helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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10 years ago

Today I remembered something bizarre I did in my first year at college. In my hall of residence, we had individual study-bedroom things arranged in 4s around a central hallway & bathroom. People were in the habit of leaving our bedroom doors open if we were available to talk - and often you'd hear music coming from someone else's room.

Now, there were certain albums, popular in 1994-5, that absolutely EVERYONE had. Things like the first Elastica album, and "Definitely Maybe" by Oasis. So sometimes I'd hear a record coming from someone else's room that I had myself.

So I wondered what would happen if I put on exactly the same record. How cool it would be if the two copies of the music were exactly in sync. Would you get superposition going on, with constructive and destructive interference as you ran between the two sets of speakers?

But it never worked. Even if my hall-mate & I were in clear sight of each other, and visibly counted 3, 2, 1 before hitting Play, we could never get the music in sync. Thinking back on it now, I realise some people's CD players were quicker to spin up than others.

So I gave up on that. And just tried to start my copy with an exact 5 second delay, so anyone coming into our hallway would think there was an echo.

My hall-mates made me keep my door shut after that. And thus, I learnt that even in a purely science-and-engineering college, geeks were in the minority.

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