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Dave Schwartz
12-12-2016, 11:30 PM
Just wanted to give everyone an update on how my new software project is coming along. This is the Pace Makes the Race software, but renamed to be called The Shark.

After you read this, I know many will be expecting a a very high price tag.

*Small up front cost (Less than $200.)
*Small monthly cost, depending upon features.
*Small recurring annual cost to cover ALL upgrades.

Expected beta release: 1st Quarter 2017.


Key points:

Getting Data In
1. HDW download by subscription
2. Manual entry
3. CSV import in a pre-designed format. (Software Development Kit will be available.)

(Very few required fields for manual entry. Also, free entries can be copied/pasted directly into the software.)



Remembers everything forever.
If you've imported 6 months of data and a horse has raced 5 times since, he will show 15 pace lines (if you want to see that many).

If you have entered data by hand, it will remember every horse, every race, every paceline, and every workout, so you never have to enter anything twice. It will even remember your handicapping!

You can mix-and-match data sources.

Interesting idea: Download for a month and suddenly you have a whole bunch of horses, races and pacelines. Then you can enter data manually until you decide to pay for another month.


Thousands of Factors Available
Each user has thousands of programmable factors to choose from. What does that mean?

It means that you can select a factor called "Speed Rating" and decide how you want it to be used.

Key Points
Filtering - What races are considered.
Sorting - How are the races ordered?
Count - How many should be used?
Rank or Output - Various settings

Example #1:
*Filter: Dirt races in the last 365 days on a fast track, going back no more than 5 races.
*Sort: By highest rating
*Count: Average of 3 races.
*When you rank the horses consider 1 point as a "tie margin."

Example #2:
*Filter: Routes only, +/- 2 month of year from today
... Only races finished within 3.25 lengths of the winner.
*Sort: Closest Finish Lengths.
*Count: Weighted Rank
... Weight rank 1=1.00
... Weight rank 2=0.75

(Obviously, these are creative examples.)


The MASTER Grid
The data is organized into a "grid." Think spreadsheet, with rows (horses) and columns (factors).

The grid can have up to 800 factors per entry. (User selects from the factor list.)

The MASTER grid gets every race added to it automatically. This is your "master" database.

If you decide that you want to change some factors, you just recreate the Master Grid from the back data that you have. (It keeps everything forever, remember?) If you have (say) 50,000 races in your data, it will recreate the new grid entirely in a couple of hours.

You can also keep the old grid in case you want to go back!

In fact, you can actually have 9,999 different grids!


Getting Data Out
*Export to CSV.

*Write directly to an OPEN Excel file from the open race. This means you can click a button and write the race data directly to a file that you can write formulas in!
(This will not be in the original beta release.)


Lots more, of course. Like killer trainer and jockey stats, and amazing track models.

This is a 24-month project (currently 14 months in). It will be functional in the next couple of months, though not complete for quite a while.


Ask questions. Make suggestions. Give me ideas. Tell me what you want to see.


Dave

PaceAdvantage
12-14-2016, 02:47 PM
No replies yet...surprising...I know I think this sounds interesting...

Elliott Sidewater
12-14-2016, 03:48 PM
Dave:
Maybe I didn't read the description carefully enough, but will the software have utilities for testing and reporting results (win %, ROI) for different combinations of user selected or defined factors against a database of races?

Of course this is interesting, but activity in the forum has been a little slow lately, probably due to approaching holidays, preoccupation with politics, and perhaps also the negative sentiments expressed about the normally interesting Gulfstream meeting.

Dave Schwartz
12-14-2016, 05:52 PM
No replies yet...surprising...I know I think this sounds interesting...

PA,

Give it time.

As we get closer I will talk about the simple side.

The whole purpose of complicated software is to make it simple.


Maybe I didn't read the description carefully enough, but will the software have utilities for testing and reporting results (win %, ROI) for different combinations of user selected or defined factors against a database of races?

