Principles of Computer Programming
February 26, 2015


All of the projects I received this week were very good. 93 was the low score; 95 the high.

Things to fix:
  • Always rename Form1, Button1, Label1, etc. to give them a more meaningful descrption.
  • Set the TabOrder.
  • Remove all empty event handlers.
  • Make sure you include Option Explicit and Option Strict at the very beginning of your code.

Extra Credit

A valuable opportunity for extra credit is coming up on Saturday, March 28th.  Orlando Code Camp has been held on our campus for the past few years and it's a great learning opportunity.  It is organized by the Orlando .NET User Group (ONETUG).  There are dozens of sessions scheduled for learning different programming related topics.  The event is free and I think they include a box lunch and a t-shirt for those who register and attend.  You can acquire extra credit for attending this event.  To register go to Orlando Code Camp.  Presenters come from all over the country to share their knowledge and skills.

  1. Read the book.
  2. Watch the authors' videos.
  3. Work through the examples.
  4. Start your projects early.  It always takes longer than you think.
  5. Beat the clock. Submit your work on time.

February 23, 2015

Quiz 4

You may recall, I had a problem posting the quiz for Chapter 4 and some people missed it so I am reopening Quiz 4. It will be due the same time as the quiz for Chapter 5.

February 21, 2015

Good Information

A couple of semesters back I had a young lady in my class who had 3 laptops that needed repair.  They were in bad shape and I didn't think anyone would fix them but I recommended she take them to Sirio Tech  in Winter Park.  He fixed two of them for $70 each and told her the other one was too old to worry about.

This week one of the fans in my laptop stopped working.  I took it to the same shop. He fixed it for $70.

Very few shops can or will repair a system of any kind down to the electronic component level but Mr. Gilberto is actually very good at it.  Motherboard blow a capacitor (most common problem)?   He can fix it.  He also fixes automobile computers and full body scanners so if yours breaks...

If you're going to be in the computer field you need to find the best places to buy computers and the best place to get them repaired.

BTW: The young lady previously mentioned was Florida's  Miss Earth  and an excellent student.

February 20, 2015

Critique 2:6

All of the discrepancies found in the projects submitted to date are posted here so that everyone may benefit by knowing what they missed and what others missed. The goal is to eliminate all errors.

  • Planning documents should contain a diagram and a written description (pseudo code) of what their project is to do when completed. Both must be submitted... not one or the other.
  • Always give your forms, buttons, and labels a more meaningful name than Form1.vb, Button1, or Label1.
  • Always remove empty event handlers.
  • Put the Form_Load event at the top of your code and the Exit event at the bottom.
  • Name your projects in accordance with the Syllabus.
  • Make sure your sequence of events in your code follows the best logic. For example, changing the Form.Text event should come before the MessageBox so they both show at the same time.

I am very impressed with the work submitted. No one made under a 95. This is going to be a great semester.

If you were unable to submit any work for this project do not dispair. There are a lot of points built into the course for a reason. Just ask questions in class and post to the Forum. Everyone can still make an 'A' this in this course. Let me know if you're having trouble.

February 18, 2015

The Petroutsos Calculator

We had a good class last night and went through the Calculator project listed on the Syllabus.  I like that project because the author introduces a couple of useful, if not vital points that our textbook does not; using "sender", "e", and ":" as a line seperator character.  He also reiterates and reinforces many of the good points our textbook contains such as line continuation characters, multiple events in a single event handler, the Try...Catch, and exceptions.  All good stuff.

Here is the Calculator project we did in class last night.  Note that the inverse (1/X) and the absolute value (+-) buttons are not coded.  They are intentionally left for you to complete on your own.  Also, do not forget, for the Calculator to work you have the set the form's KeyPreview property to True.  Otherwise you cannot use the keyboard with the calculator, only the mouse.

The Calculator project came from, "Mastering Visual Basic 2010", by Evangelos Petroutsos.  This is one of my favorite VB books.  It was written for an earlier version but everything in the book still works in Visual Studio up through 2015.  Mr. Petroutsos is one of the best authors of programming books.

February 12, 2015


Our department tries to hire work study students who have done well in this and other programming courses to serve as tutors for our current students. Unfortunately for us, our current tutor just got a good job so we're without a tutor. We're looking for someone now and I will let you know if we find a new tutor.

In the meantime, follow the Guidelines to Success listed in the Syllabus. To do that takes time so plan ahead and give it the time it's due. I can't make you brilliant and rich without it. :)

I posted links to videos and online tutorials on the Forum. Use our book and our authors' videos first then suplement them as necessary.

If you find other good links please post them in the Forum. I will add your links and mine to the class website under then Links and Downloads section.

Post your questions to the Forum and if you know the answer to questions you see there please answer them promptly.

February 11, 2015


We had a lot of good questions last night and that type of discussion helps everyone.

The success of this course and everyones' success in this course depends on everyone reading the book, working the examples, completing or at least attempting the assignments, and asking a lot of questions in class.

