Donald Knut forced to stop writing checks for feedback

    The living legend of the world of information technology Donald Knuth is known not only for his classic programming monographs, but also for his original sense of humor. Having exchanged the eighth dozen, he did not lose his love of life, to this day he regularly releases professional jokes. What is even worth looking at the number of “pi” TeX version numbering system. The reward paid by him in the amount of one hexadecimal dollar (equivalent, as you might guess, 256 cents) for every mistake discovered by readers in his books belongs to the same category.
    For the past forty years, Knut has been writing checks himself. And although individual fees amounted to several hundred dollars (this time ordinary American), and the total amount exceeded 20 thousand “green” by 2005, only a few readers cashed the receipt, preferring to keep it as a keepsake. Nevertheless, this fall the master announced a decision to stop payments.

    hi-res check

    Knut was forced to do this by scammers, who had repeatedly tried to empty his bank accounts with the help of those award checks. The creator of TeX and METAFONT systems is far from thinking that his readers are involved in this: but, in his opinion, the role was played by the fact that checks were often displayed. The numbers printed on the forms could be used by scammers to illegally receive money. According to Donald himself, recently, as a result of such actions, he has been forced to close three check accounts.

    However, the author of "The Art of Programming" came out of this situation with a smile. From now on, readers who find a mistake will be waited by “honor, not calculation” (in the original “kudos, not escudos”). Instead of checks, Knut will send out hand-signed certificates of deposit for the same amount to an imaginary bank of his country San Serriffe, which is located on the planet Pincus (the state of San Serriffe appeared as a result of an April Fool’s joke of the British newspaper Guardian in 1977). Also, an honorary list of recipients, updated personally by Knut, is posted in its section on the Stanford University website. According to the scientist, the transition to virtual rewards is unlikely to upset anyone, since over the past couple of years only nine people have decided to cash out the checks received.

    Having undergone a surgery to remove a malignant tumor in 2006, Knut continues to lecture, write books and develop TeX and METAFONT projects, which means that the reception of bugs continues.

    via computerra
    original post

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