Hosting Provider Update

September 5th, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, my hosting provider migrated the site to a new server and for them, a new platform.
For a variety of reasons it didn’t go all to plan.
The first problem was my side – I updated the .htaccess file just before the migration started
and then found the site could not be accessed at all.
I thought it was due to the migration, but I had screwed up the .htaccess file.
Once that was fixed, I found I wasn’t getting email.
That was something on the hosting side.
All’s well that ends well though, it all seems to be up and running now.
But any email sent to me between 22-August and the 1st September have probably been lost.

Lots of people seem to be visiting the Donate page:

But no one donates. I will bear this in mind with future software offerings.
I am getting quite sick of supporting people in an industry that doesn’t want to support me.

SEGD Header Scanner

August 12th, 2017

My latest Header scanner available here:

With it you can not only view decoded File Headers, you can Copy/Move/Delete and Rename files based on selections.

SMSFS handles both SEGD 2.1 and the latest abortion SEGD V3, so you can look at files from SN408/428 and the 508, along with Unite and DSD464 GF files (if they are SEGD)

Displayed attributes are specified in Setup.

You can arrange the display order to suit your needs.

Header Decodes are available for any loaded file.

There is more work to do on it, like adding the ability to output SPS, but that will have to wait.



SM Refract Savitzky-Golay Smoothing

June 13th, 2017

Added Savitzky-Golay smoothing as a filter option in the latest version.

A description of the algorithm can be seen here:

It essentially acts as a type of High Cut filter. Below, an unfiltered shot display

And here the same with an SG Filter applied:

As you can see below, it is not spectrally smooth, but can be quite useful in cleaning up noisy displays.

                     5 Point                                          9 Point

           19 Point                                       25 Point


As the program has not garnered much interest, I am suspending development of it for now.

There doesn’t seem to be much point in developing QC tools for an industry that doesn’t want them, or me.

I need to find some way of making some money, and this isn’t it!


The latest User Manual can be downloaded here:

SMRefract MultiPhase

June 6th, 2017

The latest version adds a Relative Phase display, accessed from the Relative Spectra Page.

Not a particularly elegant user interface, but it’s not something that will get a lot if use unless it is really needed.

Here a display of selected traces from a DSD GF file.

Possibly interesting for those who claim to understand the intricacies of vibrator control systems, but is likely to create all sorts of confusion for the rest of us.

Especially as any trace can be selected as the reference from which the phase difference is calculated, producing a totally different plot:

For diagnostic and research purposes it might be quite useful though, if interpreted carefully.


The latest user manual can be downloaded here:


SMrefract update

May 26th, 2017

Added a new display mode. I call it 3 Point Fill (3PF)
It is essentially the ‘Phase’ Scheme much beloved by processing types.

I don’t like it much, but it was relatively easy to implement and does produce some very colourful results.
If you like that sort of thing.

The latest user manual here:

Nong Khai and a Funeral

May 21st, 2017

Anyone who was in Bangkok in the 80s and involved in the oilfield would probably have known the Cock and Bull/Joker Club on the corner of Sukhmvit Soi 19.
Some may have met Peter Ernhjelm, the Swedish Owner.

Sadly Peter died early this month at 76 years old. He had been bedridden for some time after a stroke several years ago.

Peter was quite a character, and there are many good stories to be told about him. One involving a pig, but that is best told by people who knew him better than I. One that does stick in my mind though, is from about a dozen years ago on a visit to Laos.
At the time, Peter was the manager/part owner of the Taipan Hotel in Vientiane. It had a quiet, but very nice bar.
Peter was a connoisseur of Vodka, and quite capable of consuming vast amounts of it.
One of his favourites was a black Vodka, that he made by adding Anise or Licorice or some such. It was actually quite nice in small amounts.
The problem this time was that he had run out of the secret ingredient, but that didn’t stop him.
I remember him proudly pulling out a bottle with a lot of black sediment in it and then sheepishly explaining that the sediment was Laser-jet toner.
I was not interested in trying it, but I had to ask him what it was like.
In his dry, almost expressionless Swedish accent he says “It is not too bad”
So there you have it, vodka and laserjet toner as an aperitif.

