Odd stuff

I was going through my projects folder on my computer and saw a number of projects I didn’t recognize.  Looking at the code they were clearly my coding and comment style but I still didn’t remember many of them. Most were junk projects that appeared to be something that solved, or would have solved had they been finished, some simple problem.

There were projects like “NetConnect” which apparently was intended to pop up a dialog box of the machines visible on the network and handle assigning a drive letter to their public shares. Another project was “Wait” which wouldn’t compile because the requested version of Windows was so old. “SurveyProcess” appears to be for processing the Boomershoot participant survey results from 2006.

But the oddest project I found was “UniDecrypt”. I appears to be something to test the feasibility of a “universal decryption algorithm”. It is junk code. Something very “quick and dirty” that I apparently started working on at about midnight in late November of 2006. The time stamps of the various files continue through a little after 8:00 AM and then the last timestamp being about 1:30 AM the following day. This project probably was something that woke me up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t go back to sleep after thinking about it. That happens every once in a while. I once woke up in the wee hours of the morning and had to go find my “Modern Physics” text book (is it still considered “Modern Physics” if I took the class in 1976?) to look up why it was I had not thought up a way to travel faster than light.

Yeah, my brain is a little warped at times.


7 thoughts on “Odd stuff

  1. BTDT. A couple of times in my life I’ve been called back to work on some old code of mine. I don’t remember writing any of it, but sure enough, I can see “me” all over the place. I have an odd habit of naming the return value of a small function “retVal” and when that shows up I know it was me that did it.

  2. I use returnValue.

    Lots of other stuff too. Certain constructs that used to save a few bytes and cycles back when the compilers weren’t as smart.

  3. My issue is having different projects with different target processors written in different languages or using different compilers. I have a hard time knowing that I’ve done something once before, but not being able to find the code and then have to do it again for a different mix of environments. Sometimes I need a road map for my projects.

  4. So you’re going to make us ask?

    Why haven’t you thought up a way to travel faster than light?

  5. My middle of the night idea that kept me awake had to do with individual particles moving faster than the speed of light due in part to thermal excitation. If you can move individual particles faster than the speed of light then it should be possible to move collections of particle faster than the speed of light.

    But once you look close enough you discover “particles” are a construct that is not supported by the evidence. And of course there is a major problem in keeping the collection arranged in the original “positions” (“position” is an “interesting” concept when things are moving very fast) relative to the other particles you are moving.

  6. Lets ay that you could accelerate a space ship to 70% of the speed of light, away from Earth (anything over 50% works here). The theory goes that, if you launched a missile from that ship using the same technology, to 70% of C heading directly in front of the ship from the Earth, that missile would be doing less than C, even though from the ship it would be doing 70% C away from the ship while the ship itself is doing 70% C away from Earth. It all depends on the frame of reference.

    Your particle idea looks similar to me– If you’re already traveling at 99.9% the speed of light, you can still launch something in front of you at 99.9% the speed of light, but that something is still doing less than the speed of light from some other point of reference.

    In any case it isn’t strictly necessary to travel faster than light for humans to explore the closer star systems. We from Earth would see the mission taking a lot longer than the astronauts would see it. Planet of the Apes wasn’t entirely ridiculous in that premise. It’s also not necessarily so important to speed up our ships than it is to slow down our metabolism. A bristle-cone pine tree, for example, would “perceive” a 300 year mission as a tolerably short adventure.

    Anyway; I figure you know a lot more about this stuff than I.

    I bet that the main hurdle is and will continue to be the radiation exposure. The NASA folks haven’t said a lot about it, but IIRC there was one of the Apollo moon shots that would have killed the astronauts due to sun-caused space weather, had the mission been a week or so earlier or later.

  7. That’s true at constant speed (special relativity), but when you add in the fact that you have to accelerate & decelerate (now general relativity applies) the total time taken for the mission some strange things happen & (I’m told–I haven’t got the knowledge or skill to work this out for myself) the “earth clock” & the “spaceship clock” end up matching.

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