Monday, December 12, 2011

Complexity anyone?

John Biaz, a mathematician rather than a project manager, asks some provocative questions from time to time that are of interest to us. The latest in his post on complexity:
What can you do with just a little information?

• Bill Gates’ first commercial success was an implementation of a useful version of BASIC in about 4000 bytes;

• The complete genetic code of an organism can be as short as a few hundred thousand bytes, and that has to be encoded in a way that doesn’t allow for highly clever compression schemes.

This from Wikipedia:
Recent computer hardware advancements include faster processors, more memory, faster video graphics processors, and hardware 3D acceleration. With many of the past’s challenges removed, the focus .... has moved from squeezing as much out of the computer as possible to making stylish, beautiful, well-designed real time artwork

On the other hand, Baez's friend Bruce Smith produced this video (sans hardware infrastructure) in 4KB (that's a rounding error on a rounding error in most programs today). So, don't say it can't be done; don't accept bloat; be lean!

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