0612: "Estimation"

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0612: "Estimation"

Postby rho421 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:00 am UTC

Image

Link: http://xkcd.com/612/

Alt-Text:They could say "the connection is probably lost," but it's more fun to do naive time-averaging give you hope that if you wait around for 1,163 hours, it will finally finish.

Haha, I really like this one.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby vodka.cobra » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:01 am UTC

Sweet! The return of excellent XKCD comics!
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby AWA » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:03 am UTC

Gah, lost by a few seconds.

Anyway.

I generally experience this with torrents, but not much else.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby fenrir_darkwolf » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:03 am UTC

Just got an external hard drive and am putting up with a lot of this right now... Yet again good job on reading my mind Randall.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Cup of Dirt » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:05 am UTC

vodka.cobra wrote:Sweet! The return of excellent XKCD comics!


Yeah, that was a rough weekend.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby illxkcdthat » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:05 am UTC

hahahahaha
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I should patent that.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:06 am UTC

I like to call them Microsoft Minutes. As in, one Microsoft Minute = somewhere between 35 - no, 40! - seconds and 17 hours. Or 28 minutes. I was just explaining that to my mum
the other day...
Mr Munroe, please remove yourself from within my cranium.
Cup of Dirt wrote:
vodka.cobra wrote:Sweet! The return of excellent XKCD comics!


Yeah, that was a rough weekend.
Well played; I approve.
Last edited by Eternal Density on Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:07 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby vodka.cobra » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:06 am UTC

Cup of Dirt wrote:
vodka.cobra wrote:Sweet! The return of excellent XKCD comics!


Yeah, that was a rough weekend.

I was more referring to the dry spell of humor filled with failed jokes and awkward dialogue. The last few have been good, with the latest one excellent, so I can only hope the trend continues.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby SummerGlauFan » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:07 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:I like to call them Microsoft Minutes. As in, one Microsoft Minute = somewhere between 35 - no, 40! - seconds and 17 hours. Or 28 minutes. I was just explaining that to my mum
the other day...
Mr Munroe, please remove yourself from within my cranium.


I sometimes compare them to "football minutes."

Yeah, combining geekiness with sports. I am... unique like that.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:08 am UTC

vodka.cobra wrote:
Cup of Dirt wrote:
vodka.cobra wrote:Sweet! The return of excellent XKCD comics!


Yeah, that was a rough weekend.

I was more referring to the dry spell of humor...
Whoosh!
SummerGlauFan wrote:I sometimes compare them to "football minutes."
Yeah, combining geekiness with sports. I am... unique like that.
Sport? What is this 'sport' you speak of?
Last edited by Eternal Density on Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:08 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Vohu Manah » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:08 am UTC

They must have a monkey randomly selecting times from a chart.

I prefer having the progress bar take 30 seconds to get to 98% completion, and then having it take 30 minutes for the remaining 2 percent.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby SummerGlauFan » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:10 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:
SummerGlauFan wrote:I sometimes compare them to "football minutes."
Yeah, combining geekiness with sports. I am... unique like that.
Sport? What is this 'sport' you speak of?


Well, I know paintball is a sport.
glasnt wrote:"As she raised her rifle against the creature, her hair fluttered beneath the red florescent lighting of the locked down building.

I knew from that moment that she was something special"


Outbreak, a tale of love and zombies.

In stores now.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby TunezNZ » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:11 am UTC

I seriously am rolling on the floor laughing my head off.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:14 am UTC

Man, I was recently backing stuff up onto my external hard drive in preparation for getting a new computer... This comic is totally true. Hilarious!

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:16 am UTC

Win. Serious win.

Maybe some day they'll learn to use a running average of the speed for estimation, instead of only the current speed. Maybe.
Vohu Manah wrote:They must have a monkey randomly selecting times from a chart.

I prefer having the progress bar take 30 seconds to get to 98% completion, and then having it take 30 minutes for the remaining 2 percent.
The Wii with its system updates is the only case I've ever seen of the reverse. It sits at like 5% for 20 minutes, then fills up in two seconds and finishes.

Also, er, how many of us bought external hard drives over the weekend? I think I'm the third in this thread. O.o (Although in my case all the progress dialogs were quite accurate. :D)
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby popprocks » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:24 am UTC

Oh my pork, this comic is actually good.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby spultra » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:25 am UTC

Is it just me or is there a typo in the alt-text? Read it carefully...

