Why is Andy such a Precision Freak?
Ok, I'm not being serious. If you haven't read his piece on Floating Point Number, let me tell you, it's a great read. While most of us don't confront issues that require this precision or even think in these types of terms, some people do and it's nice to know that people like Andy are as picky as they are. I work in a business where we make money by lines we transcribe. In the transcription business, a Line isn't really a line as you might think. You see, font size, font face and all that crap can change the physical size of a line (that's often why professors specify 500 lines with single spacing, Times New Roman font at size 10 etc) , so a contract may define a line as '75 characters not including white spaces'. Obviously this stuff varies and different facilities will negotiate different rates per line. But the point is that rounding out to say 3 decimal places is fine unless otherwise specified. But think about the numbers Andy's stuff deals with - and on a 911 system, the consequences could be pretty severe. Sure 10 seconds may not seem like a big deal a lot of the time, but if that was your kid I'm sure you'd agree that 10 seconds is a lifetime, and in the kid's case, it literally would be. So he's blogging about the new features in VC++ in VS 2005 http://www.cadencoding.net/blogs/users/cornbread/default.aspx and goes on to explain why he feels this way (I guess he gets asked “Why are you such a precision freak” more than people ask me “Hey, have you ever thought of buying a 2 litre bottle of diet coke instead of drinking that fountain stuff, it sure would save you some money”).
Andy must have one of the coolest jobs I've ever heard of.