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interview question

P: n/a
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

do u no the a to this q???

--
mfg, heinrich :)

Aug 15 '07 #1
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34 Replies


P: n/a
In article <11*********************@r34g2000hsd.googlegroups. com>,
Heinrich Pumpernickel <la****@linuxmail.orgwrote:
>i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

do u no the a to this q???
I doubt CLC is the place to get an answer to questions like that.
Most likely they were looking for an answer that would indicate some
combination of creative thought and ability to identify problems and
possible solutions.
This is as important a skill for programming-in-general (not specific
to C) as things like attention to detail or obsession with correctness
(things like using proper punctuation and capitalization, getting the name
of the language you're talking about right, and using standard English
when you're addressing English-speakers are usually good indicators
of those).
dave
(not sure what to pin a grasp of subtlety on, though)

--
Dave Vandervies dj******@csclub.uwaterloo.ca

I think I'll go talk to the cat for a while.
--Mike Wahler in comp.lang.c
Aug 15 '07 #2

P: n/a
Heinrich Pumpernickel <la****@linuxmail.orgwrites:
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

do u no the a to this q???
Do unicorns nominate the aardvark to this quagmire? I have no idea.
You might get better answers in alt.gibberish, if it existed.

Or try asking questions in actual English, and make sure any questions
you post here actually have something to do with C.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) ks***@mib.org <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <* <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
"We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
-- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
Aug 15 '07 #3

P: n/a

Heinrich Pumpernickel wrote:
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

do u no the a to this q???

Yes, I know!

Go to the street to find a square cover and try to drop it into the
hole!

Do you have a high school diploma? you should know A^2+B^2=C^2.
Hence C>A when B>0.

|\
| \
|A \ C
| \
|_B__\



>

--
mfg, heinrich :)
Aug 16 '07 #4

P: n/a
Heinrich Pumpernickel said:
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"
To find out whether you're capable of answering an easy question without
going crawling to Usenet for help, and to determine whether you
understand the concept of binary representation.
do u no the a to this q???
Ah, now you've lost me.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Aug 16 '07 #5

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Heinrich Pumpernickel <la****@linuxmail.orgwrote:
# i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............
#
# "why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

Because manholes are round. An equilateral triangle manhole would
be superior in some respects.

--
SM Ryan http://www.rawbw.com/~wyrmwif/
You face forward, or you face the possibility of shock and damage.
Aug 16 '07 #6

P: n/a
Heinrich Pumpernickel wrote:
>i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............
"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"
do u no the a to this q???
No, but if you go near one and keep really really quiet, you may see
the man when he comes out to feed. Ask him ...

Roberto Waltman

[ Please reply to the group,
return address is invalid ]
Aug 16 '07 #7

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Heinrich Pumpernickel wrote:
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

do u no the a to this q???
1) bcz ty !w fit othryz

2) its ezr

3) 5gonal cvs lk fny

4) 8gonal cvs stp trfk

5) ther nt

6) sxst pig shd b "personhole"

.... & thts >10 rezns quartal

--
Eric Sosman
es*****@ieee-dot-org.invalid
Aug 16 '07 #8

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Heinrich Pumpernickel wrote:
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

do u no the a to this q???
Where I come from, manholes are mainly rectangular.

Phil
Aug 16 '07 #9

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On Aug 16, 1:30 am, Heinrich Pumpernickel <lan...@linuxmail.org>
wrote:
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

do u no the a to this q???

--
mfg, heinrich :)
The manhole is round to make sense to this question.

Aug 16 '07 #10

P: n/a
The two answers to this question are.

A manhole cover is round because a circle has the greatest length
between its corners compared to other shapes, this means there is more
space you can utilise because tehre is more space between the corners.

A manhole cover is round because a man hole is round.

Aug 16 '07 #11

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Richard Heathfield wrote:
Heinrich Pumpernickel said:
>i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

To find out whether you're capable of answering an easy question without
going crawling to Usenet for help,
Or maybe he was applying for a job with the water & sewer department?
and to determine whether you
understand the concept of binary representation.
That's kind of a dirty trick, don't you think? One could have a pretty
clear understanding of binary representation yet still not interpret 10
as binary when completely out of context, right? In most cases, written
numbers are understood to have a "default" base.

Or maybe it's just that I didn't get it at first :(
>
>do u no the a to this q???

Ah, now you've lost me.

--
SM
rot13 for email
Aug 16 '07 #12

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[comp.lang.c] Shadowman <fu**********@pbzpnfg.argwrote:
>Heinrich Pumpernickel said:
>>"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"
That's kind of a dirty trick, don't you think? One could have a pretty
clear understanding of binary representation yet still not interpret 10
as binary when completely out of context, right? In most cases, written
numbers are understood to have a "default" base.
If the base of the number is something other than the obvious, what's
to suggest that the interviewer was not looking for 0x10 reasons
manhole covers are round?

