Contents of the TRIG.DOC file
Trig Fundamentals Program, Version 1.1 - October 20, 1991
If you need instructions on installing the TRIG Fundamentals program
correctly, read the following section called INSTALLING THE PROGRAM. But if
you think the program is already installed, you can start it by just typing
TRIG at the DOS prompt.
The Trigonometry Fundamentals program was made with one specific goal in
mind; to show, in a single picture, the relationships of the SIN, COS, and
TAN functions to the angles from which they are derived. The trigonometry
student who does not get a solid feel for these relationships is doomed to
struggling with memorization of identities and advanced equation manipulation
without understanding the very basics of trig. One of the problems with trying
to teach trigonometry is figuring out how to convey the fundamentals. That's
why this program was written; to make it possible to grasp the underlying
concepts by viewing simultaneous plots of the functions. An important aspect
of these plots is the animation. By plotting the functions over a range of
angles, the student can watch the progression of the basic trig functions as a
function of angle. Watching these variations, and occasionally freezing the
action to notice numeric readouts, can give a student a 'feel for what's
going on' that is essential and very hard to impart through lectures.
Any compatible PC that has VGA graphics capability can use this program.
A math co-processor is not required.
This program is distributed as shareware (though not freeware). If you like
this program and find that you use it, please send $6 to:
14013 Adkins Rd.
Laurel, Md. 20708
If you don't already have a copy of the program, and need for me to send
you one, please add $2.50 for the additional expenses (floppy, mailer, and
Even if you decide not to keep it yourself, I would appreciate it if you
would upload the entire package to bulletin boards in your area. Just
please be sure to include all the associated files.
INSTALLING THE PROGRAM
The Trig Fundamentals program can be run from a floppy disk. Graphics will
appear on your screen much more quickly, however, if you run from a hard disk.
Installation is the old-fashioned kind.
(a) You create a directory ( Example: MD\TRIG )
(b) You copy all the files to the directory.
(c) You 'change' to the directory. ( Example: CD\TRIG )
NOTE: It is essential that you change to the directory and do not
rely on a PATH statement because the program needs access to
files that must be on the current directory.
(d) You type TRIG, and the program begins.
The program is distributed with 4 kinds of files:
(1) The program itself, called TRIG.EXE
(2) The help file, called TRIG.HLP
(3) A font file, HELVB.FON
(4) This DOC file.
If you don't have all these file types, you don't have the whole package, and
use of some features will produce error windows. Contact me to get the complete
package. You can write to me at the address above or reach me on Prodigy on
THINGS YOU'LL WANT TO KNOW
(1) This program will generate AASCII files containing numeric values for
later analysis using your favorite programs (such as Lotus 1-2-3).
Select 'Range of Angle Values', then answer the questions regarding file
output. All generated files will automatically be given the
(2) The plots on the right side of the screen are briefly annotated as
(T), (C), and (S) to identify them as the tangent, cosine, and sine
(3) To a degree, the plots you see use color to impart information. For
example, the line in the unit circle that is red represents the value
of the COS function (which is plotted in red on the right side of the
screen). Similarly, the blue line represents the value of the SIN
(4) The vertical black moving 'cursor' on the plots on the right side of
the screen shows, for any angle, the values of the tangent, cosine,
and sine functions.
(5) You can take direct control of the vertical cursor by selecting
'Manual Use'. This option lets you add or subtract an angle
increment of your choice to the current angle.
OVERCOMING DISPLAY PROBLEMS
By default, the Trig Fundamentals program does direct video memory updates
to do menu processing. This brings the menus up in a flash. Some computer
configurations, however, do not allow direct video memory manipulation. For
that reason, this program has an option that allows you to force use of BIOS
calls for display. If you experience any display problems, use this option
by starting the program with the command TRIG B (normally, the
program is started by just typing TRIG).
Using the BIOS will make screen updates noticeably slower, but assures
compatibility with the widest range of computers and configurations.
CONTACTING THE AUTHOR
I welcome feedback. I like to hear about problems, suggestions, and
applications you have found for the TRIG Fundamentals program. You can write
to me at the address above or reach me on Prodigy on ID FDCG42A.
I also sell a program I wrote called P-POP that lets the creative student
generate colorful VGA pictures using a procedural, iterative approach that
reinforces many math concepts while being 'fun'. This program lets the
student choose from a large palette of objects (squares, circles, rectangles,
stars, ellipses, arrows, text, arcs, hexagons, stripes, picture frames, lines,
semicircles, etc.) to generate creations of their own. Each object can be
positioned, colored, resized, and rotated, yielding an infinite variety of
possibilities. The program comes with a large number of sample pictures that
provide ideas and which can be copied and used as the starting points for new
creations. The documentation describes how to make 'slide shows' that can
contain many pictures and that can be viewed on the computer. This program can be
used by kids aged 10 or up. (The occasional 8 year old can make effective use
of the program.)
The price for P-POP is $10, plus $2.50 for shipping. (Only one $2.50 shipping
fee has to be paid for any given order, even if both programs are purchased.)
The strength of the P-POP program is that it gets kids thinking in math terms
without carrying the baggage of lessons, grading, drills, or rote.