Anecdotes of how we have made systems and programs, their mistakes and things learned. Real facts and opinions. Algorithms and Problems. Tips and Tricks.
Well, I didn't know whether to put this article in "Stories" or if here, in "ProgramSolving", but in the end, due to the randomness of the Programming, I decided to put it here.
It was between 1973-1974 and a Programmer from the Center's Department of Mathematics, Raisa Cepero Bonilla, was in charge of carrying out a project to carry out a "Factorial Analysis by Correspondence", which is a fairly sophisticated statistical analysis and not very broad utilization even today.
It was programmed to run on the most advanced French "Iris-10" computers that we had access to. The program consisted of more than two full boxes of punch cards, each box holding a thousand cards.
Well, it was time to leave for the Computer Center, and when the driver arrived to take us, as he had been an ambulance driver, he was given to run like the wind.
I am about to get into the car and without being completely inside yet, the driver starts and begins to move, perhaps waiting for me to "fly in" but what happened is that the boxes full of cards fell to the floor, rolled, and were scattered around the Street.
After stopping the car, we set about collecting all the cards one by one and putting them in the boxes in any order, and finally we left.
When we arrived at the Calculation Center, as we had an old previous list of the program, we used it to gradually sort all the cards, one by one.
On several occasions we had already made fixes to the program and it still did not give good results, and what would not be our surprise when "the new order" that we formed from the random "disorder" due to the fall of the cards THEN the program "compiled and executed to a thousand wonders!
Who knows which card (s) were blown away by the wind or which card (s) were put in the "correct" order so that at the end of the random disorder the program would be "perfect" !!!
I have never seen or experienced anything like this again.
And that's how we set up and finish the ANFACT!
Octavio Báez Hidalgo.