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Random Ramblings of a Flight Simulator Developer


Hey Look, Geometry really does come in handy in everyday life :->

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First off, sorry for the rather large gap since my last post (to all 3 or so of you that aren't related to me that read this :->). 

Now, for that Geometry reference...

I was up in Wilkes-Barre, PA over Thanksgiving helping my parents move furniture and boxes and whatnot around their new house (well, it's an old house, but its new to them :->), they had just moved the weekend before Thanksgiving.  The previous owner of the house had finished the basement, but it has a really low ceiling (maybe 6' 4" to 6' 6").  They had some guys unload the truck for them and place most of the furniture, but when Mom showed me the basement, there was this white particle board shelf laying on its side.  When I asked where it needed to go, Mom said it was going to have to go back upstairs, because the movers couldn't get it to stand up in the basement because of how low the ceiling was.  At first I just accepted that (since everytime I moved around I seemed to be hitting my hands on the ceiling, seemed reasonable to me :->), but I kept looking at the shelf and something in the back of my head kept saying there was something wrong here.  Eventually I realized what it was.  The shelf was laying on its side (this is a 6ft high by 2 ft wide by 9 inches deep shelf), and I suddenly asked, "Hey, when they tried to stand this shelf up, was it laying on its side like this?", and Mom said "Yes".  So I had the bright idea to lay the shelf on its back and then stand it up, and it JUST cleared the ceiling ( sqrt((72 * 72) + (9 * 9)) is less than sqrt((72 * 72) + (24 * 24)) ).

So, sometimes you really can use math in real life, thanks Mr Gower (my High School Freshman Year Geometry teacher).

And for those who think you have to be a math wiz to be a computer programmer, the above was more math than I generally use at work.  Of course, not much call for math when doing dialog boxes and UI widgets (except for converting to and from meters, feet, miles, etc - and we have utility functions that do that sort of stuff for us :->), lots of cajoling windows messages into the right function/handler, but not much math.  Which isn't to say I've never used math for work, back in the old DOS days of FS4 and FS5, I used to do 2d graphics drivers, and for Tower I did some 3D to 2D point projection stuff (cylindrical projection to match the panoramic pictures we were using for our airport backdrops), so I did use some math then :-> 

I actually did do well in math in school, until Calc 2, which I took twice (at 2 different colleges) and got a C both times, at which point I decided me and math had gone far enough :->

All right, that's enough for now, getting close to bed time here on the east coast, and according to the weather report, I might be waking up to white stuff on the ground.

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