PDA

View Full Version : Can BRIS Files Be Altered?


cardinalsfan
11-21-2014, 02:25 AM
To start off with, I'm not a big tech guy so I hope I can explain what I want to do. I have a few RPM programs that I used to use with some success. Here is my problem. Len Z or whoever does the programming for the RPM software insists on using the DRF speed rating + variant every time a speed rating is called for. We all know that these rating are often missing and are often not accurate when they appear. Back in the day when TSN offered comma delineated files, they substituted the BRIS speed rating for the DRF speed rating so all my RPM programs worked much better than they do now.

So... bottom line, is there anyway to crack open the BRIS single data files and change out the DRF speed ratings for BRIS ratings so my software will read the BRIS ratings and not the DRF ratings?

And if anyone knows Len Z personally, would you please ask him why he designs his software using this highly unreliable DRF + variant (again, often missing from the PP's due to new track surface or distances) instead of the BRIs ratings?

If anyone can make sense of my question and assist, it would be greatly appreciated.

JustRalph
11-21-2014, 06:21 AM
I tried years ago to alter them and found that if you make changes they fail to load once you make the alteration.

I wanted to be able to adjust the par times. I could find them, make adjustments for the race, save the file etc. but then the file would appear corrupt when I tried to load it in an app.

This was years ago, but I don't think the structure has changed.

Tom
11-21-2014, 08:46 AM
Once you modify the file, open it in Wordpad and go the very. You have to delete a couple of spaces....I'll look it up, been along time.

The file contains both the BRIS speed rating and the DRF SR+TV numbers.
Do you want to put the BRIS SR in the column for the SR+TV numbers?
You could open the file with Excel and mover the columns.

JustRalph
11-21-2014, 08:54 AM
Once you modify the file, open it in Wordpad and go the very. You have to delete a couple of spaces....I'll look it up, been along time.

The file contains both the BRIS speed rating and the DRF SR+TV numbers.
Do you want to put the BRIS SR in the column for the SR+TV numbers?
You could open the file with Excel and mover the columns.

Very interested if we can then load them in Equisim.

headhawg
11-21-2014, 09:37 AM
Once you modify the file, open it in Wordpad and go the very. You have to delete a couple of spaces....I'll look it up, been along time.Did you actually make this work with Wordpad? As Wordpad is more word processor than text editor I would think that it would add some hidden formatting characters that would screw the file up.

And wouldn't this be a helluva lot of work? Manually changing multiple fields of data for multiple horses at multiple tracks....shudder. Good luck with that cardinalsfan.

cj
11-21-2014, 09:54 AM
Sure they can, my old program had a "bris replace" function that would replace a bunch of fields with my figures so it could be opened in PP generator.

headhawg
11-21-2014, 10:01 AM
You should bring back that old program, cj. :)

Were there any special tricks/caveats to rewriting/saving the file? I've never tried to do this and it should be fairly straightforward but somehow I felt something would be messed up on the writeback.

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 10:10 AM
To start off with, I'm not a big tech guy so I hope I can explain what I want to do. I have a few RPM programs that I used to use with some success. Here is my problem. Len Z or whoever does the programming for the RPM software insists on using the DRF speed rating + variant every time a speed rating is called for. We all know that these rating are often missing and are often not accurate when they appear. Back in the day when TSN offered comma delineated files, they substituted the BRIS speed rating for the DRF speed rating so all my RPM programs worked much better than they do now.

So... bottom line, is there anyway to crack open the BRIS single data files and change out the DRF speed ratings for BRIS ratings so my software will read the BRIS ratings and not the DRF ratings?

And if anyone knows Len Z personally, would you please ask him why he designs his software using this highly unreliable DRF + variant (again, often missing from the PP's due to new track surface or distances) instead of the BRIs ratings?

If anyone can make sense of my question and assist, it would be greatly appreciated.
What cj said.

I'm curious. Which files from this BRIS software data file menu (http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/bris_daily.cgi#DATAFILE) are you using, please be specific.

cj
11-21-2014, 10:18 AM
You should bring back that old program, cj. :)

Were there any special tricks/caveats to rewriting/saving the file? I've never tried to do this and it should be fairly straightforward but somehow I felt something would be messed up on the writeback.

No, just really to pay attention to field structure and match it exactly every time.

GameTheory
11-21-2014, 11:48 AM
Tom said something interesting -- sounds like the old LFCR problem. Standard Windows/DOS has always added an extra invisible character to the end of each line in text files, so if you opened a file and saved it again in such an editor (even without changing anything), it could break the file for certain programs. So if you don't have an automated program (which of course you need to do it on a regular basis), then you need a plain text editor (not a word processor) that won't change the format or where you can specify it to be saved as UNIX style rather then PC. It's an easy fix in any case.

So you should be able to change any of the BRIS files as long as you preserve the structure for any third-party programs. BRIS's own software used to do a checksum type thing so it wouldn't work with those if you changed something.

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 12:02 PM
Tom said something interesting -- sounds like the old LFCR problem. Standard Windows/DOS has always added an extra invisible character to the end of each line in text files, so if you opened a file and saved it again in such an editor (even without changing anything), it could break the file for certain programs. So if you don't have an automated program (which of course you need to do it on a regular basis), then you need a plain text editor (not a word processor) that won't change the format or where you can specify it to be saved as UNIX style rather then PC. It's an easy fix in any case.

I have used the standard Windows app, notepad.exe, successfully. You just need to be careful.

There are other apps which can get you to the same destination but with a somewhat smoother journey, such as Notepad++. Notepad++ has an option which will show you all of the white space characters. It makes things extremely clear, exactly, what are the characters contained in the file. I'm pretty sure Word also has an option to display white space character.


So you should be able to change any of the BRIS files as long as you preserve the structure for any third-party programs. BRIS's own software used to do a checksum type thing so it wouldn't work with those if you changed something.
Yes, and programs not from BRIS also will use embedded check sums. That is where I was going to go depending upon how my question posted above was answered.

