# Choices

Monday, January 2, 2006

Here we are at the start of a new year. For many of us, this is the time to plan and budget for the coming months.

One thing is obvious; Microsoft will give us plenty of choices. For example: Which Visual Studio Product is Right For You? Well, it’s a tough choice. My co-workers know me as a Brian, but there is the occasional Saturday night when I want to be a Charlotte.

You also have to factor in your options if you are a Microsoft Partner, and later this year we may choose between 20 Windows Vista SKUs.

The problem is, we don’t like choices. We like answers better. Solid answers based on quantitative analysis. Because of this, I spent the holidays doing some mathematical modeling and trying to devise a formula to make technology purchasing decisions. Here is what I came up with:

Now, for the simple definitions:

n is the number of developers you work with.

x is a value to assign to each developer. Assign a value of 2 if the developer primarily works in C#. Assign a value of 1 if the developer primarily works in VB.NET. Assign an arbitrary imaginary number if the developer primarily works in J#.

b is the amount of time (in seconds) it will take a photon to traverse all of your developers laying head to toe.

y is the number vertices on the organizational chart between you and the CEO.

t is amount of time it would take for you to fly to Seattle, Washington, assuming a snowstorm in Chicago, fog in London, and no flight delays in Cairo.

m is the mass, in kilograms, of all your source code printed on 10.5 lb smooth finished 8.5’’ x 11’’ paper.

The only problem is, I’ve yet to interpret the number the formula spits out. I’m hoping some bright people on the web might see this, and help out, because then we'd all know exactly what to do...

Haacked Monday, January 2, 2006
Well the answer you get is the value PSI which is also used when calculating the probability wave of matter, ala the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

The answer you get is thus the probability that you're uncertain about your choice and is the duration you should look into an open source alternative until you can make a decision.
William Robertson Monday, January 2, 2006
optionsScalper Monday, January 2, 2006
Scott,

I think that you are on to something here. No matter what I enter for the variables, I get a value of 42.

---O
scott Tuesday, January 3, 2006
Karl Wednesday, January 4, 2006
Sorry, I don't agree that things are that bad. Of course, I'm biased. I'm currently living in Rational-hell.
UncleB Friday, January 6, 2006
I agree - I get 42 also :)
damn mice !
Philippe Granger Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Don't you know that 42 is the answer to everything?

According to the Hitchhiker's Guide, researchers from a pan-dimensional, hyper-intelligent race of beings, construct Deep Thought, the second greatest computer of all time and space, to calculate the Ultimate Answer. After seven and a half million years of pondering the question, Deep Thought provides the answer: "forty-two."

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