I am currently learning Perl from Sam's Teach Yourself Perl in 21 Days. I am noticing that some of the sample code looks really familiar. Was this book an inspiration for some of the assignments or are the assignments common programming teaching tools (such as Hello World)?
Some time ago I did a couple of the earlier assignments in Ruby. It was a fun exercise. But since I had no style guide to follow and no nitpicker, I had trouble at times deciding which of several different approaches I liked better. Are you doing any of the assignments in Perl? Do they end up being more than one line of code? I remember somebody way back telling us how he did Say 4b on his programmable calculator.
I've noticed similarities in these assignments to others in classes, tutorials, and hearing non-Cattle Drive students discussions. There most likely are standard assignments that almost all programming books/classes go through because these are just well known methods for teaching a certain concept. How many times have you a read a book that started out with "Hello World!" (or some derivative)? For instance, in my EJB class we have to write a program where users can check out, add, remove, etc. books from a library. Pretty much our JDBC assignments, except as videos.