Doe: Scale, Fence, Spay and Neuter, Programs, and a Carrier

I played around quite a bit with the sound system on the computer, and finally got something to work with recording. My microphone wire (from a phone headset) is spliced, and the sound quality probably therefore quite poor. I found a Lucid default recording program mhWaveEdit 1.4.20, where once I set the microphone volume options with Alsamixer, I could record very softly. A little bit of exploration in the Effects column led to finally being able to find the peak wave, and scale the volume to this, so that I could actually hear what plays back from a recording. I made a recording of do-re-mi (not very high quality, but as I am learning to read music, helpful, as one will see). Because I still don’t have the deb file translation program working, I port the .wav files over to the USB flash drive to use sonic visualizer on Windows 98 which still boots off of my hard drive since puppy is running on a CD.

Once in sonic visualiser on Windows, I read the file in, and open a melodic range spectrogram under pane. There, I can see what the notes correspond to, by cursing over the desired averaged frequency.

This allowed me to practice scales with a song (Doe – A deer, a female deer…).

Ok. I’ll never be Whitney Houston (RIP). I’m occasionally sharp or flat, particularly on the faster sections, and it sounds pretty terrible if you play it slowly, but I could pick out the notes in the scale and translate them into sheet music using the constraints of the key that I am singing in, and end up on approximately the same note at the beginning and end of the song. I did 2 different keys for comparison, and tested the possibility of transposing the scale from C to a different key (C#) using this method. I could probably make your average church choir with a little practice…It’s interesting to note the different steps involved in hearing, and the different frequencies recorded by the microphone. The sound travels as oscillations to the ear where it is gathered at the tympanic membrane, sensed by the malleus and other ossicles, and moves through the 3 fluid filled frequency-specific chambers of the cochlea.  At the organ of corti in the cochlea, hair cells sense and transmit both amplitude and frequency of sound to a nerve. This has to be transmitted to the brain, and mapped out to an area that can communicate with the vocal cords. The correct signal for the precise constriction of the crycothyroid muscle to create the desired vibrating frequency in the vocal folds as air is expired has to be accomplished. Where does the system fail with people who are tone deaf? Surely, this system did not evolve accidently.

I spent a little time this weekend preparing for the dog breeding season. There was a fence in dire need of repair, and an unneutered pitbull behind the fence, who bless his soul, is given license to occasionally get out and roam. Although ambivalent about restraining his freedom to the yard, there was another pit on a chain because she is not animal-friendly with other female animals, and I love this pit. I take her out every other day on a bike ride. 15-20 min. every other day is really not enough, but it is better than nothing. So, I was hoping to fix the fence so that pit #1 doesn’t produce puppies that will in all likelihood not get adopted, and pit #2 can be let off of the chain. I used a 80 lb bag of Quickrete cement to fix the hole, giving myself a stress fracture from the weight on my left foot – it’s ok. Being diabetic for so long, the circulation is not great in my feet, the bones become brittle and the metatarsals fracture under too much weight. Although it hurt a little the first day, 2 days later, I don’t really feel it. I just have to be careful to ride a bike and not walk too much with it. Finally, though, I am pleased to say the hole in the fence is fixed, and with a couple of boards with some lag screws to connect the boards on either side of the fence, should be unpassable to the dogs.

Prevention will go a long way toward saving some lives.

A new operating system: I did some work getting programs up and running on Lucid 5.2.5 (my new linux operating system).

Extraction of the ancient Greek lesson files from Berkeley worked well in Lucid, once the Firefox 3.6.3 browser was installed as a pet package. It does not work with Dillo (the default browser) because Dillo doesn’t support frames. Lucid read the files really well (including the pronunciation audio files – male and female voices) and I practiced them, having a lot of fun recognizing Greek roots of English words – ego, me, hippo, animal (anima is spirit in Greek) etc. It helps that I already know most letters from math. The really tricky ones are the letters that are similar to English ones for me, but different in Greek. Obviously, there are the lowercase and uppercase letters to practice. Overall, it’s easier for me to learn than Hebrew, but quite sophisticated. I imagine the Greeks sitting around in the agora trying to develop these grammar systems logically. It certainly wasn’t casually or empirically developed with evolution. It is also thought-provoking that to have this kind of sophistication might require writing. It kind of makes you wonder about the necessity of light to language sophistication . Can one recognize prehistoric languages by a lack of sophistication in grammar structure? Would this be a sign of relative persistence in a culture ie. the ability of a culture to resist outside influence? Scandinavian languages are pretty easy to learn because they don’t decline, or conjugate anything. Scandinavians spend half the year in darkness. I did all 9 sets of nouns – and properly read at least a few of the words without listening. Windows 98 read a few files, but not most, and not the audio files. The interactive part did not work. The nouns and verbs are quite grammatically precise, and I reviewed all the different categories. The logic is displayed quite well, and I enjoyed figuring out how the interactive parts worked on the noun and verb drills, although I could not get any of them right (it is my first day). It was nice that they have a couple of places where they distinguish the pronunciation of ancient Greek words during Greek and Roman times. The introduction to vowels is really quite professional, and worth a look, especially the vowel diagram. I’m sure it translates to studying other languages.

