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Sunday, March 02, 2008

The same wavelength

My spouse phones me from England. He left in a "hurry."

“I left a few things behind by mistake.”
“Nothing important I hope?”
“Paracetamol, Excedrin Migraine, the New Scientist.”
“Oh good, nothing important then.”
“What do you mean? They’re all important.”
“Um ……well you can buy all that over there.”
“Oh……I suppose.”
“They do have shops too you know.”
“Yes…….I suppose…..anyway I was wondering if you could do a couple of things for me?”
“Of course, just name it.”
“Could you take the oscilloscope out of the garage and put it somewhere safe.”
“What is an oscilloscope and why isn’t it already safe in the garage?”
“Well you often leave the garage door open…….you forget to close it………which means that anyone could just walk in and steal the oscilloscope.”
“Of all the things that someone might want to steal from us, you think that their first choice would be the oscilloscope?”
“Yes.”
“?.....well don’t worry, since you’re not here I’m being much more careful about security.”
“And at night?”
“Ooo yes especially at night. Don’t want to invite the attention of the local axe murderer do we?”
“Is there a local axe murderer?”
“?”
“Um…I mean……who is the local axe murderer?”
“?”
“Er………”
“Tell you what, why don’t you go and rest. Stress and jet lag can play havoc with your brain waves.”
“Right.”
“Ooo by the way, what is an oscilloscope?”
“It’s an instrument that displays the level of a signal relative to changes in time. A voltmeter is fine for measuring steady levels like test tones or for checking torch batteries, but it is impossible to observe a signal's instantaneous value or to determine whether you have a square wave or a sine for that matter.”
“Of course, silly me. So what do you use if for?”
“I use it to check newly designed circuitry. The new circuits misbehave because of design errors, bad voltage levels and electrical noise.”
“Misbehave?”

Maybe we have more in common that I thought?

1 comment:

LceeL said...

OOOOO Maddy. The cat's away. Play. Play. Play.

 
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