Saturday, February 23, 2008

Once in a blue moon

This stems from an passing remark one of my profs (I guess he has to be David Eckhardt) made during his lecture:
"Every once in a while occurs a million times in the processor!"

programmer B: Aahh... forget about that case, I wouldn't worry about it. It won't happen.
programmer A: What? Never? Are you sure? Really Never?
programmer B: Hmm... Well, what I meant was, it would happen only very very rarely. Once in a blue moon, you know. With negligibly low probability.
programmer A: How low, 1 in million, billion, trillion? (lets use billion for simplicity)
programmer B: Hmm... 1 in a billion, that is 1 followed by 9 zeroes, 1/10^9 == 0.000000001 ~~beaming with bright eyes~~~ Yes, I guess so. You see, it's really unlikely to happen. It'll be right 99.999999999% of the times!
programmer A: My dear friend, at blazing CPU speeds of 1 GHz, 1*10^9 => 1*10^9 == 1 billion intructions/actions happening every freaking second, your '1 in a billion' would occur once every second, 60 times every minute 3600 times every hour! And I'm not even taking about 24x7 servers!
programmer B: Darn! Holy s_!t

Just to illustrates why the job of a system programmer is so tough. He has to be right EVERY single time! 99.9999999999999... is next to useless! His program has to run correct a 100% of the times, PERIOD!

On a similar note...
A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history - with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila.
-Mitch Radcliffe

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Atul meets Ash!

Aahh... It's been VERY long I posted something...
I bet your a$$ you clicked on the link only because you thought I met Bollywood's Aishwarya Rai! See... there are many ways to lure people into visiting your blog :-P
I've NOT been able to post a lot of new things that I'm learning here at CMU, only because of the amount of time and rigor it takes to write a good post. I don't have time even to itch :D Already have a backlog of so many posts :(

Why this post then? That's because my brain's completely saturated right now and can't get a bit out of it... anyone taking 15-410 and working on P2 can understand what exactly do I mean!
Ok, so amidst this frenzied activities, my really really old hostel buddy Ashwin (aka Ash) came to Pitt.

Ash, blissfully happy, reading his GF's email on his blackberry!

Not a great timing, but we had an opportunity to re-unite maybe after a decade!!! Thanks to Ash that he reminded me a zillion times that he's coming down to Pitt, and we better meet. I promised him we'll meet, didn't know how will I make it. And he was here only over the weekend with plans to fly back on Monday. I won't mortify you guys with _how_ I managed it (Atul, thank you soooo much for saving us the pain to read that ;-) ) so here's the reunion photo:

Ash and Atul in SCS atrium (yes, I'm aiming at Jackie Chan's Drunken Master-2 hair style!)

It was after weeks that I was sitting chatting with a buddy wearing a completely relaxed demeanor! I bet others around must have doubted that I quit 15-410!
Sorry Ash that I we couldn't have excellent Indian lunch that you promised to treat me with :( It's always so exciting to connect with old-timers! (read every one of those links, if you have time!)
Thanks a lot for being persistent and patient, Ash :-)

Bonus photo: Cool dude waiting for the shuttle!

Equipment: Sony W700i
Photo Credits: Self

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Charlie Chaplin Speaks

Whoever thought the great Chaplin was demigod of just silent-films... Listen to this clip, and you might change your mind: He speaks well, maybe better than most contemprary actors! Before you rebuff it, remember there weren't any teleprompters in those days! He must have worked really hard for this shot.

Listen to every word of his: it's filled with bitter truth! And if you haven't had your morning black coffee yet, bet this' gonna substitute for your morning bitterness!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fear of my first date!

Just what I fear would happen on my first date...

via: A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language: xkcd!