Of course. Analysis is the point of life. :-)

ReplayRandall
12-14-2016, 09:00 PM
PA,

Give it time.

As we get closer I will talk about the simple side.

The whole purpose of complicated software is to make it simple.




Of course. Analysis is the point of life. :-)

Dave, I'm going to blunt with you....What incentive are you giving ME to get in on the ground floor when you first release this? Wouldn't it be wise on my part to just wait and avoid any glitches or hiccups that may arise until the program is complete in 10 months?.....I need some reassurances here, that if I get involved, this "shark" doesn't tank before it ever gets completed.

Speed Figure
12-14-2016, 10:26 PM
Hate to say it, but every time Dave makes a thread about new software that's coming out it NEVER COMES OUT!

Dave Schwartz
12-14-2016, 10:59 PM
Hate to say it, but every time Dave makes a thread about new software that's coming out it NEVER COMES OUT!

Same software that I have been discussing for almost 2 years.

It is a very big deal.


Dave, I'm going to blunt with you....What incentive are you giving ME to get in on the ground floor when you first release this? Wouldn't it be wise on my part to just wait and avoid any glitches or hiccups that may arise until the program is complete in 10 months?.....I need some reassurances here, that if I get involved, this "shark" doesn't tank before it ever gets completed.

Don't know how I would provide that other than to say that what comes later is on the higher end of the price scale anyway.

In other words, when the product goes out, everything that is coming for that level of software will be available.

The continued development is for the MUCH higher-end stuff.

upthecreek
12-15-2016, 07:33 AM
Hate to say it, but every time Dave makes a thread about new software that's coming out it NEVER COMES OUT!
:ThmbUp: :ThmbUp:
Heard this song and dance before

Dave Schwartz
12-15-2016, 10:50 AM
You guys just have no idea how complex a piece of software like this is.

I actually tried to hire a programmer to help but the work was so sub-standard that I tossed all his work out and began again.

The simpler a program is (and still has flexibility) the more complex the programming.

But I understand your attitude. Just wait and see.

PaceAdvantage
12-15-2016, 11:00 AM
:ThmbUp: :ThmbUp:
Heard this song and dance beforeAnd other than the time it takes to read the thread, I must ask....so what?

Plenty of software companies announce products that end up being delayed and/or shelved...

Maybe I missed it, but it doesn't seem like Dave is asking for $$ up front before the release of the software. So either he releases it, and you buy it or you don't... :lol:

Not really sure what the relevance is to him discussing projects he's working on - to the final end product released - as if this is some sort of negative.

Dave has a pretty long history in this game...he's been writing and marketing software since I first got into the game, which was almost 30 years ago...he has plenty of satisfied customers (and like any developer, he has his share of unsatisfied ones as well).

upthecreek
12-15-2016, 11:49 AM
And other than the time it takes to read the thread, I must ask....so what?

Plenty of software companies announce products that end up being delayed and/or shelved...

Maybe I missed it, but it doesn't seem like Dave is asking for $$ up front before the release of the software. So either he releases it, and you buy it or you don't... :lol:

Not really sure what the relevance is to him discussing projects he's working on - to the final end product released - as if this is some sort of negative.

Dave has a pretty long history in this game...he's been writing and marketing software since I first got into the game, which was almost 30 years ago...he has plenty of satisfied customers (and like any developer, he has his share of unsatisfied ones as well).

His first offer was 5000 copies of a FREE software, never happened Then he ask for PA members input and ideas for the next software project which he was going to sell Now another announcement He gets PA members hopes up and they havent seen anything yet You ask in an earlier post why no replies, I think that is part of the reason.
Just My 2 Cents :confused:

JimG
12-15-2016, 11:53 AM
His first offer was 5000 copies of a FREE software, never happened Then he ask for PA members input and ideas for the next software project which he was going to sell Now another announcement He gets PA members hopes up and they havent seen anything yet You ask in an earlier post why no replies, I think that is part of the reason.
Just My 2 Cents :confused:

I am sure Dave would be willing to sell you HSH software if you are looking for software from him.

upthecreek
12-15-2016, 11:55 AM
I am sure Dave would be willing to sell you HSH software if you are looking for software from him.

