The name given to an early version of a computer developed by the younger students (notably Ponder Stibbons) at the Unseen University. Its (or his..) cpu is an ant farm, and its hard drive is a beehive. Develops throughout the latter half of the Discworld series (by Terry Pratchett) into almost an AI. Has a great conversation with Death in Hogfather. Is known for such humourous error messages as:
+++ Out Of Cheese Error. Redo From Start. +++

and
+++ Divide By Cucumber Error. Please Reinstall Universe And Reboot. +++
A game played on a rhombus-shaped grid of hexagonal cells. Two players each have a color and a pair of opposite sides of the rhombus assigned to them, and take turns filling in one empty cell with their color. First to complete a chain of cells of his/her color connecting his/her two edges wins.

mkb tells me that there is a four-player version, played as two teams of two, but team members are forbidden to speak to one another.

hello world = H = hexadecimal

hex n.

1. Short for hexadecimal, base 16. 2. A 6-pack of anything (compare quad, sense 2). Neither usage has anything to do with magic or black art, though the pun is appreciated and occasionally used by hackers. True story: As a joke, some hackers once offered some surplus ICs for sale to be worn as protective amulets against hostile magic. The chips were, of course, hex inverters.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

Definition 1: Two person game played with Go stones on a field of hexagons, on variously shaped boards, invented by Piet Hein, in the late 40's, and independantly, a few years later by John Nash (his original board is preserved in the faculty lounge at Princeton). Often, in the US, played in old bathrooms with honeycomb tile -- hence the name "John", for its inventor, who was known for playing other kinds of games in the john, as well. (Me bad! Me very bad!!)

Dr. Nash has proven in 1949 that there is an unbeatable first-person strategy for any given game of Hex, but it's not known what that is.

Definition 2: In American folk magick, a hex sign is a round plaque characteristic of the Pennsylvania Dutch, with designs based on the 6-leaved rose (in the mathematical sense) which are often combined with other emblems such as the distlefink (thistle finch), clover and oak leaves, tulips hearts, etc., used as a charm against lightning and to promote fertility.

A perl function.

Usage
hex EXPR

Interprets EXPR as a hexadecimal string returning a string containing the decimal value. If you start EXPR with an 0x then it will be ignored, however it is not mandatory. So 0xff113a would be the same as 0ff113a.

Hex is one name for a board game invented independantly by a Danish inventor, mathematician, and author called Piet Hein in 1942, and then-Princeton grad student and Nobel-prizewinning mathematician John Forbes Nash, Jr. in 1948. Hex was the name used by Parker Brothers when they published it in 1952; in Denmark it was first known as Polygon, and in American university math departments it went by Nash or, as noted above, John.

Hex is played with two colors of stones (like go stones) on a rhombus-shaped board that is tiled with hexagons. The board can be of any size, but is almost always NxN and it is common to find 7x7 thru 14x14 boards. The game progresses much like go: two players take turns laying different-colored markers on any open spot. Each player "owns" two opposite sides of the board, and the object is to connect one's sides with a continuous chain of stones of one's color. The chain can take any path, however winding, to get from one side to the other. The game can be played on MxN boards but this tilts the odds heavily in favor of the player with the shorter distance to traverse.

Hex is a zero-sum game with perfect information, meaning one player's total gain is the other's total loss and both players know all there is to know about the state of the game. Other games of this type include go, chess, and checkers. Hex differs from these games in a very important way-- it is impossible for a game to end in a draw. Put another way, when an NxN board is filled there is always at least 1 path between parallel sides.

Based on this fact, Nash proved that the player who goes first can, with the right strategy, win the game every time. Nash's reductio ad absurdum proof can be summarized thusly: Assume there is a winning strategy for Player 2. Knowing that strategy, Player 1 could first play an arbitrary move, and thereafter play as though they were Player 2, in effect stealing Player 2's winning strategy. Player 1 would then win, contradicting the assumption; since Player 2 cannot have a winning strategy, and there can be no draw, the winning strategy must belong to Player 1. Elegant, no? However, there exists no method describing how to obtain such a strategy.

Sources
Better explanation of Nash's proof, and proof of the impossibility of a draw in Hex: http://www.cs.ualberta.ca/~javhar/hex/index.html
Hex FAQ: http://www.gamerz.net/~pbmserv/hex.faq.html
Hex IAQ: http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~hde/hex/hexfaq/
http://www.mazeworks.com/hex7/about/
http://www.abstractgamesmagazine.com/hex.html

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