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All articles in Useless Statistics

Historical purchasing power
Hot news from the Useless Statistics department.

I make about 1300 euros a month (after taxes and social security). If I earned that amount in the year 1450 I would be rich. Rich I tell you!

1300 euros in 1450 would translate to roughly 270.000 euro now.

Calculated using the tool at:
There are links at the bottom to tools for the british pound and the american dollar for our overseas friends.

Time for a career change?
According to some research I just did I'm making too little money.

I just played around with the Salary Clock website and in the time it takes me to earn one dollar, Steve Jobs earns about 3500 and Steven Spielberg makes about 2000.

Luckily I'm playing around with this at work so effectively I've just made about two dollars writing about this whilst actually doing nothing, whereas Mr. Jobs and Spielberg are probably making Big Decisions™ and Moving the World Forward™ while coping with huge amounts of stress.

Or they're still in bed, having untroubled dreams, which is actually more likely as they're at the other end of the world.

Pushing $100,000
I wasn't quite statisfied with the fact that SLOCcount didn't count css files or javascript files. So I hacked away today and added basic support for those filetypes. The parser is pretty dump as I have just told sloccount to treat these files as C style programming languages but it works on my setup at least.

Here's the revised estimate for Virtual Pet Rock including PHP, JS and CSS.
Totals grouped by language (dominant language first):
objc: 2001 (59.41%)
php: 1144 (33.97%)
css: 195 (5.79%)
javascript: 28 (0.83%)

Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC) = 3,368
Development Effort Estimate, Person-Years (Person-Months) = 0.72 (8.59)
(Basic COCOMO model, Person-Months = 2.4 * (KSLOC**1.05))
Schedule Estimate, Years (Months) = 0.47 (5.66)
(Basic COCOMO model, Months = 2.5 * (person-months**0.38))
Estimated Average Number of Developers (Effort/Schedule) = 1.52
Total Estimated Cost to Develop = $ 96,690
(average salary = $56,286/year, overhead = 2.40).

Data generated using David A. Wheeler's 'SLOCCount'.

As you can see we are now rapidly approching an estimated devlopment cost of 100,000 dollars. To be fair: I don't make even close to $56,000 a year, despite the fact that the dollar is worth about as much as a pebble these days :)

To celebrate I have created a new Useless Statistics category on this site and I will retroactively modfiy all relevant posts to go into this category.

Need stats?
Yet more from the useless statistics department here at the top secret underground headquarters of OOOk Default:.

Brent, of NetNewsWire fame, writes about SLOCcount, a tool which analyses sourcecode and gives some statistics on that.

So I ran it on Virtual Pet Rock and on my blogscript.
What's amazing is that these are two quite different projects, yet they have almost the same outcome. Without further ado here are the results from the Dutch jury.
Virtual Pet Rock
Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC) = 2,001
Development Effort Estimate, Person-Years (Person-Months) = 0.41 (4.97)
(Basic COCOMO model, Person-Months = 2.4 * (KSLOC**1.05))
Schedule Estimate, Years (Months) = 0.38 (4.60)
(Basic COCOMO model, Months = 2.5 * (person-months**0.38))
Estimated Average Number of Developers (Effort/Schedule) = 1.08
Total Estimated Cost to Develop = $ 55,969
(average salary = $56,286/year, overhead = 2.40).

Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC) = 1,588
Development Effort Estimate, Person-Years (Person-Months) = 0.33 (3.90)
(Basic COCOMO model, Person-Months = 2.4 * (KSLOC**1.05))
Schedule Estimate, Years (Months) = 0.35 (4.19)
(Basic COCOMO model, Months = 2.5 * (person-months**0.38))
Estimated Average Number of Developers (Effort/Schedule) = 0.93
Total Estimated Cost to Develop = $ 43,907
(average salary = $56,286/year, overhead = 2.40).

These counts are made using the default settings, in the case of my blogscript for example .sql files and .css files aren't counted.
The Virtual Pet Rock case is even more complicated as Virtual Pet Rock really depends on the interaction with the website*. It's all well and good having a virtual rock to care for but the great fun comes in uploading your statistics and comparing this to other people's rocks. This would add 1101 lines of code.
Virtual Pet Rock with program related PHP files
Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC) = 3,102
Development Effort Estimate, Person-Years (Person-Months) = 0.66 (7.88)
(Basic COCOMO model, Person-Months = 2.4 * (KSLOC**1.05))
Schedule Estimate, Years (Months) = 0.46 (5.48)
(Basic COCOMO model, Months = 2.5 * (person-months**0.38))
Estimated Average Number of Developers (Effort/Schedule) = 1.44
Total Estimated Cost to Develop = $ 88,688
(average salary = $56,286/year, overhead = 2.40).

