"Quote from a young man."

I dug out one of the DVDs I made of my boy from 3 years ago, when he was coming up to 1. He loves watching himself on TV, so we all settled down to watch… TV shows toddler banging a fridge magnet on the washing machine. You used to spend hours banging away like that – do you remember? No. TV shows toddler attempting to walk. Do you remember when you couldn’t walk? No. TV shows toddler sitting in high chair being fed carefully and lovingly prepared beef stew, processed to be suitable for young person who still needs […]

"The power of algorithms"

I had a bit of a tricky thing to solve over the summer. I had to perform 100,000,000 calculations, each of which took nearly a second, and I didn’t have 1,150 days spare, unfortunately. No problem – throw it on a big beasty computer cluster (60 CPUs), do some multi-threading magic, and realise that actually the solutions are symmetrical so there’s ‘only’ 50,000,000 to do – there you are, job done in about 10 days (including faff time). I was quite pleased with this. However it turns out that there’s a much better way to do it. Tweak the algorithm […]

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