His funeral was at Wat Meechai Tung in Nong Khai on the 11th May. It was a small turnout, but respectable given the short notice.
He will be missed.

On a lighter note, after the funeral, we traveled north and west along the river to Chiang Khan and then south to Loei.
From there west to Phitsanuloak, Sukhothai and Maesot. We had a day in Maesot with a quick trip over to Myawady in Burma.
Both Maesot and Mayawady were a little disappointing. Probably won’t bother going again.

We then headed back to Sukhothai, which was much more interesting. To the west of Sukhothai is an historical park. Well worth the visit. It is easy to spend a day there. Bicycles can be rented for the princely sum of 30 Baht per day – and to get around it all, you need one.

About 50Km north is another large historical site, but we didn’t have time to get there. Maybe next year.

After Sukhothai, a night in Phitsanulok, with a visit to the Wat Cham/old palace ruins – there is a new museum there which explained the history of the area, and Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat Woramahawihan, which is highly revered.

And then back to Bangkok.

More pictures here:




SMRefract Another Update

May 6th, 2017

Three quick updates:

  • Refraction report now displays the geometry/pick list for more than 24 picked channels. If 24 or less, then the table remains, if more than 24, then the tables are printed on a second page. Use the ‘Next’ button in the top menu to toggle between the graphic and the list
  • Added ‘Notch Alt’ function for improved Notch filtering
  • Added ‘Remove DC Offset’ option in Setup to allow for optional removal of DC Offset

The most interesting being the New Notch filter

Although the ‘standard’ Notch filter is quite effective at attenuating the requested frequency, it has the undesirable side effect of introducing ringing.

Above is an unfiltered display with obvious power line noise

Below is the same record with the Standard Notch filter applied:

Although the Power line noise has been well attenuated, the ringing introduced is not really acceptable.

The new Notch filter shown below pretty well fixes this:

The Power line noise is gone, but the rest of the record is preserved.


The SMRefract page is here:


The user manual is available here:




SMRefract updates

May 2nd, 2017

A bunch of updates over the last couple of weeks:

• Improved Velocity Pick Display (Opaque background for value)

• Fixed crash on exit slice display without cancelling first. (A bugger to find: In programming as in life, one should never assume.)
• Weak Traces display now honours changes made in setup when close setup page
• Weak traces now include an offset limit for calculations (no limit is applied for noisy traces)
• Added support for Sercel GF files, both SEGD and SEGY. Channel names will be automatically assigned if viewing in MultiTrace
• Added ‘Control A’ function to select (up to) the first 12 traces in a file. Very useful with GF files
• Added Auto Trace Label feature. Only applies to SEGD V3 files. If enabled in Setup, the first 100 traces will have trace names assigned based on the SEGDV3   Trace Label header entry. This is only likely to be useful for similarities and only if the recorder operator assigns channels properly. The limit of 100 is to enhance loading speed and in any case anyone simming such a large number of vibs is likely doing it to show off.
• Added code to show available traces if less than specified number. IE if only 24 traces in a file, but 250 traces specified for display, now, the 24 will be displayed properly spaced. The original setting of 250 is saved so if opening a big file next time, it will display as expected.
• Added Autolabeller to Multitrace. You can label selected traces based on a trace attribute, and load and save label sets.


The latest User Manual can be downloaded from here:

Still some more to do, but it’s coming along well.

SMRefract now supports Sercel UNITE

April 21st, 2017

Some more updates to SMRefract.
Added support for UNITE and a new feature of Relative Spectra displays to Multitrace.

Relative Spectra is resizable and customisable.
The latest manual can be downloaded from here:

More SMRefract

April 7th, 2017

Continuing work on SMRefract.
The latest major feature is Header Decodes.
Full decoding of SEG2 and Sercel 408, 428 and 508 are complete, along with the file headers of SEGY files.

The 508, being SEGD V3 was quite tedious.
SEGD V3 really is an awful format. And as it stands is not even a viable standard.
Sercel were forced to use ‘optional’ blocks to provide needed information, the problem is that
other manufacturers (US ones most likely) will probably use the same block IDs.
The answer of course is to drop SEGD V3 completely and develop a sane, sensible format.
But without the input of the SEG “Standards Committee”

(Need I mention SaneSeis:

The scary thing is that these same idiots are apparently planning a new version of SEGY.
Considering the mess they made of SEGD, I dread to think what they will come up with in SEGY.


