November 29, 2013
I've decided against the retirement calculations project. It's too close to the
end of the semester for that type of project.
November 21, 2013
Best Laid Plans...
I've decided to replace the team project with an individual one (TBA). Some will
be disappointed and others releived.
I will still go over the concepts, processes, and code in class.
November 15, 2013
This may be slightly skewed as a couple of people have not taken the current quiz.
Their grades will go up accordingly.
These numbers are based on a curve. I'm really pulling for all of you so if you're
not in the 'A' range, ask questions and at least try the extra credit project.
November 14, 2013
Compare your answers for Chapter 7
November 14, 2013
Compare your answers for Chapter 6
November 14, 2013
"A" Project #2
I still want all of you to make an 'A' in this class or at least a 'B'. To give
you the opportunity to achieve that goal I am offering another chance to those who
This project seems long and complicated but it's not really. I just wrote out the
instructions to be as explicit as I know how and I even provided an example of the
Here's the way the grades will be determined:
- Those who submit a program that successfully provides the right answer will recieve
- Those who submit a program with correct calculations and correctly creates a
file for each user's calculations will recieve 150 points. (Man! I wish I had
more instructors like me when I was in college. :)
This will be the last "A" Project. If you don't need the points... don't work the
problem. If you don't need the points but submit work on this anyway, I will use
the points at the end of the semester to cover any shortfalls.
There's a section in the Forum for discussion on this topic.
Download Project Requirements Here
November 1, 2013
As of 7:46 AM
are the current grades. Check the Sakai Gradebook to see where
you fall on the graph. As of this moment there are seven people who, based on the
curve, would clearly have an A in this class if this was the final grade and that's
anyone with 600 points or more. There's one person right on the A-B borderline with
I want everyone to make a good grade in this class so I've devised an extra credit
application that I hope will help. Only those with less than 600 points may submit
what I'll refer to as an "A Project". This will give you an opportunity to increase
the number of points you currently have toward the end result of raising your final
grade. I've never done this before... I'm just trying it out.
This project is not a requirement. It is absolutely optional. You can take it
or leave it.
'A' Project Specifications
Write a program that will:
- get the user's projected retirement date selected from a DateTimePicker control.
- determine the number of months from the day the date is entered until the selected
- get the amount a user wants to initially invest toward retirement from a TextBox.
It may be 0.
- get the amount the user wants to invest each month.
- get the user's projected interest rate entered into a TextBox.
- create a loop that will increase the total amount each month by the amount of monthly
interest and monthly investment for the total number of months until retirement.
- provide adequate validation and error trapping to prevent the program from crashing.
You may search the Internet for code to help you calculate the number of months
from the date selected but you may not use more than 6 lines of code from the source,
you may only use one Internet source, and only for the month calculation.
You must credit the site and author of the code you find by placing the URL to the
code location in a comment above the location where use it in your code.
Do not try to use the standard accounting formula for this calculation. The purpose
is to master the looping proceedure in Visual Basic.
The program should be more attractive than our author has felt the need. Use color,
an image, and those objects found in the Toolbox > Visual Basic Powerpacks. You
may also use a SplashScreen.
There will be a separate thread in the Forum for discussion related to this project.
This is a short project so it will be due one hour before our next class. There
will be a clearly marked place for submission on the Assignment page.
Successfully completing this project is worth 100 points. However, the best project
will receive an extra 30 points, second place an extra 20 points, and the third
best an extra 10 points.
October 31, 2013
Grades are posted
All submitted projects are graded and for the most part I am very pleased with what
I see. There were a couple of 100s, a high percentage of 'A's, and projects from
people I thought had dropped the class. You can't beat that.
It appears that everyone is at least getting the right idea and progressing through
If anyone is having trouble with any topic, please ask questions in class or on
Don't forget we have a very good tutor; Mr. Sweet. His hours this week were/are:
- 10/30 1-5pm
- 10/31 12-4pm
- 11/1 11am-3pm
He's located in V-102. You can reach him directly at Louis Sweet
See you in class.
October 30, 2013
I've installed Windows 8.1. It seems to be very stable and I had no problems
with the upgrade. If any of you have installed it I'd like to hear your comments
so I'm opening a Windows 8.1 thread in the Forum.
