Twisted Sister of Singer Transcendental Modulation

This article at slashdot about a way of encoding the polarization of a wave is interesting as I have been using a technique which is completely different ( though certainly as sneaky ) for years to transmit information without anybody knowing it is being done. The history and comments show that over the years many things have been done in the military that seem to just get buried since they are never applied commercially.

Though most ideas I have don't result in any real use, over the years I have had thousands of ideas of how to do things and though this seems that it might not work, the concept is there and maybe I will apply it to something else. An odd association I remember from long ago is a machine I fixed for somebody after it was obsolete. It was a "Singer" ( yes that is right, the sewing machine company ) computer. It was 100s of single transistors (the size of a thumbnail) soldered on boards and used a coil of spring wire inside a case to store memory ( mechanically ). It twisted the wire and sensed and amplified the twist at the other end and then fed it back in the loop while forking and modding ( accumulator style ) it to the display, which was a vacuum tube number generator that was phosphor coated like a TV. It was a strange contraption, however it worked.

I had no schematic and like many things I encounter it was necessary to trace the circuit, measure the voltages, look at it with an oscilloscope and then visualize the circuit in my mind. I then used that model to probe and modify the circuit to verify that this is how it worked.

The one thing about comments on slashdot that surprised me is that some people like to quote equations of information technology and say that it is impossible to transmit more than x with y. That is always interesting and though there are some things that can be said to be completely understood and defined so well that there are no surprises, this is not one of them. If somebody tells me they have a device where mν1 != mν2 then I will call bullshit, beyond that, I will entertain any idea, with varying degrees of hospitality.


How did the Friden EC-130 store numbers? At the time it was designed, the EC-130 required too many digits of internal storage to permit use of discrete-component flip-flops for data; indeed, all of the early desktop calcs faced the same constraint. Of course, this was the era before static RAM ICs. So Friden used a low-cost version of the wire (ultra)sonic delay line, a truly serial type of storage. These devices were used in expensive systems for mass storage of binary data, with tight control over delay time and clock frequency. Apparently, the idea was to make the delay time some large multiple of the clock period, within a fraction of one period.
Here is a link to computer site which describes the device I spoke of, if you think I made that up about "Singer which was the same as Friden". I remembered wrong and it was a CRT on that device, and it was a different device that used the phosphorous gas displays.


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