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby rocketrat » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:35 am UTC

spultra wrote:Is it just me or is there a typo in the alt-text? Read it carefully...

This one? "naive time-averaging give you hope"
Should be something like "naive time-averaging to give you hope", I think.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby TheHomoSapiens » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:37 am UTC

Hahahaha....xkcd has the best computer jokes. Mine doesn't take long to do that anymore, my computer is newer- still, the timing is always off on estimations for anything.
also, alt-text is missing a couple words....isn't it? The guy above me said so.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby spultra » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:40 am UTC

If you wanna get picky about it, the comma should come before the quote, but that stuff is more personal preference...

However, the sentence is indeed missing a "to". Someone must have been rushed!

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby PTP2009 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:41 am UTC

As much as I'd love to bash Windows, it's not just them...

Image

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby araveugnitsuga » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:45 am UTC

Windows is better than xilosoft, half an hour to 99% and 5^10 Hours to100%

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Generic_Guy » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:48 am UTC

Yay! XKCD is funny (sillier) again! Now I have a reason to stop browsing TVTropes!
Oh, wait, did I say that I wasn't addicted to that? I lied.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Strilanc » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:49 am UTC

This is a big problem everywhere. I've never seen a program give good time estimates.

The worst part is they give no indication of the uncertainty. Sometimes the times are given down to the second when there are still hours left! A more proper estimate would be a range, like "between 2 and 5 hours". The estimates should become more accurate over time, too.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Storm » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:51 am UTC

I fail at reading - I found it hilarious after grasping the concept of 'windows copy file dialogue' being a single entity.

Gotta love torrents that have 366 days to complete on transmissions. I felt I aged fast when I next looked it had finished.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Sudo-Fu » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:54 am UTC

two words: Tera Copy. (http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php) Replaces the window file copy shell if you want it to, and otherwise gives you a context menu option for moving things with various buffer and overwrite options. And it beats the crap out of the Windows copier. I wish there was something similar for Mac.
Wait..... what??

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Cecil » Mon Jul 20, 2009 4:58 am UTC

Sudo-Fu wrote:two words: Tera Copy. (http://www.codesector.com/teracopy.php) Replaces the window file copy shell if you want it to, and otherwise gives you a context menu option for moving things with various buffer and overwrite options. And it beats the crap out of the Windows copier. I wish there was something similar for Mac.


I actually logged in just to say this. I love teracopy. It gives you a real progress bar with current speed, a realistic completion estimate, FTP-client-like options for filename conflicts (overwrite if newer, resume, skip, etc).

It even lets you adjust the buffer size to speed up the copy (small buffers are good across drives because it keeps them both working, but large buffers are good for intra-drive copying because you aren't constantly repositioning the head).
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Nintendon't » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:15 am UTC

The title text make my brain hurt :(

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby 10nitro » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:17 am UTC

Eternal Density wrote:
SummerGlauFan wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:I like to call them Microsoft Minutes. As in, one Microsoft Minute = somewhere between 35 - no, 40! - seconds and 17 hours. Or 28 minutes. I was just explaining that to my mum
the other day...
I sometimes compare them to "football minutes."
Yeah, combining geekiness with sports. I am... unique like that.
Sport? What is this 'sport' you speak of?

I know what a sport is! It's a hemisphere found on the female pectoral for purposes of feeding offspring. I read that in a book! Wait, no, that's a boob...

'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:Also, er, how many of us bought external hard drives over the weekend? I think I'm the third in this thread. O.o (Although in my case all the progress dialogs were quite accurate. :D)

You're running a *nix system aren't you?

spultra wrote:
rocketrat wrote:
spultra wrote:Is it just me or is there a typo in the alt-text? Read it carefully...

This one? "naive time-averaging give you hope"
Should be something like "naive time-averaging to give you hope", I think.

If you wanna get picky about it, the comma should come before the quote, but that stuff is more personal preference...

Your English teacher will scold you for putting it outside, however, hackers often defy this. They are generally intelligent and know the rules, but find that one in particular to be dumb. See Jargon File: writing-style tune in at the second paragraph

Strilanc wrote:This is a big problem everywhere. I've never seen a program give good time estimates.

The worst part is they give no indication of the uncertainty. Sometimes the times are given down to the second when there are still hours left! A more proper estimate would be a range, like "between 2 and 5 hours". The estimates should become more accurate over time, too.