Tried to use Firefox to read a mime file (mht) after installing the Firefox 3.6.3 pet package. Symlinked (relative) in the .config menu to the …/…/…/usr/bin/Firefox dir to launch from the “select application to run” menu (right click). This failed to open my edited mime file. It does however open the ancient greek files (html) which were previously tested and found to be compatible with firefox, but not dillo, in lucid. So, my editing of the mime file is not right, or maybe firefox doesn’t read the mime file at all. Windows does read them (.mht). I guess I need a mime to html translator, or understanding the difference between mime and html a little better might also help.

So far with this system, I am pleased with Lucid. Although I save files and configurations to the USB port flash drive, I enjoy being able to boot up from scratch using a disk, and not having anything that I did on a previous session remembered. I’m a novice, and most decisions that I make at this point are probably not great ones. I did try saving a file to disk, and this was pretty disastrous relative to the performance of the system. I later went into the root directory, and deleted the saved file, so that I could just start from CD again. Probably what is happening, is that every command to the system is logged on the hard drive, and has 6 commands associated with an event. That is why the processor seems to work so slowly when I boot the operating system off of the hard drive (either lucid or windows). Or maybe there is a bus that is too slow. The hard drive system used to work more efficiently. Because everything runs out of ram from the pup disk without ever writing to the hard drive, it stays really speedy if I run it this way. I only have 512 MB RAM. It’s enough for a lot of things.

I was able to get Lucid to install the lucid 5.2.5 development language package devx_sfs using the on-the-fly sfs loader which I put in with the pet package installer. Most of the front end development stuff is too sophisticated for me at this point, but I was able to download a simple C program off of the net, and after changing the file to a .c file, editing out quite a few things (randomize(), random(), getch()) and editing out the conio.h file, also putting in a bracket at the end, the file compiles, builds, and runs with a menu off of the default text editor Geany. Nice. I can’t get it to run with any functions like random(), rand(), randomize() now though, probably because the conio.h file is called something else in lucid, and I’m not using it. I have both the stdio.h and the stdlib.h files in the header.  I used the pfind function to search for *io.h and found a directory where libraries are stored /usr/include. I then went to /usr/include and greped rand in *.h, putting in the libraries that I thought might have rand* functions in them, and trying to convert to appropriate declarations of numbers in the functions. Couldn’t get it to work. Need internet support or a book. Maybe I’m using a library path that is not the one that is being used by the compiler.

The final project for the long week-end (apart from working on Genesis 2 – about 30%, I want to do it all in one reading which is hard), was a little work on the bike carrier. I decided to increase the inertia of the carrier (resistance to movement) by adding wood to the sides so that the torque on the rack from weight at the top of the pretty high carrier would not cause it to topple so easily. This torque is pretty inevitable since the bike will lean every time you stop, start or go up a hill. The screw threads that are supposed to hold in the screws (rack to bike) were cross-threaded in the bike from its previous life, so the bolts that came with the rack could not go all the way in to secure the rack. They were 10 32‘s finely machined screws and the local hardware shop didn’t have those. I switched to metric getting 2 shorter M5 hex head screws for the job.


The hex head is easier to work with than an Allen wrench. It worked, and the rack is secured at this point. I also got some corner brackets and screwed those in to make the wood part of the carrier – at least the first layer.

I have to get some more brackets to build the system up. Nails might also work, but they are a little more dangerous if the system fails.  It may need support on the sides underneath as well.

I’ve been screwing the brackets in by hand with a screwdriver. I need to fix the transmission on the power drill that I’m going to use to drill the bolt holes through the wood. It’s stuck between the 2 gears on the drill, and the trigger is blocked, and won’t engage. When I get some more brackets and move to build the next layer of wood, that will be the next project.  I have all the screws out of the drill, but I still can’t get it apart.

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