The sequel to this class has been scheduled for next semester. The course title
is Visual Basic Programming. It will meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 11am-12:15pm
in room J-105. I will be the instructor and the
will be the sequel to our current book and it is very good.
I know most of you cannot attend a day class but I would enjoy having all of you
enroll if you can. This one will get you much closer to that $94k number we talked
about in class.
October 29, 2013
Template and Projects
I've started looking at the projects submitted last night and the ones I've seen
look pretty good. If you weren't able to submit a project and feel as though you
need some help, please let me know. Also, don't forget we have a good tutor on
campus. He's a very nice guy and I know that if you're having trouble you could
benefit from spending a little time with him. It's still not too late to get a
good grade in this class.
We talked about how to create project templates one night so I have put one together
I think you might enjoy. It fades the form in and out, has a section that calculates
the user's age, demonstrates how to iterate through the controls on a form to clear
their content, and a few other things you'll see listed in the commented header.
is for you and I'd like to see you use it for future desktop projects. If you have
ideas of things to be added I'd like to hear about them.
To locate the directory where the template should reside, go to Tools > Options
> Project and Solutions and find the path to the, "User project template locations:".
That's were you should put the template. When you start a new project, in the New
Project window select Visual Basic right under the word Templates in the leftmost
pane. Scroll down to the desired template. If you have any trouble with it, post
to the Forum or we can talk about it in class. Either way, I hope you find this
See you in class.
October 23, 2013
We have just passed the halfway point of the semester and
how things stack up at the moment.
How to tell? Go to the Gradebook in Sakai and see how many points you have currently.
Find the approximate point where your grade falls on the graph. There are five
possible grades; A, B, C, D, and F.
If you have a blue line on this chart it's not too late to pass this course and
even make a good grade. The point value of projects go up as the semester progresses
so the secret is to turn in as much work as you can from now on.
We started out with 23 people, two have dropped the course, and I'm guessing the
few with no blue line on the chart are planning to drop as well. The rest of those
who have a line on the chart are still in contention. Those who are on the leftmost
side of the chart are setting the bar.
I hesitate to post this graph because some people will think they have an A so why
kill themselves. Others will think they are so far behind they cannot possibly
catch up. Neither is necessarily correct. If you're at the top of the list you
need to keep plugging away to stay there. Those who are near the bottom of the
list can pick it up any time they choose. An F today could still be a B by the
end of the semester.
I don't adjust grades. I calculate the curve and report the results. Each
person sets their own bar. I'm pulling for all of you.
October 21, 2013
Chapters 3 & 4 - Common Errors, Shortfalls, & Discrepancies
The following is an abreviated list of things that need to be changed/fixed:
- Remove all empty event handlers.
- Use consistant line spacing; not one blank line here and three somewhere else.
- Use proper naming conventions:
Text boxes and labels that contain numberic data should be right justified.
Name projects as described in the Syllabus.
Don't use default names for anything. Form1 does not describe a project and
Button1 provides no evidence of its purpose.
Please only work the assigned projects.
Use Form's AcceptButton and CancelButton
Don't forget your planning documents. That's 11% of the grade which is at least
one letter grade.
- decSalesPrice - Variable names use camel case.
- CalculateTax - Subroutines and functions use Pascal case.
Tomorrow night we will go over projects for 3 and 4, answer questions, discuss Chapter
7, and whatever time remains will be used to discuss the time value of money project.
October 17, 2013
I have made several changes to the Syllabus. You will notice that I increased the
number of points available towards the end of the semester. This will allow anyone
who had trouble getting books, software installed, or access to the online material
the opportunity to overcome any early shortfalls.
Some assignments offer choices of projects, others combine one or more that are
small but so similar they just need to go together.
After discussing the chapter for the next few weeks, we will develop a project pertaining
to the time value of money. I think you will enjoy the concepts and learn a great
deal about creating real world applications. I'm trying to get you to that $94,000.
the 2013 .NET Developer Salary Survey I mentioned in class.
October 13, 2013
Just a couple of notes
Grading: My tentative schedule calls for me to grade on Tuesdays. I wasn't
able to grade last Tuesday so I will try to catch up this week.
The countdown to the release of Visual Studio 2013 can be seen
Keep posting to the Forum if you have questions and I'll see you in class.
