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Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
random numbers
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1. programming pseudorandom number.
2. jargon When one wishes to specify a large but random
number of things, and the context is inappropriate for N,
certain numbers are preferred by hacker tradition (that is,
easily recognised as placeholders). These include the
17 - Long described at MIT as "the least random number"; see
23 - Sacred number of Eris, Goddess of Discord (along with 17
and 5).
42 - The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the
Universe, and Everything, as revealed in Douglas Adams'
"Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxly". Note that this answer is
completely fortuitous :-) (US pronunciation). It has been
observed that in the little-used number base 13, the answer to
the ultimate question, "What is 6 x 9?", is indeed 42, showing
that in six dimensions white mice have 13 digits.
69 - From the sexual act. This one was favoured in MIT's
ITS culture.