Contents - Index

History of Bid Central

My name is Jim Firnhaber.  I am the sole designer and programmer of Bid Central and also the author of this help guide.  Many of you also know me as an A320 Captain in Minneapolis.  I'm thinking I should change my name to Captain Geek after all of the time and mental knashing of teeth that have gone into the development of Bid Central.  Bid Central started life as "Bid Buddy" in the Northwest world.  It begins its new life in the Delta world as Bid Central with new features and of course changes to process the Delta pairing format and create bid scripts in the language of the Delta PBS.

Bid Central has a history extending back nine years.  In that time it has been improved countless times, and battle tested month after month by many users who have come to depend on it.  It has become an extremely robust application of exceptional power.  Of course I eat my own dog food and thus use Bid Central extensively myself;  therefore, I definitely have the user perspective in mind at all times.  If I get a new good idea or good suggestion, you will likely see that in the program shortly thereafter.   In my wildest dreams I never would imagine that BC would grow into the application it has become.  If someone nine years ago had shown me the BC of today and told me I would have to start from nothing to create it, I would have said "impossible" or "give me a million dollars and then maybe I'll try."   I cannot even begin to tell you about the endless hours of work into the early morning hours getting a new feature to work properly, or finding a particularly obscure bug.  I have had more than a few bug reports that put me into the panic mode wondering if I could ever get them fixed.  I truly hope you will enjoy using the product of this labor and offer any suggestions you have for how I can improve it.

There are a couple of innovations in Bid Central that I am particulary proud of.  One is the immediate feedback you get as you define your selection criteria for pairings.  That instant search feedback was available in Bid Central several years before Google had it and I have to tokenize and group together many more search terms than they do.   The second innovation is the ability to generate all legal schedules in the Ramjet Schedule Generator.  To do this analysis in anywhere close to real time with the processing power available on a laptop is I think a tremendous programming achievement.  And I have extended that capability with unlimited "Fixed Pairings (Trips)" which makes it especially flexible while staying consistent.  As I tell everyone, "this power exists nowhere else in the airline world", and I am proud to offer it.