Delphi For Fun Newsletter #81


July 4, 2016

Summer arrived late in the day on June 20 , each leap year  backs the start time up by about 24 hour so we can start adding the approximately 6 hours that get added each year.  (Solar year is about 365 1/4 days, remember).  The Solar Solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern hemisphere, is appropriately celebrated as Midsummer in Northern Europe and other areas.  The April,May,June quarter is probably my favorite as trees and dormant seeds spring to life, the early berries ripen, and sightings of baby deer and turkeys bring joy.   Gardening and mowing provide an easy replacement for firewood harvesting. 

A family graduation, wedding, and  vacation to 5 Western US National Parks limited programming time this quarter, but that's OK too.  Here are details of  the  6 projects I chose to work on this quarter:


April 3, 2016:  

CutList is a program which looks for optimal ways to cut a list of rectangular parts from a list of available supply pieces.   The program is  popular but too complex to work on for fun these days, so until I get around to create a commercial version, I code bug fixes only.  Finally, after two years, another bug was discovered and fixed.  When printing layout diagrams for a solution with no other lists selected, the  layout printing was incorrect.  Only the final page of supply piece diagrams would be printed.  It was fixed today with Cutlist Version 4.03.   The layout diagram page titles now also show which solution is being printed.  



April 15, 2016:

 One more feature was to our Latitude/Longitude distance calculator program today.  When calculating an end point from a start point, direction and distance, Latitude Longitude Distance  Version 3.2  lets the user to choose between Great Circle  and Rhumb Line travel .  Great Circle travel is the shortest route between two points, but requires continuously adjusting the direction of travel.  The new Rhumb Line option allows one to travel at a constant bearing from where you are to where you want to go or to explore what lies at a given direction at a given distance.  Just know that constant bearing (Rhumb line) travel is the simplest, but not the shortest way to get there.            


April 25, 2016:

In this No Close Neighbors Mensa Calendar puzzle solver, the user (or the program) must insert the letters A through J, one per square, so that no two letters in alphabetical order are in squares that touch in any way, even at the corners.  Three letters have been placed to get started.   In addition, the program has a "Build" mode allowing users to define more puzzles.  The two known "ready to build" examples are included.    

May 27, 2016:  May has been a busy month - one granddaughter earned her Dr. of Pharmacy degree and another got married.  We travelled to attend both.  We're proud of Kristen and happy for Sarah.  Coincidentally, if things go as planned, we will be attending Pharmacist's wedding and the bride's graduation as a Chem. Engineer next spring!  

The intervening days were spent catching up with mowing, garden care, tree trimming, etc.  Evenings allowed me to complete the DTMF (Touch-tone) Decoder Test program.  Here's a picture of the device put together by the family Electrical  Engineer (my son) which listens for tones and sends the  decoded digits to my program for display.  Probably not of interest for the majority of viewers, but if it is, visit the link for more details. 


May 28, 2016:  A fix applied last month to our Cutlist program (See April 3, 2016 "What's New" post), introduced a problem which prevented the printing of user generated solution diagrams.   Cutlist Version 4.04 was posted today to correct this problem.        


June 28, 2016:

 2 1/2  weeks of this month found us out west in Utah, Montana, and Wyoming  visiting five National Parks with a daughter and her family.  Seeing  the animals and geological wonders was nice, but the family time was even better.

Probably only time for one program this month;  this June 16 Mensa calendar puzzle was chosen because I couldn't solve it manually in the 5 minutes I allocate to these things.    The program Revolving Letters allows users to rotate columns to find a solution, or let the program do the grunt work and solve it for you.  Computers really shine at "grunt work"!


Quotes redo (continued):

DFF News #13, February19, 2001: "We have to do the best we can. This is our sacred human responsibility." -- Albert Einstein  

DFF News #14, March 16, 2001: We never stop investigating. We are never satisfied that we know enough to get by. Every question we answer leads on to another question. This has become the greatest survival trick of our species."   Desmond Morris , British anthropologist. The Naked Ape (1967). 

DFF News #15, April 15, 2001: "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first." -- Mark Twain

DFF News #16, April 29, 2001: "If you don't invest very much, then defeat doesn't hurt very much and winning is not very exciting." -- Dick Vermeil - (Football coach)

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