Saturday, September 27, 2008

Converting PI To Binary - More Linux/Unix Humor

Hey there,

Another week has come and gone and it's Saturday again; just like last week. Lather, rinse, repeat ;)

This week's bit of Linux/Unix humour comes from deep within the pages at I'd highly recommend you go check it out. It's a very simple page (as in "no flashy graphics") but, once you get through half of his life story, I think you'll find that it's amazing he has a sense of humour left. Seriously; check out his page. He's been through the ringer. Nevertheless, he is also responsible for some pretty funny stuff. Check out the April Fool's section, for the bulk of the jokes on the site. All in all, it's a pretty interesting read. Partly serious, with some levity thrown in for good measure.

Below, I've reprinted one of my favorites that he's written. Since Pi, it's widely believed but not absolutely provable, never repeats itself on the right side of the decimal (although, another piece of Rye Humor (Rye spelled incorrectly on purpose ;) contests that it does repeat at the hyper-thousandth level), the joke below may not be all that far from the truth :)

So I leave you with this pun, that both begs to be written and, at the same time, put out of its misery: You can't have your Pi and eat it 10. <-- 10 is binary 2, like too... Man, that's a groaner. Almost as bad as "There are 10 kind of people in the world. Those that get binary and those that don't." Had to include it for completeness' sake. Sorry. Eat lots of charcoal to get the taste out of your mouth ;)

Enjoy, and have a great Saturday!

Converting pi to binary: Don't do it!

by Keith F. Lynch <>

Warning: Do not calculate Pi in binary. It is conjectured that this number is normal, meaning that
it contains all finite bit strings.

If you compute it, you will be guilty of:

  • Copyright infringement (of all books, all short stories, all newspapers, all magazines, all web
    sites, all music, all movies, and all software, including the complete Windows source code)

  • Trademark infringement

  • Possession of child pornography

  • Espionage (unauthorized possession of top secret information)

  • Possession of DVD-cracking software

  • Possession of threats to the President

  • Possession of everyone's SSN, everyone's credit card numbers, everyone's PIN numbers, everyone's
    unlisted phone numbers, and everyone's passwords

  • Defaming Islam. Not technically illegal, but you'll have to go into hiding along with Salman

  • Defaming Scientology. Which is illegal -- just ask Keith Henson.

Also, your computer will contain all of the nastiest known computer viruses. In fact, all of the
nastiest possible computer viruses.

Some of the files on my PC are intensely personal, and I for one don't want you snooping through a
copy of them.

You might get away with computing just a few digits, but why risk it? There's no telling how far
into Pi you can go without finding the secret documents about the JFK assassination, a photograph of
your neighbor's six year old daughter doing the nasty with the family dog, or a complete copy of the
not-yet-released Pearl Harbor movie. So just don't do it.

The same warning applies to e, the square root of 2, Euler's constant, Phi, the cosine of any non-
zero algebraic number, and the vast majority of all other real numbers.

There's a reason why these numbers are always computed and shown in decimal, after all.

Keith F. Lynch - -
I always welcome replies to my e-mail, postings, and web pages, but
unsolicited bulk e-mail sent to thousands of randomly collected
addresses is not acceptable, and I do complain to the spammer's ISP.

, Mike

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