Antimail

Adi Oltean's Weblog - Flashbacks on technology, programming, and other interesting things

  • Antimail

    Puzzle: solve this equation!

    • 34 Comments
    You have the following false "equation", made with six toothpicks arranged on a table in the following way: XI = I You have to re-establish the equality by changing the position of a single toothpick. Common-sense rules apply: you are not allowed to bend...
  • Antimail

    A simple way to access Shadow Copies in Vista

    • 29 Comments
    In the past, I presented various ways to browse these mysterious device objects called "shadow copies". Shadow copies are static images in time (snapshots) of your volume contents, at some point in the past. These shadow copies are volumes on...
  • Antimail

    Simple probability problem

    • 27 Comments
    I love probability puzzles. Here is one I liked: There are a 100 people trying to get onto the same flight you are. The airplane has a 100 seats. You are all ready to board. You are the last one in the line of passengers at the gate. The first guy walks...
  • Antimail

    Script recipe of the week: how to copy an opened file

    • 27 Comments
    I just read recently a post on the newsgroups - someone wanted to backup her PST file. The problem is that Outlook keeps this file open all the time, therefore we are unable to just copy this file once in a while. Argh... A cute little script ...
  • Antimail

    The various aspects of Open Source

    • 26 Comments
    A funny thing that I just realized is that the term "open source" is generally used to denote several types of software. Without actually defining what "open source" means, I am thinking to several categories: 1) Hobby projects . These are projects started...
  • Antimail

    Puzzle: How many witches are there?

    • 25 Comments
    It is known that in a certain city there are a significant number of witches, even though this practice is forbidden. The problem is that nobody knows who these witches are, since a witch is very careful to appear to others as a perfectly normal person...
  • Antimail

    Puzzle: solve this problem in your head

    • 24 Comments
    This problem initially had two parts but now has three. OK, let's start with this: let's assume that we have two, trains, 100 miles apart, each going with 20 mph to the other. A fly travels between them at 50 mph, zig-zagging just before getting smashed...
  • Antimail

    Two math puzzles

    • 21 Comments
    What is the value of this expression? If that was too easy, how about this one?
  • Antimail

    Puzzle: Shakespeare numbers...

    • 19 Comments
    Imagine that there might be a real number that contains (in an encoded form) the entire works of Shakespeare. Let's call this number a "Shakespeare number". Can you give an example of an algorithm to generate Shakespeare numbers? [update] The problem...
  • Antimail

    Puzzle: geometry problem

    • 18 Comments
    Here is a fun one: The triangle ABC is isoseceles, with angle (ABC) = angle (ACB) = 80°. We draw now two segments inside the triangle. First, we choose the point D on segment AC such that angle (CBD) is 60°. Also, we choose the point E on AB, where angle...
  • Antimail

    Attack of the clones: how to assign a drive letter or directory to a shadow copy

    • 17 Comments
    In one of my previous posts I mentioned a simple script to copy a file from a shadow copy. This allows you to access files that are opened exclusively by some application. You won't have enough drive letters... Here I present a similar script (let...
  • Antimail

    Another puzzle: Gödel, Goldbach and other "G" names...

    • 16 Comments
    Mr Blobby posted an excellent comment in my previous post, outlining in a few words Gödel's proof of incompleteness of arithmetics. This is a mind-boggling result, which essentially states the following: There are certain statements (I would not say ...
  • Antimail

    Puzzle: what is the next card?

    • 16 Comments
    This is a very nice puzzle that kept me awake for a long time... :-) John and Dianne, two journalists (and experienced bridge players), are captured by some foreign government. The guardian says that he can free them, if they win the following game...
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    After life

    • 15 Comments
    Not sure if this is real, but it looke like some people love computers way too much...
  • Antimail

    The new must-have gadget: Flash laptops

    • 15 Comments
    The entire world is now slowly shifting to Flash-based storage in mobile devices. The latest trend is to get rid of harddisks in your laptop - and you will have longer battery life, faster shutdown/reboot, better shock-resistance. Not to mention that...
  • Antimail

    Little math problem

    • 14 Comments
    OK, probably you already had your latte this morning but here is nice puzzle: Let's say that a rectangle is "rational" if the ratio between the width and height is a rational number. Now, proof that a rectangle is rational if and only if the rectangle...
  • Antimail

    NTFS Curiosities (part 2): Volumes, volume names and mount points

    • 14 Comments
    In the old days of MS-DOS and Windows 95 you could identify any volume by its drive letter. Things were so easy. But not anymore after we shipped Windows 2000. In W2K you could also have mount points - volumes mounted under certain directories. This feature...
  • Antimail

    Is AJAX something revolutionary?

    • 14 Comments
    AJAX seems to be the new "buzzword of the day". In short, AJAX stands for "Asynchronous JavaScript And XML", an acronym coined by Jesse Garrett recently. The basic idea is very nice - you can actually perform client-side programming directly in the DHTML...
  • Antimail

    Puzzle: a little geometry problem, and a sequence question

    • 14 Comments
    This is not really a puzzle, but a real geometry problem. Let's take a random triangle (ABC), and let's assume that the angle bisector from A intersects BC in the point D. Proof that: AD ^ 2 = AB * AC - BD * CD Here is the figure, drawn in MSPAINT...
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    Hitting the search relevance wall

    • 13 Comments
    There is a curious fenomenon going on in the search arena today - something I call the "hitting the search relevance wall". The thing is that most search companies are getting so much better that it is hard to distinguish between them in terms of quality...
  • Antimail

    Why do we buy books?

    • 13 Comments
    An intriguing comment on Slashdot: Why would I pay 8.00 for a paperback I know I'll probably only read once and then stick on a shelf or on a pile, when I can probably borrow the book for free from the Library? Psychology is fascinating... Schopenhauer...
  • Antimail

    Building a bridge in France versus US

    • 13 Comments
    Recently I read an article about the newest bridge in Millau, France. Everything about this bridge is out of scale. The highest point is 1,125ft (343m). That's right - its pillars are taller than the Eiffel tower! And the highway is suspended at max 885ft...
  • Antimail

    A bit of black magic: How to assign drive letters to VSS shadow copies... on Windows XP !

    • 13 Comments
    A while back, I wrote a post on how to assign drive letters to shadow copies. On Windows Server 2003, the solution is simple, as there is already an API (called ExposeSnapshots()) to assign a drive letter to a shadow copy device. This API can be exercised...
  • Antimail

    Useful copy/paste trick in CMD.EXE

    • 12 Comments
    Many people have trouble doing copy/paste in CMD.EXE. Indeed, there are no keyboard shortucts for this thing, and the selection of the text to copy can only be done through the mouse. You have to go to the system menu, select "Copy", then do your selection...
  • Antimail

    Where are all my iPods?

    • 12 Comments
    Leander Kahney publishes an interesting discovery : "About 80 percent of Microsoft employees who have a portable music player have an iPod," said one source, a high-level manager who asked to remain anonymous. "It's pretty staggering." The source estimated...
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