Thursday, October 2, 2014

Problem with Delphi 2010 (after a Windows update)

Many readers including myself experienced the following problem with the Delphi 2010 installation, after an automatic Windows update.

The Delphi 2010 RAD studio works fine the first time but, when closed and started again the following two errors appear.

Mr. Stephen Ball of Embarcadero provided the following solution to fix the problem permanently

Hi Bertie.

We are going to recommend using the open source and free tool at


I followed the advice of Stephen (Thanks Stephen) and ran the fix (+/- 2.2Mb) and the problem was sorted!

D2010 can now be started and closed consecutively.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Limpopo IT Prelim Paper 1 - Aug 2014

Every year since 2008, I have had the wonderful opportunity to set the IT P1 preliminary paper on a voluntary free basis for the Limpopo  Local Department of Education.

Limpopo is a province who's learners and teachers are very close to my heart.

For this year I have decided to base the paper around a dog show theme.

I particularly tried to make Question 1 easy to accommodate average learners to also score some marks, and to set the pace for the rest of the paper.

I take cognisance of the time issue, but it is determined and implemented via the national examination body (based on the CAPS). I tried to follow the exam guidelines in setting the paper. I also allocate marks for simple statements in the beginning.

Moderation of the paper is done by provincial teachers, with the understanding that each educator will also thoroughly examine the paper and apply any necessary changes. 

The data and paper presented here do indeed differ from the original.

Comments relating to the paper will be gladly be accepted to my private email.

The applicable files are available for download here: IT_Prelim_Paper1_Limpopo_2014

Happy coding!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

IT PAT Competition

Dear learners and teachers

Please read the following invite. I encourage you to please enroll for this event. 

More details in the document.

Invitation Letter 

  The idea is not to replace any other similar competitions but to provide expanded opportunity for exposure. Even if you have entered your PAT for one competition, feel free to do so again!

Hope to see many of you there!


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Workshop at Unisa for some Gauteng Teachers (26 July 2014)

On the 26th of July Unisa (ICT Florida Campus) hosted a wonderful IT Delphi day for teachers in their district, orginised by Mr Hennie van Tonder and arranged by Mrs Ronel van der Merwe (Lecturer Unisa) and Mr Collin Pillkington (Lecturer Unisa)

During the workshop content relating to the PAT and DB related issues where covered and the teachers where introduced to AppMethod (which supports free development in Object Pascal for Android Phones for learners) by Mr Bernard Sibanda.

As part of the presentation some alternate content and approach do DB connectivity and access where demonstrated with the implementation of ClientDataSet components and some relevant events. We also covered Master Detail relationships and the creation of a Master-Detail form, using parameterised queries.

The teachers were also shown how easy it is to create multi-platform mobile applications with Delphi and deploy the application to a Mobile device whilst debugging the application in a Windows environment.

The day was a huge success, with teachers being motivated and even Unisa lecturers surprised.

Links to the content done that day is presented below:



Workshop at Middelburg Technical High in Mpumalanga

On the 2nd of July we had a wonderful workshop, in Mpulalanga where two schools eager learners braved the cold for some Delphi tips and tricks.

It was wonderful to see the dedication of the teachers and subject advisor and (Mr Gerhard Raath).

The one thing that always motivates me, is the way in which learners faces light-up when they grasp something. Showing them some mobile development as well as some OOP concepts created many such light switch occasions. :)

I am very happy and proud for Mpumalanga! 

Go Gerhard and all the teachers!


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Wonderful resource discovered!

Whilst browsing the net, I came across the following YouTube channel. The presenter is really skilled and presents concepts in a set of videos which in my oppinion have taken hours to create!

What a wonderful discovery, of content and a presenter with not only with the correct know-how but the correct understanding of what programing in High School entail, especially in our context!

Hoping for many such tutorials to come!

YouTube Channel

Web page

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fun with Colours in Delphi

In the following set of examples and downloads, Heimo presents some wonderful content relating to RGB blending Hexadecimal, Decimal and Binary conversions as well as some wonderful operations on bitmap images.

Heimo is TUT's on resident Delphi expert!

Thank you Heimo for all your contributions to this site.

ppt used as part of the Glen High presentation may be downloaded: Here
ppt in zip format may be downloaded: Here

Delphi Colour Sample applications may be downloaded: Here

Downloading YouTube videos in a Delphi Application

In the following example Heimo Jeske of TUT presents content on how to download  and watch YouTube videos in a Delphi application. Great potential idea for inclusion in a  PAT.

Thanks Heimo

The sample application can be downloaded: HERE
The accompanying pdf with some ActiveX information can be downloaded: HERE

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Embarcadero - TUT Delphi Roadshow Glen High - Saturday 7June 2014

This past Saturday Gauteng played host to a wonderful Delphi Roadshow workshop presented by Embarcadero and TUT, at the Glen High School in Pretoria.
The event was a huge success with 207 and 42 teachers and many subject advisors attending.

