Extraction Log

16 May, 2012

A house just down the street burned down. No idea if anyone was hurt or not, I hope not.

No idea why I didn't just get on with things, but, that evening, I was bored and so I went to look at the remains of the house.

There was tape all round it, you know, that fire department tape, telling people not to go in. Nobody was there guarding it, the house had been gutted, there was nothing left to steal.

It was dark, obviously because it was night. There was something in the house though, I could see a glowing, like a TV had been left on. Not likely in a gutted out ruin, but it caught my interest.

No, no I wasn't feeling very safe as I ducked under the keep out tape, I'm not one to take a risk with my life, and I was pretty cautious with how I got closer. Last thing I wanted was to become a statistic in a burned out house.

The house fire looked more like an explosion from inside. It's hard to explain how that looks, but all of the walls were damaged in the same way, facing the middle, things were blown towards the outer walls, and some of the ceiling in the middle room of the house was missing, you could see upstairs through the hole. It just looked like there had been an explosion.

In a corner towards the back of the house was where I found the source of the glow. It looked like a watch, almost. It had a screen on it, which just showed a solid white image. There were no buttons, just a screen and a strap. It didn't do anything when I tapped the screen either.

I suppose I should have left it there, I should have handed it into the police, but, I was curious. I expect it's just broken, not interesting.

11 July, 2012

I looked at that watch thing again. It's still running and displaying a white screen even though I've left it in a cupboard for the last couple of months.

I still can't make it do anything, but I'm starting to be more intrigued, how is it still powered up after a month. With a screen like that,it shouldn't last more than a few days tops on the size of battery it's big enough to have...

26 July, 2012

OK, so I've been quite obsessed with this thing for a while now. I've still found no way to make it do anything - what's the point of a display which doesn't display anything or do anything...

20 August, 2012

OK, breakthrough, and weird.

I managed to open the side. I tapped it twice on the side, not on the display, but on the metal side. A small opening opened, and When I tap it again, it comes back. I know it's just folding inside the watch, but, it looks like it's dissolving or melting away, and then melting back. Very clever illusion.

It looks to be a micro-USB attachment, but I'm not desperate to plug an unknown device into my computer, call me paranoid, but who knows what viruses it has in it...

23 August, 2012

Ok, so I put together a spare computer out of the spare parts I have lying around. Yes, I have enough spares to make a computer. Probably two or three actually, but they aren't good ones.

I've plugged it in. All I get that beep when you insert a USB device, and then nothing, it says unknown device, would I like to download a driver?

Yes, because there are lots of ideas as to what it is. No idea what driver to use.

24 August, 2012

OK now this is odd. I got up this morning and the computer had a white window in the middle of the screen. I'm guessing that the watch had it's own drivers on it, because it disappears when I unplug the watch and reappears when I plug it in.

No idea why it didn't do that when I tried to make it work last night. Maybe it did and I needed to reboot it or something.

Anyway, so I have a white window, screen, that's it. Clicking on it doesn't do anything. I can't drag it, it's anchored to the middle of the screen.

27 September, 2012

Right, I think I'm getting somewhere. I think the problem is that the display on the watch is broken. It seems to have a touchscreen which is replicated on my screen, so when I touch the watch face, the white screen on my PC shows a menu in black letters. I get a menu showing options of 'Shutdown', 'Reboot', 'Chron', 'Pos', 'Data'.

I haven't tried Shutdown or Reboot, just in case I can't make it start up again. Chron just shows me the time, Pos shows me my GPS coordinate, and Data shows a mass of garbage on screen, which stays on screen for as long as I hold my finger on it.

2 October, 2012

Right, on the basis that the data may be something interesting, I've written a program which intercepts the data between the watch and the screen. Seeing as my job is related to this kind of data capture, it wasn't too hard to do.

I had to sit there with my finger on the Data button for about 25 minutes, which was tedious to say the least.

Now I have the data, I'm looking through it and it seems to be corrupted somehow. There are a lot of words poking out of the junk, but no sentences.

I think this may all end up being a monumental waste of time.

12 October, 2012

I've done a string extraction, and there seems to be a load of worthwhile data in here, and I've downloaded some programs that claim to be able to extract useful data from rubbish, so we'll see what happens.

The data seems to be a mix of places, names, and objects. Not that that helps. Lots of things ARE a list just like that. Didcot comes up a lot, which is a town in Oxfordshire I've been through on the train plenty of times, but only been to once about 15 years ago. I've spotted London, Mecca, Seattle, and a fair few others all in the first few hundred bits of junk.

7 November, 2012

The programs I've got analysing the data seem to think there is a series of dates in here. 64 bit date ints, starting sometime in a couple of years time. I've got them looking just at the start of the data, to see what they can pull out.

