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March 22, 2005

The origins of Energy Master

I started working on Energy Master in 1989. At that time I had a 386 and Turbo Pascal 5. I wanted an easier way to do the tedious calculations required to get an I Ching horoscope using W.K. Chu's Rational Number method as described in his "The Astrology of the I Ching". Seemed like a simple enough undertaking at the time. Years passed before the original Energy Master 2.21 for DOS was released. There were periods of intense effort. In 1992 I was working in Vancouver for 6 months, away from home with lots of off hours time on my hands. This was the first big push. A year later it was St. John NB for another 4 months and by that time I was pretty much done. That silly little DOS app had a complete graphical user interface complete with mouse support, SVGA suport, graphical printer support and auto generation of web page reports. Then Win95 came along and all those speciality drivers compiled into the code killed the whole thing. I fiddled around and rewrote about 2/3 of EM in Java. That was a steep learning curve, but calendar support and other graphical goodies were a real attraction. I got to the daily hexagram part of the code (a black hole) and bogged down. I also had to start earning my living on-line as I was done with marine design. Slowly through the late 90's I built an on-line presence for EM, and fiddled with PerlTk, the graphical toolkit for perl. This made sense because I had extensive perl exerience on the web by that time, and Activestate had released the PDK (Perl Development Kit). This made it possible to distribute a PerlTk application as a Windows executable. No need for perl (or Tk) on the target machine. No module bloat, just a clean working app. So EMTk is still under development, but one offshoot was the development of related modules to support a higher value EM version on-line. This is what you see here. You have about 90% of the original Energy Master, on-line and free. Just create a profile and log on.

Posted by james at March 22, 2005 1:46 PM