Skip navigation
Motion System Design
Fun with Fundamentals: Problem 181

Fun with Fundamentals: Problem 181

Second rate and Solution to 180. Time does not always fly when you're having fun, as this problem by Gregory Smith of Oak Ridge, Tenn., demonstrates

Second rate Problem 181 — Time doesn’t always fly when you’re having fun, as this month’s problem by Gregory Smith of Oak Ridge, Tenn., demonstrates.

Deep in the computer room of the prestigious Baath Brokerage House two people were sitting in front of a computer terminal. It was 2:00 a.m., and the cleaning people had gone home. The building was deserted except for the computer room.

“You’re sure it’s fool-proof?” snipped Mortimer Baath. “We don’t want a scandal!”

“I’ve timed it right down to the second,” calmly replied programmer Betty McBean. “You know the great analog clock in the main trading room? Shortly after 1:00 p.m. tomorrow, the hour hand and minute hand will line up just as they do at 12:00 noon. The very second that happens, this program will automatically sell all the Hulla Ballou stock, based on your tip from Morton Pettifogg.”

“Bless the man!” cried Baath, “What are friends for?”

“There is a complication, however,” continued McBean. “As you know data from the trading terminals is downloaded to the central computer every 15 sec during working hours. Naturally we don’t want this transaction on the records! I’ve calculated the exact time that the hands on the clock line up to be 1:05:35. The next downloading will occur at 1:05:45, so we have 10 sec to delete the information after the sell.”


Is 1:05:35 the correct time? Compute where the second hand will be when the hour and minute hands line up to see if Baath and McBean will be setting up future operations in the local penitentiary? Send your answer to:

Fun With Fundamentals
1100 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114-2543

Deadline is April 10. Good luck!

Technical consultant, Jack Couillard, Menasha, Wis

Solution to last month’s problem 180 — You are the guy with the gold who makes the rules, if you answered the following:

Take one coin out of Bag #1, two coins out of Bag #2, and three coins out of Bag #3. If the scale reads 6.1 oz, Bag #1 has the fake coins. If it reads 6.2 oz, then Bag #2 has the fake coins. If the reading is 6.3 oz, the the fake coins are in Bag #3.

Lulu had better cut up her credit cards!

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.