Monthly Archives: May 2017

Unnecessary Change

The computer field has a lot of change. Personally, I think that there is too much. Quite often, changes appear to be made for the sake of change. When this breaks something that was working, it is somewhat irritating.

My local corner store is a combination Esso/7-11. I have an Esso loyalty card.

It used to be that I would be prompted to swipe my card; the swipe would then be acknowledged with a message.

Obviously, this was too easy.

Now, there is no prompt. There is an acknowledgement of the swipe (I think): the display blinks once.

Who thought that this would be better?

It is not as if there are not other changes that would be more useful. For example, if I wish to redeem points and make a purchase, it has to be done as two transactions. My Petro-Canada loyalty card does not have that limitation.

Odd Language #206: Yet Another Double

I posted this recently on a programming forum in a thread on puzzles: “What both solutions are are questions where the truthteller and the liar will answer the same.”

The issue: The “are are”, of course. The first one is part of the subject of the main clause (“What both solutions are”) and the second is the main clause verb.

Puzzle #209: Olde Money

With decimalisation in 1971, British money became much more sane/boring. This puzzle uses the old system of coins: 1/2 d., 1d., 3d., 6d., 1/-, 2/-, 2/6, and 5/-. (The values are, respectively, 1/2, 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 30, and 60 pence. There might have been a few other varieties – it did change over time – but we will ignore them.) How many ways can you make change that adds up to 1 pound (240 pence) if you can use no more than two of any one denomination?

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, June 7, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #207 Solution: The Chicken Race

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

The Not-Scam E-mail

How are you doing with keeping up with all of the minutiae of modern living?

My latest grade is a D.

I received a failed billing E-mail. I was inclined to think it probably a typical scam.

It wasn’t.

My domain’s registration had expired. I found out when I went to prepare this week’s posts: my blog was not there. This led to a frantic phone call to reregister and then many browser refreshes until it came back.

There are a lot of scams out there, but every so often, the notice is actually valid. Unfortunately, this was a surprise.

I hope I have not forgotten about this in two years.

What have you set aside that you should not have?

Puzzle #208: Seventy-Five Cents

If you have five quarters, five dimes, and five nickels, how many ways can you count out seventy-five cents in change?

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, May 31, 2017 at noon Pacific Time. I will post the answer shortly after.

Puzzle #206 Solution: Stepping Up

Spoiler Inside: Solution to Puzzle SelectShow

Odd Language #204: Using That Money

A recent USENET post contains the sentence: “It’s now giving me enough money that I am contracting for more advertising-usable illustrations using that money.”

The issue: This caused a subthread about confusion over exactly what was meant. “using that money” could be spending the money on illustrations (the intended meaning) or the illustrations are using the money. (If it were a person or group of people, the agency would be more obvious.)

Maybe, the illustrations are made out of money? It has been done: http://pennyportrait.com/.