Wed. Aug. 1, 2018 – travel day

72F at 7:20am. Perfect rule of tens start….

Traveling later today, packing this am. I’m going to do the same as my last trip, only taking a samsung tablet and BT keyboard. We’ll see how that works out.

It does make linking, and copy paste very tedious.

I should have something to say about TSA and United’s new plane loading policy, hopefully all good. I’ll be catching the end of “Fleet Week” so might have something interesting about the Coasties based where I’ll be.

If not, you guys (and gals) will have to talk about FLASHLIGHTS.

nick

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51 Responses to Wed. Aug. 1, 2018 – travel day

  1. Hcombs says:

    Memphis was 66f and pleasingly cool at drive time this morning.
    I used to love Fleet Week in SF but that was back before they turned that beautiful city into a sewer. I took the wife on an Amtrack trip there 4 years ago to revisit where we used to live and meet old friends and family. It was the only time we were robbed on the street anywhere in the world. Not going back.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    Only 77F at 830am so not gonna be a rule of tens day. I guess the storm front brought some cooling with it.

    Too bad I’ll be missing it.

    n

  3. Hcombs says:

    Looking for advice.
    I am trying to sell a Washer & Dryer for a friend. They are taking up valuable space in my garage. What are the best ways to advertise these?

  4. Greg Norton says:

    I should have something to say about TSA and United’s new plane loading policy, hopefully all good. I’ll be catching the end of “Fleet Week” so might have something interesting about the Coasties based where I’ll be.

    The common air travel theme this summer seems to be “therapy animals” getting out of control with pet owners turning into complete a**hats for some reason. The FAA leaves it up to the airlines. The airlines don’t want to be the test case for the civil suit arising from the ADA prohibition on asking for the animal’s registration or other proof of therapeutic benefit beyond a vest from PetSmart.

    Some airlines have, at least, banned goats … but not all. Check your carrier.

  5. Greg Norton says:

    Traveling later today, packing this am. I’m going to do the same as my last trip, only taking a samsung tablet and BT keyboard. We’ll see how that works out.

    I took my “Linux only” laptop on the last trip. That was an okay experience, but I neglected to test the DVD playback before leaving home. We didn’t have anything that would play DVDs reliably when my kids saw some titles in Redbox that they wanted to watch. The major Linux distros had refreshes in late April which were train wrecks on laptops into early July.

  6. Roger Ritter says:

    I am trying to sell a Washer & Dryer for a friend. They are taking up valuable space in my garage. What are the best ways to advertise these?

    If you’re on Facebook, see if there’s a local buy/sell/trade group. There is such a group for the area I live in, and it’s been useful for selling our old washer and various other small items. If not Facebook, then try Craigslist for your area.

  7. lynn says:

    Looking for advice.
    I am trying to sell a Washer & Dryer for a friend. They are taking up valuable space in my garage. What are the best ways to advertise these?

    http://Www.nextdoor.com (preferred)

    http://Www.craigslist.com

  8. DadCooks says:

    @Nick, regarding your Samsung tablet and a Bluetooth keyboard, I also use a Bluetooth mouse. Makes it a lot easier to highlight, cut/copy, and paste. It also helps with navigation.

    My nerve problems are making it harder and harder to use a touchscreen, but I can fine tune the mouse controls so my shaky hands are dampened enough that I can still work effectively on the tablet. (Neuropathy from Polio and aggravated by Diabetes, plus early stage Parkinson’s Disease.)

  9. MrAtoz says:

    Nick, if you have a wordpress account, get the app or browse to and login and use the editor there. Then copy/paste the text version to here. That’s what I do here for links and sech.

  10. Nick Flandrey says:

    It’s baaaccckkkkk……

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-08-01/governor-calls-calm-after-new-ebola-outbreak-confirmed-eastern-congo

    n

    and headed out….

    local trading group on fb best way to sell major appliances.

