Bob Frazier's Home-Office Network

Welcome to Bob Frazier's "It's My Server" main web page.    IPv4:    IPv6: 2001:470:c:c9c::2
Hosted on FreeBSD 8-STABLE running Apache 2.2 with PHP5
IPv6 tunnel courtesy of Hurricane Electric Internet Services

Sorry if the speed sucks, Earthlink has refused to fix connectivity issues that first
showed up just over 2 years ago. I am looking for a different ISP at the moment

'Winners do what they must; Losers do what they feel'

"Freedom? That is a worship word." - Cloud William
(Original Star Trek, 'The Omega Glory')
"Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." - Pablo Picasso

Man Made Global Warming? NOT!!!!
'Man Made' climate change is EASILY debunked. Read the poignant article HERE.

WARNING: political, cynical, poignant, and hackish content ahead

View at your own risk. You may be offended, entertained, or both. Muahahahah!
Please close the lid and flush when you're done.

Old News

About Me - no holds barred! (content warning)
Here's your sign

FEATURES (and other things)

Parody song, 12 days of bootcamp

Back when I was in the Navy, this was running around. Transcribed from memory, so it may be off by a bit...
    12 days of bootcamp


'Rumble Synth', a demo for the S.F.T. Synth project. The bassline and lead parts were done with this (amazing!) device. You can also find the song on my SoundClick page.
Rumble Synth  STREAM

'Mondo', a tribute to a friend of mine from High School named Armando who wrote a campy/folky song that a bunch of us used to play, mostly because that's what Danny wanted to do and the rest of us went along with it. Well, this song was in serious need of jazzing up, and so I wrote something that sort of reminds you of the original, then goes off in its own direction.

Pounding 'Geddy Lee' style bass (and somewhat-style vocals), 'what it says on the tin', a song called 'Hikikomori', from the perspective of a Hikikomori. There's more about this on my SoundClick site.
Hikikomori  STREAM

A somewhat recent 'in progress as usual' work is a JPop-style, currently a 'proof of concept' version, but I think it could stand alone as-is.
JPop Concept #2 (mix 'a')  STREAM

This is another one of my songs, more of a 'smooth jazz' genre - "Summer's Last Sunset"
SummersLastSunset.mp3  STREAM

Here's an anti-Ritalin 'Pink Floydish' work I did a few years ago: WhyDoYouDrugTheChildren.mp3  STREAM

(RITALIN: Today's guarantee that tomorrow we will have plenty of garbage men, hamburger flippers, and ditch diggers, if they can stay out of prison).

SFT Synth

Code Name: Piranha
Official Project Page

photo of original prototype - click on image for official web page
same prototype, broken apart so you can see the guts - click on image to visit official web page

This is an old photo of the original prorotype for my monophonic synth project, the SFT Synth, code-name 'Piranha'. It uses an Arduino-compatible AVR microcontroller to function as a DCO and manage envelope and VCF control output, which then drives a VCA (on the board) and a VCF. The first photo is of the completed prototype, and the 2nd shows it broken apart into the 3 modules. The upper left module is a 'Boarduino' that I purchased as a kit from Adafruit. It is basically an Arduino clone with a simple serial interface that sells for under $20 and can plug into a breadboard.

The SFT Synth accepts MIDI input and includes MIDI output for status and feedback. I plan on adding other features, such as synchronization signals (both input and output). I designed and built this project for a few reasons, one of which is that I want to make money with a cool idea. I've ALSO been wanting a good quality monophonic synth for a VERY long time, and obtaining that "old school" monophonic sound almost REQUIRES inventing your own, or paying a hell of a lot of money for "something new".

As a 'proof of concept' demo, I did a 'synth bassline' AND 'portamento' lead for THIS (also in MP3 format). It's called "Rumble Synth". Enjoy. Also available HERE.

A 'plain' sample of what it sounds like (various patches) can be found here. I recorded it 'as-is', snipped a few sections I didn't want, and converted it to ogg format since [for some reason] mp3 format had too many artifacts. There is one place where I could here some compression artifacts, though. On a related note, I'm using 'stepped' waveforms to simulate triangle, sawtooth, and pulse, so maybe the audio compression algorithms choke on it? In any case, ONE of the patches uses a pseudo-random filter [you'll know it when you hear it], and of course there's a variable portamento setting, from 0 to 'pretty long'. One of the patches is supposed to sound like the lead part from Emerson Lake and Palmer's "Lucky Man", in case you thought it might be that. Another is supposed to sound like the 'Dr. Who' intro to Muse's "Uprising". The idea is to provide a sound that's comparable to the 'retro' analog synth sound that has been used by famous musicians in the past. I think I've succeeded.

