0221: "Random Number"

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Andrew
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Postby Andrew » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:29 pm UTC

Ronfar wrote:There was a Dilbert strip on this theme a long time ago.

Dilbert is touring the Marketing Department.

Marketing Guy: (Points to Guy in Chair) This is our Random Number Generator.

Guy in Chair: Six, six, six, six, six...

Dilbert: That doesn't seem very random.

Marketing Guy: How do you know it isn't?

Would you know where I can get a copy of this? It'd be useful for illustrating a point on my website.

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Postby Ronfar » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:34 pm UTC

- Doug

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Postby william » Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:52 pm UTC

I love the way you compared his emails to hitler's moustache.
SecondTalon wrote:A pile of shit can call itself a delicious pie, but that doesn't make it true.

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Postby JamesF1 » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:57 pm UTC

Dustbin wrote:
JamesF1 wrote:Let's take this a step further... to an A86 function:

Code: Select all

RandN:
  SUB AX,AX
  MOV AX,4
  RET


To be fair, there's no simple way to return the value in A86... could have pushed it to the stack... but that's not a lot of use, as we have to pop the IP (Instruction Pointer) back off the stack to continue program execution after the function... so that's largely redundant as we'd have to pop off the return value first...

If in doubt, use AX ;)


Seeing that brings back memories.
SUB register, register is the fastest way to zero in x86 which is kinda weird.
Also why did you zero the register before moving 4 into it, I don't remember that being one of the x86 "tricks".


Simply because if you'd used AX outside of the function, regardless of whether this is a near or far execution, AX would still have a value in it. As 4 will be represented as a value just in AH (due to byte swapping), you could end up with a residual value in AL.... zeroing AX beforehand ensures you don't end up with any stupid results from left-over register data.

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Postby EvanED » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:23 pm UTC

oliphaunt wrote:
Dustbin wrote:SUB register, register is the fastest way to zero in x86 which is kinda weird.

I thought that was XOR reg, reg...



P4 takes one cycle to subtract and one cycle to XOR if the instruction's scheduled on one of the fast ALUs. (Well, okay, a second cycle to set the flags.)

I don't know the Core architecture or previous to the P4, or other vendor's.

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Postby SpitValve » Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:59 pm UTC

cathrl wrote:Nope, not f77. That "end function random", and the use of lower case, makes it Fortran 90 at the very earliest. Fixed form source, but still Fortran 90.


Well, it's f77, but with a modern compiler which allows a bit of f90 leeway...

cathrl wrote:Having said that - good grief, another Fortran programmer! :shock: I am not alone :D


w00t! You doing physicsy stuff too?

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Postby kakos » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:06 pm UTC

beinsane wrote:
kakos wrote:

Code: Select all

++++.


Firstly, I had brainfuck code back on page 1, and secondly, that prints out a Ctrl-D, which is probably not what you want.

The code to print out '4' is:

Code: Select all

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++.


To return 4, it's

Code: Select all

++++
as I had before.


Ah, right. Thanks. My brainfuck-fu is weak.

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Postby kakos » Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:09 pm UTC

I'll add some lambda calculus to the mix.

Code: Select all

λf.λx. f (f (f (f x)))

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Andrew
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Postby Andrew » Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:55 pm UTC

Ronfar wrote:Dilbert's random number generator, courtesy of web.archive.org:
william wrote:I love the way you compared his emails to hitler's moustache.

I thank you both.

Edit: how on Earth did you find that?

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Postby warriorness » Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:15 am UTC

ohki wrote:
warriorness wrote:

Code: Select all

"chosen by fair dice roll.
"guaranteed to be random.
Disp(4


Disp( Reminds me of my Ti-83, but I don't know if there were comments. So probably not.


Putting a String on its own line with nothing else counts as a comment. Either that, or it prints the string... I don't remember

william wrote:
Torn Apart By Dingos wrote:The above one is TI-BASIC. :)

But only for calculators related to the TI-83 and -85. Not the -89 line which requires all parentheses be closed.


Leaving hanging parentheses, quotes, etc is the best and easiest way to save memory on your programs. I used to write games in TI-BASIC, and could save around a hundred bytes on the larger ones just by omitting the closing parentheses/quote.

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Postby EvanED » Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:46 am UTC

warriorness wrote:
ohki wrote:
warriorness wrote:

Code: Select all

"chosen by fair dice roll.
"guaranteed to be random.
Disp(4


Disp( Reminds me of my Ti-83, but I don't know if there were comments. So probably not.


Putting a String on its own line with nothing else counts as a comment. Either that, or it prints the string... I don't remember


The TI-85 doesn't interpret strings on their own, so you're almost certainly right.

