Archive for July, 2008

If you are a careful reader of these posts and have a habit of holding onto goofy facts, you may recall that the first mathematical concept I seriously interacted with, after brain surgery, was pi. As in, testing myself to see if I could still remember the first 30 or 40 decimal places of pi (3.1415…).

An alert cousin of mine (let’s call her “Kim”) recently sent me a link to a Pi-song ring tone. I know, I know — how thoughtful! I checked it out and it does sing nearly the first 90 digits of pi. I decided to turn this into a first ever experience of actually downloading a ringtone to my phone (I didn’t enter the 21st century too quickly, so I need to catch up with the 12 year olds). And on that site it’s free to download, but it requires giving them your phone number, which I was reluctant to do.

So I started wishing for a program that would capture the audio from anything playing on the computer’s sound card. And on the Mac there is one called WireTap Studio that does just that. Just specify one or more applications (such as the web browser), record any sound being played, and then edit that sound bite if desired. Seems nearly ideal, outside of the charge for using it longer than the trial period.

Now I didn’t check for any legal tidbits on the ringtone site, so the rest of this is purely hypothetical, of course. It may have been possible to capture that free ringtone song (without giving a phone number), and then finding out that WireTap can also send it to one’s phone.

Later I asked the kids (in theory) how they would describe someone with a pi-song ringtone. Some answers: geeky, funny, totally nerdy, only-my-dad. One of them even momentarily transitioned through a state of noting that the song was kind of catchy.

If you want the longer version of the song (I’m sure there’s high demand), this nice site runs it out to 190 digits.


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Feed the beast

For the last few years I’ve been making a calendar, inspired by the ones at despair.com. The ones I make, with help / support of some colleagues, are based largely on my company’s culture. That culture is mostly set by its somewhat notorious, outspoken CEO, T.J. Rodgers. I always send him a calendar to see if he will fire me, and when he doesn’t, I distribute a few copies to co-workers.

While some of the months are only meaningful if you work at Cypress, others have wider appeal. This month of July, for example, features a theme that I’m sure some of y’all have experienced at one time or another.


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