# The Zeus Compression Algorithm

Discussion in 'C Programming' started by dunric, Dec 18, 2005.

1. ### dunricGuest

After writing the computing urban legend "The Helsinki Code",
I spent several nights thinking up how in the world Gustav
Larsson, the Finnish PDP-8 computer programmer, could have
managed to receive such a miraculous message from God.

Surely, for a 1-byte computer program such as "@" to compile
successfully (in RTPS FORTRAN), a miracle compression algorithm
would be necessary.

Then it dawned on me. Gustav had accidentally stumbled upon
a compiled Fortran program compressed by the Impossibly Efficient
"Zeus Compression Algorithm" (ZCA). That is, a compression algo-
rithm so efficient that pages upon pages of text can be compressed
into a single byte. The ZCA, in theory, can compress the entire
contents of the Holy Bible into a single byte.

We presently know of no technology which can accomplish this, but
since God wrote the "@" program, only God could possibly make
the ZCA work. In future years, it will happen.

BTW, the story of the Helsinki Code can still be found online (just
search for it on Usenet).

A ZCA could work, in theory, like this:
(using pseudo-c)

'// ------------------------------------------------
'// zeus.c
'// An example of how a 1-byte Zeus Compression Algo
'// might be written.
'// Dec 18 2005 A.D.
'// Source code is public domain.
'// By: Paul Panks ()
'// ------------------------------------------------
#include "compress.hhf";
#include "stdlib.hhf";
#include "strings.hhf";
#include "math.hhf";
declare string w(str 32);
declare integer null(int 32);
declare integer io.channel.write(int 32);
declare string byte1(str 32 long);
declare string byte2(str 32 long);
declare array bytelevel[100];
null:=0;
w:=null;
byte1:=memory(\$01); '\$01 is fist byte of read/write;
byte2:=memory(\$02); '\$02 is second byte of read/write;
bytelevel[100]:=[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,
17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,
36,37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,
55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63,64,65,66,67,68,69,70,71,72,73,
74,75,76,77,78,79,80,81,82,83,84,85,86,87,88,89,90,91,92,
93,94,95,96,97,98,99,100];
begin program zeus;
stdout.put("Zeus Compression Algorithm [ZCA]" nl nl);
stdout.put("Input file to compress to 1 byte: ");
get.input(w);
compress(byte1,byte2) @ bytelevel[1 to 100];
call zeus; ' call special 'zeus' compression subroutine
bit.mark(byte1 as zeus);
bit.mark(byte2 as zeus);
term zeus; ' close special 'zeus' compression subroutine
writebit(byte1);
writebit(byte2);
stdout.put("File compressed to 1 byte at 100% ratio." nl);
stdout.put("To uncompress, run 'dezeus' at shell prompt." nl nl);
stdout.put("Press a key to terminate application..." nl);
get.keyinput(w);
return 0;
end program zeus;

Paul

dunric, Dec 18, 2005

2. ### Keith ThompsonGuest

[snip]

I've seen some stuff about the "Helsinki Code" elsewhere, but
comp.lang.c has been relatively free of it so far.

The author seems to be under the delusion (a) that something he
recently made up out of whole cloth qualfies as an "urban legend",
(b) that the "pseudo-c" he posted bears some resemblance to actual C,
and (c) that anyone might actually be interested.

It's not C, it's off-topic, and it's almost certainly total nonsense.
For those of you who use killfiles, I suggest adding an entry. Beyond
that, please don't feed the troll.

Keith Thompson, Dec 18, 2005

3. ### Richard BosGuest

The author is under many, many delusions. He is well known in another
group I frequent as one of the most self-delusional individuals on this
globe. He isn't even a troll - he doesn't have the grasp on reality to
understand that he's not the genius he thinks he is.

Richard

Richard Bos, Dec 19, 2005
4. ### jacob naviaGuest

Wait, god using C to write a program ???

Nice... What *compiler* did he use?

I would bet that he compiled with lcc-win32!!!

I'm going straight to heaven

jacob

jacob navia, Dec 19, 2005
5. ### Antonio ContrerasGuest

Fixed the above sentence. No compression algorithm (known or unknown)
can compress *any* file to just one byte and then recover the original
file.

