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Sep 93 Challenge
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:9
Column Tag:Programmers’ Challenge

Programmers’ Challenge

By Mike Scanlin, MacTech Magazine Regular Contributing Author

Note: Source code files accompanying article are located on MacTech CD-ROM or source code disks.

BLOCKMOVEBITS

Because I’ve had several requests for it and because I’ve wanted to do it for a while and because this column is primarily about about efficient coding and because the lazy days of summer are over and it’s time to get serious, I’m happy to say that September will from now on be the annual MacTech Assembly Language Programmer’s Challenge. When submitting entries to September challenges you may use as much in-line 68040 assembly source inside of a Think C function as you like. In fact, a C wrapper around a 100% assembly language solution is allowed (and preferred). You should optimize for the 040 cause that’s what I’ll run the time tests on (and your code can require an 020, 030 and/or 040 if it wants to). You must preserve all registers except A0-A1/D0-D2. OK. Let’s get to it.

This first assembly language challenge is to move a block of contiguous bits when given the number of bits to move along with source and destination byte and bit offsets (the source and destination bit ranges do not overlap). This could be used, for example, inside a bit-blitting graphics routine that’s working with bitMaps.

The prototype of the function you write is:

void BlockMoveBits(srcBytePtr, 
 destBytePtr, srcBitOffset, 
 destBitOffset, bitCount)
char    *srcBytePtr;
char    *destBytePtr;
unsigned char    srcBitOffset;
unsigned char    destBitOffset;
unsigned short bitCount;

The srcBytePtr and destBytePtr point to the bytes containing the first source bit and first destination bit. The actual bits are at bit offsets srcBitOffset and destBitOffset (both of which will be less than 8). The most number of bits you can move at one time with this routine is 2^16 - 1 or 65535 (it’s possible that bitCount will be zero, which means you should move zero bits, not 64K bits). You should not disturb any of the bits in the destination bytes that aren’t part of the move.

Here’s an example. Say srcBitOffset is 2, destBitOffset is 5 and bitCount is 10. You have the following before the move (‘s’ is a source bit, ‘d’ is a destination bit and the ‘S’ bits (capital S) are going to be copied:

bit position : 76543210 76543210
srcBytePtr  -> ssSSSSSS SSSSssss
destBytePtr -> dddddddd dddddddd

and you have this after the move:

bit position : 76543210 76543210
srcBytePtr  -> ssSSSSSS SSSSssss
destBytePtr -> dddddSSS SSSSSSSd

It’s very likely that your implementation will have this shell:

void BlockMoveBits(srcBytePtr, 
 destBytePtr, srcBitOffset, 
 destBitOffset, bitCount)
char    *srcBytePtr;
char    *destBytePtr;
unsigned char    srcBitOffset;
unsigned char    destBitOffset;
unsigned short bitCount;
{
 asm {
 ;get parameters into registers
 Move.L srcBytePtr,A0
 Move.L destBytePtr,A1
 ... and so on
 }
}

Please note that because of the increased level of difficulty of reading assembly compared to C, it is very important that your code contains at least a few comments explaining what’s going on. I don’t want to see 200 lines of blazingly fast completely undocumented code. That won’t be of much use to anyone. And use meaningful labels where you can (rather than randomly ordered numeric ones from @258 to @431 or whatever).

TWO MONTHS AGO WINNER

I guess I scared away too many people with my “don’t use MoveWindow or SizeWindow” suggestion in the Tile Windows challenge because I only received three entries this month. However, all three entrants managed to find ways around using those traps and their times were very close to each other (and all three were at least an order of magnitude faster than the MoveWindow/SizeWindow equivalent). Congrats to Raffi Kasparian (Baltimore, MD) for being somewhat faster than the other guys. Raffi’s performance gain comes from manipulating some of the window’s fields directly, which is less than ideal in terms of future compatibility but it works on today’s machines so I’ll let it stand.

