Archive for October, 2009

Extreme Geekiness, Squared

October 25, 2009 1 comment

From this delicious Stack Overflow thread.

Top 10 things likely to be overheard from a Klingon Programmer

1. Specifications are for the weak and timid!
2. You question the worthiness of my code? I should kill you where you stand!
3. Indentation? I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!
4. What is this talk of release? Klingons do not release software. Our software escapes leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance people in its wake.
5. Klingon function calls do not have parameters – they have arguments – and they ALWAYS WIN THEM.
6. Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak.
7. A True Klingon Warrior does not comment on his code!
8. Klingon software does not have BUGS. It has FEATURES, and those features are too sophisticated for a Romulan pig like you to understand.
9. You cannot truly appreciate Dilbert unless you’ve read it in the original Klingon.
10. Our users will know fear and cower before our software! Ship it! Ship it and let them flee like the dogs they are!


The PSAT: an Objective Assessment

October 24, 2009 1 comment

This is a biased student’s unbiased assessment of the fun and frenzy that the PSAT brings to the world.

The PSAT had the usual categories that you find on a standardized test: math, reading comprehension, critical reading. The math was pretty simple stuff: basic geometry, basic statistics (median, mode, etc), basic math rules (absolute value, integers vs. rationals, etc). It’s actually been a while since I did any of that stuff, but I managed to remember it all. After I finished, I tried to find a generalized form for approximating the nth root of a number.

The most fun part, though, was the part where we had to read a story or an essay and then answer questions about it. The questions themselves weren’t so interesting; but some of the little writings were actually very fascinating. There was one section with two short essays about grammar sticklers, which I found to be pretty hilarious. And there was one where somebody was bad-mouthing Wikipedia. I wrote notes all over the test booklet, deconstructing the essay. The essay cited a study that Wikipedia has four errors for every three that Encyclopedia Britannica has. And the essayist’s response was something along the lines of “no reference work is infallible.” While true, he or she is completely disregarding the fact that this study demonstrates just how accurate Wikipedia really is. Wikipedia is moderated; 99% of websites are not moderated. While there are many sources that are more reliable than Wikipedia, there are very few that achieve the same balance of reliability and accessibility. I could write about the benefits of Wikipedia for hours.

I certainly hope that the SAT is as amusing as the PSAT was for me.

Categories: Language, Math

Google's Secret

October 19, 2009 1 comment

Categories: Computer Science, Humor

Turing Machine Interpreter

October 19, 2009 Leave a comment

I have written a C program that interprets a Turing Machine. It comes with a few sample programs, and the source code is available. You should check it out and see what you can come up with.

A Turing Machine is equivalent to every computer ever. If a Turing Machine can do it, any computing device can do it. But the problem is, Turing Machines are really simple, making them really hard to use. The best program I could write was one that added up two 2-bit numbers and then halted. I didn’t spend all that long on it, so I’m sure you could come up with something better. But download the file and see what you can do. A short tutorial is included inside.

The PSAT: an Objective Assessment (preview)

October 17, 2009 1 comment

This morning, I spent four hours taking the PSAT. Without a doubt, it is the best standardized exam that I have ever taken.

As much as I would love to, I am not allowed to talk about the PSAT for one week after taking it. So return in one week to hear my fascinating insights!

Update: It is now available!

Categories: Language, Math

Typing Program Release

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment

I have made some improvements to the typing program to make it more user-friendly. You can get it at