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interview question

 
 
stdazi@gmail.com
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      08-17-2007
On Aug 16, 1:30 am, Heinrich Pumpernickel <(E-Mail Removed)>
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)

 
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Philip Potter
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      08-17-2007
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 <at> doc.ic.ac.uk
 
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Joachim Schmitz
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      08-17-2007
"Heinrich Pumpernickel" <(E-Mail Removed)> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...
> On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 16:48:45 GMT, Al Balmer <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>On Thu, 16 Aug 2007 12:01:01 -0000, "Very.Little.Gravitas.Indeed"
>><(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>>
>>>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


 
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Very.Little.Gravitas.Indeed
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      08-17-2007
On Aug 16, 10:11 pm, Kenneth Brody <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> 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.

 
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Richard Heathfield
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      08-17-2007
Joachim Schmitz said:

> "Heinrich Pumpernickel" <(E-Mail Removed)> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
> news:(E-Mail Removed) 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
 
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osmium
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      08-17-2007
"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.


 
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Joachim Schmitz
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      08-17-2007
"Richard Heathfield" <(E-Mail Removed)> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Joachim Schmitz said:
>
>> "Heinrich Pumpernickel" <(E-Mail Removed)> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
>> news:(E-Mail Removed) 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.

<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


 
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Kenneth Brody
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      08-17-2007
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: <(E-Mail Removed)>


 
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Philip Potter
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      08-17-2007
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 <at> doc.ic.ac.uk
 
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srimks11@gmail.com
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      08-17-2007
On Aug 16, 4:30 am, Heinrich Pumpernickel <(E-Mail Removed)>
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


Hi.

I guess this query was becoz to test your aptitude rather C/C++. It
was basically a psychological assessment type of query that how one
approaches a question with more than one "right" answer.

Few things which strikes me are -
(1) Manholes, which interconnect underground sewerage pipes, and serve
as a point of entry for cleaning the pipes, are located at every major
sewer pipe junction, and are capped with round manhole covers.
(2) The reason for the circular construction of these covers is, quite
simply, that covers of any other shape would fall through the manholes
by virtue of their varying diameters.
(3) Anything falling takes round shape.
(4) Round shape or a sphere type object has less base area.
(5) The surface tension for round shape body is less then object
having different shapes.
(6) Above (3), (4), (5) makes things fall faster inside manhole.
(7) Manhole being round in shape makes a round manhole cover not to
fall through its circular opening, whereas a square manhole cover may
fall in if it were inserted diagonally in the aperture.
( Round manhole covers, once removed, require less lifting and less
manpower, as their shape allows them to be rolled easily.
(9) A round manhole and cover can sustain more damage and still serve
effectively.
(10) A round manhole is also easier to install.

HIH

Mukesh K Srivastava

 
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