houses houses houses...I made you out of clay...
Mood: creative
Posted on 2007-12-21 10:22:00
Tags: math elevator work house poll
Words: 408

We went house-hunting again yesterday. The first house we looked at is now our current favorite (which is good, as we heard our previous favorite is already under contract. Stop buying houses, people!), with a nice big kitchen (with an island!) that opens up to a living room which is a little on the small side but could probably fit the TV and computers. Master bedroom is plenty big and the bathrooms are nice. Plus it was built in the 90s and is reasonably priced!

- a bit far from freeways, although the neighborhood it's in is nice (it's off of Duval)
- there's a deck in the backyard which would be nice were it not so rundown, presumably by the current owners' (don't yell at me, there's more than one owner so I'm assuming they both own the dogs) dogs.
- living room is a little small

We have another good possibility that we'll see after the holidays, hopefully.

Now for the important stuff: at work my building has 8 floors and elevators. I work on the 8th floor, so I get plenty of time in said elevators. (fun thing to do: walk in a circle as the elevator is moving and realize that you're tracing out a helix!) Often I have to wait for other people to get off on their stupid less important floors before I get to the top, so I was wondering: let's say it's a given that we have to make two floor stops from 1 to 8. Is it better to have the stops be consecutive or spread out? For the sake of concreteness, let's say one way we stop at floors 2 and 3, and the other way we stop at floors 3 and 6.

I have an idea but I'll cut it: my guess is that, even though the elevator won't get up to full acceleration between floors 2 and 3, the total time spent getting up to top speed will be the same, so it'll be almost exactly the same. Depending on the acceleration versus the height of the floors, it's possible that stopping at floors 2 and 3 will be faster, though. I'll go with almost exactly the same for now.

Anyway, I was going to start taking measurements when I get my new phone, but it looks like the RAZR V3 doesn't have a stopwatch. (can anyone confirm?) That makes me sad. I'll come up with something, though!


Comment from destroyerj:

Boo for polls with two valid answers.

I believe they will be almost exactly the same, but the 'almost' would fall on the side of 2/3 being faster, so since that would be consistent (albeit tiny) I put my vote there.

Comment from djedi:


Comment from cifarelli:

I'm with destroyerj. I think they'll be almost exactly the same, but for some reason I think stopping on floors 3 and 6 would be very slightly faster.

Comment from djedi:

Honestly, the more I think about this house, the more I like it. I'd like to view the other house, but I'm getting more excited about this one.

Negatives: The three he listed above plus
a)Behind the backyard fence is a creek which seems to be mostly standing water. I'm tempted to knock on a random neighbor's door and ask about mosquitos in the summer.
b)they have dogs so the place smells a bit right now, but I'm sure that'll go after a while.

Positives: Good location except it is a little far from a freeway/major road.
Good size
Pretty good layout, pretty open
Nice bathrooms and bedrooms
looks nice out front

We may want to take someone critical to criticize it for us sometime right after xmas.

Comment from llemma:

The elevator at my apartment verifiably takes two floors to fully accelerate and half a floor to fully decelerate. (You can feel the shift in acceleration at that point.) If your elevator is similar, then option (a) yields 4.5 floors at various integrable in-between speeds and 2.5 at top speed. Option (b) yields 1 floor at top speed (half a floor before deceleration to 3 and half a floor before deceleration to 6) and 6 floors at in-between speeds. So my sense is that (a) is faster because you have a longer uninterrupted interval. We could of course be more precise and note that the second half of acceleration is faster than the first, but... it's Friday night.

Comment from yerfdogyrag:

So it occurs to me that we should change the way we signal elevators. Right now, you press that you either want to go "up" or "down". Not very specific. It would be much better to have a full button panel outside the elevators on every floor, and every elevator door has lights showing destination floors. You press your floor and then a light lights up outside the elevator door that you'll take. Of course, this has to be somewhat dynamic because stupid humans don't always enter and exit elevators at the same rate. But, given a system like this, you can really begin to schedule things optimally.

I seem to recall that there were some hard drives at one point that had multiple heads per platter face. Whatever algorithm they used for scheduling would likely be somewhat applicable.

Comment from liz_gregory:

This is why there are m,ultiple elevators for very tall buildings - one set goes to the first 10 floors, the next set goes to 11-20, the next does 21-30, etc. That way you have good acceleration for the floors that everyone is skipping and are much more efficient in getting people where they want/need to be.

Comment from gregstoll:

I've heard of this idea - these sorts of elevators actually exist (see here and here and here) but I've never had the pleasure of using one. I bet it could be way more efficient.

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