  11. Jenny says:

    I used a FLASHLIGHT before work this morning. The FLASHLIGHT illuminated the spare room so I could replace the hinky light switch. When I pulled it all apart, by the light of my handy FLASHLIGHT, I observed that some Philistine had used the ‘push in’ connectors for the installation, resulting in a loose wire and afore described hinkiness.

    Installed new switch, using the screw connectors. Turned off my FLASHLIGHT, flipped breaker switch on, flipped light switch. Lo, there was light.

    10 minute job.

    FLASHLIGHT utilized:
    Dorcy, reorder #41-1012

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0000AUSVB/ref=cm_cr_arp_mb_bdcrb_top?ie=UTF8&tag=ttgnet-20

  12. Hcombs says:

    Thanks all.
    After putting the Washer / Dryer on the local FB sales site I have already gotten two nibbles. I also listed them on our Neighborhood site.

  13. lynn says:

    My July payment to Shell Mastercard was one day late on July 21st. I figure the postal service sent my letter through Alaska and Toronto first after I mailed it on July 3rd. Anyway, I called this morning and Citi forgave the $27 late fee and the $80 interest (I pay off the mastercard each month). Unreal that I had to call. And the interest rate on the card is around 27 or 28%, also unreal.

  14. lynn says:

    Is there a free service for watching a website and telling you when there are changes ? I want to watch
    https://simplyfortran.com/news/

    Thanks !

  15. CowboySlim says:

    @lynn,

    Nowadays, I pay all of my credit cards through their websites using my checking account number and bank routing number. Yes, I likewise have been late once in a while and get late payment fees and interest charges. (Most recently of Kroger $27 late and $2 interest). I always call and have credit arranged; I will not pay them. It will not cause bankruptcy filing on my part, I will just not accept such.

    In the event that they would have, or will in the future, refuse, then I will just them to close the account, I will pay none of it and do not bother with a bill collector (they would have not piece of paper with my name on it).

  16. Greg Norton says:

    My July payment to Shell Mastercard was one day late on July 21st. I figure the postal service sent my letter through Alaska and Toronto first after I mailed it on July 3rd. Anyway, I called this morning and Citi forgave the $27 late fee and the $80 interest (I pay off the mastercard each month). Unreal that I had to call. And the interest rate on the card is around 27 or 28%, also unreal.

    Citibank. Mailing address in a remote location of a state with lax usury laws, right?

    (You know that’s why you have to send the check to Boonies, Montana, right?)

    When I had Citibank Visa, the *only* way I avoided a late payment was to mail the check as soon as the bill appeared in the mailbox or send the payment certified. I cancelled the card after three “late” payments in a row.

    I try not to get their cards, but my wife has one with Old Navy (discount on kids clothes) and we’re contemplating a Costco for when I start traveling with the new job.

    Currently, I live with BBVA Compass playing the “late” game with the car payment on the Exploder. I always make that payment at a teller at one of their branches.

  17. Hcombs says:

    I have a brother who works in the mail room at UC Berkley. He has a masters in Farm management and one in Animal Husbandry but has worked in the Berkley mail room for 25 years because his wife refuses to leave the Bay Area and all the ranching jobs are in Wyoming, Montana, etc. Anyway, he plays a radio in the mail room while he sorts the university mail. He listens to an oldies station, 60’s and 70’s, Beach Boys, Motown, and Disco. There wasn’t any issue until the University hired a student part time to help with the sorting. After a couple of days, the kid complained directly to the supervisor about the music. It was oppressing him. As a “protected minority” the supervisor had to take his complaint seriously. The music of the Supremes was “oppressive” he claimed because it was written at a time when “his people” were oppressed. The supervisor told my brother he couldn’t play the Oldies anymore and let the kid select the music station. He, of course, chose a RAP station where every song was Gangster this and Ho that and the N word everywhere. So my brother complained that the RAP music was offensive but was told as an older white male he had no standing to complain. He now wears earplugs when the student inflicts his music on the mailroom.

  18. CowboySlim says:

    Does your brother have to kneel if newbie accidentally plays the National Anthem?

