Things I’ve learned, published for the public benefit
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About

One thing I’ve noticed about myself is that I seem to believe that anything can be done well or poorly. As a result of my perfectionism and scientific curiosity, I often spend hours obsessively researching even the most mundane problems that crop up in my life — which air humidifier to buy? how to build a quiet PC that can run recent games? what mp3 bitrate should I use to compress my music? what could be causing vibrations on the steering wheel of my car?

I construct clever Google queries, read through hundreds of posts, engage in long and painful thought processes, and — when all else fails — I actually do something and see what happens. In the end, I usually come up with some sort of useful synthesis.

Since I am unable to break this habit of trying to do things the Proper Way, the least I can do is share the knowledge I’ve accumulated with others. So when I get an interesting result that I have not been able to find on the Internet, I will post it on this blog in the hopes of helping a few hundred other people with similar needs.

My blogging heroes are Philip Greenspun and Joel Spolsky.

About me

My name is Tomasz P. Szynalski. I live in Wroclaw, Poland. I’m writing this blog in English because I want my posts to help the broadest group of people possible and because I want to promote the use of English as the language for the Internet.

I also made Antimoon, a website where I share a kick-ass method of learning English (here’s a page about me on Antimoon), and TypeIt.org, an online tool for typing accent marks and other special characters easily. I occasionally work as a freelance Polish translator. I spend a lot of time thinking philosophically about the world around me.

43 Comments so far ↓

  • Thomas W

    Tomasz, you write better English than 99% of the so-called English-speaking population that I’ve encountered in my lifetime. Wow. You must be directly related to Joseph Conrad.

    • Toby

      I agree! This is a REALLY impressive blog. Your English is fantastic, as (on the limited amount of your blog I have read so far) are your analytical skill and ability to sift bullshit from sense in the goldpanning exercise that is surfing the internet. Keep it up!

  • Przemyslaw Moscicki

    Wow – Tomek – your blog has PageRank 5 – a lot of people would kill for it:)

    Congratulations!!!! I envy you:)))

  • Gaetano Marino

    Hello Tomek,
    thank you for the typing program and links. I have shared our pages with ten friends learning English.
    FSILanguage.com is a page you will enjoy.
    If the first attempt to open it is unsuccessful, please don’t quit. It is great.
    God bless you.

  • Megha Patel

    Wow, I do the same thing! Except I do not post >.<

    I just started blogging so maybe I might add my experiences. I wanted to thank you for the loads of helpful information you have posted and will be looking forward to your blogs ^^

    And I agree Thomas W, your English is flawless.

    Take care!

  • Bill Smith

    If I searched, I could probably find some English language flaw. But from what I’ve read so far, nothing has stood out! Good job in your English language learning.

  • Charles A. Gorzenski

    Hi Tomek.

    Your Blog helped me out of a gap regarding Volume Shadow Copy.
    My congratulations and thanks a lot.

    Have a great new year 2010 and keep on writing.

    Kind regards – pozdrowienia
    Charles

  • Roger Pelizzari

    Bravo Tomasz on a fabulous blog.
    I’ve been enjoying your monitor reviews. I was all set to buy a 2209wa and now I’m thinking more towards an LED backlit screen. Do you have experience with those? Are they safe for the eyes or as some claim does the flicker from the Pulse Width Modulation used for dimming cause headaches?

  • Cano

    You are GREAT! Your posts on HTLAL are the cleverest on the site. You provided great advice and were very funny. I laughed so much that I spent a long time finding you. You are an extraordinary writer in English. I am currently trying to learn Polish. It is difficult for me to find a good audiobook in Polish. I saw the, “Proces – Kafka” 12 CD book as you recommended on Amazon. However, I was not sure of how to find the corresponding Polish translation. I searched by publisher to no avail. I am an intermediate level student of Polish. Maybe I could pay you to help me learn Polish? Maybe I could pay you to translate some jokes from English to Polish? Best wishes.
    Cano.

  • andrew

    One of the better, and more honest blogs.

  • William Lindsey

    Great job, all us perfectionists thank you for helping with the never ending search for the superior products and techniques for doing things. Unfortunately, new doesn’t mean better any more. Older products that were stellar, tend to remain “stellar’ for years — like certain Bose speaker-amplifier models. And I have AR2-A speakers from the 1963 vintage that sound better than most sound systems today. I listen to them daily for the last 49 years. That’s value.

  • swimjenswim

    It seems you haven’t learned anything in a year, or perhaps you’re hoarding all of your knowledge these days.

  • gale

    hi Tomasz
    i need to ask you something about tinnitus. i need to speak with you

  • Icent

    Hi Tomasz,
    I must say to you that words can never and will never be able to tell the thank you I have in my heart to you, you are a wonderful scientiest.
    I have been treating acid reflux for the past 7 months but couldnt find a way round it with all kind of drugs and vitamins, but God used you to finally free me from this horrible stress that almost took my joy from me.
    In one of your blogs, you mentioned flaxseed for gerd and the way you summerised it was amazing, and I tell you as soon as I started taking the flax seed 3 times daily for just 3 days, I have noticed an absolute esophagus pain free life.
    I am so convinced that I have conqured gerd.
    Thanks once again and I believe you are a special gift from God to mankind. Also thanks to your mother for passing this amazing medicinal food for an ailment that is so expensive to cure.
    Icent Enaife London

  • Peter Hallam

    Tomasz, I love your site. Keep it up.

  • voy777

    Thank you for writing Online Tone Generator ! You helped me
    set up my new sound system. Pisze z Kanady. Dzieki!

