Hexadecimal Beer

On a lighter note I should just mention the lunch at the Leeds University Jubilee and give credit to the caterers. The starter and main courses were very good, but the real praise has to be reserved for the dessert, a rather fine crème brûlée. Apart from the fact that crème brûlée is a favourite of mine this was a truly magnificent specimen. It was accompanied by a tangy rhubarb compote sitting in its own little chocolate basket, three shortbread biscuits and a six-inch, white chocolate straw. Obviously there was some debate on my table as to the exact etiquette surrounding the use of a chocolate straw at a formal lunch, but, since the Vidal Pinot Noir 2005 had been flowing liberally during the previous two courses, we decided to forego any unnecessary concern over formalities and either tucked or sucked in.

Computer scientists can be a competitive lot in their own little way, and the department was not to be outdone by some of Gordon Lucifer 0×32 beerRamsey’s little helpers. In the late afternoon we were offered a free (yes – for once free as in beer, not as in software) bar and lavish buffet. The good burghers of Leeds had stumped up for the brewing of an exclusive range of real ales, created by Elland Brewery, which had been named after the different departmental mainframe computers: Eldon, Lucifer, Amdahl and KDF-9. They also provided take-home bottles of the premium beer, Lucifer 0x32 (see photo). Each bottle had a unique identifier from the hexadecimal numbering system (mine was 0xC5 of 0x3FF). I could’ve wept tears of joy into my wispy beard (if I still had one)…

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