  19. ITguy1998 says:

    I only have one regular bill that is paid by mail – our water bill, as the little podunk water dept that serves us has no online billing. Interestingly, our sewer is managed by the big city water dept., which als provides out electricity. That bill, which also includes trash, is deducted monthly from the checking account.

    Everything else is auto pay to a credit card. Have 4 cards for various uses.

    Costco visa for Costco and gas (3% back on gas)

    AAdvantage MasterCard for miles (40k mile bonus for spending 3k in first 3months). Will charge a fee after a year, but I will either get them to credit the fee or I cancel. Did this to my delta gold sky miles card last year.

    Lowe’s AMEX business card. Used only at Lowe’s, but gives 5% cash back on purchase there. Plus a flat $20 delivery fee.

    Last card is an Amazon store card. Good only at amazon, but get 5% cash back.

    All cards are paid off monthly. Whatever air miles card I use, I usually average one ticket a year in miles, and we actually use the miles we accumulate. This may be the last mileage card a have though. I really think I should just maximize the cash back cards.

  20. Greg Norton says:

    The music of the Supremes was “oppressive” he claimed because it was written at a time when “his people” were oppressed.

    Future community organizer in training.

  21. lynn says:

    He, of course, chose a RAP station where every song was Gangster this and Ho that and the N word everywhere. So my brother complained that the RAP music was offensive but was told as an older white male he had no standing to complain. He now wears earplugs when the student inflicts his music on the mailroom.

    Time to move on. It will get worse.

  22. paul says:

    Who does the radio belong to?

  23. Ray Thompson says:

    we’re contemplating a Costco

    I have a Costco card. I pay the bill using Citibank’s online system. Payment gets credited immediately. Next day money gets pulled from the bank.

  24. Chad says:

    Time for the radio to get “accidentally” broken.

  25. ITguy1998 says:

    My son had a dentist appt today, and since this is his last week off before school starts, I took the day off. After the 8 am cleaning, we went IHOP. Been a long time since I’ve been in one. Yeah, they are still pretty trashy. And everything is sticky. My omelette was pretty good and the boy enjoyed his French toast.

    After that, we went to the shooting range. I just brought my Marlin .22 with me. He has shot before, but it’s been a few years. At 14, his arms are now long enough to shoot properly. He did really well and we had a good time. I brought along a box of ammo that I got before the big price run ups – a box of 500 .22 for $16.99. I picked up a new box on the way out – 500 for $24.99. It’s been a while since I’ve checked ammo prices, and it’s nice to see prices back to a reasonable level.

  26. Hcombs says:

    My poor brother is hanging on till retirement, hoping that there will still be enough snail mail and packages to justiy a mail room for anther couple of years. He is a twin and a conservative. His twin works for the US Park Service, wife is a Socail Worker, and has sbecome a flaming liberal snowflake. The two have to agree on topics not to discuss when the families get together because the snowflake gets so worked up over the idea that people might want to keep the money they worked for or silimlar topics that he begins screaming and ranting. He wasn’t always that way but 30 years married to a hyper-liberal social worker have rotted his brain.

  27. lynn says:

    “Why Japan may spark the next crisis”
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/why-japan-may-spark-the-next-crisis-24023/

    “In a world full of reckless and extreme monetary policy, Japan no doubt takes the cake.”

    “The country has total debt of more than ONE QUADRILLION YEN (around $10 trillion) pushing its debt-to-GDP ratio to a whopping 224% – that puts it ahead of financial basket case Greece, whose debt-to-GDP is around 180%.”

    “Japan spent 24.1% of its total revenue (appx. 23.5 trillion yen) last year servicing its debt – both paying down principal and interest. And that percentage has no doubt moved even higher this year.”

    “And, keep in mind, this isn’t some banana republic. It’s the world’s third-largest economy.”

    Well, that can’t be good in the long run. I don’t have a clue about the short term.

    If Japan gets Leukemia, does the USA get a cold ?