Here are the times (for tiling 80 windows) and sizes:

Name bytes ticks

Raffi Kasparian 716 81

Jordan Zimmerman 948 123

Ken Franklin/Michael Staw 806 126

Note that tiling 80 windows in 2 seconds (120 ticks) or less is quite fast. MPW, for comparison, took 10 seconds to tile 20 windows (and I found out that the “New” menu item becomes disabled after you create 45 Untitled windows).

The key to winning this challenge was to make use of the routines MovePortTo, PortSize, PaintBehind and CalcVisBehind. If you do it right then you can have the entire desktop (spread over multiple devices) updated with all the new windows blinking into place with a single call to PaintBehind. It’s really interesting to trap on PaintBehind in a debugger and then to step over that one trap and watch the whole desktop get rearranged (after all ports have been positioned and sized correctly, of course).

Since the winning solution does things in a less than future compatible way (it doesn’t call the window’s defProc to calculate the new regions, for instance) and since my goal with this challenge was to release a generic, efficient window tiling and stacking mechanism into the world, I’ve included some of my own code after Raffi’s.

If you think about minimal screen updating, which parts of the desktop need to be invalidated by rearranging the windows? The answer is the sum of the strucRgns in the windows’ old positions and the sum of the strucRgns in the windows’ new positions. No other area on the screen needs to be invalidated or redrawn. Therefore, my routine keeps track of the sum of these two sets of regions as it works. The resulting region, sumOfStructRgns, is then used as the clobberedRgn parameter to PaintBehind and CalcVisBehind. Any desktop pixel or background app pixel not in this region is not redrawn (i.e. there is no unnecessary flicker).

My routine, TileStackWindows, takes a function pointer parameter to a proc you write that does something with a list of windows inside a given rectangle (the function callback is similar to the challenge’s TileWindows function). This callback is called once per device, with the device’s gdRect given as the rect (inset a few pixels) and the list of windows set to all windows that are more on that device than on any other device. Thus, TileStackWindows is a generic, per-device window rearranging routine. All you have to do is come up with interesting tiling algorithms and bake them into the proc you pass to TileStackWindows. The efficient updating of the desktop and region maintenance is taken care of for you.

There are a couple of restrictions for the callback. First, it must resize a window before it repositions a window. Second, it must call MySizeWindow and MyMoveWindow instead of SizeWindow and MoveWindow. The callback should return TRUE if it moved or sized at least one window and FALSE if it did nothing. The reason for this is because if you have a Tile Windows menu item in your application and the user chooses it twice in a row, it is nice if the second time it is chosen the code is smart enough to see that things are already as they should be and does not cause any flickering or redrawing to take place.

An example callback function, StackWindows, is given here. It takes advantage of the fact that the list of windows it is passed is in order from the frontmost window to the backmost window (for that device). The last window in the list (the backmost) ends up being the largest window after the set has been stacked and the frontmost window (first in the list) ends up being the smallest window after the set has been stacked. It is done this way so that you can read all window titles after they’ve been stacked.

If you want to do tiling rather than stacking, all you have to do is replace StackWindows with your own TileWindows function and come up with a way to calculate each window’s new size and position. Hopefully application writers who have tiling and stacking options within their programs (including MPW) will implement this type of a scheme so that we no longer have to wait so long while we watch windows being moved and sized one at a time with maximum intermediate screen updating.

Here’s Raffi’s winning solution followed by my own version of a generic window tiling/stacking routine and a piece of test code so you can try it out:

TileWindows.c Listing
/*----------------------------------------------------
TileWindows
by Raffi Kasparian
----------------------------------------------------*/
#define StackingOffset 10
 
void TileWindows(enclosingRectPtr, windowPtrArray,
                 windowCount, pixelsBetween,
                 minHorzSize, minVertSize)
 
Rect            *enclosingRectPtr;
WindowPtr       windowPtrArray[];
unsigned short  windowCount;
unsigned short  pixelsBetween;
unsigned short  minHorzSize;
unsigned short  minVertSize;
 