Thats not the point See post #6 Im done Dont really care if it ever gets finished

Dave Schwartz
12-15-2016, 12:24 PM
Thats not the point See post #6 Im done Dont really care if it ever gets finished

That would be your choice.

Meanwhile, I will produce this.

As for 5000 free copies - the market simply would not accept this. There simply was no way to recover cost.

When I said that I wanted to produce free software, I was told that it wasn't really free unless I provided source code as well.

We are a profit-motivated business. The reason we've been in business since 1990 is that I always test the waters before producing something.

Sometimes I put out an idea and it is rejected. If it is not going to be well-received, then why would I bother to produce something that will fail?


HSH is a giant, powerful program. It is not for everyone. In fact, it is for very few people. My focus groups tell me that the simpler the program, the more people want it.

People were always saying, "Why don't you build an "HSH-lite?" Or, "Why don't you release a starter version of HSH?"

For a developer to do that, it must be planned from the beginning. That is what this is:

The Shark is a program that, on its simplest level will be perfect for the low-end user; the guy that wants to use it just 3 times a month. He will be able to learn it because it will be simple - for him.

And it will be affordable.

Meanwhile, if he wants to step up to the next level, he loses nothing. He just adds a few features - in a small monthly fee increase.

Just so you get the feel for this project, the high-end package is called "Melville," and is a multi-user version of this, designed to support a real whale team.

Same product. Just expanded features.


THE POINT: This software is very deep design and programming. It is several thousand man hours.


Whether you choose to be part of it or not is up to you.


Dave

upthecreek
12-15-2016, 12:28 PM
That would be your choice.

Meanwhile, I will produce this.

As for 5000 free copies - the market simply would not accept this. There simply was no way to recover cost.

When I said that I wanted to produce free software, I was told that it wasn't really free unless I provided source code as well.

We are a profit-motivated business. The reason we've been in business since 1990 is that I always test the waters before producing something.

Sometimes I put out an idea and it is rejected. If it is not going to be well-received, then why would I bother to produce something that will fail?


HSH is a giant, powerful program. It is not for everyone. In fact, it is for very few people. My focus groups tell me that the simpler the program, the more people want it.

People were always saying, "Why don't you build an "HSH-lite?" Or, "Why don't you release a starter version of HSH?"

For a developer to do that, it must be planned from the beginning. That is what this is:

The Shark is a program that, on its simplest level will be perfect for the low-end user; the guy that wants to use it just 3 times a month. He will be able to learn it because it will be simple - for him.

And it will be affordable.

Meanwhile, if he wants to step up to the next level, he loses nothing. He just adds a few features - in a small monthly fee increase.

Just so you get the feel for this project, the high-end package is called "Melville," and is a multi-user version of this, designed to support a real whale team.

Same product. Just expanded features.


THE POINT: This software is very deep design and programming. It is several thousand man hours.


Whether you choose to be part of it or not is up to you.


Dave
Wish you luck!

mikesal57
12-15-2016, 12:39 PM
here we go again.....

what should I do.....Listen or pull the trigger???

PaceAdvantage
12-15-2016, 12:47 PM
How about showing a tad bit of respect to advertisers by simply ignoring the thread if you're not interested, instead of taking useless potshots.

mikesal57
12-15-2016, 12:53 PM
I wish Dave the best of luck....just dont care for the way he does business...

upthecreek
12-15-2016, 01:07 PM
How about showing a tad bit of respect to advertisers by simply ignoring the thread if you're not interested, instead of taking useless potshots.
I didn't take a potshot at him , just stated the facts
Hope he completes his project

Dave Schwartz
12-15-2016, 02:59 PM
Wish you luck!

Thank you.

Truthfully, it is an exciting and challenging project.

Have not had this much fun in years.

