On Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 11:08:56 PM UTC-4, Mark Lloyd wrote:
Here's an interesting article on how Excel stores dates and times. If anyone ever asks why
Excel includes Feb 29, 1900 even though 1900 was not a leap year, you'll be able to tell them
that it is not a bug. It is by design.
I did some patching in the months leading up to Y2K but there really
wasn't that much. I was on call New Year's Eve but it passed
uneventfully. Luckily someone other than myself will have to worry about
I saw "19A0" in one case. Caught me completely off guard
("Where the hell did that 'A' come from??"). But, thinking
about it for a few microseconds and it was obvious...
I now keep dates as ascii strings. It's not that much more work.
The tougher problem (and it will NOT be solved, here! :> )
is thinking about temporal "REFERENCES"!
E.g., if I have an appointment "in 35 minutes" and I *bind* that
to the current time (it is roughly 8:40P here), then that would
suggest the appointment is at 9:15P. Assume I also have something
scheduled for 10:00P.
Now, if I adjust my local clock to make "now" be 8:45P, how
does that affect these two events? Is my appointment still
35 minutes in the future? And, the 10:00 event 5 minutes sooner
than it would have been had I not updated my clock?
What if I then set my clock *back* 5 minutes? Has anything changed??
Silly example. But, think about things that are days or weeks
hence. How do you "store" those times? And, how does your choice
of storage technique (e.g., early or late binding) affect when
they ACTUALLY occur?
Do you store "relative times" using a relative notation? And,
store the reference from which they were originally specified?
Or, convert everything to absolute times?
Do you convert absolute times to relative times and store the
I.e., when a person says "I have an appointment in 35 minutes",
does that really mean they will wait for the minute hand to make
35 complete revolutions before the appointment begins? Or,
have they done some mental arithmetic and decided to express
the ABSOLUTE time of the appointment in relative terms (for
the benefit of whomever they are conversing with)?
That stuff reminded my of my grandmother cooking biscuits. She wanted to
leave them in the oven for 10 minutes, and seemed to have a problem with
keeping track of that. Keep looking at the clock ans saying "how long
has it been...".
I suggested that (when putting the biscuits in) look at the clock NOW
and figure out what time it will be 10 minutes from now. Then it's easy
to check for that.
Some people will not allow things to be easy.
Growing up, we had pasta at least once a week. (short) mother kept
it on the top shelf -- and always had to ask me to get it down for her.
"Sheesh! Why don't you just LEAVE IT ON THE COUNTER, we eat it often
PNEUMONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS (45 letters, a lung disease caused by breathing in particles of siliceous volcanic dust) is the longest word in the English language, beating TETRAMETHYLDIAMINOBENZHYDRYLPHOSPHINOUS ACID, HEPATICOCHOLANGIOCHOLECYSTENTEROSTOMIES, FORMALDEHYDETETRAMETHYLAMIDOFLUORIMUM, and DIMETHYLAMIDOPHENYLDIMETHYLPYRAZOLONE.
I always preferred $23 (On the Commodore-64 hex was indicated by a
As to language, I was once looking at the source code for a program. One
of the error messages was "not enough memory to execute child". It made
perfect sense to me, just not anything like what it would mean to a
I read that once, although never heard it anywhere. Also 'nanogram'. I
have usually (IIRC always) called # a number sign.
BTW, 1/60 of a second is called a third. IIRC, there was also 'solidus'
and 'virgule', names for a slash /.
Subdivision of the hour.
First is the minute (MI-NOOT).
Second is the second.
Third is the third.
Also, 1/18.2 of a second is a "tick" (not the parasitic animal kind).
I don't know about that, but I remember a "South Park" where a man was
yelling about not having an erection. His kid hears this and goes to
church where he hears about a res-erection. He thinks he can get one and
give it to his dad.
A comma is the deep sleep you fall into when you get hit on the head :-)
A "jiffy" tends to be about 10ms; a shake, 10ns.
An OhNoSecond is slightly shorter -- or longer, depending on your
personal reaction time!
If you do much fixed point math, you'd know that a Furman is 1/65536-th of
Beauty is measured in Helens while magic is measured in Thaums.
And, of course, everyone knows that a Smoot is 67".
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