#define mx minHorzSize
#define my minVertSize
#define d  pixelsBetween
 
#define struc  ((WindowPeek)(windowPtrArray[num]))->strucRgn
#define strucL (**struc).rgnBBox.left
#define strucT (**struc).rgnBBox.top
#define strucR (**struc).rgnBBox.right
#define strucB (**struc).rgnBBox.bottom
 
#define cont  ((WindowPeek)(windowPtrArray[num]))->contRgn
#define contL (**cont).rgnBBox.left
#define contT (**cont).rgnBBox.top
#define contR (**cont).rgnBBox.right
#define contB (**cont).rgnBBox.bottom
 
#define pBits  windowPtrArray[num]->portBits.bounds
#define pBitsL pBits.left
#define pBitsT pBits.top
#define pBitsR pBits.right
#define pBitsB pBits.bottom
 
#define pRect  windowPtrArray[num]->portRect
#define pRectL pRect.left
#define pRectT pRect.top
#define pRectR pRect.right
#define pRectB pRect.bottom
 
{
 register short dL, dT, dR, dB, BR, x, y, maxx, maxy,
                num, rL, rT, rR, rB;
 Rect           er = *enclosingRectPtr;
 
#define erL er.left
#define erT er.top
#define erR er.right
#define erB er.bottom
 
 num = 0;
 
 while (true) {
 
  maxy = (erB - erT + d)/(my + d);
  maxx = (erR - erL + d)/(mx + d);
  if ((BR = maxx * maxy) > windowCount) {
   maxx = (windowCount - 1) / maxy + 1;
   maxy = (windowCount - 1) / maxx + 1;
   BR = windowCount;
  }
  BR--;
 
  if (num <= BR) {
   mx = ((erR - erL) - ((maxx - 1) * d)) / maxx;
   my = ((erB - erT) - ((maxy - 1) * d)) / maxy;
  }
 
  rT = erT - (my + d);
  for (y = 1; y <= maxy; y++) {
   rL = erL - (mx + d);
   rT += my + d;
   rB = (y == maxy) && (num <= BR) ? erB : rT + my;
   for (x = 1; x <= maxx; x++, num++) {
 
    rL += mx + d;
    rR = ((x == maxx) && (num <= BR)) ||
      (num == BR) ? erR : rL + mx;
 
    dL = rL - strucL;
    dT = rT - strucT;
    dR = rR - strucR;
    dB = rB - strucB;
 
    SetRectRgn(struc, rL, rT, rR, rB);
    SetRectRgn(cont, contL + dL, contT + dT,
      contR + dR,  contB + dB);
      
    pBitsL -= dL;
    pBitsT -= dT;
    pBitsR -= dL;
    pBitsB -= dT;
 
    pRectR = contR - contL + pRectL;
    pRectB = contB - contT + pRectT;
 
    if (num == windowCount - 1) {
     PaintBehind((WindowPeek)FrontWindow(),
       GrayRgn);
     CalcVisBehind((WindowPeek)FrontWindow(),
       GrayRgn);
     return;
    }
   }
  }
  if (erR - erL - StackingOffset >= mx)
   erL += StackingOffset;
  if (erB - erT - StackingOffset >= my)
   erT += StackingOffset;
 }
}
TileStackWindows.h Listing
/*****************************************************
 * TileStackWindowsWindows.h
 ****************************************************/

/*****************************************************
 * typedefs
 ****************************************************/

typedef struct WindowElement {
 WindowPeek theWindowPtr;
 GDHandle theDevHndl;
} WindowElement, *WindowElementPtr;

typedef Boolean (*TileStackWindowsProc)
 (Rect *enclosingRectPtr,
 WindowElementPtr p, int wCount);
 
 
/*****************************************************
 * prototypes
 ****************************************************/
 
void  TileStackWindows(TileStackWindowsProc
 theTileStackProc);
Boolean MyMoveWindow(WindowPtr w, int leftGlobal,
 int topGlobal, Boolean sizeChanged);
Boolean MySizeWindow(WindowPtr w, int width,
 int height);
TileStackWindows.c Listing
/*****************************************************
 * TileStackWindows.c
 *
 * Set of routines to quickly rearrange windows
 * on multiple devices.
 *
 * Mike Scanlin  10 July 1993
 ****************************************************/

