We owe Xerox an apology! 
Author Message
 We owe Xerox an apology!

I'm sure everybody has seen this programming tip somewhere

------
The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to
constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every
appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA
statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant.  This
also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.

                -- fortran manual for Xerox Computers
------

and had a chuckle about pi changing.

Well, a couple of days ago there was an article in the newspaper (so
it must be true) saying that some astronomers think the value of
the fine structure constant, e**2/((h/2pi)c), which is about 137.04
is changing at the rate of about 1 part in 100,000 every 12 billion(US)
years.  Clearly at least one of the constants e, h, 2, pi, or c
must be changing.  Those guys were ahead of their time!

Dick Hendrickson



Thu, 05 Feb 2004 07:04:14 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!


Quote:
> I'm sure everybody has seen this programming tip somewhere

> ------
> The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to
> constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every
> appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA
> statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant.  This
> also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.

>                 -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers
> ------

> and had a chuckle about pi changing.

> Well, a couple of days ago there was an article in the newspaper (so
> it must be true) saying that some astronomers think the value of
> the fine structure constant, e**2/((h/2pi)c), which is about 137.04
> is changing at the rate of about 1 part in 100,000 every 12 billion(US)
> years.  Clearly at least one of the constants e, h, 2, pi, or c
> must be changing.  Those guys were ahead of their time!

>{*filter*} Hendrickson

Not at all...

Indiana bill sets the value of pi to 3
http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~alopez-o/math-faq/mathtext/node18.html

--
Carsten A. Arnholm

http://www.*-*-*.com/ ~arnholm/
N59.783  E10.500



Thu, 05 Feb 2004 17:33:33 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!

 >Indiana bill sets the value of pi to 3
 >http://www.cs.unb.ca/~alopez-o/math-faq/mathtext/node18.html

Jeez...& I thought Indiana bill was a bro' to Indiana jones...:-)

--
<> Robert Geer & Donna Tomky |          ||||      We sure       ||||    <>


<>   Albuquerque, NM  USA    |      ||||       here!        ||||    <>



Fri, 06 Feb 2004 09:32:55 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!


Quote:
>I'm sure everybody has seen this programming tip somewhere

>------
>The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to
>constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every
>appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA
>statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant.  This
>also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.

>                -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers

Yes: this one is hilarious!

Quote:
>------

>and had a chuckle about pi changing.

>Well, a couple of days ago there was an article in the newspaper (so
>it must be true) saying that some astronomers think the value of
>the fine structure constant, e**2/((h/2pi)c), which is about 137.04
>is changing at the rate of about 1 part in 100,000 every 12 billion(US)
>years.  Clearly at least one of the constants e, h, 2, pi, or c
>must be changing.  Those guys were ahead of their time!

>Dick Hendrickson

You almost killed me of laughter!  In fact \alpha, the fine structure
constant is ca. 1/137, and if it is changing it is likely because e**2
and/or \hbar are changing.  \alpha, e**2 or \hbar are determined by
EXPERIMENTS, whereas \pi is DEFINED as the ratio of the circumference to
the diameter of a circle, and c is now DEFINED as an exact number (which
BTW defines the meter as a unit derived from the second!).

Carlos



Fri, 06 Feb 2004 14:02:01 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!
On Sun, 19 Aug 2001 11:33:33 +0200,

Quote:
>Not at all...

>Indiana bill sets the value of pi to 3
>http://www.cs.unb.ca/~alopez-o/math-faq/mathtext/node18.html

Did you read the article?
"The bill implies four different values for pi and one for
sqrt(2), as follows:
pi' = 16/sqrt(3), 2 sqrt(5 pi/6), 16 sqrt(2)/7, 16/5 ( 9.24 , 3.236
, 3.232 , 3.2 respectively.)"

No sign of pi=3 there.

--
Colin Rosenthal
Astrophysics Institute
University of Oslo



Fri, 06 Feb 2004 22:12:05 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!

Quote:

>On Sun, 19 Aug 2001 11:33:33 +0200,

>>Not at all...

>>Indiana bill sets the value of pi to 3
>>http://www.cs.unb.ca/~alopez-o/math-faq/mathtext/node18.html

>Did you read the article?
>"The bill implies four different values for pi and one for
>sqrt(2), as follows:
>pi' = 16/sqrt(3),

this one is pretty bad (about 9.24)

Quote:
> 2 sqrt(5 pi/6),

are we getting into implicit definitions here?

The rest aren't so bad...

Carlos



Fri, 06 Feb 2004 23:15:32 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!

Quote:
> On Sun, 19 Aug 2001 11:33:33 +0200,

> >Not at all...

> >Indiana bill sets the value of pi to 3
> >http://www.cs.unb.ca/~alopez-o/math-faq/mathtext/node18.html

> Did you read the article?
> "The bill implies four different values for pi and one for
> sqrt(2), as follows:
> pi' = 16/sqrt(3), 2 sqrt(5 pi/6), 16 sqrt(2)/7, 16/5 ( 9.24 , 3.236
> , 3.232 , 3.2 respectively.)"

> No sign of pi=3 there.

> --
> Colin Rosenthal
> Astrophysics Institute
> University of Oslo

Yes, I read the article. I also read the header of the article, which you
may have missed :-)

--
Carsten A. Arnholm

http://home.online.no/~arnholm/
N59.783  E10.500



Sat, 07 Feb 2004 04:52:24 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!


Quote:
>I'm sure everybody has seen this programming tip somewhere

>------
>The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to
>constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every
>appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA
>statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant.  This
>also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.

