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Welcome to my personal home page. There are many pages on this site concerning various topics of an entertaining, yet somewhat technical, nature that many visitors should find fascinating.

Proceed to the full desktop version of the main index page.

Recent Updates:

After a long period of inactivity, my pages on Map Projections have, as their first addition of the current new series, a page concerning the conformal projection of the world on an ellipse! And (without waiting to complete the project of updating my own BASIC program to draw this one as well) I have also added on the following page the Adams-Cahill conformal projection of the world on the surface of an octahedron by means of the Dixon elliptic functions. Since then, another five pages have been added: one on the new Equal Earth projection, one on the Boggs Eumorphic projection, one on the Strebe projection, and one on perspective projections, as well as the page noted in the paragraph below on the Dietrich-Kitada projection. Additions have also been made to several other pages, including the ones about the Mercator projection, the Bonne projection, the Mollweide projection, the Hammer-Aitoff projection, Lambert's Conformal Conic projection, and even the Winkel Tripel projection. Possibly of particular interest, my page on the Ginzburg Projection now has coverage of the closely related Latitudinally Equal Differential Polyconic Projection, widely used for world maps in the People's Republic of China.

And now I have perhaps made the most exciting addition to the section on map projections yet. Many years ago, at the library specializing in maps at the University I attended, I noticed an old German book with a lot of maps in an unusual projection I hadn't seen before. It stuck in my mind. Eventually, I learned about the Van der Grinten IV projection, and assumed that this was the map projection I had seen so long ago. But I learned that I was mistaken. A forum post by a noted cartographer, on the web site of his company, noted that one Bruno Dietrich wrote an unusual book with many thematic maps in a novel map projection, not described, and years later, a Japanese cartographer, Kozo Kitada, assuming the projection was equal-area, as it appeared to be, worked out what the construction of the projection must have been. The forum post described enough of its properties that I was able, particularly with the aid of maps on-line in that projection to let me see what I was aiming at, to also work out how that projection would have had to work. So my site now has a page on what that map projection really was - it turns out that instead of being a conventional projection like the Van der Grinten IV, it was equal-area - and (after a difficult debugging session) I got my little BASIC map-drawing program to handle that projection (it may be the second map-drawing program in existence that does so), so now I present my web page about the Dietrich-Kitada projection.

Do you live in Australia? This page explains why you have a unique opportunity to prove that the Earth is not flat, after all. UPDATE: A note has now been added to show that Flat Earth believers might still have a possible fall-back position available to them.

Having on this site both a page discussing, at length, measurements used by printers and a page going into detail about unit systems used for some typesetting machines, I have finally decided that it would also be appropriate to add a page illustrating the development of typefaces over the years. This brief page goes very quickly over the highlights of the story that can be found in many introductory books about printing.

A page has been added containing a brief chronology of the typewriter, highlighting various technical innovations in its history. Illustrations of some of the kinds of typewriter discussed have now been added. Another thing added, to this page, part of a discussion of extending the capabilities of the Selectric Composer, are samples of text typed on the IBM Executive Typewriter and the IBM Selectric Composer, and even the Vari-Typer, so that the reader can get some idea of their print quality. That discussion continues to, and concludes on, this page, which goes step by step through how I start from the principle of combining the capabilities of an ordinary Selectric typewriter with those of the Selectric Composer in a single machine, and continue by adding features to overcome some of the perceived limitations of the Selectric Composer. The pitfalls one runs into when trying to make a single machine so versatile are exhibited, and in some cases discussed. There is also a new page giving a history of computers in general, and the microcomputer revolution in particular.

Finally, I have added to this site a page concerning one of the most popular mathematical subjects: Pi.

I had long delayed doing so, despite the topic being a natural for this page, as there are many other excellent pages on this subject on the Web. At present, it is quite a modest page on the subject, and I do expect to expand it.


Map Projections

A brief page with a few annotations about the Girl Genius web comic is now on this site.


Featured Images
A Short History of Type

Signal Flag Systems
The Vocalization of Hebrew
Introduction to HTML
Color Charts
Building Blocks and the Pythagorean Triangle
Efficient and Flexible Text Encoding
Design for a Tall Building

Movie and TV Aspect Ratios
A Limitation of Color Photography
Color Filter Array Designs

Don't Touch That Dial!
Color Television Madness
Four Speakers from Two Channels?
A Problem in Applied Geometry

Chinese Character Encodings

A Phonemic Alphabet
Two Schemes For Elections
Patterns in Nature and Myth

A Note on Large Numbers
A Unified Architecture for Telephone Numbers
On Philosophy and Ethics







Board Games




Unit Conversions


A Computer Architecture

Concertina II

A Computer Language

Contact Information and Notes

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Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 John J. G. Savard