMTHEO SSH, my inverted Morse code decoding algorithm and explored using the antenna as a mass damper. [I WAS WRONG ABOUT THE DOUBLE-PENDULUM AND EXPLORED THIS IDEA AGAIN TWO YEARS LATER--SEE 2/18/2020 POST]
1007/16/2018microblogPublished First TrillSat Motor Video - I created a YouTube account and published my first video of my craft's motors in operation in preparation for the judging of the Hackaday Power Harvesting challenge.
1018/15/2018microblogBuilding THUMP System, Published SIMTHEO Decoder Module - I began building my Tethered Haptics Using Morse Pulses communication system using my new SIMTHEO SSH algorithm and published my first C module.
1028/24/2018microblogTHUMP Completed, Updated SIMTHEO Decoder, Posted More TrillSat Videos - I updated SIMTHEO Decoder to 1.1 to work with my new haptic system which is now operational and released 4 new videos on YouTube showing the systems in operation.
10310/9/2018superblogEnded Hackaday Prize Competition, Musings on Holism and Time - TrillSat was completely ignored after 4 rounds of the competition, my 30-year high-school reunion was approaching, and the job outlook was not rosy. I realized that the holistic appreciation of someone's layered work is often lost with modern audiences, mentioning an antique-appraisal anime Holmes of Kyoto, the recent sale of da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, a local art exhibit of a nocturnal (star-based clock), and the subtle layers of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I also discussed Time using examples of anime Steins;Gate 0, Gleick's Time Travel: A History, the seasons and decay in Wurm Unlimited, and I reinforced the importance of considering the holism of the past: browsing books instead of individual database queries, playing joystick/pixel-perfect 8-bit videogames using the context of their time, and learning calligraphy instead of typing.
10411/16/2018superblogThere is No Thumb: Emergence, Reality, and Text Editors - In revisiting my rogulike game, I began thinking that emergence could add required complexity using simple coding constructs and considered the emergence of intelligence and mathematics, including number theory, primes, Goldbach's conjecture, and fractals. I explain the curious exclusion of numbers outside of binary trees and "atomic ideas" that would make something as real as our thumb an illusion, even in language, until we change our categories of reality to allow its existence, perhaps influenced by our own geometry and the way we perceptualize logarithmically. Watched The Surrounding Game, played interactive fiction Babel, listened to old-time radio, and discussed design goals for programming my own de-immersion text editor.
10511/28/2018blogTechnical Constraints Grow the Roguelike - I explain the constraints that I encounter when programming my roguelike game on minimal, fixed hardware such as saving game state using only 256 EEPROM bytes while minimizing writes, that pre-mature optimization is not always a bad thing and allows a more natural, organic growth. I mention the 4th voice on the C64 6581 SID chip and created some piezo chiptunes.
10612/6/2018blogPorted Roguelike to Pi 3, Added IO Passthrough Mode and Unique Properties System - While my microcontroller roguelike is meant to be "crawled" slowly like a walker to a runner, in order to massively speed up testing (and ease debugging) which is slow on an ATtiny 1634, I explained the difficulties of porting my 14.5 KB AVR code to ARMv8, a completely different architecture. I also added a simple and clever passthrough mode [I TRIED SOMETHING SIMILAR LATER WITH MY TRILLSAT PROJECT] to allow the game on the Pi 3 to use the Morse keyer and LED/Piezo attached to the ATtiny which also allows parallel play (and interesting pseudorandom divergence). And I freed up more memory for my EEPROM save function and programmed a space-efficient system to represent unique properties of game items.
10712/10/2018microblogReleased SIMTHEO 1.2 With Linked Libraries - To allow easier re-use under LGPL 3.0, I was able to convert my SIMTHEO Morse code decoder C module to compile as a dynamic-linked library for the Linux Raspberry Pi ARM ports, and a static-linked library for the native version on the ATtiny 1634 AVR.
1081/2/2019blogSpace Rocks, OSWALD 2, and Robots That Can Hear You - While much of NASA is furloughed due to partial government shutdown, New Horizons just passed Ultima Thule [NASA CHANGED ITS NAME TO 486958 ARROKOTH 10 MONTHS LATER] and we happened to approach it right along the axis of its spin. I mention Oumuamua of 2017 and the paper suggesting that it was of artificial origin (like Clarke's Rama), OSIRIS-REx spacecraft entering orbit around Bennu, and the soon to land Chang'e 4 on the far side of the moon. Watched Travelers season 3, 2036 Origin Unknown, and explained the benefits and difficulties of getting my new OSWALD 2 Pi-based bot to recognize human speech.
1093/2/2019microblogSpaceX Crew Dragon Demo-1 Launch - Watching the live stream of the test launch of the unmanned Dragon 2 capsule.
1103/14/2019superblogIslands Within Voids, Time and State Machines, and the Bizarre Adventure to Fix My Core i3 540 - I explain structural analogs between the roguelike and space operas, joined through story. Discussed moving my roguelike aboard TrillSat as a text-only, space-themed state machine over packet radio, the artistic side of SpaceX missions, and the purpose and crossing of categorical boundaries. Watched Captain Marvel, touched on supernatural films like Cosarelli's Phantasm, and discussed art style and story structure in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable. Pondered Time again, and experienced it virtually when my core i3-540 failed after 8 years [ITS REPLACEMENT FORMED THE BASIS OF MY GHOSTOFRYO ESSAY TWO YEARS LATER] and explained my bizarre adventure in solving it. I revisit the idea of the "secret box", luck, and what it means to experience the impossible. Another 737 MAX 8 airplane crash occurred, and I discovered Void Linux.
1113/27/2019superblogFixed Monster TrillSat Packet Texting Bug, Improved AX.25 Code to Fulfill Future Promises - I began a knight's quest to fight and destroy a vicious compound bug in my XMPP-to-Packet-to-Packet-to-XMPP pipeline that crippled full operation for 2 years. I also improved my AX.25 architecture to allow secure control commands and allow my state machine roguelike to easily interface, things I promised myself to do later to bring my dreams to life. Watched The Twilight Zone: The Brain Center At Whipple's and used Dickensian and pragmatic Rod Serling's self-similar morality tale to evade the spiral sorcery and always remember the true importance for one's technical efforts.
1124/17/2019superblogDream of the 1990s and 1890s: First TrillSat Transmission, TRILLSAT-G, ISS SSTV, Owen Garriott, Nikola Tesla, and M87 - While scientists revealed the first images of a black hole using radio telescopes, I was busy building/programming a new ground station TRILLSAT-G and dummy load, and finally performing my first over-the-air test of TrillSat's 2-meter radio systems after 3 years, excitedly walking in the footsteps of early of radio inventors and packet operators from bygone eras, albeit equipped with 21st century knowledge. It was coincidentally the day Owen Garriott passed away, the first astronaut to operate and inspire amateur radio in space. I attempted my first SSTV reception using QSSTV for PD-120 mode but was unsuccessful, found ESP32 LoRa boards too expensive [I DECIDE LATER TO USE A LESS-EXPENSIVE ATTINY 3216 FOR THE MPU, SEE 2/15/2021], fixed KRACK vulnerability, fixed ports and access-point mode, obsoleted my Virtual PTT system, and added a --mode parameter. Watched the cross-cultural The Kindness Diaries and If I Hadn't Met You which reminded me of what it truly meant to choose one's own adventure through a great maze, all while Cracking jokes like a Calculating Comedian.
1134/25/2019blogFixed More Bugs in TrillSat's Radio System - My earlier packet radio tests were successful but were not reliable until I did the following: discovered workaround for dead air bug with Dire Wolf 1.5 and SYBA SD-CM-UAUD USB sound adapter, fixed my own timing and missing file bugs, lowered Dire Wolf resource usage to work reliably on the Pi Zero W, applied workaround for kissattach Invalid Transmit Channel issue, fixed ripple effects from I2C integration, added rotating socket ring buffer for pigpiod, turned off UV-5RA low battery voice, and created new aprs mode. I vaguely mentioned my frequency-changing process [THIS IS THE STUPOR METHOD] and still couldn't figure out why my DS18B20+ reads from Python were unreliable.