(I think it's a lousy interview question unless it's asked in a
face-to-face, and even then it's not so great.)

--
C. Benson Manica | I appreciate all corrections, polite or otherwise.
cbmanica(at)gmail.com |
----------------------| I do not currently read any posts posted through
sdf.lonestar.org | Google groups, due to rampant unchecked spam.
Aug 16 '07 #13

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On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 00:38:12 +0000, Richard Heathfield
<rj*@see.sig.invalidwrote:
>Heinrich Pumpernickel said:
>i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

To find out whether you're capable of answering an easy question without
going crawling to Usenet for help, and to determine whether you
understand the concept of binary representation.
<GI missed that. It does make the question easier.
>
>do u no the a to this q???

Ah, now you've lost me.
--
Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ
Aug 16 '07 #14

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On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 12:01:01 -0000, "Very.Little.Gravitas.Indeed"
<Ve*************************@gmail.comwrote:
>The two answers to this question are.

A manhole cover is round because a circle has the greatest length
between its corners compared to other shapes, this means there is more
space you can utilise because tehre is more space between the corners.
You may be trying to say that it requires the least material for a
given minimum dimension.
>A manhole cover is round because a man hole is round.
Also, it can't fall through the hole (also true for the equilateral
triangle someone suggested.)

It's easy to roll.

Men are (more or less) round in cross-section.

--
Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ
Aug 16 '07 #15

P: n/a
"Very.Little.Gravitas.Indeed" wrote:
>
A manhole cover is round because a circle has the greatest length
between its corners compared to other shapes, this means there is
more space you can utilise because tehre is more space between the
corners.
This is only half right. The roundness prevents dropping it
through the manhole, and thus reduces the replacement costs.

--
Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
<http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>

--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

Aug 16 '07 #16

P: n/a
Al Balmer <al******@att.netwrites:
[...]
Also, it can't fall through the hole (also true for the equilateral
triangle someone suggested.)
If the rim is sufficiently narrow and the cover sufficiently thin, you
can drop a triangular manhole cover into a triangular manhole. Set
the cover on edge, then lift it so that one edge is vertical. The
width of the cover is the distance from a vertex to the center of the
opposite side; this can fit through the hold along one edge.

This is easily avoided, though, by making the rim wide enough.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) ks***@mib.org <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <* <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
"We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
-- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
Aug 16 '07 #17

P: n/a
In article <46**************@yahoo.com>,
CBFalconer <cb********@maineline.netwrote:
>A manhole cover is round because a circle has the greatest length
between its corners compared to other shapes, this means there is
more space you can utilise because tehre is more space between the
corners.
>This is only half right. The roundness prevents dropping it
through the manhole, and thus reduces the replacement costs.
However, many manhole covers *aren't* round. All the ones near here
seem to be rectangular.

-- Richard
--
"Consideration shall be given to the need for as many as 32 characters
in some alphabets" - X3.4, 1963.
Aug 16 '07 #18

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Heinrich Pumpernickel wrote:
>
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round?
01) Because manhole holes are round!
10) It's the most efficient shape to let large-bellied workers
through.
give at least 10 reasons"
There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand
binary, and those who don't.
do u no the a to this q???
Can you translate that into English, please?

--
+-------------------------+--------------------+-----------------------+
| Kenneth J. Brody | www.hvcomputer.com | #include |
| kenbrody/at\spamcop.net | www.fptech.com | <std_disclaimer.h|
+-------------------------+--------------------+-----------------------+
Don't e-mail me at: <mailto:Th*************@gmail.com>

Aug 16 '07 #19

P: n/a
On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 16:48:45 GMT, Al Balmer <al******@att.netwrote:
>On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 12:01:01 -0000, "Very.Little.Gravitas.Indeed"
<Ve*************************@gmail.comwrote:
>>The two answers to this question are.

A manhole cover is round because a circle has the greatest length
between its corners compared to other shapes, this means there is more
space you can utilise because tehre is more space between the corners.
You may be trying to say that it requires the least material for a
given minimum dimension.
>>A manhole cover is round because a man hole is round.

Also, it can't fall through the hole (also true for the equilateral
triangle someone suggested.)
my boss sez thats !true b/c according to a^2 + b^2 = c^2 , in his
words ,

"the height of a equilateral triangle is 0.8660254 times its edge
length, so there's plenty of space left to accomodate for the
supporting rim and the cover's thickness, and still some space
left to allow it drop down.

what people really mean in this context is *reuleaux triangles*,
or really any reuleaux polygons with an uneven number of corners..."

>It's easy to roll.