  28. Greg Norton says:

    “we’re contemplating a Costco”

    I have a Costco card. I pay the bill using Citibank’s online system. Payment gets credited immediately. Next day money gets pulled from the bank.

    I’ll walk a paper check to Citibank downtown if I get the account. We dropped big banks in favor of credit unions and limit online payments. Too creepy.

    In Vantucky, I swear my wife’s employer had access to our balance at US Bank on a regular basis. The checks were dialed in too perfectly to exact amounts to cover expenses without much for savings.

  29. Ray Thompson says:

    We dropped big banks in favor of credit unions.

    I haven’t used a bank since I worked at a large bank. That was in 1988 when I left. I now only use credit unions. I pay no fees to the credit union for anything including blank checks.

    I only use the Costco credit card for everything I can even though I have other cards. Lot of my bills such as cell, cable, medical and some miscellaneous stuff is paid by the Costco credit card. For other bills I use the bill pay service of my credit union which charges me nothing for the service.

    If I schedule a bill to be paid on the 25th, bill is late on the 26th, and the bill pay service did not get the check to company on time the bill pay service pays the penalty. One time my water bill did not get paid for some reason (I suspect the check was lost in the mail or the water company lost it). Found out when the water company came to disconnect. Bill pay service paid the late fee and the reconnect fee.

    The Costco card works for me because of the cash back. 4% on gas, 3% on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% elsewhere. I got a check from Costco for almost $800.00 last year and am on track to beat that this year. Miles will not work for me as I don’t fly anymore except to go to Europe or the west coast. With time on my hand driving works OK, especially to avoid the TSA.

    I like using electronic payments as there is a record and nothing gets lost in the mail. The only checks I produce on the computer are to the church. Wife uses the checkbook for Walmart and the grocery store. I told her to use the credit card but she does not want to change from her old habits.

  30. lynn says:

    I only use the Costco credit card for everything I can even though I have other cards. Lot of my bills such as cell, cable, medical and some miscellaneous stuff is paid by the Costco credit card. For other bills I use the bill pay service of my credit union which charges me nothing for the service.

    Is this the Citibank card ?
    https://www.costco.com/credit-card.html

    I used to have a Costco card when it was Amex. The annual fee was too much so I let it go at the first renewal.

    I have dropped my Costco membership for now. I prefer Sam’s Club even though it is further away.

  31. Rick Hellewell says:

    My wife handles everything.

    Used to be that she would give me a check to use, and two deposit slips. When I used up the two deposit slips, I could get another check.(That was before ATMs.)

    Now, everything goes on the Alaska air credit card; that gets paid off every month. Amazon purchases go on the Amazon card to get cash back. We get miles from Alaska Air that we for the occasional plane ticket. Fer instance, got a grandson a round-trip visit via Alaska Air; that was free. We use Alaska Air because their hub is in SEATAC.

  32. Greg Norton says:

    I used to have a Costco card when it was Amex. The annual fee was too much so I let it go at the first renewal.

    Costco dropped Amex in favor of Citi. It was kinda odd because Costco and Amex were joined at the hip via Berkshire Hathaway holdings, and Costco still shills Shaw for that reason. Strange are the ways of Warren Buffett

    I pay Amex $65 annually for a Green Card. The fee has paid for itself over the years via the warranty extension and guaranteed returns.

  33. Ray Thompson says:

    Is this the Citibank card ?

    Yes, it is. The membership fee at Costco pays the card membership fee. I use Costco so it was a no-brainer. Just bought a new TV, 4K (or UHD) at Costco. Used the card and saved 15% on the cost of the TV in the form of a rebate check.

    I prefer Sam’s Club

    Different strokes for different folks. I find I like Costco better and Sam’s and Costco are about the same distance.

    We get miles from Alaska Air that we for the occasional plane ticket

    I don’t fly enough or go places I can use the miles on many credit cards. International is about all I fly with the occasional trip out west. A lot of the credit card miles will not work on international flights.