HuggingTheRail
12-16-2016, 12:34 AM
thought this was a thread about my ex mother in law

I am excited to hear more. I think I need to see screenshots, etc to get a better understanding if it will convince me to move from pen/paper

menifee
12-16-2016, 04:42 AM
Dave,

Looking forward to it. Keep up the good work and disregard the negativity. Your postings on this board and your contribution to the game are admired and respected.

no breathalyzer
12-16-2016, 04:57 AM
Dave,

Looking forward to it. Keep up the good work and disregard the negativity. Your postings on this board and your contribution to the game are admired and respected.

well said..i agree... always going to be unhappy people

''You guys just have no idea how complex a piece of software like this is.

I actually tried to hire a programmer to help but the work was so sub-standard that I tossed all his work out and began again''


trust me i believe you

Dave Schwartz
12-16-2016, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the encouragement, guys.

I really am enjoying the work effort. It is a lot to do but for a software developer, solving complex problems and doing "cool stuff" is the essence of life.


Anyone who is reading the content on our website will notice that there has been a significant upswing in the last few months. This is because we've now got a staff of 6 people doing things.

This has just made a huge change in my world because I am no longer carrying the entire effort on my shoulders. I still produce the content myself, but now I have people a doing other stuff like transcribing, editing, posting the actual content and helping with videos.

As such, my production has just gone through the roof.


Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.


Dave

UltimateBetter
12-16-2016, 01:11 PM
When not use files from Brisnet and Trackmaster

traveler
12-16-2016, 02:52 PM
Dave, if I understand data will be HDW data downloads which are on a monthly subscription basis for other software products, will this also be monthly download priced and if so will the file be compatible with your HSH product?

Any idea on the data costs?

MANUAL input of data into the program - tell me I misread that?

Thank you.

cloud9
12-17-2016, 11:25 AM
Monthly subscriptions at a time is to expensive for many unless you play most days . Files from Brisnet are cheaper and would sell more software .

mikesal57
12-17-2016, 12:21 PM
Monthly subscriptions at a time is to expensive for many unless you play most days . Files from Brisnet are cheaper and would sell more software .

This was a beef of mine back when his program was in the earlier stages.
Dave is a smart enough man to develop a program that changes with individual inputs and can be different from one person to the next and still use DRF Files. But he continues to use his "files" at a cost so that you are "locked" in. Yes, he mentioned that manual input can be done also , but we all know how that will end up. Being here since 1990 and has made money from this site, you think he'd say OK...Let me thank everyone here and give them a good product that wont rape them...If NCG can do it, than why cant he...???

Mike

traveler
12-17-2016, 12:32 PM
This was a beef of mine back when his program was in the earlier stages.
Dave is a smart enough man to develop a program that changes with individual inputs and can be different from one person to the next and still use DRF Files. But he continues to use his "files" at a cost so that you are "locked" in. Yes, he mentioned that manual input can be done also , but we all know how that will end up. Being here since 1990 and has made money from this site, you think he'd say OK...Let me thank everyone here and give them a good product that wont rape them...If NCG can do it, than why cant he...???

Mike
You are certainly entitled to your opinion within whatever bounds there are on the bbs.

To be fair (IMHO), I think we need to let Dave respond to the data cost issue. If he is going with that monthly download fee structure that is HDW's way of doing business, then he has determined that is the business model he wants to pursue and the market will determine whether he makes a buck or not.

mikesal57
12-17-2016, 12:38 PM
You are certainly entitled to your opinion within whatever bounds there are on the bbs.

To be fair (IMHO), I think we need to let Dave respond to the data cost issue. If he is going with that monthly download fee structure that is HDW's way of doing business, then he has determined that is the business model he wants to pursue and the market will determine whether he makes a buck or not.


data cost was asked before ...but he doesn't respond

Dave Schwartz
12-17-2016, 12:42 PM
Good Questions About Getting Data In

When [why] not use files from Brisnet and Trackmaster

It forces the user to pay more for the program usage because their is no commission to the developer.

