Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Break Out - Free Software

A flood damaged a fence on my parent’s farm. I helped my dad clear and rebuild it. Poison ivy was everywhere. No need to worry, as I had played in the stuff in elementary school.  A just finished two year leave in Hawaii with the Agriculture Research Service (1966 - 1968) had changed things. What followed was a systemic reaction.

One recommendation was to keep cool and not sweat. I knew where that could be found: the university library (65 degrees in summer and 85 degrees in winter) and with two new computer terminals. With an instruction manual in hand I learned to program the campus computer.

It was in the fall of 1981 that I first wrote my own scoring and analysis software. I had just returned from a two-year leave with the Environmental Protection Agency in Colorado. I learned what computers could do for the testing of pesticide applicators.

This started the Net Yield Scoring software that became Break Out: Break out of the habit of forced-choice marking and counting right marks. Break Out has always been free software (Dropbox/Nine-Patch Files/download/BrkOutSC.ZIP).

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