    Everyone has a different need and what works for me probably won’t work for others. I also like the Costco card as they do not charge for foreign transactions which can add 3% to 4% to the cost of a foreign transaction. A lot of other cards charge the fee.

  34. CowboySlim says:

    A lot of other cards charge the fee.

    I will not sign up for any card with a fee. I did that by mistake and I told them to retract the fee and cancel me out. They switched my onto a lower level card and that was OK for me.

    I told them that I was not intimidateable.

  35. hcombs says:

    My wife handles everything.

    Back in the 90’s I would bitch at bill paying time and upset the wife. So she said “No problem, I can handle that”. I let her have all the bill paying duties for 3 months. Then one day she asked me why our checkbook was $2000 out of balance. I looked. She had “neglected” to note most of the bills she had paid in said checkbook and was shocked when the bank claimed we were overdrawn when her checkbook said we had around 2 grand. It took me a while to dig us out of that hole. She has never asked for bill paying duties again. Not that she isn’t smart … she has a Degree in medieval English and speaks 6 languages and has run her own Automated Inventory Consulting business. She just can’t do a checkbook.

  36. lynn says:

    @SteveF, a couple of more suggestions from the oldsters at rec.arts.sf.written:

    “So You Want to Be a Wizard: The First Book in the Young Wizards Series”
    https://www.amazon.com/So-You-Want-Be-Wizard/dp/015216250X/?tag=ttgnet-20

    “Warriors #1: Into the Wild (Warriors: The Prophecies Begin)”
    https://www.amazon.com/Warriors-Into-Wild-Prophecies-Begin/dp/0062366963?tag=ttgnet-20

    “Telzey Amberdon”
    https://www.amazon.com/Telzey-Amberdon-James-H-Schmitz/dp/0671578510/?tag=ttgnet-20

  37. Greg Norton says:

    “I didn’t think I’d experience that much anger”

    Well, as Dr. Pournelle used to say, soooprise!

    http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/-I-didn-t-think-I-d-experience-that-much-anger-says-Trump-foe-who-protested-from-floor_170519506

    I’m actually surprised The Times printed her employer’s name. They are usually more careful about slanting the story. Maybe the editors figured Tampa has so many newcomers that many readers aren’t aware of CAIR’s history.

    One upside about CAIR being so prominent in Tampa — the mob knows exactly where to go and extract retribution when the terrorists pop a nuke in the US.

    In Tampa, we called The Times “Pravda West”. The paper is wholly owned by a huge endowment established by the original publisher. Typical Prog — they bought the competition last year just to eliminate … the competition!

  38. Greg Norton says:

    You can’t live in Seattle and not be aware that Oracle’s fingerprints were all over the failure of Cover Oregon.

    Maybe Bezos is going to pick Portland for HQ2.

    (Wishful thinking on my part, I guess)

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/01/amazon-plans-to-move-off-oracle-software-by-early-2020.html

  39. lynn says:

    You can’t live in Seattle and not be aware that Oracle’s fingerprints were all over the failure of Cover Oregon.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cover_Oregon

    What a mess ! Most of these healthcare websites were implemented by friends of friends in high places. And then outsourced to Bangladesh and other “qualified” peoples.

  40. lynn says:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/01/amazon-plans-to-move-off-oracle-software-by-early-2020.html

    Like I have said, I believe that Amazon is a large number of databases. And that the front webpage for each product is a static html page. The website is just too fast to be pulling the initial pages from a database.

  41. lynn says:

    “If you’re backing Cruz in Senate race against Beto, two new polls may be discouraging”
    https://www.star-telegram.com/article215907475.html

    “The fierce battle for the U.S. Senate seat in Texas is still a tight battle, two new polls released Wednesday show.”

    “One shows that, just three months away from the Nov. 6 midterm elections, Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has a slight lead over Democratic challenger U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso.”

    “Cruz holds 49 percent of the vote to O’Rourke’s 43 percent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.”

    I am seeing Beto signs here in the purple Fort Bend County now. After all, this county voted for Himlery.

