February 4, 2017

What’s New at George McGinn

Elections are over, and as I was starting to work on my personal blog, having spent time writing a couple of apps, learning new programming languages, and finally decided the direction I was going to take for 2017.

With some of the new developments that have been in the works for quite a while, it looked like everything was going to fit into place.

I knew being disabled it was going to be difficult getting back into the consulting business I had before I went full-time as a photographer and reporter for the North Port Sun. I knew that 50+ hours a week was no longer doable, and even keeping track of my time on projects I worked on between November and the New Year, I was lucky to be able to put in 10 hours a week.

But unexpectedly my priorities changed. My decision to concentrate on learning programming languages that I wrote on my iPad only wound up with a lot more time to dedicate to this as I lost use of by G5 XServe MAC server, and my iMAC just died with the dreaded flashing folder with a question mark in its center.

While I attempt to restore any SATA disk with every SATA Drive I own. While I eventually may get Snow Leopard running on one of thee hard drives, the G5 XServe server is another issue. While the last two people who used it had no explanation why it was working when they gave it back to me, I suspect it need a new power supply unit. If I wanted to create an App for submission to iTunes, I no longer had any way to run my code through XCode and make them available.

So I have learned all that I can about SmartBASIC, TechBASIC, LUA, and got my Windows XP system running with not only all my mainframe emulators and its software, like COBOL/CICS/DB2, I installed and learned the Hercules Mainframe Emulator, with is a Z/380 and Z/390 hardware, I know have other languages such as PL/I, COBOL versions F & G, Assembler versions F & G, FORTRAN, RPG-II, CLIST/DIALOG Manager. TSO/ISPF. JCL, and emulators of both OS and DOS systems for the IBM 360 an 370 mainframes.

I also learned about electronic projects for both iPhone and iPad, such as Arduino, Raspberry-PI, Breadboards, and a skill I learned back in 1976 when I took electrical engineering 101 and 102 suddenly became very relevant, with my first real project may be top secret (Hint: I get all the NASA technical briefs and have been in talks with them on obtaining sample chips for a project that has both commercial and scientific research).

More will come on this chip and others, and some of the other ways I have learned to design circuit boards that will control the flight of drones by giving it GPS waypoints in a pseudo-flight plan.

I even have a plan for a low Earth orbit satellite, to be launched by a weather balloon, to record data about climate change.

IMG_1749I still plan to write reviews of programming languages, on solving algorithms using different languages, and news on the Rosetta Challenge. And even my Cosmology and Space research website started picking up after I reviewed a book published on KOBO late last summer, titled “Flying in the Year 200 0000” by L.L.E. Curtis. Not only did I review the book’s math and science, prior to that I helped her with her peer paper she presented To the International Telecommunication Union (ITU-R) in Europe.

The paper went so well she expanded it into a book and this time I received a very nice dedication.

This was the second project I worked on in. A few years back I found out from an astronomy professor in Australia that he and his grad students worked on an app that is designed to track meteors and large fireballls and I not only did the writeup on it, I reviewed the code and math.

A few weeks after that, the Chelyabinsk meteor struck, and he received reports from all over Europe and Russia. He was even sent dash cam footage, and his app was able to successfully tell scientists is where the meteor had come from, where it entered the atmosphere, how fast it was traveling, how large it was, and where to find where it landed, down to meters. Which is why so much of this meteorite was recovered.

So I went through and decided to concentrate on only three blogs: The Daily Defense News, Cosmology and Space Research, and this one, mostly about computers and software (See the My Sites tab).

And I am very close in completing my research papers in Cosmology (In fact, there are two of them, and they deal with the Sun and early stars).

I no longer have issues with the $40,000 in development software I own for COBOL/CICS/DB2, JCL, Mainframe OS emulator, Visual Realia COBOL (It’s version of an OOP or event-driven language based on COBOL), Visual BASIC, Fujitsu COBOL (PowerCOBOL), Personal NetExpress, COBOLScript for the Internet, PRISM Warehouse Manager (Data Warehousing system generator), various flow-charting and project management software, ERWIN DB Schema designer, and many other tools including version control software that went obsolete when Windows decided to make Windows 7 non-backwards compatible.

My whole consulting practice went into the toilet 🚽 when that happened. But now I have a Dell Optiplex running Windows XP, so now I can run all those software development packages that I have accumulated over the many years of my career.

I found a supplier of hardware that built me a custom machine which allows me to run either Windows XP or 2000 Professional, and I will get the ability to run all these development tools again; I will once again have access to PowerBASIC and all the add-ins I purchased with it; I can run a HTTPD webserver, which means I can continue my mainframe to web development and migration solutions, and now with the programming for mobile apps, I can integrate that into my business plan.

I have been working on several articles for this blog, and one of the topics will be on Artificial Intelligence, where I review one of the most popular program that made AI available to everyone, and has had a big impact on the games we play today – Eliza.

The other is on Vintage BASIC games. During the start of the personal computer craze, games like Star Trek, Lunar Lander, LEM, and others jumped from the larger DEC PDP computers to the first PC’s that had BASIC loaded in them. This is more of a nostalgic stroll, back to 1973 when I wrote my first computer program on the math department’s computer at Pearl River High School that solved a set of 14-digit prime numbers.

And I am working on developing an App for iPhone and iPad devices in SmartBASIC, and this will be the basis of a review on SmartBASIC, an App where you can program in BASIC and be able to create an App in XCode, which can be submitted to Apple for distribution to iTunes.

Other programming languages include Lua, SWIFT, PHP, Pythonasia, GGBASIC, techBASIC, Objective-BASIC, PureBASIC, QB64, and even the old standbys like PASCAL, COBOL, SQL where I am working on Udemy courses on.

And I have many other ideas that I will be presenting here in the coming months, including a review of a Grammar & Plagiarism App that rivals Grammarily, which until now that capability was only available on desktop computers.

So be sure to bookmark this site, either http://www.georgemcginn.com or georgemcginn.wordpress.com by signing up for email notifications when new articles are published here.

George McGinn
Computer Scientist, Consultant
(Fields of specialization includes: Cosmology, Research, Mental Health,  aaaaaxaa Pharmaceuticals, Banking, Workman’s Compensation, Systems and Operations, Law Enforcement, Journalism, Internet (websites, servers, etc), A.I., Sensors and robotics)

Page last updated on September 24, 2017 at 4:20pm
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