Analog DIY versus Digital DIY

Elliot Inman weinma00 at
Wed May 6 19:47:37 CEST 1998

Yes, people writing their own computer programs are engaged in a DIY
activity.  Maybe we should call the activities PIY (program it yourself)
vs. SIY (solder it yourself).  After all, one can solder digital IC's.

I am not an esteemed Synth Deity (at all), but the choice of pursuits (PIY
vs. SIY) seems more like a question you will have to answer yourself.  A
few questions in particular may be worth asking, though.  Perhaps others
will add to the list.

Do you like to work with your hands?  Soldering and part assembly are
physical processes.  Some people enjoy that and others do not.  Computer
programming involves very little physical work other than typing.  On the
other hand, can you bear sitting in front of a computer terminal, hour
after hour, staring at the screen?  Some people can, quite happily, and
others would go insane.

Do you have the tools that you would need to pursue projects of interest to
you and/or can you afford the proper tools?  For CSound you will need a
high-quality computer and sound card which you seem to have already.  For
SIY analog, you need a meter, drill, soldering gun, breadboard, individual
parts, replacements when the first ones fry, etc... Consider also the room
to work.  Do you have a decent place to lay out parts and solder vs. a desk
for a computer?  

Ultimately, happiness is a function of finding those things in which you
have a combination of talent/skill, interest, and opportunity to pursue
(ignoring the obvious: rewards of fame, money, improving the condition of
the human race).  

Digitally speaking, the relationship of inputs to happiness output:   

Talent/Skill	Interest	Opportunity		Happiness

0		0		0		=	0, so what?
0		0		1		=	0, thanks, but no thanks
0		1		0		=	0, no time, no money, oh well
0		1		1		=	1, cool, I'll try that 
1		0		0		=	0, neat party trick 
1		0		1		=	0, no, no, no, no thanks
1		1		0		=	0, misery
1		1		1		=	1, bliss

In analog, the equation is the same, but the happiness is warmer.  :-)

The question is at what point does the CV of the individual inputs reach
the threshold at which you can trigger Mr. Schmidt and declare "I have
talent" (Talent = 1) or "I have an opportunity" (Opportunity = 1), etc...
That is up to you.  The older I get, the higher my threshold for all three.
 I am less likely to think I have a unique gift, and I have to have a
greater interest and better opportunity to get involved in something --
probably because I have less time, less money, and more family
responsibilities (happily so).

Just a thought



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