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Postby Dustbin » Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:14 am UTC

JamesF1 wrote:
Dustbin wrote:
JamesF1 wrote:Let's take this a step further... to an A86 function:

Code: Select all

RandN:
  SUB AX,AX
  MOV AX,4
  RET


To be fair, there's no simple way to return the value in A86... could have pushed it to the stack... but that's not a lot of use, as we have to pop the IP (Instruction Pointer) back off the stack to continue program execution after the function... so that's largely redundant as we'd have to pop off the return value first...

If in doubt, use AX ;)


Seeing that brings back memories.
SUB register, register is the fastest way to zero in x86 which is kinda weird.
Also why did you zero the register before moving 4 into it, I don't remember that being one of the x86 "tricks".


Simply because if you'd used AX outside of the function, regardless of whether this is a near or far execution, AX would still have a value in it. As 4 will be represented as a value just in AH (due to byte swapping), you could end up with a residual value in AL.... zeroing AX beforehand ensures you don't end up with any stupid results from left-over register data.


doh knew there was a reason I couldn't remember

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Postby warriorness » Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:24 am UTC

EvanED wrote:
warriorness wrote:
ohki wrote:
warriorness wrote:

Code: Select all

"chosen by fair dice roll.
"guaranteed to be random.
Disp(4


Disp( Reminds me of my Ti-83, but I don't know if there were comments. So probably not.


Putting a String on its own line with nothing else counts as a comment. Either that, or it prints the string... I don't remember


The TI-85 doesn't interpret strings on their own, so you're almost certainly right.


But I use an 84 :\

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Postby phlip » Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:26 am UTC

liquidplasmaflow wrote:

Code: Select all

Function GetRandomNumber() as Integer
   Return 4
End Function

I haven't done VB in a while, but I think that's right 8)

Code: Select all

Function GetRandomNumber() as Integer
   GetRandomNumber = 4
End Function

It has been a while for me also, but some things stick in the mind.

A couple more:

Code: Select all

[SP][SP][SP][TB][SP][SP][LF][TB][LF][SP][TB][LF][LF][LF]

Code: Select all

to rand
  output 4 ; chosen by fair dice roll.
           ; guaranteed to be random.
end

I'm sure I know some more stupidly-pointless languages, but I can't think of any right now...
Last edited by phlip on Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

Code: Select all

enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
void ┻━┻︵​╰(ಠ_ಠ ⚠) {exit((int)⚠);}
[he/him/his]

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Postby bugmenot » Sun Feb 11, 2007 1:56 pm UTC

If someone wrote that in C or C++, I'd shoot them. Not for the randomness, but because they forgot the void in the function argument list! Original K&R C doesn't support // style comments, so they can't use that as an excuse.

This is valid, correct Java code, even if it lacks a public/private declaration. Since Java is the current favourite of my university for teaching any real programming to newbs, I find this level of Java code quite often.

Based on my previously mentioned biases, I conclude it is Java.

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Postby SiR » Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:45 pm UTC

Reverse Polish:

Code: Select all

4


I didn't forget Poland!

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Postby pyg » Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:56 pm UTC

on the TI-83

Code: Select all

:"Random Number Generator
:"Guaranteed to be random
:While 1
:randInt(1,6)
:Disp 4
:Pause
:End

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Postby EvanED » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:33 pm UTC

bugmenot wrote:If someone wrote that in C or C++, I'd shoot them. Not for the randomness, but because they forgot the void in the function argument list! Original K&R C doesn't support // style comments, so they can't use that as an excuse.


In C++ you don't have to and few do put void in the argument list. 'void foo();' is the same as 'void foo(void);', and the extra void just clutters things up.

For C you have a valid point.

This is valid, correct Java code, even if it lacks a public/private declaration. Since Java is the current favourite of my university for teaching any real programming to newbs, I find this level of Java code quite often.

Based on my previously mentioned biases, I conclude it is Java.


OTOH, claiming it is C or C++ has the benefit that it will compile on it's own, and you don't need to add any code around it.

7. ~: cat > delete.java
int getRandomNumber() {
return 4;
}
8. ~: javac delete.java
delete.java:1: 'class' or 'interface' expected
int getRandomNumber() {
^
1 error


But
9. ~: cp delete.java delete.cc
10. ~: g++ -W -Wall -c delete.cc
11. ~:

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Postby EvanED » Sun Feb 11, 2007 8:42 pm UTC

BTW, arguing over what the language the code is is really stupid. The code is C++, the code is C, the code is Java (if you allow that to be an excerpt instead of an entire file), etc.

