Tales from the Machine Room

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It's mathematic, stupid ($leeches 3)

Let's continue the story with $leeches.

We had left our hero (kinda) at the point where the work for this "application" was basically "done", in the sense that I was waiting for details about the parts that I needed to continue. In the meantime I was doing basically nothing or other stuff that had nothing to do with the "job".

Between the other things, I was "sent" by DaBoss to teach Visual C++ to a bunch of people at the HQ of a well-known tv network, network that was owned by a very well known italian entrepeneur whose name begins with 'B' and ends with 'usconi'. Things that toke me about a week.

When I got back I discovered that something had moved and the very tall conslutant I spoke about (CL5) had finally sent the specs that I required. Reading the new specs I discovered that I didn't need to do anything esoteric, just link a library and call a function in it do the job.

Wonderful. In about half a day I add the required parts and I'm ready to do a full test. At this point I need to organize a test with CL5. So we're all here, me, CL5, UL3297 and UL4573 all together like we're watching the launch of Saturn V or something. CL5 execute the code in debugging.

CL5 - Ok, we'ready... Go! Zah! Zah!

At every "Zah!" he click on the "next step" button to see the result.

CL5 - ZA! ZA! ZA! ZA! ZA!
Me - Do you really need to make all this noise? Set a break point and keep going no?
CL5 - ... I want to be sure that everything works...

I shrug and he keeps doing 'Zah!' for a while, until he gets an error.

CL5 - Oh, there is an error in your code!
Me - Where?
CL5 - Here, line XXXX.

I look at the debugger.

Me - Hummm... I expect a structure from you of X bytes, but you sent a lot more than that...
CL5 - Oh, right, we changed the data structure.
Me - Wonderful. And what has changed?
CL5 - Now, this field is now a 32 bytes float, thist one is a 16 bytest integer, this one...

And he keeps going for a while, in the meantime I loaded up the IDE and I am changing the code while he speaks. When he stops talking I wait a few seconds...

Me - Anything else?
CL5 - (think about it for a bit) No.

I click on "compile".

CL5 - (start heading for the door) Ok we'll see next we..
Me - Where the fuck are you going? Came back here.

CL5 stops dead in his tracks surprised.

Me - (speaking with UL3297) On the shared drive there is the new software, with the new DLL for the communication.

The software is copied and CL5, a bit miffed, start again with the 'Za! Za!'.

CL5 - ...and this is the important bit.. ZAH! .... it works... (like he was surprised)
Me - Good.

CL5 keep going on but, luckily, he stops with the 'Zah'. After a while he reaches the point where his library should return the data but what he returns is a 'failure' message.

Me - And when do we get the real data?
CL5 - Well, that part isn't in the code yet.
Me - And when that will be? Because I'd really like to do some real test and put down the rest of the code.
CL5 - Well, I have to write it first.
Me - ...aven't you worked on this for over six month alredy?
CL5 - Yes, but is not that easy!
Me - So?
CL5 - Hummm... I could put something together to test.. but what happens if I tell you that I get all the data but only pass one record?
Me - That I say that's bullshit and something went wrong. I do check what you get back to me, but there is a limit on the amount of stuff I can check.
CL5 - Ok, I'll start to work on this 'test' then. We'll see next week.

Of course! But since UL is here...

Me - (talking to UL3297) And when can I talk to somebody about those calculation? On the document you gave me there is stuff that makes no sense to me.
UL3297 - Oh, that is stuff from CL1578, she is specialized in Eldritchian Mathematics, I'll ask her to show up and explain some of that stuff.

Now, me and mathematics have never been best pals, not even in school, and this type of maths ... not at all.

Me - Hemmm... I don't need to understand everything, I only need to understand how to extract a result that could be used in a graph from all this...
UL3297 - I'll tell her.

The next day I get to my class... office and there is a joung woman waiting, somebody that remind me a lot of my elementary teacher.

Me - Hummm.. the new teacher?
She - What?
Me - Nothing, never mind... What can I do for you?
She - I am CL1578, UL3297 told me that you need some clarification about the maths for that application.
Me - He was absolutely correct.

I recover the document from the drawer and show it to her.

