Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Signal Coyote

I recall reading an article about Ethernet over twisted-pair cable systems when the technology first arrived and began supplanting coaxial cable.  As I read through a passage about how information bits are prepared for transmittal on impedance-matched (balanced) cables, I thought I read this:
A signal coyote changes the nature of the signal…
Naturally, I stopped reading right there.   I pondered.
A signal coyote.  Cool.  What is a signal coyote?   Some whiz kid from Montana must have invented the signal coyote and given it that name.  How does it change the signal?  Does it chase after signals like they are rabbits and nip at them so they run faster?
I formed a picture of the electronics in my mind—a coyote hunkered there on the warm edge of an electronic forest, listening to the soft hum and eerie hissing of components below abrupt cliffs studded with transistors.  The coyote hunches lower, howls, suddenly lopes off through a nearby tangle of wires lighted by the reddish glow from an LED someplace aloft.
But, of course, I misread the sentence.  When I read the passage again it was not a coyote.
The signal is altered by an encoder.
My second reading of the passage deflated me entirely.   I prefer my electronics populated by signal coyotes.

--Mitchell Hegman

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