  • Geoff Lindsey | The merger that never quite was

    […] highly pertinent comment comes in an email from Tomasz P. Szynalski, who made a quick comparison of iR and i.V forms in both the citation forms and the illustrative […]

  • Andrew M

    I teach Highschool Physics in a school in Thailand. I have found your tone generator to be easily the easiest way for students to investigate resonance in pipes and i am using it this week to investigate frequency-dependent inductive and capacitative reactance in circuits. Thank you!

  • Leonardo Sah

    I’ve just read an article you wrote (http://goo.gl/CpmiMs) but I wasn’t able to leave a comment. So I looked you up online to ensure you’d read this: Those tips will really help me have my students detect unnecessary mistakes they usually make by not paying enough attention to patterns. I always tell them to watch and listen before trying their own sentences, but sometimes they seem to ignore the sample structures and use a lot of imagination combining a few words that wouldn’t make any sense to a native speaker. Well, in other words, thank you for the article!

  • cande

    Tomasz, two things,

    1) Your bit on Tinnitus and the fact that human beings are mostly incapable of hearing complete silence shut down a panic attack I was having because I was noticing my Tinnitus again. Thank you.

    2). I’m a professional academic editor and I just wanted to say, I was BLOWN AWAY to read that English is not your first language.

  • Bo K

    Just want to say a quick THANK YOU for your writings about tinnitus – they have given me a lot of inspiration about how to “fight noise with noise” so to speak. If i ever get anywhere with my own sound experiments, i will surely share them with you for an opinion.

    Thank you, and all the best from Copenhagen to Wroclaw!

  • DreamMaster Pro

    SUGGESTION: In your title above, I feel you should find a word more successful and triumphant than the word “Try”, which is defined as “an attempt or effort to do something”, as in the expression, “Well at least I tried”, which people say when the utterly fail at something.

    At least here, you have not failed at all. The ongoing help you’ve giving others is real and wonderful. For example it enable me to find the source of strange sounds in my equipment, and to design filters needed, speeding my product toward production.

  • Mary

    Tomasz, thank you for blogging about Tinnitus. I was recently diagnosed and it is frustrating and scary to think this problem might never go away. But I am glad to see lots of helpful and upbeat advice from you and others who have struggled with this mysterious health issue. Also, your use of English is excellent! (I’m a Polish-American and I only know a few words and phrases in Polish although my grandparents and parents were fluent in Polish.) Looking forward to more of your blog posts.

  • Jon

    Tomasz, Thank you When I play your tone generator loudly Foy the dog next door. He stops his never ending yapping !!
    You have saved his life 🙂
    Also I have proven that with conditioning “you can teach an old dog new tricks”
    Jon

    • Tomasz

      Jon, many thanks for the report. Glad my generator made a difference. What frequency are you using? The information could come in handy 🙂

      • Jon

        Hi,
        I use the very top tone and vary it around 18500 – 20100 with the arrow keys until he stops his infernal din ! I think he’s now understanding the link.
        Pea sized brain !
        (the dog’s is not much bigger)

  • BODD

    Thanks you for your generator online, Tomasz! 🙂

  • Harman

    Tomasz, can you make me world’s best sine wave tone generator? I’ll pay you $50 for it. You can reach me at harmanmarkus@gmail.com

  • Tomasz

    U mnie się sprawdza zwykły szum.

  • Steve Aspen

    Hello, Tomasz..this “app”, is wonderful, it is exactly what I was looking for.
    Thank you so very much for your service.
    This really helped me with onevof my projects.
    Thanks again. Steve Aspen.
    Steveaspen@hotmail.com

  • Kevin

    Hi – your online tone generator is great – is there any way to add a phase changer to it?

  • Martin

    Thank you for this website. I’ve just recently come upon this page and reading has helped me deal with my tinnitus. I worked around aircraft and jet engines for years, always with ear protection, and 5 years later this tinnitus comes up. My doctor has been unhelpful to say the least, so its’ up to me to do the research. Well spoken and written.

  • Tomasz P. Szynalski

    Thanks, but I’m not sure I understand your question.

  • Tomasz P. Szynalski

    Human beings cannot hear tones below 20 Hz.

  • David Temperley

    Tomasz –

    I work with a chamber music group in Rochester, New York, that is performing a piece for string quartet and “sine wave generator”. The sine tone has to shift pitch several times in synchrony with the quartet, so it has to be “performed” live. Your program is perfect, and we would like to use it for the performance!

    I have made a small donation as an expression of our thanks. (I wish we could give you more, but we have a small budget.) All I ask is that you leave the website running until after October 15, when the performance is! 🙂

    Thank you again!

    David Temperley

    • Tomasz P. Szynalski

      David — That’s very cool, thanks for writing! I don’t suppose there will be a recording of your performance that I could see? And thank you for the donation; I never got a notification; did you make it in your name? Anyway, best of luck with your performance.

  • Masoud Rastegar

    Hi Tomasz,
    You are a good man. Your English is as good as a lot of people who live in English speaking countries. Keep up the good work.
    Masoud

  • Athos

    Thanks for the website “http://www.szynalski.com/tone-generator/” When I try to donate, i meet some problem . It requires bill address which I can not provide since I am foreigner in AU . If there is a way that only requires card number card type and expire date and cvv

    • Tomasz P. Szynalski

      Hi Athos, sorry you’re having problems donating. I think you should try entering the address associated with your credit card — the address on file with your bank (in whatever country that is). Thanks for trying to donate, anyway!

  • Chris

    Hi, can you please post your Steelcase Leap review? I just read the one on the Gesture from August and it says you planned to post one for the Leap soon. I’m currently deciding between these 2 chairs and your review would be a great help. Thanks.

    • Tomasz P. Szynalski

      I haven’t posted the review because there hasn’t been a lot of interest in my other reviews. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. I decided on the Leap after extensively testing both chairs, but YMMV. Try to buy it from a vendor that will let you test and/or return the chair.

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