Tom
11-21-2014, 12:19 PM
I could have used Notepad....been a while.

GameTheory
11-21-2014, 12:29 PM
Yes, and programs not from BRIS also will use embedded check sums. That is where I was going to go depending upon how my question posted above was answered.They WON'T use them -- they CAN'T use them because how they are calculated is (should be) a secret. If anyone could use them, that would mean everyone would know how they are calculated, and if you altered the file you could also alter the checksum to match -- the checksum is contained in the file in an unused field as gobbledygook (e.g. when you see a field like "uUI83ekq82"). I do think some programs try to do some verification of the file date so you can't keep changing it to remain forever within a "free trial" period, but to most third-party programs it is just a csv file to read-in -- you could create the entire thing from scratch if you wanted. (Now of course the program may expect the fields to be a certain way, or have values in a certain range, etc etc...)

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 12:36 PM
They WON'T use them -- they CAN'T use them because how they are calculated is (should be) a secret. If anyone could use them, that would mean everyone would know how they are calculated, and if you altered the file you could also alter the checksum to match -- the checksum is contained in the file in an unused field as gobbledygook (e.g. when you see a field like "uUI83ekq82"). I do think some programs try to do some verification of the file date so you can't keep changing it to remain forever within a "free trial" period, but to most third-party programs it is just a csv file to read-in -- you could create the entire thing from scratch if you wanted. (Now of course the program may expect the fields to be a certain way, or have values in a certain range, etc etc...)
I'm not sure if you understood my post -- I certainly do not understand where your coming from.

If you want an example, look the the BRIS Hat files. Those are used by the old PIRCO/O'Henry House apps like Energy! or AOdds. They expect those check sums to be present.

Whether or not they can be replaced, well, that's an open question but I suspect the answer is yes. The easy solution: know what the algorithm is to generate what goes into the HAT files and then make the appropriate substitute in the last field where the check sum appears. The hard answer: try to reverse engineer the values. I'm sure those with good crypto insights and skills could figure it out.

P.S. And, as far as being able to read those files, even with a check sum present, I have plenty of my own apps which do read them, no problem. The files are, as you stated, just CSV style files and your data is exactly the same as the other single file format data -- at least the last time I cared to look which as been a long time now.

GameTheory
11-21-2014, 12:41 PM
I'm not sure if you understood my post -- I certainly do not understand where your coming from.

If you want an example, look the the BRIS Hat files. Those are used by the old PIRCO/O'Henry House apps like Energy! or AOdds. They expect those check sums to be present.
But AOdds is not "third-party" -- it is on BRIS. BRIS is protecting itself. So AOdds and Neurax and Capsheet and Multicaps, etc all use the checksum -- BRIS programs. (Some of those may use binary files, I don't remember.)

Third-party is everything that you don't download from BRIS but that can use BRIS files: Jcapper, Equisim, etc etc. But those programs can often also use DRF files or whatever (or you could fake it cause they don't use the checksum).

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 12:43 PM
OK, if we are just debating "third party" I guess I can explain it this way: I originally got my apps from Doc not from BRIS.

GameTheory
11-21-2014, 12:51 PM
OK, if we are just debating "third party" I guess I can explain it this way: I originally got my apps from Doc not from BRIS.
Some programs are exclusively BRIS -- I'm assuming they agreed to only use BRIS files (at least at some point), which was technically enforced with this checksum stuff (or maybe some that can only be used by one program are binary and totally obscure in terms of file format). And then the programs are distributed by BRIS on their site, which gives them a wide audience. In return, the program authors presumably got a cut of the downloads/subscriptions for those files.

So I'm talking about every other program that those -- pretty much anything "modern" that can use BRIS files as the stuff on their site is ancient and probably won't even run on most people's machines these days.

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 12:52 PM
But AOdds is not "third-party" -- it is on BRIS. BRIS is protecting itself. So AOdds and Neurax and Capsheet and Multicaps, etc all use the checksum -- BRIS programs. (Some of those may use binary files, I don't remember.)

Third-party is everything that you don't download from BRIS but that can use BRIS files: Jcapper, Equisim, etc etc. But those programs can often also use DRF files or whatever (or you could fake it cause they don't use the checksum).

If by binary files you mean data that is not clear text but is the internal representation of numeric values written into a file, yes, I've seen those. Again, this is ancient history but I believe one of those was Dark Horse.

Jcapper is something I have looked at, and, yes, I know that Jeff posts here. As I recall, Jcapper used HDW initially but added the option to use BRIS. All that I can recall of how Jeff's app worked was the different downloads/updates were all targeted to his database and the tables which make up the database. If you know dbase, you can get to the data.

GameTheory
11-21-2014, 12:55 PM
If by binary files you mean data that is not clear text but is the internal representation of numeric values written into a file, yes, I've seen those. Again, this is ancient history but I believe one of those was Dark Horse.Yes, that's what I mean. You wouldn't be able to alter a file like that and use it in another program. I mean it may not be totally impossible to a determined person, but it isn't just a trivial matter of swapping out some fields that are in plain text and documented...

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 01:08 PM
Some programs are exclusively BRIS -- I'm assuming they agreed to only use BRIS files (at least at some point), which was technically enforced with this checksum stuff (or maybe some that can only be used by one program are binary and totally obscure in terms of file format). And then the programs are distributed by BRIS on their site, which gives them a wide audience. In return, the program authors presumably got a cut of the downloads/subscriptions for those files.

I am vaguely aware some/most BRIS apps were originally developed by other sources, i.e. they were written and distributed by other people/companies before they were a part of BRIS.

I'm sure there is a lot of deals made with BRIS. Whether or not authors got a cut of the revenues, well, that's questionable. Case in point: the person that wrote the apps for Doc, just Doc, not Jimmy, got screwed. But I'm speaking ill of the dead since all 3 of those people I just mentioned are now dead.


