Monday, December 05, 2005

How long does it take to count 38000 characters one character at a time ?

One of the guys working on my team (called V) came across an error while putting together a query for generating a report. Trying to figure out the error message he sends out a note to internal experts of the reporting tool (Business Objects - hilariously referred to as BO in short. In the past I have heard of people comment about someone elses BO but that was in a more personal sense :-) )asking for help. Someone well versed in BO :-) writes back that the tool supports auto-generated queries of a maximum length of 65536 characters. Luckily I was talking to V on the phone and also had netmeeting running where I could see his desktop and other sample reports he had developed. I was shown the email from the BO expert :-) in response to his plea for help. I suggested V check the number of characters of the query. I hear V give a big sigh. I didnt understand why he was sighing. I heard him say "I need to count the characters of this query" in a quizzical way. I go whats the big deal, copy it from the reporting tool, paste it into word and then you can get the counts. I saw him copy paste from the tool to word. Then I was shocked speechless when I hear him mumble 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8...... all the while moving the cursor in word a character at a time ! I was so shocked by this that by the time I could croak out a "V what are you doing ?" , V had already reached ....31,32,33 and was begining to go strong . Phew ! I told him to stop what he was doing and showed him the magic of Tools-> Word Count in Word and voila ...we see 38560 characters and change. V was very relieved and sounded very sheepish :-). I was more relieved as I had just saved atleast an hour of Vs time today if not more...he could have counted all the way to 15000 and then lost count and then started again or worse still taken all night to work on counting the characters ! I wish people would think a little before doing stuff like this.

To answer the question in the post title: I didnt get to find out but I know it took V almost 1 second per character. It took Microsoft word less than 1 second to count 38000 characters.

Category: Humour Rant


Blogger SV said...

Funny... BO reminds of Seinfeld episode :)

December 05, 2005  
Blogger Danesh said...

LOL! Sounds so silly.

I would have used Textpad, it displays the number of characters in the status bar.

December 05, 2005  
Blogger ssk said...

wc -c

December 06, 2005  

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