Thursday, June 25, 2020

Object-oriented Programming for Newbies

If you are new to object-oriented programming (OOP) like I am, you may find it helpful to read what I just learned through reading a few articles about it. For a programming language to qualify as OOP, it must include functionalities based on four principles.

First, there is encapsulation, which is kind of what it sounds like. We take an object and wrap it up so its inner workings are not visible so that we can control access.

Next, there is data abstraction, which is a fancy way to say, model, or template. If I were to describe to you a garden hose without showing it to you, I would tell you its color, diameter, length, material, and the type of fittings on either end. You would have a general idea of what class of hose I am describing and know if it can do the job you might have for it.

A third principle is inheritance. If my garden hose were a programming object, I could create copies of it, then add additional descriptions that correspond with a similar real-world object, like how long the warranty is, or what temperature range it can handle. I could change the default color inherited to another color.

And finally, we have polymorphism. Who comes up with this stuff? It just means an object has one name but can run in different forms. It is very complex, though, and I don’t quite understand it yet. 

I’ll be writing some basic programs in Java in the next few weeks, so I expect to have a better explanation for you soon. For now, I’ll provide links to resources I’ve been using to get up to speed.

Starting with the basics, here’s an excellent tutorial. When you’re ready to learn from the developers of Java, here’s the definitive reference. And here’s an older article, but still worthwhile, relating OOP concepts in laymen terms.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Internet Safety

Internet Safety is the new Neighborhood Watch. Near the end of the 1960s, crime rates rose in many neighborhoods across the United States. The National Sheriff’s Association created the National Neighborhood Watch Program in 1972 to involve citizens in protecting their neighborhoods (NNW, n.d., para 2). The Neighborhood Watch has since become part of our culture. As the internet grew, so too did its potential for harming groups and individuals. Internet groupings are our modern neighborhoods. How do we keep them safe?

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Network Security

Information and system security are important to individuals because so much personal and financial information resides on information systems that are inherently vulnerable to compromise. Information and system security are important to organizations for the same reason, but also important because the success of developed countries depends on the secure operation of systems that support utilities, finances, and government (Zwass, 2016, Information Systems Security). Countries depend on organizations, and organizations depend on individuals. All depend on information systems to manage and control activities in the modern economy.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Computers in the Workplace

I work for a natural gas company. When I came to work here, I was surprised to learn that local natural gas providers are transportation companies. We build and maintain infrastructure for transporting gas from our national provider to each of our customers. We bill for the amount of gas used, yet do not sell the gas itself. Technically, we charge for the transportation of natural gas. Computers are integral to the way we do business.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Traveling Through a Network

A packet travels through a data network much like a physical package travels to a destination. A router uses the address of a packet to determine the best route to the next stop (another router). A shipping company uses the address of a physical package’s address to determine the best mode of transport, e.g., truck, ship, or plane. In both cases, there is always more than one path to a destination.

Monday, August 5, 2019

The Role of Applications


My experiences creating a journal entry using a word processor, calculating percentages in a spreadsheet, developing a presentation, and manipulating a database were more challenging than I expected. I am familiar with all four of these applications, and most of my time was spent decoding the instructions to make sure I satisfied the assignment requirements. Each application is appropriate in different situations. Skills using each are valuable in both professional and personal pursuits.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Review of the iTunes Music App

The Music app on an Apple device is my answer to the problem of managing an extensive music collection. It is dependent on iTunes that can run on an Apple or a Windows-based computer. You can visit Apple’s website for learning to use iTunes, and I will not cover that here. The Music app can also stream radio stations and buy music from Apple. I have the buy music option turned off on my device.

I began ripping (converting wav files to mp3 files) music files from my compact disc collection in 1998. I have accumulated 67 Gigabytes (GB) of music files since then, almost 12,000 songs. It was only last year that I acquired a device with enough storage to fit all those files; an iPhone 8 with 256 GB of storage. I have tried many music managers over the years such as Winamp, MuzicMan, MusicMonkey, MusicBee, and others I no longer remember. They were all PC based, and it was always a challenge moving an extensive library of music from one PC to another. In that environment, iTunes was never my first choice, but it emerged the winner here because of the portability of the iPhone.