19 November, 2012

OK, we have our first hit. It seems that this is some kind of diary, I've extracted what I think is parts of the first entry. There's some personal information about someone called Taima, who seems to be the diary keepers girlfriend or wife or bit on the side or something. The diary keeper is talking about his new job.

This all looks quite tedious and mundane...

21 November, 2012

All right, I'm thinking this is some kind of fictional book, because the extraction programs, I have three of them all working on the data, all of them have agreed that the date of this first entry, when they've decoded it, is March 16th 2014, which makes it either a piece of fiction, a time travel device, or a mistake on the extraction program.

Actually, I'm going for the latter, and I've started working on my own extraction program. That's the good thing about being a programmer, if the computer doesn't do what you want, change what it's doing {;-)

26 November, 2012

Right, so the extraction code I've written is a basic AI routine, best thing for it. No, not a real AI, just a really really basic neural net for pattern extraction. I haven't written one of these in 20 years since I was at uni, so I bet there are more efficient ways to do it these days, but I work with what I know...

I'll let it run for a few days, focused on the start, see what I get.

28 November, 2012

OK, so my extraction program is a little better than the generic ones I downloaded, but it's also saying March 2014. I'm guessing this is a fiction book after all.

It's extracted some more random diary data, some stuff about trains, and an entry about police corruption and stealing files, definitely some kind of book.

29 November, 2012

Right, I'm going to be methodical here, I'm telling my program to look for all file chunks associated with 2014, lets see if I can do this one step at a time...

1 December, 2012

The program has identified what it thinks are all of the 2014 chunks, and I've started it on decoding them. Most of it looks like junk, but I know from how well it did on the first few chunks, that it comes out readable in the end...

7 December, 2012

While it's decoding the files, I've started it identifying the 2015 files now, if there are any.

11 December, 2012

It's finished decoding the 2014 files. I must say for a work of fiction it's quite detailed about everyday life.

12 December, 2012

I've started the computer decoding the 2015 files, it thinks it's located them all

18 December, 2012

I've extracted the 2014 files onto my main computer now. These files are all just basic text, no formatting. As this is a work of fiction, I think I'm going to format it.

22 December, 2012

2015 has been decoded. I don't know you know. This whole thing feels wrong to me. It's obviously fiction, but then what about this watch. It's still powered up, I haven't charged it in six months and it's still running. That's not possible. The details in 2015 were just as involved as 2014, they had boring bits, interesting bits, depressing bits, and it just read like it was someone's diary. I think a work of fiction would be more in your face, things happening all the while, whereas this just feels like, well, someone's life.

23 December, 2012

I've had the other programs, the ones I downloaded not the one I wrote, working on verifying my download for 2014, and they agree to 99.8% of the results. I've looked at the differences, and picked the words and numbers that seem to be correct. Usually my program's interpretation, occasionally not.

24 December, 2012

I've moved the 2015 files over to my word processor for formatting now.

26 December, 2012

All of the 2016 files are now located, and have started decoding. It's slow going, it's going to take days, but I think it's worth it.

9 January, 2013

Finally 2016 has finished decoding. I've looked through it and it's pretty horrible in places. If this is fiction, it's not necessarily nice fiction. If this is some future magic time travel device, well, I can wait a while for 2016 to come along, I really can...

10 January, 2013

The other programs have verified 2015 is accurate now. I think one of them may be using a neural net too, as it seems to be getting results closer to mine, and improving over time. The others don't seem to be getting any better though.

11 January, 2013

I've uploaded 2016 so I can start formatting it. It's a bit bigger, the diary keeper, who seems to be someone called Andrew Woodmaker, seems to be getting a bit more verbose as he goes on.

25 January, 2013

2017 decoding seems to be even bigger than 2016. I've started on 2018 file location now, so it's ready to decode.

28 January, 2013

2017 is now fully decoded. It's a lot less dark than 2016 that's for sure, though the first half of it is still somewhat less than cheerful. I'm really quite concerned that it may just be real, because it has mentioned a few things that were in the data I decoded before they happened, and since then certain dates have been confirmed, and they match. That's a little scary if you ask me...

30 January, 2013

I'm starting on the formatting of 2017 now, the only thing I'm really doing by hand, making it readable. I'm thinking, if this is fiction or not, I may publish it.

Thing is, I checked online, and that fire up the street, well, there was a body found. I guess that means I really shouldn't have gone in there and pinched this watch device, but I did. I'm suspecting it was this person's. Fiction or not, they don't need it any more.

I'm not necessarily trying to capitalise on the work of the dead, that would be morbid, but, if it was someone's life's work, they could have been writing this thing for years, then it would be criminal to not publish it. If someone says it is theirs, I'll obviously have to do the right thing by what they want, but otherwise, it's just the right thing to do to make people aware of all the work someone's done writing this.

