Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire Entertainment

Thursday, September 23, 2010

An Email to My Professors


I understand the request for students to have cell phones, etc turned off and "not seen or heard" during class as I believe this "rule" was made because of people abusing usage of this device during class while others are trying to learn.  For those that hadn't explicitly stated that they be turned off, they asked that I notify them at the beginning of class of any interruptions from a cell phone.  Unfortunately, one is not aware of an emergency phone call.  To avoid non-emergency calls during class, I simply turned off *all* notifications to my cell phone.  Easy ... problem solved.  I would like to request that you rethink this "rule" because of what occurred to me today.  It wasn't so easy after all and my muted, motionless cell phone created a bigger problem.

Prior to today and before every one of my classes, I respectfully turned off my sounds and any vibration on my cell phone before entering any classroom.  I politely asked my family and friends not to even contact me during times I was scheduled for class.  I can not even recall a "missed call" until today.  Even if I did, my cell was basically turned off. 

This morning, my cell phone was updated and this update changed my "I'm going to class now" setting (among other things) to not include turning off vibration.  All throughout a class I had today, I felt my cell phone in my purse buzz.  Thankfully to others around me, the noise was not heard - but I felt it. 

I became worried nearly the same time a Kutztown police officer visited the classroom I was in to ask if I had my cell phone.  I explained I had, but I left it in my purse.  I retrieved my belongings and proceeded to another room with the police officer.  He asked that I contact the Reading Dispatch in Berks County and let them know it was me.

I began trembling more than I was.  I asked the officer what was wrong.  I asked if someone was hurt.  I'm not quite sure why, but he would not tell me and asked only that I call that number and do as he asked.  Before giving me the number, he stated it might be a good idea that I sit down.  I had never been so scared in my life.

I spoke with dispatch and they explained to me that my son was taken to the hospital and that I should meet him there.  I am a mother of two boys - 16 and 7.  Great kids and I love them more than anything in the world.  I was also told that they had been trying to get a hold of me for nearly an hour.  I apologized and explained cell phones are not welcome in classrooms.

Please reconsider allowing students access to their cell phones during class.  I understand that others may have used them in the classroom, well, to be blunt ... stupidly, in the past; however, the ones that do not should not be penalized or felt their cell phone is inaccessible during class.  A student should be responsible enough not to use their cell phone for recreational purposes in class.  Face it, it's not only distracting, but plain rude.  Those who do use them in this manner should be dealt with separately.  One (or more) bad apples should not spoil the bunch.

By the way, my son is okay now and we are finally back home.  Thank you for taking this into consideration in the future.

Jamie Marie Binkley

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Linked List

Originally, my class was written as a stand-alone, standard string linked list class using pointers. Within the 'linkedlist' class, you will find a struct 'item' privately encapsulating two variables. One variable in the private 'item' class is named 'value' and is assigned the string data type from the std library. I chose string instead of fussing with a native data type like char[] that has less jazz and more code. The second data type is a pointer to the next 'item'; hence the name 'next'. I discovered a new method of declaring a variable immediately following the 'item' struct declaration which I learned is referred to as "direct declare". Essentially, a pointer to the first 'item' created can be declared immediately (give or take your preferred spacing) after the 'item' struct's right bracket. No type is required to declare this variable. If need be, you can declare multiple "direct declare" variables here. If you require more than one "direct declare" variable, the first is followed by a comma and then the second by pointer and name only (again, no type is required). I haven't discovered a limit to the "direct declare" variables you can have nor have I read of any; however, I haven't had a need for more than one. This variable is the most important variable in my implementation of a singly linked list.

The 'linkedlist' class is split between two files, one implementation file and one header file. Within the header file (linkedlist.h), I explain each constructor, assignment operator, destructor, copy constructor, mutator member function and accessor member function in greater detail and have the code wrapped in macros to prevent duplicate definitions. The implementation file (linkedlist.cpp) contains the logic of the above detailed items in the header file (linkedlist.h) and performs all necessary computations, algorithms, data manipulations, etc. For additional readability and easier debugging, each block of code is limited to 5-10 lines; although, I may have exceeded this on one or two by only a cpl lines. Where I believe I can improve on this is marked by the verbiage "to do: improve" and may have "notes:" comments.

Many of the functions were created for a previous assignment and will either be permanently removed or left commented out in assignment 2. Those that are not removed and left for hopeful usage in the next version of 'linkedlist' will at least be converted to using the Template method and tested prior to be commented out. At this point, I am struggling with converting a once functional, error-free and tested 'linkedlist' object with a Template. Also, I managed to compile the files in a Windows g++ and on Kutztown University's g++ *successfully* prior to mangling the code with Template guesses. Earlier tonight, I was fighting with preprocessor directive '#include "linkedlist.cpp"' in the very end of 'linkedlist.h' file without getting compiling errors. Oddly, when I placed '#include "linkedlist.h"' in the beginning of the 'linkedlist.cpp' file only, all was well. At first, I assumed it was a bug in my compiler being on a Windows machine; however, the same result occurred on Kutztown University's machines. Using Command, I ftp’d main.cpp, linkedlist.h and linkedlist.cpp to my student directory (all in one directory). Afterwards, I compiled the files linkedlist.cpp and main.cpp using g++ to create a.out. I did this twice - once for each way the preprocessor directives were placed in the files explained above, each result was identical to its compilation on Windows. I still to this moment do not understand why that happened or how it was resolved; however, if it occurs again, I will not hesitate to write '#include "linkedlist.h"' in the beginning of 'linkedlist.cpp' ... I like it there better anyway and my IDE will stop bitching at me.

I have commented out the majority of the code to only work on one block at a sitting and test rigorously. Sadly, I have nearly every member commented out at this time and am beginning to not like this Template idea too much. Maybe I was influenced by learning one of the primary programmers involved in the C++ Standard Template Library is anti-OOP. Huh? Seriously? Really? Template coding is horrific and less understandable for me right now - maybe that will change once I understand it more.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kutztown University Campus in Google Maps

I've created a map on Google Maps having all the buildings on Kutztown University's campus listed here: map.  This is great for those Androids out there on campus using Google Maps.  Please note, you have to link this map in your own Google Maps first ... I've made it public.  In Google Maps, just go into your Maps->Layers->More Layers->My Maps, select this map and you will able to layer your current location with this map.  I've even labeled the parking lots!  All are welcome to use and let others know about this - especially if you find it useful.  If you would like to volunteer to collaborate, just drop me a line.  I was gonna post an official wish for this on the "Suggestions" board in our Online Services prior to creating the it in Google Maps.  Also, please let me know of any errors ... my reference was Kutztown U's .pdf of the campus in a different direction than what I was working with online.