July 31, 2004
V Planet! Update and Other News
I'll start with the biggest news: V Planet!, an affiliate and recipient of the Five Star Site Award, has done an update, adding TWO articles about this site. In fact, the entire V Planet! update was dedicated to Pete's QB Site.
The first article excitedly announces that my site has reopened, also discussing a lot of my site's history and its effect on the QB Community. The second article graciously accepts the Five Star Site Award. They are both very well-written and well-researched, something which V Planet! is famous for.
I'll make no bones about it: V Planet! is my favorite QB site these days, and the warm reception Vance, Nekrophidius and company gave me was wonderful.
Next on the agenda: I spent several hours yesterday searching around for QB Tutorials and old QB Zines (which have an untapped wealth of tutorials), which I plan to add to this site pretty soon. I have also collected a lot of FAQs to add too. I hope for this site to become your one stop shop for QB tutorials, because there are tutorials for just about anything you could ever dream of doing in QBasic...but the problem is they're hard to find. If I bring them all here, index them, and host them, people will have a much easier time learning QB or getting their questions answered.
I know I just mentioned extracting tutorials from old QB eZines, but I'm also tossing around another idea: having a QB Magazines section of this site, with archives of all of the old QB magazines. Last year, Barok (a prominent QB coder who hangs out at QBasic News a lot) compiled a large archive of many QB community magazines. He got together just about all of the ones he could find, which was quite a lot. He did a truly remarkable job with this, and I can't thank him enough for his work! You can find it at RPG-Dev.net.
However, his magazine archive is a really big, cumbersome file, and he has reformatted all of the zines so that they can be printed rather than read on a screen. A lot of them were reformatted in Microsoft Word so that they were printer friendly. There are also some missing magazines / issues. What I intend to do is to just host ever QB magazine I can get my hand on, and keep them online, unchanged, in their original HTML or TXT format. They will be more accessible to casual visitors that way, and a lot less of a hassle to read. I think it will be a great addition to this site and a great resource to everyone in the QB community.
Next, I'd like to point out that in the past few days, my message board has been bustling--especially in the QBasic Questions and Answers section. Several people have posted questions and several people have responded to help them, and I think it's just great. A few people have emailed me QB questions too, though I highly suggest that if you have a question to post it on the forum! (Keep in mind that I haven't programmed QB in years, so I'm very rusty and might not be able to help you, though I was able to answer Vicki's email question this morning.) I'm really glad that people have started using my message board, rather than it just sitting there empty.
Finally, TheBigBasicQ has pointed out that there may be some problems with my site's layout not displaying properly on some browsers. I have noticed this problem too. I encourage everyone to check out this thread on the QBasic News board and tell me if you've had any problems with this site's design not showing up correctly. If you have something to report, feel free to either reply to that thread on QBasic News or post something on this site's forum.
Allrighty, I'm out. Thanks for visiting, everybody, and make sure you come back! Big updates are in store!
Posted by Pete |
July 26, 2004
Reopening was a Big Success!
I'd like to thank all the visitors for the warm reception this site was met with when it reopened--it was a great success!
I really surprised a lot of people (Jofers said on the QBasic News board: "Well, that was probably the most unexpected thing I have ever seen happen. Out of the billions of combinations I can make with those letters, that's the last thing I would have put together at random for myself to see on this frontpage..")
People were not only surprised, but they also met the news with a lot of enthusiasm. I got only positive responses, and a lot of compliments. Everyone was glad to see the site's comeback. My old buddies from back when I was originally updating this site were the ones that were especially enthusiastic; after complimenting the site on several boards including my own, Nekrophidius said: "Pete...you better not disappear again, or I'll have to beat you down personally." Well, guys, I intend to stick around for a long time to come!
On July 23rd, the first full day of business, I had 169 unique visits, which is absolutely phenomenal. For the following two days, hits topped 100. Today, it looks like there are going to be about 85 unique visits. Soon hits will level off, and waiting to see how many will be coming on a regular basis from now on. On the old site before the redesign, I was averaging about 25-30 hits per day.
As this site opened, people began to take advantage of the new dynamic features available, and added quite a bit of content. I'd like to point out one person in particular, who has submitted huge amounts of content over the first few days: Adigun Azikiwe Polack. Adigun uploaded nearly twenty programs to this site and also added a QB News article about his latest project, Frantic Journey. He filled up the Libraries and the Sound sections of the Downloads section, which were completely empty when I opened the site just a few days ago. He also encouraged other people at the QBasic News boards to submit content of their own. Let's have a big round of applause for Adigun! (Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap!)
