<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >
  • You may not remove a slip of paper from a compartment without replacing it by another slip of paper on which you have written a value.
  • You may not put a slip of paper in a compartment without removing the one already there.

Checkout counter example

In understanding how you might behave as a human computer program, consider yourself to have a job working at the checkout counter of a small grocery store in the 1930s.

You have two tools to work with:

  • A mechanical adding machine
  • The rack of compartments described above


Each morning, the owner of the grocery store tells you to insert a name in the slot above each compartment and to place a little slip of paper with a number written on it inside each compartment. (In programming jargon, we would refer to this as initialization.)

Each of the names on the compartments represents a type of grocery such as

  • Beans
  • Apples
  • Pears

No two compartments can have the same name.

No compartment is allowed to have more than one slip of paper inside it.

The price of a can of beans

When you place a new slip of paper in a compartment, you must be careful to remove and destroy the one that was already there.

Each slip of paper that you insert into a compartment contains the price for the type of grocery identified by the label on the compartment.

For example, the slip of paper in the compartment labeled Beans may contain the value 15, meaning that each can of beans costs 15 cents.

The checkout procedure

As each customer comes to your checkout counter during the remainder of the day, you execute the following procedure:

  • Examine each grocery item to determine its type.
  • Read the price stored in the compartment corresponding to that type of grocery.
  • Add that price to that customer's bill using your mechanical adding machine.

In programming jargon, we would say that as you process each grocery item for the same customer, you are looping . We would also say that you are executing a procedure or an algorithm .

When you have processed all of the grocery items for a particular customer, you would

  • Press the TOTAL key on the adding machine,
  • Turn the crank, and
  • Present the customer with the bill.

A schematic representation of the procedure

We might represent the procedure in schematic form as shown in Figure 1 .

Figure 1 . A checkout counter algorithm.
For each customer, do the following: For each item, do the following:a. Identify the type of grocery item b. Get the price from the compartmentc. Add the price to accumulated total End loop on grocery itemsPresent customer with a bill End loop on a specific customer

Common programming activities

This procedure illustrates the three activities commonly believed to be the fundamental activities of any computer program:

  • sequence
  • selection
  • loop


A sequence of operations is illustrated by the three items labeled a, b, and c in Figure 1 because they are executed in sequential order.


The process of identifying the type of grocery item is often referred to as selection . A selection operation is the process of selecting among two or more choices.

Questions & Answers

what is math number
Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
Moses Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
College algebra is really hard?
Shirleen Reply
Absolutely, for me. My problems with math started in First grade...involving a nun Sister Anastasia, bad vision, talking & getting expelled from Catholic school. When it comes to math I just can't focus and all I can hear is our family silverware banging and clanging on the pink Formica table.
I'm 13 and I understand it great
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
hi vedant can u help me with some assignments
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
But this is not salma it's Faiza live in lousvile Ky I garbage this so I am going collage with JCTC that the of the collage thank you my friends
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
greetings from Iran
salut. from Algeria
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Object-oriented programming (oop) with java. OpenStax CNX. Jun 29, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11441/1.201
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Object-oriented programming (oop) with java' conversation and receive update notifications?