Josef “Jeff” Sipek

2022-05-15 — A cornucopia of amateur radio content.

Software type content — Assorted (mostly DSP) software by Jonti.

Dad Jokes — US government’s dad joke API.

Second IC :) — Sam Zeloof’s second home-made IC.

10 tips for academic talks

USB Cheat Sheet — Fabien Sanglard’s very nicely done summary of the USB standard naming mess.

Zoom in and Enhance!

Recently, I posted a gallery full of photos from Earth Day. While I was post-processing them, I noticed something interesting in one of the shots. Since it was interesting enough, I had to blahg about it. So, without further ado, let’s get started—in the style of terrible TV shows!

Display original image.

Zoom in. (Crop.)

Enhance. (Set shadows to +100.)

Enhance more. (Set black clipping to +100.)

Enhance even more. (Set exposure to +2EV.)

Zoom in more! (Resize 200% and then crop to original size.)

Ha! I knew it! There were people there! Mystery solved!

While I am being silly here, I think it’s actually very cool that so much detail got captured by the 24MP sensor on the D750 even at 70mm focal length while standing pretty far away.

Maybe in the near future, today’s groan-worthy “zoom in and enhance” TV scenes are going to be the reality we live in. Of course this brings up interesting concerns about privacy—is the camera pointing away from you actually focusing on a reflection of you? Alas I am not going to delve into this topic today.


Tee hee…an amusing story from BBC News:

A man in the United States popped out to his local petrol station to buy a pack of cigarettes - only to find his card charged $23,148,855,308,184,500.


Ooooh… looks like some folks are very serious about shredding … their disks.

Big Shredder


Sharing the Computer's Time

Earlier today, someone I know sent me this Time article. I started reading the article, but something seemed a bit odd. To not spoil it for you, here’s the text of the article:

The computer has become a main stay of big business in the U.S., but most small and medium-sized companies still find it too expensive for normal use. Last week two of the biggest computer makers, General Electric and Control Data Corp., introduced new systems that will offer the small business man the same computer advantages as the biggest corporation. Their move to what is called “time sharing” is part of a growing trend to market the computer’s abilities much as a utility sells light or gas.

Dial for the Answer. Business some time ago began using computer centers to process data cards, count receipts or keep track of airline reservations from distant offices. Time sharing goes much beyond that. It links up as many as 500 widely separated customers with one large computer, lets each feed its own problems to the machine by telephone through a simple typewriter console. The time-sharing computer can answer questions in microseconds, is able to shift back and forth swiftly among the diverse programming needs of many companies, small and large.

Although still in its infancy, time sharing is already being used by business, government and universities. Boston’s Raytheon Co. prepares contract proposals, and Arthur D. Little solves problems in applied mechanics through a time-sharing system run by Cambridge’s Bolt Beranek & Newman. An other time-sharing firm, Keydata, will soon take up the problems of Boston distributors of liquor, books, automobile parts and building materials. Control Data, which introduced two time-shared computers last week, will open the U.S.’s biggest sharing center in Los Angeles next year. General Electric already has 88 customers, last week added a New York center to its service centers in Phoenix and Valley Forge, Pa.

From New York, IBM gives shared-time services to 50 customers, including Union Carbide and the Bank of California. Under G.E.’s system, a company can rent the big G.E. 265 for 25 shared hours a month for only $350, compared with a normal monthly rent of $13,000 for individual computers.

Plugging Them In. Some companies have discovered that time sharing has reduced to one-fiftieth the time needed to answer a problem, have found access to a large computer more profitable than ownership of a small or medium-sized machine. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the pioneers in time sharing, now has 400 users for its IBM 7094 computer, has served scientists as far away as Norway and Argentina. Experts predict that by 1970 time sharing will account for at least half of an estimated $5 billion computer business, will be used as widely and easily as the telephone switchboard.

Yep, that’s right, this article is dated: Friday, Nov. 12, 1965. :)

Virtual Machines

Mendel Rosenblum, a Stanford University associate professor, VMWare co-founder, became an ACM Fellow, in 2008. The page about his fellow citation reads:

For contributions to reinventing virtual machines.

Very amusing.


This is probably as old as the internet itself…

Newsgroups: comp.unix.questions
Subject: NEED HELP FAST !!!!!!!!!
From: (The Unknown Hacker)
Date: 7 Apr 92 12:55:45 EDT
Organization: UNIX Guru's R Us!

Sorry if this is a FAQ, but I've heard that a FAQ is something
everybody already knows, but since I don't know the answer to this
everybody doesn't know it, so it can't be a FAQ, so here I go ...

I've just created about the most Awesome change directory program ever
written.  If it doesn't find the target directory through an
exhaustive CDPATH search, it uses the most sophisticated spelling
corrector (based on a thorough analysis of Webster's on-line
dictionary, and a list of the 1000 most common directory names on Unix
systems throughout the world) to try to find a match that way.  If
that fails, then it tries to create the directory, and if that fails,
it opens /dev/uri-geller, and reads the mind of the invoker to try to
figure out what to do.  It executes with almost 0 impact on system
resources, and is most truly the finest/tightest code ever to grace
the memory of a computer.

The only problem is that it doesn't work.  No matter how I've tried,
once I've done that last chdir (and I've tried doing several identical
chdir(2)'s in a row to see if that would make the directory change
more "sticky" but that didn't work) I always end up where I started in
the shell I started my program in.  I've tried setting the PWD, and
CWD variables with putenv(3), but that doesn't seem to have any effect.

What it really seems to me, is I need some way of telling the shell what
directory it's supposed to be in when my program is done executing.
Put more simply, I need a way of modifying the environment of a parent

E-mail responses only.  There's too much noise on this bboard for me to
be able to read it.  And HURRY!!!  I need to turn this project in by 5pm
tonight !!!!

 |         _   /|                                                             |
 |         \'o.O'           UNIX Guru in training                             |
 |         =(___)=                                                            |
 |            U             Joe Programmer                                    |
 |     ACK.. THPPT!!!!                            |
 |                                                                            |


Over a week ago, I mentioned reading Frazz. Another fun comic I came across is called Dork Tower.

Dork Tower: 2007-08-22


About two months ago, I got introduced to a fun web comic, Frazz.

I was looking at some of the older ones, and I found one that amused me enough to share with you:
Frazz: May 31, 2008

The Science News Cycle

May 18, 2009: PhD Comics

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