osper and Stuart Nelson): 21963283741 is the

only number such that if you represent it on the PDP-10 as both an integer and a floating-point number, the bit patterns of the two representations are identical.

Item 176 (Gosper): The "banana phenomenon" was encountered when processing a character string by taking the last 3 letters typed out, searching for a random occurrence of that sequence in the text, taking the letter following that occurrence, typing it out, and iterating. This ensures that every 4-letter string output occurs in the original. The program typed BANANANANANANANA.... We note an ambiguity in the phrase, "the Nth occurrence of." In one sense, there are five 00's in 0000000000; in another, there are nine. The editing program TECO finds five. Thus it finds only the first ANA in BANANA, and is thus obligated to type N next. By Murphy's Law, there is but one NAN, thus forcing A, and thus a loop. An option to find overlapped instances would be useful, although it would require backing up N - 1 characters before seeking the next N-character string.

Note: This last item refers to a Dissociated Press implementation. See also banana problem.

HAKMEM also contains some rather more complicated mathematical and technical items, but these examples show some of its fun flavour.

HAKMEM is available from MIT Publications as a TIFF file.


Last updated: 1996-01-19

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osper and Stuart Nelson): 21963283741 is they number such that if you represent it on the {PDP-10} as

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