I've spent over 3 months on this now, including over a month for the software alone. That includes both the control software AND the software for the Arduino-compatible board. What saddens me is some of the' regulatory requirements I'm going to have to deal with, particularly FCC Part 15 subpart B, which means forking over $$$$ to have it tested _AND_ certified 'cause it's a "peripheral device". I know it's important 'cause I don't want to interfere with radio and TV. I listen to AM all the time while I'm working with it, and my TV is never affected. But still... gotta pay someone to verify it, certify it, etc. and then wait 30+ days afterwards to get a certification from the FCC. Bleah. It REALLY puts a stumbling block in the way of 'the little guy' trying to get something cool 'out there'.

Still, in spite of all of this, I plan on making this commercially viable/available (both hardware and software), FYI, so hang onto your shorts until it's ready...

A screenshot of the programmer application

The above screenshot is a recent version of the 'SFT Synth Programmer' application, designed SPECIFICALLY for the SFT Synth project. It uses 'non-registered' midi control registers to store all of the parameters that you see, so it's following the MIDI spec, but doesn't require a registered MIDI vendor ID in order to function.

I plan on making it possible to use a 'keytar' to control patch selections and as many parameters as possible using the standard MIDI definitions. Unfortunately, a number of the parameters don't really have a STANDARD MIDI definition, so it DOES pose a bit of a problem. Fortunately, it's all fixable via software.

Something I'm rather proud of is the LARGE NUMBER OF VARIABLE PARAMETERS that you see on the screen, which is designed to emulate an actual panel. A future project will probably be "that panel" with MIDI output to "live program" the device, though it would be a bit pricey due to the large number of slide controls.

I estimate the cost for the unassembled unit to be much less than $100 (retail), including the main board and the 'Arduino clone' (or its equivalent), so long as I can get the boards made at a reasonably low price. I have intentionally NOT chosen any exotic, expensive, nor "not likely to be available in the future" or similarly hard to find component. All of the parts I have chosen are either ROHS compliant, or else ROHS compliant versions exist. None of the circuits have any kind of patent encumberance that I'm aware of (I searched online), and the basic design of the VCF was published in the mid-1970s in a magazine. A few of my own goodies have been added, though, and I may choose to 'patent encumber' them, but only to keep others from stepping on my design too much. (most likely there's nothing to patent, though, as it's all pretty "old school" stuff).

The SFT Synth Programmer application includes a 'calibrate' feature. This causes the device to generate test signals that you can use to adjust the 4 20-turn potentiometers. When I calibrated the unit the first time, it took me less than 15 minutes, but it wasn't working properly at the time so I suspect it wouldn't take so long now. One of the adjustments may go away in the future if I decide to re-design the VCA (it is a "zero" level adjust for volume cutoff). The other 3 adjustments are for the low, high, and mid-range frequency settings on the VCF. Since the VCF is exponential in nature, it was necessary to have a RELIABLE linear to exponential conversion (one that doesn't have any appreciable temperature drift). But it only uses about $3 (retail) worth of parts to do that, so it's no big deal. You DO have to calibrate it, though. It's still an ANALOG device, after all.

Other Projects

hardware and software working together on a breadboard

It seems that computing trends are falling into a pattern that's pretty close to what I've been predicting, and focusing my attention on. In addition to the C and C++ programming languages, cross-platform development, non-windows operating systems (in general), and embedded devices (in general), the next THING is going to be...
MICRO-CONTROLLERS, and the HARDWARE that goes along with them!
That means I'll have to re-learn electronics again. See above, that's what I am currently trying to control, extending GPIOs using shift registers (so 3 lines can NOW control 16 or more, depending). Extending input lines would be more difficult, but I don't need to do that now. But I'd probably use the same CMOS chips to do it.

Here's a newer pic of the same project, complete with prototype circuit board and an 'integration board' above it with the microcontroller and an LCD display, and some test leads wired in so that the board can identify a particular component. Still lots of work to do to this guy before it's ready for prime time, calibration being the most difficult part. The analysis board is covered up, but rest assured it's what was being prototyped on the breadboard above.

prototype of the above

More fun below, a second project involving a microcontroller, a bunch of power transistors, a bunch of capacitors, a bunch of wires, and a bunch of other associated components. Drilling holes in the sheet metal case is probably the hardest part, but a Dremel tool, cutting oil, and lots of filing seem to be getting the job done 'on the cheap'. Investing in milling equipment and large scale drilling devices isn't in my budget, unfortunately.

wires and more wires

Irrelevant and Unusual Things

cat 5 o nine tails On the right you'll see a picture of a cat-5 o' nine tails. You can build one using 5 cat5 cables which gives you 9 plastic thingies to add to its effectiveness. The remaining wire is wrapped around the 'bend' to give you a nice handle. If those users misbehave, just keel-haul them and beat them until they're raw with a cat-5 o' nine tails. That'll teach them users a thing or two about networking. Arrr!

animated GIF89 - look into my eyes!