#include <GestaltEqu.h>
#include <Traps.h>
#include "TileStackWindows.h"

/*****************************************************
 * defines
 ****************************************************/

#define BAD_DEVICE ((GDHandle) -1)
#define TOPLEFT_SLOP 2
#define BOTRIGHT_SLOP3
#define NIL 0L

/* MAX_WINDOWS is not a real limit but stack space
 * requirements for TileStackWindows are equal to
 * (sizeof(WindowElement) * 2 * MAX_WINDOWS) so
 * don't make it too big. It's the max number of
 * windows that TileStackWindows can deal with.
 */
#define MAX_WINDOWS100

/*****************************************************
 * typedefs
 ****************************************************/

typedef pascal long(**WDefProcHndl)(int var,
 WindowPtr w, int message, long param);

/*****************************************************
 * prototypes
 ****************************************************/
 
static GDHandle DominantDevice(Rect *theRect);

/*****************************************************
 * TileStackWindows
 *
 * Calls theTileStackProc on a per-device basis to
 * clean up (stack, tile or whatever else you can
 * think of) all the windows on that device. Once
 * all devices have been taken care of the part of
 * the screen that needs to be updated is updated.
 ****************************************************/
void TileStackWindows(TileStackWindowsProc
 theTileStackProc)
{
 WindowElementPtrp, dp;
 WindowPeek w;
 GDHandle deviceHndl;
 RgnHandle  sumOfStructRgns;
 WindowElement   theWindows[MAX_WINDOWS],
 theDeviceWindows[MAX_WINDOWS];
 long   theQDVers;
 Rect   enclosingRect;
 int    i, totalWindows,
 windowsToClean,
 deviceWindows;
 BooleanneedToRedraw, hasColorQD;
 
 /* check for color QuickDraw */
 hasColorQD = FALSE;
 if (TrapIsAvailable(_Gestalt)) {
 Gestalt(gestaltQuickdrawVersion, &theQDVers);
 hasColorQD = theQDVers >= 0x0100;
 }

 sumOfStructRgns = NewRgn();
 needToRedraw = FALSE;
 
 /* find the dominant device for each window
  * as we add it to our list of windows
  */
 p = theWindows;
 totalWindows = 0;
 w = (WindowPeek) FrontWindow();
 while (w != NIL && totalWindows < MAX_WINDOWS) {
 p->theWindowPtr = w;
 p->theDevHndl = NIL;
 if (hasColorQD)
 p->theDevHndl =
   DominantDevice(&(*w->strucRgn)->rgnBBox);
 p++;
 totalWindows++;
 /* or the old struct region into the
  * update region
  */
 UnionRgn(sumOfStructRgns, w->strucRgn,
 sumOfStructRgns);
 w = w->nextWindow;
 }
 
 if (totalWindows == 0)
 goto Exit;
 
 /* set up enclosingRect here in case we don't
  * have color QD; if we do have colorQD then
  * enclosingRect is set again in the loop below
  * on a per-device basis
  */
 enclosingRect = (*GetGrayRgn())->rgnBBox;
 enclosingRect.top += TOPLEFT_SLOP;
 enclosingRect.left += TOPLEFT_SLOP;
 enclosingRect.bottom -= BOTRIGHT_SLOP;
 enclosingRect.right -= BOTRIGHT_SLOP;

