Work got crowded the past couple weeks, and for a change of pace not with programming. I still have the programming problems, but, they were put on hold to work on the patent application. The application had to be filed the 1st of March, for trade rule reasons I'm not smart enough to grasp, and this meant that a presentable final draft had to be done by the 29th of February, and this meant I had to go from the examples of patents somewhat relevant that the attorney found into a new kind of writing, like, right now.
I managed a few missteps; among them, I used as my model of what this should look like a patent that looked very close to what we're hoping to do, and which the attorney told me later was pretty shabbily written. It's also one that's been applied for but un-awarded for years, suggesting trouble if I stick too close to it. So, come Monday, we spent time --- quite a lot of time --- carefully going over the whole draft I'd had, and figuring out what should be dropped as not ready for prime time, and what should be sharpened. My first draft apparently did well enough at explaining the purposes of all the things and how it would be used, but not enough of the details of how it works, which sounds a lot like most of my mathematics writing and maybe a good bit of my teaching.
Of course, Wednesday gave me ten hours at work to finish everything, including the preparing of a lot of figures and flowcharts, and that's when a procession of people decided that I must actually have the time to deal with another project's problem. There must be something about saying, ``I do not have time to deal with this today'', which makes people think I mean, ``I have nothing better to do than deal with this today'', and I lost maybe ninety minutes altogether dealing with that, including at one point telling the boss that no, I am not spending more time dealing with this today.
Another side show was trying to deal with the attorney's cloud-computing file storage thing (since the document was about 9 megabytes, with pictures included). I spent much of the morning trying to get it to upload the correct file only to learn that it was failing because I kept pointing to a similarly-named file in another folder. Sadly I did not understand this before the patent attorney had asked the IT person to get in touch with me, so I had to explain what I was doing wrong.
Happily, come Thursday, the attorney phoned to say he thought I had just about nailed it, and only minor grammatical touch-ups were needed.
I may have doubts about the soundness of the application, but, I've done my part, at least until the trials start.
Trivia: The original charter for the Camden & Amboy Rail Road specified that the through fare was limited to $3.00. Source: The First Tycoon: The Epic Life Of Cornelius Vanderbilt, T J Stiles.
Currently Reading: Camouflage, Joe Haldeman.