This is one of those animated GIF thingies. I replaced the 'cheesy' one with something different. So, look into my eyes - you're getting sleepy... sleepy... sleeeeepeeeeey....
For those who care, I used a microsoft application called "Microsoft GIF Animator" to create it from a few VERY simple bitmap files. This program is on the MSDN Level II CD #9, entitled "other SDK's". I guess a GIF animator is an 'SDK'....
Unfortunately Microsoft isn't making this available any more, but you can download a copy HERE

This is an 'anaglyph' photo (anagraphic 3D) that I created using a 3D photo program I was working on (I intended it to be open source, and ported to linux and BSD when I'm was done with it). By using a digital camera on a tripod, and moving the camera to one side to take a second photo, then some regular photo editing software, and finally my 3D photo app (to merge the red + cyan right/left images properly), I was able to create the following photo from some left/right images I took a while ago.
Use red/cyan 3D glasses to get the proper effect.

This next photo is based on my first attempt at 3D. After cleaning it up with photo editing software and re-doing the 3D with the app I was working on, I was able to get a pretty good rendering, except that the tint is a little on the 'brown' side (due to the photos I used). The 3D 'rock formation' and the fireplace mantle are pretty good for 3D, though.

This is a more recent attempt at the first 3D photo. Note that it has better perspective as well as more equipment on the rack. The problem with too much separation, though, is that the edges of the screen become less well defined.

These next 2 photos are my most recent 3D attempts (from 2008). First, a photo of the bottom of Hoover Dam. Since the left and right photos were taken a few seconds apart the water isn't exactly right, but everything else looks correct. Also, I had to rotate one of the photos to get them to line up properly, but GIMP does a good job of that kind of thing.

This next photo is of the inside of one of the Hoover Dam generator rooms (the Nevada side). The 2 photos were imperfect, and taken several seconds apart, but I think the overall 3D effect can still be well demonstrated here.

Examples of my TWISTED (yet poignant) Sense of Humor


Microsoft Wheel - caveman working on round wheel, 'Bill Gates' caveman with finished octagonal wheel stamped with windows logo

De-Motivational Posters. Humor with THORNS

The Great Society - if it weren't for LBJ and those whiney liberals, we'd be colonizing Mars by now
If 50% of the U.S. Federal Budget were spent by NASA, instead of given away to people who
WHINE for it, we WOULD be colonizing Mars! And, we'd all have HIGH PAYING JOBS!

'OBAMA: All Your Base are Belong To us.'  OBAMA - Someone Set Us Up
Obama is worse than CATS. He's destroying our country.

Environmental Protection Agency - We will MAKE and EXAMPLE and CRUCIFY you!
The EPA is INTENTIONALLY trying to intimidate businesses, admittedly MAKING EXAMPLES the way the Romans would
when they would round up several individuals and simply CRUCIFY them, so that the city would be easier to manage.
That, according to Al Armendariz. No, that's ACTUALLY his name, and NOT a terrorist news agency.

The Antichrist - have you seen him?  Left-hand photo found on an alleged 'prophecy' web site and 'improved' by me.  Right photo from
Seriously, I found the (above, left) photo on (what is claimed to be) a 'prophecy' web site.
Someone (allegedly) dreamed about this guy's face back in the 70's.
But it looks so much like Nixon I wonder if he was somehow fixated on 'Tricky Dicky'?
It was the 70's, after all.
It's also possible that he may have been dreaming about THIS guy
But one thing is for sure: If there IS an antichrist, it's probably HIM! (the picture on the right, also HERE)
Check out the eyebrows, nose, mouth, and even (receding) hair - it COULD be HIM!
By the way, that man is George Soros (more details HERE)
Details include the part about him helping the Nazi Occupation government in Hungary
inventory and confiscate personal property of Jewish people that were sent to concentration camps

Here's an Obama 'Parody image' based on T shirt design for Arrogant Bastard Ale

original artwork

And now, Mrs. Clinton at her 'finest' [parody of Fox News photo]

Touchups include: snake eyes, more wrinkles, Hitler hair/moustache, jowels, rosacia instead of 'rosy cheeks'
AND I took the 'cute head tilt' out of it, which happened to be in the original. ~shudder~

But, if I'm going to have photos of THOSE clowns in my hall of SHAME, then I should DEFINITELY include THIS one:
Kim Jong Cartman, Respect My Authoritah
Ok, Eric Cartman is a LOT funnier. This guy's just bat-guano *INSANE*

©2002-2013 by Big Bad Bob Frazier - all rights reserved
Last Update: 7/15/2013

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