Man gains world record for 'pi' calculation

Shigeru Kondo, a systems engineer in his 50s at a food company in the central Japanese prefecture of Nagano, in August calculated pi—the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter—to five trillion digits, almost doubling the accuracy of the previous world record.

Last week, the calculation was recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records with a certificate mailed to Kondo, who said he began the calculations simply as a hobby.
“I really want to praise my computer, which calculated continuously for three months without complaint,” Kondo told the Chunichi Shimbun daily.

He shared the honour with a US computer science student, Alexander Yee, who programmed the application software and liaised with Kondo by e-mail. Using parts from local warehouses and online stores, Kondo assembled a desktop computer that featured two high-end Intel processors and 20 external hard-drives.

After 90 days of non-stop processing, Kondo obtained a string of five trillion numbers that defined pi.

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