Other people who have submitted content include: Jocke The Beast (who uploaded *many* of his excellent games), Nekrophidius, Na_th_an, ComputerGhost, Levi, AJones, Semerkoala, RelSoft, SumoJo, JQB45 and more (sorry to anyone I missed)! I thank you all for the content you have added to the site, and encourage everyone to keep on submitting!
As for me, I have added much content recently, including over sixty-five new QB links. I'm very proud of the links section, which is by far the largest and most thorough QuickBasic links collection in existence right now. If there is any QB site that I've missed, please tell me about it and I will gladly add a link. (I know there are a ton of non-English sites that I have left out intentionally...I've only linked to the biggest and best foreign sites...but if there are any English QB sites not listed there, make sure you tell me about them!)
Also, anyone that has a QB site, I ask you to add a link to my site...or update your old links, especially if they point to the dead Hypermart address! QBasic News and QBasic.tk have added my link as an affiliate on the front page, and I thank them for that.
Finally, today is my birthday! I turn 19 today. (I just had birthday cake, and a nice birthday party earlier today--thanks for everything guys!)
It's been a great past few days! Thanks for visiting and submitting, everybody.
And what's next? Now that I have no more links to add for the time being, I'm going to focus on other sections of the site. Next on the priority list: a big update of the Tutorials section. I've been collecting as many QB tutorials as I can to add to this site, covering all different aspects of programming, and I intend to add them over the next week.
Pete's QBasic Site has a lot more updates in store...you just wait.
Posted by Pete |
July 22, 2004
Pete's QB Site has officially reopened!
Four and a half years ago, Pete's QBasic Site was one of the largest and most-visited QB sites on the Internet. My site was a huge archive of QB information, and was famous for its "Daily Updates" policy and for being the first site dedicated to in-depth QB reviews.
But while Pete's QB Site was doing phenomenally and growing at an astounding rate, I was getting tired. Really tired. Tired of the constant work to perform updates, write new reviews, manage my staff, reply to emails, gather information, update new sections and post daily news. It was a huge strain on a fourteen year old--far too much work to be doing in addition to all my other obligations--and I just wasn't having fun.
So on April 28th, 2000, I quit. I didn't even say good-bye. I just abandoned my site. It went from a site that updated every day to a site that didn't update at all. I know I let a lot of people down. I'm sorry about that. But honestly, I never looked back.
Well, that is, I didn't look back until last December, when I was searching the Internet and decided to go check out the old QB Community that I was once such an active member of. A lot of my old QB buddies had moved on...but a lot of them were still there, like always, posting away on message boards, helping newbies, and working on new QB projects. I also took a look at all of the awesome programs that had been released in my absence and the fall of a lot of old QB sites...and the rise of new ones to replace them.
I also took a look at my old site and remembered all the good times I had, and all the friends I'd made through QBasic.
After a few days of pondering, remembering, I decided that I had to revamp my site and return it to its former glory. It was too great of a resource, too important to the QB community, for me to let it sit there, rotting away. So I started the long process of re-doing the old site and making it even better than it was before.
Knowing full well that I would once again lose interest in the project, I decided to make the site automated and updatable by the visitors. (And also more easy to update for the webmaster too, heh.) That way, as long as there was interest in my site from anybody, it would stay current.
Well, my prediction came true. I did lose interest in the site again. Unfortunately, I lost interest in it before I was finished redoing it. I originally had planned to open the site up again on January 1st, 2004. That date came and went. Not only did the site stay "in progress" over that date, but I just completely quit working on it. I probably wouldn't have finished it if it wasn't for the fact that a few people found the unfinished site in April and got really excited to see it back. That made me swear that I'd eventually finish it.
It wasn't until last month, June 2004, that I started working on Pete's QB Site again. This time, I was determined to have it open, at least by the end of the summer. I set a new deadline: July 1st. Once again, that deadline came and went.
Now, three weeks later, I'm still not done with the site. But as far as I'm concerned, it's done enough. I've had a change of heart. I'm tired of all this secrecy. Sure, there's a lot of unfinished stuff, a lot of sections that need a lot more content before they'll be remotely respectable, and a whole lot of stuff sitting on my hard drive left for me to add... But I'm tired of working and not getting any type of response or reaction from anybody. I want to have a grand opening, and damn it, it's happening today!
I'd like to thank all of you people who were around four years ago for hanging in with me during my four-year absence. And I'd like to welcome all of the new visitors who are coming to Pete's QB Site for the first time. I'm really hoping that all of you enjoy this site...because that is really my sole purpose for making it. I did it for the QB Community, which, I'm glad to say, looks like it has a long and healthy future ahead of it.
