Programming saved me from calculus
At the beginning for necessity: I needed a tool to speed and to check the exercises at the University, today I reduced drastically times in designing.
Sometimes a casual event leads to a surprising result, like the finding of an twelve years old calculator, a Sharp PC-E500S in the original box and yet in a good state of conservation.
It had been given to my brother for Confirmation Sacrament. After a short time it was neglected and leave inside a carton for years... So What was I supposed to do? I had already had a simple scientific calculator, but without the qwerty keyboard and the programming ability like the first type. It was a real pocket computer, programmable in BASIC, a language familiar to me. OK, but these considerations do not answer at the previously question!
I had found the manner to use it, while I was doing some repetitive exercise of hydraulic structures. In these exercises I had to repeat more and more times the same calculations in a infinitive series of operations with the real risk to make errors. And if I had changed the input data to increase the number of exercise for practice, how would I have compared the results?
This calculator answered my problems, giving to me the opportunity to take again my old knowledge of BASIC programming. I converted in algorithm the boring operations and in some programs I introduced iterations and conditional controls.
The main difficulty was the little free memory available in it (just 22 kilobytes)... I had to work in economy: reducing comments, input data and number of instructions and using the outlawed GOTO.
I carried out and saved in its memory 15 little BASIC programs (3374 free bytes of memory). Here it the list with name, description and memory used:
|NAME||DESCIPTION||MEMORY USED [in bytes]|
|PEQUI.BAS||Equilibrium slope of a torrent||2025|
|PIPON.BAS||Gushing back and digging out at the foot of a bridge||1876|
|SCO.BAS||Reef to protect the bottom and banks of a river||891|
|VCOLL.BAS||Collector tank flow||686|
|VASCQUI.BAS||Basin sink with narrowing||1713|
|VASCI.BAS||Basin sink with a slide||2192|
|SERBA.BAS||Pipeline system for a supply of 3 tanks||1174|
|POZPOT.BAT||Power of a pump in aquifer (confined or not)||1068|
|INVASO.BAS||Storm sewer with linear reservoir model||2515|
Today I take my Sharp calculator with me but I use it for simple operations, because compared to my PC, keyboard is small and uncomfortable and I can't export the results in my relations... So what can I do if I have an hydraulic structures problem?
Simply I compiled my old program for PC using FreeBasic (Wikipedia has a little description) that it is compatible with the old version of BASIC like QuickBasic. I do it for a storm sewer design. I rewrote some part of code to improve the read of input data and above all to save the outgoing calculus and results in a file that I can copy in my relations.
The last version I fixed is not perfect and 100% stable, but it works very well for me and I am going to publish it, whit the source code naturally!
[ 1] goto (GOTO, GO TO or other case combinations, depending on the programming language) is a statement found in many computer programming languages. It performs a one-way transfer of control to another line of code; in contrast a function call normally returns control. The jumped-to locations are usually identified using labels, though some languages use line numbers. At the machine code level, a goto is a form of branch or jump statement. In the past there was considerable debate in academia and industry on the merits of the use of goto statements.. Reference: Wikipedia