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shakin steak
I don't know if you want advice. You're probably just venting/sharing. But I have a reaction that probably falls along the way of advice. Just some ideas how you could push some of these more if you wanted to.

I don't think that's a novelette. If there were five chapters all approximately the same length as chapter 1, I think it would qualify as a full-on novel. If you would finish it, you could always try Kindle Direct Publishing. Same with Torn. But if you do a board game or book, I think you should change the name from DigiChars since that came from being virtual computer stuff.

As for the Cup Clamp, I think you could apply to be on Everyday Edisons or Shark Tank. They are truly interested in getting things to market, as long as they believe the idea is good. Plus you might get to be on TV. Or, just watch those shows for some idea of what you could do with it.

OK, enough of that. Time for me to humble myself, as well.

First of all, you've taken all of those projects much farther than many things I have thought about. Things like...

A noise generator

I like to play with sound. One thing that really interests me is "black noise". What's that, you say? Well you know what white noise is. All of the sound frequencies together, making that KSSSHHHHHHHHHHH sound you get when you turn on channel 74 without cable. Black noise is indeed the opposite. It turns off all sound. That is, it's the reverse of the input waveform. You can find a cheap and not too effective version in those noise-cancelling headphones.

Here's the sound you're hearing:

If you flip the waveform:

And play it back:

They cancel each other out. Of course, you have to match the volume of the source frequency. And if you want to silence it, you have to do this all instantly. I know there is a way to do this with a microphone and the right electronic circuitry. Something about a XOR gate or something. I just don't know what that way is.

This is common theme you'll find in my idea graveyard, a lack of sufficient knowledge to implement. I know theory but not much practice, and I am ashamed. I wish I had understood things better when I was young so I could take my education in a different direction.

I got as far as a mockup. A friend who knows more was going to help, but he was mired in his own poor motivation. When it became apparent he was abusing his girlfriend, he had to leave the house.

BUT I DIGRESS. The thing should have been about the size of a computer keyboard, probably somewhat thicker and deeper. It would have standard 1/4" and RCA inputs and outputs (BYO amplification). And while black noise would be the predominant feature for me, I wanted it to also be capable of generating white noise, as well as pink, blue, and other types of noise. And have a delay feature for the sound canceling (interesting effects from offsetting the reversal) And, if there's time, frequencies ranging across the full range of human hearing and beyond.

I've had at least two more ideas using electronics to create/translate sound in weird ways.

Comic books

That's what I wanted to do when I was a kid. Make comic books. I did come up with a team of heroes. The main guy was basically a Ninja Turtles ripoff named "Ace" and the main bad guy was pretty much Shredder, except he was a tiger. The good guys team was four members, but in a terrible attempt to be original they were not turtles. There was a little puffball kind of thing with wings who could transform into a much bigger and tougher creature. I don't even remember who the others were. I did a story that made it about five pages before being abandoned. It was pretty pathetic, although I'm not sure if I realized it at the time.

Slightly better, but never getting more than two pages, was a character called "Mantis". He escaped from the insane asylum during a thunder storm. He wore a trench coat, a giant grin at all times, and the 90s-est haircut ever, and had two knives with giant blades. The kind with brass knuckle/spikes on the handle guard. Like Batman, he refused to use guns. The bad guy was "Kwiksotik" (Quixotic, and his backstory was something about he believed he was doing good. Maybe kind of like Punisher but not as violent and with a more cartoonish costume) and he did use guns; I didn't realize at the time but looking back, he also kind of looked like a Batman villain (circa B:TAS)

I don't have any of those pages I drew. I think I'm glad about that.
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Your interest in playing with sound is unique. I've never heard of that before. Perhaps you had a career with Dolby or Skywalker Sound open to you and didn't even know it.

As far as comic books, I had those same aspirations. But after I left high school, where I was basically the best artist ever (LOL), and entered the real world (where I was a mediocre artist), it became quickly apparent that this dream probably wasn't happening.

Also, I do appreciate the advice. You never know when advice might come in handy.
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shakin steak
Vaporman87 wrote :
Your interest in playing with sound is unique. I've never heard of that before. Perhaps you had a career with Dolby or Skywalker Sound open to you and didn't even know it.

