Page 1 of 4

### 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:01 am UTC

Alt-text: "FYI: If you get curious and start trying to calculate the time adjustment function that minimizes the gap between the most-used and least-used digit (for a representative sample of common cook times) without without altering any time by more than 10%, and someone asks you what you're doing, it's easier to just lie."

Who the hell actually enters 1:30?

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:03 am UTC
Nine is the loneliest number that you'll ever zap?

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:04 am UTC
"without without"?

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:06 am UTC
I strictly use palindromes when setting microwave times. It cooks everything more evenly.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:07 am UTC
6, 7, and 8 are fairly neglected too. You are not forgotten, 6, 7, and 8.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:09 am UTC
I like entering "99" when I want about a minute and a half. Probably doesn't work on all microwaves, but it's a bit faster to type. "888" sort of works as a very rough approximation for 10 minutes (good for reheating pizza on a convection setting). I admit I won't use "666".

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:15 am UTC
davidhbrown wrote:I like entering "99" when I want about a minute and a half. Probably doesn't work on all microwaves, but it's a bit faster to type. "888" sort of works as a very rough approximation for 10 minutes (good for reheating pizza on a convection setting). I admit I won't use "666".

I use 99 all the time, or sometimes 90.

888 seconds is 14 minutes, 48 seconds. I guess you meant 15 minutes, not 10.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:16 am UTC
Richard Feynman said, "Scientists are explorers. Philosophers are tourists." Since I am forever barred from a deeper understanding of the hard sciences by an innate inability to get my head around higher math - I'm over 60, and I've tried repeatedly - I just don't get it - I am condemned to be forever a tourist. But I'm an avid tourist, and always come back for as much as I can possibly pick up by osmosis. Randall, when you start talking math concepts - even simple stuff like today's alt text - I just go to my happy place (somewhere in Oberösterreich) and enjoy your strips at whatever level I can. I love what you do, even if I'm only peeking at your world through the keyhole.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:28 am UTC
Eebster the Great wrote:888 seconds is 14 minutes, 48 seconds.

True, but pressing the 8 key three times on my microwave gets me 8 minutes, 88 seconds. Each digit press is always the seconds place, moving those already entered to the left in H:MM:SS (not sure if it actually has an hour digit; it might, given that it doubles as a convection oven).

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:29 am UTC
I've used :90 ever since I realized it was quicker than typing 1:30. I'm also intrigued by the fact that, on my microwave anyway, you can type illogical values like "1:90" and it just counts down from there (passing values like 1:64) to 1:59 and just keeps going like nothing ever happened. Here's to you, microwave. You're a champ.

Anyway, apparently I'm easily amused.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:43 am UTC
davidhbrown wrote:I like entering "99" when I want about a minute and a half. Probably doesn't work on all microwaves, but it's a bit faster to type. "888" sort of works as a very rough approximation for 10 minutes (good for reheating pizza on a convection setting). I admit I won't use "666".
This. I have to say that the most neglected number on my microwave is zero, just because I always use intentionally weird values for the hell of it.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:55 am UTC
Now what can be put in the microwave to justify 99 minutes and 99 seconds, I wonder...?

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:10 am UTC
My microwave has a button for 10 minutes, 1 minute, 10 seconds, and 1 second (and only these, I can't just type in a number as in the comic). I can push the 10 second button up to 9 times before it just loops around to 0 again, so I'll frequently do things like 1 minute and 90 seconds for 2 minutes 30, but that poor 1 second button must be incredably underused now that I think about it.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:22 am UTC
My mom uses repdigits (1:11, 2:22, 3:33, 11:11, etc.) for microwave times all the time, and I think it's weird. So I'll use times like 4:22, 6:33, 11:55, etc. because I find myself copying my mom's weirdness against my will, and I might as well put a spin on it.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:25 am UTC
Dopefish wrote:but that poor 1 second button must be incredably underused now that I think about it.

Not surprising. How many things go from under- to overcooked in less than ten seconds?

