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Programming under adverse keyboard conditions

or game for obstinate people who write programs
  (+3, -1)
(+3, -1)
  [vote for,

While writing a steoegano...stogano...stega.... a program that hides information in other information, I had a slight handicap.

I was doing the program on a slightly cranky laptop wot I had just bought secondhand. In my haste, I had not fully understand that quite a few of the keys on the keyboard did not work.

So, when writing the code, I found that the n, b, t, m + and CTRL key did not work, which was a bit of a bugger. So I went over to copy and paste, opening up configuration files in a text editor to get the required letters.

My idea for the game is this, that programmers are set a program to write, they are given a specially knackered laptop, with 33% of the keys not working and a set of bogus config files with almost none of the letters they need.

The whole thing to be televised, with a small cash prize and a "bloody obstinate nerd of the year" t-shirt to the winner.

not_morrison_rm, Dec 18 2011

Real Programmers http://xkcd.com/378/
[spidermother, Dec 20 2011]


       Horrible, horrible. Worse than the Ouroboros leech idea. Just reading this is enough to get a migraine started.   

       Champions would write the code with substitutions (say, "_plus" for "+", "1/u" for "n", and so on) and run it through a filter. Bootstrapping your way to a working filter would make for real competition, though.   

       There should be some restriction on, or obstacle to simply using ASCII (or Unicode) numbers directly.
mouseposture, Dec 18 2011

       // The whole thing to be televised //   

       I'd rather watch a show about guys cutting down trees.
Alterother, Dec 19 2011

       And singing songs about being a lumberjack, acompanied by a chorus of Mounties?
8th of 7, Dec 19 2011

       Related to what [mouseposture] wrote, you didn't say anything about the number keys on the keypad. If you hold down the ALT key, and while holding it down, type the keypad numbers 0 6 5 then when you let up on the ALT key, the capital letter A appears (the ASCII code for the capital-A is 65).   

       Most people who use this trick do so to get various special characters that can't normally be accessed directly from the keyboard, such as the degrees-of-temperature ° symbol (hold down ALT and type 2 4 8 on the keypad). Normal-key ASCII codes run from 0 3 2 for the blank-space to 1 2 6 for the "tilde" ~ symbol. (In-between are all the upper-case and lower-case alphabet characters, the numbers, and various common symbols such as punctuation marks, the dollar sign the percent sign, and so on.)   

       The special characters start at 1 2 8 and (depending on the overall character set your computer is using) may or may not go up to 2 5 5. They commonly tend to include Greek alphabet characters, and various European versions of the Roman-alphabet vowels, such as 1 4 8 yielding ö.
Vernon, Dec 19 2011

       Programmers used to have to work within real constraints, like having to fit a program within a few K of memory, which arguably improved the quality of program-writing.
hippo, Dec 19 2011

       Certainly true for Bill Gates… the BASIC in ROM which shipped with products like the Commodore PET in the 1970's were almost useable. Shame it's all been downhill since then…
8th of 7, Dec 19 2011

       A long long time ago, I was coding a custom keyboard handler for a market data terminal. I was working with a regular IBM keyboard, but as a prank, a co- worker switched a couple of the more esoteric keys, and as I as testing my scripts appeared to be off for inexplicable reasons. That was fun for a few days.
theircompetitor, Dec 19 2011

       Coding is quite hard enough without additional constraints. Thank you.
wagster, Dec 19 2011

       Coding is a matter of satisfying constraints. Unlike for algorithm design, *all* the constraints in coding are arbitrary. For those nutters who don't find that sufficiently frustrating, there are esolangs. *This* idea is for masochists who can no longer get off on brainf*ck or Whitespace.
mouseposture, Dec 19 2011

       [8th], yes very much so, though of course I have seen it and sung it (and seen it sung and been seen singing it) lo these many years, but I meant one of those gawdawful shows about blue-collar guys doing back-breaking work until somebody gets a little pissy and then they all start shouting at each other. Frankly, the only thing I can think of that would be more please-kill-me-now boring than watching a show about programmers at work would be watching a Star Trek Voyager marathon.   

       Or a show about a writer at work. That would be pretty boring too.
Alterother, Dec 20 2011

       I seem to remember a practical joke on the bakery somewhere, where the font was substituted with a very similar looking name, but with all the characters swapped.
Ling, Dec 20 2011

       It should be "adverse conditions", not just restricted to "adverse keyboard conditions" so as to include, for example, writing code outside in a blizzard, or while being attacked by jackals.
hippo, Dec 20 2011

       What, as well as having your finished code chewed at when you're not looking by the Evil Invisible Space Pixies that live in the system console ?
8th of 7, Dec 20 2011

       //while being attacked by jackals.//   

       ok, but only if the jackals have to wear stilts, don't want to make it too easy.
not_morrison_rm, Dec 30 2011


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