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Begin Primary Ignition

Saturday 22 July 2017, 13:41

I'm very close to officially launching the North Coast Synthesis Web storefront. I have stock for the first product ready to sell. All that remains to do is file a few more sales tax registrations, and I expect to sort that out this coming week. I'm aiming for August 1 as the launch date. If you're reading this on my Web site you'll note I've replaced the long-running Chessudoku ad with one for my new store.

North Coast May update

Thursday 18 May 2017, 12:10

It's been a while since I posted an update on where things are going with the synthesizer business, so here are some notes.

Panels and testing

Friday 10 March 2017, 15:37

It's been about a month since my last update on North Coast and my life in general, so here are some notes on how things have been going.

Dongguan Wizbang

Thursday 9 February 2017, 18:44

Here's another update on what's up with my new life and new business. In general, there's progress being made, but I'm still facing a lot of annoying delays.

Introducing North Coast Synthesis Ltd.

Wednesday 11 January 2017, 19:43

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.

Next steps

Wednesday 20 July 2016, 02:25

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.

The fluorescent tube organ, part II

Monday 3 September 2012, 19:18

This is part II in a series. You can start from the beginning, and you can pick up a package of Qucs files to follow along on your own simulated workbench.

The fluorescent tube organ, part I

Monday 3 September 2012, 09:52

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.