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 they used to pay for their tobacco purchases. In addition, I wrote my first RPG programs, 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 to provide front line technical phone support for Browning’s mechanical power transmission products. During this time, I used Fortran to write a mainframe program to select V-Belt drives.

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 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 to write Turbo Pascal programs running 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.

 This work was done in the marketing department. Besides developing this software, I went across the USA and Canada, selling and then training customers on 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 one in Ithica, NY. We used both Mainframe and Unix computers to support all of 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 continuing to expand the number of products our software could pick for customers. I also lead 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 web sites on Free BSD and then Linux servers. When I retired in Sept 2016, STOBER Drives web sites 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. I prefer to create HTML5 web pages that use AJAX and JSON to access data structures.

Since retirement, I have consulted on systems written with INFORMIX databases and INFORMIX 4GL and GENERO software. 

I have also written this website, which demonstrates a simple PHP javascript website using AJAX and JSON to MySQL databases.

Shows Old Washington KY history

I recently developed multiple WordPress websites accessing MySQL data sources. a WordPress version describing Maysville/Mason County’s Industrial Development opportunities is a private site describing the Marshall Cemetery at Federal Hill and requires a password to access

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’ Chicago office.

Our daughter Julia Elizabeth is married and works for the Container Store near the Kenwood Mall.

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.