Programmer Bedtime Stories: A Dame, Two Spells, and a Scope

Ahnm Tracy, Dame Catherine, and Schmendrick try to repro the bug
The four of us entered. Schmendrick looked nervous, but I figured if Ahn trusted her safety to the room, I shouldn’t be nervous. We closed the door, Ahn invoked the spell, and she set the secret word. “I’m hungry,” she mused.

A magic mirror to the left of the door lit up. “What may I get you?”

“I’d like a blueberry tart.”

The mirror showed an image of a small blueberry tart, not more than 2 or 3 bites. “How many would you like?”

“Let’s say one for each of us. Four.”

“Minimum number of blueberries?”

Ahn raised an eyebrow at Schmendrick.

“He was a connoisseur of blueberry tarts, but his tastes varied. Some days he wanted more berries, some days more sugar, so he asked me to set a minimum number. It is in the project requirements he approved and if those circus bears out there can remember back that far, they were in the room when he requested it.”

Ahn turned back to the mirror. “How many can fit?”

“Ten each.”

“Then give us four tarts with ten each.”

In a small alcove below the mirror a tart appeared nearly instantly, but just one.

“Mirror, where are the other three tarts?”

“Tart production has completed.”

“Maybe it can only use 10 berries per request,” I ventured.

Ahn smiled. “Mirror, may we have two tarts with a minimum of 5 berries each?”

One tart appeared.

I requested a tart. “Mirror, one tart with a minimum of 15 berries, please.”

One tart appeared with berries spilling over the top.

“Fifteen tarts with fifteen berries each, please.”

One tart appeared, looking much like the last.

“STOP!”

The light around the mirror faded away and the door swung outward. The four of us stepped back out into the basement. Ahn looked at Schmendrick. “Do you have the incantations you used?”

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