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All comments by Kevin O'Brien
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Showing how much they miss Jeff Johnston?

http://www.acbl.org/jeff-johnston-1955-2014/
March 16, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 16, 2015
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~applause~
March 13, 2015
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As a retired programmer and now club Director, I too am very interested in what you are posting, Nic. I could do much more for the people playing at my club if I had more of the appropriate software tools.

Thanks!
March 13, 2015
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Thanks, Greg! Being a Google employee probably helped even more than winning an Oscar in getting the video posted so quickly. :)
March 13, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 13, 2015
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Yet more detail – keeping the process in the open and under scrutiny, first of both Technology Committees, will help prevent your worst predictions. Perhaps some micromanagement will also be required.
March 13, 2015
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Alas, Kevin Lane, from the way the current ACBL Management has bungled the ACBLScore+ contract, it appears they may need micromanaging in the Technology sphere..
March 13, 2015
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Thank you, Greg!
March 13, 2015
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I know it will be redundant, but I certainly hope that someone who sat through the entire meeting will review what is eventually posted somewhere to check that the posting is not an edited version but actually a complete version of the proceedings.

The longer it takes for ACBL to post the video, the more doubt and mistrust will grow.

It's a shame, but that's the result of how ACBL management has worked in the past.

If ACBL is not able, for any reason, to post that video before the weekend, perhaps they will allow Bridge Winners to post it – that would be a very positive step forward in the direction of openness and communication to interested and concerned members, and a strong blow against doubt and mistrust.
March 12, 2015
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1. When did the ACBL CEO tell the ACBL Board of Directors of the result of outside counsel's review of the copyright terms of the ACBLscore+ contract?

2. When did the ACBL CEO tell the ACBL Board of Directors that ACBL management/league counsel had stopped paying the invoices on the ACBLscore+ contract with Hammond Software?

3. Did the ACBL CEO or the head of ACBL IT or the person serving as ACBL Project Manager for the ACBL contract with Hammond Software ever become aware of ACBL's problems with delivering specs to Hammond Software? Did any of them ever become aware of ACBL's failure to identify and assign employees to do the three man-years of work ACBL agreed to do during the contract period? If so, what steps did they take to correct these deficiencies? Were these internal ACBL problems ever communicated to the ACBL Board of Directors?

4. Did anyone at ACBL Management or ACBL IT have any experience and practice with installing and operating the final delivered version of ACBLscore+?

5. Did the committee that evaluated the end-of-contract delivered ACBLscore+ software actually see the product in action? Did it use any guidance other than the software itself as to how to install and operate it? Did it have a list of completed features, and knowledge of how to access and use these features, and know what remained to be done to complete the software? If not, did it make any effort to acquire any of this information? If not, why not?

6. Why was the CEO's Management Technology Committee given other than the final delivery of ACBLscore+ from Hammond Technology to evaluate?

7. What is CEO's Management Technology Committee doing to assist ACBL Management and ACBL IT preventing similar occurrences to any or all of the above in the future?

8. What were the reasons behind “neither the Board nor ACBL members have been able to get adequate answers to many lingering issues?” (Jay Whipple) Does ACBL's CEO believe he is now providing adequate answers to the Board?

9. Jay Whipple also said “Board members have been under a gag order as legal counsel has advised us there is potential for litigation.” Who issued the gag order? Does that gag order persist?

10. What routes to modernizing and updating ACBLscore offer ACBL a working product with earlier delivery time and/or less money cost than completing ACBLscore+?

11. Is there any chance that ACBL will complete ACBLscore+ and roll it out? If so, is there any chance ACBL will employ Nic Hammond in any capacity as part of this?
March 11, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 11, 2015
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Hi Greg,

That's great news! Thanks for your part in this huge success for openness! :)
March 11, 2015
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not a question, but I hope someone there says “Thank you for recording these proceedings and posting them so others can have access later.”
March 11, 2015
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What!? No Bridgescore+ for the late night events, especially the Groundhog Day Saturday night/Sunday morning events!? How sad!

