Codebreaker game fixed and available

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Codebreaker game fixed and available
Hi all,
I am pleased to inform you that, thanks to Uncle Bernie's efforts, the bug fix phase of the game "Codebreaker" is completed.
I have therefore updated the ROM-PACK for the Juke-Box boards with the latest version of the game.
The version 2021-11-20 is available for free download at the usual address:
The tester's page, for those who want to download the game directly, will remain available at the address:
Enjoy! :-)
Claudio -- P-LAB
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Joined: Apr 1 2020 - 16:46
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Thank you, Claudio, for all your work & effort ...

... getting the improved 'Codebreaker' through beta test and for publishing it for the Juke-Box (so people can play it).


I'm still working on fixing the issues with the AIFF files for those who want to use the ACI instead of the Juke-Box.


These AIFF files are fully synthesized from the binary so there are no 'recording' issues, but some beta testers reported it's impossible to load the AIFF via the ACI with some media players. In particular, it seems that certain iPods are unable to produce enough volume (LOUDNESS) to satisfy the ACI. I'm baffled. When I was young my guitar instructor told me: crank up the volume until you think a jet fighter is taking off in the room. And then always plug your ears (even Jimi Hendrix did that). Only this way you can get infinite sustain from an electric guitar. Oh, the good old days. Somehow the iPod designers at Apple must have lost this lore and the output is just TOO WEAK! (Full disclosure: I'm not invested in APPLE stock, but I hold stocks in a hearing aid manufacturer ;-)


I'm working hard to get LOUDER files to you. Until then, please use the Jukebox.


- Uncle Bernie

Macintosh_nik's picture
Last seen: 25 min 57 sec ago
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Hi Uncle Bernie!

I have no problem downloading Codebreaker.aif via ACI and VLC player. This is one of the few programs that loads without adjusting the sound level, just 100% volume.

Last seen: 31 min 56 sec ago
Joined: Feb 27 2021 - 18:59
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Turning up the amp and using

Turning up the amp and using earplugs is good advice for rock guitar, but many iPod users damaged their hearing using the supplied earbuds because their efficiency is so high.

(see How the iPod and Other Audio Devices Are Destroying Your Ears)

103 dB significantly underestimates the potential for damage because most sound sources at that level are not located inside the ear canal.

I wonder if the users having trouble loading files through iPods are running into a loudness limiter designed to prevent hearing loss (and legal liability for Apple)?

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In post #4, Robespierre wrote

In post #4, Robespierre wrote:


"I wonder if the users having trouble loading files through iPods are running into a loudness limiter designed to prevent hearing loss (and legal liability for Apple)?"


Uncle Bernie answers:


Thanks for this insight ! It could be the reason why there is no consistent pattern visible yet for me as to which iXXX products cause the difficulty with the AIFF/ACI load. If there was a clandestine software update comprising a loudness limiter, and some users have it and other don't, this would explain a lot.


Oh, and I agree with your statement that lots of users of music players have wrecked their ears by first using earbuds and then crank up the volume. Sales for hearing aids are up and climbing fast.  But this is probably not the fallout from the iPod yet, I think it's the 1970's/1980's disco generation which now gets into an age where the damage done when they were young and dumb manifests. Impaired hearing is a bitch.



(explained from a fringe science point of view / theory - this is not the mainstream lore)


Most people (even M.D.'s) don't understand how the human ear really works. For each frequency, there is a hair cell (or a few of them) in the so-called "Organ of Corti". So far the M.D.'s understand it and mainstream "science" lore teaches that. But what most don't understand (the following is fringe science) that these cells actually are "Super-Regenerative Receivers", the same principle the radio pioneer Edwin H. Armstrong found in 1922: 


In a superregenerative receiver here is  a tuned circuit which is selective to a certain frequency (the "hair" of the cell), and an amplifier (an actuator / sensor for the "hair") and a feedback loop. The whole arrangement starts oscillating and then is quenched. And then starts oscillating again. And is quenched. And so forth. The period between the quenching pulses is the period of the nerve pulses sent to the brain encoding the loudness for that frequency. A real time fourier transform with an amazing dynamic range ! Since the growth of the amplitude of the oscillation is exponential over the time axis and the brain treats the frequency of nerve pulses (reciprocal of their period) as loudness on a linear scale, the human hearing has a logarithmic transfer function (hence, the expression of volume in dB).


The really interesting part is that if you insert a very sensitive microphone into the ear canal of a human guinea pig / lab rat, and seal it, and put the subject into a sound dead room, and amplify / process the signal from the microphone, you can actually measure the sounds generated by the hair cells as they oscillate and get quenched and so on.


This is the root cause of the faint "whining" "sea of sounds" people perceive when in a sound dead room, such as deep in a cavern and no move. There are no acoustic waves entering the ear. The ear generates these sounds by itself in an attempt to hear sounds that are not there: remember it's a sound dead room.


At certain points in your life you will perceive a pure tone that gets louder and then is cut off. You will never hear that frequency again because what you perceived was the death throes of the "hair cell" responsible for this particular frequency.


Human hearing is one of the wonders of biology and a very interesting subject for Cybernetics. And still, all too many people willfully destroy their hearing by using music players (because they are unaware that the "baseline" of loudness perception slowly moves on a logarithmic scale, so the music must get louder and louder over time, until the volume knob is at its maximum). 


For the makers of hearing aids it's a bonanza !

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The other factor in earbud

The other factor in earbud abuse is that people use them to block environmental noise when they are not designed for noise isolation. A set of closed-back over the ear headphones (or "cans" as the kids call them) can have good isolation, especially if they have a high clamping force. Environmental noise is thus highly attenuated and low music levels can be heard clearly. In-ear monitors or IEMs custom fit to the user's ear canal are also good isolators. But earbuds do not do a good job of isolating ambient sounds, so the natural tendency is to increase music levels until the noise in the environment cannot be heard. Some of the loudest environments are trains, planes, and buses, and they happen to also be prime spots for earphone use.

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