Musings about Developers Numbering Schemes

Even now when I use an absolute cell reference in Excel I’ll read the “$A” in my head as “string A”…

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One reason I still tend to use “tens” to ensure sorting of lists.
Because numbers like this 1, 2, 3, 10, 20, 30
might end up sorting like this… 1,10,2,20,3,30

And where numbers are stored as strings I might go overboard.
010, 020, 030…

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OK… WAY off topic here… but… 10 points to the first person who can definitively tell me what THIS program would do?

20 GOTO 10
30 END

Actually, this program gives THREE results

Isn’t CHR(7) a BEEP (it is in Python not sure about this language)? however it looks like it would beep for ever… infinite loop? Wild guess here hehe

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And now… just to complicate things in my mind, I have learned that in C3 you can use the $ for building strings… example
“old way”:

string name = "Tim";
int counter = 2;
string object = "car"

// "old" way:
string MyStr1 = string.Format("My name is {0} and I have {1} {2}(s).",name,counter,object);

// "new way" using the Dollar sign 
string MyStr2 = $"My name is {name} and I have {counter} {object}(s).";

Both MyStr1 and MyStr2 have the same value of “My name is Tim and I have 2 car(s).”
But example 2 is much easier to read.


ASCII 7 is the BELL character

I imagine an old teletype making a ding like an old typewriter when you get to within 10 characters of the right margin.

I remember it was in the old Apple II basic

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I go by the assumption (which may be wrong), that

CHR(1)  = Ctlr+A
CHR(2)  = Ctlr+B
CHR(7) = Ctlr+G (BELL)
CHR(8) = Ctrl+H (Backspace)
CHR(26)  = Ctlr+Z (works as EOF if using COPY CON to create a text file)

Hence why Ctrl+I was a TAB, Ctrl+J was a LF, and Ctrl+M was a CR (might have those last two backwards)

Open a command prompt and type echo then hit CTRL+G. you’ll see

c:\echo ^G

Then hit enter to hear your systems “bell”

And if your backspace key ever breaks and you’re on a command prompt, Ctrl+H will act as the backspace key.

[quote=“ckrusen, post:28, topic:52027”]
And if your backspace key ever breaks and you’re on a command prompt… [/quote]

We have people here that couldn’t operate their computer without a mouse. I shock them when I do things with keyboard commands.

Well… @josecgomez was the first to reply at least “partially” correct… Chr7 was defined in Ascii as the “bell”. (see and since some of the main initial use of the Ascii character set was to drive the old… it literally had a “Bell” (not a beep)…
So the Program above did THREE things:

  1. it rang the bell at a rate of about 10 rings per second (the speed of the machine)
  2. it ran forever
  3. it made the teacher mad when you pressed return on the RUN command on your way out of the classroom. (and I imagine that the teacher can still hear the dingdingding).

The idea was you could have two teletypes connected, and press Ctrl-G (chr 7) and get the attention of the person at the other teletype. If you have never seen a teletype in action… see here:
And yes… I initially learned how to program using a Teletype Model 33… we typed our programs into the computer using these archaic devices. and we saved our programs on Paper Tape… to be read in later for further programming.


I want badly to use string interpolation but it feels like I’m doing something wrong.

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We had teletypes or monitors so nobody used the teletype. :slight_smile: But the same trick was available on the monitors too. There was a :TELL command that would let you “instant message” another session (before SMS was even popular). We would look at logged in users and then lean on that cntrl-G (maximum 256) but it would scare the daylights out of the unsuspecting user.

RND(Timer) - to set the random number generator to a truly random value - otherwise you get the exact same sequence of random numbers over and over.

Wow… my hair isn’t NEARLY the color of yours, but I started on an HP 1000 using 2752A teleprinters. Looked identical, down to the paper tape module. The actual computer was at the voke tech school in the next town, connected by (wait for it) a 110 baud modem.

Truly? …

Isn’t a “truly random number generator” a holy grail of computational mathematics?


LOL you’re right. The Rnd(TIMER) took a value from the computer’s clock to start a sequence of random numbers. Without that statement, the random numbers would be the same each time!

Did a lot of game programming back in the day.