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Postby imyourfoot » Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:03 pm UTC

warriorness wrote:
EvanED wrote:
warriorness wrote:
ohki wrote:
warriorness wrote:

Code: Select all

"chosen by fair dice roll.
"guaranteed to be random.
Disp(4


Disp( Reminds me of my Ti-83, but I don't know if there were comments. So probably not.


Putting a String on its own line with nothing else counts as a comment. Either that, or it prints the string... I don't remember


The TI-85 doesn't interpret strings on their own, so you're almost certainly right.


But I use an 84 :\


I've never used an 84, but it's my understanding that aside from a few extra functions/features on the 84 it's the same as an 83. On an 83 isolated strings don't do anything, so they basically function as comments (Note that the string still has to be interpreted, so it'll slow your program down if that's a concern). The exception to that is if the string is the last non-empty line executed by the program, in which case it will display the string in lieu of "Done". The same trick also works with numbers/variables/expressions, which can save a couple bytes if you need your program to output a result at the end.

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Postby ringobob » Mon Feb 12, 2007 6:27 am UTC

Drostie wrote:This comic is, most specifically, poking fun at programmers who believe that a "Random number" is an unpredictable number uniformly distributed between 0 and 1. Those are three criteria; and Mr. Munroe's function is a perfectly valid random number which breaks all three of those criteria at once.
It's not that programmers believe that a random number is "an unpredictable number uniformly distributed between 0 and 1", but rather that they want a number that meets those criteria, and the quickest lingual shortcut is to call it random, even though it might not be entirely correct. Though, to be fair, many probably do wind up equating the word with those criteria.

All that said, this comic gave me a chuckle when I realized that I was doing that myself when I saw the word random.

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Postby shobadobs » Mon Feb 12, 2007 7:09 am UTC

beinsane wrote:The code to print out '4' is:

Code: Select all

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++.



Oh, but

Code: Select all

+++++++[>+++++++<-]>+++.


prints out a more scrumptuous version of '4'!

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Postby Pathway » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:55 am UTC

Belial wrote:Discuss random number generators that, perhaps, are less random than one might expect, to great comedic effect.


I think the entire point is that the number was random--the randomness just occurred at an unusual time.

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Postby Toeofdoom » Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:59 am UTC

random numbers + a certain tv series = 47

1xintersphere timtam if you name the series.
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Postby buge » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:23 am UTC


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Postby quaverknave » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:27 pm UTC

SiR wrote:I didn't forget Poland!


and that's how I know I read too many webcomics

Code: Select all

to getrandomnumber
 crt 43
 ask turtles [pd fd 14 pu fd 23]
 ca
 print 4
end


someone already got scheme. mah. there goes my humor and/or credibility.

yay for java based languages

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Postby Arturion » Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:57 pm UTC

Code: Select all

/random { 4 } def


Anyone know this? Hint: Technically it's a scripting language, not a programming language.

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Postby william » Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:28 am UTC

Toeofdoom wrote:random numbers + a certain tv series = 47

1xintersphere timtam if you name the series.

Star Trek?
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Postby muteKi » Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:54 am UTC

imyourfoot wrote:
warriorness wrote:
EvanED wrote:
warriorness wrote:
ohki wrote:
warriorness wrote:

Code: Select all

"chosen by fair dice roll.
"guaranteed to be random.
Disp(4


Disp( Reminds me of my Ti-83, but I don't know if there were comments. So probably not.


Putting a String on its own line with nothing else counts as a comment. Either that, or it prints the string... I don't remember


The TI-85 doesn't interpret strings on their own, so you're almost certainly right.


But I use an 84 :\


I've never used an 84, but it's my understanding that aside from a few extra functions/features on the 84 it's the same as an 83. On an 83 isolated strings don't do anything, so they basically function as comments (Note that the string still has to be interpreted, so it'll slow your program down if that's a concern). The exception to that is if the string is the last non-empty line executed by the program, in which case it will display the string in lieu of "Done". The same trick also works with numbers/variables/expressions, which can save a couple bytes if you need your program to output a result at the end.


To all intents and purposes:

TI-83 = TI-84 = Silver Editions = Plus, etc. etc. = Sega Master System
It's a Zilog Z80 as the main chip in each of these, so they all use the same programming. Basically they just ported the BASIC compiler from one platform to the next because the ASM is the same.

TI-89 = TI-92 = Titanium Edition = Voyage 200 = Sega Genesis
This is a Motorola 68000 chip.

The only difference between the calculator models in each group is the amount of memory or the processor's speed (because the 83 and 84, etc. have processors with different clock speeds, though they're all z80).

