November 30, 2001: Site availability
seems to have stabilized Wednesday, Thursday, and today.
Outages have been down to 10-15 minutes each day, their daily server reboot
I assume. Monday had a long 2 1/2 hour outage and Tuesday
had 2 hours of downtime spread across 14 outages! I'm keeping my
fingers crossed that the current stability is the norm.
I've been working on the Accelerated
Reader Search page this week, fixing a couple of bugs in the Delphi
to "Flag" and "Unflag" all selected records for
printing. Too bad Borland can't get Delphi included in every
browser. Well, Thanksgiving's over and deer season
ends tomorrow, so maybe life will get back to normal here on the
November 24, 2001: Site was down for several
hours today. Some user's program (not mine!) is bringing the shared
server down and they are "working on it". I'm
rapidly losing faith in Windows (or at least Windows NT) as a server, but
not much choice in the short term except to be
November 23, 2001: Find a
six digit number that, when multiplied by some integer between 2 and
9, produces a number that has the original digits
Numbers is a beginner's level program that has 30 lines of
user written code and takes about 1/2 second to generate both valid
November 20, 2001: Well, guys and gals, we
are now Windows hosted - for better or worse. Both delphiforfun.com
and delphiforfun.org seem to reach to this site today. I'm a
Windows bigot and have looked down on Unix guys for 20 years. But
--- the new host server has died several times during prime time
since we started testing. This is in addition to a scheduled reboot
at 3AM each day. In the year we were Linux hosted, I recall only 2
outages. Whether this reflects a difference in operating
systems or host competency, I'm not yet sure. I happened to be
looking at site statistics a few minutes ago (10:00 am here on the East
coast), when the site went down for 10-15 minutes, affecting 7 DFF users. I hate that as a user and I hate it even more as a
November 19, 2001: Here's a program that
implements a human vs. human version of the game
of Hangman. A future version will use our dictionary to let
the computer join in but this will get the basic drawing and word checking
concepts out of the way. 300 lines of code make this an
Intermediate level program (100 lines or so of those are just hard coded
directions for drawing pieces of the image though).
Granddaughter Kaitlin, 10, helped design the hangman - she decided
that programming was harder than she thought!
November 18,2001: Here's a link an
Search web page that calls my first Delphi CGI program - a
program that runs on the host server and is called from a web page.
The program was one of the motivations for switching to a Windows
based server. It searches a file of available Accel. Reader
books at my granddaughter's school and builds a sorted results page.
Not really part of DelphiForFun, but it was an interesting
November 15, 2001: I will be switching this DelphiForFun
site to a Windows based host sometime in the next week (more space,
same cost, and ability to run Windows web programs).
Tests are looking good, but email stuff, like Feedback and the
Newsletter can't be pre-tested. Another item that cannot be
tested in advance is the domain suffix. You may have noticed
that we have domain names delphiforfun.com and delphiforfun.org
which can be used interchangeably through some Internet magic called
"domain pointing". Currently delphiforfun.com is the real
domain and delphiforfun.org points to it. On the new host, the
roles will web reversed, so if the .com suffix stops working
temporarily, try .org.
11, 2001: Here's a 10 year old TileFit
program that I resurrected the other day to help design a new computer
desk for my office. And a less-than-professional picture
of the original slate-tile table project.
November 6, 2001: The erroneous virus
warning that went out as a result of the October 30 newsletter
has been resolved. Here's a transcript
of my communications with TrendMicro, the producer of the
"ScanMail" virus scanner that sent the message in the first
place. They agree that there was no virus, the email reply
produced by ScanMail was misleading and say that their latest release
corrects the problem. Another learning experience under
November 4, 2001: I really like problems that are simple to state but
still hard enough that PhD types write papers and articles about them.
Here's the latest: "Put some dots randomly on a piece of paper and draw the smallest circle that encloses them all".
I couldn't believe that the solution was as complicated as the algorithm given by Dr's Elzinga and Hearn.
So in this Circle Covering Points
program you can see my five attempts as well as the Elzinga-Hearn solution. (Big
surprise - they were right!).