It's great to be back!
Posted by Pete |
July 20, 2004
The official opening date is growing ever-closer...
I have done a huge amount of work on this site in the last week, and it is really starting to come together. Here's a quick listing of what I've done:
- Added about 250 QB links to create the largest QB links database on the Internet. All of them have a button image, a brief description/review and a star rating. If the site didn't provide its own button image, I made one for the site. And if you're wondering, no, Collin's QB Links page is much smaller than my new links page--his only has 180 links, and half of those are broken. This Links section contains 250 WORKING QB links for your pleasure...and I have more to add when I find the time!
- I have reformatted the Downloads section and outfitted it with an automatic user rating and commenting system.
- Created the Top Ten Programs section (and gotten it to work too)!
- Added a Beginners' tutorial section.
- Added the QB Chatroom.
- Added a Webrings section.
- Created the Site Updates section, which lists the news archives as well as the Top 20 most recent additions to the site (in all categories).
- Created the Affiliates section.
- Fixed as many of the old Reviews as possible. That means I fixed broken links, broken images, and some of the reviews which had somehow been replaced with other reviews. For example, BattleCraft99's Around the World review was replaced with the text from the Arrakis review. I was able to find his original review on the hard drive of my old computer and restore it. I did that with several reviews.
- Wrote a news article about QB45.com for the front page.
- And many other small tweaks and additions.
So what's left to do? Well, a lot. Most of it involves adding or reformatting content. I've got to redo the tutorials section so that it's script-run and auto-updatable. I have to add all of the programs with reviews to the Downloads database, including writing short descriptions. (That will take a whole day, I'm sure). I have about fifty more links to add. I have a lot of tutorials and FAQ entries that I'd like to write too. Maybe some reformatting of the Downloads section once I've got a large selection of downloads added - right now with five programs listed, I can't really tell if the formatting is working as expected or not. Oh, and I still have to figure out how this site is going to be moderated and updated -- maybe a few admins to help control the content that gets added by random users? Or will I make it so that users submit articles that first must be approved by an admin? And then the most important addition: the new reviews format and the methods for users to submit their own review. That will take a lot of work, since a review will naturally have a LOT of fields for a user to fill in. There will be a TON of formatting, and I'm still not sure how I'm going to set it up with the Coranto news management script.
I also have quite a few ideas on the backburner for new, original sections that I have never had on this site before, even in the past. I want to make this site as unique as possible so that people will keep on coming back. And I also want it to be updated by the users, regularly, so that its dynamic content attracts visitors too.
When is the official Re-Opening coming? Any day now. I know I said I was going to open this site in an unfinished form on July 1st. Well, I had a change of heart. I want this site to really wow visitors when it finally opens officially to the public (and not the handful of little sneaks who have found their way here before the opening day)...
Posted by Pete |
July 12, 2004
All right, I lied...
I didn't open the site on July 1st. Things came up. (Namely, my computer crashed and I had to reformat after a few days of downtime...a real pain in the ass, then I had to go away and produce a video for a Boy Scout Camp which took a few days, then I just kind of got lazy, heh.)
So, the site is still gonna open soon. Today I added about 25 links. This actually took me a VERY long time to do, because I now write little reviews of each site, give each an honest star rating (out of five), and then each one must have an 88x31 link image. If the site doesn't have one, I make one out of the graphics on the site or by taking text off the site and saving it as a little button image. (Check out the links section to see what I mean.)
Another thing I did was FINALLY make the upper right "Featured Review" box dynamic, based on all of the older reviews. I still haven't decided what I'm gonna do about making new reviews, but that can wait for a while.
As for what's left to do:
I need to figure out how to make the Top Ten Programs section work properly; I've got to split up the links page by star ratings rather than in order of when they were added; I'm going to figure out a member-based submitting setup instead of one that is open to the public (to prevent spammers and other lamers); I have to fix the format of the message board still so that it fits in with the layout of the rest of the site; I'm still going to do some more tweaking with the Downloads section, possibly adding the option to include a screenshot with each download; I'm going to add a webrings section again and join all of the current QB webrings; I have to do a lot of promoting of the new site around the QB Community; I have to fix up the reviews that are somehow messed up (formatting, broken images, screwed up review text, etc. -- if the information is lost, I'm going to be forced to delete the reviews); I have more tutorials to add; I think I'm going to make a new section of QB Magazine publications that just archives all of the QB magazines that have ever been released (since they really are a treasure); and I'm sure there are other things...this list is already too long as it is.
But yes, I haven't disappeared again. And yes, the site WILL open soon.
Posted by Pete |