I've seen good results from wget, and good results from the Ubuntu Desktop (with the exception of transmission). The first few times I used them, I was super surprised at how accurate they were.

[edit]Wow, in a post about grammar, needing the simple fix of s/You're/Your/ is quite embarrassing.[/edit]
Last edited by 10nitro on Mon May 03, 2010 1:18 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby pyroman » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:29 am UTC

My friends and I have been convinced for quite sometime that Microsoft discovered a method for creating truly random numbers but instead of using it for anything useful they decided it would be funny to use it solely for the progress bar time.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby rocketrat » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:32 am UTC

10nitro wrote:
spultra wrote:
rocketrat wrote:
spultra wrote:Is it just me or is there a typo in the alt-text? Read it carefully...

This one? "naive time-averaging give you hope"
Should be something like "naive time-averaging to give you hope", I think.

If you wanna get picky about it, the comma should come before the quote, but that stuff is more personal preference...

You're English teacher will scold you for putting it outside, however, hackers often defy this. They are generally intelligent and know the rules, but find that one in particular to be dumb. See Jargon File: writing-style tune in at the second paragraph


That is because I am an intelligent hacker who knows the rules but ignores this one.

Honestly not because I forgot about that rule at all.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Chalk » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:45 am UTC

This is one of the best ones in a while. Well done, and thanks for the lollories.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby 10nitro » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:54 am UTC

rocketrat wrote:
10nitro wrote:
spultra wrote:
rocketrat wrote:
spultra wrote:Is it just me or is there a typo in the alt-text? Read it carefully...

This one? "naive time-averaging give you hope"
Should be something like "naive time-averaging to give you hope", I think.

If you wanna get picky about it, the comma should come before the quote, but that stuff is more personal preference...

You're English teacher will scold you for putting it outside, however, hackers often defy this. They are generally intelligent and know the rules, but find that one in particular to be dumb. See Jargon File: writing-style tune in at the second paragraph


That is because I am an intelligent hacker who knows the rules but ignores this one.

Honestly not because I forgot about that rule at all.

Well, hacker-isms are pretty common on this forum...
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby war3_master » Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:56 am UTC

I concocted the name winet as the standard windows unit of time. Also winets are represented in a numbering system too complex for the average human to comprehend. Another theory, put forth by a previous CS teacher, is that Windows can time travel.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:04 am UTC

I've often wondered why they don't just have it default to "unknown" when the estimated time is huge or varying wildly from one cycle to the next. You'd have to establish what exactly defines "huge" (perhaps compared to the amount of work being done - 10MB shouldn't take hours to copy, but 10GB might), but that's a minor issue (and could be in a config somewhere).
10nitro wrote:
'; DROP DATABASE;-- wrote:Also, er, how many of us bought external hard drives over the weekend? I think I'm the third in this thread. O.o (Although in my case all the progress dialogs were quite accurate. :D)

You're running a *nix system aren't you?
Yup.

Also I'm another who is highly against putting the punctuation inside the quotes. It makes no sense! There was no punctuation there in the original quote! D:
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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Xeio » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:05 am UTC

Actually, the worst part about bad estimates is when they do a "read this directory, estimate, copy, recurse, re-estimate..." all while doing the copying, so your progress actually goes down as time goes along. I had a program drop from 95% complete to 2% complete because of this once.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby thebeaky » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:38 am UTC

One of the best laughs I have had in a while.

I have to say I agree about the longer or even running average.

One of my geeky habits is on a long bus ride to start a stopwatch when I first see a distance to target mark, and spend the rest of the trip calculating an estimated arival time based on the average so far. its normally fairly accurate after not long. and gets more accurate over time.

( for clarity this is through laos where the roads are not the best quality ever, and very windy, the busses can sometimes really struggle).

I would like the thing to have estimates based on the last second, 5 seconds, minute, and complete time so far for comparisin but thats just me.

maybe even another with some function of the above.

I dont normally find it so bad with copying files except through the tubes.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby PoliteProgrammer » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:46 am UTC

It's not often I post on comic threads, but this comic really made me laugh, especially since the humour has been kind of lacking for me in the last couple.

Congrats, Randall!

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby Chalk » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:53 am UTC

As a corollary, i'd like to say that "corollary" is a terrific word that we should all use more. Corollary.

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Re: "Estimation" Discussion

Postby 6453893 » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:55 am UTC

Whoops, doublish post kind of.
Last edited by 6453893 on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:16 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.


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