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Old 27th June 2007, 01:25 AM   #1
CGK
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Question Anyone knows how much is the highest total PPS sectors in one qualifying year?

I am curious about this. Since I became QPP, I took about 150 to 180 PPS sectors each of the requalifying year. I knew someone that had done almost 200 in one particular year. Now, I am wondering how many sectors is the highest? I am just curious about this because of my slow posting in my account. Yes, I would have earned more than 250 sectors in this requalifying year. Is it possible that the computer program did not expect above 250 in one year?
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Old 27th June 2007, 01:32 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGK View Post
Is it possible that the computer program did not expect above 250 in one year?
If that really is the problem, then I'd expect the limit to be 255 sectors!

(Computers handle data in the form of "bytes" each consisting of 8 bits where each bit is either 0 or 1. Where a number is stored as a single byte (as opposed to two or more bytes in the computer's memory), then you'd have this:

00000000 = 0
00000001 = 1
00000010 = 2
00000011 = 3
00000100 = 4
00000101 = 5
.
.
.
11111111 = 255)
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Old 27th June 2007, 01:42 AM   #3
CGK
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Is there other numbers possible after that? 275? After 300? Sorry, I have no idea of binaries programming.
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Old 27th June 2007, 01:50 AM   #4
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I think the next one is 511, CGK.
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Old 27th June 2007, 01:53 AM   #5
CGK
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So, what you are saying, SQ might have programmed the computer only as high as 255 per qualifying year when they started the PPS Club. (yeah, a crazy person would have Solitaire within a year! So, if someone has more than 255, the computer could not handle it, unless the programmer change it to 511? Am I saying it correctly?
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Old 27th June 2007, 01:56 AM   #6
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We may have to wait till someone like Savage25 tells us how they handle data overflow problems like this. I do think it was reasonable for them to assume that no one would attempt to do more than 255 sectors per membership year.
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Old 27th June 2007, 01:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGK View Post
Is there other numbers possible after that? 275? After 300? Sorry, I have no idea of binaries programming.
Technically, No (If the PPS system was using binary storage) BUT I seriously doubt anyone would be storing the sector count in binary instead of a numeric value.

So the most logical field type would be a "single" thus it should support 1.401298e-45 to 3.402823e38. Therefore field type should not be the concern rather it should be an arbitary value selected by the programmer when programming.
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Old 27th June 2007, 01:59 AM   #8
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Thanks, SuperJonJon, for the clarification. Not that I understood all of your explanation, of course.
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Old 27th June 2007, 02:24 AM   #9
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Arbitrary? So, it's possible that someone 10 years ago thought that it's illogical to have more than 255 sectors in a year?
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Old 27th June 2007, 03:25 AM   #10
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At a basic level, computers deal with data in the form of bytes (8 bits each).

If you only use one byte (8 bits) to store a number (ignoring negative values and floating point decimal numbers), you go from 0 to a maximum of 255 as shown above.

If you use two bytes (16 bits) to store a number (ignoring negative values and floating point decial numbers), you go from 0 to a maximum of 65,535.

(This explains why some old computers could only have a maximum of 64K of memory (without tweaking) because they addressed everything using 16 bits, i.e. 1111111111111111 = 65,535 = 64 * 1024 = 64K.)

Now a programmer may have made a decision that nobody would get more than 255 PPS sectors, so store the value in one byte rather than use two bytes (thereby saving a byte of storage for each PPS member)! Whilst computers nowadays have gigabytes of memory (where 1 gigabyte = 1,024 x 1,024 x 1,024 bytes), using an extra byte of storage for each record isn't a problem but not that long ago, you were talking about kilobytes of memory (where 1 kilobyte = 1,024 bytes) for your typical computer!

Of course as SuperJonJon says, it's not likely but ... on the other hand, programmers years ago thought that it was unlikely that their programs would be around after the year 1999 so stored dates as (say) "98" rather than "1998" giving rise to the year 2000 problem! If programmed badly, an overflow would mean that the counter resets to zero, i.e. the year 1999 plus 1 year = the year 1900!

Last edited by jhm; 27th June 2007 at 03:35 AM..
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Old 27th June 2007, 06:42 AM   #11
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CGK, how many sectors have posted successfully to your so far this year? And how many are yet to post?
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Old 27th June 2007, 07:13 AM   #12
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Not yet posted are about 70.5 sectors.
Here the lists:

http://www.sqtalk.com/forums/showpos...&postcount=354

With what had been posted so far, I should have way more than 255.
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Old 27th June 2007, 10:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhm View Post
At a basic level, computers deal with data in the form of bytes (8 bits each).

If you only use one byte (8 bits) to store a number (ignoring negative values and floating point decimal numbers), you go from 0 to a maximum of 255 as shown above.
As PPS Sectors involves decimals(1.25 sectors, 1.5 sectors, etc) , it is not possible to be 0 to 255.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGK
With what had been posted so far, I should have way more than 255.
Maybe an arbitary value such as 365? Where the programmer thinks it is not possible to do more than 1 sector a day for 365 days consecutively?
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Old 27th June 2007, 10:59 AM   #14
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A little off-track: All these talk reminds me -- not fondly -- of the Computer Science course I took back in uni... I still think that I chose the wrong subject, which led to the wrong jobs. Really looking forward to moving to the aviation sector.
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Old 27th June 2007, 11:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The High Flyer View Post
A little off-track: All these talk reminds me -- not fondly -- of the Computer Science course I took back in uni... I still think that I chose the wrong subject, which led to the wrong jobs. Really looking forward to moving to the aviation sector.
Tell me about it, I was "conned" into this line as a 16 yo entering university.
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