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:30 am UTC
Besides, 2:00 is an odd time--you have to find the 0 after hitting 2. going 1:59 has the numbers all in a row.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:37 am UTC
Back in the yonder days of mine childhood, we wore out the buttons on our microwave.

First the zero.

Then the 1.

Then the 9, if I recall correctly.

Then the 2.

Followed shortly by the 5, 6, and 8.

It got to the point where we were having trouble zapping anything with a time even remotely resembling the intended value.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:50 am UTC
I like to make the numbers add up to ten.
Instead of one minute ... 55 seconds, or 64.
One and a half minutes could be ... 1:27, 1:36, or :91

About ten years ago, I was a bored photo lab tech fiddling with the 'Levels' tool in Photoshop, that's when the sum-to-ten thing came from.
I rationalized the method with the absurd notion that it was vaguely base 9.
10, 19, 28, 37, etc ... 91,100, 109, and so on ... exceptions for if it ends in a zero, or is less than |9|, though at that level I would only increment by one anyway, or snap it to zero.
An approximate method for approximate numbers.

I still casually use this quasi-method for fussing with approximate numbers.
Or when microwaving ... just repeatedly punch in the same number until the "correct" value is approximated.
... ... The "Quick Minute" button works too. 1:00

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:51 am UTC
Viking67 wrote:I've used :90 ever since I realized it was quicker than typing 1:30. I'm also intrigued by the fact that, on my microwave anyway, you can type illogical values like "1:90" and it just counts down from there (passing values like 1:64) to 1:59 and just keeps going like nothing ever happened. Here's to you, microwave. You're a champ.

Anyway, apparently I'm easily amused.

I always enter something like 1:87. The fact that the microwave cheerfully counts down from such a value without questioning or complaining is one of the ways it fails the Turing test.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:54 am UTC
Just one spin of the dial for me regardless of duration, analog for the win!

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:15 am UTC
I've found that (in my particular microwave) 99 seconds a good length of time to heat a mug of water.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:40 am UTC
Almost as neglected as the pizza preset button (power setting: vulcanize).

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:46 am UTC
asdfzxc wrote:Alt-text: "FYI: If you get curious and start trying to calculate the time adjustment function that minimizes the gap between the most-used and least-used digit (for a representative sample of common cook times) without without altering any time by more than 10%, and someone asks you what you're doing, it's easier to just lie."

I'm surprised that no one commented on the typo?

EDIT: okay, FormicaArchonis did in a two word post I read past.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:50 am UTC
RJFerret wrote:Just one spin of the dial for me regardless of duration, analog for the win!

Yes, and I'm amazed everyone in here has buttons. I can't remember when I last saw a microwave with buttons. Even the modern high-tech microwave at my parents' has a dial (with a digital display showing the time).

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:28 am UTC
I do this all the time with 7 8 and 9. I am so glad I'm not the only one. 87 seconds for pizzas....

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Mine has a knob on it, rotating it moves the time up on increments of five

So SUCK IT, final digits not 0 or 5!

Besides, I don't use the knob, I just use the handy "30-sec:Full power" button and press twice for 1 minute.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:12 am UTC
hthall wrote:I always enter something like 1:87. The fact that the microwave cheerfully counts down from such a value without questioning or complaining is one of the ways it fails the Turing test.

I'd be too worried that unexpected (and likely untested) input like that might cause the microwave to go into killer mode.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therac-25

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:22 am UTC
my microwave has an analogue dial for time...

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:36 am UTC
Mine's a touchpad with digits, a "one minute" button that allows multiple presses, and half a dozen presets that I never use because they don't seem to correspond to anything in the real world. Because entering a time with digits requires that I first push the "Time Cook" button, my preferred times are:

Cook-4-4 and Cook-5-5: one egg. The shorter time is for scrambled. Also for every increment after the first when nuking pasta (have to keep opening the oven and stirring to keep it from burning or boiling over).

Minute.

Cook-8-8 and Cook-9-9: anything already cooked that needs a little more than a minute.

Minute-Minute: most microwaveable pre-packaged breakfast and lunch items.