The event was perfectly organised by Mrs Glenda van Dijk (of the Glen High) and Mrs Ena Brits of the Gauteng Education Department, with support from Mr Mohammed Ally.

As part of Embarcadero’s commitment to IT education in SA Dr Glenn Wylie and Mr Jon Harrison of Embarcadero UK availed them self for some presentations at the workshop. The school event coincided with the launch of RAD studio XE6, where corporate events were held in Cape Town and in Johannesburg.

The event started with a warm welcome from Mrs Ena Brits and a presentation from Mr Heimo Jeske, TUT’s resident Delphi expert. Heimo showed how various numbering systems are used as part of the IT domain with a brilliant example of number conversions and hexadecimal concepts with colours, in Delphi. Working with colours and bitmap images adds a new dimension to the concept of two dimensional arrays, and many teachers got some great ideas for future array examples, I was told. Heimo also demoed an application which allows for some very creative manipulation of bitmap images.
It was great so see many learners grasp the concept, with relation to Hexadecimal when presented in a concrete fashion.  The slides and the application will be uploaded to this blog later.

After the presentation on colours, Dr Glenn Wylie presented some wonderful statistics on the exponential growth of RAD Studio world-wide. For many of the teachers and learners it was an eye opener to see how many large corporates in SA use Delphi and Embarcadero products.

Some large corporate companies using Delphi and Embarcadero Related Products. Worth to mention is the fact that some components of the transactional system of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange is written in Delphi.

Also worthwhile to mention is that the SAGE ERP system is also completely written in Delphi with SAGE launching some wonderful Mobile applications for their customers and users.

Another large (relatively unknown company) that implements data critical systems for very large corporations in Delphi is Infomet. Infomet provides Information Delivery Solutions in the Financial, Retail and Insurance Services domain.

Some other companies using Embarcadero related products.

Dr Wylie avowed Embarcadero’s continued support for Education and explained that our CAPS curriculum and subsequent textbook materials wowed educational departments in Kenya and Brazil, and that Embarcadero is launching similar projects in these two countries. What was extremely encouraging was the fact that Nigeria is also launching Delphi as part of their school curriculum, with the possibility of a Dedicated Delphi TV programme broadcast on a school-based TV channel.

Dr Wylie also informed the delegates of plans in Kenya to present laptops to high school learners with educational copies of Delphi preloaded for Computer Science learners.
Another important notion conveyed by Dr Wylie, is the fact that sales of Delphi and the support for VCL based development has surpassed many of their own expectations.

Dr Wylie also introduced the AppMethod product of Embarcadero a ‘sub-set’ of the RAD studio compiler which allow Mobile development via the FireMonkey FMX platform.  AppMethod allows for Mobile Development to ARM based mobile devices such as Android and iOS devices, to from a single code base to native code, without the necessity of any VM ware.

AppMethod allows for development in C++ (the latest and most up to date language version according to many experts) and Object Pascal.
Dr Wylie explained Embarcadero’s reason for the launch of the AppMethod product as competition to other mobile development platforms available.

Dr Wylie also announced a possible later upgrade of the Free RAD Studio Delphi compiler to schools to an XE version later.  Dr Wylie also, showed wonderful statistics of how the free Delphi 2010 compiler was shipped to SA schools, some even to provinces not doing Delphi as a CAPS implementation language. 

THE best news of all was kept for last: A FREE educational version of the AppMethod IDE to all schools and students in SA. Which will be available later this year! This was the most exciting news since the announcement of the Delphi 2010 educational version in 2013.


 For Dr Wylie's complete announcement video (+/- 130Mb) click: Here

After Dr Wylie’s presentation Mr Jon Harrison highlighted some of the wonderful features and enhancements the Delphi compiler and Object Pascal language has undergone over the last few years. It was amazing to see some the features and additional functionality that Delphi provides, which ensures that Object Pascal is kept abreast with other known programming languages.

In his first presentation Mr Harrison also showed some wonderful enhancements to some of the VCL aspects of the Delphi compiler, such as Styles and support for Windows 8 UI’s and toolbars.

In the second part of his presentation the similarities between Object Pascal VCL coding and FireMonkey Object Pascal coding were showcased. The learners were amazed to see how easy some graphics and animations are applied using some of the 3D FMX components. In no time a program with a sphere filled with an image of the earth had a moon that rotated around it. It was wonderful to see how learners (and teachers) eyes lit up with enthusiasm, for programming. 


The ability of the Delphi i.e. Object Pascal programming language to hide many of the intrinsic complexities of a task, whilst still requiring the application computational thinking  is what make it such a wonderful suitable tool for education. 

The next session was presented by Bertie Buitendag of TUT, and in the example showcased and developed live the wonderful and powerful capabilities of the ClientDataSet component was illuminated. Learners and teachers alike was amazed to see how a ‘DB-Like’ application could be mimicked with locally stored data in an XML file. What was even more amazing was the ease in which the XML file were created and managed by Delphi with one single line of code, which was unaware to them already known to many learners.

