Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The joy of programming

(If you are not a computer geeky person, PLEASE still read the entire note - hopefully it will enlighten you, and you can also vote for new posts at the bottom.)

All programming languages have similar construction. There's always a way to state variables, initialize variables (aka give them something to store), loop, create a method/subroutine (aka a mini program to run inside multiple other larger programs), use 'if, else if, else' statements, print your results, etc.

However, not all programming languages take these commands in the same way. Java is different from Visual Basic is different from Python is different from C++ is different from Basic is different from...well, you get the picture.
(for non-programmers, you can always say the word 'tree' in any language, but in Spanish you say 'arbol' and in English you say 'tree', but you mean the same object.)

OK. now that those facts are established for non-programmers. I have created a program for Euler's method (calculus AB) on my TI-84. It uses variables, solves the 4 steps of Euler's, and prints the result. However, I have NO idea how to make the calculator loop through the program multiple times. As a result, I have to retype my results in as new variables EVERY time, instead of just taking the results in some kind of while loop*.

*PROGRAMMERS SKIP THIS(a while loop keeps doing the same thing over and over until something is not true. example: while (you are reading my blog), move your eyes across screen. If that program was in your brain, your eyes would move across the screen until the condition of you reading my blog becomes false. see, very simple.)

OK. So, the part about the 'joy' of programming is that I COULD have left this alone and stopped fiddling with it a LONG time ago, because the person I am sharing the program with will be perfectly happy with the way it is now. BUT, I can't. my problem solving mind is LOVING the challenge and I've been toying with it instead of doing my other homework. It's SO much fun.

So, that was the post for today. If it bored you, my apologies, I was very excited about my program. For the rest of the week I have several ideas, tell me which you want to hear most based on potential titles:
~"tell him one thing" questionnaire (from a contest)
~That's what she said jokes
~PB & J - not for my campers!
~sexist? why and why not
~old arguments/redefined stereotypes
~my writer's notebook
~Due South TV show
~the four year old girlfriend
~seniorits-my symptoms
~college search comments

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