 windowsToClean = totalWindows;
 do {
 /* find the first device in the list that we
  * haven't already done and copy all elements
  * from that device into a new list
  */
 p = theWindows;
 dp = theDeviceWindows;
 deviceWindows = 0;
 deviceHndl = BAD_DEVICE;
 i = totalWindows;
 do {
 if (p->theDevHndl != BAD_DEVICE) {
 if (deviceHndl == BAD_DEVICE) {
 /* this is the first time we've
  * seen this device so we do a
  * little set up first
  */
 deviceHndl = p->theDevHndl;
 /* if we have colorQD, use the
  * device's rect
  */
 if (deviceHndl != NIL) {
 enclosingRect = (*deviceHndl)->gdRect;
 enclosingRect.top += TOPLEFT_SLOP;
 enclosingRect.left += TOPLEFT_SLOP;
 enclosingRect.bottom -= BOTRIGHT_SLOP;
 enclosingRect.right -= BOTRIGHT_SLOP;
 if (deviceHndl == GetMainDevice())
 enclosingRect.top += GetMBarHeight();
 }
 }
 if (deviceHndl == p->theDevHndl) {
 /* it's on the current device,
  * add it to the list
  */
 *dp++ = *p;
 deviceWindows++;
 /* we don't want to see this
  * one again
  */
 p->theDevHndl = BAD_DEVICE;
 }
 }
 p++;
 } while (--i);
 
 if (deviceWindows > 0) {
 /* do something to the windows on
  * this device
  */
 needToRedraw |= (*theTileStackProc)
   (&enclosingRect, theDeviceWindows,
   deviceWindows);
 windowsToClean -= deviceWindows;
 }
 
 } while (windowsToClean > 0);
 
 if (needToRedraw) {
 
 /* add all of the new struct regions to the
  * update region
  */
 p = theWindows;
 do {
 UnionRgn(sumOfStructRgns,
   p->theWindowPtr->strucRgn,
   sumOfStructRgns);
 p++;
 } while (--totalWindows);
 
 /* To see a cool effect, trap on the next
  * instruction and watch the screen as you
  * step over it. All window frames are drawn
  * with this one call to the ROMs.
  */
 PaintBehind(theWindows[0].theWindowPtr,
   sumOfStructRgns);
 
 /* Need to reset the visRgns since
  * MySizeWindow nuked 'em.
  */
 CalcVisBehind(theWindows[0].theWindowPtr,
   sumOfStructRgns);
 }

Exit:

 DisposeRgn(sumOfStructRgns);
}


/*****************************************************
 * DominantDevice
 *
 * This returns a device hndl to the device that
 * owns most of the given Rect (which is in global
 * coordinates). This routine requires ColorQD.
 ****************************************************/
static GDHandle DominantDevice(Rect *theRect)
{
 GDHandle nthDevice, theDevice;
 long   greatestArea, sectArea;
 Rect   theSect;
 
 nthDevice = theDevice = GetDeviceList();
 greatestArea = 0;
 do {
 if (TestDeviceAttribute(nthDevice, screenDevice) &&
   TestDeviceAttribute(nthDevice, screenActive)) {
 SectRect(theRect, &(*nthDevice)->gdRect,
   &theSect);
 sectArea =
   ((long) (theSect.bottom - theSect.top)) *
   ((long) (theSect.right - theSect.left));
 if (sectArea > greatestArea) {
 greatestArea = sectArea;
 theDevice = nthDevice;
 }
 }
 nthDevice = GetNextDevice(nthDevice);
 } while (nthDevice != NIL);
 
 return (theDevice);
}


/*****************************************************
 * MyMoveWindow
 *
 * Quickly move the window. No screen updating
 * will take place.
 ****************************************************/
Boolean MyMoveWindow(WindowPtr w, int leftGlobal,
 int topGlobal, Boolean sizeChanged)
{
 Handle theDefProc;
 GrafPtroldPort;
 Point  upperLeft;
 char   oldState;
 BooleanitMoved;
 
 itMoved = FALSE;

 oldPort = thePort;
 SetPort(w);
 
 /* Don't move it if it's already there, unless
  * it was just resized (in which case we don't
  * really need to call MovePortTo but we do
  * need to call the windowDefProc below to fix
  * up the regions).
  */
 if (!sizeChanged) {
 upperLeft = topLeft(w->portRect);
 LocalToGlobal(&upperLeft);
 if (upperLeft.h == leftGlobal &&
   upperLeft.v == topGlobal)
 goto Exit;
 }
 
 itMoved = TRUE;
 