If it's a real thing, well, if I publish it I could be doing all kinds of paradoxical things, but well, it can't be can it. That's just silly.

10 February, 2013

I've started to work on file location for 2019 now. The 2018 files are going through OK, and it's a lot better than 2017. Things in Andrew Woodmaker's life, and in the world, seem to be better in 2018, he's even had some good things happen to him, which is unusual.

14 February, 2013

The files from 2017 are verified now. The programs disagreed with each other quite badly at one point, but I think I've resolved it now.

14 February, 2013

Hah, just as I finished verifying 2017, so 2018 finishes decoding.

15 February, 2013

Well, now it's decoded, I may as well extract and start formatting 2018. Still not sure if I should publish it or not. I keep changing my mind on a daily basis.

11 March, 2013

I've bought a website for this. I think that means I'm going to publish it. I still don't know if I should, but, well, I'm erring on the side of rebellious.

If the world comes to an end, we'll know I broke some kind of paradox somewhere. Or, rather, we won't know.

16 March, 2013

While 2019 is going on, I've read through 2014 again, just to make sure it makes sense, that there aren't chunks that the decoded just completely barfed up. It seems to make sense, but I'm going to let a friend of mine look it through, and see if it makes sense to him too.

16 March, 2013

2019 has finished decoding. It's really interesting, the author has been busy, and politics is a big thing this year too.

19 March, 2013

I've had a busy few days so I'm just now starting to extract and format the 2019 entries.

6 April, 2013

2020 still isn't decoded yet. A fair bit of it is, and it's got a few ups and downs, and I am actually disappointed in one of the people it mentions. If it's fictional, I'm being disappointed at a fictional character, if it's real, I'm disappointed for something that they haven't done, and may never do...

8 April, 2013

I've checked through 2015, and handed it over to my friend to read through. It has some quite bleak bits does 2015, I'm not sure if I should publish it as it is, or if I should sanitise it a bit, take out some of the nastier bits. I'm leaning towards no, it isn't my thing to decide if it should be changed or not.

9 April, 2013

Well, that's 2020 decoded, and I didn't expect the way it went towards the end. The police being involved was definitely not where I thought it was going.

10 April, 2013

2019 passed verification, excellent, another job done. I am really thinking I'll publish it in the next few weeks. As soon as I get the confirmation from my friend that he agrees that the decoding makes sense, I'll do it.

12 April, 2013

I've started on the formatting for 2020 now, ready for the publishing at some point. The decision I need to make now, am I going to claim it as my own work, or shall I be honest and report it as this Andrew Woodmaker's work. Decisions decisions...

26 April, 2013

Well, my friend came back and pointed out a number of decoding errors in 2014 and 2015 that I hadn't spotted, so I've changed those. So, it's all go, tomorrow, I'll publish them! I'm going to be honest and publish them in the name of Andrew Woodmaker, it'll have his name on the cover. It's only right, I think.

26 April, 2013

That's it, it's published. I've uploaded it onto Smashwords, and I've written a basic web page to go onto chronicleyear.com. Lets see what happens...

If I get arrested then we'll know it was someone else's work. If the world ends, we'll know it wasn't. If neither happen, well, it's all up in the air isn't it.

5 May, 2013

Whew, 2021 is now decoded. I like the last half, it made me smile, things are fairly good in the world.

9 May, 2013

I finished rechecking 2016 files and handed them off to my friend. I was surprised how many decoding errors I'd picked up, that I hadn't spotted before.

10 May, 2013

I think I'd probably better be a bit more careful what I say on here, now I've transferred my log onto the website so people can see the history of the books. If I give too much away, nobody will buy it. If I don't give enough away, nobody will buy it either.

I think from now on, on the future decodes, I'm going to make the decoder decode it in three month chunks, and then I'll report on what was decoded on here. Not in detail, just a feel for it.

On yeah, and the other decoder has verified 2020 now. I knew I'd come here to say something like that...

13 May, 2013

Right, 2022 files are all located, I've told the decoder to focus on the first three months of the year, and I'll post on here again when it's done. Shouldn't be too long.

24 May, 2013

It took a bit longer than expected to decode that first quarter of the 2022 files. I think some of the words used were a bit different, and it confused the neural net. It's done now though, and it's an interesting quarter. Andrew Woodmaker's life is having a bit of an upheaval, but in a good way this time, which makes a change.

2 June, 2013

I decoded the second quarter of 2022 a few days ago, but forgot to log it here, sorry. The upheaval in Andrew's life is settling down now, and in the news we have Boris Johnson being unexpected, and a new Potter book is released.

3 June, 2013

I've put 2016 up for download now.

7 June, 2013

File location for 2023 has started now.

13 June, 2013

The last half of 2022 has been decoded now, and what a horrible end to the year. The world is going to hell, and I'm really hoping that this is fiction. If not, well, I think I'll catch the first bus to Mars.