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/

  42. Greg Norton says:

    “Cruz holds 49 percent of the vote to O’Rourke’s 43 percent, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.”

    I am seeing Beto signs here in the purple Fort Bend County now. After all, this county voted for Himlery.

    This is still really early in the season, but, yeah, below 50% is not a good sign for an incumbent. Cruz is lucky that the Dems have to pour money into FL to protect Bill Nelson from Rick Scott’s self-financed campaign.

    Austin is crawling with CA plates this month. They’ll have to change those in a couple of weeks when they register the kids in school, but it is a bad omen IMHO.

  43. Greg Norton says:

    What a mess ! Most of these healthcare websites were implemented by friends of friends in high places. And then outsourced to Bangladesh and other “qualified” peoples.

    Oracle was riding high until the day the site went live. Everybody was in denial in Oregon, and the Governor during that period may yet go to jail.

    Imagine this spot on TV every night. Oregon spent $65 million (number varies, but that’s the conservative estimate) on the ads.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6HMDFXA50o

    One of my Prog friends was horrified to see Lisa Loeb do the spoof for John Oliver. “She must have needed the money.”

    I said, “Lisa Loeb’s daddy is a filthy rich ophthalmic surgeon in Dallas. She’s never slept in a car or skipped meals building her career. She’s showing you what she *really* thinks.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh9munYYoqQ

  44. Ray Thompson says:

    Most of these healthcare websites were implemented by friends of friends in high places

    Incompetent friends.

    Myself, along with five of my competent friends, could have implemented that website for about $100 million and walked away with $10 million in each of our pockets. For a state to spend almost half a billion dollars and not be able to accomplish what is not a complicated task is just mind boggling.

  45. MarkD says:

    I’m not saying any of that money went into what would be bribes and kickbacks if you or I received it, but Occam is.

  46. Nick Flandrey says:

    The reason Costco switched to visa was personal animosity and a dick measuring contest between the CEO of Costco and the CEO of American Express. Both of them should be up for shareholder lawsuits because it was entirely personal and nothing to do with the shareholders’ interests.

    It was almost enough to make me stop going there but I save too much money.

    With regard to banks, after years of coasting along with no issues I might have to make some changes soon. Massive inertia though.

    N

  47. Greg Norton says:

    The reason Costco switched to visa was personal animosity and a dick measuring contest between the CEO of Costco and the CEO of American Express. Both of them should be up for shareholder lawsuits because it was entirely personal and nothing to do with the shareholders’ interests.

    I’m more surprised that Buffett didn’t step in if that was the problem.

  48. SteveF says:

    Myself, along with five of my competent friends, could have implemented that website for about $100 million and walked away with $10 million in each of our pockets.

    Technically, yes, no doubt. I could do the same.

    But you, and I, would never be considered for the contract. Aside from friends in high places, kickbacks, featherbedding for connected friend of the politicians, and all the rest, you and your five friends are much much too small to be a serious player.

    Some years ago I found out about a chunk of work a NYS agency was putting out for contract. I’d done something similar so I put in a bid for half a million or something for myself and a junior assistant, with delivery expected in about six months. The company that won the bid was the high bidder, at IIRC $50M, fifty people (half developers and half overhead, or something like that), and a three year delivery date. And they didn’t deliver on time.

    But I know how the game is played. The similar task I’d done involved me joining a team that was looking at Oracle Financials code (PL/SQL) and changing subaccount fields from “5-4” format to “3-3-4” or whatever, and a handful of similar changes. They’d had a dozen people going over the code files line by line for a couple months and had months to go. I did the line-by-line changes for a day or two, then the next morning wrote a Perl script and did the entire code base in two minutes. Then I showed the results to the project manager (a contractor) and the state guy in charge of that group. Made everyone look bad, because they’d just agreed on another time extension and budget bump, and I made that unnecessary, and I also found a *lot* of mistakes in the hand-crafted fixes. Made a lot of enemies that day, and I was fired soon after.

