My Experience With Computers
Yes, I admit it. I am a computer nut! That's what my girlfriend calls me from time to time, because I spend so much time using it. My primary interest is computer programming, but I enjoy so many aspects of computer. I enjoy programming, playing video games (especially Descent II and Command & Conquer), installing hardware, helping friends troubleshoot their problems, or just blowing some time browsing the Internet. Speaking of the Internet, if I hear one more roadway analogy (such as "The Information Superhighway", "The On Ramp to the Information Superhighway", "ISDN: The Passing Lane on the Information Superhighway", etc.) I am going to EXPLODE! So please!!!! stop making those analogies.
Anyway, I do most of my programming in Borland Delphi. I love its power, flexibility, and fast development time. It truly rules!
Most of my DOS development is done through Borland C++. I used to use it for Windows development until I got Delphi, and I don't think I'll ever go back. At least not for the GUI part of any Windows program. Maybe for some high performance procedures and such.
When I need to turn out a quick DOS GUI program, I turn to Microsoft Visual Basic for DOS. It was practically the first language I learned (besides QBASIC), and it still does pretty well for those small little DOS GUIs.
And, on a very rare occasion, when I need some absolute power for my program, I use Borland Turbo Assembler (Notice that recurring Borland theme?). I have used this for several things. I made some mouse interface routines for my friend so he could provide mouse capabilities in his Turbo Pascal (Yep, Borland again) programs. I also used it in my 3D-Game prototype. Read about it below to see how.
Other languages I know are Turbo Pascal (although its virtually the same as Delphi's Object Pascal), FORTRAN (I had a class in college in FORTRAN, although I can't remember much of it offhand),& QBASIC (who hasn't learned this one?).
My Favorite Programming Languages
This has to be the ultimate of all programming languages. In a few hours, you could design a visual interface that would take weeks to complete in C++. One of the coolest features I like is the way the VCL and IDE is designed & integrated. You can easily develop new controls, either from scratch or based on an existing control, and Integrate it into the IDE like it was part of the IDE to begin with. If you want to learn more about Delphi, or you want to find out what Delphi related information I have to offer, visit Discovering Delphi, my complete Delphi Web Site.
Anyways, I use both Delphi 1.0 & 2.0. I soon intend to get the 2.01 update so I can develop Internet enabled applications. That will be cool. If you check out my downloads page, I now have a Delphi VCL section where you can download sample VCL components that I have made. You can try these components, and purchase them if you like them.
You can now download my first publicly available VCL component, TDockingPanel. It is a panel that can be docked onto any side of the parent window. It can also be set to float inside the parent window. This can be done by the user by simply dragging the panel around with the mouse. This is the perfect component for designing a dockable/floatable button bar.
I have used Delphi to write a college scheduling program (although this is still in the works), Fish Keeper (an aquarium record database), a file encrypting program, and a program to test the effects of memory fragmentation.
C++ is my language of choice for writing DOS programs. I have made numerous programs, including a pcx viewer, a multiple image viewing program, a 3D-Game Prototype, a program to test the math performance of your computer in Real Mode as well as 16 & 32 bit Protected Mode, and another program to test the effects of memory fragmentation (to verify the Delphi version's results).
Borland Turbo Assembler
This is a program I call on rarely, but I use it to get incredible performance gains. In my 3D-Game Prototype, I converted a small portion of the rendering engine from C++ to Assembler and the results were incredible. Before the conversion, I was rendering solid colored walls at a less than acceptable speed. After the conversion, I could render texture-mapped, distance-shaded walls at 20 times the speed of the solid colored walls before the conversion. I have also used Assembler to write a mouse interface for Pascal. It allowed using the mouse at any resolution & about a dozen predefined cursors. I also used it in a program that rendered & rotated a 3-D polygon.
College Scheduling Assistant
This is a major project in the works. It's getting close to being finished. Hopefully it will be done in the next month or two. It's a cooperative effort between myself and Mike Falis.
The College Scheduling Assistant is designed to assist in making a college schedule. You tell it which classes you want to take, & which days & times you're available. It then gives you a list of all possible conflict-free schedules for those classes. Anyone who has registered for college classes knows what a pain it is to find classes that don't overlap. This program finds them for you. And it finds every possible combination.
When its done, you can even print out the best schedule, specific schedules, or all the schedules. By printing out multiple schedules, if you go to register & find out that some of the classes in your 1st pick are filled or canceled, you instantly have a list of all other possible schedules. This means you don't have to go sit down for 30 minutes to create another schedule that still won't work. Just look at the list, and pick another one.
If you're a college student this sounds incredible, doesn't it? We expect it to be comlete by Summer 1997 at the latest. It will initially be available for University of Michigan - Dearborn students. Hopefully, soon after, we will be able to expand it to work with other Detroit area colleges & universities.
If you would like to see more details about this amazing product, go the The College Scheduling Assistant Home Page to find out more, including details, features, system requirements, and an extensive step-by-step online tutorial with screenshots.
This program is a must have for any serious aquarium owners. It allows you to keep records of the water chemistry, fish, and diseases. You can then view this information easily to compare changes over time. At a glance, you will be able to see how changes in pH occur in combination with changes in Alkalinity. You can store notes about what changes you made to correct the water chemistry. You can keep records of all the fish added to the tank, what each one looks like (you can even include a picture),and what diseases each one has had. The program also has a diary for storing miscellaneous information.
You can download the Fish Keeper 1.1, 15-day trial edition free of charge. For a limited time, you can also register Fish Keeper 1.1 for unlimited use, absolutely free.
You can download the trial edition of Fish Keeper 1.1 here.
This was one of the funner projects I did. Basically, its a 3D (or 2 1/2 D) rendering engine I made. You can walk through a maze of Texture-Mapped walls. Some of the walls even glow. Check it out. Its absolutely free.
Now I am not claiming that this is on par with Descent or Doom or anything like that because its not. Its just a simple program I made on my own. There aren't any spectacular wall textures like Doom or DN3D. There are no monsters or anything. But check it out and let me know what you think of it. I was pretty proud to have been able to do what I did.
You can download the 3D-Game Prototype here
I also have some other stuff you can download from My Downloads Page.
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