Tuesday, July 15, 2008

«Nostalgic Calculator Programs»

I wasn't sure that I'd get that Spirit of Glacier Bay Cruise Ship Watch posted yesterday. Blogger was having issues with uploading images; I kept getting internal error messages. I was ready just to call it quits and try posting it today as my main blog post for the day. Out of frustration more than anything, I decided to try it one last time... And it went through! So I got that posted on time.

Yesterday when I was downtown taking pictures, I ran into Catlin, an old friend I hadn't talked to since we were in high school math classes together (that's why I wasn't around for your lunch break, Trevor). Usually I don't mention names without permission on my blog, but I figured there's no harm with only first names.

You know I have to say, math classes were my most interesting classes in school. I could pretty much ignore the lessons taught in class and still ace the test. That gave me time to discuss theoretical astrophysics with Catlin. Or to write rather unique programs on our Ti-83 plus calculators. I still have a few of those programs. The interesting thing was, the math teacher was ok with what we were doing, he even got into it sometimes.

Heh, I remember one program that the teacher didn't know about... There was this girl that sat in front of us in class, and you could always see her underwear when she sat down. We wrote a program to predict the color of her underwear on any given day. Surprisingly, sometimes it was accurate. If I remember right, it worked off of a pseudo-random number generator. Each color was assigned a number. It would generate a random number, and give certain numbers more weight (more likely to be randomly chosen) depending on how often she wore the corresponding color. Interesting thing about a program like that is the more data you input, the more accurate it gets. So it would get better every day. No, that's not one of the programs I still have. I think we abandoned it when the seating chart was changed.

Now a-days, I don't even remember how to program on the calculator. I've moved on to greater things.


  1. Yeah, see, I so missed out. I was more about being social and scraping by on the tests.

    And Marf, you know I'm being serious when I say I missed out. Your version of H.S. math is so much more interesting than discussing lip gloss, boy butts or who did what and doesn't want us to know.

    I should have caught on when my biggest crush in the world was on a friend of KT's brother, who would gather w/ many others at their house every weekend to play Dungeons & Dragons.. Ahhh Ryan.

  2. Yeah, but what they teach is different as well. You'd think math wouldn't change much... But now they teach things like imaginary and complex numbers. Numbers like 2i. i being the result of the square root of -1; a real-world impossibility.

  3. Um.................. Uh Huh.

  4. Geek out time: Both Paul and I still have our TI-83's, except mine was a GX and his was an SX... Still prefer Polish Notation when doing calcs thanks to that thing. I got mine in 1992... a 16 year old calculator... and it was used when I bought it.

  5. I suck at math, always have and always will. I failed algebra so bad they booted me outta the class and put me in consumer math class, which was too easy.

    But, I did excel in algebra when I went to college. The teacher makes a world of difference. Unfortunately, if ya don't use it ya loose it. I don't remember my algebra anymore.

    School was tough for me--I'd study for hours and I'd still just pass. I was only good in P.E. and art.

  6. Bernadette- "I'd study for hours and I'd still just pass" me too

  7. @ |bernadette|: You know, I almost failed a P.E. class, and I stayed clear of the art classes.

    How do you do poorly in a P.E. class? I didn't want to play the stupid sports. I'm not into sports.

  8. Marf- I almost failed P.E. my freshman year of H.S. . I would go into the Art classroom and the teacher would let me nap in his private office.

    Which kinda creeps me out now.

  9. In case that wasn't clear, I would nap during P.E. in the art teacher's office.


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