What's New - August 2003
31, 2003: A viewer asked the other day about using
cursors larger than the standard 32 X 32
pixels. To the best of my knowledge,
there is no Windows or hardware method. Here is my Big
Cursors solution using common sprite techniques and posted
over in the Delphi Techniques section.
August 27, 2003: Graphic Effects is based on a program written by a young Delphi programmer from Czechoslovakia posted today over in Delphi Techniques. It is a clever demonstration of 15 different text and graphics effects. I added some user inputs to replace hard coded values, generalized the "Contrast" page to handle multiple values, and added a "Brightness" effect. Most of the rest is as "Ivanoslav" wrote it.
August 24, 2003: Viewer and unofficial
chief beta tester, Don Rowland, reported some bugs in the Circle
Covering Points program the other day. He suggested fixes
for some, and I fixed the rest, No bugs left in this program!
August 21, 2003: The our first version of the Token flip puzzle was published in April, 2001. You solve the puzzle by clicking on tokens, each click flips the color of that token and tokens which adjoin vertically and horizontally. The objective is to get all tokens with their white side showing. My original version auto-solved puzzles on its own by brute force searching. But search times get impossibly long for board sizes larger than 5X5. This April, viewer Bernd Hellema came through with a Pascal linear algebra solution which solved puzzles in milliseconds and which I modified for Delphi and posted. But it took 10 moves to solve a 4X4 all black board that I could solve in four moves.
I mentioned that to Bernd and a few days later he had enhanced his code to return the optimal (lowest move count) solution for all boards. This truly final version of TokenFlip Final was finally posted today.
August 19, 2003: Email should be working again this morning, kind of. Here's where we stand: M6 has installed two email servers. The current server for DFF, XMail, is a freebie and quite inadequate but has primitive mailing list support. SmarterMail, the new primary email server at M6 is much more complete but is having a problem with mailing list support. I had requested that DFF be assigned to SmarterMail anyway, but that didn't happen. So we may be moving again in the next day or two.
August 18, 2003:
8:00 AM - M6.net, the host site for delphiforfun, is switching email servers today. They say that email service will be unavailable for several hours and any mail received during this period will be bounced. So if you happen to send us feedback, subscription, or other email, and it bounces back, just try it again this afternoon or tomorrow. Not a good thing, but a minor inconvenience, especially in light of other recent occurrences. 8:00 PM - We are 12 hours into the "6 hour" conversion. and my test emails are still bouncing. I just requested a status update to make sure that DFF is not the only broken email account. I'll keep you posted.
August 16, 2003: Version 6 of the Roller Coaster Simulation program was posted today. It adds a template feature suggested by Dr. Jon Thomsen of the Technical University of Denmark. The idea is to allow his dynamics engineering students to better compare their theoretical predictions with simulation results. Wow, my program is going to college!
12, 2003: An elderly queen, her daughter, and little son, weighing
195, 105, and 90 pounds respectively, were kept prisoners at the top of a high tower.
There is a cord passing over a pulley with a basket at each end, and so arranged that when one basket rested on the ground, the other was opposite the
Castle Escape program lets you, or the program, help them
escape. Adapted from Merlin's Puzzle Pastimes, Charles Barry, Dover Publications.
August 6, 2003: Today's Mensa© Puzzle Calendar problem: Jim was arranging his identically sized stamps on page. When he put 8 to a page, he had 1 left over; with 9 to a page, he had 4 left over; with 10 to a page, he had 1 left over; and with 12 to a page, he had 1 left over. What is the smallest number that will allow him to fill each page with the same number of stamps?
I solved it by exhaustive search in about 10 minutes, then recalled that it sounded like a Chinese Remainder problem. Sure enough, I had posted a program a couple of years ago that would have solved it. So I went back and added this problem to the samples that are included with Chinese Remainders 2. Solve it either way, take your choice.
August 5, 2003: A viewer from New Zealand pointed out that my Solar Position program had his sun rising in the evening and setting in the morning. He reporting that he was having trouble sleeping under those conditions so I fixed it today. A slight southern hemisphere glitch was the cause. As usual, I found another problem while there - the Analemma graph only worked after the "Sunrise Sunset" button had been clicked. Fixed that one too.
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