There might eventually be a BRIS import but, truthfully, I try to support the people who have supported me, so HDW needs to get first shot at this.


Dave, if I understand data will be HDW data downloads which are on a monthly subscription basis for other software products, will this also be monthly download priced and if so will the file be compatible with your HSH product?

Same data file. Cost is $134 per month (which includes program usage fee on an advanced level).


MANUAL input of data into the program - tell me I misread that?

LOL - No, you did not misread that. People who play 2-3 days per month often do not want to buy ANY download.

I have designed the software to allow a user to enter data by hand.

In addition, the idea of mixing-and-matching comes up. That is...

* Capturing the entries from a web page with copy/paste
(remember that the Shark keeps everything forever.)
* Add pacelines (for pace handicappers)
(Again, remember that the Shark keeps everything forever.)
* Therefore, never have to enter any piece of information twice.
(If you enter the times of a race for one paceline, the race
and the times are always available for pacelines for another
horse.)
* The possibility of downloading for a single month and capturing 10s of
thousands of pacelines, leaving far fewer pacelines to enter.


[QUOTE]Monthly subscriptions at a time is to expensive for many unless you play most days . Files from Brisnet are cheaper and would sell more software .

I completely get this. The harsh reality is that this type of customer is, to the developer of software, the same as a "manual entry user."

There simply is no free lunch. The cost of developing a top quality piece of software must be recouped. Since there is no data provider to subsidize the recovery of the cost of the software (and ultimately, profit), the cost must be born by the user.

If the user has no problem paying a monthly fee for a BRIS import I have no problem building the functionality into the program.

Of course, the guy who downloads 3 days per month typically only expects to pay for using the program for those 3 days. Even more so, if the user only downloads one track 3 times per month, he expects to pay even less.

Two problems with this for the software developer (i.e. me):
1. Designing a mechanism to bill only for tracks downloaded, or even for individual days, necessitates around $50k-$100k worth of programming.

And I mean hard dollars here - not my TIME - but actually hiring an expert to build such a module into the 3rd-party store. Adding this feature and expecting to recover the cost from the 1-3 day-per-month downloader is just not going to happen.


2. It simply does not generate enough revenue to support the kind of development I am doing.


Nevertheless, I have been determined from the beginning to allow this program to be NON-DATA-CENTRIC. How much we expand that over time will depend upon public support, of course.


One more word...

HSH is a very powerful piece of software. Over the next couple of years - and it probably will take that long - I will lift the level of this program to and beyond the functionality of HSH.

But the Shark - at its core - is a program that functions with WHATEVER DATA IS PROVIDED.

For example, at the highest level, it tracks trainers, jockeys, breeders and owners - overall or by track. But , as you can imagine, the hand-entry user is simply not likely to take the time to enter owners or breeders. Therefore, it can simply be ignored.

The only real exceptions to this is that some core race and horse information is required. Each race must have a track, date, race number, surface, distance. It should have a few more pieces of data (i.e. track condition, times, etc.) but if you don't want to enter them, then you just turn them off once and they will be ignored.

(Special note: If you ever get that information in a download it will add it!)

Each horse must have a name and age because that is a unique identifier. They must also have a post position, although the system is smart enough to assume that order of entry/import will replace the post position if you don't have one.

To see data for back viewing there must be some results. It will work with prices and finish positions for just the depth you choose. That is, if you enter the top 3 finishers only, it will assume that everyone else finished "worse than 3rd." If you enter only the winner, it will assume that all the other horses finished worse than 1st


Much earlier I spoke of being able to suck data in from a CSV file. Still going to be there.


This means that you could, for example have a home brewed program that writes the data we must have (i.e. minimum race and horse data) and a bunch of fields.

Those fields will then be used as "data" in the "grids."

mikesal57
12-17-2016, 12:49 PM
Dave..

Thank you for responding....


I have 2 programs that produce CSV Files.....

Would you consider me as a beta user?