So I'm talking about every other program that those -- pretty much anything "modern" that can use BRIS files as the stuff on their site is ancient and probably won't even run on most people's machines these days.
Easy solution to problems along those lines: keep a system that just runs MS-DOS 6.x -- problem solved.

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 01:09 PM
Yes, that's what I mean. You wouldn't be able to alter a file like that and use it in another program. I mean it may not be totally impossible to a determined person, but it isn't just a trivial matter of swapping out some fields that are in plain text and documented...
It would be a bit more difficult but I'm pretty confident I could do that with VS BASIC.

BIG49010
11-21-2014, 01:10 PM
http://www.paceadvantage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=99659&page=1&pp=15

Here is an old discussion on board about same topic

GameTheory
11-21-2014, 01:36 PM
I am vaguely aware some/most BRIS apps were originally developed by other sources, i.e. they were written and distributed by other people/companies before they were a part of BRIS.

I'm sure there is a lot of deals made with BRIS. Whether or not authors got a cut of the revenues, well, that's questionable. They must have gotten something -- BRIS gives the software away for free, the only money for them comes from the downloads.

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 01:43 PM
They must have gotten something -- BRIS gives the software away for free, the only money for them comes from the downloads.
Yes, yes, I understand. If I could work a deal with BRIS such as giving them some of my apps in trade for unlimited downloads, I'd do it. I would not necessarily expect to generate any revenue from BRIS for the arrangement. Just the "trade" of my utilities for unlimited access to data downloads would be good enough for me.

But, OTOH, if they offered, I might consider depending upon the details.

GameTheory
11-21-2014, 01:57 PM
Yes, yes, I understand. If I could work a deal with BRIS such as giving them some of my apps in trade for unlimited downloads, I'd do it. I would not necessarily expect to generate any revenue from BRIS for the arrangement. Just the "trade" of my utilities for unlimited access to data downloads would be good enough for me.If those developers gave away their program so only they themselves could get free downloads, they are idiots, and frankly you would be too. That contract might not even hold up in court it is so one-sided...

DJofSD
11-21-2014, 02:01 PM
If those developers gave away their program so only they themselves could get free downloads, they are idiots, and frankly you would be too. That contract might not even hold up in court it is so one-sided...
Well, maybe I am an idiot. But, just to be clear, the type of apps I am talking about are utilities, not handicapping apps. If the apps were handicapping apps then yes I would expect some kind of revenue stream.

GameTheory
11-21-2014, 02:09 PM
Well, maybe I am an idiot. But, just to be clear, the type of apps I am talking about are utilities, not handicapping apps. If the apps were handicapping apps then yes I would expect some kind of revenue stream.
Yes, if the author of "INFOTRAN" got himself some free downloads then I could see that...

banacek
11-21-2014, 06:30 PM
I use INFOTRAN to get the columns I need. Then I made up a series of macros which changes the BRIS track variants to the ones I have calculated. I have tried on a few occasions to get a little program made up to do that in a simpler way - and actually change the BRIS file to what I want (someone on PA even kindly offered to make one up for me, but eventually got too busy).(I'm okay with macros, but haven't programmed in 25 years).

I imagine that a macro in Excel could take care of your problem, or maybe a little program perhaps?

BIG49010
11-21-2014, 08:27 PM
I've wanted to change out the bris figs, and trip notes for my own in the PP Generator for 20 years. I guess it's just not possible from what I remember.

cj
11-22-2014, 02:51 PM
I've wanted to change out the bris figs, and trip notes for my own in the PP Generator for 20 years. I guess it's just not possible from what I remember.

It is very possible, that is what everyone has been saying.

BIG49010
11-22-2014, 02:56 PM
Why doesn't someone make an application and sell it?

GameTheory
11-22-2014, 03:25 PM
Why doesn't someone make an application and sell it?
Well, it probably isn't possible if you're talking about the BRIS provided PP generator, but you could try it and see. They may not have bothered to "protect" that one. Making a PP viewer from scratch (say that generated html files to view in your web browser) wouldn't be THAT difficult -- just a lot of fonts & formatting is all it is...

DJofSD
11-22-2014, 03:27 PM
I don't think PP Gen cares.

I don't have that system out of the case or booted ATM. I can double check that tonight.

cj
11-22-2014, 03:37 PM
Why doesn't someone make an application and sell it?


It wouldn't be that hard, but the end user would have to have the figures and notes formatted exactly the same and in the same location, or have the location set via the app. None of it is very hard, but how much of a demand is there for something like this? Like I said, I had my program do exactly what you are talking about and it worked fine.

BIG49010
11-22-2014, 06:04 PM
I don't think PP Gen cares.

.

I have taken a file, imported to Excel, not altered anything, just saved it as a text file and the PP Gen won't accept the file. FYI

GameTheory
11-22-2014, 06:12 PM
I have taken a file, imported to Excel, not altered anything, just saved it as a text file and the PP Gen won't accept the file. FYI
It probably is not really the same (see earlier posts about invisible characters). Or excel might be adding or stripping quote marks from the fields, reformatting numbers, etc etc. If it is truly the same the file should be the exact same number of bytes as the original, is it? You can also use the "fc" (file compare) command from the command prompt to do a byte by byte comparison.

BIG49010
11-22-2014, 06:18 PM
It probably is not really the same (see earlier posts about invisible characters). If it is truly the same the file should be the exact same number of bytes as the original, is it? You can also use the "fc" (file compare) command from the command prompt to do a byte by byte comparison...

I've altered one character with a very good text editor, and saved same thing. No change in file size, etc etc.. I came to conclusion it couldn't be done, CJ says no problem.

Tom
11-22-2014, 06:20 PM
Try this.....

Open with Excel.
Save it as *.txt
Close it.
Open it with Notepad or Wordpad.
Hit <Ctrl End>
Hit <BkSpc> twice.
Save file.
Exit.

