Monthly Archives: November 2013

The Last Standard is Dead?

There are a lot of standards. There are also a lot of jokes about there being a lot of standards.

Some standards are dead ducks.

I noticed this back in the early 1980s with CP/M.

CP/M was the most-commonly-used operating system at the time. The version commonly-used was version 2.2. CP/M worked reasonably well, but there were some things that I wished for. Digital Research did release a version 3.0 of CP/M, but it was not used much. CP/M 3.0 had some very nice features, but the days of 8-bit CPUs for general use was coming to an end. Few bothered with it.

CP/M 3.0 would have been a nicer environment to work with, but it never happened for me.

When you finally get everything settled on a standard, the standard may no longer be needed or of interest to very many people.

Odd Language #24: Missing What?

From http://www.cio.com/article/743067/What_Contract_IT_Workers_Miss_About_Being_Full_Time:

The article is entitled “What Contract IT Workers Miss About Being Full-Time”.

The issue: Compressing a statement to make it a headline can result in ambiguity. In this case, “Miss” could be what the contract IT workers regret not now having or what they do not understand about full-time employment.

Puzzle #27: Hearts

In a four-player game of Hearts, the sum of the scores after a round is divisible by 26. In some cases, all of the scores are cubes.

A player’s score can range from 0 to 125 points. After each round, at least one player’s score must be less than 100 points (since the game ends when the first player reaches 100 or more points). Other than that, do not concern yourself with whether a solution is actually possible under the scoring rules of Hearts.

With the constraints of the previous paragraph, what are the possible sets of scores? Do not report all of the permutations of a solution, just the one in order from lowest to highest score.

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #25 Solution: Nonsense

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Bragging and Competence

Ever notice that people who are truly compentent rarely brag? They might talk about what they have done, but they do not brag.

On the other hand, people who brag often have not done nearly as much.

The quiet person may well be doing more than the ones who talk about doing.

Think about it.

Puzzle #26: Grandma’s Killer Pie

Until the new winter semester gets started in January, I will be rerunning past puzzles.

Grandma makes apple pie that is simply to die for.

If the fatal dose is one-quarter of a pie per 100 lbs. of body weight, will two pies be sufficient to off the rest of the family?

The rest of the family consists of Peter (200 lbs.); Susan (120 lbs.); their three children, Joseph (60 lbs.), Samantha (40 lbs.), and James (40 lbs.); Roberta (140 lbs.); and Tom (170 lbs.).

Scenarios:

  1. Grandma has a nifty pie-cutter that cuts pie into twelve equal pieces. Each person gets a whole number of pieces. Assume clean cuts with no pie adhering to the pie-cutter.
  2. As in #1, but the pie-cutter cuts pie into ten equal pieces.
  3. As in #2, but Tom recently ran a marathon and lost ten pounds.

Submit your answer to Gene Wirchenko <genew@telus.net>. Your answer should be in the form of a proof. That means to show how your answer must be correct. The deadline is Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

I Don’t Want to Argue

Some people use “I don’t want to argue.” as a club in discussion.

Certainly, arguments can get unpleasant if people do it wrong. There are various lists of argument fallacies, such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies.

That is not a good reason to forbid arguments. One definition of argue is “to give reasons (for or against)” (Webster’s New World Compact Desk Dictionary and Style Guide / Second Edition, © 2002 by Wiley Publishing, Inc. Cleveland, OH, ISBN: 0-7645-7120-6)

Doesn’t this sound like a discussion? Wouldn’t you want an issue to be discussed thoroughly?

And lastly, have you noticed how often people who use “I don’t want to argue” have already argued their case and use this line to deny others their say? Not very nice, is it?