cannibalizeing RF components
Thursday, July 31 2003
As I usually mention on this day each year, today marks the anniversary of the origins of my online journal effort, which turns seven years old today. Not entirely co-incidentally, it is also the third anniversary of my breakup with Bathtubgirl.
I know I dished some shit about software yesterday, but I'm not through. Not by a long shot. I have a lot of rage inside me that comes from dealing with software, and if I could find some of the people who wrote the code that plagues me, I'd punch them in the face and maybe not stop until a third party intervened. Today I rebooted my main machine (which runs Windows 2000) and I got a window urging me to register a product. The window didn't say what the product was, it just said that I should register it. The options I was given (in the form of buttons) was to register now or register later. There was no option to never fucking register ever. Since I had no idea what software was making this obnoxious demand, I decided to investigate. I clicked register now. The next screen was a form with all sorts of spaces for me to enter my name, address, phone number, email address, possibly even my credit card number. But still there was no mention of who was asking for this data. Imagine someone randomly calling your phone, not announcing who he is, and then demanding to know everything about you. This was happening on my main computer.
It turned out that this harrassment was coming from some modem driver software whose installation I had aborted. I had simply been trying to establish whether an installation file was intact or corrupted. Evidently, before I could cancel the installation, this annoying registration bug had been planted in my machine. There's no telling who ends up with the "registration" data if someone actually enters it. My guess is that it finds its way into a database belonging to someone whose business is the hawking of potions that give gentlemen "the bigger one" they secretly know they want. (Roughly 20% of my email is addressed to a pre-supposed dissatisfaction with my dick.)
Today I took delivery of an old AT-style motherboard from a merchant in the Ebay mercantile environment. This was this merchant's second attempt at sending me a working motherboard. This time he also threw in some memory, his way of apologizing for the first botched shipment. (In the world of Ebay, the desire to maintain good ratings results in customer service several notches above the expected.) I immediately installed the motherboard in a computer belonging to an elderly New Paltz woman. Then I delivered it. That trip took up a good fraction of my day, but I never regret driving to New Paltz, even when the only fun things I do there consist of shoplifting from Radio Shack and eating a burrito. The appeal of the place is hard to characterize other than by saying that New Paltz is like a non-irritating variation on the Woodstock theme.
For much of the evening, I performed experiments adding coils to and substituting transistors in my FM stereo transmitter's final RF amp stage. These transistors and coils were all cannibalized from an old fifteen inch color monitor. Such monitors are an ideal source for FM RF components, since most of what happens in a color monitor takes place near the FM frequency range. Furthermore, there are three copies of most of the RF components, one for each of the three color channels. This gives me the freedom to blow up the occasional transistor trying to figure out (when Google fails me) whether or not it is NPN or PNP.
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