God I'm bored.....

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Re: God I'm bored.....

Postby crfriend » Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:58 pm

Ralph wrote:crfriend stole my heart by starting a numbered list with 0.

It's an affectation of programmers and computer types. Counting for us never starts with one: it always starts with zero. We also have oddball definitions of kilo, mega, giga, and tera as prefixes that are based on the powers of two. Such is a binary world. It would have been different had ternary logic been developed, but sadly if that had come to pass there would have been no way to politely describe one "digit". [2]

And it wasn't a "numbered list" it was a collection of footnotes. Note that footnote 4 isn't called out anywhere and it's also fun to mix the order up to confuse the reader as part of the fun.

There have been times when I've driven two distinctly different -- but related -- narratives in a work, one in the main body and the other entirely in the footnotes. Usually the humour is in the footnotes, the best of which are self-referential or loops. Perhaps if I can sanitise the thing so there's no sensitive information in it, I'll post the best one of the genre I ever did back in the late naughties which simultaneously was a serious documentary write-up of what I did to revive a failed computer in the wee hours one morning. This thing had the straight-laced write-up accompanied by a separate body of footnotes which included as much farce as possible and commentary about late-life relationships. "Management" [0] got the copy without the footnotes. My team got the copy with. The words that came back were mostly damning due to the clean-up requirements of more than a few mouthfuls of coffee being sprayed on monitors and keyboards. I do not believe that the Managers [4] ever read it.

[0] Or what passed for it where I used to toil.
[1] "Bit" is a contraction of "binary digit".
[2] Think about it for a "bit" [1, 3, 5].
[3] To give the game away, "ternary digit"?
[4] Dilbert-style capitalisation there. Yes, it was that bad.
[5] How wide is that field?
Retrocomputing -- It's not just a job, it's an adventure!
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Re: God I'm bored.....

Postby Jim » Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:12 am

crfriend wrote:[3] To give the game away, "ternary digit"?

Yes, I caught it. The popular name for a member of the Paridae family.
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Re: God I'm bored.....

Postby Sinned » Sat Sep 29, 2018 7:36 pm

If a binary digit is a bit then a ternary digit would be a tit, n'est-ce pas?

Like Carl, I used to always start lists with 0 but I seem to have got out of the habit lately. I suppose that that's a side-effect of being out of the computing sector for a while. It messes with people's heads when out of the loop. I'll have to make an effort to start again.
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