s Thoughts from the Physics Chick: How you know I am a nerd

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

How you know I am a nerd

(Just in case there was still any doubt.)

Now that I live in The Mission Field, I stream the General Conference broadcast online instead of listening to it on the radio or watching it on TV. I use Windows Media Player, which turned out to be kind of trippy because I had the background image set on “Ambience: Water,” which looks . . . trippy, especially as a visual image accompanying something as straight laced as the audio of the LDS General Conference broadcast.

As I cycled through the different images, trying to find something which produced less of a visual disconnect, I realized that most of the background images are generated from the frequency data of the audio stream, some more directly than others. (“Bars,” and “Ocean Mist,” are good examples, while “Scope” is a simple waveform – the exact thing you’d see on an oscilloscope.) I paused on “Scope” to watch the high frequency noise of Elder Monson’s sibilants as he introduced the musical number. And then the hymn began with an organ solo just on the melody line, and played with just a few ranks (or only one) sounding. Organs are typically played with a lot of ranks sounding because any single pipe by itself can be a little thin in the way of harmonics. The purity of the sound made for a very regular waveform, and I got excited about how cool it looked, but I didn’t have anyone to tell.

Nerdy, nerd, nerd . . .

5 Comments:

At April 19, 2006 8:30 AM, Blogger Peter said...

Don't worry, Katya, you're not too much of a nerd if you still use Windows Media Player for audio. Most real nerds can't stand that Media Player is such a processor hog, so they use a third-party media player.

 
At April 19, 2006 1:07 PM, Blogger Logan said...

Yeah, Windows-anything is for the vulgar class that reads USA-Today and watches the Fox network. If you value your nerd status you'll get Linux or Macintosh.

 
At April 19, 2006 4:29 PM, Anonymous Squirrel Boy said...

That's not nerdy: that's awesome.

 
At April 19, 2006 6:08 PM, Blogger Katya said...

Peter - I never claimed to be a computer nerd, just a linguistics (or maybe accoustics) nerd.

Logan - So, what you're telling me is that I'm stuck between the double bell curve of normal people and über-nerds, each seeing me as belonging to the other, but neither offering me fellowship or respect? I think that's pretty much the story of my life.

At least the Amazing Squirrel Boy understands me . . .

 
At April 23, 2006 12:54 AM, Anonymous Squirrel Boy said...

Linguists gotta stick together, you know?

 

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