This section contains important information on many different topics in no particular order.
Use of the Blackboard online system
The online program named Blackboard will be used for communication with students in those cases where confidentiality is required, (such as the reporting of grades), posting announcements, sending email messages to individual students, and broadcasting email messages to all students enrolled in the course.
The Blackboard "Send Email" feature is the mechanism that you will use to send Email messages to your instructor.
Broken Links: Occasionally one or more of the links, which tie these online, documents together may become accidentally broken. If you discover a broken link, or any other problem with the online documents, please notify me as soon as possible so that I can repair the problem.
Communications via Email
I receive several hundred email messages every day. Many of the messages that I receive contain viruses or worms. Most of the rest are SPAM.
Therefore, whenever you send a new email message to me, you MUST use the Blackboard "Send Email" feature to construct and send the message, and your Subject line MUST contain a brief description of the topic. (Don't simply reply to an earlier email message from me if the topic is different.)
When I see that format, I will trust that the message is safe to open and read. Otherwise, I will assume that your message contains a virus or constitutes SPAM, and I will simply delete your message without reading it.
Questions via Email: From time to time you may need to ask questions via email, and I encourage you to do so. However, please make the question as specific as possible. For example, "What is OOP?" is not a question that I can easily answer via email.
I am usually happy to answer questions about programming concepts at the level of this course. (You should have previously completed a Programming Fundamentals course and GAME 1303 so you should already know about such topics as for loops, while loops, if statements, function calls, parameter passing, etc.)
When appropriate, please illustrate your question with a short sample program. When you send a sample program, please observe several important rules:
Orientation: To participate in online orientation, click on the OnLine Orientation Material link below.
Failure to Meet Prerequisites: Please don't ask me to teach the prerequisite material to you. If you don't already understand that material, it will be your responsibility to learn it, on your own, without assistance from me.
Carelessness is costly A few semesters back, on the last Friday of the month, which was anticipated to be one of the most active trading days of the month, programmers working on a network made a careless error and shut the NASDAQ stock exchange down for several hours. There is no way of estimating how much this cost various people around the world.
A few months later, programmers working for a telephone company made a careless programming error and swamped the 911 emergency call center in Austin with wrong numbers for several hours. Hopefully no one died as a result, but we will never know.
Although careless errors on exam programs may not be as costly as the errors described above, they are costly nonetheless. In fact, the cost for making a careless error on an exam program is just as costly as not knowing how to write the program in the first place. In either case, you get no credit for the program. So, don't be careless.
Who Am I? I receive many email messages addressed to Dr. Baldwin, and I appreciate the courtesy. My highest degree earned is a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering, and I am a full Professor at ACC. Under the circumstances, Prof. Baldwin is a more appropriate salutation than Dr. Baldwin.
Please Be Patient Other than questions regarding registration, please do not send email regarding this course prior to the first day of classes. If you do, I probably won't answer it. A great deal of preparation is required to teach a course of this nature. I have many responsibilities to take care of in the final days before the course begins and I do not have the time to work with individual students until after the course actually begins. If I reach the point that I can accept email regarding this course prior to the first day of classes, I will post that fact on this bulletin board.
Computer Studies Student Information Form The following is requested by the Computer Studies department, but is not a requirement of the course in which you are enrolled. Whether or not you provide the following information will not be taken into account when determining your grade in the course.
If you are willing to provide this information, please compose an e-mail message containing the following information and send it to Baldwin@DickBaldwin.com
If you do provide the information, please make the subject line of your e-mail message read as follows: Your last Name, Your first Name, GAME 1343, Student Information Form
DO NOT include this information in the message that you send confirming that you have completed online orientation. Send separate messages for those two purposes.
You should be able to copy and past the following form into your Blackboard e-mail client and then fill in the blanks. Don't be too concerned about neatness when filling in the form.
Last Name:_____________________ First Name:_____________________ Student ID:_____________________ Course Number: IT__ ____
Home:___________ Work:___________ Other:___________ E-mail address:_________Any issues that the instructor should be aware of:
Reasons for taking the course:
_____Personal Interest _____Required by degree program, which is ______________ _____Work related - please explain in comments section below _____Recommended by ______________________________ _____Other, please explain in comments section belowPlease indicate the following:
_____Hours working per week _____Number of credit hours enrolled in this semester _____Number of computer courses completed at ACC _____Highest degree earnedWhat computer courses have you completed at ACC or elsewhere?
What computer or computer related work experience do you have?
Do not send executable attachments If you send an email message to me and expect me to read it, DO NOT attach any executable files, even if they are encapsulated in a zip file. This includes files with the following extensions, just to name a few:
.exe .com .scr .bat .pif .vb
If you do send such files, my virus blocker will simply reject the message and I will never see it.
The following file extensions should be OK:
.java .class .htm .html .css .xml .xsl .doc .zip (Provided the zip file doesn't contain any executable files.)
If you need to send an exe file, rename it filename.joe and encapsulate it in a zip file. Notify me in the body of the email message that you have included such a file. I will rename it before I try to use it. Note however that the exe file alone is not sufficient to execute an XNA program. Other files contained in the project folder are also required.
If you find it necessary to send a questionable file for any reason, you should also send another message without an attachment notifying me that you sent the questionable file as an attachment so that I can be on the lookout for it.
Grades I have been notified that I am no longer allowed to send your grades to you via email. Therefore, I will only provide information on grades in person.
Your official Email address It is my understanding that as of 09/15/08, all ACC students will be provided an official Email address by ACC, and that address will be reflected in all official ACC student records. I have been told that you can cause messages sent to that address to be forwarded to the Email address of your choice. You should make it point to either forward those messages, or to check your ACC email address on a daily basis.
08/18/13 No suitable graphics card found
If Visual C# 2010 complains about your graphic card, you may need to select the "Reach" profile.
This often happens on computers with older graphics cards.
Selecting Reach vs. HiDef
When you create a Windows Phone game project, XNA defaults to Reach profile. When you create a Windows or Xbox 360 project, it defaults to HiDef. But it is also possible to target Reach from a Windows or Xbox game! There are two reasons you might want to do this:
To use Reach on Windows or Xbox: