Star Trek Bridge Hail

In Star Trek TOS, a boatswain whistle sound accompanies the start of any communication on the ship’s intercom.

“whhhwiiiiwoo… Engineering ta Capt’n Kirk”

Like that, see. Well I thought that would be a really cool — I say “cool”; I mean “neat-o-rama” — SMS tone for my phone. I set about searching the tubes for an appropriate candidate, but even the better ones had a lot of background noise from the TV program in them, like footsteps, tape crackle and talking.

Although I had realised it was a possibility from the start, it took a while before I relented and set about synthesising the original. After some pencil and paper physics to work out the frequencies in the original and a little mockup with the wave generator in Audacity, I opened Psycle, synthesised a whistle voice, put a tiny bit of GameBoyesque square wave in the background, tracked and exported.

I am very, very pleased with the result. It is pitch accurate to the original, and of nice, clean quality. It was, however, mastered a bit quieter than any other tone on my phone, which necessitated turning the SMS notification volume up a couple of notches. It sounds a lot better from a phone speaker than through headphones. I don’t know why, but it works for me. Now, RINGTONE GET already!

Star Trek Bridge Hail


I was dead for 36 hours, which I hear is kind of dangerous. That behind me, I’m feeling… appeased.
When two people agree on things staying the same, you guarantee one fact: things will change. That’s not necessarily productive or comfortable. In any case we have to ‘learn to deal’. The emergency is over, and the undesirable ferrel child that is hormones is once again playing nicely with my brain, without stealing his Lego or pinning him to a Wendy house. Hurray.
Star Trek season 3 episode 19, as Spok places a mind-infiltrating hand upon Kirk’s sleeping brow, whispering compassionately, “forget!”, I find myself wanting a bro like Spok around.

Star Trek

One day a few months ago, I noticed Star Trek: The Original Series was on, on CBS Action.

I should say that I have never seen any Star Trek, except for misremembered snippets gleaned when I was a small boy. I haven’t seen the latest (or any) film, nor any of the series, at all.

It was up to around episode 6 of the very first series. Watching the beginnings of Star Trek as my introduction to the franchise was quite exciting. Ever since, I have had to keep up as best I can with the 2-episodes-per-day quota. Having just started watching series 3, I’m hooked. However, even since gaining an appreciation for the brand, I  find Deep Space Nine and Voyager boring.

The writers’ estimations of what technology would become are often amusing.

“Microtapes” the size of a small, fat floppy disk, which fit into display screens the size of a Macintosh 128K; PDA’s (or rather, PADDs) which are just chunky electronic clipboards… It surprises me that the writers could create amazing new ideas about space propulsion, energy, and even society, but not come up with any more futuristic data storage than tape.

The computer systems are so retro and unambitious, it is, strangely, one of my favourite things about Kirk’s Enterprise. I am currently making a program for DOS Prompt to recreate the patterns shown on their bridge displays, as my screensaver for Computing lessons. In the meantime, tap364 gets the idea.

The interface is impenetrable to anyone who doesn’t know what it’s saying, it’s just… lights. I think that that is brilliant.


I realise that I haven’t blogged in a long time. Oops.