From: "Sir Charles W. Shults III"
References: <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: resistor decoder
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Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 04:13:39 GMT
NNTP-Posting-Date: Mon, 09 Sep 2002 00:13:39 EDT
Organization: RoadRunner - Central Florida
I learned a great deal of my programming writing games. That is because of
three very important points that this sort of behavior encourages.
1) This is something you want to do, so you are self- motivated to see it
2) You find what you don't know real fast, so then you read up, experiment,
how all those unknown functions work.
3) You soon find the limits of the system and then devise ways around them,
I soon found that I wanted to save options in a file, and how to retrieve
those values. Then, when running into the strict memory limitations of the
time, how to create virtual arrays- disk files that stored and retrieved the
data at random like a huge data array. Then I added bit mapped characters for
simple animations. Soon, I was writing real database applications with what I
knew that outperformed the efforts of "professional" programmers where I worked.
I learned about modular style when my code got too difficult to make heads
or tails of- ten moved to object oriented programming before I knew it had a
name. It was a logical development of the style, and made the code so simple to
work with. So I started with simple logical puzzles and games, and logical
masking operations, and ended up writing major code for aerospace work.
Following this philosophy, I remembered when it first hit me- years ago,
when I was 6 years old, I loved to read comic books. Well, actually, I would
read anything, but comic books were most interesting sometimes. But I ran into
a brick wall with our babysitter- she was a hard core "christian" woman and
comic books were the work of Satan because you should never read anything that
wasn't about God and so she would take (steal) all of the comics I had scraped
my pennies together for and tear them up. Nice benevolent attitude.
Well, it occurred to me that if kids will read at all, it's good for them.
It increases their reading skills, so why fight it? Comics are pretty innocuous
if you think about it. I let my kids read them and they don't give me a hard
time about it. My 8 year old is at a 6 to 7th grade reading level already.
But software skills are no different. If you find something you really want
to do, it can improve your ability to perform in some way. So use that drive
and accomplish something with it, and if it happens to be self-improvement, so
much the better.
Now, I agree that the color code program is really not much use to most
people in electronics, because it's a poor tech who can't pop the colors off by
rote. But if writing the program helps to fix the values in the mind (after
all, repetition is involved here during the coding phase) and if the programming
effort helps to improve the programming skills, then you are getting two for
So I will not knock the OP for writing the program or offering it- if we
don't want it, we just say no. Or nothing at all.
My robotics, space and CGI web page - http://home.cfl.rr.com/aichip