Notes for teachers

 

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For Non-Programming Teachers: 

The programs on this site are primarily intended for teaching Delphi programming  by example.  It recently occurred to me that many of the programs found here might be useful in their own right in an educational environment. 

Since they were intended for training and not as commercial products, they may be sparse in instructions or other desirable features.  And the descriptions will likely contain contain lots of  "comuputerese".  But you can  try any program by downloading the executable version from the link near the bottom each description page.   And they are all free! 

So look around and see if there is anything you're interested in using with your students.  Use this  feedback link  if you have comments or suggestions that might make any program more useful to you.  If you have any ideas for programs along the lines of those included here, send those along also.   If it sounds like fun, I may just do it!

Candidates that come to mind, in no particular order,  include: 

Sci-grapher  - a simple scientific function graphing program.  Plots user defined expressions in 1 or 2 separate series.   Single expressions in a series define the dependent variable.   Two expressions can be included to define "parametric" equations, X and Y in terms of some 3rd variable.  Expressions can be saved reloaded later.  Several sample plot files are included and a "Functiondoc.txt" file provides some documentation.

Maze Generator - square, heart shaped, alphabet, even complete word mazes!  You can design your own shapes and save them.  Rooms and paths through each maze are generated randomly;  just click then Generate button until you see one you like, then play or print it.  Click on both "Download executable" and "Download Sample Letter and Word Mazes"  buttons to get the whole package.    

The River Crossing Puzzle (Fox, Duck, Corn) - a logic exercise.

Hangman - human vs. human version, the unbeatable computer playing version (The Tricky Hangman) is in the works.

The 15 Puzzle - the classic sliding puzzle

Tangram - the classic Chinese 7 piece puzzle.

Cannon  - ready, aim,  fire!

WordStuff - coded messages, unscramble, word completion ( a crossword helper).

Akerue - word finder game (backwards,  it spells ???)

Towers of Hanoi - another classic 

Roller Coaster Simulation - not sure if they learn any physics, but my grandkids like to constrain the cart to the track and make configurations that would surely cause severe headaches.  

Genaille's Rods - a 19th century method of multiplying and dividing derived from "Napier's Bones".

ArithmAttack! -  A timed arithmetic drill program with user control of operations and operand values.  A good way to overcome fear of timed tests.   

Car and Goats - Which door hides the car?  A guessing game with an interesting twist.   

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For Programming Teachers:

As of September 2006, Borland has finally decided to make a version of Delphi (Turbo Delphi Explorer) available for free.   The site is  http://www.turboexplorer.com/ .  I have not had a chance to play with it yet, but plan to and will post my experiences here.  If you give it a try, I would love to hear how it goes for you also.  Use the feedback link below.    

Unfortunately, Embarcadero, the current owners of Delphi, have withdrawn any free or even reasonably priced version of Delphi.  They appear to concentrating on the commercial enterprises for whom $1000 investment in a development tool is a minor cost.  This is unreasonable for the beginner/hobbyist.  It's too bad because Delphi could be the language of choice if it were more widely used.  As it is, it will remain a niche market not widely available at a reasonable cost.  There is an Academic version for around $100 but even that seems to be restricted to college level students who are Computer Science majors.  What a shame!    If anyone hears of a policy change, please let me know.   

Update:  Embarcadero had made a great Delphi version available once again for free!  Here's the note I posted on October 6, 2016:

 Here's significant news that did not make the newsletter:  The free "starter" version of Delphi has been extended by Embarcadero!. Thanks to viewer Mac for the heads up with the info.  This is the first free release that I recall since Turbo Pascal became "abandonware" in 2002 and, according to Wikipedia, an Explorer version in 2005.  I wasn't excited about these because they did not include the compiler source code which was (and is) a valuable learning resource.   The new free release is at Delphi 10.1 Berlin Starter Edition and still has the "no commercial use" restriction but does include the source code!  Mac also says that it is only available in the 32 bit version which is fine for most users, including me.  They do say "Offer may be withdrawn at any time", so don't delay if you want to check it out.

Gary Darby

 

Modified: February 04, 2017

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