 MovePortTo(leftGlobal, topGlobal);
 
 theDefProc = ((WindowPeek) w)->windowDefProc;
 oldState = HGetState(theDefProc);
 HLock(theDefProc);
 
 /* call the WDEF to update the regions */
 (*(WDefProcHndl) theDefProc)(zoomDocProc, w,
   wCalcRgns, 0);

 HSetState(theDefProc, oldState);

Exit:

 SetPort(oldPort);
 
 return (itMoved);
}


/*****************************************************
 * MySizeWindow
 *
 * Quickly set the size of a window. Set the
 * visRgn to NIL so that no screen updating takes
 * place. The visRgn will be reset when we call
 * CalcVisBehind later.
 ****************************************************/
Boolean MySizeWindow(WindowPtr w, int width,
 int height)
{
 GrafPtroldPort;
 
 /* don't size it if it's already the right size */
 if (w->portRect.right - w->portRect.left == width &&
   w->portRect.bottom - w->portRect.top == height)
   return(FALSE);
   
 oldPort = thePort;
 SetPort(w);
 
 PortSize(width, height);
 
 /* nuke the visRgn so that moving this port
  * (in MyMoveWindow) won't cause any screen
  * drawing
  */
 SetEmptyRgn(((GrafPtr) w)->visRgn);
 
 SetPort(oldPort);
 
 return(TRUE);
}
test.c Listing
/*****************************************************
 * test.c
 *
 * Driver function and example TileStackWindows
 * function to test out TileStackWindows.
 ****************************************************/

#include "TileStackWindows.h"

/*****************************************************
 * defines
 ****************************************************/

#define NUM_TEST_WINDOWS  20

/*****************************************************
 * prototypes
 ****************************************************/
 
static Boolean StackWindows(Rect *enclosingRectPtr,
 WindowElementPtr p, int wCount);

/*****************************************************
 * main
 ****************************************************/
void main()
{
 WindowPtr*p, windowPtrArray[NUM_TEST_WINDOWS];
 Rect   theBounds;
 int    i;
 
 theBounds.top = 50;
 theBounds.left = 50;
 theBounds.bottom = 200;
 theBounds.right = 200;
 
 p = windowPtrArray;
 i = NUM_TEST_WINDOWS;
 do {
 *p++ = NewWindow(0L, &theBounds, "\pTest",
 TRUE, 0, (WindowPtr) -1, TRUE, 0);
 OffsetRect(&theBounds, 3, 2);
 } while (--i);
 
 TileStackWindows(StackWindows);
}


/* window stacking variables used by StackWindows */
#define WTitleHeight 18
#define StaggerH 7
#define StaggerV (WTitleHeight - 2)
#define MinVertSize200
#define NextRowOffsetH    2
#define NextRowOffsetV    4

/*****************************************************
 * StackWindows -- example TileStackWindows proc
 *
 * Stack all the windows so you can see their
 * titles. Returns TRUE if we moved or sized at
 * least one window (if not then we don't need to
 * redraw the screen).
 ****************************************************/
static Boolean StackWindows(enclosingRectPtr, p, wCount)
Rect    *enclosingRectPtr;
WindowElementPtr p;
intwCount;
{
 WindowPtrw;
 Rect   theBounds;
 Point  upperLeft;
 int    width;
 BooleandidOne, sizeChanged;
 
 theBounds = *enclosingRectPtr;
 theBounds.top += WTitleHeight;
 upperLeft = topLeft(theBounds);
 width = theBounds.right - theBounds.left;
 
 didOne = FALSE;
 
