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Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Three Towers

[Preqrequisite: CS 32.]
[Proposal: Include geekiness such as this in the Tech section of Parser.]

Here's a very relevant mobile game I found: The Three Towers. Haven't downloaded it, I just came across it, but it obviously is the Towers of Hanoi problem transformed into a game. The objective of THP is to transfer every disc to the third pole in the same order / stack by following only these two rules: only one disc may be moved at a time, and no disc may be placed on top of a smaller disc.

Above: THP as illustrated in the Wikipedia. Below: Screencap of the game product.
Please tell me how the word "dominoes" showed up in the description.

Beyond a seemingly brain-wracking challenge are shards of Computer Science that may or may not be dear to us anymore. In any case, the sidestory (also told to us in CS 32) might be more interesting especially for the uninitiated:

There is a legend about a Buddhist monastery at Hanoi which contains a large room with three time-worn posts in it surrounded by 64 golden discs. Monks, acting out the command of an ancient prophecy, have been moving these disks, in accordance with the rules of the puzzle, once every day since the monastery was founded over a thousand years ago. They are said to believe that when the last move of the puzzle is completed, the world will end in a clap of thunder. Fortunately, they are nowhere even close to being done...

...If the legend were true, and if the monks were able to move discs at a rate of 1 per second using the smallest number of moves, it would take the monks 264 - 1 seconds or roughly 585 billion years. The universe is currently about 13.7 billion years old.

Moral of the story? Not necessary, I think. But could "See? Games are an integral part of Computer Science!" count, though?

1 Comment/s:

Blogger buchicoy said...

Ahhh, this is a fun way to learn divide and conquer algorithms! Games!

10/24/2005 9:21 PM  

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