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.

Being disabled, it was going to be difficult getting back to 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.

So my priority changes. I decided that I was going to concentrate on learning programming languages that I wrote on my iPad only. If I wanted to create an App for submission to iTunes, I had an iMAC with XCode on it.

So my writing was to review the programming languages, write about how to solve algorithms using different languages. And even my Cosmology and Space research 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 peeer 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 and now became a paid astronomer/cosmologist.

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.

Well, the bad news first. The loud beeping noise when I power up my Dell Inspiration I was told was the motherboard had gone on it. The laptop wasn’t even 4 years old, but no longer under warranty.

And now today my iMAC gets the flashing file folder, which means it is probably now dead, or I will have wished it was. This leaves me without any computers to finalize any mobile App or desktop application I develop.

I also still have the issue of about $40,000 in development software 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, FORTRAN, Fujitsu COBOL, 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.

However, the good news is I found a supplier of hardware that will allow me to run Windows 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 solutions, and now with the programming for mobile apps, I can integrate that into my plan.

I can no longer work those long hours and consistently for major corporations and research firms like I once did. I have problems writing code while laying down.

However, I’ve managed to turn what once a very lucrative career into a hobby. And those interested in developing apps from everything from designing games to programming their own sensors and breadboards, and even learning the art of mainframe programming as there are now programming apps for COBOL, JCL, DB/2 and some I am writing to teach other mainframe skills will get to read about it here on my blog.

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 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, Cosmologist/astronomer, Journalist

Page last updated on February 4, 2017 at 2:30pm
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