The Tenth Annual Crash & Compile Contest

Organized by Robert Kaye

April 27, 6pm, San Luis Obispo


Crash'n'Compile is a programming/drinking contest, where teams of two people try to solve as many programming problems as they can. As people work to solve the problems they will need to compile/run their programs and every time they encounter an error, the team must drink.

The problems will be custom written for this event and will require some skills in writing programs and reading problem specifications. Check out some problems that were used in previous years. You may attempt to solve these problems in any language. If you want to use tr, Java, C++, C, Perl, Pascal, Lex, Yacc, Basic, or assembly, I don't care. If it works, I'll take it.

You should try and solve the problems with as few errors as possible. Each error carries a penalty:

  Every time you compile the program and it
fails to compile without errors or warnings
One drink 
  Every time the program fails to produce
correct output
One drink 
  Every time the program crashes
(segmentation fault or GPF)
Two drinks 
  Every time your machine or operating
system crashes
Three drinks 
  Every time another team finishes a problem Lots! 

There will be several programs during the contest. How many we do is determined by how close we stick to the rules and good/bad we feel. As usual I will be the judge, and someone will cook food for us.

The scoring will be like last year. Five points will be awarded to the team that finishes a problem first, and 3 points for the second team. The team that is most drunk at the end wins.

So, if you like to have blast while programming and drinking beer, come join us. This event is not limited to computer geeks -- we have space for some spectators. Also, the leader of Team Distraction has signed her team on for this year's event. Please note: Team Distraction is all volunteers and has no hired outside performers.

You must bring your own computer -- one per two person team. Three years ago a team did it on their Palm using pocket C. Too bad they didn't get much past the warm-up problem. Please note: If you are using a Microsoft development product you'll be given a 1 beer (12 fl oz) penalty)

Well, in order to participate you need the following:

  • A computer with the appropriate development environment. You'd be foolish to use a PDA, but its been done.
  • Aspirin.
  • A designated driver.
  • An extension cord. A powerstrip with a fuse is best.
  • A brain.
  • A donation to contribute to the beer & food fund.
  • A seating implement. Seats are going to be real short.

What you don't need:

  • Beer. We'll have a keg of good beer. (We had Warsteiner, Pilsner Urquell, Spaten, Steinlager, Homebrew and Red Hook in past years)
  • Food -- someone will volunteer to cook food for us. Any volunteers this year?
  • Steel Tarrifs. Dumbass dubya.

It is important that you bring all the required materials. Just picture 30 people trying to boot machines in one house -- its not pretty. We'll also have 4 open ethernet ports speaking DHCP in the living room -- first come first serve. If you have a 802.11b wireless network card, bring it with you!

If you don't like beer, you can bring some other inebriating substance, that will put you at our babbling equivalence. Mob rule determines if a particular inebriating substance qualifies you to compete.

As usual, the event will be held at the mOOn and as usual we will be short on space again. So, its important that you register in advance! We only have space for about 15 teams.

Fill out the form and click submit to register for Crash & Compile:

Team name:


Team fool #1:


Fool #1's e-mail:


Team fool #2:


Fool #2's e-mail:


What does your spirit pussy say?:

  Please suggest an beer that we should have. Please do not suggest Guinness or other dark beers. Dark beer is not a good idea for crash & compile!

Beer suggestion:

Check out the registered teams.