Antonio Contreras, Dec 19, 2005
6. ### Keith ThompsonGuest

I wrote "it's almost certainly total nonsense". You deleted the word
"almost". You did say that you "fixed" the sentence, but please don't
alter quoted material without clearly indicating what you've changed.

I wrote "almost" because I hadn't taken the time to understand his
nonsense well enough to be certain about it. If you want to state
your own certainty, by all means do so in your own words.

(We've had people in this newsgroup deliberately alter quoted text, so
some of us are a little touchy on the subject.)

Keith Thompson, Dec 19, 2005
7. ### Antonio ContrerasGuest

I apologize if my previous post went against this group's netiquette.

What I wanted to point is that it's not necessary to read the
pseudo-code in order to be able to say that it's nonsense. The claimed
effect is simply imposible. As a friend of mine says, "entropy is the
limit between compression and magic". The zeus compression algorithm
certainly falls into the category of magic.

Antonio Contreras, Dec 19, 2005
8. ### Alex FraserGuest

Depends on the value of CHAR_BIT .

Alex

Alex Fraser, Dec 19, 2005
9. ### Antonio ContrerasGuest

xDDD

Well, in fact it doesn't. As long as CHAR_BIT remains finite such an
algorithm simply cannot exist.

Antonio Contreras, Dec 19, 2005
10. ### Chris DollinGuest

You're assuming that the universe contains unboundedly many bits.

Chris Dollin, Dec 19, 2005
11. ### Antonio ContrerasGuest

Point taken.

Antonio Contreras, Dec 19, 2005
12. ### Christopher Benson-ManicaGuest

Nay. In the beginning, the Earth was a formless void, and then said
God "Let there be GCC", and he looked upon free software, and saw
that it was good.

Christopher Benson-Manica, Dec 19, 2005
13. ### Chuck F.Guest

It is not "this group", it is all Usenet. Altering quoted material
without explicit indication is simply not acceptable anywhere.

Aside - having been gone from here since August, it is pleasant to
see that ERT has apparently given up plaguing us.

--
"If you want to post a followup via groups.google.com, don't use
the broken "Reply" link at the bottom of the article. Click on
"show options" at the top of the article, then click on the

Chuck F., Dec 19, 2005
14. ### Richard TobinGuest

He did give explicit indication: "Fixed the above sentence". It would
have been better to indicate it within the quoted text though. The aim
should be to ensure that no-one reads it without realising that it's
been changed.

-- Richard

Richard Tobin, Dec 19, 2005
15. ### Default UserGuest

This is all one really needs to know about Paul Panks. He generates
urban legends and then spends time spamming them. He is either a troll
or mentally ill (that's what he claims).

Please ignore anything he says. He gets off on people spinning out
threads based on his trolls/delusions. We just went through this over
on comp.lang.c++.

Brian

Default User, Dec 19, 2005
16. ### BarryGuest

On all the newsgroups I see his post I compress dunric's posts to zero bytes
(at least for my own purposes). Interestingly enough, the same algorithem
works
with Kenny McCormack's posts.

Yet, I am sure the entropy, when measured accurately, of the messages is
preserved .

barry

Barry, Dec 19, 2005
17. ### Keith ThompsonGuest

And arguing the point here in comp.lang.c constitutes "feeding the
troll", something I was trying to forestall with my initial followup.

If someone posts something here that is (a) off-topic, and (b) utter
nonsense, the *only* thing we need to do is point out that it's
off-topic and ignore it. Otherwise we allow any random troll to lure
us into a discussion of any topic of his or her choosing. Flaming a
troll, or refuting his claims, constitutes victory for the troll. (In
this particular case, a pointer to the comp.compression FAQ might be
appropriate.)

Keith Thompson, Dec 19, 2005
18. ### Dave ThompsonGuest

So if Kenny quotes dunric, do you get a negative-sized output?

ObC: this affects whether you want to use an unsigned type.

- David.Thompson1 at worldnet.att.net

Dave Thompson, Jan 4, 2006