The Zeus Compression Algorithm

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

  1. dunric

    dunric Guest

    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 32);
    declare integer 32);
    declare string byte1(str 32 long);
    declare string byte2(str 32 long);
    declare array bytelevel[100];
    byte1:=memory($01); '$01 is fist byte of read/write;
    byte2:=memory($02); '$02 is second byte of read/write;
    begin program zeus;
    stdout.put("Zeus Compression Algorithm [ZCA]" nl nl);
    stdout.put("Input file to compress to 1 byte: ");
    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
    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);
    return 0;
    end program zeus;

    dunric, Dec 18, 2005
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  2. [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
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  3. dunric

    Richard Bos Guest

    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 Bos, Dec 19, 2005
  4. dunric

    jacob navia Guest

    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 navia, Dec 19, 2005
  5. Fixed the above sentence. No compression algorithm (known or unknown)
    can compress *any* file to just one byte and then recover the original
    Antonio Contreras, Dec 19, 2005
  6. 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. 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. dunric

    Alex Fraser Guest

    Depends on the value of CHAR_BIT ;).

    Alex Fraser, Dec 19, 2005
  9. 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. dunric

    Chris Dollin Guest

    You're assuming that the universe contains unboundedly many bits.
    Chris Dollin, Dec 19, 2005
  11. Point taken.
    Antonio Contreras, Dec 19, 2005
  12. 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. dunric

    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, 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
    "Reply" at the bottom of the article headers." - Keith Thompson
    More details at: <>
    Chuck F., Dec 19, 2005
  14. 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. dunric

    Default User Guest

    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++.

    Default User, Dec 19, 2005
  16. dunric

    Barry Guest

    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
    with Kenny McCormack's posts.

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

    Barry, Dec 19, 2005
  17. 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
    Keith Thompson, Dec 19, 2005
  18. 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
    Dave Thompson, Jan 4, 2006
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