Have you ever come home from a hard day at the ‘Grunge Foundry’, had dinner,
thrown the Radio and TV Times on the floor in disgust, walked into the other room,
switched on the computer, and then like the organist in the ‘Lost Chord’ typed idly at
the keys. Then had this brilliant idea for a program to write, only, within a
twinkling the inspiration has vanished. No? Oh well, forget it. How about those of you
who are quite capable programmers, but can never think of anything to program? May be
it’s Sunday afternoon, and having mowed the kittens, you’ve nothing better to do.
Either way, I was looking through a manual for ‘Tiny-C’ when I found the following
demonstration example, and thought, “There’s a marvellous program for the INMC80,
given someone with the time to write it, and a sufficiently warped imagination.” Well
for all of you with warped minds and nothing better to fill the time, here are the
rules, they make hilarious reading in themselves.
You are on safari, and your party consists of the following unlikely people.
You have arrived at a river 100 yards wide, filled with hungry piranha fish.
There is a leaky canoe by the shore, and as you must cross the river, that is the only
transport available. Worse, it will hold at the most only four people. The canibals
paddle the best, followed by the hunters, the doctor, the nurse, and lastly, the
missionaries who are notoriously weak. You have to decide who will take the canoe each
trip back and forth, thereby getting the whole party across with the minimum of
The doctor can attend major and minor wounds, unless he himself is wounded.
The nurse can attend minor wounds, or if the doctor is wounded but on the same shore
as the nurse, the nurse can attend to major wounds under the guidance of the doctor.
The speed of the canoe is the average of the paddling strengths of the people
in the canoe. A speed of 100 units is required to paddle to opposite shore just as the
canoe sinks. The initial paddling strengths are:
Strengths should be multiplied by the following factors for unhealthy paddlers:
|Minor wound, attended||0.9|
|Major wound, attended||0.8|
|Minor wound, unattended||0.8|
|Major wound, unattended||0.7|
During the trip across the river, certain events will happen with the
The Canoe fills with water at a predetermined rate.
During each yard (speed divided by 4) of the trip a single
piranha fish will jump into the boat with a probability of
0.25. The fish will always select a random toe. Cannibals
will always spear the fish, but half the time they will
make a hole in the canoe by doing so. Hunters always panic and
capsize the boat. The Doctor is quick half the time avoiding