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Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
11-19-2018, 03:01 PM (This post was last modified: 11-19-2018 09:25 PM by David Hayden.)
Post: #1
Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
Does anyone have an image [ edit: ROM image] of the racetrack module for the 41C? From the listing the edge says "RACETRACK" and the underside is labeled:
82500A-A24
DR Z INV, INC
ID 12 USA
I'm interested in playing around with this since I wrote a similar program, now lost, in the summer of 1984. I suspect they are both based on the same book.

Thanks,
Dave
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11-19-2018, 07:51 PM
Post: #2
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
(11-19-2018 03:01 PM)David Hayden Wrote:  Does anyone have an image of the racetrack modue for the 41C?

Pst, it's on TOS.
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11-19-2018, 08:50 PM
Post: #3
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
(11-19-2018 07:51 PM)Thomas Klemm Wrote:  
(11-19-2018 03:01 PM)David Hayden Wrote:  Does anyone have an image of the racetrack modue for the 41C?

Pst, it's on TOS.

I think Dave meant ROM image, not a photo image....

--Bob Prosperi
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11-19-2018, 09:12 PM
Post: #4
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
TOS has PDFs of the manual and overlay, but no ROM image.

The manual starts with:

Quote:The Beat the Racetrack Calculator ROM Module inserted in your Hewlett Packard HP41 series calculator allows you to employ the Dr. Z betting system in a very easy and fast manner. It incorporates most of the ideas presented in the book, Beat the Racetrack (footnote: by William T. Ziemba, Ph.D, and Donald B. Hausch, Harcourt, Brace and Jovanovich publishers, October, 1984 in hardback), [...]
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11-19-2018, 09:25 PM
Post: #5
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
Bob is right, I'm looking for the ROM image. Sorry for being unclear. I have edited the post.
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11-20-2018, 12:37 AM
Post: #6
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
It should be on the 41CL site. Racetrack is one of the modules and Monte has a .zip with every rom in the 41CL there.
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11-20-2018, 03:22 AM
Post: #7
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
(11-20-2018 12:37 AM)Gene Wrote:  It should be on the 41CL site. Racetrack is one of the modules and Monte has a .zip with every rom in the 41CL there.

Gene - Indeed they are in there; thanks.

Dave - check your inbox

--Bob Prosperi
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11-20-2018, 02:20 PM
Post: #8
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
Thanks Thomas, Bob and Gene. I'm embarrassed that I didn't find this stuff myself. Strangely, googling "41c racetrack" didn't reveal the manual or the rom image. Or maybe I just didn't look through enough pages.

There's a funny backstory here. In the summer of 1984 I was renting a house in Mountain View CA with some other Stanford students. One guy's hobby was studying gambling strategies. As I remember it, Tim said he learned about a really interesting strategy for racetrack betting that was in an upcoming book. The strategy was based on a single, verifiable principle: that the betting totals on the toteboard accurately reflected the probability of a horse winning. Based on this you could compute the probability of them placing or showing (coming in 2nd or 3rd) and with the toteboard data you could predict the payoff of the bets. Sometimes the payoff for placing or showing was higher than the probability and that made for winning bets in the long run. The strategy even gave recommended bets as a percentage of your total money available.

Tim said that all that was missing was a way to make the computations. Naturally I pulled out my 41CV and said "give me the formulas. I'll program them.

So I did, and we were literally off to the races!

When we got there we quickly realized there was a logistical problem. It took time to key in the toteboard numbers and it took time for the program to run. After a little trial and error, we came up with this procedure: 3 minutes(?) before post time I'd start keying in the numbers from the left side of the toteboard and Tim would write down the numbers from the right side. When my keying met his writing, we'd get in line for the betting window, Tim reading the numbers to me as I frantically keyed them in.

Now pause to get the visual here. A racetrack is a pretty seedy place with lots of cigar chewing people betting their paychecks away. Here are two college kids with a funky looking computer thing, working their way up the betting line. One kid is reading numbers from a notebook: "10,234... 8,443... 19,433..." The other is frantically keying the numbers into the computer. We really turned heads. Occasionally we'd near the betting window and the computer would beep. I'd read the display and turn to Tim. "No bet," I'd say, and we'd proceed to leave the line. People got nervous when "the computer" said not to bet.

And so it went. We won some. We lost some, but it was obviously a very memorable day for me. When I saw a "racetrack" ROM for sale on TAS the other day, I looked into it and the more I looked the more I became convinced that this ROM was based on the same strategy.

Sadly, my program is lost. It looks like I overwrote the cards that it was saved on. I found one card that appears to have the last part of the program: It displays "SHOW:" and a number.