Now try to load it.
You may have to rename it from *.txt to *.drf?

GameTheory
11-22-2014, 06:20 PM
I've altered one character with a very good text editor, and saved same thing. No change in file size, etc etc.. I came to conclusion it couldn't be done, CJ says no problem.
It is just a text file, nothing magic about it, so if you save it without changing anything it will work by definition. If it doesn't work, something has changed. Whether or not the PP generator cares about changes in values to the fields is an open question. I'll give it a try and find out...

GameTheory
11-22-2014, 07:01 PM
Ok, here's what I did:

-- Downloaded BRIS Custom PP Generator from this page:
http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/dynamic.cgi?page=custompp

I assume this is the program we are talking about? There is also a link for an older version of PP Generator.

-- I installed it. I wasn't sure if it would work on 64-bit Win7 (I think I heard once it doesn't, and it doesn't say it does), so I installed in on a virtual XP instance.

-- I downloaded the sample DRF single file -- aqu0207k.zip (from 2001, we see how old this stuff is).

-- I ran the program, it complained about not having a printer installed, so I installed a PDF print driver in my virtual XP.

-- Fired it up, loaded the sample file, all works fine.

-- Took the file, made a copy of it, changed its filename and resaved it with Textpad text editor in PC mode. Loaded it up in the program, works fine.

-- Saved another copy of the file, this time in "UNIX" mode (only uses one invisible character at the end of lines instead of two like windows does) -- it didn't like that one. It didn't give an error, but it only showed one horse.

-- Now altered some speed figures for a horse, saved it again in PC mode and loaded it up -- works fine, shows altered figures. Alteration success!

cj
11-22-2014, 07:06 PM
-- Now altered some speed figures for a horse, saved it again in PC mode and loaded it up -- works fine, shows altered figures. Alteration success!

Didn't believe me? :)

banacek
11-22-2014, 07:19 PM
My question is there a relatively easy way to program this type of thing? Have a program make the changes to the bris file. For example the TV column. Say I have a listing of my track variants for certain tracks by date. I want a program to change the drf number from say 12 to my number...say 14.

I don't want to fiddle around with the columns..done enough of that.

Then I can use the revised BRIS file in my own software as well as others.

Is that something I could learn relatively easily?

JustRalph
11-22-2014, 07:28 PM
It wouldn't be that hard, but the end user would have to have the figures and notes formatted exactly the same and in the same location, or have the location set via the app. None of it is very hard, but how much of a demand is there for something like this? Like I said, I had my program do exactly what you are talking about and it worked fine.

I tried it six ways to Sunday, and it always broke the file. I was taking the race par times and changing the "late number" minus 5 across the board. No matter what I used to edit, it corrupted the file.

Maybe I should revisit

GameTheory
11-22-2014, 08:10 PM
Didn't believe me? :)
It was unclear (to me) that you were talking about the PP generator specifically. You were probably perfectly clear, but I breezed over it, and I'm too lazy to go back a few posts and re-read now. It was never a question for me that you could alter the files for non-BRIS programs, just wondering about the PP viewer.

In any case, all doubt is now removed, unless the "sample" file is exempted from alteration. (Like the old DRF Formulator Desktop had special rules for verification if the file was not older than 2 weeks of current date.)

BIG49010
11-22-2014, 09:13 PM
Didn't believe me? :)

Not that I didn't believe you, it's beyond me why I had so many problems trying to do it. I guess it's the Multi-file I was using, where you were using the Single file.

Actor
11-23-2014, 03:13 PM
Try this.....

Open with Excel.I get a message "The data could not be loaded completely because the maximum number of columns per sheet was exceeded."

DJofSD
11-23-2014, 03:18 PM
You must have an older version of Excel.

I just used Office 2010 Starter to read a BRIS single file format file, n.p.

Actor
11-23-2014, 03:51 PM
The OP, cardinalsfan, doesn't seem to be following the thread.

Where does one get the program he's talking about? I've binged both "RPM" and "Len Z" and come up empty.

banacek
11-23-2014, 04:03 PM
The OP, cardinalsfan, doesn't seem to be following the thread.

Where does one get the program he's talking about? I've binged both "RPM" and "Len Z" and come up empty.

RPM is a handicapping system seller (David Powers). Len C is their main programmer of some of the systems.

Tom
11-23-2014, 05:05 PM
RPM is a handicapping system seller (David Powers). Len C is their main programmer of some of the systems.

http://rpmhandicappinggiant.com/

cj
11-24-2014, 12:59 AM
It was unclear (to me) that you were talking about the PP generator specifically. You were probably perfectly clear, but I breezed over it, and I'm too lazy to go back a few posts and re-read now. It was never a question for me that you could alter the files for non-BRIS programs, just wondering about the PP viewer.

In any case, all doubt is now removed, unless the "sample" file is exempted from alteration. (Like the old DRF Formulator Desktop had special rules for verification if the file was not older than 2 weeks of current date.)

I was just teasing, I probably wasn't clear. I actually had it so you used the "customize" feature of PP Generator to get all the figures I make in the format I wanted.

cj
11-24-2014, 12:59 AM
Not that I didn't believe you, it's beyond me why I had so many problems trying to do it. I guess it's the Multi-file I was using, where you were using the Single file.

Yes, single file. I wouldn't think multi would be any harder, but I can't say for sure.

JustCoolGene
11-24-2014, 03:04 PM
I developed Scratch Manager software which I currently sell and service. The software easily and quickly takes all your daily BRIS single files and imports scratch, surface, and Jockey changes from Equibase. It then makes all the changes and calculates new post positions in your original BRIS single files.

Scratch Manager then RE-Writes the changed files which can then be used in the PP Generator, Multicaps, and the Third Party handicapping programs you have purchased. I never had any problems changing the BRIS single files. It can be done.