 /* this particular routine starts at the back
  * of the list and works it's way forward
  * (to the frontmost window)
  */
 p += wCount;
 do {
 p--;
 w = (WindowPtr) p->theWindowPtr;
 sizeChanged = MySizeWindow(w,
 theBounds.right - theBounds.left,
 theBounds.bottom - theBounds.top);
 didOne |= sizeChanged;
 didOne |= MyMoveWindow(w, theBounds.left,
 theBounds.top, sizeChanged);
 theBounds.left += StaggerH;
 theBounds.right += StaggerH;
 theBounds.top += StaggerV;
 if (theBounds.top >
   enclosingRectPtr->bottom - MinVertSize) {
 upperLeft.h += NextRowOffsetH;
 upperLeft.v += NextRowOffsetV;
 topLeft(theBounds) = upperLeft;
 theBounds.right = theBounds.left + width;
 }
 if (theBounds.right > enclosingRectPtr->right)
 theBounds.right = enclosingRectPtr->right;
 } while (--wCount);
 
 return (didOne);
}

The Rules

Here’s how it works: Each month there will be a different programming challenge presented here. First, you must write some code that solves the challenge. Second, you must optimize your code (a lot). Then, submit your solution to MacTech Magazine (formerly MacTutor). A winner will be chosen based on code correctness, speed, size and elegance (in that order of importance) as well as the postmark of the answer. In the event of multiple equally desirable solutions, one winner will be chosen at random (with honorable mention, but no prize, given to the runners up). The prize for the best solution each month is $50 and a limited edition “The Winner! MacTech Magazine Programming Challenge” T-shirt (not to be found in stores).

In order to make fair comparisons between solutions, all solutions must be in ANSI compatible C (i.e., don’t use Think’s Object extensions). Only pure C code can be used. Any entries with any assembly in them will be disqualified (except for those challenges specifically stated to be in assembly). However, you may call any routine in the Macintosh toolbox you want (i.e., it doesn’t matter if you use NewPtr instead of malloc). All entries will be tested with the FPU and 68020 flags turned off in THINK C. When timing routines, the latest version of THINK C will be used (with ANSI Settings plus “Honor ‘register’ first” and “Use Global Optimizer” turned on) so beware if you optimize for a different C compiler. All code should be limited to 60 characters wide. This will aid us in dealing with e-mail gateways and page layout.

The solution and winners for this month’s Programmers’ Challenge will be published in the issue two months later. All submissions must be received by the 10th day of the month printed on the front of this issue.

All solutions should be marked “Attn: Programmers’ Challenge Solution” and sent to Xplain Corporation (the publishers of MacTech Magazine) via “snail mail” or preferably, e-mail - AppleLink: MT.PROGCHAL, Internet: progchallenge@xplain.com, CompuServe: 71552,174 and America Online: MT PRGCHAL. If you send via snail mail, please include a disk with the solution and all related files (including contact information). See page 2 for information on “How to Contact Xplain Corporation.”

MacTech Magazine reserves the right to publish any solution entered in the Programming Challenge of the Month and all entries are the property of MacTech Magazine upon submission. The submission falls under all the same conventions of an article submission.

 

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VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
Bookends 12.7.8 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Bookends uses the cloud to sync reference libraries on all the Macs you use.... Read more
VirtualBox 5.1.14 - x86 virtualization s...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more