Me - Ok, those calculation here... I haven't the faintest clue how...

She looks at the paper and start laughing.

CL1578 - Those are the principal forms, but you don't need those.
Me - That fills me with joy.
CL1578 - Well, if you want to do an asyntotic regression on the percentage of shift variation for...
Me - I DEFINITIVELY do not need to do any of that.
CL1578 - No, I didn't think so either.

At this point I let her lose on the paper that UL3297 gave me and explain what I kinda understood, she apparently grasp everything right away and start explaining how things actually work. After a few hours...

CL1578 - ...so, with this 2 parameter and the time shift you can calculate everything else with this simple formula.
Me - ...that's it?
CL1578 - Yep. It's that easy, you only need to ignore all that other stuff.
Me - So... why there are 32 useless pages in this thing?
CL1578 - You should ask that to Marketing.

So, with the new information that the nice lady provided, I start writing code and my little application is henanced with a simple function that generate the graph depending on the parameters that it should receive. When some very tall dude will decide to do his part of the job. Since I have time to spare I put together a "demo" that accept some value and spit out some dummy graph based on random values.

After that, I get bored, so I start writing down some documentation. And in the meantime I start thinking how nice would it be if there was some sort of way to connect together long-distance computers to be able to send and receive messages and documents.. like Fidonet but more efficient, without the need for nightly data-transfer... We could call this "globalnet"... he... fantasy.

(to be continued)

03/09/2020 13:56

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Comments are added when and more important if I have the time to review them and after removing Spam, Crap, Phishing and the like. So don't hold your breath. And if your comment doesn't appear, is probably becuase it wasn't worth it.

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Massimo M.

By Massimo M. posted 02/11/2020 21:45

Quando ero a $HugeBank mi era capitata una cosa simile.

Per fare una certa cosa avrei dovuto usare una certa libreria costruita da un ufficio di $HugeBank; prova e riprova, non riuscivo a capire come mai non funzionasse manco per sbaglio.

Riporto la cosa al mio capo, quello parla con il capo della banda di disperati che ha fatto la libreria, che gli risponde che la libreria funzionava perfettamente ed ero io a non saperla adoperare. Mi spacco la testa per giorni e giorni, non funziona manco per il piffero. Il mio capo si lamenta un po' con me, poi ci prova lui e... sorpresa sorpresa, la libreria continua a non funzionare. Riporta, leggermente incazzato (erano passate almeno due settimane) al capo dei disperati, e questo, per una volta, fa il suo lavoro, cioe' controllare quello che il mucchio selvaggio produceva. Dopo qualche giorno (perche' ovviamente se io ti do' un sorgente cobol di una decina di righe "utili" (chi ha usato il cobol ha capito cosa intendo), per provarlo sono necessari dei giorni, mica minuti), si rende conto che la libreria ha piu' buchi di un groviera. Risultato: quasi tre settimane di nulla cosmico, visto che poi la libreria e' stata allegramente cestinata, e rifatta da zero (ovviamente, perche'rifare da zero una cosa e' molto piu' veloce che debuggare), quindi tutto il mio lavoro che usava quella libreria e' stato da cestinare. Ah, che soddisfazione.

-- Massimo M.


By WM posted 03/11/2020 17:18

cit. " ... Magari potremmo chiamarla globalnet... "

sempre meglio che affibbiargli in nome di una squadra di calcio :-\)))

-- WM


By Patrung posted 04/11/2020 18:30

Epilogo: ti sei trasformato in Cthulhu e hai divorato CL5 dopo il miliardesimo "za".

-- Patrung

Davide Bianchi

@ Patrung By Davide Bianchi posted 05/11/2020 08:28

Epilogo: ti sei trasformato in Cthulhu e hai divorato CL5 dopo il miliardesimo "za".

Ma lo sai quanto colesterolo c'e' in un CL?


-- Davide Bianchi


@ Davide Bianchi By Patrung posted 05/11/2020 10:49

Ma lo sai quanto colesterolo c'e' in un CL?

Già, forse è più salutare un panino di McDonald. :D

-- Patrung


By Guido posted 20/11/2020 21:00



... ero un point

-- who uses Debian learns Debian but who uses Slackware learns Linux

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