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2 ^ 12 - 1 comments & a ramble

Red Flayer (890720) writes | more than 6 years ago

User Journal 0

So I happened to click on my comments tab today, and see that I have made 4095 comments. This means my next comment will be my 2^12th comment.

After a little consideration, I thought that it should be _really_ meaningful. A little more consideration, and I thought, "Wow, that's a lot of comments (nts: need to get out more) -- I wonder how my posting style has changed over the years."So I happened to click on my comments tab today, and see that I have made 4095 comments. This means my next comment will be my 2^12th comment.

After a little consideration, I thought that it should be _really_ meaningful. A little more consideration, and I thought, "Wow, that's a lot of comments (nts: need to get out more) -- I wonder how my posting style has changed over the years."

Sorry for the navel-gazing (not that anyone reads my journals, anyway -- I'm averaging less than one entry every two years), but this got me thinking about personal numerical significance. Anytime I see a power of two greater than 2^10, I get a little warm fuzy feeling. I've got most of the powers of two memorized to some ungodly power, due to the influence of Telengard on the Commodore PET. I dimly remember that spell points were calculated by the formula for x = 1 to level: SP = SP + x. I remember also that exp need for the next level was 1000*2^(current level). I think the highest character I ever had was level 65, so I guess that's why I memorized 2^x all the way to the 65th power. I currently can spot powers of two to about 2^20.

I think it's interesting that this was what led me to a lifelong interest in mathematics, and in particular, formulas. Sure, maybe my affinity for math drew me to such silly pursuits while playing Telengard... but computer gaming had a big impact on my development. I still recall trying to build my own code for Telengard in Basic -- it's how I began to teach myself to code. It was the READ code that completely stumped me and taught me that sometimes you need to ask for help.

It's two and a half decades later, and I still remember my own personal summers of code. Adding functionality to Telengard, like magic weapons with 'charged' abilities and stat-gain abilities -- I think I got started just a bit early (and on the wrong machine) to have a blast tweaking Rogue. Who knows what might have come of it.

To continue the divergence from why I initially started this journal entry, I remember about 7-8 years ago my parents finally packed up and moved to their "retirement" house. I had a last look-over the items they were getting rid of, and in that pile in the basement was a box full of mildewed cassette tapes. Some were of music (the Hooters, Talking Heads, the Fixx, Dire Straights, Quiet Riot, to name a few groups) but the vast majority were of games and programs for the PET. I let them be discarded, but now I wish I could pull the data off and see what my earliest attempts at code were like -- especially the BASIC programs of over 2,000 lines before I learned about GOSUB :). I wonder if it'd be scarier than deciphering some of the perl code I've seen in recent years.

Anyway, it's been a nice short trip down memory lane this afternoon.

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