My own personal “Every time I say ‘F’ you see ‘Q!”

It’s OK. Problem solved and no one lost his announcer’s job as a result. Yet it’s a fascinating story (?), and I shall try to explain:
See, I’m teaching my home-built computer to speak. Morse Code, ideal for a girl with a square-wave vocal tract.
This morning in the final stages of writing the program into labourious EPROMS, I tried a first test of the ‘Sender’ module, using ‘F’ as a test letter. Not even expecting success, I was shocked to hear it proudly sending me ‘Q’ after ‘Q’ until I unplugged it so I could think(!) What on earth could have caused this odd mixup!?
Digging back into the guts of the machine and Morse-ness, I realized that it was simply substituting a Dash for a Dot and likewise. But why?
It’s ‘F’ ‘how-to’ byte contained the hex number $20. That is, in binary ‘0010-0000. The left-most digit is the highest worth; right-most the lowest.
And by feeding it #20 and telling it to see each bit in order as ”1’ = dash and ‘0’ = dot (up to a limit of 4 bits in ‘F’s case)) you can see that I was asking it to output dot dot dash dot. Which is an ‘F’.
Five minutes of head-scratching and I knew the answer: the program was somehow calling a ‘0’ a dash and a ‘1’ a dot! And that would exactly result in dash-dash-dot-dash: a ‘Q’.

Now the beauty of software fixes is that no one need know afterwards that it’s in there, and that no soldering-gun is required.
I simply left the decoder program as written and changed/ reversed all the 26 codes for the letters. Five minutes,
And now the little  horsie says ‘F’ when I say ‘F’, and ‘Q’ when I say ‘Q’.
Even though I suspect that she wuz tres happier FUQing up before the fix, jus’ for the digital hell of it.
And it’s a lovely Hellen Keller moment now that she can finally talk to me.

This is how I talk to her:




JS/ 5 MAR/ 2018 already.

13 thoughts on “My own personal “Every time I say ‘F’ you see ‘Q!”

    1. solberg73 Post author

      Now I need to learn the exact meaning and implication of ‘preposterous’. We use it in one sense perhaps having forgotten a previous more Latin nuance.
      This post is straight-ahead factual. As is my life lately. I just hope and pray that I explain things technical with any degree of success. I do ‘personalize the devices, as I admitted recently here. And since the little horsie started to talk, I’m all over her with attention and affection. Thanks much for reading.

      1. promisesunshine

        my pleasure.
        I think it’s just amazing that that Morse guy made F and Q opposites just so you could tell a funny story. Now that I’ve researched your clues I see that I used preposterous as “an ungraceful and slipshod synonym for absurd” ( instead of the more Latin-y “reversed”(which works out ok for the point I was just making there about Morse.) I have learned many important things from my two visits to Yonatan-land today.
        Congrats on your new conversational partner.

  1. solberg73 Post author

    So crazy yet predictable fron you that the word you used is compltely apt. I myself gazed at ‘pre’ and ‘posterior’ and thought how it applied.
    Yes, morse has, in fact, pairs like f and Q throughout. Had I not fixed it, THE RAIN IN SPAIN would have been ‘EHT KNMA MA OXNMA’ forever.

  2. somewittyhandle

    Being a lazy chap, rather than individually reprogramming every letter in the alphabet, I would just have subtracted the existing hexadecimal code for each number from F0 ( 11110000 in binary)

    For example, 1111 0000 – 0100 0000 = 1011 0000,
    1111 0000 – 1010 0000 = 0101 0000, etc. This would switch over F and Q, A and N, etc.

    Maybe when she says no she means yes?

    1. solberg73 Post author

      I think your solution would have worked, without examining bits. In my case, with the codes in a handy table, I took five minutes to ‘reverse’ the numbers. Easier ten years from now to understand it that way/
      And, I consider the default answer a ‘No’. Wait for an explicit ‘YES. Like Molly Bloom said on the last page… ‘As well you as any other loser…’

    1. solberg73 Post author

      That ‘learning experience’ is one of the nice parts of being in touch with inquisitive souls. I’d used the term conversationally without taking the word apart at all. As to the britishism, we in the ex-colonies do say “ass-backwards’, and ‘my people’ say ‘hinners-fetters’, probably a corruption of the same thought in German
      By the way, your ‘subtract from FF, is perfect: embarrassed that I didn’t know that or think of it.

  3. happierheathen

    Looks like entirely too much fun, being the god of the junk pile. 🙂 And not an Arduino in sight! Glad t’know ya eradicated the bit frass bug. Ya wouldn’t want the thing finding a launch code in line noise.

      1. happierheathen

        🙂 Well of course that’s why. There’s no money in making solder smoke these days unless you’re Asian or, like that Elon Musk idiot, start out stupid rich and make toys for other people both rich and stupid. Who knew that thermal runaway could have so noble an unintended consequence, eh? (Preposterous combustion?)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s