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Positive Feedback

Engineers are one of the best people to have around or even sit around. Why? engineers offer solutions, and do not have empty words, despite been simple. Dressed simply in jeans and t-shirts, engineers will solve your problems without lots of bureaucracy , like management.

Well, I discovered this recently when I was sitted in a roomful of communication engineers at the just concluded Africa Interconnection and Peering Forum. In a rare opportunity given to me to voice some opinion, they handed me a microphone, but when I tried speaking, the sound system responded with a high pitch whistle. Several attempts resulted in the same high pitched whistle. The engineers told me to move a few metres and the whistles dissapeared.

Demons! That would be the response of a priest, if he chose not to blame the devil for the same happening in a church, and which it more often than not happens. Well, the priests will be saddened to learn the devil is usually busy elsewhere, probably attending bendover sessions (don't ask me what these are, ask your pal who has earned enough frequent club-bing points) somewhere in the world.

Positive Feedback, is the answer to this natural phenomenon as the engineers will tell you. To those who were busy day dreaming of perfect dates in your physics lesson, positive feedback occurs when the microphone is held close to a speaker. The speaker has an inaudible high pitch which the microphone captures, sends to the amplifier, gets amplified and send back to the speaker higher than it was. This continues and the resultant high pitch occurs as long as the microphone is held at this point. To sort this out, you have to maintain a minimum distance from offending speakers.

For you to know but not necessarily remember, positive feedback is also responsible for clotting of blood, collapse of a bridge and nuclear explosions.

Have a day filled with positive feedback.

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