1145/2/2019blogFirst TrillSat APRS Transmission and the Stupor Method - I successfully tested TrillSat's APRS in-session beaconing system over-the-air and monitored it over GQRX SDR using an RTL2832U. I explained how unusual such a system was for a single VFO Baofeng UV-5RA and explained my complex, experimental, frequency-changing "stupor" method and 16-byte clone-mode flash, the speed and timing difficulties, the lock-up difficulties, the difficulties of pausing and resuming the complex chain of AX.25 communication which required looking at those lower protocol layers, and some unexplained noise when one battery bank was being charged. [THIS WAS DUE TO MOSFET ISSUE DISCOVERED TWO YEARS LATER, SEE 2/15/2021 POST] Outlined some emergency shutdown systems that need to be added later, and explained use of axctl, kissparms, and probabilistic features to control timing and explained need to move to Python 3 [THIS WAS DONE A YEAR LATER, SEE 5/18/2020 POST]. Added max connection/max user limits.
1155/10/2019blogThank You Graham Hancock - While our rivers were overflowing due to floods and the Coast Guard shut down some traffic, I met one of my favorite authors that wrote of flood myths, an excellent writer and speaker often known for his many books on ancient, advanced civilizations (one of my favorite topics) who traveled from the British isles to sign books at our local library. He even mentioned our ancient Mississippian culture that built giant earthen mounds, whose function is as mysterious as the pyramids. This nice man insisted to stay until 2 am to meet and sign books for all fans in attendance (all for free) while his nice wife Santha took photos, and I was able run my theory by him linking geometric primitives in cave art to gestalt psychology and Jeff Hawkins' AI models.
1167/14/2019superblogSomething Subtle Worth Remembering: Categories and Comparing Worlds, Knee Healed, Running and Floods, First TrillSat Radio Video Fizzled - In this long, winding post with 5 pictures, I brainstormed adding sandbox and crafting mechanics to my roguelike game and explained that complex causality (physics) can remove the need for an RNG through emergence, and its perceived freedoms (and even imagined freedoms through art and clothing) can also remove the need for actual ones, using examples from Wurm Unlimited. [THE 2021 GAME VALHEIM IS ALSO A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE PHYSICS CONCEPTS] I talk about heroes and button mashers, similar and self-similar patterns in Worlds (imaginary, synthetic, and the real one), and explain differences due to our artificial categories. These categories, that our self-organized brain uses to separate magic from machines and myth from reality (sometimes in alarming ways), can separate ourselves (like metamorphic stages) from seeing hidden collective layers and also seeing their gradations. I use numerous analogies (too many to list) such as: the writings of Kafka, Baum, Asimov, ancient India and China [THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I CAME ACROSS THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT PARABLE]; UNESCO World Heritage Sites; retro computers; board and video games; films, TV, and anime; neuroscience, spacecraft, radio and optics; cicadas, mock strawberries, mail-in freebies, the Piasa monster, and even a celebrity lobster. Also, I walked some local greenways, and after 3 long years, my injured knee healed enough to enable me to run again and witness historic flooding and strong storms. I failed to record clear video of TrillSat's radio systems working and will have to try again later. Watched Log Horizon, The Umbrella Academy, The Castle in the Sky, The Rising of the Shield Hero, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Stranger Things season 3, One-Punch Man season 2, They'll Love Me When I'm Dead, and Outlaw King.
1177/24/2019blogPublished TrillSat Radio Systems Video, Pi 4 Announced - My second attempt to re-shoot video was successful, and I was able to publish the first video (1-hour long) showing full over-the-air packet communication between TRILLSAT-1 and TRILLSAT-G, including APRS beaconing, with no dependence on the Internet, cell towers, or electrical grid. I still noticed some minor distortion on the GQRX waterfall and mention the new 4 GB Pi 4 that was announced a few weeks prior, along with its potential benefits. I wondered if such benefits would finally cause a paradigm shift toward "physicalization" and mentioned my dream to run document-oriented, NoSQL systems on clusters of small bare-metal boards but had no pressing need to buy one. [I GOT A 2 GB PI 4 TWO YEARS LATER AFTER MY PI 3 BURNED OUT, SEE 11/30/2019 AND 8/17/2021 POSTS]
1187/28/2019blogMet Ward Silver at Radio Club - I met the famous author of my wonderful ARRL license manuals, radio, and antenna books after he gave his "Ham Radio 2.0" presentation at a local amateur radio club. I thanked him for his books, and mentioned my TrillSat project to him, specifically its packet radio system. His presentation included warnings about the need for amateur radio to adapt to new societal conditions, and I was concerned that it was a bit defeatist in a dystopian way, and mused about cyberpunk, including Mike Pondsmith's upcoming Cyberpunk 2077. I thought that the technical skills and motivation already exist in many non-hams, and that it's just a matter of time when they will want to explore the analog, radio wave layer, using my own experiences as an example, the optimism of Dr. Stone and track athlete Doug Lindsay curing himself, and the analogy of sport in electromagnetism.
1198/16/2019superblogTending My Garden of Error: Fixed TrillSat's Gyro Bug, Tested at 1800 RPM - I went on a bizarre adventure to find and fix the bug in TrillSat's gyro that was causing it to cut out at high RPMs more often when the craft was tilted to one side than the other, and it turned out to be a complex journey that uncovered impossible temporal sequences, greedy cleverness, and a feedback cycle that should never have existed in the first place. I also had to split out my haptic SIMTHEO SSH Decoder compilation into two binaries, one for each ATtiny due to my API limitations. I decided to finish watching the series JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable even though I had decided against it 5 months ago due to the radical change in artistic style after the previous season, and was glad I did, as its character stories and problem-solving were excellent and mirrored my own bug-fixing adventure.
12011/30/2019superblogTaking the Evolutionary Leap from Despair to Repair: Moved OswaldCluster to Pi Zeros, Built DeadPiAudio, Pi 3 Spontaneous Combustion - I write a reminder of the importance of planting memories to preserve hope in times of despair as series of ominous events occurred: a rare meteor burst in my area, my bird had died, I got food poisoning, and my Pi 3 mysteriously burned up. I explain the need to avoid dystopian conclusions and show the power of human determination (or even something beyond our understanding or forced natural constraints) to resolve reality into beneficial forms via evolutionary leaps, something Nature will rarely do for us. I used analogies of the wheel, flight, and fire; automobile design; the Mandela effect; ghosts and spirits; Wurm Valrie; and Ark II, Damnation Alley, The Seventh Seal, The Twilight Zone: And When the Sky Was Opened, Dark City, Rendezvous With Rama, and the monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. [ONE YEAR LATER A BIZARRE UTAH MONOLITH WAS DISCOVERED BUT DISAPPEARED AND NOBODY KNEW WHO MADE IT] I had an epiphany and moved my OswaldCluster away from original Pi boards to non-wifi $5 Pi Zeros under USB Ethernet Gadget mode, built a router/gateway, and also resurrected a burned out Pi to build a circuit to overcome the Zero's lack of audio, which I published as Dead Pi Audio. I mention the need to overcome disease using epidemiology and vaccines [I WROTE THIS ONE MONTH BEFORE THE VIRUS THAT CAUSED THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC WAS OFFICIALLY DISCOVERED], prevent the rapid rate of animal extinction and climate change, and I discussed the wonderful animes Dr. Stone and Ushio and Tora to show that humankind can still fight "the light of darkness that has no shadow".
12112/24/2019microblogMerry Christmas 2019 - Merry merry!
