ok i've got some updates:
"Now that everyone has suffered a bit I'll pass along a hint or two if necessary.
First hint: Integers come in both positive and negative values.
- Well, except for that pesky zero, I think it only comes in negative
I am not offering this hint because I wish to dissuade anyone from visiting. Far from it! Please feel free to stop by and get help on this or any assignment. I can usually do more good for you during a 20 minute office visit than I can with a dozen e-mail exchanges.
Of course, you still need to try to solve things on your own, and I do want you to e-mail (or even post!) your questions. If that kind of communication seems to be getting you nowhere though, then it is time for an on-campus intervention."
"Are you ready? Here is hint number 2:
An integer variable can only store a number within a range of possible values.
In other words, the variable cannot store just any integer value. There is a largest possible integer and a smallest possible integer which can be stored."
thanks everyone for the help!