Delphi For Fun Newsletter #13



Monday  Feb 19,  2001
Delphi For Fun Newsletter #13


A good percentage of the population and most of us here in the Southeast are mourning the death of stock car driver Dale Earnhardt at yesterday's Daytona 500 race.   We happen to live within 100 miles of four tracks where the Winston Cup cars run every year.   I'm  a more casual  fan than most of my neighbors, but Dale was a man you had to admire.  The words heard most often today were "a driver's driver and a man's man".  While there is no questioning his ability and his courage, the trait I most admired was his persistence.  If you follow Winston Cup racing or  have a chance to read the history of his career, you'll know that through many disappointments, there was just no quit in the man.  From lap to lap, race to race, or season to season - it was never a question of whether he would succeed, just a question of when.  He would have made a hell of a programmer.   We need more like him. 

Here are the "What's New" excerpts since last time.

February 18, 2001:  I finally got tired of manually adding code to validate numeric input from the user.  Today I added visual components TIntEdit and TFloatEdit  to replace TEdit when numeric entry is required.   These are not very sophisticated but they are small and seem to do the job.   You can check them out and download from this Delphi Techniques page .    This might be the time to experiment if you haven't yet played with writing your own components.   

February 17, 2001:  A Delphi version of Mastermind, the famous  game with the objective of finding a secret pattern  of colored pegs is ready to enjoy.   And if you think discovering the pattern is challenging, wait 'till you try to understand how the program solves it.  The algorithms, largely from the algorithm lover's best friend - Professor Donald Knuth, are great fun to study.    Have at it!   

February 11, 2001:  Today's contribution is a version of the Eight Queens problem that I call Eight Queens Plus.   The traditional Eight Queens problem asks you to place 8 queens on a standard chessboard in such a way that no queen can attack another.  This is equivalent to requiring that no queens be in line vertically, horizontally or diagonally.  This version requires, in addition, that no queen occupy either of the two main diagonals.  There are 3 versions of the program, Version 3 finds multiple solutions, has a graphic display of the board and allows user play.   It has about 500 lines of code and so qualifies as advanced under our size criteria, even though the code is not particularly complex.  The first 2 versions are considerably smaller.     

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