FAQ: Can you explain the Halloween/Christmas FAQ answer?

Can you explain the Halloween/Christmas FAQ answer?

Sigh… Computer programmers work in a number of different number bases, such as binary (base 2), octal (base 8), decimal (base 10) and hexadecimal (base 16). To avoid confusion, they often indicate which base they are working in by prefixing their numbers with the first three letters of the base name (bin, oct, dec, hex). The decimal number 25 is 31 in octal, so Oct 31 = Dec 25.

It's actually a rather clever joke, but it's pretty much ruined if you have to explain it.

12 thoughts on “FAQ: Can you explain the Halloween/Christmas FAQ answer?

  1. Yeah, very clever except that it should be: oct 31 == dec 25;

  2. that's utter bolllocks I have NEVER worked in octal in over 20 years, and can code over 30 languages so whoever wrote it is a smug thick twiit who has no idea. also a comparator is not an assignment, even if the compiler says it is. for the record everyone knows the only unambiguous string format of a date is to have dates as Y-m-d h:i:s so it's ####-12-25 vs ####-10-31 which is clearly horseshiit

  3. I didn't say that a comparator is an assignment; I said that Turbo Basic was able to distinguish between the two, even though they were given the same symbol.

    I would also beg to differ that ‘the only unambiguous string format of a date is to have dates as Y-m-d h:i:s’ (even though I am a big fan of that format). For example:

    12-Mar-2014 18:00 (the date format I use for these comments) is a string, and is every bit as unambiguous as 2014-03-12 18:00. The latter format has the advantage that sorting dates in that format alphabetically also sorts them chronologically. But the former format is easier for most English-speaking, non-programmers to read—which is why I use that format on this website.

    I have also never used Octal. But certain weird people used to.

    As to this all being horseshiit (sic), if you check out the rest of this site, you'll realise that's pretty much the whole point.

  4. Wow, Conner, kind of missing the point of this site all together.

  5. Conner ... get out more and give yourself a break from the screen ... it's just a bit of fun!

  6. I told my Dad I'd be home by Dec 15th in time for a bike race, but I actually came on Oct 17th. We're both programmers so we both found it funny.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *