With regard to my recent Men vs. Women blog, I've been mulling things over with regard to the underlying "algorithm" I should use. Purely for the sake of giving us something to talk about, consider the following illustration that I just threw together:
Assume that this represent's the "Woman" portion of the "Display-O-Meter" (or whatever we decide to call the beast... can you think of a better moniker?). Note that nothing here is set in stone – I'm totally open to suggestions – but my first-pass thought was to have three main areas, each of which is equipped with some master display device like a meter (as shown above).
Each of these three areas would also have its own set of switches (toggle, push-button, rotary, etc.) and potentiometers and LEDs and "stuff" (each area would be arranged differently for visual interest). Hmmm, maybe a small patch-panel would look nice somewhere....
Of course we aren't limited to three areas... we could have more. Similarly, we aren't forced to have three areas, we could have two. Also, in addition to the main areas, we could have some smaller isolated functions (groups of switches and LEDs, etc). For the purpose of the following discussions, however, we will stick to the three areas shown above (but don't limit yourself with regard to any suggestions you might offer).
So, first of all I need names for the three areas. Something like "Emotional Stability," "Intimacy Quotient," and ... I don't know ... help me out here... I'm a married man which – if nothing else – has taught me that I know nothing about women...
We're also going to need a collection of related names for the various switches and buttons and knobs (speaking of these, following a suggestion from a reader, I wandered over to the local Technology Recycling Center this lunchtime, with the result that a young lad called Billy who likes to zip around on a forklift is going to keep his eye open for any suitable old equipment that comes in and give me a call).
But we digress... Each meter would have a "red zone" on one side, a "green zone" on the other, and an "orange/yellow zone" in the middle. The idea is to try to get all three of the meters in the "green zone", at which point some master LED would turn on ... or something (maybe a fanfare or trumpets and exploding streamers....). But this is where we need to ponder the underlying algorithm...
For example, suppose a number of toggle switches are in a certain On/Off configuration and a potentiometer is currently set to its "zero" position. Rotating the potentiometer clockwise might make its associated meter start to head in the direction of its "green zone"... but only to a certain point. You might get "tantalizingly close," but then your hopes are cruelly dashed... (I'm sorry, my mind was wandering, I was thinking of something else for a moment.) After this point, continuing to turn the potentiometer clockwise might (a) have no effect or (b) cause the meter to start to head in the other direction towards its "red zone" ... unless one or more switches was toggled into a new position. And so on and so forth...
Furthermore... it might be a good idea to cross-link the three areas, such that increasing your "score" in one area may positively or negatively affect your "score" in another area depending on the state of one or more switches in both areas and/or depending on your current "score" in all three areas and/or... you get my drift.
Of course it must be possible to get all three meters into the "green zone" and to light the master LED or whatever ... but it's not going to be easy (trust me on this).
And so we return to my original question... what algorithm should I use? At this stage I'm looking for high-level suggestions that are independent of the actual number of switches and buttons or whatever. One approach would be to create a very specific game plan, along the lines of: "First you have to press this, then toggle that, then turn this..." If this approach were used, it could be that the meter starts off in its middle position, then a correct move makes it approach the "green zone" while an incorrect move has the opposite effect.
But my knee-jerk reaction is that this would seem to be overly "regimented." Hmmm, I'm going to continue to ponder this ... in the meantime, as I mentioned before, I will gratefully accept any and all suggestions...
When I finish this, one way or another I'll make the plans available to anyone who is interested in making their own (FYI I'm actually planning on implementing this in a Steampunk Style, but more on that later...)
2009 New Year Resolution (Goal: Walk 1000 miles at ~3 miles a day)
[A=Actual, C=Current, P=Plan-to-Date, R=Remaining, T=Total]
|Days:|| T=365, C=15, R=350|
|Miles:|| T=1000, P=45.00, A=54.55, Δ=+9.55, R=945.45|
|Note:|| It's sooooo cold at the moment!|
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up