SimonDurkee.com

Busy Fixing The Internet...

Welcome to my small parcel of real estate located just off the information superhighway in the virtual world of tomorrow. My life on-line is mostly spent advising people and businesses what technologies to use and how best to utilize them. I help find the best deals on everything from a lowly phone charger ($0.99) up to a rack of high-end computer servers ($1,250,415.96, which was about half of what they were going to pay!).

 

Most people ask me how I learned to use, build, and repair all this crazy technology. I was immersed in computers and electronics as a very young child. My father is an electrical engineer, and I remember using the oscilloscope on his workbench as early a 3 yrs old. Experimenting measuring various voltages, frequencies, and signals.

 

On my 8th birthday, I received my first computer. Compared to today's devices, this computer was thousands of times slower, and had millions of times less storage capacity as your average cell phone. Using the computer came very naturally for me. Writing my first program came easy and felt very natural to me. My Father described an ancient fable on the origins of chess and the "payment" requested by it's creator:

 

When the inventor of the game of chess showed it to the emperor of India, the emperor was so impressed by the new game, that he said to the man, "Name your reward!" The man responded, "Oh emperor, my wishes are simple. I only wish for this. Give me one grain of wheat for the first square of the chessboard, two grains for the next square, four for the next, eight for the next and so on for all 64 squares, with each square having double the number of grains as the square before."

The emperor agreed, amazed that the man had asked for such a small reward - or so he thought. After a week, his treasurer came back and informed him that the reward would add up to an astronomical sum, far greater than all the wheat that could conceivably be produced in many many centuries!

 

How Much Wheat? That was what my first computer program was to figure out... Should I be able to successfully compute the amount of wheat on the 64th square, not only would he be impressed, he would also purchase a printer so I could start using the computer for school work and other tasks required printed output.

 

After 10 minutes or so, I came back and instructed my Father to follow me, oh, "and bring your credit card". The total amount of wheat on the board? 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 grains.

 

It was apparent that I had a knack for computing, and most certainly a future in the industry...

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