Gene
scratchmanager.com

Woodpicker
12-05-2014, 08:03 PM
Hi Cardinal
I will try to answer the best I can since I have used the Bris
ratings for about 15 years from the single data file.
I get my files from Bris and the Bris ratings are already included.
If you are geting the DRF ratings, you are probably getting a
secondary source. I formerly programmed in RPG and it is an ancient
language which has limitations.
The source file from Bris can be custom extracted. It can be set up
to analyze a range of possibilities for pace, speed etc.
DRF speed ratings and track variants are based on a very simple
concept. They have not been updated so I do not use them. The Track
Variant I found to be more like a random variable. It is limited and
I found no use for it of value.
I hope this helps.
Woodpicker

Woodpicker
12-07-2014, 10:59 AM
I have been reluctant to work again on software for Handicapping because I think that
the market is shrinking. As I understand today's market, the software is free and
the user pays for the data. There are also numerous applications already
in existence.
About 15 years ago the market was very hot, and I got a few contracts
to develop programs.
Since the latest increases in "Track Takes", the market seems to be
more into the LOTTO type programs. Where is the niche now?
Times seem to have changed.

raybo
12-07-2014, 04:56 PM
Hi Cardinal
I will try to answer the best I can since I have used the Bris
ratings for about 15 years from the single data file.
I get my files from Bris and the Bris ratings are already included.
If you are geting the DRF ratings, you are probably getting a
secondary source. I formerly programmed in RPG and it is an ancient
language which has limitations.
The source file from Bris can be custom extracted. It can be set up
to analyze a range of possibilities for pace, speed etc.
DRF speed ratings and track variants are based on a very simple
concept. They have not been updated so I do not use them. The Track
Variant I found to be more like a random variable. It is limited and
I found no use for it of value.
I hope this helps.
Woodpicker

Back when I was using Brisnet data files the DRF variant came directly from the DRF, as did all of their raw data. I don't know if that is still the case, since CDI took over. Back then Brisnet did not get their raw data from Equibase, but rather from the DRF.

I still use the DRF variant (from a different supplier), but not as it is displayed, and it works quite well for my purposes.

raybo
12-07-2014, 05:04 PM
I have been reluctant to work again on software for Handicapping because I think that
the market is shrinking. As I understand today's market, the software is free and
the user pays for the data. There are also numerous applications already
in existence.
About 15 years ago the market was very hot, and I got a few contracts
to develop programs.
Since the latest increases in "Track Takes", the market seems to be
more into the LOTTO type programs. Where is the niche now?
Times seem to have changed.

There is little money to be made creating software these days. Everything seems to be going online and no software has to be downloaded, you simply pay for a subscription to use the online software. I can't speak about HSH, HTR, JCapper, etc., software sales, but I suspect their software sales have been in decline for a while. I know my own programs do not, and never have produced what one would call profit, as a result of the labor involved in creation and customer support/upgrade functions. The days of mid to high priced, desktop software for racing appears to be gone, forever.

Woodpicker
12-08-2014, 08:24 PM
Back when I was using Brisnet data files the DRF variant came directly from the DRF, as did all of their raw data. I don't know if that is still the case, since CDI took over. Back then Brisnet did not get their raw data from Equibase, but rather from the DRF.

I still use the DRF variant (from a different supplier), but not as it is displayed, and it works quite well for my purposes.

I checked my records and I do not find DRF Track Variants in the Bris files that I
have been getting. There is a Bris variant included which I am using.

Woodpicker
12-08-2014, 08:35 PM
:ThmbUp:There is little money to be made creating software these days. Everything seems to be going online and no software has to be downloaded, you simply pay for a subscription to use the online software. I can't speak about HSH, HTR, JCapper, etc., software sales, but I suspect their software sales have been in decline for a while. I know my own programs do not, and never have produced what one would call profit, as a result of the labor involved in creation and customer support/upgrade functions. The days of mid to high priced, desktop software for racing appears to be gone, forever.

Just as I suspected. There is no reason to start any development on my end. It
is not worth the effort. The programs I wrote in about the 1987-1995 period did show a
win bet profit when the takes were 15% with a 5 cent breakage. After about 1995, the game changed, takes started to increase, and every program was useless. With 17%
win bet take in the US and 20 cent breakage, win bet has been eroded.
I now play Woodbine with a 14.9%

raybo
12-08-2014, 08:48 PM
I checked my records and I do not find DRF Track Variants in the Bris files that I
have been getting. There is a Bris variant included which I am using.

Here is a shot of the Brisnet file format for the "PPs Single" (.drf file extension) showing the field locations for the DRF speed rating and DRF track variant. So, unless Brisnet has stopped supplying those, from DRF, they should still both be located in those fields.

raybo
12-08-2014, 08:51 PM
:ThmbUp:

Just as I suspected. There is no reason to start any development on my end. It
is not worth the effort. The programs I wrote in about the 1987-1995 period did show a
win bet profit when the takes were 15% with a 5 cent breakage. After about 1995, the game changed, takes started to increase, and every program was useless. With 17%
win bet take in the US and 20 cent breakage, win bet has been eroded.
I now play Woodbine with a 14.9%

I only meant that "software sales" are probably not worth the effort to create and market the product. I did not say one couldn't create software that shows a profit, for win betting or any other wager type, because one can.

The sales profits these days are in data subscription sales and online software subscription sales, not in computer software sales.

Woodpicker
12-09-2014, 07:52 PM
I only meant that "software sales" are probably not worth the effort to create and market the product. I did not say one couldn't create software that shows a profit, for win betting or any other wager type, because one can.

The sales profits these days are in data subscription sales and online software subscription sales, not in computer software sales.


