Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Project Euler - programming riddles

I was reading the Coding Horror blog and as usual, I checked out the comments. The first comment mentioned a site called Project Euler '... riddles to learn a new programming language...'

This sounded cool so I checked out the site and so far, I've solved 10 of the 200+ riddles. Each one took me around 15 minutes to solve. I'm sure the harder ones will take much longer.

As far as I can tell, all the riddles deal with math - prime numbers, Pythagorean triplets, Fibonacci sequence, etc... I never took anything past Algebra II / College Algebra. And while I probably could solve some the problems faster if I had taken more math, I have been able to solve the problems with out too much problem.

Some of these problems have let me use some really cool objects in java, like BigInteger. I even got to use the StringUtils.reverse method - I never needed to check for a palendrome before.

These problems might be a great way for someone to learn a new programming language and I really have enjoyed solving them.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Thanks Dude! FSM & LinkedIn

LM saw this in his google reader after I joined the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster on very funny...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rad tip - working sets

I use working sets in Rad and close projects when I'm not using them.

One of the things that bugs me with this is that it can be hard to see the individual projects when they are all displayed in the 'deselected view'.

I created some dummy projects to make this easier (once I create them, I close them and will never check them in):

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My first DP job - the modem

We called it Data Processing back in the day. But I was really just a Computer Operator at my first job out of college at a German office and school supply manufacturer in Garland, Texas.

There were three of us in DP. My boss was from Iran, and the programmer was from Thailand. Of course the big wigs were from Germany. What a change from a small college in a small town in Oklahoma. I got pretty good at understanding them with their accents. I'm not sure how well they understood me with my accent.

In 1987, after being on the job a month or so, my boss told me a modem had arrived and asked me to install it in the Shipping and Receiving PC.

Their PC was a Compaq dual floppy machine. It was already nice and dirty after only a couple years of service. I called him once I got out there and got the modem out of the box to ask him how to install it.

He asked if it was an internal or external modem. As usual, I had no clue. I described it to him and it turned out to be an internal modem. He told me open the PC up and stick it in a slot. Wow. So you're allowed to open one of these things....doesn't that break a law or at least void the warranty?

With his help, I got the modem installed. Configuring jumpers and serial ports is so much fun.

The software that came with it had some copy protection which meant that when I tried to copy it to another floppy, not only did the copy not work, but I had just burned one of the 3 copies we were allowed to make.

My previous experience with PC's was a little word processing, spreadsheets, and learning Lisp on the new CP/M machines. And writing some Basic code on an Apple IIc.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Okc Jug - Collections Presentation

Paul and I gave a presentation over the Java Collections Framework at the Oklahoma City Java Users Group Tuesday.

I'm so glad that is over... co-presenting is tough, especially without really practicing. I really think we would have done a better job if it had been just one of us doing the presentation.

We ran out of time way before we got to most of the good stuff. Oh well, we have now paid our dues. Maybe the Steering Committee people will quit bugging us to do a presentation. We were the only ones who hadn't done one.

My hope is that we did a bad enough job that they won't ask us to do it again. ;-)

I now have a little understanding what it takes to do a presentation at the jug. I should have spent more time on the presentation but I did spend about 20 hours reading, writing tests, and working on the slides.

I really enjoyed the 'wheel of fish'. Using the registration list and the Collections.rotate(list, randomNbr). I 'spun' the wheel and the winner got the shirt Laura helped my make:

The shirt says something like "I Survived the Collections Framework presentation at the Okc Java Users Group by Brian S. and Paul S., December 9th, 2008"