I do understand your busy schedule, Nic – and I hope that at some friendly venue in the not-too-distant future you will be able to show Bridgescore+ to a large enough group of Club Directors to gain many allies.

Thanks!
March 11, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 14, 2015
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I don't see how anyone who has been following the ACBLscore+ fiasco/debacle since the project was canceled could think that ACBL CEO Robert Hartman has any interest at all in attracting a wider audience to the meeting, or in preserving any audio or video record of its proceedings.

That said, ACBL CEO's Management Technology Committee member Greg Humphreys did indicate that he would investigate the possibility of streaming the meeting. Haven't heard back from him yet.

And unless Mr. Hartman treats the meeting as a final session of an NABC+ event and takes steps to prevent electronic devices being used during the meeting, nothing prevents anyone in attendance from making an audio or video recording.

Nothing prevents Bridge Winners from posting such a recording, if it is made.

Any update on your efforts to stream or record the ACBL CEO's Management Technology Committee meeting tomorrow afternoon, Greg?
March 11, 2015
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Nic,

What are the chances that you can get a Gatlinburg meeting room and take a morning off from your Gatlinburg schedule and demonstrate what Bridgescore+ can do in running a club game?

1: New Orleans is a hostile environment; it's ACBL territory, and probably far too late to set up anything anyway.

2: Gatlinburg is friendly District 7 territory, and Tournament Chairs Pete Misslin and spouse are huge supporters of your efforts. Gatlinburg's crowd will approach the New Orleans crowd in number of interested people, including Club Directors.

3: You can address Larry Lang's wish list and show him what you already have; and win friends among all the other Club Directors who participate in the demo/workshop.

Maybe the dinner break would work better than a morning session?
March 10, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 10, 2015
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Hi Peg,

Earlier on this thread Greg commented “True, I know the meeting conflicts with the first afternoon session. I wasn't in charge of scheduling :)”

The person in charge of scheduling had reasons for picking this particular time, presumably including picking a time when the entire CEO's Management Technology Committee would be present, and the meeting not interfere with their participating in other meetings or in their chosen Bridge competitions.

The fact that the chosen time is inconvenient for others, the curious, the concerned, the irate, is perhaps just a fortunate coincidence for Management. Perhaps.
March 10, 2015
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Greg, you speak “correct facts.” "I can't speak to . . . since I wasn't there.“ and ”Why there's . . . I can't exactly say.“ and ”I don't know what the motivation would be for the conspiracy you're imagining, . . . my role and expertise is technical.

Nic has been setting out the motivation . . . CYA by Management for the legal SNAFU.

Nic has posted on Bridge Winners, in several places, specific question he urges us to ask our District Directors/BoD members. Thursday, those present have the opportunity to ask those questions to the CEO; instead of ”What and when did Management tell you about (specific item),“ they can ask the CEO ”What and when did YOU tell the Board of Directors about (specific item)." That is, they will have that opportunity if the CEO shows up as part of the Management Technology Committee he appointed and chairs, and answers questions posed to him by the public.

At least some of the ACBL people who CAN speak to the use of the not-really-the-final-delivery-of-ACBLscore+ proxy for evaluation, rather than the delivered product, WILL, presumably, be there Thursday.

At least some of the ACBL people who CAN speak to the version gap in the software given to the CEO's Management Technology Committee for evaluation WILL, presumably, be there Thursday.

Maybe such people, when questioned about such matters, will try saying things like “That's all in the past. We're trying to move forward here.” If they get away with that, jobs may be saved, but openness will be abandoned. Their lesson learned will be “the less the public knows, the less trouble comes back upon me/us.”

I hope you will be able to both stream and record the event; I'm VERY interested in viewing it.
March 10, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 10, 2015
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Yes, Greg, I'm alarmed!