More details on updates to SMRefract, and the latest user manual can be found here:

SMRefract – my latest Seismic Data viewer

February 10th, 2017

It has taken a while, but I have finally finished the viewer.

When I say finished, I mean it is ready to be used – it will be a work in progress for a long time.

It handles

  • Sercel 408 and 428 SEGD
  • Sercel 508 SEGD V3
  • Sercel UNITE SEGD V1.0
  • SEGY
  • SEG2 (From Geometrics, maybe from other vendors too)

As well as the usual shot display and filter capability, it can show

  • FFT of a selected zone
  • Zoom on a selected zone
  • Full spread status
  • Single trace
  • Selected traces (up to 12) from anywhere in the record
  • Decoded Headers
  • Line profiles of available statuses
  • Weak and noisy traces
  • Refraction calculations

It also incorporates a database to keep track of failed stations (although this is in the early stages)

I am not making it freely available as I am currently out of work.

But if curious, you can download the user manual by following the link from here:

I will probably be prepared to provide a copy to anyone who can get me steady work.

New Seismic Viewer

March 28th, 2016

The new Seismic Viewer is coming along well, albeit a little slowly. I still need a good name for it though.

As well as the basic viewer, it now produces Single trace displays:

SMR Single Trace-s

MultiSelect displays – you can select up to 12 traces from anywhere in the record and display them side by side (With labels of your choice):

SMR MultiTrace-s

Spread error displays based on flagged errors in the file or on user specified values for resistance/leakage/tilt:

SMR Spread Resistance-s

It can produce Time and frequency slices and also(not shown here)

Line profiles:

SMR Profiles-s

Also Detection of weak and noisy traces that should otherwise be OK (IE resistance/leakage/tilt are good, but the trace is bad):


And it also includes an optional database that records spread errors.

So far, it only handles Sercel 408/428 and some limited SEGY, but I am expanding that.

The finished product will handle the abortion of SEGD V3 and SEG2 along with better support for SEGY.

I am not likely to release it until I get some more work – why give it to someone who would be doing work that I should be doing!

So, if you want a copy, get me some work.

SaneSeis and Seismic File Viewers

January 15th, 2016

Disappointingly SaneSeis doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.

I have seen little to no interest in the concept. Unsurprisingly no one from the SEG has commented.
I had hoped to at least provoke some discussion on acquisition file formats with a view to finally replacing the SEG abortions, but I guess I am too insignificant for the powers that be to notice. Or perhaps the SEG doesn’t know much about the big world outside.
At least I tried, unlike the SEG.

The last couple of months have been a bit of a change. Was involved in a multi-disciplined geophysical study aimed at understanding some shallow artefacts.
Although the job involved the usual – High res seismic, gravity and upholes, the new technique to me was TDEM. Although it has some sound physics behind it, I am not yet convinced it is the answer that some claim it to be.
There are just too many assumptions made to give me confidence, especially for deeper results.
That being said, I am convinced it works for shallow work, in the 10s of metres rather than the 100s required for oil and mineral work.
So I have a plan to build a small system and test its effectiveness for use in archaeology (or for fun if the truth be known).

But that all comes after I finish my latest seismic file viewer, which is coming on fairly well, albeit slowly at the moment.
It will handle SEGD (V2 and the new V3 disaster, Sercel variants only though), SEGY and SEG2.
It will include routines for refraction and time slices, frequency slices, and other types of analysis.
An early release should be available in a month or so, but it won’t have all features.

SMRefract Jan 2016 s



SaneSeis Update

October 18th, 2015

As is usually the case, soon after I published the first draft of SaneSeis, I realised I was missing things, and that with a few additions could make it better.
The biggest change in this updated version is the addition of a Receiver Table after the Source Table.
I was very reluctant to add another variable length block, but the advantages outweigh the drawbacks. And in any case each entry within a table is fixed length, and the number of entries are defined in the file header, so, unlike SEGD it is very easy to calculate memory requirements and start of data.