Cook-2-2-2: First increment when nuking pasta. Also pre-packaged stuff that starts off well-frozen.

Cook-3-3-3: boil a cup of water for oatmeal or other hot cereal.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:37 am UTC
Dingbats wrote:
RJFerret wrote:Just one spin of the dial for me regardless of duration, analog for the win!

Yes, and I'm amazed everyone in here has buttons. I can't remember when I last saw a microwave with buttons. Even the modern high-tech microwave at my parents' has a dial (with a digital display showing the time).

Same here. It must be a geographical thing.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:47 am UTC
My microwave has a button for +30 seconds on it, I hit that enough times to cook most things unless the value is like 5 minutes, and a rule of thumb: if the package wants you to microwave it for 5 minutes or more, and you've never made it before, it'll be a miracle if it's edible.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:47 am UTC
Mine has a digital incremental rotary encoder which is used to enter the time. Turning the knob increments in steps of 10 seconds on the digital display.

Then you just push the knob to start the microwave.

(Oh, first of all you have to select the power).

So unfortunately, I can't really use "weird" times.
Another problem is that upon pushing the knob to start, you often slightly turn it over one increment step of the encoder so if you want e.g. 2:30 you often actually end up with 2:40 or 2:20.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:00 am UTC
Max™ wrote: rule of thumb: if the package wants you to microwave it for 5 minutes or more, and you've never made it before, it'll be a miracle if it's edible.

on a low setting it will probably be nicely cooked, but on a low setting you might as well use a regular oven. Microwaves should be reserved for 'nuking' things and having fun - there are other things that can be put in microwaves instead of food.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:02 am UTC
Heidegger would have loved this, the old Nazi.

Because inanimate objects and, especially, parts of inanimate objects and our relationship to them embody and exemplify the toolness of tools retaining individualized animated emotional response.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:07 am UTC
It can be very dangerous to eat undercooked microwave meals. Instead of entering 1:59 you should enter 2:09, if you want to exercise the 9. If the food comes out burnt, at least that's safer than it being undercooked.

Alternatively enter 1:59 but then press the +1 second button, or give it an extra second immediately on completion of cooking. :=)

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:24 am UTC
MTGradwell wrote:It can be very dangerous to eat undercooked microwave meals. Instead of entering 1:59 you should enter 2:09, if you want to exercise the 9. If the food comes out burnt, at least that's safer than it being undercooked.

Alternatively enter 1:59 but then press the +1 second button, or give it an extra second immediately on completion of cooking. :=)

I doubt one second will make much difference, considering a lot of microwave heating instructions on food only give instructions for one power level of microwave, and then just tell you to modify the heating times yourself for different power ratings.
My microwave, as I said before, has an analogue dial for time, and it's not even accurate to the nearest second, the dial doesn't even have graduations for anything smaller than 1 minute, it's probably only accurate the the nearest 15 seconds... maybe.
I have to use my kitchen clock, or a timer on my watch or phone for accurate heating times.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 10:31 am UTC
Yes, nine is probably the key I use most, but most everything is repeated digits. One annoyance, though, is that the microwave turntable rotates once for every ten seconds, so after 55 seconds it is exactly the wrong way around from when I put the food in.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:31 am UTC
My microwave uses an "analog" pot to set time, but to compensate, I never set up my morning alarm to an "exact" hour. I'd never dial in 9:00, it would be 8:57 or 9:09, or anything in the vicinity. I thought I was the only one doing this, but it turns out it is quite a common pattern. It seems that we, people, are disgusted by mathematical accuracy, and we view ourselves as some kind of rebels by setting our clocks to odd times. I guess the character in the comic feels much the same way.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:36 am UTC
Aye, my microwave has even done away with the 1 and 5 seconds, it only has buttons for 10s, 1m, 10m. To be honest I've never used the 10m button, have never known anything needing longer than 4 minutes in the microwave in a single blast.

### Re: 1103: "Nine"

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:39 am UTC
The poor number 9 is underused as the leading digit of almost any measurement.

Unfair! Cancel Benford's law!