1222/18/2020superblogWelcome to the Retrofuture - I begin the new decade by digging up the secret gems of the past to use as my analytic tools (analogies, etymologies, and word manipulation). I dust off the old TRILLSAT-1 prototype and wonder how to create its high-level motor drive algorithm, evaluating experimental vs. theoretical, geometric vs. algebraic, and the connection to logarithmic human perception and mathematical coincidence. This carried me into the ancient works of Euclid and Al-Khwarizmi, Faraday and Maxwell, Descartes and Newton, Huygens, Harrison, and von Neumann, and the more-recent Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell, an unexpected fusion of mathematics, music, movie magic, and clockwork wheels, inventing a new wheeled machine in the process, [THIS WAS REVEALED TO BE MY GRAPHOSYNTH INSTRUMENT IN MY 9/7/2021 POST] and designing a metal rod to match both radio and pendulum frequencies for mass damping. My return to distance running after a long knee injury gave me a Kubrickesque perception of reciprocating, bipedal human form, periodic motion, pendulums, and cycles phasing in and out. I began to understand musical harmonies not just through abstract waveforms, but through visible, physical rotation itself like moons, planets, and runners. I also discuss the death of Python 2 (and my need to migrate my code to Python 3) and the death of the streaming television on the Wii and original NXP-based Roku players that had dutifully operated during the past decade. I reminisced about my first experiments with digital video in 1997, explaining the importance of visual storytelling. Watched The Zero Theorem, Somalia and the Forest Spirit, The Witcher and Better Than Us, thinking about their rules and "laws" and individual human nature, contrasting the singular law in Better Than Us with Asimov's Three, comparing robots to golems, zombies, mummies, vampires, skeletons, faeries, zoetrope nightmares, and even sweaters, and comparing Zero Theorem's characters to our biological systems (and even Gilliam himself). I mention emergent intelligence that "arises" from artificial neurons and cellular automata, an eternal struggle between expert-system-like reason (rules) and recognition (pattern), circular and linear geometry. And I coined the term Alternate, Augmented Reality (AAR) to describe my Virtual Astronaut construct. I made a final decision to use mathematical rules instead of pattern (heuristics) in which to begin adding my "second" modulation to its motor drive modulation [THIS LATER BECAME MY DELTA-V DRIVE SYSTEM]. Moved TRILLSAT-G to a Pi B+ instead of the Pi 2, repaired file corruption on TRILLSAT-1 and the Pi 2, found a squelch bug in UV-5RA radio, added jumper to improve EMP stability of the Cache server, improved ScratchedInTimePlugin to auto-upload keys, and bypassed a Perl module bug. Briefly mentioned Raku, Julia, memcached and Redis.
1233/23/2020blogPlague 19 From Outer Space - While performing weeks of mathematics, closeted up like Newton during the Plague, to model the orbital mechanics of TRILLSAT-1 using his very laws and those of Kepler, the historic COVID-19 pandemic, our modern plague, began. My mention of cycles of chaos and forgetfulness in my last post, along with my past warnings about vaccines, iron lungs, the Great Depression and Great Plague, and emergency communications were eerily prescient. I just went under my county's first stay home order to help flatten the growth curve, social distancing became a new concept, and class inequality issues rose to the forefront. The grocery store shelves became emptied with no vaccine in sight, and it was a very scary time. The math became nightmarish, requiring elliptic integrals and I focused on my task at hand, induced my own forgetfulness, to take my attention away from the worsening nightmare around us that was out of my control. I mention the heroes saving lives and had a brief glimmer of hope when I saw Deku in My Hero Academia perform a new smash named after my city.
1244/2/2020blogOf Mice and Meromorphs: Writing a Math Paper While Trapping Rodents - When writing my first academic paper on the orbital mechanics of TRILLSAT-1, I was suddenly interrupted by the stirring of a mysterious creature and had to build a makeshift contraption to find out what it was, which became my MouseTrap essay. When trapped inside during the pandemic, trapping a small animal, my mind was also trapped within an oval; inverse elliptic integrals seemed impossible until I transcended my algebraic scrawl.
1254/21/2020superblogYou Have to Endeavor to be Something Bigger: Astrodynamics and Astronauts, Extracting TrillSat's Laws of Motion - After many pencil leads and weeks of performing the most algebra, trigonometry, and vector decomposition since my school days, I decoded the clockwork laws of motion of TrillSat for my new, higher-level drive system. Musing about osculating circles, domains, coordinate systems, and parametric equations, I discovered that the art and methods of describing, framing, restricting, and engaging the problem are just as important as the math itself, all while watching fictional Mutta in the prophetic 2012 anime Space Brothers and seeing the real news that my high-school classmate Bob (who was in my physics class where I first learned about vectors) was announced to fly aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 next month. It would be no small feat, for this mechanical engineer, test-pilot, and NASA astronaut who had flown the Endeavour space shuttle [THIS LATER BECAME THE NAME FOR THEIR FAMOUS CREW DRAGON CAPSULE], would then become one of the first two NASA astronauts to launch into space on a commercial crew rocket and capsule (previously-unmanned, moreover). Taking place during the chaotic pandemic before any vaccine, it reminded me of the importance of heroes and human cooperation, and of the first spacewalk of Gemini 4. I felt so lucky to witness this and felt like a part of it, like a competing engineer racing to launch my own spacecraft. I used gnuplot, matplotlib, NumPy, and SciPy for the first time, reluctantly applying brute-force scalar minimization to solve inverse elliptic integrals (as it is still a mathematical mystery why such functions are so difficult), identified a missing sensor that I will need to later add to allow the math to work, and created my new constant-speed "burn" system using pre-generated tables to mimic delta-v spacecraft orbital maneuvers. And finally, I watched the amazing battle at the end of Season 4 of My Hero Academia.
1265/10/2020blogThe Great Equation Requires Great Precision: Programmed TrillSat's New Drive System, First Tests Were Out-of-Tune, Created 6-Sextant Phase Lock, Torque Streaming, and Clock-Angle Systems; Also Added ESP8266 Overrides and Fixed Website Voltage Issues - I spent 3 weeks translating my new motor equations into a pure Python 3 module that interfaced with my Python 2 code, realizing mathematics is "in-between" Nature and Machines, and began my first tests on the tether, but TrillSat went on a violent fit and needed two-variable tuning which was impractical for the momentum generated. Due to the fragility of my circuits, my motor almost burned up, so I added more ESP8266 override systems that were long overdue. I then created a phase-lock system to add partial feedback to my feedforward design, discovering that the extreme tolerance (error) of the Hall-effect switches could be used to its benefit to increase precision, while at the same time I had to increase the precision of my Python 2 code (pre-compute large torque tables to .1 degree resolution, increase variable sizes, increase hardware timer precision and remove interrupts, rearrange the order of operations, and auto-switch BLDC drive mode) or the whole point of the mathematics was lost. Created a new system to serialize and stream 16-bit "clock-minutes" torque values over 8-bit I2C to the ATtiny during real-time motor operations. Determined that I will need to dynamically monitor the voltage and redesign my smooth start system in the future [I ADDED THIS ON 9/17/2020], and I had to fix some more file corruption issues related to undervoltage situations on my web server.
1275/18/2020blogNo One Can Restore a Brain: More File Corruption, Kernel Panics and Damaged USB Ganglia, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Arch Linux Upgrade Woes, and Moved TrillSat's Software from Python 2 to Python 3 - I spent a week finally converting TrillSat's software to Python 3, fully integrated it with my drive system code, and then became mired in technical problems that delayed its second motor drive system test. An Arch Linux upgrade uncovered more file system corruption on TRILLSAT-1's MicroSD card, but seeing no LED power light, I had forgotten how the Pi Zeros normally operate and erroneously replaced the original 2016 Pi Zero W with a new 2017 board (even soldering in a new header) only to realize that just the file system was corrupt [I LATER DISCOVERED THAT THIS WAS NOT DUE TO UNSAFE SHUTDOWNS BUT WAS ACTUALLY A FAILING MICROSD CARD], but the new board did give me back GPIO 21 that I burned out years ago. I put a new power supply on my web server but then got the same USB gadget kernel panic and then determined the thin USB data wires were faulty, explaining its susceptibility to EMPs [I LATER DISCOVERED THAT FAULTY POWER TO MY CABLE MODEM ALSO CAUSED SIMILAR ERRORS DUE TO THE PI'S ETHERNET PORT RUNNING ATOP USB]. And after upgrading my core i3-500 Desktop PC with Nvidia GTL 750 Ti to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS via clean install, I lost both video and HDMI sound due to driver blacklisting and GDM issues.
