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.
- [Two programmers, 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.