Telephone Name Finder

Wizard Card  -  Volume 25  -  Mr. Wizard Number 1  -  Thu, Sep 3, 1992 2:28 PM

This issue's installment of Mr. Wizard is actually a re-release of a stack I did a few months ago. The Telephone Name finder, as I hope you will recall, finds a list of all possible letter combinations associated with all or part of a seven digit phone number. The new version works exactly like the old, except that it is MUCH faster.

It used to take my SE thirty minutes to calculate all 2047 permutations of a seven digit number. The new version takes about three seconds! This remarkable speed increase is due to an XFCN written by a friend of mine, Brian Hanna.

An XFCN is an external piece of code written not in HyperTalk, but in a lower level language like C. Once the code is compiled it can be attached to a stack like any other resource (icon, sound, etc.) and then performs like an extension to the HyperTalk language. Thus, instead of writing 20 or 30 lines of HyperTalk script to do my calculations, I now use the single command permuteName to do all my calculations. Because machine language is so much faster than HyperTalk, the calculations are performed almost instantly.

You will find only a few subtle changes in the working of the stack. Please replace the old version with this new upgrade. And if any of you find interesting names for phone numbers of friends and family, please pass them along!