1285/26/2020blogBehnken to Go to Space: How I Lost My Space Race to Get TRILLSAT-1 on the Tether Because of Poor CPU Optimization and Nightmarish I2C Bugs; Multiplexed My Own Protocol in Vain, Created Chunk-Based Flow Control System - The date was set for my old school classmate, Bob, to launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket tomorrow [THE LAUNCH WAS SCRUBBED AND MOVED TO MAY 30TH], along with his NASA crewmate, to become the first two humans ever to do so. I mention the importance of what this event means to me and the risk involved to achieve such great and difficult things, contributing to a scaffolding of human knowledge. With solemn acceptance, I reveal that I was childishly racing over the last few months, like a chariot racing the sun, to get my solar, spaceship prototype in the air before Bob made it to space, but could not overcome the deficiencies in my difficult and complex tangle of software, along with the Pi's hardware I2C bug and problems with kernel I2C. I wasn't tracking negative torques properly nor using two's complement and had to brute-force my own method. My phase-lock system successfully locked onto my equations but lost lock with the real-time streaming, so I had to create a block-by-block flow control system, but my ATtiny I2C code wasn't reliable enough for it, so I temporarily switched out I2C when needed and carefully crammed in my own flow-control protocol, but it was also unreliable. My Python 3 complex math operations on the single ARM processor could not keep up with the speed of the craft, so I had to rethink the logistics of its pre-generatation and locomotion to include a type of progressive refinement to shift the Time-Space window to work within the CPU's abilities. After all of that, I was left with only a tabletop model and one burning thought: I must fix I2C. [I FINALLY FIXED IT 3 MONTHS LATER--SEE POST FOR 8/22/2020]
1298/2/2020microblogAstronauts' De-Orbit Burn Live - I watched their de-orbit burn near Australia on live feed. Let's pray the heat shield and parachutes work.
1308/22/2020superblogMy Arthurian Quest to Destroy the I2C Labyrinth of Suffering: Fixed 4 Composite I2C Bugs, Streamlined I2C Code, Added Transistors to ATtiny Reset Lines, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Bug Was Fixed, Thunderstorm Destroyed My TV - In this long and monumental post, after Bob and Doug made history in returning safely to earth in their Dragon Crew Capsule, I recounted my "living memory" of their recent accomplishments, wrote detailed observations from my research into Western Epic poetry and the mysterious omission of Arthurian legend, and describe my experiences in distance running around the ruins of my old neighborhood and almost-abandoned park containing my own private Avalon, [SADLY, THIS WAS MY LAST VISIT TO IT BEFORE THE PARK WAS CLOSED FOREVER--SEE MY POST FOR 10/25/2020] near the airport during the pandemic, a solitary odyssey through a solitary landscape during a solitary time, comparing my experiences running on and around grassy hills with both Arthurian hills and isles, archaeological discoveries, and my experiences in Wurm Unlimited. I mention my RPG triad from 2016, talk about smell, perception, and memory, and recount my childhood flora, fauna, and history living under airliner turbofans, the roar of jet fighters, and the smell of jet fuel. After watching the 2008-2012 Merlin television series, I postulated that the legend is based on a real person and investigate what history does record about the events and compare the stories with that of the Iliad, Beowulf, medieval Annals and Chronicles, Gildes, Jordanes, Nennius, Gerald of Wales, William Camden, Joseph of Arimathea, the fall of the Roman Empire and the the Anglo-Saxon conquest of Britain, and even Hector and Achilles, Cyrus the Great, Charlemagne, Bushido, Superman, American History, and a local military fort, and parallel the battles with my own battle of finding and fixing the I2C bug that has haunted me for years and prevents TrillSat's motor drive system from performing correctly. In addition to Wurm Unlimited, I briefly mention videogames Wurm Online, Eamon, Ultima, Shroud of the Avatar, Dark Age of Camelot, Myst, Obduction, Shenmue III along with animes Space Brothers, Fire Force, The Legend of Korra, and the films The Castle. I explain my I2C problems in detail and why the bug was so hard to fix, being another compound one with 4 direct variables interacting with many different indirect situations. I added transistors to the ATtiny RST lines but noted that external pulldown resistors are still needed [I SUCCESSFULLY ADDED THESE ON 10/25/2020], and I created a software hack in the meantime.
1319/17/2020blogMotorbending: Finally Finished my Delta-v Drive System, Created Calibration and Auto-Motor Move Systems, Created Improved De-Bouncing and Ramp Up Systems, Added Some Heuristics, Received First Transmission from ISS - After fixing the I2C bug as mentioned in the last post, this allowed my reciprocating, chuck-based, flow-control system to work as I envisioned it which completed my new Delta-v Motor Drive System, and I explain why I named it such, including my finite burn (clock-minutes) and impulse burn (clock-seconds) terminologies, and explain how cognitively difficult it is to write its scholarly paper at the same time I am solving technical problems. I summarize the difficulties that I had to overcome and note the ones still ahead required to test the new system (lack of video diagnostic data, incorrect speeds when not under load, hard to know when it deviates from correct operation, no practical way to accurately test it on a table). I explain in detail my Block, Chunk, Phase, and Zone units in this new system, how the chunk reloads are triggered by the Hall-effect switch detection, and the difficulties of mapping the cyclical rotation onto the linear memory arrays using serialized angles, offsets, and differing data types. I had to create speed-sensitive "de-bouncing" to compensate for the indeterminacy in my sensor system, and created a new ramp system using the geometric properties of the triangle for smooth starts and stops for time-and-distance critical maneuvers. Created auto-calibration system to find the angles of the 6 sextant edges, mechanical gear slack, magnet holder assembly error, and static friction speed offset automatically. I reluctantly added 5 heuristics to keep the motor in-line with the equations: Sensor Correction, Sensor Catchup, Sensor Reload, Motor Boost, and Speed Correction. Created auto-motor move system to allow me to more quickly update the ATtiny code by freeing up the overloaded MISO line. Finished all 4 seasons of The Legend of Korra animation and received my first amateur radio transmission from the new repeater on the ISS.
1329/24/2020blogGraphed TrillSat's Torque Curve, Major Delta-v System Bugs Fixed, Details Published, New Sensor Planned, Tilt Angle Reverse Lookup Table, Created Improved Ramp Down System, EEPROM and Backlash Logistics - After completing my Delta-v drive system as mentioned in the last post, I decided to visualize what was happening in those equations and graphed its torque curve for the first time. I summarize the difficulties on what I am trying (and not trying) to do, that I've intentionally overloaded a single motor for 8 functions, used a single tether, and that my drive system is composed of 6 layers, as hardware simplicity and cost was my primary constraint ($20 total), along with the need for scientific discovery. I decide to add one more sensor in the future to fully realize my equations and, fatigued by the math, I pre-generated a tilt table for reverse lookups of non-linear tether distance rather than invert the difficult equations. I added back my ramp down system with 90% applicability but had to convert my calibration angles back to RAM instead of EEPROM for practical considerations during testing. I mention the difficulties of maxing out those low-resource ATtinys, using my roguelike game as an example, and relate it techniques of old 8-bit games Demon Attack, Starmaster, and Ball Blazer. I watched Cosmos: Possible Worlds and mention TrillSat's curious similarity to the ancient, winged Faravahar, wondering if it may have also been a solar machine. I explain the difficulties of "gear slack" (backlash) and that its operation on the tether is vastly different than on a table, even different uphill vs. downhill, turning some drawbacks into benefits, reminding me of inertia and gravity (real and fictitious) [I WRITE ABOUT THEM IN GREAT DETAIL ON 8/17/2021] I relate its momentum problems to a runner, mention mathematically-difficult slingshot maneuvers as a last option before a hardware redesign or re-balancing.
