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archive:100:paging_g.ame

Date: 17 March 1981 13:59 est From: York.Multics at MIT-Multics (William M. York) Subject: The Paging Game To: sipb at MIT-MC, info-cobol at MIT-AI

The following appeared in a recent issue of "Multing", an on-line magazine distributed on one of Honeywell's internal Multics systems.

  1. WMY

This note is a formal non-working paper of the Project MAC Computer Systems Research Division. It should be reproduced and distributed wherever levity is lacking, and may be referenced at your own risk in other publications.

                   The Paging Game
                  By Jeff Berryman
                      RULES

1. Each player gets several million things.

2. Things are kept in crates that hold 4096 things each.

   Things in the same crate are called crate-mates.

3. Crates are stored either in the workshop or the warehouse.

   The workshop is almost always too small to hold all
   the crates.

4. There is only one workshop but there may be several

   warehouses.  Everybody shares them.

5. Each thing has its own thing number.

6. What you do with a thing is to zark it. Everybody

   takes turns zarking.

7. You can only zark your things, not anybody else's.

8. Things can only be zarked when they are in the

   workshop.

9. Only the Thing King knows whether a thing is in the

   workshop or in a warehouse.

10. The longer a thing goes without being zarked, the

   grubbier it is said to become.

11. The way you get things is to ask the Thing King.

   He only gives out things in multiples of eight.
   This is to keep the royal overhead down.

12. The way you zark a thing is to give its thing

   number.  If you give the number of a thing that happens
   to be in a workshop it gets zarked right away.  If it
   is in a warehouse, the Thing King packs the crate
   containing your thing back into the workshop.  If there
   is no room in the workshop, he first finds the grubbiest
   crate in the workshop, whether it be yours or somebody
   else's, and packs it off with all its crate-mates to a
   warehouse.  In its place he puts the crate containing
   your thing.  Your thing then gets zarked and you never
   know that it wasn't in the workshop all along.

13. Each player's stock of things have the same numbers as

   everybody else's.  The Thing King always knows who owns
   what thing and whose turn it is, so you can't ever
   accidentally zark somebody else's thing even if it has the
   same thing number as one of yours.
                      NOTES

1. Traditionally, the Thing King sits at a large, segmented

   table and is attended to by pages (the so-called "table
   pages") whose job it is to help the king remember where
   all the things are and who they belong to.

2. One consequence of Rule 13 is that everybody's thing

   numbers will be similar from game to game, regardless
   of the number of players.

3. The Thing King has a few things of his own, some of

   which move back and forth between workshop and warehouse
   just like anybody else's, but some of which are just
   too heavy to move out of the workshop.

4. With the given set of rules, oft-zarked things tend to

   get kept mostly in the workshop while little-zarked
   things stay mostly in a warehouse.  This is efficient
   stock control.

5. Sometimes even warehouses get full. The Thing King

   then has to start piling things on the dump out back.
   This makes the game slower because it takes a long time
   to get things off the dump when they are needed in the
   workshop.  A forthcoming change in the rules will allow
   the Thing King to select the grubbiest things in the
   warehouses and send them to the dump in his spare time,
   thus keeping the warehouses from getting too full.
   This means that the most infrequently-zarked things will
   end up in the dump so the Thing King won't have to get
   things from the dump so often.  This should speed up
   the game when there are a lot of players and the warehouses
   are getting full.
              LONG LIVE THE THING KING
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