on April 19, 2011 by Claude in Events, Comments (0)

Sunday Morning MUF Classes Ahoy!

Early on Sunday, Professor Joshua Farstrike debuted his series of MUF classes at the Spindizzy Center of Arts and Science. The students were (in no particular order): Jaxen (fox), Kinsor (fruit bat), Nyni (My Little Pony), Rocket (robot opossum), BunnyHugger (devilbunny), Chitter (squirrel), Dragoncat (dragon/kitty) and Claude (LOLcat).  (Editor’s note: a log of the first MUF class, from BunnyHugger’s perspective, is available for review.)

The point was to teach the residents of our planetoid a little about the “magic” that powers the flight computers in the core. In fact, the class kicked off with Professor Farstrike presenting one of these unwieldy machines, borrowed specifically for the occasion.

The next order of business was to learn how much each student knows about computer programming. It turned out that everyone who enrolled has at least some experience with this noble activity, though at very different skill levels.

Professor Farstrike then moved on to teaching Reverse Polish Notation (RPN for friends), which is the essence of MUF, and after that the basics of the language proper. He walked the students through writing, compiling and running their first program, which was the traditional “Hello, world!” then went on to present macros, variables, control structures and some basic MUF functions, following with a somewhat advanced program making use of them. Other topics covered were debugging and passing arguments to programs at call time.

Last but not least, the students were given some simple homework.

It turned out that Jaxen and Kinsor were already experienced with MUF, which was largely an open secret, as least to this reporter. But the most enthusiastic student turned out to be BunnyHugger, herself a professor elsewhere, who asked many pertinent questions. It goes to show that love for learning is the same on both sides of the teacher’s desk. After the class, she declared that while the basics seemed much easier than last time she tried learning MUF, she ended up being overwhelmed by the more advanced material.

As Professor Farstrike’s effort was very well received, the intent is for the classes to continue. Hopefully none of the students will poke a hole in the fabric of space until next time.

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