Delphi For Fun Newsletter #25
Tuesday March 12, 2002
Spring is coming!
We have had several days of temperatures in the mid 50's here on the mountain last week, after a couple of single digit nights two weeks ago. So maybe winter will come to an end after all.
We passed 15,000 home page visitors today!
Soap-box time: I've been puzzled by the Microsoft bashing in the technical press since the anti-trust trial started. In the past year I've unsubscribed from most of my email technology newsletters when an issue arrived that was too biased to tolerate. I recently ran across this Op-Ed piece, Drop the AntiTrust Suit Against Microsoft, that's a little extreme, but still makes some sense to me. If you're interested, read it and decide for yourself.
I had a birthday last week and received a Mensa puzzle book from a daughter. So -- expect a couple of problem solving programs based on those puzzles this month. Also a cool card trick program plus I'm going to figure how to download and interpret the data from that GPS navigation device I received for Christmas. That should keep me occupied for a few days.
In the meantime, here are the "What's New" details for the last six weeks:
January 30, 2002: Here's puzzle/game I call Traffic Jam. It's modeled after the original plastic version, RushHour, by Binary Arts. The objective is to free the target car by moving those that are blocking it's way. Vehicles can move only in the direction of their long axis. A simple case with the objective of moving the red car to the exit looks like this:
February 10, 2002: I've been playing with Doodler 2 for several days. (Doodler 1 was posted about a month ago.) Printing and rotating drawings is working fine, but kaleidoscope drawing is driving me crazy!
February 13, 2002: Here's the Arithmattack! drill program I mentioned the other day. It's a timed drill to see how many basic arithmetic problems can be solved in 60 seconds with user control of the range of values and the operations. My first thought was that the timing aspect wasn't good, but I've changed my mind. We all need to learn to think under pressure, and this is low-pressure pressure. Problems can be very simple to start and should build confidence. See what you think.
15,2002: What would the Olympics be without rings? Here's an Olympic
Rings puzzle that challenges you to place one of the digits 1-9 in
each of the areas formed by the overlapping rings so that the sum of the
digits in each ring is the same. This is mainly a programming
exercise, but you can print a copy of the rings if you want to exercise your
brain (and delay Alzheimer's).
February 21: 2002: From an old ACM Programming Contest, here's a problem I call Slimps, Slumps and Slurpies. These are strings of characters following certain formation rules. The definitions are recursive, meaning that the rules may include the terms being defined. The idea is to write a program that recognizes each type. Kind of a compiler for the "Slurp" language
March 1, 2002: I ran across this entry the other day in my "Unanswered questions" file: "Championship golf courses always contain 18 holes with par scores of 3, 4, and 5 with a total course par of 72. How many possible championship course arrangements are there?" Here's a 40 line Delphi "GolfCourses" program that answers the question. It involves our old friends Permutation and Combination. If you want to be a good puzzle solver and don't know them, it may be time to get acquainted.
Not that it matters, but I haven't been able to find a definition of "championship golf course" to verify that the premise of the question is true.
"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude." -- Thomas Jefferson
Or more concisely:
"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." - Henry Ford
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