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

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:

I used to work as a freelance Polish translator. I spend a lot of time thinking philosophically about the world around me.


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102 Comments so far

  • David

    Hello Tomas,

    Purchased the Steelcase Gesture and have now used it for two years.

    Those two years have been horrible. The fact that the seat doesn’t recline with the back rest makes my lower back ache. I also don’t like the fact that the back rest can only be locked at specific steps rather than anywhere I want.

    Do you have a recommendation for what chair might be a better suit for me?


  • John Hague

    Your online tone generator is amazing! I will definitely use it with my Band & Orchestra students in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA this year since we’re online for now. So important for young musicians to learn how to hear relative pitch when learning to tune themselves (their instruments, that is) rather than relying on a dedicated tuner to “do the work” for them. I donated because your design is simple, clean, and effective. Thank you!

  • Clyde Eisenbeis

    I found your tone generator website – two tabs – can play two sounds simultaneously!

    I’m creating YouTube video clips for students. I would like to demo overtones and undertones – simple math:

    sin(α) * sin(β) = ½ cos(α – β) – ½ cos(α + β)
    sin(550) * sin(330) = ½ cos(550 – 330) – ½ cos(550 + 330)
    sin(550) * sin(330) = ½ cos(220) – ½ cos(880)

    Creating two sounds should result in hearing four sounds – the 220 Hz and 880 Hz – should be half the volume. I’m not hearing them.

    When the two sounds are close – 440 Hz and 441 Hz – I can hear the 1 Hz, but not the 881 Hz. Ditto for 440 Hz and 442 Hz, etc.

    Any thoughts?

  • Clyde Eisenbeis

    I like your website!

    I’ve been using your website to create the sounds from instruments. For example, for a flute => 100% of 440 Hz + 35% of 880 Hz + 26% of 1320 Hz + etc.

    I do this with multiple tabs, and enabling the sound for each tab – hear all sounds at one time.

    It would be nice if we had multiple sine waves on one website. We set the frequency and amplitude for every frequency — perhaps up to twenty sine wave frequencies.

    And the frequencies would be synchronized – same zero crossing for all.

  • Nguyễn Đức Minh

    Trang này có thể mở được cánh cửa không gian đó mọi người ak! Ômaigot

  • Mel Jenkins

    Hi Tomasz –

    I sent you a little support because first, I found your Tone Generator extremely well put together and versatile.

    Second, while reading your ‘About’ section, I may as well have been looking in a mirror. As I’m sure you have found, perfectionism can be both a blessing and a curse. Even were it possible, I really wouldn’t want to know how many hours (days? weeks? years?) I’ve spent tending to niggling details of various projects and pursuits…both important ones and (for shame) trivial ones.

    The scientific curiosity part started in my single digit years, when my grandfather bought me a Gilbert chemistry set at age five…and my dad let me have it! Bless them both, because I wound up making my living for 45 years as a research chemist (punctuated in the middle by seven years as a U.S. Naval Aviator). Regarding building things and fixing things, I’m sure you’ve had your share of “how did you learn how to do that?” and “how do you know that?” I usually just smile and shrug, rarely disclosing that the real answer is all those many, many hours scouring the interweb and tinkering with whatnot (my son calls it “going down the rabbit hole).

    Anyway, I look forward to exploring your other posts and sites. I wish you well in life and all your future pursuits.

    Stay safe and take care.

    • Tomasz P. Szynalski

      Thank you very much for your support and I’m glad you like my generator!
      Looks like your grandpa shaped your entire career by giving you that chemistry set. I got a toy piano when I was a kid, but didn’t become a pianist, so it doesn’t always work, obviously. Your son has certainly got it right with the rabbit hole metaphor – right now I’m playing with the CPU voltage settings on my new PC and have been at it for weeks. I know I should move on to doing something more creative and stimulating, but there are so many settings and I can’t bear not knowing what they do!

  • Miss J. Ryan

    Thank you for making the Tone Generator. I used to use the old fashioned telephone dial tones to tune my violin as a child. And to memorize A 440. I would hum an “A” before I picked up the phone to see if I ‘matched’. It is very fun to play with your Tone Generator! I also had fun reading your interesting bio.
    ~ Jamie

  • Jerry Allgood

    Here’s another way your tone-generator could help!

  • Carlos Santiago

    I love the tone generator! I use it to correct intonation on the violin. I also love testing out what chord combinations sound like when tuned in Just intonation vs Equal and Pythagorean. If in the future there were an option to play multiple sine waves, that would be extremely helpful.

  • Neil

    Thank you for your tone generator. You might consider defaulting to a lower volume level. Even on my laptop model that is known for unusually underpowered speakers, the default of 75% was surprisingly loud.

  • Mitch

    I was snake bitten myself 50 years ago, but it didn’t become my career. I have however been analyzing medical research papers for that long, trying to find a cure for all of the diseases have destroyed my family. It is really hard to get people to listen though if you aren’t an M.D. or PhD.

    I spend a large part of every day down this rabbit hole and have for the last 50 years. Sometimes I just sit and let the data percolate in my brain to come up with new hypotheses. Other times I’m happy just to let it all go. It always comes back and I always jump right into the rabbit hole again.

    You see, I’m ADHD and when I’m hyper-focusing rabbit holes are where I live. Other people can’t understand the concept.

    I like your Tone Generator but I also get a nonrhythmic popping noise in my earphones that is a bit disconcerting. It could very well be the earphones are a bit old or not quite good enough quality to filter out the popping, so I just thought I’d mention it in case you know a solution. As I was writing the preceding sentence, I realized the popping sound may be caused by static electricity as it was back in the 50s when radio was not quite so sophisticated.

    Keep up your good work. I’ll keep reading!

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