I do believe you, but I still prefer to play Woodbine for other reasons besides the
take. I like the synthetic surface and US tracks are moving away from it. Also,
they run in cooler weather and I find the horses seem to run better.
I do not live in Canada, but in southeastern USA.
Glad to hear about the new way to utilize computers. I am not
interested in writing any more sofware. I had 40 years as a professional
computer programmer. Now I do my own work at my own pace.
I attended the seminar in Las Vegas put on by DRF and at the time I
worked for a few people.
Woodbine closed last Sunday so I am idle till April. That's why I
looked at this forum.
By the way, I saw your post on the DRF speed ratings. I only use the
Bris numbers which are marked bris. The ones below it I never use and
since it did not specifically say DRF, I ignored it for 15 years. Thanks
for the correction. I appreciate it. If I ever need DRF, I know where to
find it.

raybo
12-10-2014, 12:42 AM
I do believe you, but I still prefer to play Woodbine for other reasons besides the
take. I like the synthetic surface and US tracks are moving away from it. Also,
they run in cooler weather and I find the horses seem to run better.
I do not live in Canada, but in southeastern USA.
Glad to hear about the new way to utilize computers. I am not
interested in writing any more sofware. I had 40 years as a professional
computer programmer. Now I do my own work at my own pace.
I attended the seminar in Las Vegas put on by DRF and at the time I
worked for a few people.
Woodbine closed last Sunday so I am idle till April. That's why I
looked at this forum.
By the way, I saw your post on the DRF speed ratings. I only use the
Bris numbers which are marked bris. The ones below it I never use and
since it did not specifically say DRF, I ignored it for 15 years. Thanks
for the correction. I appreciate it. If I ever need DRF, I know where to
find it.

I am jealous of anyone who has been programming for 30-40 years. I am not one of those, not a programmer at all, really. Sure, I use VBA in Excel, but I seldom write my own code, if I need some code I just visit my favorite Excel forum, post the problem, and someone writes the code for me. If I had had a PC, and Excel, and the internet, and Excel/VBA internet forums, and data files back in the 70's, I would have become profitable long before I did, that's a fact. I worked on computer hardware, among other things (computerized navigation and weapons delivery systems, Low light level TV, IR, laser targeting and laser target designation (for laser guided weapons), forward and side looking radar systems, etc., all the high tech stuff back then that became what we occasionally get a glimpse of on TV today), in the 70's, but never the software side. I do a little racing Excel work for people occasionally (more recently), but most of my computer work is on my own "stuff" (and the never ending support functions for my program). I'm retired and have nothing but time to spend, so it's just what I do.

Woodpicker
12-10-2014, 07:42 AM
:lol:I am jealous of anyone who has been programming for 30-40 years. I am not one of those, not a programmer at all, really. Sure, I use VBA in Excel, but I seldom write my own code, if I need some code I just visit my favorite Excel forum, post the problem, and someone writes the code for me. If I had had a PC, and Excel, and the internet, and Excel/VBA internet forums, and data files back in the 70's, I would have become profitable long before I did, that's a fact. I worked on computer hardware, among other things (computerized navigation and weapons delivery systems, Low light level TV, IR, laser targeting and laser target designation (for laser guided weapons), forward and side looking radar systems, etc., all the high tech stuff back then that became what we occasionally get a glimpse of on TV today), in the 70's, but never the software side. I do a little racing Excel work for people occasionally (more recently), but most of my computer work is on my own "stuff" (and the never ending support functions for my program). I'm retired and have nothing but time to spend, so it's just what I do.

I started coding in Basic and then got trained in Cobol. I worked for a comapany on Wall Street in the 1970's. When I became interested in HorseRacing, I learned C which is better for calculations. I always bought the latest computers and calculators in the early days. I took them to the track with simple programs and made money.
When the IBM PC's started, it was a dream come true.
I used books by Burton Fabricand as a guide and wrote the code to improve his
ideas. I made a lot more money when the industry was hot. In the 1980's the game got harder and my profit dwindled. The longer distances seemed to have a negative bias. I made a shift into coding for big companies. The wages for progarmmers were more than I could do in racing. When the really fast PC's came out, I started progarmming in Unix and Perl with better data bases. Back to profit. I started using Bris single files using Perl and Awk as coding tools. I like the scripting because the game is still changing.
In the last few years the game changed. My favorite tracks increased "takes" and
the fields got smaller. As more and more favorites started coming in, I had to change strategy. After playing almost all of the tracks in the US, I found a gem in Woodbine. It is a wild track, and the winners pay a lot more to win. I play a few exotics mainly
exactas. I don't need the Pick 6 etc, because I actually enjoy the game and I get paid very well when I win.
I am retired and I don't like computers anymore except for Horse Racing.
I might play a few races during the winter waiting for Woodbine to open in April. But I really like the break US racing is not what it used to be and I don't ever play the Kentucky Derby anymore.

raybo
12-10-2014, 03:27 PM
:lol:

I started coding in Basic and then got trained in Cobol. I worked for a comapany on Wall Street in the 1970's. When I became interested in HorseRacing, I learned C which is better for calculations. I always bought the latest computers and calculators in the early days. I took them to the track with simple programs and made money.
When the IBM PC's started, it was a dream come true.
I used books by Burton Fabricand as a guide and wrote the code to improve his
ideas. I made a lot more money when the industry was hot. In the 1980's the game got harder and my profit dwindled. The longer distances seemed to have a negative bias. I made a shift into coding for big companies. The wages for progarmmers were more than I could do in racing. When the really fast PC's came out, I started progarmming in Unix and Perl with better data bases. Back to profit. I started using Bris single files using Perl and Awk as coding tools. I like the scripting because the game is still changing.
In the last few years the game changed. My favorite tracks increased "takes" and
the fields got smaller. As more and more favorites started coming in, I had to change strategy. After playing almost all of the tracks in the US, I found a gem in Woodbine. It is a wild track, and the winners pay a lot more to win. I play a few exotics mainly
exactas. I don't need the Pick 6 etc, because I actually enjoy the game and I get paid very well when I win.
I am retired and I don't like computers anymore except for Horse Racing.
I might play a few races during the winter waiting for Woodbine to open in April. But I really like the break US racing is not what it used to be and I don't ever play the Kentucky Derby anymore.