    I’m not saying any of that money went into what would be bribes and kickbacks if you or I received it, but Occam is.

    Yep.

  49. Ray Thompson says:

    Made a lot of enemies that day, and I was fired soon after.

    Been there, done that. My case involved changes a company needed in a bunch of COBOL code that was no longer working properly when recompiled. The issue was the new compiler. The old compiler default all fields without a specific VALUE clause to blanks or zeros depending on the data type. The new compiler did not default any value to put the compiler in line with the new COBOL specs which do not define values for fields that have no value clause.

    I had written code for a customer of Burroughs (I was an an account rep) that scanned their entire COBOL library and added VALUE clauses with the appropriate value for every field without a VALUE clause. Worked on about 500 COBOL programs for this one client by changing the source then spawning a compile. Did it over a weekend with the compiles taking the longest time. The code conversion only took a couple of hours.

    I had changed jobs and no longer worked for Burroughs and found this bank (easy as I now worked for a bank) that had the same issue. I offered to convert their entire COBOL code base at a cost of $10,000.00. The code was mine as I wrote the code in my off hours for the previous Burroughs client to make my life easier. My offer was rejected. Instead the bank paid a consulting company $500,000.00 dollars and it took the company six months to manually change the code. The same code that my program would have converted in a weekend.

    Turns out the consulting company was run by a friend of the IT manager. My friend at the bank said the conversion missed several locations and the resulting changes screwed up some of the code (missing periods, screwed up 88 levels, values on upper levels that were ignored, etc.). The conversion was not clean and my friend and the staff spent another four or five months cleaning up.

    I made no enemies, did not get fired, but was appalled at the money this bank spent and the result was not exactly clean. And to top it off I had written the entire conversion program in COBOL and I would have provided the code to the bank.

  50. JimL says:

    Reminds me of an old aphorism:
    If you borrow $100 and cannot pay it back, you have a problem.
    If you borrow $1,000,000 and cannot pay it back, the bank has a problem.

    Both Steve and Ray failed to charge all the traffic would bear, and were not thought credible. Or some bullpucky like that.

  51. Ray Thompson says:

    Ray failed to charge all the traffic would bear

    I believe you are correct. I should have charged $100,000.00 and then maybe I would have had a chance.

    Back in 1973 I developed a solution to the Y2K problem. Involved storing dates as an integer value that represented the number of days since January 1, 1900. Sound familiar? It should. It is what Microsoft uses in Excel. I failed to patent the solution for two reasons. (1) I was in the USAF. (2) No one patented software.

    Then in 1989 I developed an email system to allow people to communicate over computers to each other. Users had to be on my companies computer systems but it did allow multiple recipients, read receipts, deferred delivery, etc.

    Also in 1988 I developed an instant messaging system that allowed users on my companies computer systems to instantly exchange messages with each other. Allowed groups, read receipts, etc.

    Both the email and instant messaging communicated among mainframes (we had six of them) and the users could be anywhere in the world as long as they had a terminal connected into our system. Never patented either one for two reasons. (1) It was developed on company time. (2) No one patented software.

    My company ran the civilian personnel system for the Navy worldwide. When I arrived they had five WATS lines so the bases around the world could call to have reports scheduled and run and to solve problems. Phone bill was generally about $25K a month. After the email and instant messaging systems were implemented the phone bill dropped to under $5K a month.

    For the next five years my company was able to save $20K a month on a fixed price contract with Lockheed Martin (we were a sub-contractor). I save my company almost a million dollars over the five years. I got nothing for my efforts other than a pay check.

    When the contract was awarded to another company none of the communication software went with the contract. It was not a deliverable and was developed to help my company run the contract and thus was not considered available to the new contractor. The users were significantly pissed off. This forced the new contractor to develop their own system. Took them three years and the new system was not as good as what I had provided. By that time email and IM had become available so it was a moot point.

    I had thought about selling the software to the new contractor but I quickly realized that my old company that had laid me off would probably be really pissed and I would wind up be sued.

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