Comments for The Thing King

14 Responses to “The Thing King”

  1. R Caloca on February 4th, 2009 11:51 am

    I own that book, and I have to say it is one of the best books on memory and programming (even though specific to C) I’ve ever read. Great blog!

  2. Alex on February 5th, 2009 5:32 am

    Except the king can hardly tell which crate is the grubbiest.
    If a crate is in the workshop already, simply zarking a thing in it won’t un-grubify the crate.
    So all he has to go by is how long ago the crate was brought back from the warehouse.
    Sometimes he does a little trick, he pretends the crate is away at the warehouse but actually it in the workshop. If someone tries to zark a thing in that crate, the king can tell that the crate is quite in demand.

  3. Gustavo Duarte on February 5th, 2009 9:19 am

    @R Caloca: I love the anecdotes and style on that book. Has that playful hacker attitude, very nice read.

    @Alex: HAHAHAH. Brilliant.

  4. Eric Grunin on February 9th, 2009 2:22 am

    Amazingly, I was just thinking about this story yesterday–I had read it back in the early 80s and was trying to remember the details. Thanks for posting it!

  5. Radu on February 10th, 2009 9:40 am

    Great post! I like the analogy game.

    From now on I’ll start using the new terms: crates, workshop, zarking and grubby when corresponding with our lead developer :)

  6. Bruno Orsini on February 11th, 2009 5:30 am

    Great one indeed. Like Radu, and unlike the late Edsger Dijkstra (as exposed vehemently in his famous ‘On the Cruelty of Really Teaching Computer Science’*), I also believe analogies often help a lot.

    * (this was written in 1988, BTW)

  7. Radu on February 11th, 2009 12:40 pm

    Bruno, I agree with you on that one. Though analogies cannot be applied everywhere (especially in new, radical fields of science like Quantum Mechanics) we shouldn’t just discount their power, especially in the early stages of learning a new discipline.

  8. Confluence: Jared Robinson on April 14th, 2009 12:19 pm

    Notes 2009.04.14…

    Notes for yesterday ended up in a JIRA comment…

  9. Confluence: Jared Robinson on April 27th, 2009 7:19 am

    Notes 2009.04.14 database growth per net bandwidth…

    Notes for yesterday ended up in a JIRA comment…

  10. Eric Shilling on September 30th, 2009 12:18 am

    Loved this story in the 70s.
    Recently I was telling a recent graduate (EE) about ancient large mainframes. He asked me what computers were used for in those days.
    Just wanted to mention that in rule 12 it says:
    “he first finds the grubbiest crate in the workshop … and packs it off with all its crate-mates to a warehouse”. Since he is talking about a crate and crates don’t have crate-mates, the phrase “with all its crate-mates” should be deleted.
    Guess I’m obsessive.

  11. Malay halder on October 1st, 2009 6:25 am

    Hello Gustavo,

    great articles. Thanks for the crystal clear explanation.

    Please write as much as you can. share your knowledge
    I feel truly thankful to people like you
    Wish i could have a teacher like you

    keep on writing …for all of us


  12. Rob on July 15th, 2010 6:34 pm

    wow. I’m at a loss for words at the content of your blog.
    Truly great stuff – not just this post, but all of them. Kudos !

  13. caf on March 16th, 2011 6:11 pm

    Alex: There is another trick. Each location in the warehouse is equipped with a small candle, and whenever a thing within the crate residing in that location is zarked, the candle is lit. The Thing King can periodically arrange to have one of the table pages blow out some of the candles. If a candle remains unlit for some time, the things within that crate are obviously not in demand.

  14. Como o kernel gerencia a sua memória – Parte 03: o Rei das Coisas - Leoweb - Web designer | Leoweb - Web designer on February 13th, 2012 11:11 am

    [...] original disponível em: Tags: Cada Coisa, Coisas Texto, Notas Tradicionalmente, Sua Coisa [+] Share & Bookmark [...]