Help me get a distinction

I don’t ask for much from Troppodillians (well apart except from jobs, business advice, money and subjects for experiments).

As part of my requirements for a unit on Software Quality & Measurement at UWA, I’ve developed two different procedures for calculating monthly mortgage repayments. Now I need to trial them on various people and see how well they perform (or how badly).

Since power corrupts, and admin privileges corrupt absolutely, I thought I would ask for volunteers from the Troppo audience to take part in my experiment.

It is quite simple and should take no longer than a few minutes for most Troppo readers. In return you receive my undying (but anonymised) gratitude and a promise to report on the fascinating findings in a few weeks time.

To take part, follow this link.

Update: some people have trouble downloading the file with Acrobat saying “The file is damaged and cannot be repaired.” This seems to happen in Firefox but not IE.

Workarounds: you can right-click and “Save As”, or use Internet Explorer.

I’m not sure why this is happening, but I’ll look into it.

I should also note that I don’t need you to fish out your own mortgage details — numbers are provided for you to crunch.

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8 Responses to Help me get a distinction

  1. MikeM says:

    When I tried to download the file I got a message from Acrobat reader saying, “The file is damaged and cannot be repaired”. Consequently I was unable to try the procedure.

    I am running Adobe Reader version 8.1.4 on Windows XP Professional sp3 with latest security updates and using Google Chrome version browser.

  2. Jacques Chester says:

    Two things it could be:

    1. The browser. Legal Eagle reports she got it to work in IE but not Firefox.
    2. The filename. I’ve changed it to end in .pdf.

    Can you try it again and let me know if it works in Chrome?

  3. Pingback: Andrew Norton » Blog Archive » Help Jacques get a distinction

  4. MikeM says:

    Hi Jacques,

    Still doesn’t work in Chrome and can’t download it either. Works with IE.

    In Chrome if I right click on the link, I see the options I’d normally see if I right click on an HTML link, although if I copy the link into a text document it is clearly

  5. SJ says:


    Might be hard getting a distinction. Procedure A omits the required values for principal, term and interest rate. Procedure B has the wrong formula – you can’t just plug the value “6” into the calculator as the interest rate. It needs to be divided by 100.

  6. Jacques Chester says:


    Both good points. I fixed Procedure A’s instructions but at this point I don’t think I can change B without totally invalidating the data so far.

    The project is not to ‘prove’ that my procedures are good, it’s to compare them and write up the results.

    Even cockups are grist for the mill ..

  7. Jacques Chester says:


    I’m not sure what the deal is. I have a funky script that randomly assigns that URL to one of two physical files. It seems to apply the correct MIME-type. Frankly I’m stumped as to why IE does it “correctly” and other browsers don’t.

  8. Jacques Chester says:

    Changed my mind and fixed Procedure B. Guess I will need to mention that in my report.

    I suck at metrics.

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