After the ClientDataset example, one of the most prominent features of the Delphi programming language was presented, i.e. the seamlessly hassle-free capability to connect to virtually any type of DB without any problems. For this example Bertie Buitendag showed some features of the Oracle 10g Express Edition DBMS software which forms part of the curriculum of some subjects at TUT. 

An application was demoed where Delphi connects to an Oracle DB for modification. The learners where surprised to see how their SQL knowledge came to use when requesting data from the 10g Web Client Demo DB after data manipulated with the Delphi application that was demoed.

The learners where also presented with one fun snippet of information i.e. Where did Delphi get its name from, and the relationship between the word Oracle and Delphi (both part of Greek mythology) were explained.

The session thereafter on: FireMonkey and the VCL (Desktop Apps) Including database connectivity and FireDAC showcased additional cool snippets of code as well as the FireDAC technology. This alternate exciting technology allows for even easier connectivity to any DB, and Jon Harrison explicated that with an example. 


Sidenote [For Bertie Buitendag, it is very saddening to read mailing lists and forums, of some teachers difficulties and issues to connect their sample databases for teaching in schools where Delphi is not used. The question that keeps coming to mind is, if the teachers have difficulties with certain concepts, what about the poor learners?]

Another wonderful capability of the Delphi XE5 and onwards (and AppMethod) platform is the capability to write code for devices and gadgets. In an explanation by Bertie, and subsequent video demonstrations, the differentiation between a device and a gadget was clarified. 

A short video on writing an application in Delphi for interface to an ARDrone was showcased thereafter a Delphi application for the Google Glass was shown. (Both of these concepts are included for teaching purposes)  The learners and teachers were amazed by the video inserts, and some of the learners commented that they never knew that Delphi had such wonderful capabilities.

 During the break Mr Harrison and Dr Wylie were inundated with questions from both learners and teachers, and the excitement could almost be felt in the hall. Snacks were generously sponsored by Embarcadero and Mrs Glenda van Dijk and her team hosted learners and teachers and avid coffee drinkers like me, like professionals.

The best was kept for last, where after the break a session on some of Delphi’s ‘netcentric’ i.e. Web enabling capabilities were showcased.

Sidenote [Browsing through archived mailing list postings on my Laptop (though the years), Delphi was often scrutinised by critics and ‘haters’ as not being ‘netcentric’, which was presented by many as a prerequisite and requirement for a good programming language for educational implementation. Funny enough Delphi 7 had many of these ‘netcentric’ abilities unknown by many, but with the advent of Delphi XE2 and onwards this supposed prerequisite is more than actualised,. In fact Delphi cannot be more ‘netcentric’ than it currently is] 

Mr Aubrey Khoza showcased a wonderful weather based web service implementation example, and in true TUT presentation style, the learners were glued to their seats, and laughed with all the humour included as part of Aubrey’s unique teaching method Aubrey further highlighted the fact that Delphi hides many of the complexities one should not be initially concerned about when starting off with a new concept.  The example demoed by Aubrey has great possibilities for future PAT projects.


The next two examples showcased, presented the capabilities of the TWebBrowser component. Bertie showcased a Google Maps implementation example in a Delphi programme, and the Gr11 learners immediately saw the possibilities for inclusion of such coding into their geocaching PAT projects. In the same instance Mr Harrison showed how easy such as application could be deployed to a tablet, with sensors where the current geo-location is determined and displayed on a Google Maps.  

Another web based example that intrigued the learners was presented by Heimo, when he showcased an application that downloads data from the web for use.  As well as a wonderful application to download and watch YouTube videos. The learners enthusiasm flared and Bertie could not wonder how this example will affect future bandwidth usage  (via the paper-cup network : internal attendee joke) at schools. 

The last session bowled all learners and teachers alike, when the ease of cross-platform mobile development was highlighted in Delphi. The learners were awed with how easy it was to use Delphi code to develop and deploy mobile applications to Android and Apple devices. Mr Jon Harrison showed showed various tips on cross platform development, one of which is to compile your application to Windows first for easier debugging purposes and then to the device. 

The highlight of Mr Harrison’s presentation was an App-tethering example which used WiFi to transmit a picture taken from a tablet to a Delphi desktop client, using the new tethering components in Delphi XE6. 

The sheer knowledge and skill in which Mr Harrison presented to the learners impressed everyone, and will sure act as a catalyst for many learners to aspire to greater heights in their future IT study endeavours.

The workshop was ended with a last short Mobile game app demonstration which was deployed live to a learner’s Android phone.  An adaptation of the game was also showcased which provided some very funny banter in the light of current developments, and let’s just say which could have presented the proverbial storm in a coffee-cup. But this memory is for attendees only.

The author would like to thank everybody who were involved, and everybody who attended. Thank you very much to Embarcadero for your continued commitment and support. 

It is my sincere prayer that in the light of current developments, sound educational pedagogical logic principles will prevail and that we may have more such wonderful presentations in future. The faculty of ICT at TUT stays committed to secondary IT education in SA, and the past event did more to perceptions than one could ever imagine.