I hear ya! I started writing in Basic on a TI-99-4A (?), graduated to a Tandy ColorTrac II, and finally found Excel. Have not done anything racing related in anything else since. Have not needed to, really. I've never found anything I really needed to do that couldn't be done in Excel.

I too, gravitate to those tracks that have higher than average payouts, DeD, EvD, OP, FG, etc.. It's just easier to profit when you can count on some big payouts every meet. I play both win/exacta for cash flow in support of superfecta play, but most of my profit comes from the superfectas.

Woodpicker
12-10-2014, 07:17 PM
I hear ya! I started writing in Basic on a TI-99-4A (?), graduated to a Tandy ColorTrac II, and finally found Excel. Have not done anything racing related in anything else since. Have not needed to, really. I've never found anything I really needed to do that couldn't be done in Excel.

I too, gravitate to those tracks that have higher than average payouts, DeD, EvD, OP, FG, etc.. It's just easier to profit when you can count on some big payouts every meet. I play both win/exacta for cash flow in support of superfecta play, but most of my profit comes from the superfectas.

Thanks for the link to HANA. They are doing some great service. I will join so that I can get more involved. I am one inch away from a boycott of all US tracks. I still play Saratoga so I will stay out of the boycott. Also I will play a few races this winter at Aqueduct and maybe Tampa Bay Downs. My friend and I co-own a mare who is giving birth in February. That's another reason for no boycott. We will just be hurting ourselves. We plan to point the horse to the Tampa Bay Derby if he turn out with
any class. His daddy won the race in 2012.


He and I have been

raybo
12-10-2014, 07:45 PM
Thanks for the link to HANA. They are doing some great service. I will join so that I can get more involved. I am one inch away from a boycott of all US tracks. I still play Saratoga so I will stay out of the boycott. Also I will play a few races this winter at Aqueduct and maybe Tampa Bay Downs. My friend and I co-own a mare who is giving birth in February. That's another reason for no boycott. We will just be hurting ourselves. We plan to point the horse to the Tampa Bay Derby if he turn out with
any class. His daddy won the race in 2012.

No problem, I am very proud to have been one of the original small group (5 or 6 people here on PA) of players who decided to try to take just a bunch of dissatisfied players (read "customers") from complaining (and saying that such an organization would totally fail) that they have no word in the way racing is conducted, into an organization that has grown beyond any of our expectations and one that is taken very seriously by some of the movers and shakers in the industry.

Now, if they can just get the average win payouts, for all tracks, into that dang worksheet, I'll be a very happy camper! :bang:

Woodpicker
12-11-2014, 02:20 PM
No problem, I am very proud to have been one of the original small group (5 or 6 people here on PA) of players who decided to try to take just a bunch of dissatisfied players (read "customers") from complaining (and saying that such an organization would totally fail) that they have no word in the way racing is conducted, into an organization that has grown beyond any of our expectations and one that is taken very seriously by some of the movers and shakers in the industry.

Now, if they can just get the average win payouts, for all tracks, into that dang worksheet, I'll be a very happy camper! :bang:

When you say you want the average win payouts into the worksheet, who is "they"?
By the way, I spoke to my partner today and told him about HANA. He is going to
join and tell whoever wants to hear. I am going to add to the rolling letter.

raybo
12-11-2014, 05:49 PM
When you say you want the average win payouts into the worksheet, who is "they"?
By the way, I spoke to my partner today and told him about HANA. He is going to
join and tell whoever wants to hear. I am going to add to the rolling letter.

"They", of course, is HANA. In case you haven't seen it yet, they produce a spreadsheet containing various data for every track, from which we can make more informed decisions regarding which tracks we will support/play.

My feeling is that "average win payouts" should be one of those data points, and IMO, it would be one of the most useful for us as players to know. For example, if you knew that a certain track has a very low average win payout, wouldn't you automatically know that that track is very "chalky" and leaves very little room, if any, for making a profit? Of course, the opposite is also true, another track with a higher average win payout would automatically mean that that track was less "chalky" and leaves more room for profit making.

Woodpicker
12-11-2014, 06:47 PM
"They", of course, is HANA. In case you haven't seen it yet, they produce a spreadsheet containing various data for every track, from which we can make more informed decisions regarding which tracks we will support/play.

My feeling is that "average win payouts" should be one of those data points, and IMO, it would be one of the most useful for us as players to know. For example, if you knew that a certain track has a very low average win payout, wouldn't you automatically know that that track is very "chalky" and leaves very little room, if any, for making a profit? Of course, the opposite is also true, another track with a higher average win payout would automatically mean that that track was less "chalky" and leaves more room for profit making.

I support the fact that the average win payouts by track are extremely important. As a matter of fact, I kept detailed records about four years ago for an entire season.
It included NYRA, Santa Anita and Del Mar. Someone else paid for the Bris data which was reasonable. We did great at Saratoga, as I recall, because it was the highest. Del Mar was wild that year. I would never do it again because I now notice the cutting knife of higher takes and breakage. My logic is as follows. Why bother anymore with high take US tracks when I have the gem of North America at 14.9% for win? These people in Woodbine simplify my life. I think now that US tracks just need to get it together. Tampa Bay Downs at one time advertized the highest payouts. Then - WHAM - they had a bad couple of years and have been very chalky. They never talk about themselves. In fact, a few years ago
they lost the community trust when they went to 20% win take with 20 cent breakage. They had to relent from that madness and eat crow. They went back to 17% with a very lot of small fields and chalk. However, I do support the fact that all players should know
the average payout. Thirty years ago, the DRF always reported % of winning favorites for all tracks.

raybo
12-11-2014, 08:09 PM
I support the fact that the average win payouts by track are extremely important. As a matter of fact, I kept detailed records about four years ago for an entire season.
It included NYRA, Santa Anita and Del Mar. Someone else paid for the Bris data which was reasonable. We did great at Saratoga, as I recall, because it was the highest. Del Mar was wild that year. I would never do it again because I now notice the cutting knife of higher takes and breakage. My logic is as follows. Why bother anymore with high take US tracks when I have the gem of North America at 14.9% for win? These people in Woodbine simplify my life. I think now that US tracks just need to get it together. Tampa Bay Downs at one time advertized the highest payouts. Then - WHAM - they had a bad couple of years and have been very chalky. They never talk about themselves. In fact, a few years ago
they lost the community trust when they went to 20% win take with 20 cent breakage. They had to relent from that madness and eat crow. They went back to 17% with a very lot of small fields and chalk. However, I do support the fact that all players should know
the average payout. Thirty years ago, the DRF always reported % of winning favorites for all tracks.

