I am Old School human equipped with analog gears, but thankfully patched up with digital tape. Having a fair amount of life passed, I tend to spend a lot of time reflecting on my past. It seems like there is always the need to have a bar to measure and gauge present with the paths and events it took to get here. What, after decades n the “media” business, was accomplished?

I have a thousand memories of positive greatness, but the reflections that come back are often on the negative side. Perhaps that is just physics, not age related mirror diffraction. As described by the Blue Oyster Cult,

 A mirror is a negative space with a frame 
 And a place for your face 
 It reveals what the rest of us see 
 It conceals what you'd like it to be

Our own progress goes backward and forward (and upside down through our eyes, you know). The positive in life is expected; the negative not so much. Altogether, history is important to revisit, but one must never go back and live there. Every day a new barrage of problems and choices must be faced – who has time to look at old ones?

That said, in this series of articles – Analog Sampling, we shall mine and rewind the media of the past to posit a picture of the future. To be definitively reflective, thinking quietly and calmly before expressing thoughts and opinions resulting from forward reflection shall be the aim; to throw back light or sound on bygone eras with words and pictures. In small measured samples, to be precise.


To start, Sampling is the process of converting continuous Analog signal data to discrete Digital values. Signals (waves of light, sound, radio etc.) in the world are real world are analog. A Sample is a single measurement of Amplitude in Time.

Key variables for determining the results and validity of sampling are:

  • Sensitivity - smallest change in an input signal that can cause the measuring device to respond

  • Accuracy - measure of the capability of the instrument to faithfully indicate the value of the measured signal

  • Precision - measure of the stability of the instrument and its capability of resulting in the same measurement over and over again for the same input signal

  • Noise - uncertainty of the measurement because of the effect of noise in the measurement and is factored into determining the accuracy

The different spellings of the key word Analog (US) and Analogue (UK) could loosely be used as an example of analog vs. digital representation. The original word spelling Analogue is all/whole: analog; upon digital conversion, the unneeded data (u & e) is silent and not encoded. On playback, the audible result is the same – with Digital coming in with a 25% letter saving over Analog.


Starting from ground zero; my technology sampling perspective comes from growing up in the 1960s, especially good memories of visiting my grandparents on the farm. My mother’s father was an early century homesteader. By the Roaring Twenties he had not a little house prairie and all the best of everything.

Then 1929 crashed a lot of dreams; it seemed the family house and occupants got stuck in that time. The same big wooden box telephone and party line was still in use into the 60s. Their communication technology did not change for over 40 years. No one needed anything more than what they knew about at the time.

We now live in a world where technology does not stay relevant for 40 years. While CDs are still going since 1983 and DVDs since 1997, it is only because we can’t save ourselves from dipping into the Dollar Store Disc Bin. Being in any Digital business means that anyone can replicate your data, your product, your idea - at less cost to steal than it took you to make it. If you don’t make it big fast, you are the one in the Dollar bin. In many industries, constant product churn is necessary just to keep even of the game.

Amid plenty of personal success, significant portions of life time and hard-earned resources were wasted chasing down a few wrong avenues and dreams. Bleeding edge learning came with a costly curve - the urge has long hoped to bury those bodies and cover the trail leading to them.

My present perspective is that I need to spend a lot more present tense time envisioning what an influence on the world’s direction could be, and to work more effectively now to radiate positive energy in the right direction. My family has encouraged me to go back inside my head and make sense of those experiences - good and bad, as they relate to our family business today.


Analog Sampling (or should it be Analog Dumpling: a bite sized pinch-wrapped morsel?) will thus forward be a digital (online) snippet of some analog (offline) part of the world as it happened to me. You probably do not need to hear the TLDR versions, so for the time sensitive audience we’ll set the Frequency at weekly and the Amplitude at the 1,024-word stun level.

Reporting on what is reflected behind us (hindsight), the hope is to also point the light cone ahead. The future can tell us exactly how things happened in the meantime – we just need the right projector to capture where the light dispersed from today is going, and play it back. Mirrors will surely be needed.

While sometimes there is a good concept of where the lighted paths are going, some of this stuff is going to have to be speculated on for now. The quantum future will reveal whether our works are right or wrong, or both right and wrong at the same time. The information will be there for further compare.

This will be an attempt to flip the picture frame to positive and reverse: find light to be thrown back the right way, so applicable improvements may be applied for today. Along the way, there may be a few self-serving rants about tastes and wastes relating to planets, corporations, energy, habits, humans and resources, but all sampled in the cause of providing a reasonably Accurate article with a Precision theme, and with limited Noise.

How is that for X Sample?


Randy Berg

xyz digital inc.

Analog Communication - Sampling (tutorialspoint.com)

Analog/Digital and Sampling (uark.edu)

Sampling Analogue Signal Tutorial (MATLAB : 8 Steps - Instructables)

Analog sampling: what do accuracy, sensitivity, precision, and noise mean? (Embedded.com)

Mirrors -AZLyrics.com