The synthesizer project has reached an important milestone: my business is now incorporated, under the name North Coast Synthesis Ltd. The Web site will be at northcoastsynthesis.com, which currently just redirects to a password-locked Shopify storefront, but will become public and have some real content in the near future. Watch this space, that site, or my Twitter account, for further updates as they happen.
My contract with the IT University of Copenhagen ends at the end of August, and I'll be returning to Canada around the end of September.
Several factors recently conspired to have me dust off an idea I've thought of occasionally for many years. First, I've been having Twitter conversations with some electronics hobbyists in Japan, and even though I gave up on hobby electronics in disgust and discouragement a number of years ago, I'm starting to think that maybe that field is worth another look. Second, I downloaded Qucs. It's an electronics simulation package with a graphical interface that works under Linux, and it's the first such I've found that is actually capable enough to make designing things on the computer a realistic possibility for me. Finally, my current job is ending at the end of the year. The positive side of that is that now I can do whatever I want (if and only if it doesn't require the involvement of any persons other than me); the other side is that my life and my career plans are not going well, I don't see much hope of things getting better soon or ever, and having other things to think about would be nice.
Whatever the reasons, it has come to pass that I'm thinking a lot about this idea I first had many years ago: what about a pipe organ in which the pipes are fluorescent-light tubes?
Understand that I don't just mean a conventional organ (maybe an electronic one with no actual pipes) decorated with lamps in place of the pipes. I mean one in which the special electrical properties of gas-discharge tubes - in particular, their negative resistance - is a meaningful part of the way it makes music.