Tales and thoughts from the founder of NormSoft (maker of Pocket Tunes), working and living in St. Croix, USVI

Monday, May 24, 2004

Stock Price Manipulation in action

I've been getting spams all weekend for the OTC stock TTTP.OB.  They've been trading at around $0.08.  This morning they've spiked to $0.12.  Someone's making a killing on that spam...

Sunday, May 23, 2004

How many bugs did you fix before breakfast?

We're in full-fledged beta mode now.  It's quite gratifying to churn through a list of bugs and knock each one off the list...  But maybe that's just me.


Cool, I was building a PC out of spare parts, and it blew up.  It was sitting there at the Windows 2003 Server setup screen (some people might argue that was my problem) and all of a sudden there was a loud bang and crackling noise.  The circuit breaker tripped, and the room filled up with smoke.

I still haven't plugged anything back in yet, so I don't know if it was the monitor or the power supply on the PC.  My guess is the monitor; I haven't used it in a few years, and it's been sitting on the floor of a damp basement...

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Fundraising Ride

I signed up for the Mass Reb Ribbon Ride in August.  I have been a supporter of Community Servings in the past, and this seemed like a good way to support them again.  We'll be riding 225 miles across Massachusetts in 3 days, which will be my longest ride yet.  Help support me!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Pocket Tunes 3.0 Beta

The Pocket Tunes 3.0 beta program is finally underway.  We've got a good number of users signed up, and we're getting some great feedback so far.  Everyone's been excited about the new features, particularly the tag-based song browser and the Windows Media Player interface.  There have been some good bug reports, but we'll get those ironed out.  Hope I can keep up with the beta emails!!  I'm a bit worn out, now.

The things people will do...

to get support.  I just got an email from a customer who claims that he invested $100,000 in our company to get it founded.  (As I believe I've mentioned previously in my blog, NormSoft is completely self-funded.)  What will they think of next?

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Another Time Trial

I raced another time trial (my third so far) last night.  I did pretty well; I shaved 18 seconds off my time, bringing me just about to an average 23mph for the 9.75 miles.  As I crossed the finish line, I passed my 30-second man, who was using aerobars, so I felt pretty good about that. :)  The ride was tough; I was really struggling to keep going, particularly on the flat sections, where I couldn't get aero enough.  I took one hill too quickly, and my lungs were burning for a few minutes afterwards.  On the last hill, I gave it everything and easily caught my 30-second man.  He caught me on the downhill, and then I passed him again right on the finish line, as I sprinted up the small incline.  Overall, I felt good.  Today I'm off to the bike shop to get a set of aerobars!

Stupid me, I forgot my helmet at the race.  Doh!  I went back later, and it was gone.  I emailed the race organizers, but no word yet.  Might be time to get a new helmet today...

Friday, May 07, 2004

My first Time Trial

Okay, I'll post something that should be a little more interesting...

A few weeks ago, I did my first bicycle race - a time trial in Dover, MA.  A time trial is a race against the clock; each rider sets out at 30 second intervals and tries to finish the course as fast as possible.  You're not allowed to draft (ride close behind) other riders because that gives you an advantage in a race that's supposed to be all about your own effort.

I started off at a little under my maximum effort; I needed to save some energy for the upcoming hills. The race starts going up a few stair-step hills, and I was feeling like I was having a little trouble. Just ahead of me was a girl on a bike. When I started to pass her, she suddenly swerved to the left, struggling up the hill. I yelled, "Look out!" and gave her plenty of room. That got my adrenaline going, and I picked up the pace.

I reached the top of the hill, surprised thinking that it was not as tall as I'd remembered. There's a nice steep downhill section afterwards, and I got down as aerodynamic as I could and got close to 40mph; it felt great! At the bottom of the hill is a hairpin turn; I looked around and there was no traffic, so I took the whole lane to get a good line around the corner to keep up my speed, just tapping my brakes a little.

After that is a less-steep climb. I started grinding away, and I heard the whir of wheels to my left. The guy who started 30 seconds behind me was passing. You can't draft in a time trial, but the mental advantage of having someone to chase (your "carrot") is big. I picked up the pace again and tried to keep him in sight.

After that hill is a short descent with a blind 30 degree right-hand turn. It always makes me nervous. I saw the rider in front of me speed around the corner and briefly thought about slowing down for the turn. But I looked around - no traffic - so I moved left and took the turn wide. Still no traffic, so I was still making good speed.

I saw the rider in front of me hit the last big hill. I used to commute on these roads, so I know this hill quite well. I knew that I could climb it quickly because it's short, and it's the last hill. So I gave it everything I've got and sailed past the guy who just passed me. I looked down at my speedometer: 19.5mph UP HILL. I was smoking. :)

At the top of the hill is a flat section. I was feeling pretty beat at this point, but still going strong. Then I heard the whir of wheels again. Another rider zoomed by me with his special time trial bike with disc wheels and aerobars. He was out of sight while I was thinking, "That's not right". :)

On the last downhill section, I was fighting the wind a bit. The rider whom I'd just passed had aerobars (I don't) and was able to catch me again and got about 5-10 seconds ahead. There's one last short, but steep, hill before the finishing line, and I made up a few seconds there, using up the last bit of energy, then I yelled my rider number as I crossed the finish line and sat up and tried to catch my breath.

22.48mph was my average speed. My previous maximum speed for any ride was 21.2mph. All the riding on the trainer this winter (and down in Florida) is paying off. :)

That's it. It was exciting. Can't wait for the next one!

Here are the results.  Scroll to the bottom for the most recent.


Message from TJIC


Remember back when you used to have a blog, and you'd post things in it?

Those were great days!