In my last blog I posed a question from a reader about Gray Codes: "Is it possible to create a Gray code sequence for any non-power-of-2 number (so long as it is an even number)?" The example I presented was to take a 4-bit Gray code that normally spans 16 words and to reduce it to only 10 words while still maintaining its essential "Gray-code-iness" (only a single bit changing between states).
In fact, I simplified the question for the purposes of my blog – in reality, the reader was looking to create a Gray-coded FIFO comprising 1128 words, which means we ideally need some algorithmic way to do this rather than hammering it out by hand.
Well, it really didn't surprise me to discover that there was a solution. What did amaze me was the number of different solutions folks came up with (some of them are jolly cunning) and new contenders are still coming in as we speak. I'm going to gather all of the solutions together and write them up and present them to you in the not-so-distant future, so "watch this space!"
But that's not what I came here to talk to you about (as Arlo Guthrie said in his most famous work: Alice's Restaurant Massacree). I just read a book called The Personality Code by Travis Bradberry.
To be honest, I tend not to spend much time reading "self-improvement" type books (I have an innate believe that – much like Mary Poppins – I am "practically perfect in every way"). However, I found this little scamp to be a rather interesting read.
First the author describes the foundation of the book, which involved a global study of 500,000 people, from which were derived fourteen fundamental personality types. (As an aside, I think they missed one, because we all know folks who would come under the heading of "Absolute plonker!")
The book explains each type in detail, including their strengths and weaknesses (although the book coyly refers to "weaknesses" as "challenges"). Of particular interest is the fact that each book contains a unique secret code (I won't tell you where, or it wouldn't be a secret, would it). You can go to the author's website at www.personalitycode.com, click the "Take The Test" link, enter your code, and ... well ... take the test.
The test itself is intriguing. You are presented with a group of four words and you have to select which word is the most applicable to you and which word is the least applicable. Once you've made your selection you are presented with another group of four words, and so it goes. In fact, this is harder than it sounds, because ... well, it's difficult to explain ... you'll understand what I mean if you take the test yourself.
Once you've completed the test, which takes about 15 minutes, you press the "Go" button and – within seconds – you are presented with your own individual personality report. Truth to tell, I was surprised by how accurate the report was in my case – maybe there's something to this after all.
But we're still only at the beginning of the book, because now we know our personality type, the book explains how each type relates to – and interacts with – the other types. As one reader said in a review on Amazon:
The section on type and anti-type was really helpful. There are two people at work who I clash with more than anyone, and all of their behavior seems to match what the book says is my anti-type. I'll have to get them to read the book, but for now the strategies from the book seem to be making an impact.
This reader then goes on to say:
Also, the part about how to manage each of the 14 personality types has been REALLY useful for understanding those I work with (and my wife).
Now, while I applaud his enthusiasm, I really think this is taking things a little too far. Understanding one's wife? Don't be silly – some mysteries are simply beyond the ken of mortal man!
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.