Sunday Morning idle queries ??

Bill Davidsen davidsen at
Wed Jul 9 16:44:43 UTC 2008

William Case wrote:
> Thanks Patrick;
> Just a little note below that does not require a response.
> On Mon, 2008-07-07 at 08:12 -0430, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote:
>> On Sun, 2008-07-06 at 13:05 -0400, William Case wrote:
>>> Hi Max and Patrick;
>>> On Sun, 2008-07-06 at 10:40 -0430, Patrick O'Callaghan wrote: 
>>>> On Sun, 2008-07-06 at 10:16 -0400, William Case wrote:
>>>>> Hi;
> [snip]
>>> I have been thinking about your suggestions all morning.  I have decided
>>> to develop the following strategy.  If you have a better suggestion let
>>> me know.
>>> 1) Start by using mainly cut and paste from wherever I can find info.
>>> 2) Using NoteCase in conjunction with FreeMind to begin organizing data
>>> conceptually and storing the details.
>>> 3) Begin with hardware (and perhaps the prerequisite drivers even if
>>> drivers are technically software) so that I can develop a basic
>>> understanding of the physical limitations and problems that software has
>>> to overcome for each different type of use.
>>> 4) As I go through the hardware list, perhaps I will pickup the
>>> applicability and use of various pieces of software.
>>> 5) So far I have the following list of hardware, off the top of my head,
>>> that seems to play a role:
>>>         RJ45; Twisted Pair Cable
>>>         CATV; Coaxial Cable
>>>         USB
>>>         Wireless
>>>         NIC
>>>         RAM (how used for sockets, caches, DMA etc. by media hardware)
>>>         Audio Card/Chip
>>>         Video Card/chip
>>>         CD/DVD Drive
>>>         CD Disk
>>>         DVD Disk
>>>         Digital Still Picture Camera
>>>         Digital Video Camera
>>>         WebCam
>>>         TV Tuners
>>>         Any suggestions of additions or deletions gratefully accepted.
>> You'll end up writing the Encyclopedia of Computer Hardware. Very much
>> off the top if my head, I think it would be better first to establish a
>> frame of reference: start with a quick survey of the basic principles of
>> digital media, such as the A/D and D/A conversion, compression and
>> packetizing techniques, streaming, buffering and synchronization, then a
>> discussion of the various popular wrapper formats (Quicktime, Real,
>> Flash, DVD etc.). After that, you can get into specifics of how the
>> multiple architectures that have evolved allow us to deal with all this
>> (or not).
> I have popped your suggestions into my outline.  I have to find out what
> A/D and D/A conversion is.  (I haven't looked it up yet).

Analog to digital, digital to analog. One and zeros vs. voltage, more or 
> Actually, I have managed to read and cut and paste about half the
> hardware specs and/or data sheets since yesterday.  It is not that
> difficult for me.  I have traced already how basic I/O, how CPU and
> memory work; from wall plug to initd.  I now know where to look for
> tutorials, manuals, data sheets and schematics for most computer
> hardware and software parts and pieces now.  I have taught myself C so I
> could read source code.  I used to make my living analyzing programs,
> policies and businesses; pulling them apart and putting them back
> together looking for logic gaps and then documenting my findings.  I am
> retired so I have the time; and I enjoy coming to understand new things;
> and get extremely frustrated when I don't.
> If I keep everything focused on my own system, as it currently exists,
> it shouldn't be that difficult and could be useful to others.  My system
> is no where out of the norm.
> Bragging a little; and putting things into perspective for me and you.

Bill Davidsen <davidsen at>
   "We have more to fear from the bungling of the incompetent than from
the machinations of the wicked."  - from Slashdot

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