Mike

P.S.- If your cursing while reading this , dont respond :)

Dave Schwartz
12-17-2016, 12:54 PM
Special note: I understand that some people have expectations that I am unable to fulfill. It is simply a matter of economics.

Harsh reality for anyone who is in business is that without profit there is no business. If a company creates a product that does not make money, then the product is discontinued.

If the company is smart enough to determine ahead of time that the product will not result in profit, then the product is never built to begin with.

The customer who stomps his feet and says, "But I expect this $500 product for $12," or "I expect unlimited support forever," is a customer that a company simply cannot afford.


PS: Some people are on my block list.

traveler
12-17-2016, 06:00 PM
I hope it works out Dave, but I think if you're trying to create an annuity retirement stream you better take out a reverse mortgage.

Ted Craven
12-17-2016, 06:26 PM
Dave,

1. FWIW, TrackMaster WILL create a customized data file for a software vendor, for which the vendor can receive a generous share of sales. This has been my arrangement with Trackmaster for RDSS for a decade now. They take care of sales, billings and monthly royalty checks to the software vendor. The software just has to have either a way of downloading the files against the user's TrackMaster/Equibase account, or they download files themselves and make sure the files end up where the software can find them.

2. Alternately, I would be happy to offer RDSS as a downloader of whatever data points are currently available from TrackMaster's RDSS data file - and have it export data to the format you specify for import into SHARK. RDSS currently exports to several older Sartin programs, as well as CSV and XML. Adding a SHARK file format would be not much work.

Then, for the RDSS annual subscription fee ($150) a user can download as much or as little TrackMaster data as they like (on a sliding scale based on monthly usage, for as little as $1.50/file) and export to SHARK. You don't even have to use RDSS for handicapping, or tote analysis, or wager construction - or anything. Just use it to get data la carte for export to SHARK. If there are any user-customizable (i.e.blank) fields in the export format, I'll throw in some of the 'secret' RDSS/Sartin figs. Or even NewPace!

3. When you're ready, let me know the file format for data export and I'll add it into RDSS 2.1.

Best of luck with the new software!

Ted

Dave Schwartz
12-17-2016, 08:01 PM
Thanks, Ted.

That is one of my ultimate goals - to get a free SDK out there.

The idea of custom data files (such as TrackMaster or BRIS) defeats the purpose, IMHO.

Usually those files are more expensive for the end user than (say) the BRIS single file format.

If the vendor has to jack the cost in order to pay me, that will not enamor the customer to me (which is, of course, the goal of any vendor of anything).

If I allow something outside of HDW, it will need to be a generic file because the purpose is LESS data-dependence - unless it is by subscription.


IMHO, the ultimate download in the industry is the HDW download. That is why we stick with them for subscriptions. Their data is the cleanest I have ever seen - mistakes are trapped on an unbelievable level.

In addition, Jim Cramer is really a brilliant guy. I don't say that about a lot of software-types, but he really is. Very innovative ideas.

For example, his construction of pace ratings are just amazing. Not sure if I am actually allowed to talk about that without his permission, so I'll not go farther than that.

It was Cramer's concepts of running styles that led me to NewPace.

In my opinion, innovation of data is what beating the game is all about.

The entire racing world is stuck in 1980s-style data analysis. Sure, there are faster database engines, but we - and I am included in this group - are still looking at data in an old fashioned way.

I don't think I can discuss this too deeply until the Shark is at least near release but there are some really new data methods I have devised. They came about as I worked to design our new A.I. for Melville.

I can say this: The idea is to present the data in such a way that the A.I. engine has the ability to "understand" what the data really represents.

Speed ratings, for example, are just numbers. Ranking them or using difference from the top, or difference from "strength of field" are better ways. Do all of those ways at one time and you have still better ways.

But there are ways to do even more; to express the numbers in much more meaningful ways.

I've got to say that the idea for this came from CJ Milkowski. He's another brilliant thinker on PA.

What a place this is for learning.