"% of winning favorites" is nice to know, but that can just mean that the "public" at that track is smarter (or dumber) than at other tracks. If that track is not heavily bet by whales and syndicates then the average Joe has a greater impact on determining the favorite, which means that most of those favorites are obvious to more people. By looking at the "payouts" at a track, and which horses contributed the most to those payouts, one might be more able to lock in on more of the horses that have a better chance of winning than their odds predict.

Woodpicker
12-11-2014, 08:35 PM
"% of winning favorites" is nice to know, but that can just mean that the "public" at that track is smarter (or dumber) than at other tracks. If that track is not heavily bet by whales and syndicates then the average Joe has a greater impact on determining the favorite, which means that most of those favorites are obvious to more people. By looking at the "payouts" at a track, and which horses contributed the most to those payouts, one might be more able to lock in on more of the horses that have a better chance of winning than their odds predict.

Over the last four years, I had a lot of very good information about the winning chances of specific horses at several tracks. I came to the conclusion that the classical definition of the favorite and the public does not really apply anymore. The traditional public that I used to know is gone at least at the tracks I play. I notice that especially at Aqueduct. I can tell this because sometimes I was getting two different sources from my network. You can also take Tampa Bay Downs as an example. You get one trainer - Jamie Ness - totally dominating. I like to call racing now a sport which is more like "barn betting".
I think just the opposite. I don't think that the higher percentage of favorites today is due
to a sharper public. It is due to a sharper inbred elite.

jimmac
04-07-2015, 02:38 AM
talked to BRIS - they will not modify Infotran to work on a 64 bit processor.
Any other way to take DRF files and select info

DJofSD
04-07-2015, 10:09 AM
talked to BRIS - they will not modify Infotran to work on a 64 bit processor.
Any other way to take DRF files and select info
What is important about it working on a 64-bit processor?

jimmac
04-07-2015, 02:57 PM
I used to be able to take the DRF files and select fields that I wanted to process rather than wade thru all the data.
There also was a program DRFPP.BRS - control file that used DRF file to create individual records. This program might have belonged to Glenn Foote

raybo
04-07-2015, 03:51 PM
I don't know why you can't run that DOS utility program on a 64 bit computer with Win 7. Do DOS programs not work on a 64 bit Windows system?

raybo
04-07-2015, 03:54 PM
You can always just open the file in a 2007 or subsequent version of Excel, then do what you want with the data.

DJofSD
04-07-2015, 04:15 PM
I don't know why you can't run that DOS utility program on a 64 bit computer with Win 7. Do DOS programs not work on a 64 bit Windows system?
Yes, and, unless there is something I am missing or don't understand about INFOTRAN, it should work regardless of it being a 32- or 64-bit version of the Windows OS.

jimmac
04-07-2015, 05:55 PM
This is what I get:
"The version of this file is not compatible with the version of Windows ....
see if you need x86(32-bit) or x64 (64-bit) version of program, then contact the software publisher".

raybo
04-08-2015, 02:15 PM
Yes, and, unless there is something I am missing or don't understand about INFOTRAN, it should work regardless of it being a 32- or 64-bit version of the Windows OS.

If you have a 64 bit system then you can download and try to run the Infotran utility, from the Brisnet site, for free of course. I have a 32 bit system so I can't test it.

Here's a link to the download page for the free utilities from Brisnet: http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/dynamic.cgi?page=utils

By the way, the program was created by Glenn Foote many years ago, to aid in scientific research, specifically related to the medical field. He had an interest in horse racing so decided to offer it for that purpose. It requires a text file to be written in order to select and order the fields one wants in the output, called a "control file". I've written several of those over the years, finally creating one that allowed the importation of all 1435 fields in the Brisnet csv files into pre-2007 versions of Excel (the first one to ever accomplish that task to my knowledge). Pre-2007 versions only had 254 columns while the files required 1435 columns for direct importation. The AllData Project finally accomplished the same thing, all within Excel, and without the need for Infotran or any other data parsing utility. We called that version "NI", meaning "No Infotran". That method was written by our own HCap (Harry), without whom we would still be using a data parser like Infotran. Harry really made a huge contribution to the growing spreadsheet handicapping community!

DJofSD
04-08-2015, 03:05 PM
Thanks, Ray.

I just D/L and executed ITF.exe on a 32-bit W7 system, no problem.

raybo
04-08-2015, 03:07 PM
So, we know it's not Win 7 causing his problems. Must have something to do with the 64 bit machine he's running. Or, might it be something else unrelated to 64 bit processing?

BIG49010
04-12-2015, 12:22 PM
So, we know it's not Win 7 causing his problems. Must have something to do with the 64 bit machine he's running. Or, might it be something else unrelated to 64 bit processing?

For what it's worth, you can put Windows 7 - 32 bit on any 64 bit machine, and I might be wrong here that as long as your not a heavy gamer type, the difference in performance is minimal. I did it for a similar reason to this, I use a software application that you could only run on 32 bit machine, works great and I don't see any real problems with Microsoft Office Excel. The applications in the likes of Dos box, or 32 bit emulator software on a 64 bit machine were rather clunky and very slow.