1339/28/2020blogThe Camstan - Only a few days after I mused about ancient machines and first saw TrillSat's torque curve with my own eyes, I had a late-night epiphany and invented what I call the "camstan", a cam + capstan. I decided to think like a cyclist instead of a runner and created a geometry that can act as a continuously-variable transmission (CVT) to smooth out the peaks in its torque curve to reduce the uphill forces required in the Delta-v system. I explain how I used Python 3 to output my torque displacements, convert them from polar to Cartesian, and then fed them into OpenSCAD's polygon function.
13410/25/2020superblogThe Cursor and the Menu: Lost in the 8-bit Wilderness; Improved TrillSat by Adding Pulldowns to ATtiny RST BJT Bases, Adding Pullups to I2C, Sinking Pi Zero W RUN Line, Improved EEPROM Calibration Code; Postponed Camstan, LED Spotlight Burned Out - I was again out running in my old neighborhoods, this time as the days became shorter near Halloween, thinking less of the days of Arthur and more of the days of my 8-bit youth that were long lost, those memories even vanishing from cyberspace and broadcast television. That park I wrote about was now closed, possibly forever, an ominous mirror of those old text adventures, but I was unexpectedly cheered up by the story of a 1979 roguelike on an Exidy Sorcerer whose author remains unknown, as recalled (and exhumed) by a nostalgic techno-archeologist. In my own nostalgic trek, I remember text communication (in glowing emerald and amber), from BBSing, to interactive fiction, to ham radio, to Linux, to chatbots, and even to 80-column VT-52 on a C64. I mention the films Wargames, 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, the televised Star Trek and holiday animations of Charles Schultz. I also tell stories of my first computers and peripherals (Atari 2600, TI-99/4A, C64, Amiga 500, Magnavox BM-7622, Slik Stik), along with the Apple II+, obscure Z80 computers, and the venerable Z80-based Timex Sinclair 1000 and TRS-80. I mention display technologies from monochrome raster to modern 4K televisions, ATSC 3.0, HDR, and 360 degree video, my future "astronaut" AAR virtual pet construct, and what it means for something to be "real" vs. a game, to navigate it (choice), and the important "illusion of convention". And I postpone adding my camstan to TrillSat after explaining the geometric difficulties and questioning when to be the designer, when to allow the design to evolve, and when to prioritize specific functions vs. generalized adaptability. I corrected instabilities in TrillSat's ATtiny reset and I2C circuits by adding pulldowns/pullups and put the Pi in a coma. I also improved the algorithm for my EEPROM calibration value code. And sadly, TrillSat's LED spotlight burned out via cascade failure and went dark for the first time.
13511/15/2020microblogCrew-1 Astronauts' Launch Live - Bob and Doug paved the way for this crew on a different capsule. Watching with high hopes for success.
1361/9/2021blogPublished New Shenmue III Essay, Replaced TrillSat's Failed MicroSD and LED Spotlight - I published a new essay to nostalgically convey the importance of Yu Suzuki's Shenmue Dreamcast games and fighters and the difficulties of running his latest PC Windows version on an 11-year-old Linux computer using only a keyboard, inventing a unique keymap that works well on two old Wii controllers. Replaced TRILLSAT-1's MicroSD card (which failed due to retention errors) and discovered that the ax25-apps compilation bug in the Arch Linux AUR was fixed. Replaced the 6-LED spotlight in TRILLSAT-1 (that burned out due to cascade failure) with a new 5-LED "COB" one and 1N4002 diode to hopefully avoid thermal runaway this time. Researched the cheap and popular NanoVNA devices for potential use for tuning TrillSat's antenna "at height".
1371/18/2021blogBatting the Rim: Improved My Ghost of Ryo Keymap - Three days after publishing my Shenmue III keymap, which I renamed to Ghost of Ryo, I made a profound discovery and revised the keymap to improve its use with fishing, converting the clockwise "reeling" motion (which was not possible with the few remaining buttons) into a "batting" motion similar to how real fishermen might use centerpin reels.
1382/15/2021blogBridging the Aura and the Instrument: When Good Solder Joints Go Bad; Neglected TrillSat's MOSFET Body Diode but Discovered a Benefit, Replaced Burned Out NCR Battery Bank 2 with INR, Got Replacement ATtiny 1634, Corrected USB Test Charging Circuit, Created Piezo Fire Alarm, Got ATtiny 3216 for Future Space Pod, Replaced Broadband Modem Power Adapter - While meticulously documenting the exact, complicated steps needed to perform my first test of TrillSat's Delta-v motor drive system, I discovered and fixed numerous errors using mostly what I had on hand, which reminded me of the unglamorous, imperfect technical hacks that had to be done on war machines depicted in Spitfire: The Plane the Saved the World and Dr. Stone. One of the last surviving Battle of Britain Spitfire pilots reminded me that we shouldn't get caught up in the "aura" of our machines, for they are just instruments. Well, in my instrument, I forgot about the MOSFET body diodes which, in a certain combination, drained my NCR Batt 2 under the safe voltage and then, when it kicked back on, the voltage differential caused it to exceed the safe charging current. The body diode's voltage drop, however, later became a benefit, and while I was replacing the damaged NCR chemistry battery pack with a new INR one, I created a new procedure to avert the hazard and also changed my circuit wiring to allow me to turn off USB charging at boot. Creatively using the existing on-board hardware, I designed a new temperature-based fire alarm system for extra safety, boosting the piezo element to 5 volts to increase volume. I replaced my power-regulation ATtiny 1634 with a new one to correct a bad pin (likely another bad solder joint) to fix my continuous battery voltage monitoring. I encountered a nightmare with the ESP8266 remaining pins and default states and had to add unusually strong 1.5K pulldowns to my BJT bases to avoid ATtiny resets. The mystery narrowed when I discovered and repaired a bad solder-joint/ground-plane issue which explained the reason I needed such strong pulldowns. I also replaced a bad 12-volt power adapter on my cable modem which reduced my kernel panics [I LATER DISCOVERED ON 4/30/2021 THAT IT WAS NOT THE ADAPTER, BUT THAT JUST THE REINSERTION OF THE BARREL CONNECTOR CAUSED AN IMPROVEMENT] I decided to base TrillSat's Space Pod around a Lora RFM95W and ATtiny3216, and purchased my first ATtiny3216s for experimentation.
1392/17/2021blogValheim: Playing My Latest Wurmunlike - I excitedly began playing the new 3D Viking-themed, RPG game Valheim shortly after its early-access release, as it actually met the four, fairly rigid criteria that I have for such games to gain my interest, and I coined the not-really-negating term "wurmunlike" to describe it, since it reminds me of games like Wurm Unlimited, similar to how "roguelikes" remind people of Rogue. I describe some of the design mechanics in these types of sandbox/survival/adventure games, including Minecraft, such as simulation vs. RNG, disaster vs. decay, single player vs. co-op/MMORPG, singular vs. collective physics, and UI balance.
