On 03/19/2011 06:16 PM, Jen wrote:
> Hi John,
> 
> I confess I don't know a lot of the technical stuff about class Fixnum,
> as I've not really needed to until now.

You should take a little time and learn a bit more detail about numbers
in Ruby.  Expanding your knowledge about strings and the String class
would also be a good idea so that you understand how the classes differ. :-)

> Currently I am getting the value of 'pop' from the user with the
> following code:
> 
>   puts "please enter a population size"
> pop = gets.chomp

The gets method returns a String.  The chomp method is a method for
String instances that also returns a String.  If the String represents a
number, such as "1234", then you can convert that into a Fixnum or
related number type by calling to_i on the String.  e.g.)

the_number = pop.to_i

-Jeremy