15 June, 2013

I've re-checked the 2017 files now, and handed them off to be checked. My sister is checking them this time. It just helps to have an extra set of eyes to make sure the computer didn't royally balls it up.

20 June, 2013

2022 is all extracted now, and I've finished all the formatting. 2023's files are all located too, and so I've sent them off to the neural net to decode. Hopefully there's a bit less to do than in 2022, as that one ended up taking longer than any of the others.

23 June, 2013

I've put 2017 up for download. So far a few people have bought the second one, and quite a few people have downloaded the first one for free. I'm wondering if this is a good thing. I still don't know if, by people reading it, the future could be changed, but then, that's stupid, isn't it. It's fiction. I should just accept that and move on. I just can't explain the device this all came on. I wish I could.

7 July, 2013

The 2023 extraction is going a bit quicker than expected, and so I've started the 2024 file location running. 2023 is a real mess in the world, but there are some high points that give me hope.

22 July, 2013

OK so now the royal baby has been born, everyone thought it would be a girl, and the book named it as a boy, Prince George. This is the first verifiable fact about the book, and so now it's born and it's a boy, I'm a little nervous. I kindof hope it isn't called George. If it isn't it's fiction. If it is, well, then we still have a chance of a lucky guess in fiction, but it's looking more and more likely to be real, isn't it. I guess we'll know when they announce the name. I just hope they hurry up, the suspense is killing me...

24 July, 2013

George Alexander Louis. I'm not sure what to say now. I really don't know what to think. I'm days away from releasing the diary from 2018, and now I don't know if I should. This is - I don't know. Wow.

24 September, 2013

I've released 2018, it's a bit later than I'd expected, but it's done now. There were some issues with the last stage of processing, sorry.
In the meantime, lack of updates not withstanding, things have been going well, and I've gone a long way towards extracting 2025 from the device. It's been an awesome year for Andrew Woodmaker. Just for once, he's had some good luck in his life.

12 November, 2013

I've just finished decoding 2026. Either the author of these things is getting more verbose, or the AI is making stuff up, cos these annual sets of diary entries seem to be getting longer each year.

12 November, 2013

And of course, by AI I mean neural net, not AI. I'm a computer programmer, you'd think I'd be able to get my terms right by now.

15 January, 2014

I've not been keeping up with this log very much, sorry. I've been busy working on getting these files extracted, as well as actually, you know, doing my day job, which takes up a stupid amount of my time.

We're getting close to the point where these diaries started, so we'll soon know for sure if these really are some diary from the future, or if they're just made up.

Assuming that by publishing the first, what, seven years, I haven't screwed things up... That could also have happened. Well, too late now!

7 March, 2014

2021 is released now.

10 August, 2014

Well, it's been a while since anything new was uploaded, sorry about that.

I decided to run the old books through the neural net again, to see if the things it's learned since the first run through changed much.

As it turns out, not much changed, maybe 1% of each book, but there are some subtle differences.

I've uploaded them all, and anyone who's bought them will be able to download the new ones using your receipt numbers from your original purchase.

I'll aim to get 2022 out in the next couple of weeks.

23 September, 2014

It's been a long while coming, but I've finally managed to release 2022. Sorry for the wait!

27 September, 2014

The computer has finished extracting the 2028 entries. It's a monster, 130,000 words long, the biggest yet by far.

12 October, 2014

Right, I've got all the files extracted and decoded from 2028. It's taking a while to decode them because this diary seems to be getting bigger and bigger each year. I'm not sure if Andrew Woodmaker is getting more verbose, or the neural net is picking up more content.

I hope it's the former, and I haven't missed tons of stuff in earlier years...

20 October, 2014

You know what, I'm just going to give up trying to work out what's going on. This diary, the recording device, I found it before comet Siding Spring was discovered, and it mentions it by name. Yet it gets its size and orbit slightly wrong, and nothing I've done by releasing the books can possibly affect *that*.

Also, it doesn't mention the didcot power station fire today, but yet it knew the name of Prince George before he was born.

Really, I give in. I'm just going to roll with it.

1 March, 2015

Finally got 2023 finished today. Everything's been taking longer recently. My dayjob has left me with little time to do work processing the diaries. Despite how important they may be, I still have to eat.

12 March, 2015

The decoders have finally finished working on 2029. It's the biggest book yet, but it still needs editing. Not that I edit the content, that's just as it's extracted. All I do in editing is look for random mistakes made by the decoder. It IS just a computer program after all.

Sometimes it gets paragraphs in the wrong order, sometimes it adds random words in. Occasionally there's whole pages of utter nonsense. My big concern is that where these pages of nonsense are, there should've been diary entries, and they're being missed.

Not that I can do much about it, so I don't worry too much.