The latest updates can be seen here:

Other notable additions

  • Record type. Currently based on Sercel’s 428 definitions, there is plenty of room to add more
  • Recorder position. This seems to have been forgotten these days, but is still good information to have. SaneSeis records the Low Line/Point of where the recorder connects to the spread.
  • Source position mode in the source table. We need to know if the source position is the true position from the source navigation system or preplanned or something else.
  • Limits have been removed from the trace header – they are now in the Receiver table. This saves 20 bytes per trace header which on a big survey can add up to a useful saving. Resistance/Tilt/Capacitance errors are now indicated by 255=low, 0=in range, 1=High

So far very little feedback. PS has suggested that I incorporate EPSG codes. I am looking at this, but I do want to keep everything metric, so will not support feet, yards, miles etc. It is only the US that still uses these and it is about time they moved into at least the 18th century. SaneSeis coordinates must also remain Cartesian, so not all EPSG codes would be valid.
Comments and suggestions welcome.

SaneSeis – a new Seismic File Format

October 10th, 2015

I have been quite critical of the SEG file formats over the years. And with good reason. SEGD, SEGY and SEG2 should have been retired years ago. They are based on decades old ideas that perhaps suited the equipment at the time. Unfortunately, the SEG does not seem to have realised that time has moved on – recording systems, methods and requirements have changed (for the SEG – actually they changed a long time ago!). When SEGD and SEGY were first released, they arguably were suitable for use at the time. No Longer. And SEG2 of course should never have been released at all, but that is another story for another time.

The problem is that SEGY and SEGD were ‘extended’ by the SEG instead of replaced. I can maybe understand the first revision SEGD V1 to V2 for example, but now we have an abortion called SEGD V3. There is absolutely no excuse for its existence. Unfortunately there are people starting to use it (I don’t know why) and people who plan to use it (again, I don’t know why).

Some years ago, I proposed in a very basic way what a modern seismic acquisition file format should look like (IMNSHO). It was based around flat headers and no optional sections. So, instead of just complaining about SEGD V3, I have sat down and actually defined an alternative based on discussions and thoughts I have had. I will not claim it is perfect or even ready for use just yet, but it does solve the problems with SEGD V3 and does match the requirements of high production, high channel count multiple source recording. It does borrow a little from the existing formats, but only the good parts.

For anyone interested, see here, I call it SaneSeis:
I will welcome constructive criticism, and distribution of the ideas.

Tests and Tests

August 16th, 2015

Back from another trip in Oman with PDO.
It was all about tests this time, lots of tests.
Some quite interesting and successful, some very frustrating.
But I guess if we knew the results, we wouldn’t need to test.

Have been home nearly a month now, just did a trip up to Petchabun.
No golf there this time, just a quick look around.
The Khmer ruins at Sri Thep were one of the highlights

m_Aug_2015_Sri Thep DSCN2608_7_9_Detail -1 m_Aug_2015_Sri Thep Prang Reusi DSCN2689_8_90_Detail

Along with Wat PhraTat Phasorn Keaw in Khao Kor.

m_Aug_2015_Khao Kor Wat PhraTat Phasorn Keaw DSCN2783_2_4_Localtone m_Aug_2015_Khao Kor Wat PhraTat Phasorn Keaw DSCN2776_5_7_Localtone
I am developing quite an interest in Khmer ruins, it may become my retirement project.
If I can ever afford to retire that is.
Lots of pictures of Khmer sites for anyone interested:

Chiang Mai

May 9th, 2015

Just back from a trip to Chiang Mai.
Went up with a couple of old friends to play some golf and look around. It has been in the back of my mind for some time to move out of Bangkok and Chiang Mai was worth a look considering the history and golf courses.
The Golf was good, we played Lanna, the oldest course there and Green Valley. Both were great, but anyone considering Lanna should be sure they are not talked into playing the 9 holes on the race track. These were a disappointment. The rest of the course though is nice – a mature course with a lot of character.

Golf_ChiangMai_2015_Lanna IMG_1043-s

Green Valley is one of the nicest courses I have ever played on. It is very much a manicured course and very well done. Everything was perfect – Tee boxes, fairways, greens, caddies, the restaurant in the club house. A magnificent course and I highly recommend it. I just wish I could have done it justice.