1404/10/2021blogThe Impossible Arrangement: Redundancy is the Opposite of Efficiency; More TrillSat Improvements to Prepare for Delta-v Motor Drive Test, New Battery and ATtiny 1634 Installed and Working, Added Another Fuse, Rearranged and Crammed in More Pi and ESP GPIO Circuits, Converted Piezo to Full Wave Input While Limiting its Output, Added 1-Wire to ESP, Upgraded NodeMCU, Enabled Sigma-Delta for Dead Pi Audio - The new INR battery pack for Bank 2 is now installed and working, and I added an unusual "parallel" fuse for extra safety. The new ATtiny 1634 is now installed, bandgap calibrated, and my Batt 2 voltage monitoring pin is now working again. I had to find an "impossible arrangement" in TrillSat's wiring, moving a dizzying web of wires around to barely cram in my new fire alarm system. Since 5-volts was not always available to its piezo alarm, I decided to run it at a louder 6.6 volts, full-wave directly from the ESP8266 and moved the 1-Wire DS18B20+ temp sensors from the Pi to the ESP. I moved my Pi 5v power line to Huckleberry's ESP LDO line and moved the ESP power away from the Pi 5 volt rail. I discovered I was missing level shifting on my I2C override mechanism, discovered that my Pi's 5 volt power was actually about 4.8 volts due to diode drops, and discovered that I had another ground-plane issue (that I fixed). Had to move more wires around to avoid ESP GPIO issues where certain pins would briefly drive HIGH at boot. Created a new bootstrap circuit with a 20K pulldown on the Pi RST line to prevent resets when it reboots the ESP. My piezo had to share the same ESP GPIO as my pushbutton, and besides minimizing knocks that trip the switch, I had to turn on the internal pullup on ESP GPIO 0 to prevent its capacitive charge from triggering the switch when changed from output to input mode. Discovered switch bouncing had been going on for years and disabled ESP interrupt and added delay to act as a debounce. Upgraded NodeMCU (which changed the API and briefly broke my code) to add gpio.pulse module for accurate timing for piezo full-wave pulse train to maximize volume at resonant frequency. Determined that I need to add 4 more high-level diagrams and update my electrical schematic. I also added the Sigma-Delta modulation to my DeadPiAudio project, which reveals that machines that can operate faster than many physical phenomena (even our perceptions) can create temporal results that seem magical or impossible. Watched So I'm a Spider, So What?, Sisyphus: The Myth, Alone, Highway to Heaven and related Michael Landon's work to a story about an important childhood neighbor of mine, a lady that passed away that week that enabled me to work on my inventions.
1414/30/2021blogBroadband Modem Barrel Connector Seemingly Failed, Upgraded Kernel, Enabled Pi Hardware Watchdog Timer - I continued to experience kernel panics even after I replaced my cable modem AC adapter and isolated it to the 12-volt barrel connector, so I soldered a new one in place. [I WAS GETTING CLOSER TO SOLVING THIS ONGOING PROBLEM, BUT IT WASN'T THE BARREL CONNECTOR BUT A BAD SOLDER ON THE BOARD, SEE 5/8/2021] I updated my kernel to add dwc2 driver bug fixes and tweaked the parameters to hopefully add more stability, while turning on the Pi hardware watchdog timer to reboot the Pi if the problem continues to occur.
1425/1/2021superblogThe Analog Magic of the Gilded Age Motor: Inventing a Software-Based, Open-Loop Voltage Regulator for Smooth Speed Control - In trying to improve smooth speed control in TrillSat's brushed DC Delta-v motor drive over its non-linear torque curve, while intentionally omitting closed-loop control, I wondered, what could I achieve in knowing only the unloaded static battery voltage, the speed of an unloaded motor (via the Hall-effect switches), and the ohmic DC resistance of the motor armature (via multimeter)? Through examination of the unique properties of electric motors and the application of algebra, I invented a software-based voltage regulator to provide the exact amount of current when needed, a unique design that was open-loop and required no feedback, unlike a typical regulator. On this journey, I researched the first, analog electric speed control systems ever invented, and I write about H. Ward Leonard and his amazing drive system, dynamos, magnetos, alternators, generators, the dynamo-electric principle, amplidyne, Nikola Tesla's poly-phase AC induction motor, flywheels, rheostats, and tap changers. I discuss electric locomotives (diesel, streetcars, and tiny models) and the unique problems of open-loop control systems, especially in spacecraft that need to determine initial orbit and position, or even fly to the moon using H.G. Wells' anti-gravity paint. But reality may become stranger than fiction when a "galactic GPS system" using millisecond X-ray pulsars, fit for aliens, soon becomes practical. And during this time when the NASA Crew-2 astronauts orbited overhead and Michael Collins passed away, I relate some of the history of my St. Louis homeland around the turn of the 20th century, including the 1904 World's Fair, a very old radio station, and a famous opera singer.
1435/8/2021microblogBad Broadband Modem Mystery Solved, Site is Unstable - I finally found the true reason why my modem was unstable over the last several months and why my Pi Linux kernel was crashing--there was a bad solder joint somewhere on the modem circuit board which required applied pressure to flex the board to mitigate. So I ordered a new one.
1445/10/2021microblogReplaced Broadband Modem, Hungry Squirrels, Site is More Stable - I replaced my modem which stopped my Pi kernel from crashing. But there was a dubious tale of gnawing tree-dwellers.
1455/24/2021superblogOur Spiraling Tower: The Plague of Bufferbloat and the Variable that Transcends the Conjugate - I solved my cable modem mystery, but another one sprung up in its place, but this one was architected by blind men petting pachyderms. I discover the widespread but not-widely-known problem of bufferboat, and go on a journey to solve it, researching foundational Internet RFCs, the works of Vint Cerf, Jim Gettys, Van Jacobson, Jonathan Postel, Jonathan Morton and the clever TCP congestion avoidance algorithms and Smart Queue Management designed to mitigate this spiraling problem, best described in a parable and poem. I also warn of cable haunt and question the design choices in HTTP/2 and HTTP/3. I explain the Time and Space "conjugate variable" nature of Un-Delayed Protocol and Temporal Contiguity Protocol (my names for UDP and TCP) and relate this to interlaced television and film, using the idiosyncrasies (and actual sync) of VCR technology as an example. Lastly, I compare and contrast how technology and Time itself is depicted in these two media, using examples of Forbidden Planet, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Metropolis, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Matrix, Star Wars, Bladerunner, Logan's Run, The Mill and the Cross, What Dreams May Come, and Avatar.
1468/17/2021superblogWhere is the Cricket?, Part 1 of 3: Inertia is Self-Interacting Gravity Wells, Thinking on One's Feet, My First Pi 4, Home and Auto Repairs, Watching TV - For 3 months, my subconscious was trying to give shape to a formless enigma, spiraling into weeks of thought experiments and analogy. Exactly 4 years after the hyper-precise LIGO observatory first captured the collision of two neutron stars, I relate the implications of the discoveries of gravitational waves to both Einstein's relativity and quantum mechanics. I mention physical and mathematical constants, real paradoxes of Turing and Gödel, along with perspective-based ones that may hide fractal structure. I compare our trouble visualizing spacetime with that of a computer abstraction, simulation, hardware, and even videogames like Valheim, Soulcalibur, Spacewar!, and the Atari 2600 Karate. I try to understand the true meaning of "fields" and "forces", the energy-mass equivalence, and the equivalence principle, postulating that inertia isn't just related to gravity, but is gravity and propose it to be self-interacting gravity wells. But as a non-physicist, my analogy was too vague to be meaningful to current models of quantum gravity, lacking the complex mathematics needed. I did however, paint some rough pictures of the Navon figure (a literal ASCII picture), the Lense-Thirring effect, gravitoelectromagnetism, Minkowski topology and Riemannian geometry, the Everett-Wheeler model, Loop Quantum Gravity, Casual Dynamical Triangulation, Maxwell's equations, and Occam's razor. Aside from that enigma, I bought my first 1.5 GHz, 2GB RAM, Raspberry Pi 4, installed Arch Linux ARM aarch64 and ZRAM zstd compression, and read about the new Gemini protocol. I mention curious "sipes" in car tire and running shoe design and the importance of thinking on one's feet, after the winners of the 1500m run and the 400m hurdles in the 2021 Summer Olympics had recently performed some amazing feats... on their feet. I had to apply physics to cut down a large tree branch in my yard (before a storm blew down several trees) and perform repairs on metal and plastic piping. Watched The Librarian films and TV series, Godzilla Singular Point, and Three Identical Strangers and found a connection between the mundane known world and the amazing unknown one [ONE MY MIND WOULD BE ACTIVELY TRYING TO DEFINE FOR THE NEXT 3 WEEKS].