And since everyone always asks, no, we didn't make money that day, but the loss was entirely due to one fluke race. One horse was really REALLY heavily favored to win. We placed a show or place bet on it. Coming into the final stretch the horse was leading and then it just lost it, slowed down and fell way back.

Tim in the house we rented.
   

Me in Massachusetts that same summer.
   
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11-20-2018, 03:26 PM (This post was last modified: 11-20-2018 03:26 PM by Ángel Martin.)
Post: #9
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
Great story, thanks for sharing it.
I vaguely remember seeing a manual for either the "Dr. Z's Racetrack" or the "Speed Machine" - which I believe is also about horse racing (?). Both ROM images are on the CL, I'll check my records for manuals...

Cheers,
ÁM
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11-21-2018, 01:53 PM
Post: #10
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
(11-20-2018 03:26 PM)Ángel Martin Wrote:  I'll check my records for manuals...
Thanks Ángel. The manual is on TOS but it's missing pages 8 and 9.

Meanwhile at home, I'm looking for my box of spare parts to see if I can find a serial port connector for my motherboard so I can update my 41CL and play with the ROM

Dave
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11-22-2018, 02:36 AM
Post: #11
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
I devised a short program to pick wins or losses for NFL teams. It didn't deal with point spreads. I haven't continued development because it takes too long to enter the results each week. One problem I have is that some research work (which I read but cannot find again) shows the winner of about 50% of NFL games is determined by chance. (Mostly of where one team gets the ball; were drives start is known to be a strong determiner of NFL results.) I could only get about 70-75% with somewhere in the high 70s being what is predicted by assuming random results.

I've only started on horses. So far, I'm starting out by considering a spherical horse.
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11-22-2018, 03:38 AM
Post: #12
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
(11-22-2018 02:36 AM)ttw Wrote:  So far, I'm starting out by considering a spherical horse.

Sure, 'normal' people might not see the humor, but I for one appreciate it. Thanks for the grin.

--Bob Prosperi
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11-22-2018, 03:55 AM
Post: #13
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
My strategy for the first and last football pool I ever entered, in 1985, was to use the random number function of the HP-15C calculator. I recall that the calculator did better than most of the participants, well into the season.

Check out NQ41!
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11-22-2018, 08:37 AM
Post: #14
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
(11-22-2018 02:36 AM)ttw Wrote:  I've only started on horses. So far, I'm starting out by considering a spherical horse.

Are you entering it into the Roller Derby?

— Ian Abbott
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11-22-2018, 06:27 PM
Post: #15
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
(11-22-2018 02:36 AM)ttw Wrote:  I've only started on horses. So far, I'm starting out by considering a spherical horse.

This made me laugh out loud.

Just don't start work on a dairy farm. Wink
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11-23-2018, 05:13 AM
Post: #16
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
How now round cow?
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11-23-2018, 05:42 AM
Post: #17
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
(11-23-2018 05:13 AM)ttw Wrote:  How now round cow?

Anyone remember Rawhide?

(Post 318)

Regards, BrickViking
HP-50g |Casio fx-9750G+ |Casio fx-9750GII (SH4a)
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11-29-2018, 09:31 PM
Post: #18
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
I got my 41CL updated last night thanks to Sylvane's wonderful update utilities. The update includes the racetrack module so I've started playing around with it.

Does anyone have a copy of the manual, especially pages 8 and 9? The copy on TOS has those pages missing.

Dave
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06-09-2019, 11:43 AM
Post: #19
racetrack module again RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
Hi everyone,
new to the forum here. I'm having the same question: does anyone know where to find the racetrack module?

I'm trying to figure out how to rewrite the old module into a more portable app format (as a personal project, for fun -- to begin with). Any leads on where to find the documentation and/or source code are highly appreciated.

Many thanks
Alex
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06-10-2019, 03:36 PM
Post: #20
RE: Dr. Z's racetrack module for 41C
Minch sent me a PM but I thought I'd respond here in case anyone's interested.

The manual and overlay are available on TOS. Look for Dr. Z in the modules section. Unfortunately 2 pages are missing from the manual.

The ROM image is available in the 41 CL ROM image library. The names are racetr-1 and racetr-2 I think: http://www.systemyde.com/hp41/files.html


The book was recently re-released. Search for "Beat The Racetrack" by William Ziemba and Donald Hausch.
(06-09-2019 11:43 AM)minch Wrote:  Hi everyone,
new to the forum here. I'm having the same question: does anyone know where to find the racetrack module?

I'm trying to figure out how to rewrite the old module into a more portable app format (as a personal project, for fun -- to begin with). Any leads on where to find the documentation and/or source code are highly appreciated.

Many thanks
Alex
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