As in the case of my blogscript .css files aren't counted, as well as 24 lines of XML that contain some extra data the program needs for internet activity.

*) You can run VPR just by itself without ever needing an internet connection after downloading and registering but the fun comes with the added internet 'interactivity'.

Average playcount
Yesterday I was looking at the 25 Most Played smart playlist in iTunes and saw that these songs are all approaching 50 times.
So I was wondering: how many times has each track been played on average?

As regular readers are aware I've put my iTunes database in MySQL.

Given that, it's fairly straightforward to extract this information.

mysql> SELECT sum(playCount)/count(trackID) as average FROM phptunest_tunes;
| average |
|    2.18 |
1 row in set (0.07 sec)

(This post was brought to you by the useless statistics department.)

Linux insider has an article about the supposed difference in use of language between Mac users and Windows users.

While I don't want to go into this debate here are the instructions on getting the program style to install on a Mac.
Get the download from You'll get an additional program called diction as well.

Unpack using Stuffit Expander if your browser hasn't already unpacked it.

Open a new Terminal window and cd to the newly created directory. The easiest way to do this is type cd and a space, and then drag the folder icon onto the window.

Type ./configure --host=ppc --build=ppc. The configure command will spit back a lot of info which you can ignore. The tricky part is in the --host and --build options, without them the programs will not install.
Following that you can type make. The make command will run and spit back info at you. Ignore any warnings you might see.
Type sudo make install, and enter your password when asked.

The program should now be installed. To check do the following. Type /usr/local/bin/style enter a space and then drag a document onto the window, confirm with the enter key.
The command style will now analyze your text.
Here's the output from all the frontpage posts of my site:

readability grades:
    Kincaid: 7.8
    ARI: 8.3
    Coleman-Liau: 9.3
    Flesch Index: 73.5
    Fog Index: 10.9
    Lix: 37.1 = school year 5
    SMOG-Grading: 9.7
sentence info:
    148574 characters
    34915 words, average length 4.26 characters = 1.34 syllables
    1801 sentences, average length 19.4 words
    49% (887) short sentences (at most 14 words)
    18% (340) long sentences (at least 29 words)
    434 paragraphs, average length 4.1 sentences
    3% (58) questions
    36% (655) passive sentences
    longest sent 427 wds at sent 1758; shortest sent 1 wds at sent 11
word usage:
    verb types:
    to be (871) auxiliary (460)
    types as % of total:
    conjunctions 4(1546) pronouns 9(3153) prepositions 9(3272)
    nominalizations 1(321)
sentence beginnings:
    pronoun (470) interrogative pronoun (31) article (130)
    subordinating conjunction (109) conjunction (21) preposition (102)

That's right, my writing style is like that of a fifth grader.
The world needs more useless statistics like this.

Hop to it and tell me how well you are doing...

Fascinating (but useless) statistics
This is for the server I mostly use at work:
This MySQL server has been running for 32 days, 23 hours, 47 minutes and 39 seconds.
Since its startup, 2,069,359 queries have been sent to the server.

The server hosts 7 sites where databaseaccess is used sparingly.

This is for the server this site is on (shared hosting environment with who knows how many sites):
This MySQL server has been running for 9 days, 0 hours, 19 minutes and 11 seconds.
Since its startup, 15,952,625 queries have been sent to the server.

Like the title says: fascinating but useless. Share your own useless statistics and click on "Show MySQL runtime information" in phpMyAdmin which will show output like above.

If your version of phpMyAdmin lacks this function execute a SQL query that says: "SHOW STATUS". The relevant fields to look for are Questions for the amount of queries and Uptime for the uptime in seconds.

Small update: to quickly convert from seconds to a readable date issue the following command in your Terminal (Perl should be installed):
perl -e 'printf "%d days, %d hours, %d minutes and %d seconds", ( gmtime 701251 ) [7,2,1,0]', where 701251 is the number of seconds.
It will spit back a readable time: 8 days, 2 hours, 47 minutes and 31 seconds.

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