December 14, 2021: Fun with FileMaker Pro, with Keith Johnson

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. — so that we may start on time, please arrive at least 5 minutes early.

Battleship in FileMaker Pro, courtesy of Keith Johnson

(Click for larger version)

For several years before Keith Johnson retired from the planetarium profession, he took a few standard board games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Concentration (pairs-matching game), and even a Slot Machine, and created animated computer versions of them, just for his own amusement.

For such an endeavor, one needs a programing system with reasonable graphics, a good user-input system, and extensive scripting. This sounds like a job for…FileMaker Pro? The database application?! Yes: although it wasn’t designed for such a purpose, the program can produce some surprisingly nice results. Trying to find ways to perform these tasks taught Keith a lot about the application, and it was great fun!

In his presentation, Keith will look at the classic “Battleship” game, where two opponents place ships in small oceans, and try to sink their opponent’s ships with torpedos. If members who own FileMaker Pro wish to preview some of Keith’s efforts, they can look at his Public Dropbox folder.

The meeting will be held online through Zoom — members should check their e-mail for instructions on how to connect and attend. Our friends from the Main Line Mac Users Group will also be with us. We hope you can join us.

A limited number of non-member audience “seats” at our Zoom meeting are also available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you wish to attend, please e-mail, and include your full name to receive an invitation with connection information.


About the Presenter
Keith Johnson’s first computer was a TI-59 programmable calculator which stored programs on magnetic strips of tape. He got into the Apple II world early with a black 48K machine sold by Bell & Howell, and was a columnist for the AppleWorks Journal for several years. He’s gone through several Macs, including the Power Macintosh G3 that looked like a giant molar. He even remembers the day when applications were called programs. Keith has done audio and video production for several planetariums on the Mac platform… and greatly mourns the passing of QuickTime Player Pro.

Benjamin Britt

In Memory of Past PMUG President, Benjamin Britt