General HydroStatics
Ship Stability Software
Command of the Week
(New or interesting aspects of GHS that you may not know about)

It's a SET up

It is always a welcome surprise to hear from old friends after time and events have brought separation. Sometimes it's surprising how quickly you'll rekindle the old days with a newfound understanding. And so it was on a recent evening that I received an unexpected call:


"Hey! It's Emilio."

I immediately recalled my old college sailing friend who regularly showed up late to the dock, took the last boat that was always missing a drain plug, and casually sat farther forward to keep water off the transom while he single-handed out the harbor to meet us on the lake. Emilio was also studying naval architecture, but here was a person whose fast learning perfectly complemented his late arrivals and unabashed will to ask how I solved a particular problem in that week's assignment.

"Emilio, hey! How are you? I didn't recognize this number." The inflection in my voice communicated my surprise in his reaching out. I always assumed he had found himself on a boat cruising the coast somewhere with little thought for the outside world.

Buoyed by his characteristic enthusiasm, he proceeded to explain how he had ended up working overseas for a small outfit, that the water there is frozen half the year, and that he has taken to ice sailing since ice "boats" don't require a drain plug.

"I suppose some things just never change," he said, the glimmer of humility in his humor surprising me, until he continued:

"...and, oh, so I have this run file where I need to access heel and trim as variables, but ensure that the value is absolute, and then plug that into... Any ideas?"

Indeed, some things stay the same, I thought. Don't get me wrong--I probably like to talk about GHS more than anybody--but I resolved to assume that he still called just to chat.

"Ah", I said, perhaps with less liveliness, "well, what you're looking for is called the SET command. It's actually one of the most useful commands in GHS, but a lot of people never really explore its capabilities. I can't write a run file without it."

While my good friend only needed to take an absolute value, I sent him this run file which contains SET implementations of a few common mathematical formulas as examples. Would he even look at it? Who knows. But I made sure to include support for complex roots in the quadratic formula implementation just to obfuscate things a little.

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