What's New - February, 2010
February 23, 2010: I recently needed to send the log file from a newsletter mailing to help diagnose a minor problem. However the log file contained the email addresses of each recipient and sending them in unsecured plain text did not seem like a good idea. This program, Obfuscate Text, added to our Utility section, confuses email address one of two ways; replacing the name portion with a random word or replacing the entire email address with an "address removed" phrase. In both cases, email addresses are identified by the embedded @ symbol. As an exercise that might be useful some day, I added an option to obfuscate the word following a given word. For example, changing the word following the word "Password:".
February 17, 2010:
Waterjugs Version 3 now solves problems
with up to 7 jugs (or jars). This required a major rewrite of the previous
version where run time exploded for problems larger than 4 jars. The
problems require pouring water from one jug to another to obtain a target
configuration of water amounts in each jug. At the start of the problem,
we are given the capacity and the amount of liquid in each jug. There are no
graduation marks, so each pouring from jug A to jug B transfers the smaller of
the liquid in A or the unused capacity of B. The included 7
jug problem was submitted by Melanie whose program ran for days without finding
a solution. My first attempt with the old version would bomb (stack
overflow error), my
second attempt found the answer in 25 minutes and this version accomplishes the
goal in 2 1/2 minutes. You are welcome to pour 'til your
heart's content on the 7 jug problem included, but be forewarned, the shortest
solution requires 48 moves!
February 10. 2010:
Triangle program provides mathematical and visual views of a problem every
pilot, or at least every amateur pilot must wrestle with; how to get where you
want to go when the wind wants to take you off course. The answer is
to head the airplane into the wind just enough to offset the distance that the
wind moves you. Version 2 lets users change colors from my default
choices in order to address a problem recently reported by a pilot who happens
to be color blind.
February 4, 2010:
Word squares are square letter arrays with rows containing words
which match words formed by the corresponding columns. Here is a
Word Square Search program which
searches a 62,000 word dictionary to create word squares based on an initial
word provided by the user. At left is one of 149 solutions found for
the word "WORD".
February 1, 2010: A couple of times each year I get a request for help from a student requesting help in some project using my Reaction Times programs. This year it was a graduate student in at a Medical School in Ecuador whose thesis topic is to test the effect of sleep deprivation on interns as result of the long hours they put in. Her problem turned out to be decimal separator confusion because the PC she was using happened to have the Window's Locale set for a European country. Changing back to Ecuador set it from comma back to dot and allowed her to analyze her data. While investigating, I discovered and fixed a problem with the ResponseStats statistical analysis program that kept a newly loaded response statistics file from being made available. Reaction Times programs including ResponseStats Version 3.1 was uploaded today to fix the problem.
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