I am no code poet but I do enjoy software engineering. Sometimes I create apps and scripts for some practical reason and other times just for fun. Here are a few.
To Be Read (PHP)
My wife is a serious bibliophile and was torn about how to choose the next book to read. I offered to write a simple script that randomly chooses one title from a list and called it “To Be Read“. It isn’t anything fancy but it made her happy so I’m happy.
The various versions of Codemailer have become indispensable to me and my students. There is a version to back up code, a version to turn in programming assignments, a version for take-home tests and another for astronomy labs. Sometimes the server seems to get overloaded and I haven’t come up with a solution but even so this tool gets used daily in my class.
Polar Bears (Java)
When I was a junior in high school back in Mississippi I attended a 3 week summer program called Mississippi Governor’s School. Other states have these geek-camps as well including my home state of Texas. Mine had a wonderful instructor for the astronomy and space science course named Jim McMurtray. He worked for Stennis Space Center and now is on the board of directors of a national math and science education advocacy group in Washington. He taught about space, astronomy, information theory and a game called polar bears. There is a funny rhyme that goes along with the throwing of 5 or 6 dice.
Polar Bears They Come In Pairs!
I once came across a great rendition of the game of hangman as a programming assignment and I decided to make it a multi-week end-of-year type project with multiple classes and file input. I also created an applet version with a GUI to demonstrate the desired functionality.
I created this silly applet so that when the computer chooses the student to answer a question instead of me there is less guilt and fewer glares. At least that’s the theory. PickAStudent doesn’t get much use but it is fun to use in class.
I know this applet needs more bells and whistles but man do I love a good palindrome algorithm. Yes I know the GUI is boring. Deal with it. You can see what it would take to turn a phrase into a palindrome as well as test to see if a given string is a palindrome or a near palindrome.