Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Assistance with my current Open University Project

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was starting the OU course - TM470 the Computing and IT Project. I am now into the first few days and have been asked by my tutor to go looking for "clients" to assist me. When they speak of clients, they mean people who will assist and comment on my proposals as time goes along. I have just joined the NMRA (National Model Railroad Association) at an expensive cost! I have placed the following request on their Operations forum and on a US Forum. Perhaps there are people reading this blog that could give a hand. The message explains it.

Hi there.
I live in the UK and am currently completing the last couple of modules for my OU Honours degree in Computing. The main one of these is the TM470 Computing and IT Project. For this, I have to develop a project that incorporates much of what I have learned at the OU. 

Background: I am 72 years of age and started my OU course in 1974 but dropped out in 1982 as a hectic job in the City, four kids and a dog all got in the way. Since 1985 I have worked as a programmer both for myself and others so I have many years coding and project management under my belt. 

In 1956 I was given a Triang Transcontinental train set for Christmas and since then I have been a dedicated model railroader.

My project for the OU is entitled "Freight Car Routing for US Outline Model Railroads".

The intention is to develop a specification, detailed analysis and working prototype for a system that would be:
* Internet based
* multi-user
* operated by a tablet/phone
* data stored "in the cloud"

The software will deliver (after configuration for your specific railroad) the next train to run and its composition, taking into account a large number of parameters to decide on individual car routing (and on-line collection at stations en route). 

I have a long experience of running my own model railroad and a good knowledge of how freight cars are routed and the decisions required but my course requires that I have some outside "clients" that can comment and advise. I have to say that this is set up for younger people to obtain more experienced mentors but I am what I am - smile.

If you feel that you could be interested in the project please let me know and I will give you a more detailed description.

It is unlikely to get from the prototype stage and will not become a commercial product as I am too old to get into that game so there is not bait and switch in this at all.

I need two or three kind people to give me just a few hours reading over the next few months - the project has to be completed by late September.

I hope to hear from you.

Main man on the Sunset and North Eastern R.R.

Please contact me at if you think you would like to join in.