Let’s find out how well you know computers! All of these programs
have a variable NUMBER in them. Your mission: guess how big NUMBER
needs to get before the program takes 1 second to run.

You don’t need to guess exactly: they’re all between 1 and a
billion. Just try to guess the right order of magnitude! A few

  • If the answer is 38,000, both 10,000 and 100,000 are
    considered correct answers. The goal is to not be wrong by
    more than 10x :)
  • We know computers have different disk & network & CPU
    speeds! We’re trying to get you to tell the difference
    between code that can run 10 times/s and 100000 times/s. A
    newer computer won’t make your code run 1000x faster :)
  • That said, all this was run on a new laptop with a fast
    SSD and a sketchy network connection. The C code was compiled with gcc -O2.

Good luck! We were surprised by a lot of these. We’ll be
anonymously collecting your answers, so expect some graphs in the
future! =D

Made for you by Julia Evans (@b0rk) and Kamal Marhubi (@kamalmarhubi).

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