Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rain Dance

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They say it runs on logic. As long as what u feed it is perfect, there will be no problems. Well, thats what they say. And now, I'm beginning to doubt them.

I have my reasons. They seem fairly valid to me. These results have been collected over a period of 2 months, and from varying individuals. So its not just me.

Case 1.
Networks: Simulating networks. We set up a network in a simulator which claims to "accelerate network R&D." It all works well and good, until u throw some extra stuff in the scenario. No, i didnt connect them. Its like i brought home an extra server, and left it by the kitchen, in the box, but my network suddenly starts performing better! And thats pretty much what happened in this lab, for nearly all my class. A nifty way to beat the system and get the required performance, I agree, but thats not the R&D i was looking for!!

Case 2.
Embdedded Systems: This happened to my room-mate, R. For those of you who dont know, embedded systems are a highly timing sensitive environment. An extra statement here and there, and the entire program goes for a toss. This leads to tricky debugging issues. A print statement here and there, and thats the end of ur program for good measure. Yet, to fix a bug encountered for 3 days, my R had to add a print statement to the code. The code runs perfectly!
And thats not all. Apparently the order of initializing the clock also makes a difference. Initialize the seconds first, then the minutes, your code hangs... flip the order, and voila!

Case 3.
Malloc: First me. I wrote code. Perfect, if i may say so. Ok, after several rounds of debugging. Yet the program refuses to run properly. Somewhere along the line, it stops running at all. Start commenting my code in pieces. One set of comments later, and half the program is running. Another set of comments. Remove the last set of comments. (drumrolll......) Its all working, and that to, near perfect!
Another friend, RC. Modified a perfectly working program (why someone wud do that is beyond me!), and managed to get the program to crash. Delete that block of code, it works. Add it back, the program still works.

These are some samples of raindance. Something so illogical it actually works!



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2 comments:

Candid Confessions said...

INI sure makes people go nuts!

exodus said...

i go by the simple metric..if people before me have done something..i can do it as fast and as good...if they havent..then i set the metric :)