>                -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers
>------

>and had a chuckle about pi changing.

>Well, a couple of days ago there was an article in the newspaper (so
>it must be true) saying that some astronomers think the value of
>the fine structure constant, e**2/((h/2pi)c), which is about 137.04
>is changing at the rate of about 1 part in 100,000 every 12 billion(US)
>years.  Clearly at least one of the constants e, h, 2, pi, or c
>must be changing.  Those guys were ahead of their time!

While in no manner a member of that pioneering group, I accept you
congratulations in their stead! Remember also, the Graphical User
Interface, the mouse ....

No, no, no! I am not saying we did everything :-)

--




Sat, 07 Feb 2004 07:10:54 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!

[.... some stuff deleted ...]

Quote:
>While in no manner a member of that pioneering group, I accept you
>congratulations in their stead! Remember also, the Graphical User
>Interface, the mouse ....
>No, no, no! I am not saying we did everything :-)

Actually, the Xerox PARC did almost everything first.  You should add
the Ethernet and all kinds of other stuff.

The Xerox *management* were sucessful in taking innovative ideas and
innovative corporations and flying them into the ground.

Quote:
>--


--

                   Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit.
              Charter Member of the Vast Right Wing {*filter*}


Sun, 08 Feb 2004 08:56:12 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!

Quote:

>I'm sure everybody has seen this programming tip somewhere
>------
>The primary purpose of the DATA statement is to give names to
>constants; instead of referring to pi as 3.141592653589793 at every
>appearance, the variable PI can be given that value with a DATA
>statement and used instead of the longer form of the constant.  This
>also simplifies modifying the program, should the value of pi change.
>                -- FORTRAN manual for Xerox Computers
>------

Actually, this first appeared in the FORTRAN manual for SDS computers,
which Xerox bought and promptly destroyed.

I would very much like to get a copy of that manual (copies might hide
under SDS, XDS, or Westinghouse logos.)  There was a great deal of
subtle humor in that manual, over and above its tutorial about the
DATA statement.

(It was also very honest about the compiler.  There was a section about
odd things the compiler might do, and it observed that:

        901 FORMAT(X5HFOO=X)

would be interpreted as a statement function.)

Quote:
>and had a chuckle about pi changing.
>Well, a couple of days ago there was an article in the newspaper (so
>it must be true) saying that some astronomers think the value of
>the fine structure constant, e**2/((h/2pi)c), which is about 137.04
>is changing at the rate of about 1 part in 100,000 every 12 billion(US)
>years.  Clearly at least one of the constants e, h, 2, pi, or c
>must be changing.  Those guys were ahead of their time!
>Dick Hendrickson

It must be pi that is changing.
--

                   Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit.
              Charter Member of the Vast Right Wing {*filter*}


Sun, 08 Feb 2004 08:50:48 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!
Hi,
Was the mouse really an original idea of PARC?  We used to have an old
dumb terminal from the mid 60's that had a track ball (upside down
mouse).
Quote:


> [.... some stuff deleted ...]

> >While in no manner a member of that pioneering group, I accept you
> >congratulations in their stead! Remember also, the Graphical User
> >Interface, the mouse ....

> >No, no, no! I am not saying we did everything :-)

> Actually, the Xerox PARC did almost everything first.  You should add
> the Ethernet and all kinds of other stuff.

> The Xerox *management* were sucessful in taking innovative ideas and
> innovative corporations and flying them into the ground.

> >--


> --

>                    Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit.
>               Charter Member of the Vast Right Wing {*filter*}



Sun, 08 Feb 2004 21:28:59 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!


Quote:

>[.... some stuff deleted ...]

>>While in no manner a member of that pioneering group, I accept you
>>congratulations in their stead! Remember also, the Graphical User
>>Interface, the mouse ....

>>No, no, no! I am not saying we did everything :-)

>Actually, the Xerox PARC did almost everything first.  You should add
>the Ethernet and all kinds of other stuff.

I was trying to be modest :-)' But, you are right. I think that the
packet switching idea is one of the best.

Quote:
>The Xerox *management* were sucessful in taking innovative ideas and
>innovative corporations and flying them into the ground.

Just for the record, I did not say that!

--




Tue, 10 Feb 2004 04:42:42 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!


Quote:
>Hi,
>Was the mouse really an original idea of PARC?  We used to have an old
>dumb terminal from the mid 60's that had a track ball (upside down
>mouse).

I guess that it goes all the way back to Plato. But, there is a strong
claim for SRI. I think that name of the Prof was Engledrum, or something
like that. He did have a pointing device with four (yes, four) wheels
and sensor. I guess it most have come to PARC from there.
--




Tue, 10 Feb 2004 04:45:11 GMT  
 We owe Xerox an apology!

Quote:
>Well, a couple of days ago there was an article in the newspaper (so
>it must be true) saying that some astronomers think the value of
>the fine structure constant, e**2/((h/2pi)c), which is about 137.04
>is changing at the rate of about 1 part in 100,000 every 12
billion(US)
>years.  Clearly at least one of the constants e, h, 2, pi, or c
>must be changing.  Those guys were ahead of their time!

Years ago, in school, it was pointed out in the physics text book that
the best-estimate determinations of c were (a) decreasing with time
and (b) that including the estimates of the error band the value of c
*was* decreasing. Whether this really meant that c was decreasing, or
that the early measurements were bad, was left for us to discuss. Now
that the metre is defined in terms of the speed of light (so that the
speed of light is anumerical constant) all that is left is to discuss
if the second is getting shorter, or I am getting older.


Fri, 13 Feb 2004 07:54:21 GMT  
 
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