It's not just sound. I also like to play with light and optics and electricity and're right, I could have had a job in something like that. While my interests are wide, my knowledge is not deep. Like Jon in your book, I insisted on going to art school. But my parents were too nice to force me to do something else. Sort of a regret in my life. It was fun, but it was just fun. I got to play for 4 years and now years later I find myself in a pleasant enough, too comfortable, boring job, making just enough money in a dead end. I kind of wanted to go to trade school or something, but my parents were adamant early on that I would go to "real" college. If only I'd had the foresight to go for business or engineering or something. But all that stuff seemed boring and hard! I lacked discipline. I couldn't even hack it in illustration, so I changed majors after first year.

It's funny how consequences work. You don't understand them until they punch you in the gut.

This might sound kind of depressing but I want to be clear I don't feel negative or bad about this stuff. This thread just made me revisit some realizations I've had.
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I found myself in a similar yet reverse situation. I can't say I was "adamant" about attending art school, but it was something I had just assumed I would do.

However, if I was going to do so, it was required of me to first get a degree in something more grounded. You mentioned business... and that is exactly what my major was for the two years I was in college.

Personal issues forced me to leave college after two years and go directly into the family business. I had NO social skills equivalent to those needed to be a good furniture salesman. But that's exactly what I became. So I had to learn to talk to people QUICKLY.

Other circumstances through the years have led me to where I am now. Some quite unpleasant. But I see now that it was right for me. Looking back on it all really makes it so obvious that it was just what was planned for me, or at least placed there to capture me when I fell.

But as you can see, my creative spark didn't die with propane. LOL
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shakin steak
The Waitress and the Potato Pusher

You ever start something, lose it, and find yourself unable to recreate it? This was just such a thing.

When I first moved to Sacramento with ex-Mrs steak, I got a job in a produce warehouse. I was working 65+ hours a week. I thought I would lose my mind. I was very good at it, and it was very boring. I had little time to do anything but work and sleep. ex-Mrs steak took a job as a waitress. We barely had any time together, and we were not very happy.

I wrote a story about it. That was the setup. Then one day, the potato pusher comes home and says to the waitress, "let's go to Iceland" and they did and lived happily ever after (although I did not use that phrase). The writing was charming and the drawings were wonderful. This was one of --scratch that, THE only piece of drawing and fictional writing made in my adult life of which I would be proud. I wanted to print it and make a book out of it. I did not want it to be seen before giving it the physical form. So I destroyed the original paper drawings after scanning them into the computer, and put those in a folder with the text file. Then I put password protection on the folder.

Can you guess what happened?

That's right! I used some crazy password and couldn't remember it two days later. D'oh!

I did some looking into removing the password, but everything I could find about doing it was crazy complicated and beyond my abilities.
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shakin steak wrote :
I did some looking into removing the password, but everything I could find about doing it was crazy complicated.

That's just depressing. But I know how you feel, to a degree. I had several short "horror" stories I had written in the 5th and 6th grade stuffed in a single folder (a real folder, not a computer one). A friend of mine and I were both big Friday the 13th/Nightmare on Elm Street fans, so we thought it was a blast writing our own slasher stories and creating these larger than life killers (looking back on it now, I have to wonder what on earth my parents might have though if they had read them!).

But when my parents divorced, and my mom put our house up for sale, I could not find them at all. They were lost forever. Perhaps she DID find them and burned them. LOL. I wouldn't care at all for the content of them these days, but the memories they might refresh WOULD interest me.
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Now that RetroDaze has cemented its tiny little spot on the web nicely, I have started picking up the pieces on one of these long lost projects (for inclusion in the RetroDaze network of sites.) 

That project is the DigiChars internet endeavor. A while back, I happened upon a very nice and customizable script for a "Virtual Pet" style site. Once I cut to the meat of it, I realized that this script was the perfect backbone for bringing DigiChars to life!

I will need Moudy to add my battle/warring system and some PayPal integration to it, but almost everything else I can customize myself. This is something I thought would cost me thousands of dollars to bring about... yet here was this script and a community of users with advice, sitting there for FREE. 

So I've begun my toiling with the code to get it just right, before handing it over to Moudy. You can see how it's progressing here.

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Haha, I love this thread. I want to take my kids to DIGICHARLAND one day!

I rarely start ideas, even though I've had tons. I delt with Davidson myself. I had an idea for a beach blanket that had weighted corners so it wouldn't blow around on the beach. I contacted them and they wanted 1,500 dollars to design a prototype. IT'S A BLANKET WITH WEIGHTS ON THE END! I pretty much gave up after that. I did a patent search and apparently the idea was already in print. I never saw one so I assume someone is just sitting on the idea waiting to sue or sell.

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Mr Magic
You staff guys should build a corporate building. You stay so busy.
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"Magic can happen to you."


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