Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ohhh... My aching Fingers...

Today was a busy, painful day. My pickup is having some clutch, transmission and electrical issues so a few hours this morning were spent wrenching on it. All that could be found wrong on this first cursory review was a broken vacuum line and a loose crankcase breather pipe.

My hands were hurting. So, I retired to my bedroom to take some ibuprofen and play a little on-line game a neighbor introduced to me. It is a first-person-shooter game that, even for this non-gamer can provide a fun little escape.

In this game I like to snipe. Not much movement is involved, just good aiming. Well, one of the other players was a little irritated with me. "Why don't you move around more? Get a higher score?"

"Well," I replied, "my fingers aren't terribly young anymore and don't move that well. Actually, they hurt."

After the ibuprofen kicked in, I went back down to clean some nuts and bolts from my bike on a wire wheel. After about a dozen my fingers started to hurt again; and I wondered... 'Just how much punishment have these fingers been through?'

And, so I retired to my computer to figure it out. Follow me if you will...

  • I have been a computer programmer since about 1988; that's 22 years.
  • If I have worked on average five days a week for 22 years, that's 5720 days.
  • An average programmer produces about 300 lines of code per day. There have been days when I produced no code, simply doing research or data manipulation or testing or debugging. Then there are the intense days when I have produced over 600 lines of code. So, I am sticking with the 300 line average.
  • And, so, over the course of the last 22 years, I have created an approximate total of about 1,716,000 lines of programming code.
  • Let's assume the average line of computer code is about 25 characters. Many are longer, many shorter. This is just a good ballpark number.
  • This yields a total of 42,900,000 characters my two little hands have produced.
  • Further, divide this by four fingers (Ignore the thumbs) and that gives us 5,362,500 characters or keystrokes per finger for the last 22 years.

That's a LOT! Is it any wonder my fingers hurt?

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