Whatever happened to eDice?

Discussion in 'Offtopic Lounge' started by eDiceGuy, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. eDiceGuy, Sep 25, 2019

    eDiceGuy

    eDiceGuy Member

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    I am outing myself. That’s me, a contributing author to AZ Gaming Guide. After I retired in 2016 from IBM as a SR. Consultant on Application and Database Modernization, I found that the one thing I missed the most from my working days, was the writing.

    I wrote numerous customer reports, detailing my findings and recommendations based on the analysis of system performance

    data collected from the computer systems they were using to operate their business.

    In addition, I wrote and co-authored, several articles on performance analysis, publishing my findings and the solutions I employed to solve numerous computer performance issues-most application or database related.

    I also collaborated on several IBM technical publications, known as Redbooks, which provided tips, techniques and strategies to make the most out of the customer’s IBM computer systems. I was also a speaker at many IBM and User Group events.

    Over the last twenty years of my career I traveled to six continents, multiple countries and dozens of cities plying my trade on IBM’s dime. This included Africa, Asia, North and South America, Europe and New Zealand (now considered to be a separate continent from Australia).

    This may not be that remarkable if it wasn’t for that fact that I never went to college, nor did I finish High School. I was expelled my senior year for excessive absenteeism - a kind way of saying ‘addiction’. When I was twenty I took a six month course in computer programming. I had to get a GED in order to receive my Certificate of Completion. I sobered up in 1978 and turned my life around. The rest is history.

    After a year of retirement I was bored. I have always been a loner. I don’t belong to any social organization other than LinkedIn. When I joined the Craps Forum I was looking for something to do. At first I was turned off by the politics and negativism. I was ready to move on when there was a post that I had to respond to. I got a few likes. I soon responded to more and started some posts of my own. It was then I realized what was missing for me-the writing.

    I wanted to write about my life. I looked into self publishing. The tools for writing and publishing were not much different than the tools I used for coding, designing and distributing computer applications. I published my first book, The Franklin
    Trail
    , a fictional memoir of my life growing up in a lower class neighborhood in the northeast area of a suburb which bordered Minneapolis, MN.

    For those who don’t know what a fictional memoir is, it’s an autobiography based on actual events; however, 50% of the book is all lies and the other half I made up. In other words, I have changed the names of people and places, with the exception of myself and my family members, who are now suing me.

    So, here’s the deal. In my way of thanking the Craps Forum for helping me find my calling, I have acquired several promo codes for a free copy of the ebook version of my book. I will provide a promo code to the first 36 people who email me at [email protected] requesting one. Once you receive the Promo code from me, you can then go to Apple Books (or iBooks depending on your iOS release) and use it to purchase the book for free - a $2.99 value! Just follow the instructions provided in the email I send you.

    A paperback version of the book is available on Amazon. Unfortunately, I do not have control over the printing cost, thus I cannot afford to give that version away. In this case, I suggest reading the ebook first. That way, if you thoroughly hate it, you haven’t wasted your hard earned dollars on a paperback that will sit in a magazine bin, next to the toilet, forever.

    Yes, yes, I know, many of you are retired and have just learned to text on your smart phones and now I want you to read a book on them. Give me a break. Don’t worry, your grandchildren, who taught you how to text using your phone, can also teach you how to read a book on your phone. Amazing! In addition, the nice thing about a smart phone is you can play eCraps on it instead of reading a stupid paperback book.

    Enjoy and good luck at the Craps machines (or tables-I still have a soft spot for dice setters).

    D.R. Cruikshank

    IBM Sr. Consultant on Database and Software Re-Engineering Retired
     

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  2. The Midnight Skulker, Sep 26, 2019

    The Midnight Skulker

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    We appear to be two peas from similar pods, the only major differences being I have never worked for a computer manufacturer, and I pursued but did not complete a MBA after graduating with a BS in Chemistry. I never took a college IT course; rather I hired on with what was then Union Oil Company at its corporate HQ in Los Angeles as a Programmer Trainee in 1965 IIRC. I was given a programmed instruction book on COBOL, given access to other programmers in my group, and left to my own devices. We were running OS on a 360/50; "The Good Old Days" of "real" programmers, when getting an answer, even the wrong answer, could be a challenge.

    Permit me an anecdote from my boss's early programming days that he related me. He and another programmer were debugging a program that was giving the wrong answer by running it step by step while standing by the console reading the lights on the display panel. The regular operator started cracking up so they asked him what was so funny. "You guys are checking a million-dollar calculator with a six-inch slide rule!".

    While with the User Support Department of Morrison-Knudsen Corporation, a now defunct mid-size international construction contractor, my primary duty was, oddly enough, user support by phone, e-mail, and if local or while I was on site, face to face. I also wrote articles (titled Hocus Pocus and Other Useful Commands; we were running VM on a 3090/?) for my group's newsletter when we had one; taught programming classes in our in-house education program when we had one; was the DBA for SQL/DS when we installed that system; and developed small systems, and miscellaneous utility programs and subroutines.

    I got dragged into supporting PCs when I moved to the Facilities Management and Logistics Division of M-K, and I had to learn dBASE/Foxbase to develop new and maintain existing applications. I did put in some miles supporting field sites, but Thailand was the only foreign country I got to visit on company time.

    I also had to learn Infomaker to support a third-party system we got to replace ones we had developed. One of the things the system did was generate preventive maintenance work orders, and after using the system for a few years it was taking one site over six hours to generate a week's worth of them. We asked the third party to implement an archiving function but they wouldn't (couldn't?) do it.

    Enter your's truly. Initially my boss wanted this to be runnable by a chimpanzee with the single push of a single button. Being as this was a mission-critical application I was able to talk him out of that requirement, but I did want it to be automated to the point that a site DBA could run it by him/herself over a weekend and could leave the long steps unattended (like overnight since I anticipated one of them would take a while, and it did turn out to take about 18 hours). This required not only technical expertise (e.g. writing SQL scripts that wrote other scripts to break and restore database relationships) but also the ability to develop and document a procedure so that someone other than me, like a site DBA, could run it over a weekend without having to be present the whole time. I consider this to be the trophy project of my career.


    Guess I got a little carried away with meeting a kindred spirit. Probably should have passed out earplugs before tooting my own horn. Good luck with your book.
     
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