October 9, 2013
Just a couple of things...
Some have asked about a tutor for this course and I am glad to report that we have
a very good one. Mr. Louis Sweet is a former student and a really good guy. You
can reach him via e-mail at: Send eMail
. His schedule varies so
you will have to contact him to find
out when he is available.
For those who missed class or got a little off track, here is the version of the
as of the end of class last night. I recommend you try the
- Add the code for the Inverse button. HINT: 1/Operand1
- Add the code for the Negate button. HINT: -1 * Operand1
- Set Option Strict to True and see if you can figure out what code needs to be changed
to make it run without errors.
- Add a new button to request input from the user and calculate simple interest. Formula:
I = PRT
- Add the code to display the both operands and the math operator in the calculator
display such as: 7 + 9.
October 2, 2013
For those who missed class last night... where the heck were you?
project we created in class. If you got lost you can use this code in the next
class to keep you on track with the rest of the class. We'll try to complete it
I made a slight change to the Extra Credit concept last night. Anyone who has missed
a project or quiz can work Part 2 of Programming Challenge 4:11, which is actually
4:12, to replace the missed work. This is a one time offer to allow everyone to
get caught up that may have fallen just a little behind.
Please make sure you're reading the book. I can't cover the whole chapter in class
and work projects too. Reading the book is crucial to your success.
As always it was good to see everyone last night.
If you have questions please post them to the Forum.
October 1, 2013
Visual Studio 2013
The versions of Visual Studio 2013 currently available in the MSDN AA are not the
final release. If they say Preview or RC (Release Candidate) they are prerelease
versions. Reports say October 16th or the 18th will be the big day. I promise
to keep you posted. I just don't want you to run into any problems because the
menus might not match the book or there is some remaining glitches in the software.
September 29, 2013
Submitting work correctly
A couple of people have submitted zip files thinking their entire project was included
when it actually only included their sln file. This of course is not the project
and provides nothing I can grade.
There are three places I provide instructions for submitting your work to Sakai;
in class, the Syllabus, and a video on the "How to" page of the class website so
I'm not going to try to redo that here. What I am going to reiterate here is how
to check to make sure you've submitted a valid file.
- Once you've uploaded your zip file to Sakai, go back into Sakai's Assignment page
and locate your submission.
- Download it to your computer but to a different directory.
- When the download is complete, unzip the project. What you see there is exactly
what I see on my end.
- Locate and double-click on the sln file.
- If Visual Studio launches with your project and it runs, your files are good and
your work is done.
- If VS doesn't launch or your program doesn't run there's a problem and you need
to figure out what it is.
- Post questions to the Forum so that all may benefit from the discussion.
- If anyone would like to see this demonstrated again in class you only have to say
so. I will always take the time to answer questions and be glad to do so.
Please don't just assume that because you uploaded a file to Sakai that I will have
something to grade. Take control of your success. I want you to get an A.
September 27, 2013
Writing better code
Last night I attended a meeting of the Space Coast Dot Net Users Group in Melbourne.
The presenter, Matthew Closson, made a good point that applies to a topic we discussed
"The better you name your variables and methods,
the fewer comments you need to provide."
This is really good advice. We'll talk about this more as we
progress through the chapters.
BTW: if anyone is still having trouble installing Visual Studio 2012 or getting
it to run correctly, I need to know about it soon. I don't want to leave anyone
behind over a problem that small.
Have a great weekend. See you in class.
September 24, 2013
1. The Book
Please make sure you have access to the textbook whether it's a printed copy or
an ebook, either is fine with me. I don't want anyone to get behind.
2. Quiz 2
I set the points per question to 1 but I intended it to be 2 points per correct
answer. When I changed it you probably received an error message from Sakai. Please
disregard the error message. You should now see the correct value in the Gradebook.
3. Grading 2:6++
Here's a list of all the responses posted for Programming Challenge 2:6++. You
may have already seen some of them but please make sure you try to comply with all
of them in future projects. I want all of you to make an A
course. These are not all in the book but based on best practices.
- Only the sln file was submitted in the attachment. An sln file contains no form,
code, or anything that constitutes a project. It only offers a convenient place
to launch your project in Visual Studio.
