Thursday, April 7, 2005

It Happens Every Thursday

Alternate Title: "Hamming 1 Will Get You 2"

"It isn't that they can't see the solution. It is that they can't see the problem." - G. K. Chesterton

In my Wednesday night class we discusses Hamming Codes invented by Richard Hamming. (For even more on Hamming Codes I recommend you take a glance at this paper). Hamming codes are pretty cool and simple. For every 4 bits of data you need 3 check bits - which gives you a total of 7 bits. With these 7 bits you can correct 1 error and detect 2 errors. Hamming codes are using in databases and even in servers with redundant data.

Of course, this wasn't the first time I had seem Hamming codes. A year ago I had taken a class about reliable computing (which was actually taught by the same professor as the one I have now for computer architecture). If you are interested in cryptography, then I recommend this article. There is even an application of Hamming codes for quantum computers. Here is a recent article about Raid.

Other stuff in the news:

They have been able to show that Sahelanthropus tchadensis does belongs to the human branch. This is one of those cool applications of computers onto other fields of science. (Hmmm...I wonder how you get jobs in that field).

NASA's been in the news a lot recently, it appears that now they have extended the Mars rover mission by 18 months.

Does 'Geek Speak' confuse you?

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