1478/24/2021blogWhere is the Cricket?, Part 2 of 3: No, Inertia is Isotropic Gravity! - One week after my last post, my mind was still working on the enigma of the equivalence principle, and I discovered an error in my analogy when I chose not to distinguish between active and passive mass: inertia was still gravity, I thought, but it wasn't due to a self-interacting, moving gravity well but rather an isotropic resistance due to the mass of the entire universe, similar to John Wheeler's model. I explain using geometric analogies with multi-body, multi-dimensional Lagrange points along with "higher-level" forces (like high-level computer or language abstractions). But I still cannot seem to comprehend what it would really mean for spacetime to be "finite".
1489/7/2021superblogWhere is the Cricket?, Part 3 of 3: Solving the Mystery of the Missing Yodarian Lute via Physics and Metaphysics, Inventing the Graphosynth, Asimov Vanished, and My First Flight Through Geminispace - Two weeks after my last post, I came to the conclusion that I was looking at spacetime all wrong, scaring away the very cricket I was trying to find. Like the wave function collapse, it was the looking itself that was changing the measurement and that I had to "listen", use my ears and sense of hearing instead. I explain the importance and unique qualities of our ears and sound compared to rays of light, and designed a new type of wheeled musical instrument that I call a "graphosynth". I mention the Haas effect, binuaral beats, "reading mentally", and the process of synthesizing. Using vector-based video arcade games of my childhood, such as Asteroids, Battlezone, Star Wars, and The Empire Strikes Back, I explain that the geometry and topology of spacetime is visualized using image-processing that varies with different technologies and life forms (such as animals) but that our own processing may be getting in the way of understanding reality, unlike using our ears or just "living", staying still and letting everything else move past. I mention Descartes' earlier work trying to represent music using mathematics, the octave and harmonic sequence, the Fourier series, Foley effects, and use analogies of Yoda, Spock, and a long-lived, big-mouthed river fish. On an obsessive, Peeweean adventure to find out why wheels are not often used in musical instruments, I discovered that sound cannot escape closed, rotational systems without linear displacement, yet we are likely somewhere inside an angular system. I researched the hurdy-gurdy, pneumatic and radial sirens, internal combustion crankshaft and camshaft speakers, Savart's wheel, the Telharmonium, tone-wheel organs, switched and packet-switched networks, exponential cylinders, the geometric difficulties of representing the musical scale with wheel-generated sine waves, BLDC-driven wheels using CLV, musical roads, vertical and lateral-cut recording, phonograph cylinders, acoustic Victrolas, and even dentist drills. I tell an elaborate side story about my experiences in running "Prefontaine" track workouts during the 1980s, the special number 440, and the mechanical stylus. I explain the reverence many track runners have for this oval surface and relate it to the film Field of Dreams based on the Shoeless Joe novel by the "meta" author W.P. Kinsella. I also bring up the author Joseph Campbell and the power of stories to represent life geometry, describing how Chariots of Fire and the Rocky films and soundtracks influenced mine. To truly understand the universe requires that we understand ourselves, as much metaphysics as physics, as much art as science. I also fired up the Python, text-based AV-98 Gemini browser and explored geminispace for the first time, which uses an interesting, minimalistic protocol that reminds me of the de-immersion in TrillSat's text-based PBBS radio systems. I watched the 1960s The Outer Limits and was shocked to discover that the books by one of my favorite, most-prolific authors had completely disappeared from my public library shelves, returning to the formless field where that cricket hides.
14911/9/2021microblogToo Busy to Write, Still Watching the Skies and Watching TV - After completing my lengthy physics trilogy, I had been too busy to write or work on my projects but did manage to find out that NASA Crew-2 returned safely in the venerable Endeavour capsule and watched streaming videos of Shatner in space, Mountain Men, and 86 Eighty-Six.
1502/14/2022blogArchiving Back in the Shire, Web Cluster Improvement Ideas - In my first post of 2022 during the Beijing Winter Olympics, I was in an archival, observational phase, like a Nethack tourist climbing up the staircase on level 1 to escape the dungeon, or Twoflower returning back home. I shoveled snow and watched it melt, watched season 2 of The Witcher and The Color of Magic, and reminisced about gaslights. I also did a cursory exploration of adding some improvements to my OSWALD Cluster servers, such as programming my own self-healing and failover mechanisms along with an encrypted command system that uses Javascript instead of TLS. I read about CDNs, too, and compared them with the Internet nature of "moving" things rather than "storing" them that I discussed in depth last May. But all in all, these ideas felt too much like "circular logic" at this time, that I was changing things around with no net benefit, and the only actual improvement I did, besides archiving [THIS CHRONICLE OF BLOGS PAGE WAS THE MONTHS-LONG ARCHIVAL PROJECT TO WHICH I WAS REFERRING] was to increase my Pi 4 desktop to 1.8 GHz.
1512/28/2022blogPublished Chronicle of Blogs - Published the page that you are reading right now, a giant chronicle of all of my unstructured blog posts over the past 7 1/2 years, this entry being the 151st. This 6-month project was finished only days after a terrible new war in Europe began, which reinforced the importance of history in decision making, as can be easily demonstrated by the simple roguelike game.
1525/24/2022superblogThe Ineffable Gaudiness of Our Great Infinities - At a time when many rock-solid services I once depended upon are as mushy as Martian regolith, I weigh circular paradox against our sprawling, spiral scaffolding, measuring the difference. Can Zeno's philosophy, Cantor's math, the obsessions of Tycoons and Turtles, or the azimuths of Asimov contain the uncontainable, understand the incomprehensible, predict the unpredictable, and transmute fiction into facts? The irreversibly-changing matter and energy in our experience renders old memories rare, new ones created at our whim, excessive, and ones created by the rapid and rigid decisions of a machine, fantastical, yet all are part of a tree whose leaves, mostly, we must leave. I again compare virtual worlds with the real one and mention unusual, recent research into unexplained phenomena. I also give an update on my TrillSat project, explain its relationship to conical Kepler orbits and planetary tug-of-war, and begin a long Pi 0/1 Linux migration from Arch to Void. Watched Shenmue the Animation, Return to Space, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch seasons 1 and 2, and Gattaca.
1536/7/2022blogMigrated Website to Void Linux - After 8 years of running Arch Linux ARM on this site, the distro dropped support for the ARMv6 architecture so I moved its 4 servers to Void Linux and musl, devoid of the notorious systemd.
1548/7/2022blogThere is Another Way to Learn: Balancing on the Border Between Internal and External Worlds, Hash Encryption, New Pixel 5a, Old Nexus 4 Shuttlecraft, Record Rainstorm - I bought a new Pixel 5a smartphone and imagine a hypothetical "Shuttlecraft" for TrillSat based around my old Nexus 4, also identifying "what could have beens" if I modified its capstan drive using my usual spacecraft and car analogies. I began using 4G LTE after 3G was shut down and storms took out my power, and explain XMPP and TCP client-server difficulties over intermittent mobile radios. I created a proof-of-concept text-based command system using curious "hash encryption" and revisit the conflicting goals of security and communication and how abstractions blur their interface. I discuss how abstractions also hide detail, and how encryption, encoding, and language separate and join meaning, a branching structure that cannot be isolated without destroying it. While knowledge can grow from roguelike-like failures, I explain the importance of learning through old narrative trees, in contrast to vocabulary's fallen sticks and twigs. As over a foot of rain flooded my city, I recall the over-4000-year-old story from a city in the Mesopotamian flood plains, noticing its immortal relevance to modern wilderness survival. Watched Alone seasons 6 and 8 and Alice in Borderland.
