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Monday, April 4, 2016

April 1 and WireWrapRap: How to Calculate Your Score

Let's make it official:

Even though "more involvement in contesting" was just another part of our WireWrapRap hoax, I thought it would be appropriate to offer a scoring scheme for those who participated in our little April 1 special event.  Just answer the following questions and keep track of how many points you earn for each:

When you read the WireWrapRap April 1 blog post, how many paragraphs did you read through before you knew it was an April Fool's Day joke? (Maximum 12 points.  If you knew it was a joke as soon as you read the title, award yourself ZERO points.)

When you read the WireWrapRap April 1 blog post,  were you at any point further convinced of its authenticity by the fact that the title of the blog had been changed?  If so, award yourself 2 points.

If after reading the WireWrapRap April 1 blog post you Googled "Wire Wrap," award yourself 5 points.  Award 15 more points if you even briefly thought that this might be a nice alternative to soldering.

When you read the section about the digital modes, did you at any point question the existence of the "new" SNICKR, Oreo, and Oregano modes?   If not, award yourself 5 points.

After reading the WireWrapRap April 1 blog post, did you  -- in an effort to confirm your suspicions -- go to  the comment section to see if others had declared it an April Fool's joke?  If so, award yourself 10 points.  (Be honest here guys.  We got 41 comments on this post, a new record for the SolderSmoke blog.  For some reason a lot of people were checking the comments section.  I'm just sayin...)  

If, after reading the WireWrapRap April 1 blog post you felt anger toward the author for the way he had so selfishly and greedily abandoned the cause of analog, discrete component, Hardware Defined, axial lead electronics, award yourself 5 points.

If, when you noticed that MANY  of the comments on the April 1 blog post had been "removed by the blog administrator," you assumed they were obscene, irate, or perhaps (justified?)  threats, award yourself 15 points. (In fact they all said "APRIL FOOL!" and were removed so that they wouldn't spoil the fun for late arrivals.)  

If one of your comments was among those "removed by the blog administrator"  award yourself NEGATIVE 5 points. 

If your anger about the changes being announced to the SolderSmoke podcast led you to send a complaining or threatening e-mail (or text or tweet!),  go ahead and award yourself 10 points (and please consider enrolling in an anger management program).

If,  on the other hand, after reading the WireWrapRap April 1 blog post you actually sent us an e-mail, comment, text, or tweet congratulating us or wishing us well on the new WireWrapRap podcast, award yourself a richly deserved 25 points. And thanks for the kind wishes.

If this scoring scheme is making you angry now, award yourself 5 points and seriously consider the anger management thing.

If, after reading the WireWrapRap April 1 blog post you actually tried to find out how to get the new podcast from Soundcloud,  award yourself 25 points.

Please send me your scores.  You can put them in the comments section (and I know you know how to do this).  Or you can e-mail them to soldersmoke@yahoo.com.   Or you can text them or tweet them to us or send them to the Soundcloud (just kidding).  Don't worry, we probably won't be announcing the winner.


  1. 22 (mostly from assumption about the comments).

    I was jet-lagged and came across the article a couple days after the post, so I was easy prey. After a few paragraphs, I wasn't feeling anger so much as concern that you had experienced some sort of cerebral vascular accident that affected the emotional and cognitive areas of the brain that are responsible for homebrewing skill and drive. A person so afflicted might suddenly demonstrate dramatic, pathological changes in personality and lose interest in analog electronics, falling back on more primitive portions of the brain related to QRO operation. Glad to hear that soldersmoke is still around. 73, Jack AI4SV/5R8SV

    1. You get special dispensation Jack, because of the jet lag and Madagascar and all that. Winterfest was fun this year.

  2. 6

    I was skeptical from the title but I try not to rush to judgement. I was wondering if the Easter Bunny had brought you something that you should have avoided. I was perplexed by the number of removed comments. I could not see that many comments were not family friendly unless a spam bot had been dumping junk in the comments. I hadn't considered that others would be posting the 'forbidden phrase' as that would spoil the fun for others.

    The post did remind me of an old hand-turned wire wrap/unwrap tool I have and a spool of wire I have somewhere in my stuff. I have not used it in 30+ years. (After remembering it and writing about it, I'll have to go find it.)

    Perhaps a new segment should be Wire Wrap Rap. This would be for your recent issues with digital logic, propagation delays, and issues related to the digital hardware in home brew design, construction and operation. For the intro and exit to the segment you could rap with your prose with some music composed and performed by Pete. This may help you reach a new demographic.


    1. The music has already been written and recorded. And we have rap lyrics to go with it. Stay tuned.

  3. I have to admit, I was anticipating something, and when I saw the title it was an " a ha moment". Further reading was very enjoyable. 73 Dave, K1KA

  4. Have enjoyed, and anticipate further enjoyment from, the whole exercise (of the brain cells and of the smile muscles).
    73 all ...

  5. Man, this scoring stuff is hard.

    1. That complaint will cost you 5 points Steve.

  6. Or did you reconsider after so many like me unsubscribed from your mail list in disgust after reading the first few paragraphs? Regardless, glad the show will continue as we know and love it. Now, wonder how I resubscribe?

    1. Wow, a whole new point category! 50 points for you John! Welcome back OM!

  7. I came to your blog from Hackaday so I was primed to see April Fools jokes every where. One sad commenter there complained about too many April Fools, he thought Hackaday should limit themselves to ONE April Fool joke. Since I was primed up I will not claim a score.
    The QRO line scored a laugh.
    I am impressed that you went the extra yard and made a new logo. Although as a PDP11 owner (1970s DEC computer, massive amounts of wirewrap) and keen podcast listener I hope there are some positive wirewrap statements made.
    Keep up the podcast.


  8. I'm not sure how I scored, probably in the negative numbers, but great fun!! Look forward to another podcast soon.

    Dean AC9JQ

  9. Bill, my blood pressure started rising, I quickly to my meds then remembered it was the 1st Day Of April! Thank you for the effort to make these memories!

  10. Congrats Bill on another outstanding April Fool's joke. On the day of your post I made it to this far before I knew it was a April Fool's joke: "Where we used to have SolderSmoke Mailbag, well, don’t worry -- we are going to continue to have a segment that will allow for listener input. We going to call it “Pi Hole.” We’ll only be accepting listener input via TEXT messages or Tweets – we are, after all, trying to be modern. Along the same lines, we will be distributing the podcast exclusively via Soundcloud. So get with it gentlemen! Get into the cloud!"

    Thanks for the chuckle and keep up the good work with SolderSmoke!

    Al, N8WQ


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