Fri 6 Apr 2007

In November of 2006 I wrote about a programming contest hosted by Josh Coates and his merry band over at Mozy. Josh is up to his old antics again, and a week from Saturday (April 14), he’s holding a 2nd Code “Deathmatch.”^{*}

The geek action starts at 10AM. Last time they split the $10k among a handful of finishers. This go-round they’ve upped the ante to $20k, which will be dispersed according to this formula: **f(x) = (20000/2^x)*1.0039231** (Which is Josh’s curious way of feigning the arcane by including an almost-one multiplier on an otherwise straightforward division.) I’ll break it down for you:

**1st**$10,039.23**2nd**$5,019.62**3rd**$2,509.81**4th**$1,254.90**5th**$627.45**6th**$313.73**7th**$156.86**8th**$78.43

Get more details and register.

* No actual death is involved

The multiplier isn’t so arbitrary.

give us a hint, then. what does 1.0039231 mean!?!?

no arcane feigning over here – we’re just trying to give away exactly $20K and we’re going to have exactly 8 finalists…

Hi Josh. The mystery is finally solved! Though with the given multiplier 1.0039231 you’ll give away three cents extra (20000.03051.) Drop off the last two digits (1.00392) and you’ll save yourself 2 pennies: 20000.008594

Ryan – you would be correct if we could write checks that included fractions of a cent.

Slight clarification – we’re mean so we round DOWN to the penny. We left the floor symbol out cause it made the formula look kind of ugly. That’s how we get it to exactly $20k.

Ah yes, with floor it makes sense. I was, as you guessed, rounding up.

[...] You’ll also remember that Josh’s Mozy held the popular $20,000 dollar computer programming “death matches.” [...]