15511/26/2022blogStaying in the Loop: Time Versus the Written World; Peas, Pebbles, and Planets, Client Gatekeeping of TLS and dhcpcd, More Running and Watching TV - Expanding upon some of the concepts in my last post, including text messages, knowledge categorization, one-way functions, and data encoding, I include compression and compare it with encryption and authentication, using real-world examples, while solving some peculiar Internet connectivity mysteries. I also mention arithmetic, numeral systems, geometry, algorithms, and written Words that are the bricks and stones that built our civilizations, both real and virtual, including dungeon crawls and interactive fiction, all rising above a sea of Time atop layers of abstraction. I revisit those enigmatic Time, Space, and Energy tranformations and information complexity fit for a mystical mandala, and explain how the geologic history of our solar system is like a dramatic narrative, returning to the oldest processes that began our Universe, our oldest life and languages, our oldest civilizations, and even our own aging process, including the oldest competitive athletes that I had ever met. I also compare and contrast several not-so-disparate films and television series that I found interesting over the last few months. Watched The Sumerians - Fall of the First Cities, Ancient Planet Trilogy, Top Ten Mysteries of Outer Space, Wargames, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Instant Dream Home, The Matrix Resurrections, Ancient Apocalypse, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean Part 2, Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Extraordinary Attorney Woo.
15612/27/2022blogA Tale of Two Christmas PCs - I designed two brand new PCs for Christmas using the latest technologies of 2022, an Internet PC and a Gaming PC, and had to work around the dismal state of Raspberry Pis and ray tracing this year.
1571/17/2023blogA New Year's Gaming-PC-Building Eve of Destruction - The actual parts for the Gaming PC that I detailed in my last post had arrived for Christmas, and we began our masterful assembly on New Year's Eve, but 2023 had a way of wrecking that utopia when the PC suddenly went into seizures, requiring immediate CPU resuscitation and a frantic effort to find the cause. But in the meantime, the new PC and I shared a profound NDE (Near Data Erasure) about trading towns, gambling saloons, stagecoach trails, and gold prospectors of the old-West.
1584/8/2023blogOld Hardware Upgrades and Hand Me Downs - Invigorated from the new PC building in my last two posts, I end this triad of PC technica by furiously attempting to invigorate my 3 old and feeble desktop workstations with cheap or used parts, infusing those misfits with years of new energy if they can be convinced to accept it. Don't they trust me? Watched Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker, Dark Star, Escape 2120, Hellbound, Alchemy of Souls, and Hotel del Luna.
1597/18/2023blogThe Creature of the 5th Constraint: Designed Tension Sensing for TrillSat, Added PS3 Eye to OswaldBot, Ran Macklind Mile - Inspired by the extraordinary news, scientific adventures, and mysterious phenomena depicted in film and TV after forced to explore new streaming options, I activate TrillSat after a year-long slumber and designed its final sensor system to find an elusive and eccentric variable of the 5th kind. Taking a trip into tether torsion, I was forced to confront the many competing constraints in my overloaded pseudo-spacecraft, both technical and philosophical, a battle of ideals vs. approximations, but found that competing within a constraint is key to new discovery. Photos and equations included. Watched Star Trek: Discovery seasons 1-3, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 1, The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch season 3, The Green Knight, Top Gun: Maverick, The Phenomenon, and Moment of Contact.
1608/7/2023blogMoved SiteStatus Page to New Host - The recent changes at Twitter (or X) to require logins to view pages forced me to move my site status postings elsewhere.
16110/2/2023blogLinux and Python Incompatibility Fatigue, Renewed Ham Radio License, Planning My First 2-meter Base Station, and Old Trees - Climbing my way up a giant pyramid of issues to get my Raspberry Pis working optimally under Void Linux AArch64 musl and Python 3 as news broke of the Pi 5, I decided to put down my ladder and revisit amateur radio again, adding a 30A power supply and building data and packet cables for the 60-watt TYT TH-9000D VHF transceiver, exploring mounting options for the Diamond X-200A antenna. While reading paper books on RF, ESD, and electrical safety, I recall ironies and sad times when our neighborhood and tall, long-lived, wooden companions were destroyed not by lightning, but by the pharaohs' construction projects. Watched Moving, The Pyramids: Solving The Mystery, and Hard Landing at Lambert.
16211/16/2023blogTurning a Single Player Roguelike into a Lobby-Based MUD, TH-9000D Packet Interface, Hybrid Car Design - Inspired by isekai RPG anime and memories of Phantasy Star Online during the autumn season, I picked up the broken pieces my subconscious had already collected and suddenly put them together, realizing that years ago, I had already created the 6 core systems that comprise a unique style of Multi-User Dungeon, albeit a more restricted type with a "lobby". I created a small TinTin++ friendly test of the MUD concept in Python using xinetd, discussing the reasons why MUDs are more difficult to create than they seem while recounting my history of multi-user gaming and virtual worlds. My packet radio parts arrived, and I include photos comparing a ZR-series JST connector with an TE Connectivity AMP MINI-CT one. Which one fits the TH-9000D? And finally, from a conventional IC car perspective, I discuss Japanese hybrid car design, impressed by the transmissions and design choices they use to balance competing constraints, even musing about hydrogen, methane, entropy, and the mysterious zero-point energy.
16312/23/2023blogRepairing the Dryer from the Dryas, Toolchain Troubles - As a mountain of dirty clothes grew skyward while waiting for 240-volt parts to arrive for an extinct tumble dryer of the 20th century, I cleaned out its lint and uncovered an archaeological and aeronautical mystery, perhaps my most elegant example (with photos) of why home-based 3D printers are here to stay even though the heydey of the early 21st-century maker-movement seems to be behind us. Having last used my dusty printer (and game) on my now-defunct Pi 3 in 32-bit Arch Linux ARM, it took time to get their latest software versions installed and working on the Pi 400 under 64-bit Void, including the multiple Perl, Python, and C dependencies, farming out some portions to another PC, and tweaking the venerable GCC compiler options. It was mostly a success, and there was a good feeling of productiveness (and warm, dry clothes) to end the year.
1642/5/2024blogAlliteration by Association, Smartphone and Browser Wars, Cthulhu 3.0, and Building a New IM Protocol Using Client-Side Javascript - Inspired by small web concepts, I tried to end my dependency on XMPP and create my own protocol using Javascript only to discover that both it and the browser weren't quite what I thought they were, adding to a growing feeling of being out of sync with the present. After setting sail to this new world, AI surfaced as the missing piece for Web 3.0, and I realized that we're gonna need a bigger boat. Heavy on technology analogy and water metaphor, I also discuss distributed and recursive information systems, the power of positive feedback, and share stories of sea adventures, ear infections, and brains studying brains.
1654/15/2024blogReverse Reincarnation: Examining Our Distorted Reflection in an LLM Mirror; Musings on Writing, Mail, Encryption, and Free Speech; Solar Eclipse, Adapting XMPP for Mobile Use, Sandbox-Survival Games, Oswald Runit Instability, Cache MicroSD Failure - Using road instead of water metaphors for this post, I describe the technical and regulatory difficulties in creating a reliable, secure messaging system over mobile networks, also recounting my first experiences with artificial neural nets and encryption 36 years earlier, along with some even older Missouri history. I warn of some of the dangers of LLMs which hit a mainstream tipping point around the time of our total solar eclipse, and contrast their language-manipulation ability with my own human writing. And lastly, I mention 6 medieval RPG videogames that I've been monitoring which have "wurmunlike" or "uolike" characteristics and end with my recent cluster instability and hardware failure events. Watched See You in My 19th Life and the 2024 live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender season 1.
1665/5/2024microblogAstronauts Suni and Butch Scheduled for Starliner First Human Test Flight Tomorrow - Godspeed.
1676/6/2024blogTools and the Tool-Users: Adding Speech Recognition to OSWALD, Starliner En Route to ISS, Cicadapocalypse - Details coming soon.