Know It All

Since 2004 I have been writing a column for Geare magazine called ‘Know It All’. In each column I endeavour to explain how some bit or other of technology, or other working thing, actually does work.

I’ve uploaded the first 26 columns here. They include guns, power distribution, fuel cells, SCUBA, even us!

From the column on digital signals:

To understand, and accept, digital signals requires us to accept that analogue signal transfer is not perfect. What digital allows is for us to embrace those imperfections, draw a line in the sand on them and say, ‘This far, and no further.’You see, digital signals are inherently inaccurate. Instead of trying to transfer an analogue signal from form to form, device to device, perfectly (but always doomed to fall short), it imposes a defined level of imperfection on the signal, and then absolutely refuses to let it get worse.

Another suggests that switching off your TV at the power point is rather a waste of time.

Check them out. There’s about twenty thousand words of reading for those who are interested!

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