My life and experiences

I, Charles W (Bill) Marshall, graduated from the University of Kentucky with a BS in Agricultural Engineering after the spring 1972 semester. I used Fortran for the IBM360 mainframe programs written during my undergraduate studies. My most advanced program calculated the wall loading of a grain bin.

In 1972 no one was hiring newly minted engineers, so I sold Ag Chemicals in Eastern North Carolina for 15 months. 

After beating my sales quota by more than 20%, I returned to Maysville In August 1973. With my father, I operated our dairy farm until 1978. During this period, I also consulted with Parker Tobacco on designing the electrical logic circuits to control some of their machines. I also worked as a night shift data entry and machine operator of the IBM System 32 Parker used to pay for their tobacco purchases. In addition, I wrote my first RPG program, which scheduled operations for their greenhouses.

From Sept 1978 until Dec 1979, I was an application engineer at the Browning Manufacturing Division of Emerson Electric. My primary duty was providing front-line technical phone support for Browning’s mechanical power transmission products. I used Fortran to write a mainframe program to select V-Belt drives during this time.

From Dec 1979 through April 1985, I worked at Parker Tobacco as their Plant Engineer and sole programmer of their System IBM 34. During this period, I was in charge of all Parker’s maintenance worker and their activities. I also wrote, in RPG, a complete business system to support all of Parker Tobacco’s back-office functions in Maysville KY, Lexington, KY, and Rocky Mount NC.

In May 1985, I returned to Browning MFG Division, Emerson Electric (soon to be Emerson Power Transmission). My initial task was writing Turbo Pascal programs on two IBM PCs. One in Maysville and the other on the customer’s premises. (The two PC computers connected using 2400 Baud dial-up modems.) These helped the customer select the optimum Belt or Roller Chain drive components. 

As the number of customers grew, we also continued to add products. In short order, we replaced the Maysville IBM PCs with an ATT 3B2 Unix System V computer. I ported the PC logic to C programs running in a Unix OS, while still assigned to the marketing department. Besides developing this software, I went across the USA and Canada, selling and then training customers on the benefits of Browning/EDGE and MORSE/Select (as this selection software came to be trademarked. )

As these systems became more mission-critical for EPT, I was transferred to the IT department as “Business System Planner- Sales and Marketing”. In this position, I lead a team in Maysville, KY, and another in Ithica, NY. We used Mainframe and Unix computers to support EPT’s sales and marketing functions. 

During this phase, I implemented C-based programs that accessed INFORMIX databases to print graphical and barcode labels on EPT products. I continued to expand the number of products our software could pick for customers. I also led a “Sales and Booking” project whose goal was to uniformly capture sales from the several companies being merged to form EPT.

In 1991 I was one of the first three employees of STOBER Drives Inc., now a wholly-owned subsidiary of STOEBER Antriebstechnik GmbH. of Pforzheim, Germany. I developed the complete IT infrastructure to support all business functions required by the business to prosper by assembling and shipping “built to order” precision gearing in 1 business day. This business system’s OS was Unix, then Linux, with all business system code written in Informix 4GL and 4J’s Genero. Desktop software was MS-DOS then MS-Windows.

Around 1995 I started developing Apache websites on Free BSD and then Linux servers. Later I used Genero’s web-based interface to allow users in Pforzheim, Germany, to interact with some programs Maysville users accessed with a windows interface.

When I retired in Sept 2016, STOBER Drives websites continued to be Apache on LINUX, with PHP and Javascript doing most of the page generation. Web sites were accessing data in INFORMIX, MS-SQL or MySQL databases.

After I retired in 2016 and Genero was unavailable, I initially created HTML5 (PHP javascript) websites using AJAX and JSON to MySQL databases. I have since found WordPress can meet almost all my needs, is easier to maintain, and scales better.

I used WordPress to create these websites. supports my Maysville Community & Technical College classes Shows Old Washington KY history support an April 29, 2023, charity cycle tour explores local Large Scale Solar potential describes the Marshall Cemetery at Federal Hill

In addition to the work history above, I completed ROTC and was commissioned a US Army Armor Officer 2LT in 1972. In 1973 I completed the Armor Officer Basic Course. I completed my Army Reserve duty as a Captain, commanding the 400th General Supply Company in Maysville KY in 1985.

One of the most significant events in my personal life occurred when Mary Frances Peddie agreed to be my wife. We were married in 1978 and continue to live on Walnut Grove, our family farm, near Washington, where we raised our two children. Both are now grown and have moved away from Maysville.

Our son Charles Scott works on providing IoT support from Amazon Web Services.

Our daughter Julia Elizabeth is married and works as an inventory supply technician in Amazon Web Services’ Infrastructure Supply Chain & Procurement (ISCaP) organization.

I enjoy working with people using computers. I think that being an adjunct faculty member will allow me to help others, as others have helped me.

I expect that my skills and experiences in database design, INFORMIX, GENERO, JavaScript, PHP, Perl, Linux/Unix shell scripting may be of help to students studying IT. In non-IT areas, my skills with ladder logic, PLC programming, logistics planning, and project management may also be of help.

Please contact me if you have any questions.