Blog : Posts tagged with 'reproducability'



In which things always go wrong … unless FP wants them to go wrong

Or, A Work Story.

We need a new printer. The MD says: “Order a new printer!” Our manager waits until he’s out of earshot, then says: “get Spare Printer X working and use that instead.”

So, I find Spare Printer X out, and do manage to get it working. I test it. It seems to be fine. But then, a strange thing starts happening.

I give it a page to print. Let’s call it Page A. It prints it. All is well.

I test a different page. Page B. The printer happily prints another copy of Page A.

A third page to the printer? Out comes Page A again.

Let’s try a four-page document. I get: four copies of Page A.

Switch to a different application. It works! It prints what I tell it to – Page X this time.

I print Page Y from that application. I get Page X again.

Go back to the first program. Still printing Page A.

Let’s reboot the printer. Let’s print. Oh look, Page A.

OK, it’s not the printer. Let’s reboot the printer, and the computer, wait ten minutes, turn them back on. Check there are no files spooled and waiting. Print something. Out comes: Page A. Now this, surely, is physically impossible.*

The boss pops down to check how I’m getting along. “It’s borked,” I say. “It only ever prints copies of the first thing you told it to print. It’s useless. Look.” I repeat my last, failed, print request. It prints perfectly. Arse.

“Looks fine to me,” says the boss. “Put it in, and see if they have any problems.”

Of course, I know it’s never going to work now.

* or at least, extremely improbable, if you follow Sherlock Holmes’ philosophy.

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In which we are doubtful about “science”

I’m just glad I’m away from the office now, and tomorrow. There’s a big risk I’m going to get called in Sunday, but tomorrow I’m going to stay well outside commuting distance – and I’ve made sure everyone knows as much. I’ve told them all it’s long-planned, too.

In other news, Top Scientists have discovered that hungry men like bigger women. I love pointless science. There’s a fun experiment I want to try sometime, to judge just how accurate these experiments are. Give some men a series of flashcards, with pictures of women on, and get them to rate them. Don’t give them very long between each one, just enough time to give a first impression. Then, wait ten minutes, and do it again.* See if your average man can produce consistent results on something like that. I’m sure they won’t do.

* Distract them for a few minutes if you like, to make sure they don’t remember their rankings for any of the pictures.

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