Puzzle: create a Pentagon with rule and compass <EOM>

The title sums it all.   P.S. And, as a Christmas bonus, here is a nice chess puzzle. In the above diagram you must add the two missing kings in such a way that White, who is on the move, can deliver immediate mate, i.e. mate in one move. [source: ChessBase]


Flash-based harddisks – the new laptop feature to look for

A review in ComputerWorld features the new Samsung’s 64 GB Flash drive: Samsung rates the drive with a read speed of 100MB/sec and write speed of 80 MB/sec, compared to 59MB/sec and 60MB/sec (respectively) for a traditional 2.5" hard drive. We ran several benchmarks. In our HD Tune performance tests, the drive turned in an…


Puzzle solution: Xen voting algorithm

I think that the problem stated in one of my earlier posts is one of the most fascinating puzzles I came across recently. Many people that got confronted with it said bluntly that the problem simply has no solution, otherwise it would contradict common sense, information theory, etc. But surprisingly, it does have a solution….


Zune 80 – $400 on eBay?

A few completed transactions: – $420: http://cgi.ebay.com/Microsoft-ZUNE-2-Gen-Black-80-GB-mp3-NEW-NIB-EXTRAS_W0QQitemZ320182867203QQihZ011QQcategoryZ147175QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem  – $405: http://cgi.ebay.com/Microsoft-ZUNE-2-Gen-Black-80-GB-mp3-NEW-NIB-EXTRAS_W0QQitemZ320183303981QQihZ011QQcategoryZ147175QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem – $399: http://cgi.ebay.com/Microsoft-Zune-2-Gen-Black-80-GB-20000-Songs-Dig_W0QQitemZ320182491104QQihZ011QQcategoryZ147175QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem


Is my harddisk (almost) dead?

I just started to play with HD Tune, just to get a tool to look at my S.M.A.R.T. data. Not that I trust SMART a lot, but I wanted to see what’s there. So that’s how I discovered my main drive has a bunch of reallocated sectors. Ouch! What is a reallocated sector? Whenever a…


What causes Harddisk failures?

A fascinating article in ACM Queue examines the various ways in which a harddisk can fail. Here is an example – the fault tree for reading failures.


Puzzle: Xen voting algorithm

There is a huge amount of aliens living on the Xen planet who want to elect their new leader (since their previous leader died a while back). They want to switch to a very democratic voting process, through the help of a very special communication field called the “vortessence”. One interesting property of voting through…


Defrag in Vista – what’s new?

There is a new article in the hard-to-discover http://support.microsoft.com world, about various improvements of defrag in Vista. In summary: defragmentation is now performed automatically by default (at 1 AM on every Wednesday – that is, if your laptop is not powered off) and it works nicely in an incremental manner – no need to restart…


[Cool spam] Our internal discussion list is nominated in a Who’s Who award!

Here is an interesting piece of spam I received this morning on our internal discussion list: Dear VSS Lab Account,     You were recently appointed as a biographical candidate to represent your industry in the Madison Who’s Who Among Executives and Professionals, and for inclusion into the upcoming 2007-2008 “Honors Edition” of the registry.     …


.NET Framework source code – public

I sure hope that you will appreciate this – the .NET 3.5 source code will be publicly released. Initially, we will see .NET BCL, ASP.NET, Windows Forms, ADO.NET, XML and WPF. Later, more libraries will be added (WCF – yes!), LINQ and Workflow.