Thursday, March 20, 2014

Java Fail on Old Mac

While working on the last assignment for my Java class, a Hangman game, I got the following error on this bit of code:

case "new game":
case "quit":
//quit, how?
//it has to be a letter


Cannot switch on a value of type String for source level below 1.7. Only convertible int values or enum variables are permitted

Unfortunately, the suggested fix broke EVERYTHING. 

A little reading on Java's website revealed this:

        Mac OS X Version 10.6 and below
Use Software Update available on the Apple menu to check that you have the most up-to-date version of Java 6 for your Mac. Java 7 is not supported by these older versions of Mac OS X. If you have problems with Java 6, contact Apple Technical Support. does not provide a download for these systems.
Indeed I have OS X 10.6.8 and can't upgrade my old Mini any farther. I guess I'm headed off to school early today to finish up in the computer lab.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


We've been talking a lot about meetups this week. There was an assignment in my PHP class to research web development meetups, we had a guest speaker, a recruiter from Amazon, encourage us to attend meetups, and I asked the folks at Foundry Interactive what they thought of meetups. It seems like a good way to get involved and network. I want to research it a bit more and find a good one at a location that I can bus to. I'd also ideally like to find one that meets regularly rather than sporadically so that I can make an ongoing connection over time more quickly.

Friday, March 7, 2014


I feel very schizophrenic about Java. Whenever I turn in a completed working assignment I feel great, like I'm da man, and I know more than everyone. Then in class, we'll be asked to do something simple, and I have no idea how to. Up and down. Up and down. I don't feel like that in other classes, maybe because they hold our hand more. Maybe also, I need time to think and ponder and stew, but in Java class we're asked to write some Java right now. That's hard for me.

Guinan's Galactic Bar & Grill

I completed the diner assignment we've been working on in class for weeks now. Mine is called, Guinan's Galactic Bar and Grill. It took awhile to complete because I didn't want to overwrite all my customizations with Sarah's new fixed code, so instead, I compared each of her files to mine and made only the changes I needed to. It still didn't look great after that, so I spent a bit longer tweaking the CSS so that things flowed well on each page.

The page is fairly hideous despite my changes, partially because I wanted it to be purple, like Guinan's typical outfit, partially because I chose an awful spacey font for headings, and partially because we had to load the page with silly videos, maps, forms, and images. I tweaked the colors this morning and it looks a little better. However it looks, it's fully responsive! That was the main goal.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

This week I purchased a new domain name and hosting from Dreamhost so I could complete some assignments that required an external ftp site. I bought I fell like it could be a good future metaphor for a web dev business. I'm excited to have a real place to explore ftp.

I successfully created a MySQL database (of starships, of course) on it. You can view the data here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


This week we're diving into MySQL databases in PHP class. I can already see how databases are going to allow us to make dynamic changes to a page based on who you are or what you want to see. Think log-ins, shopping carts, flowers by number, etc. Super cool.

Bug Simulation

I worked on the Bug Simulation in Java a lot this last week. I was also sick. :( Logan came over and taught me a few critical things that made a huge difference in my ability to program it:

  • my understanding of how 'this' works
  • realizing that we were really dealing with POINTERS to arrays in Java
  • thinking of classes as INSTANCES of an object, not just a generic version of one

After these concepts settled in, programming from there was quick and painless!