Wednesday, April 9, 2008

How I got my job (part 1)

Now that I have a little down time (most of the packing done), I will explain the strange way I got my interview.

So I found this card after talking to some recruiter at SXSW. The recruiter was pretty vague, but seemed nice (read: hot) enough to take a look at the company. So I went to the site, but it’s gone now because apparently I have the right stuff. I copied the puzzle, which was:
Even people who break new ground have precursors and inspirations. Here is a “shopping list” from one of mine. Who was he and what was he building?

The final equipment as now envisaged will comprise
(i) One master clock involving about four valves.
(ii) Four electronic commutators involving 124 valves.
(iii) Ten transfer gating sources involving about 300 valves.
(iv) Distributional system for Items 1, 2 and 3, involving about 25 valves.
(v) Two hundred dynamic storage units involving about 1600 valves.
(vi) Fifty temporary storage units involving about 400 valves.
(vii) Two input organs involving about 64 valves.
(viii) Two output organs involving about 190 valves.
(ix) Two logical control units or programmers involving about 230 valves.
(x) Four selector trees involving about 3,000 valves.
(xi) Three adders involving about 30 valves.
(xii) Interconnection system of all units via Item 10 involving possibly 250 valves.
(xiii) Hollerith tabulator for input and printing.
(xiv) Hollerith card puncher for output organ.

In addition, he set three goals for his new creation.

(1) The speed of the machine is no longer limited by the speed of the human operator
(2) The human element of fallibility is eliminated, although it may to an extent be replaced by mechanical fallibility.
(3) Very much more complicated processes can be carried out than could be easily dealt with by human labour.

Reply to

Not exactly your standard “submit your resume here” form. Now I could tell you the answer, but what would be the fun in that? I’ll post the answer later.

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