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Java Car Horn


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

This is a hardware interface project to create a high end automobile horn.

The Need

Imagine you are driving your new ultra quiet electric sports car and come upon a cyclist. You want to be sure he knows you are present. You honk your horn. Because his ears are not enclosed inside a vehicle, your horn sounds extremely loud to him. You see him jump in alarm, then recover and give you the finger. You would have preferred something more subtle, perhaps just some noise like a noisy automobile engine.

Imagine the driver ahead of you has a shaved head and tattoos all over the exposed parts of his body and he goes into reverse and is about to hit you. You don’t want to honk least he get out of his car, rip your car door off in his bare hands and beat you to a pulp. So you play some rap music, that sounds like a boom box. If he does not notice, you play a sound like a Mac truck horn to really get his attention with maximum decibels.

The Net Effect

You can use your automobile car horn to play a variety of sounds, at a variety of volumes, for a variety of durations. These might be your voice, recordings, telephone ring tones, electronic sounds, music, antique car horns, truck horns, ice cream truck music, celebrities (e.g. Dustin Hoffmann saying I’m driving here! in his Ratzo Rizzo voice), pick up lines, commands, obscenities, political slogans, insults etc.

How It Works

You need some sort of input device: You need a tiny Java-powered computer with the ability to play sound files and some amplified loud speakers mounted under the hood.


This is mainly a prototype. Car manufacturers on seeing how this works might invent a simpler, cheaper non-programmable version, perhaps that uses a conventional car horn, but with variable volume. Or they might build the function in using one of the computers already built into the automobile.

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