project euler

I skipped a problem on Project Euler because it looked very long winded. It was something about fractional expansions of square roots. I dislike fractions at the best of times, and trying to deal in perfect fractions inside a computer which wants to treat them as inexact floating point numbers is a kind of tedium I just can’t get behind.

So I skipped it and went to the next question. Uh oh, it’s talking about the same thing.

I skipped that too. The next question looks easier. It’s solving some kind of multi-variable quadratic equation. I can do that. Except I can’t do that because the naive solution involves testing for a perfect square which as anyone who has ever tried to will know, is really quite difficult and slow because computers tend to do stupid things with awkward decimals. Anyway, it turns out the beast I am trying to solve (in fact, solve 1000 times) is called Pell’s equation which can be solved easily by considering the fractional expansion of square roots… o.O

In other news, Charlie Brooker and I eat the same breakfast cereal.


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