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Have fun with java applets
A little background first ---
As an old mainframe dinosaur - I decided to look into Java to build some fun applets for this site. I used several procedural languages in the past - Fortan, Cobol, PL1, and even APL. I really enjoy playing around with PC's and the internet. I taught myself Perl and C but have become a little rusty since I haven't written any code for several years. Now that I am back working on, I wanted to give visitors some fun stuff and info. I decided on java. My first awakening was OOP - and trying to figure out the connection with procedural languages. So, I am going to clear my mind ( dump core) and accept and embrace OOP (not easy for an old Fortran programmer).

A little aside:
I think computer simulations really demonstrate the power of computers. As a Fortran programmer I had the opportunity to work on two major simulations. One was a real-time simulation of an onboard (ship) missle system. The other was a simulation of an oil refinery distillation tower. To calculate, by hand, the output of a distillation tower would take an engineer about a month (and making many simplifying assumptions). The tower simulation program would do the same calculation with no simplifying assumptions in about 5 minutes - now that's dramatic!

Okay now let's get started - so here goes:
1. you can download an IDE (interactive development environment) program from or (both are free)
2. I bought the book - Sams Teach Yourself Java in 24 Hours (5th Edition)
3. I have some simple coding examples for you to download and play with. A simple applet - you can get the code here The code draws a tree and randomly forms branches to simulate processes in nature. Good code to study for beginners. Here is what this code does .

The simulation (ball dropping on pegs) on my homepage code can be found here Unzip this file and either run it (or compile it yourself) then use this sample code to execute it:

<applet codebase=classes code="BallDrop.class" width=300 height=300> </applet>

Note: the keyword codebase points to a subdirectory off your root directory (if you run the applet from the root directory) Oh - one other thing - some special effects are possible with java for example, a picture can be enhanced with special effects - like the photo below - the water can be made to shimmer (from a still photo) using a java applet.

And some more applets that show what can be done!

These and more can be found at the free site


So, now go and have some fun.

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