Saturday, November 10, 2007

GlacierSound 7.1

My mom is a shrink. My dad is an electronics and software engineer. I could've gone either way. In the early days, I was headed more for the latter side of the spectrum. I spent many childhood hours wiring devices to electroplate dimes, building electric generators that ran off the garden hose, and writing programs in BASIC for the TRS-80. In fact, if it hadn't come to my sudden attention in 8th grade that messing with computers was sure to be the final nail in the already-closing coffin of my adolescent social life, I probably would've ended up working here. One of the even-geekier, even-less-popular kids, who was a grade behind and shared the computer lab with me at recess, went on to get a computer science degree from Stanford and is now a vice president at Google. I imagine he has no trouble getting dates now, but back in those dark days it was unthinkable that a girl would even speak to him, and it was considered virtually certain that he would never, ever have sex with a human.

Anyway, I have some regrets about my somewhat-hasty decision to repudiate the silicon chip, and there remains deep within me a barely suppressed delight with wires, electrons, rheostats, and if-then statements. Every now and then I indulge it, usually without any resulting fires or appliance death, and so more or less harmlessly. A few nights ago the urge struck me to put together an analog "passive matrix decoding system" to get the surround-sound feature out of DVD's (as described here). I used my c. 1997 stereo, my c. 1981 bookshelf speakers, a pair of little computer speakers that Co-Chief left with me many years ago, $8 worth of parts from Radio Shack, and a few bits of wire and stuff from the depths of the junk drawer.

Can I just say, it sounds AWESOME. I mean, it's really cool. I think I am almost as proud of this as I was of making a successful sun/moon celestial navigation sextant cross-plot during the sailing trip last fall. Three friends have informed me that tinkering with home audio projects is a clear "warning sign" of an impending "second adolescence". Well, so what if it is. Maybe I'll get offered a job at Google this time around.


Anonymous Valerie said...

So cool!

11/10/07, 5:25 PM  
Blogger Rach said...

Do they need shrinks at google?

11/10/07, 8:18 PM  
Blogger Turboglacier said...

I bet they DO need shrinks at Google! I hope someone there is reading...

11/11/07, 9:06 PM  
Blogger GirlTuesday said...

is that speaker resting on a keg cup? my, you really have regressed.

11/20/07, 11:00 AM  

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