SPUG: Math Genius

Orr, Chuck (NOC) chuck.orr at attws.com
Thu Jul 25 17:52:45 CDT 2002

Hello Everyone,

This request has spurred a lot of interest.  I have had a couple requests to
post more information.  So, here is the whole story:

     I have a magical unnamed box living far away that needs me to send it
cell numbers.  On my side, these cell "numbers" are actually five character
alphanumerics.  The far off box doesn't speak alphanumeric, it only wants
digits.  This dilemma was reached long ago, before my time.  Despite the
fact that this problem took place long ago when technology was primitive,
they realized that Perl was the solution.  So, some guy wrote a Perl Script
to turn the five character alphanumerics into 7 digit numbers.  

    Jumping to the present, It is critical that I know which of the 5
character alphanumeric is sending which digits where.  Unfortunately, the
spreadsheet housing such information has no reference to the 5 character
alphanumeric.  It is keyed on the 7 digit number.  Bummer for me...  So, I
set out to undo the ancient script.  The reason I need the unique answer is
that only one combination can be "packed" back to the correct 5 character
alphanumeric string.  Mark Yocom provided the solution I needed by
essentially figuring out the logic the first guy used to encode the string (
I think).  In any case, I have been very impressed with everyone's responses
and have probably learned more in this one day of reading email responses
than in any other single day.  (With the obvious exception of Dr. Tim
Maher's Consultix Courses).  

     I really appreciate everyone's interest and kindness.  I received over
30 responses and no one made me feel the least bit stupid for asking this
question (which I was hesitant to post).  Thank You!

Chuck Orr

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