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Audio computer connection

For when electromagnetism can't be trusted.
  (+3, -2)
(+3, -2)
  [vote for,

Just about everyone has heard what fax talk sounds like after picking up a phone and having one howl in your ear. I propose that faxes could probably communicate by shouting at one another. The pilot project for this would be exactly that: a contest to determine over what distance a fax can transmit decipherable information using air-transmitted sound only. This would of course be hecka loud. Probably parabolic speakers and microphones would be adapted.

Ultimately, transmission of this sort would be adapted to allow two computers to communicate with a hub using only noise. This would be good if there were an EMP strike, or no wires were left, or they were all being monitored by deaf aliens.

Finally, a human would attempt to create a fax message using musical instruments / scat singing.

bungston, Jan 31 2011

TCP/IP over bongo drums http://eagle.auc.ca/~dreid/
"With a blinding 2bps speed, the class sat patiently as the packet was received in roughly 140 seconds." [Wrongfellow, Feb 01 2011]

Sesame Street: Hoots teaches Scat Singing http://www.youtube....watch?v=rT1Kuy922c0
"It doesn't make sense, but it's really intense!" [jutta, Feb 01 2011]

Sound recording of bongo link http://eagle.auc.ca/~dreid/EXAMPLE.WAV
[sqeaketh the wheel, Feb 01 2011]

Ham radio wireless networking Ham_20radio_20wireless_20networking
similar more practical concept [bungston, Feb 02 2011]

Clockwork Songbirds Clockwork Songbirds
The idea behind all the nonsense was for a method for transmitting data over the air, using imitation songbirds that would cheep according to some kind of protocol, transmitting, receiving and relaying information 'wirelessly'. [zen_tom, Feb 02 2011]

Packets http://upload.wikim...wn_Packet_Ship..jpg
[normzone, Feb 03 2011]


       I'm hard pressed to imagine the circumstances where acoustic transmission would be preferable to using lasery- opticky things.   

       On a peripheral topic, if you whistle back at a fax machine when it phones you, you can keep it trying to negotiate a connection for a long time.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 31 2011

       /the circumstances where acoustic transmission would be preferable to using lasery- opticky things./ I can help. Exempli gratia:   

       Dust storm.   

       One or both communicators in rapid irregular motion.   

       Greasy thumbprints on fancy lens required by lasers / optics.   

       Lots of other people trying to use lasery opticles and so lots of laser noise.   

       Communicating to sappers digging a tunnel to freedom.   

       Underwater; lasers too blurry. Plus there are squid.
bungston, Jan 31 2011

       The squid. I didn't think about the squid. Now it all makes sense.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 31 2011

       Data can be sent over ham radio equipment by generating the noise from a computer, capturing it with a radio microphone, and then playing it on a speaker at the other end to be picked up by a microphone on another computer. (not in a closed system like a telephone line) In fact, there is an app for that.   

       The only thing we need to do is play the sound much, much louder to be heard by a high gain microphone attached to the recieving computer. Its range would depend entirely upon terrain, background noise, and how much money you wanted to spend on the speakers. I imagine a few miles.
DIYMatt, Feb 01 2011

       The transducers for changing the electrical signal into an audio signal should be stereotypical Native Americans. The transmitter could be an electromechanical drum (bongo?) player and the receiver could have its ear to the ground...
Jinbish, Feb 01 2011

       (Wonders whether yodelling could deliver full duplex communication. Stops wondering as brain hurts.)
spidermother, Feb 01 2011

       Can you double the bandwidth with throat singing?
jutta, Feb 01 2011

       Throat singing isn't really two notes at once, just skillfully emphasised harmonics creating that illusion. Multiple frequencies to increase bandwidth in electronic communication are chosen not to be harmonically related, so they can be distinguished from harmonics, eg those generated by distortion. But I'm guessing you already knew that...
spidermother, Feb 01 2011

       As a rule Lasers don't interfere with each other. That's the nice thing about a confined beam. Audio signals on the other hand...   

       Have you ever heard a dust storm? And dusty/dirty lenses usually attenuate signal, not eliminate it.   

       Your error checking and ambient noise suppression on this is going to require multiply reduntdant transmission and extensive post communication analysis. (Anyone remember when simply picking up the phone generated enough noise to kick a dial-up modem connection off line?)   

       ETA: And underwater, as long as the wavelength is properly chosen, a laser is going to be more consistent than sound, if maybe not as long distance.
MechE, Feb 01 2011

       You could hum and whistle - it is possible to generate two independent melodies in that way.
MaxwellBuchanan, Feb 01 2011

       Baked by whales.
sqeaketh the wheel, Feb 01 2011

       How is this baked by whales?
DIYMatt, Feb 02 2011

       //How is this baked by whales?// The scat singing underwater part.
sqeaketh the wheel, Feb 02 2011

       I vote nay for this. It's bad enough having to endure tinny, plinkety-plinkety-plink noises all the way to work when you've got some irritating student sitting behind you on the bus, listening to a seemingly endless drum & bass track on his leaky headphones. Turning the whole of the rest of the world into a vast simulation of this is too horrific to contemplate. Fishbone! (second one in succession, bung!)
DrBob, Feb 02 2011

       I was originally thinking about this because of the Egyptian shutdown of the internet. Some of the popularity of shortwave radio worldwide was because of the difficulty repressive governments had in blocking it.   

       Also, rather than loudly shouting perhaps this would be better accomplished using a string or wire. Something akin to the 2 cans and a string telephone. It would be great to connect 2 computers using something like that.
bungston, Feb 02 2011

       I wonder what happened to the original mid-1800s transatlantic telegraph cables? Maybe they have been reeled up for the scrap copper value, but maybe some are still down there. It would be fun in a work of fiction to have someone use one to communicate with audio signals.
bungston, Feb 02 2011

       /pier to pier/ the pain! arrrrgh
bungston, Feb 02 2011

       And urinating off of one of these jetties would give you an IP address?
normzone, Feb 03 2011

       //maybe some are still down there// I read an article on that topic recently: *most* are still down there. Only the bits near land have been taken up, to avoid fouling anchors & suchlike. A secret internet, using those cables would be a neat conceit for an SF novel. Pynchonesque (or Stephensonoid).   

       [normzone] I saw what you did, there. You should be ashamed of yourself.
mouseposture, Feb 03 2011

       What? Just engaging in some Void Over It's a pier Protocol. If you listen closely you can decode the splashing sounds.
normzone, Feb 03 2011

       thinking again about this idea while looking thru various Word fonts - the Code 39 font converts letters to bar codes. As opposed to Morse which is binary it would seem that bar codes are trinary: thin bar, thick bar and white space. But one could still send letters fairly robustly and rapidly via audio this way, with bar width according to noise duration. It would not be a fax message, but could be done with a vuvuzella.
bungston, Feb 11 2011

       // vuvuzella //   

       Thanks, [bungs], for volunteering - we have been looking round for a sacrificial victim to be burned alive in the Wicker Man at the upcoming Beltane festival, and you're now perfectly qualified.
8th of 7, Feb 11 2011


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