Why Learn the Basics?

[ LiB ]

I have found that it is always a good idea to know the mechanics of anything I intend to work on. I disagree with computer professors and gurus who rant for hours about the beauty of abstracting the interface of a mechanism from its mechanics (how it works, in essence) to justify the concept that you shouldn't need to know how something works to use it.


Throughput is a communications term that describes how much data can go through the network per unit of time. For example, the throughput of a 56 kilobits modem is roughly around 56 kbps (kilobits per second), and the upstream throughput of my cable modem is around 128 kbps.

Indeed, few people who drive actually know the physics of acceleration and energy usage or even how an internal combustion engine works. At first, this can seem like a good thing; anyone can jump into a car without knowing how the engine works. You press the gas, and the car goes; you press the brake, and the car stops.

It's not always that simple however. I can't count the number of times I've been at a stoplight and watched the car next to me accelerate as fast as possible only to stop in a few hundred feet at the next stoplight. Whenever that happens, I know the person has no idea of how energy and acceleration work.

The person who accelerates to 50 MPH and then immediately brakes to a halt wastes far more energy than the person who accelerates to 30 MPH, coasts, and then brakes to a halt. The first car wasted energy accelerating 20 MPH faster, only to have that energy drained away as heat energy in the brakes.

So you can see that knowing how something works may not be necessary for operating a mechanism but is useful for operating it efficiently . And as you may know, game programming is all about using things efficiently and taking them to the limit.

[ LiB ]

MUD Game Programming
MUD Game Programming (Premier Press Game Development)
ISBN: 1592000908
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 147
Authors: Ron Penton

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