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Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Mar 06, 2023  |  0 comments
His Wikipedia page lists his occupations as “army scout, Pony Express rider, ranch hand, wagon-train driver, town developer, railroad contractor, bison hunter, fur trapper, gold prospector, showman.” Of course, it is the latter occupation that Buffalo Bill is mainly remembered for, and the preceding occupations gave him the credibility to present a darn good show. He also made an audio recording.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 27, 2023  |  0 comments
As Marshall McLuhan famously noted, “The medium is the message.” I don’t know if Mr. McLuhan was an audio/video enthusiast, but that pronouncement, I think, perfectly describes a peculiar affliction that is all too common among us enthusiasts. Perhaps, just maybe, he was talking about you.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 20, 2023  |  1 comments
Experts now agree that within five years everything on planet earth will be controlled by robots. As they cruise far above us in their giant balloons, the robots will look down and decide that we look like ants, and treat us as such. That's not great, but at least we're not actual ants, who will be totally screwed.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Feb 06, 2023  |  0 comments
Every square inch of your roof is occupied with a solar panel. There is a wind turbine in your front yard, and another in the back yard. You laugh at the cost of electricity. However, Luddites like me are confronted with a monthly power bill. Which brings us to the question of televisions, kilowatts per hour, and your hard-earned cash.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 23, 2023  |  3 comments
I know, I know, you are pretty darn busy. With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Wordle, you hardly have any free time for things like – you know – work. Nevertheless, today I have for you another supremely excellent way to fritter away even more of your valuable time.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Jan 09, 2023  |  0 comments
We buy smart speakers and scatter them everywhere — living room, dining room, kitchen, bedrooms — how cool! So, our homes have speakers with built-in microphones, always-on internet connections, and lord knows how many lines of code. What could possibly go wrong?

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 21, 2022  |  3 comments
Take a look at this photograph. What do you think this thing is? Since you're reading this magazine, you are probably technology-oriented. But unless you are 98-years old, you might not recognize that this device played a major role in the early days of radio and audio technology. Let me explain.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 12, 2022  |  5 comments
I am doing spring cleaning. Yes, it is currently winter. But I live in Florida, and it's too damn hot to do manual labor in the spring. Ergo I am currently cleaning out my storage locker. As a result, I think I have to buy this Audio-Technica turntable. I'll explain.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Dec 05, 2022  |  1 comments
Waterboarding is a harsh interrogation technique. Most governments have disavowed and unsanctioned its use. There is a title for a Tom Cruise movie in there somewhere. In any case, waterboarding is essentially a form of torture. And a certain airline likes to waterboard its passengers. But instead of water, they use music. And musicboarding is much, much worse.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 28, 2022  |  1 comments
Trinitron, Betamax, Walkman, PlayStation, Compact Disc, MiniDisc, Blu-ray – and EV. Yes, you read that right. In the not-so-distant future, you can pre-order your Sony Electric Vehicle. With a little help (or maybe a lot) from Honda, the proud block-letter logo of our favorite electronics company can now reside in your garage. And I'm not talking about that old Trinitron in the corner of the garage that you keep meaning to recycle.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 14, 2022  |  2 comments
Dear reader, are you ready for one last trip down the rabbit hole? It is Sunday night, November 22. The year is 1987. You are in Chicago, watching a Dr. Who episode on Channel 11. Then something very, very, very, very creepy happens.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 24, 2022  |  2 comments
The year is 2017. You are in Portland, or at least in the general vicinity. It is late at night. You are driving down a dark road. You turn on your radio, and happen to tune to 96.7 MHz on the FM dial. What you hear is something you've never heard on the radio. Something strange is going on, something very strange.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 17, 2022  |  0 comments
If you are of a certain age, you might recall the phrase "duck and cover!" You might also recall your fifth-grade teacher, Miss Boswick, stopwatch in hand, urging you to immediately take shelter under your desk. And there you were, clutching your #2 Ticonderoga, wondering, WTF? If certain potentially atomic events in Eastern Europe have recently rekindled that unfortunate childhood memory, allow me to rekindle two more.
Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Oct 09, 2022  |  0 comments
Late one night, unable to sleep, you fire up your short-wave radio and aimlessly tune across the dial. Broadcasts from close by and from distant lands, in English and in languages very much not English. Then you come across something unusual — a radio station with a voice endlessly repeating a series of seemingly random numbers. Congratulations. You have stumbled into the strange world of numbers stations.

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Sep 26, 2022  |  5 comments
With all due respects to all the great analog engineers out there, it is my opinion that anything an analog circuit can do, software can do better. You don't agree? Fight me. Case in point: software-defined radio.