Archive for April, 2009

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Engineering marvels

April 29, 2009

I have always had a bit of an affinity for science and technology. I’m not going to claim to be an engineer extraordinaire, by any standard, but it’s been a long term fascination, and I like to think I’ve picked up a few things here and there.

Technology and Engineering are perhaps my two greatest fascinations, as although the things discovered by pure science are often mind-boggling and can completely change the way we view the world, it is not the case that these truths have changed the world itself. Whether we knew it or not, that was how things already were, how they have been for time immemorial. If you want to see something change not just our perspective but the world itself, you have to look to technology.

Often, the things that change are ourselves.

Technology and engineering are about using the laws that we have found through to achieve… almost anything. The number of things once considered impossible which were eventually achieved by engineers is almost uncountable. Men have bridged great expanses, flown like birds and walked on other worlds, and the more advanced our science grows, the more the pace of technology quickens.

For me, the fascination lies with the creativity and ambition, and the ingenious techniques and approaches. There’ll probably be a good few posts harping on about technological innovation, so hopefully I’ll be able to show you what I mean.

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First things first

April 29, 2009

What on earth does ‘Pulsecode’ mean? Is it really just some dated piece of 1980’s cyberpunk pseudo-slang?

Well, no. It’s a far older technical term than that, although I’ll admit it did come into much more prominence in the 80s. Pulsecode Modulation or PCM is the method by which audio signals are recorded as digital signals, in as much detail as possible, without resorting to compression techniques, even where they would be truly lossless. If you’ve ever messed around with digitised audio, terms like .WAV or .AIFF might be familiar – both of these are examples of PCM.

Right, that dry technical bit out of the way, I’ll admit I do kind of like the 80s cyberpunk ring that it has… it’s obscure enough a term that I can usually get away with using it as a fairly unique handle, and cool enough sounding that I want to get away with it.

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Rewind!

April 29, 2009

All original pointless, rambling disjointed posts now deleted. Time for a fresh start! Hopefully this time, I can keep things going.

I should warn you that I don’t know what, if anything, the theme will be for this blog. Some posts will probably just be rambling thoughts, others will be excerpts of creative writing, links to fun things I’ve found… who knows. I suppose we’ll find out together.