If you wanted to make your own Genesis, you could start with a TI-89 model, but you'd probably need a bunch of other chips and a few other input sources, power supply, etc. (*Considers modding his calculator to eventually become the equivalent of a Nomad or 32X or something*)
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Postby EvanED » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:17 am UTC

muteKi wrote:To all intents and purposes:

TI-83 = TI-84 = Silver Editions = Plus, etc. etc. = Sega Master System
It's a Zilog Z80 as the main chip in each of these, so they all use the same programming. Basically they just ported the BASIC compiler from one platform to the next because the ASM is the same.

TI-89 = TI-92 = Titanium Edition = Voyage 200 = Sega Genesis
This is a Motorola 68000 chip.

The only difference between the calculator models in each group is the amount of memory or the processor's speed (because the 83 and 84, etc. have processors with different clock speeds, though they're all z80).

If you wanted to make your own Genesis, you could start with a TI-89 model, but you'd probably need a bunch of other chips and a few other input sources, power supply, etc. (*Considers modding his calculator to eventually become the equivalent of a Nomad or 32X or something*)


Same with the 85 and 86, though these sport a somewhat redesigned interface, and somewhat different maths stuff. And the 86 has a rather better screen, and like 4 times as much memory.

(I was sore for years that when my parents offered to get me any calculator for up to $100 when I was in 8th grade, I chose the $99.99 TI-85 instead of putting 20 bucks of my own in for the 86. :-p)

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Postby Toeofdoom » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:49 am UTC

william wrote:
Toeofdoom wrote:random numbers + a certain tv series = 47

1xintersphere timtam if you name the series.

Star Trek?


+1 interspehere timtam for you. I can get a pic if you want... not very useful though :p
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Postby buge » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:09 pm UTC

Arturion wrote:

Code: Select all

/random { 4 } def


Anyone know this? Hint: Technically it's a scripting language, not a programming language.


postscript?

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Postby Arturion » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:26 pm UTC

buge wrote:
Arturion wrote:

Code: Select all

/random { 4 } def


Anyone know this? Hint: Technically it's a scripting language, not a programming language.


postscript?


Got it! (You get a cookie!)

On my internship with a university computing science professor last summer, I ended up learning postscript and writing a graphing "program" in the last two days. It actually turned out quite well, he was happy with it.

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Postby kakos » Tue Feb 13, 2007 4:05 pm UTC

bugmenot wrote:If someone wrote that in C or C++, I'd shoot them. Not for the randomness, but because they forgot the void in the function argument list! Original K&R C doesn't support // style comments, so they can't use that as an excuse.


If someone wrote that in C or C++, I'd shoot them for writing it in C or C++. ;)

PS: I'd also shoot them if they wrote it in Java. Java is, by far, the worst of those three. *spit*

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Postby damaless » Tue Feb 13, 2007 5:07 pm UTC

Let 3 be an arbitrary natural number.

3 is prime.

Since our choice of 3 was arbitrary, all natural numbers are prime.

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Postby william » Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:59 pm UTC

3 is prime, 5 is prime, 7 is prime, by induction, all odd numbers greater than two are prime.

Can't remember the rest though.
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Postby kakos » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:19 pm UTC

And the great logicians of yore cry out in precisely 350 GW of posthumous agony as you completely butcher logic.

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Postby william » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:21 pm UTC

Yeah, I know. I didn't make the joke though.

I remember the CS version of it is 3 is prime, 3 is prime, 3 is prime, 3 is prime...
SecondTalon wrote:A pile of shit can call itself a delicious pie, but that doesn't make it true.

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Postby aldimond » Tue Feb 13, 2007 10:33 pm UTC

kakos wrote:
bugmenot wrote:If someone wrote that in C or C++, I'd shoot them. Not for the randomness, but because they forgot the void in the function argument list! Original K&R C doesn't support // style comments, so they can't use that as an excuse.


If someone wrote that in C or C++, I'd shoot them for writing it in C or C++. ;)

PS: I'd also shoot them if they wrote it in Java. Java is, by far, the worst of those three. *spit*


What language would you prefer? /C(\+\+)?/ seems pretty reasonable to me!
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kakos
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Postby kakos » Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:19 pm UTC

aldimond wrote:
kakos wrote:
bugmenot wrote:If someone wrote that in C or C++, I'd shoot them. Not for the randomness, but because they forgot the void in the function argument list! Original K&R C doesn't support // style comments, so they can't use that as an excuse.


If someone wrote that in C or C++, I'd shoot them for writing it in C or C++. ;)

PS: I'd also shoot them if they wrote it in Java. Java is, by far, the worst of those three. *spit*


What language would you prefer? /C(\+\+)?/ seems pretty reasonable to me!


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