# NumbersMiles

Miles once asked
if i knew
the art of persuading computers
to do
sums with big numbers.

I thought he meant like ;

One point eight times ten to the nineteen
mulitplied by
three point four times ten to the thirty eight,

but he had no interest
in hack physicist's
order of magnitude hacks.

He'd hit a thirty two bit limit.
Standard algorithms
would round
and exponetiate
his sums
dull and featureless
to keep results
in single
memory registers.

He sought more,
resolution in addition,
subtlety in arithmetic.

Off the top of my head
I had no clue.
One or two days passed
I asked;

how goes the BIG MATHS Miles ?
can you keep
a google plus one
sharp
or add
a pict of a cake
to a stray aiff ?

The secret he said
is to add like a child
with a pencil and pad
long hand
rules patient machines.

So rendered in decimal;

two
to
the
thirty
one

times
two

or

two billion,
one hundred and forty seven million,
four hundred and eighty three thousand,
six hundred and forty seven

times
two

or

two times seven is fourteen
equals four
(carry one)
two times four is eight
plus one
equals nine
two times six is twelve
equals two
(carry one)
two times three is six
plus one
equals seven
two times eight is sixteen
equals six
(carry one)
two times four is eight
plus one
equals nine
two times seven is fourteen
equals four
(carry one)
two times four is eight
plus one
equals nine
two times one
equals two
two times two
equals four

is

four billion,
two hundred and ninety four million,
nine hundred and sixty seven thousand,
two hundred and ninety four

here's

two
to
the
thirty
two

to
you



julian@informal.org.uk