163: Donald Knuth
Title text: His books were kinda intimidating; rappelling down through his skylight seemed like the best option.
An "array" in computer science is a structure that holds multiple values, and is "indexed" by a number. In Pascal, for instance, one writes array to access the first element in the array. Most "modern" (read: descended from C) languages use 0 as the index for the first element in the array, but it is possible (if one is careful about it) to ignore the 0th element and use 1 as the first index. Cueball is complaining that Black Hat was not consistent in his choice of where to start his arrays.
Black Hat's citation of Donald Knuth implies that, in order to ask him about it, he broke into the professor's house, and has nothing to do with the argument over array indexes.
- [Black Hat and Cueball are sitting back to back at two separate desks, typing.]
- Cueball: Man, you're being inconsistent with your array indices. Some are from one, some are from zero.
- Black Hat: Different tasks call for different conventions. To quote Stanford algorithm's expert Donald Knuth, "Who are you? How did you get in my house?"
- Cueball: Wait, what?
- Black Hat: Well, that's what he said when I asked him about it.