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About ψ Quake USA

John Ritchie ψ Owner & Chaotic Mind Behind Quake USA

Points Of Interest

Over 20+ Years Experience

I have over 20+ years industry experience as a Software Developer, designing and building systems and tools that provided extraordinary cost savings for my employers.

Member:      IEEE.org

Advancing Technology for Humanity - The world's largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology

C# Corner MVP 2019

Named Most Valuable Programmer for contributing articles for the advancement of fellow programmers


Won several awards for original and cost saving work

Commercial Portables, Consumer Desktop, SMB @ Compaq

"You work like a team of programmers!"

R.Sparks @ Enerflex

"I wish I had more programmers like you."

C. Moehring @ Hewlett Packard

A bit about me...

As a kid I saw the movie "Colossus: The Forbin Project", from that point I knew I wanted to program computers...

I started programming as a teenager, writing complex basic programs on the CDC 6600 mainframe. Then behold, Texas Instruments released the TI-99/4A , which became my obsession for the next couple of years until I started working at Compaq.

There I taught myself C with a smattering of 8086 Assembly and I began to automate. I had to translate DOS 3.31G and the Compaq utilities into German. Ouch, to manually cut and paste thousands of text strings - what a mind-numbing, tedious process; and this was done with a text editor, Visual Studio did not exist yet. I knew there had to be a better way. So I created a utility that would go through all the source code files and strip out the text strings for translation. Once translated, the utility would comment out the English text and insert the translated strings. What once took weeks to do, was done in minutes.

I was given a database package called Dataflex. I taught myself the principles of databases and learned the development language behind Dataflex and I developed a way to manage, track, and even process new English text to existing translations with fuzzy logic. Translations became standardized, thousands of dollars were saved in the translation process, and the time to market of localized versions of the software went from months to few weeks. That started my career down the automation path and I haven't stopped yet.

System Automation...

Highlights of a few other automation projects I have completed in my career.


Redesign Test Lab Network

System Integration Test Lab had a problem. Downloading Windows Operating System images to the new project laptops was taking between 10 and 12 hours, some even failing before completion.

I submitted a proposal for two Proliant Servers, two 100 Mbps 30 port Network Switchs, Xircom 10/100 PCMIA cards, and new patch cables. One night for setup and rewire the lab and image downloads to 30 laptops took only 10 to 12 minutes. That is a 98% increase in performance. It became the standard for all test labs doing image testing on Compaq computers.


Titan - PeopleSoft Artifact Downloader

Titan was designed to automate the navigation of Oracle's website to download all the different PeopleSoft files for our customers. I was given one other mandate: Titan could never stop until it was done.

Multi-threaded, sound modular design, and error proofed; Titan did not stop downloading hundreds of gigabytes of information. When Oracle's network encountered an error or became overloaded, Titan would just poll until the website became responsive and would navigate to where it left off to continue the downloads.

Titan creates a detailed log file of the entire process highlighting download times, document url, document name / title, document size, and the success of the download.


Multi-Sample Rock Hydrocarbon Analyzer

Matching functional libraries - one in ANSI C for Linux; the other in C# for Windows. The libraries included everything needed to control servos, sensors, gas flow, igniters, and monitor the high temperature environment. Detailed logging, multi-threaded processing, and full error proofing provided for an efficient test system.

Samples could be qued directly from the Hydro-Analyzer or serial connection to a Windows computer running a custom C# WPF application, which allowed control of the Hydro-Analyzer to que individual samples, certain groups of samples, and/or run a script for custom control.

Test results and detailed logs were stored on the Hydro-Analyzer harddrive and were uploaded when connected to the application running on a Windows computer.