Men are (more or less) round in cross-section.
but !if they carry their equpment on their backs

--
mfg, heinrich :)

Aug 16 '07 #20

P: n/a
On Aug 16, 1:30 am, Heinrich Pumpernickel <lan...@linuxmail.org>
wrote:
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

do u no the a to this q???

--
mfg, heinrich :)
Designing a round manhole makes it easier to write installation
instructions. (there are lower chances of misplacing the manhole)

Aug 17 '07 #21

P: n/a
Richard Tobin wrote:
However, many manhole covers *aren't* round. All the ones near here
seem to be rectangular.
Yes. I think this fact marks the question as suspect.

The question may be a request for information ("How is it that manhole
covers ended up round?") which presumably requires specialist knowledge
of the history of civil engineering; or it may be a request for
justification ("Why is it better for manhole covers to be round than any
other shape?") which is suspect simply because some manholes /are/
square and they do their job well enough.

The question seems as daft as asking "Why do we drive on the right?"

--
Philip Potter pgp <atdoc.ic.ac.uk
Aug 17 '07 #22

P: n/a
"Heinrich Pumpernickel" <la****@linuxmail.orgschrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:11**********************@g12g2000prg.googlegr oups.com...
On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 16:48:45 GMT, Al Balmer <al******@att.netwrote:
>>On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 12:01:01 -0000, "Very.Little.Gravitas.Indeed"
<Ve*************************@gmail.comwrote:
>>>The two answers to this question are.

A manhole cover is round because a circle has the greatest length
between its corners compared to other shapes, this means there is more
space you can utilise because tehre is more space between the corners.
You may be trying to say that it requires the least material for a
given minimum dimension.
>>>A manhole cover is round because a man hole is round.

Also, it can't fall through the hole (also true for the equilateral
triangle someone suggested.)

my boss sez thats !true b/c according to a^2 + b^2 = c^2 , in his
words ,
"the height of a equilateral triangle is 0.8660254 times its edge
length, so there's plenty of space left to accomodate for the
supporting rim and the cover's thickness, and still some space
left to allow it drop down.
Your boss is partly wrong, a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is valid only in right triangle,
in an equilateral triangle the height is sqrt(3)/2 times it's edges' lenth,
so his result is correct ...
Bye, Jojo
Aug 17 '07 #23

P: n/a
On Aug 16, 10:11 pm, Kenneth Brody <kenbr...@spamcop.netwrote:
Heinrich Pumpernickel wrote:
i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............
"why are manhole covers round?
give at least 10 reasons"

There are 10 types of people in this world. Those who understand
binary, and those who don't.
Is it big endian or little endian binary? We could be giving one too
many reasons.

Aug 17 '07 #24

P: n/a
Joachim Schmitz said:
"Heinrich Pumpernickel" <la****@linuxmail.orgschrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:11**********************@g12g2000prg.googlegr oups.com...
<snip>
>my boss sez thats !true b/c according to a^2 + b^2 = c^2 , in his
words ,
"the height of a equilateral triangle is 0.8660254 times its edge
length, so there's plenty of space left to accomodate for the
supporting rim and the cover's thickness, and still some space
left to allow it drop down.
Your boss is partly wrong,
No, he isn't.
a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is valid only in right
triangle, in an equilateral triangle the height is sqrt(3)/2 times
it's edges' lenth, so his result is correct ...
So is his reasoning. The easiest way to calculate the height of an
equilateral triangle is to realise that it consists of two right
triangles back to back, both having the same height. Pythagoras is
exactly the right tool for the job.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Aug 17 '07 #25

P: n/a
"Heinrich Pumpernickel" writes:
>i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............

"why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"

An interview is a face to face conversation. If the interviewer said "ten"
for 10 he was wrong.

Otherwise the transcript of the interview is wrong. The OP has little regard
for English, as demonstrated by following this, which looks like English,
with some gibberish.

Another possibility is that it wasn't an interview at all, but a written
test of some kind.
Aug 17 '07 #26

P: n/a
"Richard Heathfield" <rj*@see.sig.invalidschrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:Sd******************************@bt.com...
Joachim Schmitz said:
>"Heinrich Pumpernickel" <la****@linuxmail.orgschrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:11**********************@g12g2000prg.googleg roups.com...
<snip>
>>my boss sez thats !true b/c according to a^2 + b^2 = c^2 , in his
words ,
"the height of a equilateral triangle is 0.8660254 times its edge
length, so there's plenty of space left to accomodate for the
supporting rim and the cover's thickness, and still some space
left to allow it drop down.
Your boss is partly wrong,

No, he isn't.
>a^2 + b^2 = c^2 is valid only in right
triangle, in an equilateral triangle the height is sqrt(3)/2 times
it's edges' lenth, so his result is correct ...