- Please don't zip or submit the project and the TOPSET files separately. Put the
TOPSET in the topmost directory of the project and zip it all into one file.
- TOPSET is incomplete and was not used correctly. I cannot look at it and tell what
your plan is for developing the project or how long it took for each item. Planning
is so important Microsoft has written Team Foundation Server to help developers
track the plan and progress of their projects. Planning is a big deal.
- There is no planning document; pseudo code, flowchart, or TOPSET.
- Always rename Form1.vb. There should never be anything named Form1 in a project.
- Some missed the part added to the assignment as noted in Sakai. When the project
invokes a MessageBox it was also supposed to populate a label control with the same
- There are empty event handlers in the code. All empty event handlers should be
removed prior to submission.
- There is no order or organization to the lines of code. This would make if difficult
for a programmer who may want to continue your code. They now have to scroll and
search to find the functioning lines of the program.
- Try to be more uniform in using blank lines in your code. Only use one blank line
at a time unless you have a very good reason to use a second as a separator. Always
- The project is not named correctly. Please check the Syllabus for the correct naming
Do not be discouraged if you received any of these messages. Simply take note of
them so they don't reoccur.
I grade projects that show good effort with a very gentle pen. Repeated errors
are not afforded the same consideration.
All of the work I received for Programming Challenge 2:6++ was very good and I
was especially impressed with those who are new to programming. I feel a lot of
A's coming on. Read the book, work the tutorials, watch for posted errors, and
hit all of the program requirements. Piece of cake. :)
September 23, 2013
Everyone should know...
If you aren't already aware, the college has a new policy regarding attendance records.
As with most policies and regulations, the people who write them can be a bit long
winded. The exceprt that may be of interest to you is:
Faculty turn in their course attendance records to Associate Dean at the conclusion
of the course. The Associate Dean will retain course attendance records in a print-recoverable
form, such as, but not limited to, a grade book and/or an electronic format. This
record is the property of the College, and a copy must remain on campus at all times.
This record will be maintained for a minimum of three full academic years, or as
specified by applicable statutes, regulations, rules, policies and procedures or
professional accrediting agencies.
This will have no impact on our class that isn't already in the Syllabus or as discussed
The extra points for being present when roll is called will continue as is but I
will always need to know who arrives after roll call now as a matter of record.
I know you're anxious to get back to one of the only significant classes you'll
take in college. See you tomorrow night.
September 13, 2013
Is everyone in?
Is there anyone who:
- still does not have access to the MSDN AA library?
- does not have Visual Studio 2012 installed?
- has downloaded Visual Studio but is having trouble installing it?
- does not have access to MyProgrammingLab.com?
I have repeated this question in the Forum under the General Discussion thread so
if there are problems you can post them there and others can participate or get
the answer from the responses. Please post there if you are having any problems
at all getting everything set up for this course.
If you fall into any of these categories do not panic and please don't be afraid
to ask questions. I cannot help you if you don't let me know...
Hope all's well. See you in class.
September 11, 2013 (second entry)
Update and Change to the Syllabus
We had a few problems getting started this semester which is not at all unusual.
To compensate, I am adjusting the Syllabus to reflect changes in the Assignment
The Chapter 1 quiz has been reopened and is now due on the 16th with Chapter 2.
We did not go over Chapter 3 as scheduled so I've moved it back to the week we return
from our vacation.
Take note of the change of credit given to the quizzes starting with Chapter 8.
There are changes to the Syllabus and it will continue to change until I get everything
Please continue to check the Announcements page through the break.
September 11, 2013
Several of you have not been able to log in to the author's website so I am posting
the zip files
Let me know if you have any trouble opening or accessing these files.
I have e-mailed the publisher's rep and hope to hear from her soon to resolve the
September 10, 2013
For students who purchased their access codes from the bookstore, you will need
The course ID is SEMI-11800-LCLH-18.
Please register as soon as you can so we can access the tools available to us there.
September 9, 2013
Answers to your questions
I confused Tutorial 1-6 with another that produced something to turn in; 1-6 does
not. The mistake is mine and since we did all of that in class, everyone that was
present will get credit for the assignment.
Someone pointed out that the questions you got right on the online quiz were not
being marked as correct. I changed a setting in Sakai that I think should fix that.