If you look at the Assignment Schedule in the Syllabus you will see the scheduled reprieves. There is nothing due on the 23rd of February nor on the 16th of March. If you're behind, this is the ideal time to review those areas that are giving you trouble and post questions to the Forum.

We had a good class last night. Let's keep up the discussions and the momentum.

Next week we will cover the Calculator project I described in class. It's a good project that will reiterate the things we've covered and introduce a few small concepts that I think will help you better understand programming and its potential.

I look forward to seeing you in class.

February 9, 2015

Tomorrow Night

Tomorrow night I am going to start with a brief review and Q&A. If you're having any trouble getting started or keeping up, this is the time to speak up. Do not be sheepish about asking questions. You can be bashful or on track for an 'A'.

After our review we will start another project. It will use most of the things we used in the first project and then we'll add some fun new stuff. I think you'll enjoy it.

If you missed any steps in the first project or any class examples, this new project is your chance to see it all again and ask a lot of questions. Should be fun.

I have been using Visual Studio 2015 but as we learned last week some of the menus and prompts are a little different so I'm switching to the 2013 version to eliminate any prospects for confusion.

We'll also talk a little more about money. If you've been watching the news lately you will appreciate the sidebar.

Hope everyone's doing well and staying dry. I got drenched this morning on the West Orange Trail. The Weather Channel ( let me down.

See you in class.

February 5, 2015

MyProgrammingLab ID


February 4, 2015


Here is the latest version of the Financial Calculator 2 project we've been doing in class.

The Pearson MyProgrammingLab website is down for the first time that I'm aware. As soon as they are back online I will get the access number you need for the MPL Workbench.

A couple of people were not able to access the first quizzes in Sakai. I have no control over Sakai so I am going to open quizzes 1-3 and leave them open until 11:45pm, 2/9/2015. Please let me know if you cannot access any of them. Take the quizzes as many times as you like. Sakai will keep your highest score.

If you're having trouble keeping up in class, do not dispair and please don't keep it a secret. If you don't let me know I can't help you and that's the worst thing you could do. Don't feel embarrassed or intimidated by asking questions; that's why you're here. The only "dumb question" in my class is the one that's not asked.

January 28, 2015

About Last Night

We covered several topics last night. Some people got completely lost and that's ok. Don't be embarrassed, upset, or discouraged. If you keep reading the book and working through the examples, getting lost or behind will go away and you will enjoy this class so much more.

Here is a link for the Financial Calculator project we did in class. We will finish it next week.

Don't forget to check the Syllabus for assignments due, how to name projects, and how to submit your work through Sakai.

Chapter 3 is on Variables and Calculations. We got started with that last night but we've just scratched the surface. Don't be worried that it requires a lot of advanced math, it doesn't. It's mostly just basic arithmetic. I think you'll have fun with it and next week I'll show you a little trick to help make your work a little easier. (Hint/remidner: Load Event)

Well, I only have 13 more opportunites to make you remarkably intelligent and astonishingly rich. The formula is: read the book, work the examples, submit your work on time, and ask a lot of questions in class and on the Forum.

Have a great week and I'll see you in class.

January 27, 2015

Tonight's Class

Good morning All,

Please make sure you have read Chapters 1 & 2 before class tonight so if there's anything that's not clear to you we can talk about it in class. That really helps make the class more interesting and useful.

Tonight we'll design and develop a couple of programs. We'll start small and expand as needed.

Please don't be shy about asking questions. I've only got 15 weeks left to change your life. We don't have time for bashful.    :)

See you in class.

January 26, 2015

Help to remember

Good morning all,

Please go to the Forum and enter the information requested in the Introductions thread. That will help your classmates and I get to know you better. I know we met the first night but some of us need a little help to remember who's who.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in class tomorrow night. We'll try to write a couple of small programs that you can use.

January 25, 2015

Getting Back on Track

I have returned from my arduous trip to Las Vegas and I'm now getting back on track. I have updated the Assignments and Quiz pages in Sakai and will work on the website.

There are a couple of things I think I forgot to mention in our first meeting:
  1. There are no time limits set on any of the quizzes and you may take them as many times as you like. Sakai will only remember the highest grade you achieved on a chapter quiz so if you take a quiz a second time with a lower score, Sakai will post the highest grade you earned.
  2. You may submit chapter programming projects as many times as you like. I will only grade that last one submitted.
  3. Most importantly... If you get behind or you're having trouble, talk to me. Don't just throw in the towel. People tend to be embarrassed or think the instructor doesn't care but you shouldn't. Ask questions in class, in the Forum, and if you are still lost, don't let yourself get behind. Let me know if you find yourself in the struggle mode.

Nice Add-In

Once you've installed Visual Studio, here's a nice add-in for Visual Basic: PowerPack

This is not required but it could help you in later projects.

December 11, 2014... Updated January 25, 2015

In case you're interested...

I'm leaving this up so you can see the outcomes for the previous class. This is typcial for almost every semester. However, this semester we have a much smaller class so I suspect the results for this class will be much better.

    Class Statistics
  • The class began with 25 enrolled; 15 completed
  • There were 9 'A's or 36%.