So is his reasoning. The easiest way to calculate the height of an
equilateral triangle is to realise that it consists of two right
triangles back to back, both having the same height. Pythagoras is
exactly the right tool for the job.
<blush>, embarrasing... your right, have overlooked (or is it overseen?)
that:
h^2 + (a/2)^2 = a^2 --h = sqrt(3)/2 * a

Bye, Jojo
Aug 17 '07 #27

P: n/a
Philip Potter wrote:
[...]
The question seems as daft as asking "Why do we drive on the right?"
Because if we drove on the left, we'd drive right into a car heading
straight towards us.

--
+-------------------------+--------------------+-----------------------+
| Kenneth J. Brody | www.hvcomputer.com | #include |
| kenbrody/at\spamcop.net | www.fptech.com | <std_disclaimer.h|
+-------------------------+--------------------+-----------------------+
Don't e-mail me at: <mailto:Th*************@gmail.com>
Aug 17 '07 #28

P: n/a
Kenneth Brody wrote:
Philip Potter wrote:
[...]
>The question seems as daft as asking "Why do we drive on the right?"

Because if we drove on the left, we'd drive right into a car heading
straight towards us.
Funny. I have the opposite problem.

--
Philip Potter pgp <atdoc.ic.ac.uk
Aug 17 '07 #29

P: n/a
In article <13*************@corp.supernews.com>,
SM Ryan <wy*****@tango-sierra-oscar-foxtrot-tango.fake.orgwrote:
>Heinrich Pumpernickel <la****@linuxmail.orgwrote:
# i got this question in a c/c++ job interview............
#
# "why are manhole covers round? give at least 10 reasons"
>Because manholes are round.
Most manholes around here have square interiors (though the
pipe may be cylindrical outside.)
--
Okay, buzzwords only. Two syllables, tops. -- Laurie Anderson
Aug 17 '07 #30

P: n/a
Philip Potter wrote:
>
.... snip ...
>
The question seems as daft as asking "Why do we drive on the right?"
Because, barring residence in Great Britain, Australia, Japan, and
some other countries, driving on the left leads to painful
accidents and greatly distresses the Automobile Insurers, while
amusing the tin-bashers. In the mentioned (and some other)
countries where thinking is inverted from the normal, driving on
the right causes similar pain, distress and amusement.

Maybe the compromise cure is to drive in the middle?

--
Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
Available for consulting/temporary embedded and systems.
<http://cbfalconer.home.att.net>

--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

Aug 17 '07 #31

P: n/a
On Fri, 17 Aug 2007 13:44:17 -0400, in comp.lang.c , CBFalconer
<cb********@yahoo.comwrote:
>In the mentioned (and some other)
countries where thinking is inverted from the normal,
You have the words "inverted" and "normal" inverted in that
sentence....
>Maybe the compromise cure is to drive in the middle?
My made from the pub says that weaving from side to side does the
trick for him...
--
Mark McIntyre

"Debugging is twice as hard as writing the code in the first place.
Therefore, if you write the code as cleverly as possible, you are,
by definition, not smart enough to debug it."
--Brian Kernighan
Aug 17 '07 #32

P: n/a
On Fri, 17 Aug 2007 11:55:25 +0100, Philip Potter
<pg*@see.sig.invalidwrote:
>Richard Tobin wrote:
>However, many manhole covers *aren't* round. All the ones near here
seem to be rectangular.

Yes. I think this fact marks the question as suspect.

The question may be a request for information ("How is it that manhole
covers ended up round?") which presumably requires specialist knowledge
of the history of civil engineering; or it may be a request for
justification ("Why is it better for manhole covers to be round than any
other shape?") which is suspect simply because some manholes /are/
square and they do their job well enough.
But better? Give 10 reasons a manhole cover should be square <g>.
>The question seems as daft as asking "Why do we drive on the right?"
--
Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ
Aug 17 '07 #33

P: n/a
Philip Potter said:

<snip>
The question seems as daft as asking "Why do we drive on the right?"
Indeed it is, because we actually drive on the left.

--
Richard Heathfield <http://www.cpax.org.uk>
Email: -www. +rjh@
Google users: <http://www.cpax.org.uk/prg/writings/googly.php>
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
Aug 17 '07 #34

P: n/a
Richard Heathfield <rj*@see.sig.invalidwrites:
Philip Potter said:

<snip>
>The question seems as daft as asking "Why do we drive on the right?"

Indeed it is, because we actually drive on the left.
Depends on which way you're facing.

--
Keith Thompson (The_Other_Keith) ks***@mib.org <http://www.ghoti.net/~kst>
San Diego Supercomputer Center <* <http://users.sdsc.edu/~kst>
"We must do something. This is something. Therefore, we must do this."
-- Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, "Yes Minister"
Aug 18 '07 #35

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