Super Mario Run dashes onto Android in M...
Super Mario Run was one of the biggest mobile launches in 2016 before it was met with a lukewarm response by many. While the game itself plays a treat, it's pretty hard to swallow the steep price for the full game. With that said, Android users... | Read more »
WarFriends Beginner's Guide: How to...
Chillingo's new game, WarFriends, is finally available world wide, and so far it's a refreshing change from common mobile game trends. The game's a mix of tower defense, third person shooter, and collectible card game. There's a lot to unpack here... | Read more »
Super Gridland (Entertainment)
Super Gridland 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Match. Build. Survive. "exquisitely tuned" - Rock Paper Shotgun No in-app purches, and no ads! | Read more »
Red's Kingdom (Games)
Red's Kingdom 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Mad King Mac has kidnapped your father and stolen your golden nut! Solve puzzles and battle goons as you explore and battle your... | Read more »
Turbo League Guide: How to tame the cont...
| Read more »
Fire Emblem: Heroes coming to Google Pla...
Nintendo gave us our first look at Fire Emblem: Heroes, the upcoming mobile Fire Emblem game the company hinted at last year. Revealed at the Fire Emblem Direct event held today, the game will condense the series' tactical RPG combat into bite-... | Read more »
ReSlice (Music)
ReSlice 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Audio Slice Machine Slice your audio samples with ReSlice and create flexible musical atoms which can be triggered by MIDI notes or... | Read more »
Stickman Surfer rides in with the tide t...
Stickson is back and this time he's taken up yet another extreme sport - surfing. Stickman Surfer is out this Thursday on both iOS and Android, so if you've been following the other Stickman adventures, you might be interested in picking this one... | Read more »
Z-Exemplar (Games)
Z-Exemplar 1.4 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.4 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
5 dastardly difficult roguelikes like th...
Edmund McMillen's popular roguelike creation The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth has finally crawled onto mobile devices. It's a grotesque dual-stick shooter that tosses you into an endless, procedurally generated basement as you, the pitiable Isaac,... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Twelve South Releases RelaxedLeather Cases fo...
Inspired by the laid-back luxury of burnished leather boots and crafted in rich tones of taupe, herb and marsala, RelaxedLeather cases deliver smart, easy protection for the iPhone 7. Each genuine... Read more
Week’s Best Deal: New 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz Mac...
Amazon has the new 2016 13″ 2.0GHz non-Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for a limited time for $225 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro, Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1274.99 $225 off... Read more
Back in stock: Apple refurbished Mac minis fr...
Apple has Certified Refurbished Mac minis available starting at $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each mini, and shipping is free: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $419 $80 off MSRP - 2.6GHz Mac... Read more
Apple Ranked ‘Most Intimate Brand’
The top ranked ‘”intimate” brands continued to outperform the S&P and Fortune 500 indices in revenue and profit over the past 10 years, according to MBLM’s Brand Intimacy 2017 Report, the largest... Read more
B-Eng introduces SSD Health Check for Mac OS
Fehraltorf, Switzerland based independant Swiss company- B-Eng has announced the release and immediate availability of SSD Health Check 1.0, the company’s new hard drive utility for Mac OS X. As the... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
4-core 3.7GHz Mac Pro on sale for $2290, save...
Guitar Center has the 3.7GHz 4-core Mac Pro (MD253LL/A) on sale for $2289.97 including free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Their price is a $710 savings over standard MSRP for... Read more
128GB Apple iPad Air 2, refurbished, availabl...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 128GB iPad Air 2s WiFis available for $419 including free shipping. That’s an $80 savings over standard MSRP for this model. A standard Apple one-year warranty is... Read more
13-inch 2.7GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2015 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina Apple MacBook Pro on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 13″ 2.7GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro (MF839LL/A): $... Read more
Laptop Market – Flight To Quality? – The ‘Boo...
Preliminary quarterly PC shipments data released by Gartner Inc. last week reveal an interesting disparity between sales performance of major name PC vendors as opposed to that of less well-known... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Technician - nfrastructure (United S...
Let’s Work Together Apple Technician This position is based in Portland, ME Life at nfrastructure At nfrastructure, we understand that our success results from our Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**467692BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000602-Columbia MO-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master Read more
*Apple* MAC Infrastructure Engineer - InnoCo...
Summary: Responsible for all aspects of Apple Desktop hardware. This includes research, design, test, and deploy technologies being researched by the desktop Read more
*Apple* & PC Desktop Support Technician...
Apple & PC Desktop Support Technician job in Manhattan, NY Introduction: We have immediate job openings for several Desktop Support Technicians with one of our most Read more
Senior Workstation Administrator - *Apple*...
…with extraordinary HR. QualificationsJOB SUMMARY/OVERVIEWThe Senior Workstation Administrator - Apple supports the mission of TriNet by providing advanced level Read more
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