Golf_ChiangMai_2015_Green Valley IMG_1070-s

My golf is getting worse every day. I still enjoy it though, but there are times I wonder why.
Would have liked to have played at least one more game, but my playing partners were not up to it. Suffice to say the British Empire was not built by the likes of these two. They kept complaining about the heat! It wasn’t hot, only a warm 40 degrees or thereabouts.

Although the golf was great, Chiang Mai was a bit of a disappointment. These days it seems to be filled with halfwit Americans (as if there are any other kind), fat European and Australian women failing to look attractive in short shorts (which the local ladies manage very nicely) and snot gobbling Chinese, who, when they are not hawking and spitting are taking pictures of themselves with telephones on sticks. All a bit strange to me.

I will certainly go back for some golf, but not sure it is my final resting place.

It’s been a while

May 1st, 2015

A long time since my last post.
Quite a lot has happened in the industry. Of course the collapse of the oil price has affected all of us.
The oil companies seem to be in panic mode and have cut projects.
All a bit silly really, we all know the price of oil will rebound, and probably to higher levels than we have ever seen. Now would be a good time to invest past profits into new exploration projects and more importantly research and training of the next generation.
Although not an immediate priority, tight oil in small reservoirs will become very important in years to come. Identifying and testing these structures now would give any oil company that does, a competitive advantage when current fields are either depleted, or due to political or environmental reasons inaccessible.

Not going to happen of course, these days accountants control everything, not real people. The damage accountants have done to the world over the last 40 years or so is unforgivable. And worst of all there is no accounting for the actions of accountants – pun intended. They get away with destroying lives, economies and countries and are never brought to task. Accounting should be considered a crime against humanity and all accountants jailed or preferably, executed. At least they could be useful as fertiliser. They aren’t much different to dogs really – see here:

But enough of that.
Along with everyone else, my work activities have been somewhat curtailed, but not stopped.
I have had a couple of trips back to Oman for PDO, and very interesting they were.
My focus was mostly on tests of new techniques that could potentially increase daily production 4 or 5 fold. There are more tests planned in a little while that I will likely be involved with. These have a slightly different focus, but are still source related.
I am still not a believer in very low frequency vibroseis sweeps, but that may change with new equipment. For low frequency acquisition to be viable, it needs to be approached from both the source and the receiver side. There are practical limits on the size of vibrators that we are reaching now – and very low frequencies, demand big vibrators. So we must look at the receiver side. Sercel released the SG5 a year or so ago – a 5Hz high sensitivity geophone, but it has had limited uptake mainly because they try to push it as being a single element replacement for 6 conventional elements. My evaluation of tests indicates that this is not the case. The true benefit of the SG5 will not be seen until 3 or 4 are connected in series. Four looked very, very good (amazingly good – almost a quantum leap as we so often hear in the media) as we could also create an areal array – even a small array is hugely beneficial in attenuating ambient noise. That, and sensitivity are two things that the theory people always seem to overlook. Single element sensors sound very nice, but if you don’t get signal into the digitiser, then all we are doing is sign bit summing and relying (requiring) huge fold to produce anything at all. Why bother with a high fidelity recording system in this case?

MEMS technology is still not there despite the various manufacturer’s claims. And Sercel’s approach of integrating it into the DSU which in turn is integrated into the cable is not good. It creates coupling issues due to its size. The few people who read this will know I am not a fan of IO electronics (I like some of their vibs though), but one of the few things they got right with their Vectorseis, was to separate the sensor from the cable and digitiser. It still doesn’t make me a fan, but they did get one thing right.

My time off has been good. Recently I did a trip around the north East of Thailand with an old seismic friend.

We covered, Korat, Khon Kaen, Udon, Nong Kai, Nakhon Phanom, Mukdahan and Surin, and also made a special trip to Phanom Rung.
My interest was mainly the Khmer ruins along the way, of which there are many – some pictures here:

And the root page here:
It was a good trip. I had never seen a lot of the country we covered.

