What's New - October, 2009
October 29, 2009: In the original October 25th version, the Jumping Frogs were too large for the pond on most systems (those which do not use DPI scaling). Hopefully, it's fixed today.
October 25, 2009:
Jumping Frogs puzzle
is easy to find on the web. My simple version has "Undo" for user moves
but was written mainly to make sure I remembered how to search a "state graph"
October 18, 2009: Woohoo! I found out yesterday that I have been nominated for the "Spirit of Delphi" award. I recognize enough names on the list to make me proud to be included in that company even though participating in "community" has never been a priority.
I have heard a rumor that Embarcadero, the current owner of Delphi, is considering a free or cheap "learners" version of Delphi. IMO, that's our best hope to have the language survive into the next generation.
October 17, 2009: An ongoing task these days is converting and recompiling programs that have display problems when operating system DPI scaling is set to increase text size. I'm converting them as I encounter problems. Today's posting is BigCombos which displays combinations and permutations of arbitrarily large size. I needed the program to convince a viewer that it is not feasible to check all possible ways to arrange 68 items. There are are about 2.5 x 1096 ways; much larger than the estimated number of atoms in the known universe (1080).
October 16, 2009: BigFloatTest was reposted today to incorporate two small changes to our large floating point arithmetic unit UBigFloatV3. The Add procedure to add one TBigFloat number to another could produce erroneous results when a number with a very large exponent was added to another with a very large negative exponent (a very small number). Also procedure Reciprocal could loop and produce an "Out of Memory" error under certain conditions. Division uses Reciprocal to divide by multiplying and a user encountered the error when computing 1/99,999,999,999,999,999,999. Thanks to Charles Doumar for the corrections posted yesterday in library file DFFLibV13.
October 4, 2009: Number Words Version 2, posted in the Delphi Techniques section of DFF, builds on the original version by adding conversion back from "number words" to numbers (e.g. seventeen to 17). It also solves, or allows you to solve and check, the answer to one of those self referencing statement puzzles: "This rectangle holds _________ L's, __________ N's, and __________ vowels in all." where the blank fields are to be filled with number words which make the statement true. This is another recent puzzle from my favorite source, the Puzzle-A-Day Mensa Calendar.
Note: I have a Lazarus/FPC version of this program but I don't feel comfortable in distributing it yet. Lazarus is a free open source front end to Free Pascal Compiler (FPC) and which provides a Delphi look-alike environment. As you may or may not know, Embarcadero, the current owners of Delphi have withdrawn all free versions and do not seem interested attracting or retaining the student/hobbyist programming community. What a shortsighted approach!
I admire the work that has been done on Lazarus, but I've had a hard time getting things to run. Whether that is due to differences with Delphi, bugs, lack of documentation, or just my ignorance has yet to be determined. If there are Lazarus users out there who would like to help educate me, let me know and I'll send the program and a whole bunch of questions.
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