Let me know if it doesn't.
The book describes flowcharts and pseudo code. I will go over TOPSET again in class.
I really thought it would be easier to use but you are welcome to use any of the
three methods to create a good planning document.
BTW: Flowcharts are easy to produce in Word. There's even a way to produce them
in Excel, but I don't recommend it. If you prefer flowcharts, Visio is a program
you can download from MSDN AA and it's designed for diagramming. I could not locate
the images needed for flowcharts in LibreOffice.
We had a brief discussion about using LibreOffice and OpenOffice. I have no preference
between the two but Info World did a comparison in 2013 after each released their
current versions. Infor World picked LibreOffice over OpenOffice by a small margin.
If you have not logged into and registered at myprogramminglab.com, please do so
before tomorrow's class. Some of the other classes have had a problem with people
logging in but not showing up in the roster. We'll test it in class but I need
to know that everyone has gone through the process.
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night.
September 4, 2013
Change to the Syllabus
I made changes to the Assignment Schedule on the Syllabus. Only the first three
chapters currently have assignments posted. I will keep you posted as I develop
the Assignment Schedule.
September 4, 2013
It seems that the publisher has corrected the errors and things are working now.
The video notes on the MyProgrammingLab website are working and those should really
come in handy.
Additionally, the Student Sample Programs are also available. You can get to them
by logging into
selecting the blue VideoNotes button at the top, and scroll to the bottom of the
page. The last entry is the download for the sample files referenced in the text.
If you haven't done so, please go to this site and register so you can access the
eText, Lab exercises, and other course content.
I am working on the Assignmenent and the Test & Quizzes pages so they should be
availabe according to the Syllabus. If the schedules don't align correctly I will
change the Syllabus.
As always, please post questions and comments to the Forum.
September 4, 2013
at least some of you were able to get some sleep last night. I could tell how excited
worked up you were about this class. :)
So last night someone asked, “Is all of this in the book?” The answer is yes but
not quite the way I presented it in class. Our book is very good but sometimes
it’s not easy to put everything together as you read through the text so my job
is to cover it a little differently in an attempt to help
you make more sense of it all. That’s why I get the big bucks. :)
The book’s goal is to give you knowledge and show you ‘how”. My goal is to take
you just a little bit further than the book and then to show you ‘why’. It behooves
you to ask questions in class.
Last night we did a couple of things in class that I forgot to point out at the
- We set the BackColor property to gold before we ran the program. That’s called
setting the property at “design time”.
- Then we gave the computer instructions so that when a particular event occurred,
the button is clicked, the form would turn green. That’s called setting the
property at “run time”.
I’m guessing this was clear to everyone when we did it but the terms and the concepts
Try this: in the same subroutine where we changed the form to green, see if you
can figure out how to change the text in the title bar of the form at the same time…
when the button is clicked. If you get it to work, post your solution in the Forum.
Last night when I was talking about whole vs term life I thought I heard someone
say, “That’s not true. I sell insurance.” but I could not tell who said it. Don’t
be bashful. I welcome the opportunity to learn from all of you.
My goals continue to be:
- Help you learn to develop good programs.
- Help you improve your thinking skills.
- Position you for prosperity. (Make you rich.)
See you in class.
August 31, 2013
Minor change to the Syllabus
I changed the Assignment Schedule to reflect my absence on October 29th.
Hope you're having a great Labor Day weekend.
See you Tuesday night.
August 29, 2013
First things first
It was a pleasure getting to know a little about each of you in class Tuesday night.
Please be sure to post your introductions in the Forum.
Several people asked about the ID number for MyProgrammingLab. The course ID is
SEMI-11800-LCLH-18. When you purchase the green envelope at the campus bookstore
it will contain your password.
Let me know if you have any problems getting logged in.
There is no requirement to buy a printed copy of the book if you are ok using the
eText provided in MyProgrammingLab.
I will add quizzes and assignments this weekend. The first quiz and tutorial is
not due until 9/9/2013.
I look forward to seeing you Tuesday night.
August 26, 2013
Welcome to Principles of Computer Programming
This is the Announcements page referenced in the Syllabus. It's the only place
announcements will be posted for this course. Please check it daily to ensure you
don't miss any new information.