As Nic wrote, based on info from Jay Whipple as related by Bob Heller:
“It now appears that after the ACBLscore+ code was delivered in May 2014, that ACBL spent $100K creating a “proxy” (similar software) to ACBLscore+. I am speculating that this code, not the real ACBLscore+, was shown to the ACBL Board Members (Merlin Vilhauer, Russ Jones) in May/June 2014. Based on this they recommended dropping ACBLscore+.”

I've read what Mr. Jones and Mr. Vilhauer said in their District newsletters as well. The not-really-ACBLscore+ demo convinced them to join in the unanimous decision of the Committee to recommend dropping the entire ACBLscore+ product.

Then ACBL Management/IT gave you that not-really-the-last-delivery ACBLscore+ to review.

It appears that what at first looked to me like the “Nic Hammond Conspiracy Theory” may actually have real (as you say) “correct facts” as its basis.

Mr. Hartman does not appear to be in a comfortable position. Good luck in the Q & A in two days.
March 10, 2015
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On a far, far more serious note, is the process of ACBL Management/IT giving Greg what they (presumably) called “the ACBLscore+ we received from Hammond Software at the end of the contract” – which was NOT what they said it was – just incompetence, or was it done on purpose? Is it worth finding out?

The software the “Select Committee” reviewed between the REAL “the ACBLscore+ we received from Hammond Software at the end of the contract” and the announced decision to abandon the product . . . which presumably cost ACBL $150K to build . . . was the “Select Committee” told this was NOT the Hammond Software product? If not, was omitting this vital information just incompetence, or was it done on purpose? Is it worth finding out?

From my far-on-the-outside perspective, ACBL management exhibits too much incompetence in this fiasco, or there is cause for serious questioning of ethics. Neither sounds good, and ACBL Management's silence doesn't help at all.
March 10, 2015
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err . . . is there any other kind of fact? “incorrect fact” doesn't make sense! :)
March 10, 2015
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Nic and Ed,

I agree completely with Ed about EDMOV.

As for completion date, Nic, your own words disprove you.
- you can proceed from date of new contract and be finished in about 6 (no longer 6-7 but now only 6) months. “Let's say finish date is absolutely everything. ACBLscore gone away.”

Yes you can start on movements because you have some delivered-too-late-for-completion-in-the-original-contract movement specs, but:

1: you presume you can re-hire your part-time movements/EDMOV programmmer and “My estimate is based on re-hiring him, but I haven't talked to him lately.”

2: the “best/recommended movements for BAM/Individual/Swiss” are missing still, as are, presumably ACBL's EDMOV specs.

3: then there's the absolutely important thorough testing. You can't have a final, throw-the-old-ACBLscore-away date the day the 6 months of coding is complete, you need real-world testing of movements and EDMOV in club and tournament situations. “You can't have it be the primary until EDMOV works.” And you can't prove that EDMOV works without extensive testing. That's got to be a matter of at least another month, probably more, in the field – AFTER whatever test regimen you set up in-house to work through all the various possible scenarios.

Your critical challenges to your “6 months” words seem to be:
a: being able to re-hire the previous experienced programmer
b: getting the still-missing EDMOV and BAM/Individual/Swiss specs from ACBL in time for the programmer to have no wait time in the coding
c: getting adequate testing in – not just for partial completion milestones during coding but most importantly for the complete package, all specs coded, and in enough real-world Club/Sectional/Regional situations to inspire user (and ACBL management) confidence that everything works and is ready for prime time.

IMHO, that's too many unknowns (programmer availability and testing-in-the-field work) and too many well-knowns (ACBL's ability to deliver specs in a timely manner) to put any confidence at all in your “6-7 months” of a few days ago, much less your “ACBLscore gone away . . . about 6 months” of the last hour or two.

What am I missing here, Nic?

On the other hand, ACBL is now burning through money at $50K per month just to re-invent what it already has in ACBLscore+, and not planning on completing anything missing now until sometime after 2015 ends – so even a full year for completing ACBLscore+ would be a huge improvement over Management's present plans.
March 10, 2015
Kevin O'Brien edited this comment March 10, 2015
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