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About Us - RowStat Lite

The following are photos and brief biographies contributors to RowStat Lite, as well as a brief mention two individuals that were helpful.

Alan Solis, Solis Software
Alan Solis has over 30 years of experience designing, writing, and maintaining software applications. Over the years he has worked at start-ups (Cohesive Networks, T3Plus, Synoptics, Com21, Informative) and large corporations (DCA, Racal-Datacom, Nortel Networks) in the San Jose area He uses C++, Java, HTML, PHP, JavaScript, MySQL, various other relational and object-oriented databases, and JSP for applications, Android Apps, and websites. More information can be found at Alan Solis Software Consulting.

Partnering with Jim Hunter on RowStat has been an exciting experience for Alan, and he particularly enjoyed the on-lake testing in the coaches’ boat at Lexington reservoir in Los Gatos, CA.

Alan was Technical Editor for two books published by McGraw-Hill. Both written by Robin Nixon, He was technical reviewer for two books: Learning PHP, MySQL, and 
JavaScript: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Dynamic Websites, by Robin Nixon from O'Reilly; and PHP
Advanced and Object-Oriented Programming: Visual QuickPro Guide, 3rd Edition by Larry Ullman from Peachpit Press.

Born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas and still a proud Razorback, Alan received a B.S. in Physics in 1982 and a B.S. in Computer Science in 1986 from the University of Arkansas. He moved to San Jose in 1987. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Jose
State University in 2008.

Barrie Robinson, born on the Isle of Wight UK, was educated at public schools in England and South Africa.  He won an Exhibition Scholarship to university and graduated from the University of Nottingham in 1964, where he read Automatic Control and Electrical Engineering.   He has had an interest in many sports and was briefly an international rugby player. At university he took up rowing.  This became his passion and rowed for the university’s first VIII.   

During this time he foresaw a need for a hand held inexpensive stroke rate device but confesses he did nothing about it.   After graduating he worked for the Automation Division of Marconi in Chelmsford UK and was involved in large real-time computer systems for the electricity generating, atomic energy and defense  organisations.  He was seconded to Canadian Marconi in 1968 but was soon approached and employed by American high tech companies.  

He retired after heading up some notable Canadian subsidiaries of American high tech manufacturing companies such as Remcom, Sytek, and Comten and began coaching rowing in earnest at Barrie Rowing Club.  It was here that his idea of a low cost stroke rate stopwatch was rekindled as he noted that young coaches very often could not afford the price of the stroke rate watches then on the market.   So he developed the OarRATER, a stroke rate stopwatch that was not only rugged and reliable but was well below the price of other similar products.   A world wide set of distributers soon resulted in the OarRATER becoming very popular.   

Being an engineer he looked at rowing and coaching with engineering eyes and started to design the successor to OarRATER with a view to developing a low cost unit but with considerably more analytical features such as water-to-air ratios.  However, serendipity showed its hand, when his colleague from Sytek days, Jim Hunter of Net Effects, California, called and discussed the issues involved in developing a successor to OarRATER. Jim invited me to join a team developing an App for Google Android.   His expertise in rowing assisted the development of a very powerful App, RowStat, for the Android operating system.   The team developing the RowStat App are looking forward to producing even more powerful features which will be added to the software without needing to modify the base program because of its modular architecture.  These features will use all the facilities on the Android phone resulting in a very comprehensive rowing training and data recording system.

James (Jim) Hunter has over 45 years experience computer and communications. He has worked for Honeywell (in Canada and the US), Four-Phase Systems, (US, Europe and South America), Compression Labs, Sytek, Network Research Corp. and NRC Japan. Most recently he has been a founder of Net Effects and continues as President.

Jim has served in technical, marketing, sales (OEM) and senior management and C executive positions. During his career he has had several interesting “firsts”, while at Four-Phase Systems he installed the first commercial computer with semiconductor memory, at Eastern Airlines, in Miami, Florida. Later at Sytek he developed an OEM relationship with IBM, negotiated the agreements (development, manufacturing and licensing) for the first Local Network Adapter for the IBM PC. This contract, with IBM, totaled 122 million dollars. While at Network Research Corp. he was instrumental in establishing the joint-venture NRC Japan. While serving as NRC US  President/Chairman, he also served as President/Representative Director and was very involved in the successful sales efforts to Sony, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Toshiba, etc. Jim also served as an outside director to LanTel of Norcross GA., and he was named as one of the three patent holders on the company’s patent for an RF Frequency Agile Modem. Jim later was a founder of Net Effects and developed the first Visa Credit Card web site. He was interested in the problem and opportunity represented by developing a successor to the OarRATER. When the original  OarRATER was developed it was relatively inexpensive to get tooling for injection molding and a micro-controller could be customized to produce a cost effective solution. Programmable smart phones offered an attractive alternative to a more traditional approach using a custom hardware platform.

Jim’s career has in reality been focused on problem solving. Finding creative solutions to not only technical problems, but also to other areas including contract negotiation, sales, marketing, human relations, product design, financial, deal making, etc.

Jim was born in Rhode Island and shortly began a series of moves between the east. west coasts and Europe.  Finally deciding that Silicon Valley was to be home.  Jim has a BSBA degree from the University of San Francisco, plus extensive classwork in math, physics and computer science collected over the years.

Several other people participated at various points in in the product development. Tom Birmingham was initially involved, but was lured away by the "beat of another drum", to develop his own App in the music area. Patrick Lynch a rowing coach in the South Bay was very helpful in providing comments and a chance to see rowing practices, on several occasions.