JWZ gets prehistoric:
;;; -*- Mode:Lisp; Syntax: Common-Lisp; Package:USER; Base:10 -*- ;;; 21 Mar 90 Jamie Zawinski Created. ;;; When you load this file, the constants MOST-POSITIVE-BIGNUM and ;;; MOST-NEGATIVE-BIGNUM will be defined. ;;; ;;; These are the absolute largest and smallest numbers which can be ;;; represented in the TI Explorer's memory architecture. ;;; ;;; WARNING: if you try to print these numbers, the microcode will ;;; hang. They are totally useless quantities, and dangerous to ;;; have around. You can examine them with ;;; (sys:dump-memory most-positive-bignum :bignum-is-dump-object t) ;;; and perform normal arithmetic operations on them. But the same ;;; dangers apply to any numbers this large.
For non-lispers: bignums aren't supposed to have limits, so just the name “MOST-POSITIVE-BIGNUM” will make Lispers laugh a little. In practice, a number with more than one million digits, that takes 3 days just to display on screen, doesn't seem like much of a limit.
The fact that adding 1 to MOST-POSITIVE-BIGNUM results in a piece of data whose value is 0 but takes up 524 KB of memory is just a bonus.Posted by jjwiseman at March 26, 2008 01:56 PM