One spot that deserves special mention is the Ho Kham Resort on the way east.
We had continued a bit further that we should have that day, it was getting dark and started raining, so we were prepared to stop anywhere for the night. Ho Kham resort appeared just at the right time, so we drove in and asked if they had a couple of rooms available which they did. Then we asked about food, they said they weren’t really open, but they could cook us some fried rice.
How about a beer or two? No problem.
And we got coffee and toast in the morning. All for 800 Baht all up for 2 rooms right on the river + food and beer, and with a smile despite them not even being properly open for customers. It was old style Thai hospitality, and quite refreshing. Google Earth Coords: 18.441169, 103.423328
Here are pictures of the river from the resort.

I’m going up to Chiang Mai in a couple of days to play some golf.
When I get back, will maybe start a rewrite of some of my Vib QC stuff.
That should keep me occupied until the next job.

Everything comes to an end

March 11th, 2014

Back home again, my time with PDO is over, at least for now.

It is what might be called a bittersweet moment –

Working for PDO was great, but I guess my problem is that I need excitement, challenges perhaps, or just the need to feel I am making a difference. A huge ongoing 3D in a featureless environment with a stagnated and inward looking crew is not for me.

I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to work for PDO though, and I think we parted on good terms.

In my time there, I saw PDO as a company that is quite open to ideas – even quite radical ones and are willing to test.

In fact just before I left, we tested a bunch of different sensors –

  • MEMS
  • Low frequency geophones
  • High sensitivity geophones
  • Active geophones
  • And most interestingly, High sensitivity, Low frequency geophones.

As the test results are of course property of PDO, I won’t say much here except that we are possibly on the edge of a big change in sensor technology, and it does not look like MEMS to me.

So, now I am back looking for work. Not an unusual situation I admit, but one I hope ends soon.

Have to say I am enjoying the golf though.

HP Pavilion 15-e007TX

November 25th, 2013

Some time ago, I stated quite emphatically that I was never going to change from Windows 2000. Well, I have to eat my words.

I am finding that some applications struggle under a 32 bit OS and I finally bit the bullet and purchased a new laptop. This time an HP Pavilion 15-e007TX.

It’s a 4th generation i7 based machine and available at a good price. It only comes with a DOS OS though, so the challenge was to install Windows 7, when HP are pushing Windows 8. It was quite a struggle to find all the drivers for W7 – something I am not alone in, it seems many people want W7 rather than W8. Not surprising really.


For anyone interested, here is what I ended up finding and using:

For network go here (the driver on the HP site didn’t work for me):

And  download this:

Win7 and WinServer 2008 R2 Auto Installation Program (SID:1606895)


Download HP’s ‘HP Support Assistant for Microsoft Windows® 7 (32/64 Bit)’

from here:


Then run the diagnostics section and let it update. It will probably only update the Bluetooth driver but it’s a start


Download the media card driver from here:


Then go to HP’s FTP site

And download and install the following Softpaqs


sp62227     Intel Rapid storage


sp62582     Intel Graphics driver – important, do this before the Radeon drivers!!!


sp62228    Audio drivers


Install the USB drivers form here:


Finally the Radeon Graphics drivers from here:


It is important that the Intel Video drivers be loaded before the Radeon ones. You will not be able to load the Radeon drivers until the Intel ones are installed.


Some good links here that might be useful to some:


Once the drivers were installed and the updates to the updates of the Windows updates were complete, it was a matter of making Windows 7 useable.

The first thing of course is to turn off all the Aero crap. Whoever came up with that deserves a slow and painful death.


Then to get the network activity monitor back, download and install this:


One thing that had me going for a little while was that external USB hard drives were not recognized. Luckily it was a simple solution – go to Device manager select each of the USB Root hubs shown, and for each one turn off the power saving option.


There are a bunch of other tweaks possible, but it is very difficult to locate settings in Windows 7. My solution was to use a package called “Ultimate Windows Tweaker” from here:


It takes away a lot of the pain and frustration.


Despite my misgivings, Windows 7 is turning out to be useable but it will never be as good as 2000.

Is it faster though? In some areas, yes, but not much. Even with a 4 core processor, and 8GB of RAM it is only a little faster than my 5 year old Fujitsu with Core 2 Duo with 3GB.

I had hoped the new processor, 64 Bit architecture and extra memory would have made a significant difference, but it doesn’t. I can only assume the added processor power is consumed by the OS. A bit sad really. I still look forward to the day when I can move to Linux.