The Big Page O' Fun and Other
StuffDepending on who you are, you may be interested
in what I do.
Things I do professionally:
- I teach courses in Electrical Engineering Technology at Mohawk Valley Community College.
These include DC and AC circuit theory, linear semiconductor
circuits (i.e., transistor theory), operational amplifiers, and
programming courses. If you're in one of these courses, there
are supplemental pages where
you can get more info.
- I write instructional and informational material. This includes
an electrical engineering technology text book and dozens of
articles in the past 25 or so years for publications such as
C User's Journal, Amazing Computing, Amiga
World, Modern Drummer,
and others. Along with these are the user's manuals for software
products such as Sample
Wrench. I completed the second edition of my Operational
Amplifiers and Linear Integrated Circuits text in 2001. There
is a companion lab manual and the publisher has a companion web
site. The text was recently translated and is now available in
a Spanish language edition. Over the past few years I've been writing lab manuals so that our
electrical students can have a better lab experience and save a
considerable amount of money on their text book expenses at the same
time. These manuals are freely redistributable and are available
through major open rducational resource sites such as OERCommons.org and Merlot.org.
The current offerings include Computer Programming with Python, DC
electrical circuits, AC Electrical Circuits, Linear Electronics, and
Embedded Controllers Using C and Arduino. You can download these on the
Free Books page.
- I write software. This includes all of the software offered
by dissidents. My main
area of research interest is weird DSP (digital signal processing),
primarily interesting and unique mutations of audio.
- At one time I used to design PA systems and loudspeakers,
but I generally don't have time for that these days. If you're
interested in audio, consider signing up for ET106
Science of Sound.
- I've done some hardware design on analog neural networks
with Dr. John Gallagher of the Neural
Dynamics and Control Group at Wright State University in
Things I do for the love it:
- Almost anything with my wife (the rare exception includes
moving furniture around the living room, but then that's hard-coded
into some men's DNA who'd be happy to leave things as they are
for the next 30 years so long as there's a recliner with a good
view of the TV).
- Running. I prefer longer distances (10k and up). There are
some nice races in the area I like to do, including the Summer
Sizzle in June, the Boilermaker
15k in July, and the Falling
Leaves 14k in September. I also like to do a few of the weekly
Utica development runs (2 mile and 10k) which are held May through
July. To get more info on running in Utica, check out the Utica Roadrunners site
(currently, I am on the board of directors and was the club president).
One thing I like about running is the lack of an "object".
There is no ball, bat, net or goal, so the focus is entirely
on the runners themselves. There are no complicated rules, referees
or judges, and there can be a lot of personal drama. Besides,
it's very healthy- being one of the most efficient ways for the
average person to stay in shape. Click here
for some recipes I like for training.
- Biking, kayaking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and similar
- Reading. Lots of science-oriented material but quite a bit
of history, politics, some philosophy as well, and particularly
the nexus of these topics. I am a firm believer in the ideals
of the Enlightenment and The Age of Reason, and what science
can do (and has done) to further the human condition. More directly,
I do not have a "world view" which invokes the supernatural.
It is my opinion that if someone claims to have a "world
view" that is hinged to some manner of religious dogma
then they are not open to all possibilities of explanation regarding
the understanding of the universe. You might call me a secular
humanist or a scientific rationalist/naturalist. That is, I have seen no evidence that
ethics and morality are intrinsically tied to religiosity, nor
that a supreme being(s) exists or is required to explain the
operation of the universe.
- Music. "Music is the best" said Frank
Zappa. (See below)
- Sometimes I like to draw, like the cartoons seen below.
- Some popular things I don't do: I don't follow spectator sports or watch "reality" or "talent" shows on TV. I find these things to be terminally boring.
Some Funny Stuff and Some Serious Stuff
Guide to Semiconductor Physics
A little story on how semiconductors
A simple investigation into astrology
Some thoughts on the metric system
Some food recipes I made
But can Spock do this?
To paraphrase Frank Zappa, I do not write music that
is strictly commercial. This stuff would never get airplay
but some people have expressed an interest in my electronic drumming.
These drums look like and play like regular drums but they trigger
sounds electronically. They can sound like acoustic drums or just
about anything else. My kit is based around an expanded Roland
TD-20 controller. I also use a MalletKAT keyboard percussion controller
(kind of like an electronic marimba or vibraphone) which triggers
a Kurzweil sound module. I use these because I can't afford nice
percussion keyboards. Have you priced a symphonic marimba lately??
I also play bass guitar and occasionally plunk out a few chords
on a normal piano-style keyboard. With very few exceptions, if
it's not drums or bass, it's coming from the MalletKAT.
You can hear some of my music at my myspace page: www.myspace.com/jimfiore
Below are a few examples (details at myspace):
Fun Is Where You Find
Lights A Candle
The Return Of Wayne
I'm selling some music gear.
There's a Digi-Tech RP-5 guitar multi-effects processor. An
older model but still quite nice. I'm asking only $50 (with power supply).
Check the Utica Roadrunners site for road race schedules and info.
Here's my Boilermaker Training Plan
Want more running stuff? Check out the
running section on my other site.
Some quotes I like...
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.""We
are at the very beginning of time for the human race. It is not
unreasonable that we grapple with problems. But there are tens of
thousands of years in the future. Our responsibility is to do what we
can, learn what we can, improve the solutions, and pass them on."
- Isaac Asimov
- Richard Feynman
"Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom,
wisdom is not truth."
- Frank Zappa"
Begin with the possible and move gradually towards the impossible."
- Robert Fripp
"Ask yourself, 'Can I give more?' The answer is usually
- Paul Tergat (former world marathon record
"Do what you fear and you shall conquer your fear."
- Karen Schaffer
"Alone, you can fend for yourself. Together, we can improve the world."
"My hovercraft is full of eels."
- Monty Python
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer
god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other
possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
- Stephen Roberts
"There are people who believe that dinosaurs and men lived
together. That they roamed the Earth at the same time. There are
museums that children go to, in which they build dioramas to show
them this. And what this is, purely and simply, is a clinical
psychotic reaction. They are crazy. They are stone cold f*** nuts.
I can't be kind about this, because these people are watching
The Flintstones as if it were a documentary."
- Lewis Black
Some links I like...
A great site for info on media and politics: www.mediamatters.org
Good stuff to know from the Department of Agriculture (Center
for Nutrition Policy & Promotion): www.usda.gov/cnpp
How much fat is in your lunch? The Center for Science in the
Public Interest: www.cspinet.org
Reality checks anyone? www.skeptic.com
Richard Dawkins' site, including his Foundation for Reason
and Science: www.richarddawkins.net
The Freedom From Religion Foundation: www.ffrf.org
The Secular Web, promoting a naturalistic view of the universe:
Information on secular humanism: www.secularhumanism.org
Discipline Global Mobile:
Robert Fripp, King Crimson, et.al. www.disciplineglobalmobile.com
Drummer Bill Bruford's (Yes, King Crimson, Earthworks) site:
"Music is the Best". www.zappa.com
exposure to techno-tools can drastically increase your Kg
(coefficient of geek-osity). The surgeon general hasn't said doody
about this, but it might be a bad thing. On the other hand, it
could be a good thing. Of course, there's always the possibilty
that it will make no difference whatsoever. We simply don't know.
Either way, you've been warned. Sort of.
© 2014 Jim Fiore