It's been a month (Part II)

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Big News Blog Home Yikes... It's been a month.

On Nov 19th, I started my new job at PartSearch Technologies.

On Nov 20th, having realized a few days earlier that Driver’s License had expired three weeks earlier, I got a new one after work – waiting in long lines, and thereby missing Bat Boy - The Musical at Montclair State College.

The weekend of Nov 21st, I flew to Fort Lauderdale, FL for the weekend. There’s a story behind this. Way back in the late 1970’s, I was in high school, and owned my first computer, a Radio Shack TRS-80. I got very friendly with a salesman at the local Radio Shack, so when a customer ask him to recommend a free-lance programmer, he recommended me. The project involved taking some numbers, manipulating them is very specific, if not entirely mathematically sound, ways, and producing some other numbers. Presumably, the first numbers were today’s winner at some race track and the generated numbers were tomorrow’s winners – or something like that. I never paid much mind. I just programmed the algorithm and let him assign meaning to the results.

However, it didn’t quite end there. He was very happy with this program, and kept coming back to me, once or twice a year ever since, to make changes and enhancements to it. It has outgrown the TRS-80, but just barely. Sometime in the late ‘80’s, we switched it to a QucikBasic program for an MSDOS PC, but that’s as far as it’s evolved. Today, it’s still a Dos app (with a fixed 80x25 text-based screen) and with a 64KB (that’s KB, not MB) memory limitation. The core code I wrote over 10 years ago, and I had no real idea what it did even then (as I said, the calculations don’t make sense)

During the past 25 years, I visited him “on-site” at various locations: A swank NYC hotel room; his sister’s house in Yonkers; a trailer park outside Jersey City; an inn in Point Pleasant, NJ; a house in Westport CT; and a house in New Haven, CT. The Point Pleasant spot was difficult as it was an hour’s drive from my house. Westport wasn’t that bad, as most of the time I was working in Stamford, CT, and I could go after work. New Haven posed a big problem, as it was nearly two hours from home. It was in a house he was refurbishing, so I was able to stay the night in the guest room.

Now, he’s moved to Florida, and needs me to modify this program again, so he arranges flights down & back for me (plus pays for 21.5 hours of work at what I think is a very reasonable rate of $60/hr). The flight home is on Continental so I even get Frequent Flyer miles out of it. And on Sunday morning, we went swimming in the ocean.

These days he’s moved on from horse racing to predicting lotteries, So, if you’re interested, he sells access to his predictions at