Fanning Software Consulting

Area Man Succeeds in Executing a Plot() Command

Local IDL programmer, David Fanning, of Fort Collins, has finally succeeded in issuing a Function Graphics command that worked correctly the first time he tried it. Fanning has been trying to get a Function Graphics command to work for the past two and half weeks.

“Everyone was raving about these new Function Graphics commands,” Fanning said, “and about how convenient and simple they were to use, so I decided to check it out and learn how to use them. But even though I was working 10 and 12 hours a day, I couldn't get anything to work!”

Fanning wasn't doing anythng particularly difficult. “I was working with the normal data I have lying around here from customers,” Fanning claims, “just doing the kinds of things I normally do, things that would only take me a couple of minutes to do with Coyote Graphics.” But, nothing was working.

“I checked with ITTVIS, the company that provides the software, and they assurred me the software was 95 percent debugged,” Fanning explains, “so I calculated the odds of running into as many problems as I did was somewhere in the neighborhood of one in 10 million. It was an unbelievable run of bad luck!”

Fanning finally succeeded with a Plot command. “I was taking a shower and the thought just occurred to me that maybe I should try a Plot command,” Fanning explains. “I really didn't think anyone could fuck up a Plot command! And, sure enough, it worked perfectly!”

Fanning, a long-time Luddite who has written a book on how to make the old, ancient graphics system in IDL work like the new one, thinks Function Graphics may have a bright future. “Yeah, if these things actually worked they would be very, very cool,” Fanning admitted. “And it would stop my programming partner, Coyote, from using another F word to describe them.”

Area man succeeds in executing a function graphics command.
David Fanning of Fort Collins has succeeded in executing a Function Graphics Plot() command in less than three weeks of effort.

Version of IDL used to prepare this article: IDL 8.1.

Written: 19 September 2011