May 28, 2022


Happy eighth anniversary to Pointless Large Number Stuff!!! For the first time since February 2016—well, March 2019 if you count one short article—I have significantly updated this site's content. Over the course of the past month, I have been working hard on updating this site for the move to the new Google Sites. Why the new Google Sites, you may ask?

I know Google has a bad habit of overhauling its old products in a way that feels substantially watered down. And yes, a lot of features in the old Google Sites are nowhere to be found here. But at the same time, Google did give us years of forewarning, and classic Google Sites really is getting phased out. It's impossible to edit this site on classic Google Sites now, and given that I've wanted to update this site's content for many years since it initially stopped being active, I figured the eighth anniversary was a good motivation to do so!

You've probably noticed that this site looks quite a bit different from how it did before the move. I knew that on the move to new Google Sites, I couldn't fully retain the old look of this site, so I decided to embrace change and give it a facelift. This isn't even my first time redesigning this site—for its first few months it looked like this, and then for the next seven and a half years it looked like this. I put a lot of work into making this site look nice and presentable in the new Google Sites, both with its limitations and new features, and I sincerely hope you enjoy this new look! And as charmingly old-school of a font as Verdana is, I think my new choice of font (PT Serif) is much easier on the eyes, not to mention it matches the font on my WordPress blog.

But visual redesigns aren't all I did. I've also been working on updating the text in this site to fix mistakes, use clearer language, and smooth out some of my high school self's clunky phrasing and excessive use of words like "thing" or "stuff". And I'm not done with that yet! Here is a changelog of what all I have done for this eighth anniversary site update:

  • General changes:

    • Gave the site a visual redesign, as said above

    • Updated formatting and text on the home page, introduction, section 1 navigation, articles 1.01-1.10

    • Rudimentary formatting fixes to articles 2.01-2.11

    • Replaced all images on those pages that are not hosted on this site with images hosted on this site, to prevent dead links and fix some broken images

    • Replaced all dead links I could find with either links from the Wayback Machine or active links on new URLs

  • Article numbering:

    • In sections 1, 2, and L, changed article numbering notation from X.X to X.XX so that the articles can properly be alphabetically ordered. No more 1.10 between 1.1 and 1.2!

    • Changed numbers of articles 2.5A and 2.5B to 2.05 and 2.06 respectively, and bumped all the numbers in the following section 2 articles up by one

  • Article 1.05 (Large Numbers in Probability):

    • Removed several entries that came from a webpage that did not give any explanations or calculations for values

    • Replaced the unexplained entry for odds of getting a 300 in bowling with an entry calculated by assuming a 50% strike rate

    • Updated my upper bound of all possible chess games (it's slightly smaller now)

  • Article 1.06 (Skewes' Numbers):

    • Moved the paragraph on who Stanley Skewes is to the start of the article and expanded it

    • Greatly expanded the comparison between Skewes' number and Skewes' Approxima by first comparing their triple, double, and single logarithms, in order

    • Added some new pictures to go along with these comparisons

  • Article 2.08 (Graham's Number):

    • Added a new section about the last and first digits of Graham's number (Yes, I know I haven't finished fixing formatting on articles before that, but the idea sprang to my head and I couldn't resist putting it in.)

As you can see, I still have a lot of articles I'm yet to update, and right now many of them still are broken in some parts. I'm thinking of releasing the article updates in big chunks instead of one at a time, so as not to clog the updates section with "updated this article, updated that article". And updating my number list will without a doubt be the biggest challenge of all. The list might get a total do-over, and it might have its later parts significantly cut down or left unchanged in an archived section—we're yet to see.