Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
vbCity turned 10 years last week - pretty darn long time! I still pretty much refuse to admit I've been running it for THAT long :)
I posted this a week ago in the vbCity forums and also wanted to share via the blog.
June 25th, 2008
vbCity turns 10 years old!
It is hard to believe that this day 10 (!) years ago I have uploaded first page to host free PrettyCode.Print tool folks in the comp.lang.basic.visual newsgroup asked me to share with them.
A week later I decided to post few more pages with tips and trick, mostly the ones I kept answering in the newsgroup, so I could save time and send to the site.
I kept adding new tips and code, maintained list of free developer tools, VB sites and VB libraries available on the Net. That was very different time, different Internet, we were not as spoiled by the ease of Internet back then, and Google was known to very limited circle of people as Stanford University project under google.stanford.edu
That was static HTML site hosted for free on Geocities, the site was called Free Visual Basic Resources from Serge Baranovsky (yes, I know, how very original of me ) and the URL used to be http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Hills/9086/default.html (had to Google for this one )
I was surprised this is still up - http://www.vbwire.com/brief.asp?591 - dated 12/28/1998
Almost a year later, April 8th, 1999, the vbcity.com domain has become available again (it was previously registered but not used) and I registered it, moved the site to new (paid) hosting, migrated the whole site to ASP and moved it to vbcity.com
Later in 1999 I registered vbcity.net domain and few months later decided to offer a free host email service and give away @vbcity.net email addresses to the visitors. What a disaster that idea turned into! I had to shut down the service 2 years later.
Early in 2001 as number of the site visitors has grown fairly big, I figured that'd be enough to get some of the visitors to participate in the site activities. So I decided to add forum to vbCity (community they call it nowadays...)
I wasn't happy with a couple of very basic ASP based forum scripts available back then. I wanted better features that were only available in vBulletin, a PHP based forum software. And I, of course, wouldn't use PHP for the web site, no way, that wouldn't be cool, would it?
So, few months later, April 3rd, 2001, I finished writing the forum software integrated into the vbCity.com web site. Very first post the night I first uploaded forum scripts to the site - http://www.vbcity.com/forums/topic.asp?tid=62 - notice the "we" in my posts? I was trying to create an impression there is more than just "I" behind this
With the addition of the forum, new, community, era of vbCity has started, the happiest time for me. vbCity finally turned from one-way into two-way communication. I was able to talk to the visitors, and the visitors quicky were becoming members and were enjoying the opportunity to socialize with other members.
Summer 2001 - we introduced monthly Helper of the Month (HOTM) award - http://vbcity.com/forums/topic.asp?tid=531 - yes, it's been around for 7 years!
Interesting that Steven Sartain won the very first award and the second month too even though his "points" were reset after winning the first month. We had to adjust the contest rules to give others a chance of winning
October 2001 - Steven Sartain "motivated" me into launching VBCity.NET web site - a sister site that was dedicated to .NET - http://vbcity.com/forums/topic.asp?tid=974 - later changed its name to DevCity.NET. The VBCity.NET web site we launched was running on very first beta of ASP.NET (or was it an alpha?). Steve was all hyped up about the new coolest MS thing called .NET which wasn't even released yet and of which I was a bit skeptic. Still I had to learn it quickly as we decided the .NET site should run ... well ... on .NET... And I got to like the new platform pretty quickly.
First couple of months I was answering most questions in the forums to keep them going. With launch of DevCity.NET and adding new forum features each week I wouldn't be able to take care of all growing posts anymore. Luckily the new members were getting more and more involved into helping other community members, answering their questions. That wasn't good enough though.
From the very beginning of the forum I was working to make sure that every vbCity post is answered. With me concentrated on the site improvement other members would only post into threads that they knew how to help. So I had to challenge the whole community - http://vbcity.com/forums/topic.asp?tid=1342 - if within a week no one finds solution to the 4 most interesting and difficult unanswered threads I picked, I would answer them all and reduce points for all community members! My intent was to show that every question can be answered and even if one has to do a research it is great too as one learns something new. A confession time ... I only knew solution to 2 out of 4 threads, and I would've had to research on the other two, but I was certain I would've kept my promise and reduced the points... I was sure that the questions will be taken care of before the deadline - exactly what happened. The challenge worked out well - most every new thread since then would attract attention and that has grown into something that later got defined as part of the "vbCity spirit".
Few threads absolutely must be mentioned:
Beware - I am VB.Net Activated (Vernon Basil Dotnet's Diary) - http://www.vbcity.com/forums/topic.asp?tid=23712 - a 120+ post thread contributed by vbCity folks migrating to .NET experience diary early in 2003 The whole thread is a very entertaining reading but these by Ged are pearls - "goose workaround" classics - http://www.vbcity.com/forums/goto.asp?show=reply&rid=86891 and http://www.vbcity.com/forums/goto.asp?show=reply&rid=87150
Edward's "VBcityO BoxOffice presents ... Radiator" post on Ged's winning HOTM - http://www.vbcity.com/forums/goto.asp?show=reply&rid=114948
I could keep going for few more hours (days actually) with my vbCity memories of the first 10 years But I will stop right here and let you fill in the blanks with your memories...
And today we are at 220,000+ members and 650,000+ posts...
Many great people came through vbCity, most stayed, some went and created they own sites or communities. I still remember names of most every active vbCity member and Leader.
Thank you all members, vbCity Leaders, those present and past, for the dedication and love!
These were the best 10 years of my life!
I love you all!
Memorable vbCity Threads
The 10th anniversary Giveaway - MSDN Premium w/ VSTS 2008 Team Suite Subscription
The Future of vbCity - we are moving to a new platform! (to be posted)
Sunday, February 10, 2008
If you get depressed after looking at the standard Visual Studio coloring theme for years, try changing it. Scott Hanselman posted a gallery of ready to use themes to any taste - http://www.hanselman.com/blog/VisualStudioProgrammerThemesGallery.aspx
I like Jeff Atwood's (CodingHorror) scheme most - which one do you like?
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
CodeIt.Right is finally finished after about 3 years in the making. My 7 years long dream come true. The tool it out! Cheers! (I truly believe that code analysis coupled with automatic refactoring will change the way .NET developer teams and solo developers work!)
Read this blog post to find out about CodeIt.Right and the future plans for the product - http://submain.com/blog/CodeItRightV10Released.aspx
Through February 20th, 2008 you can leverage of the introductory pricing on CodeIt.Right.
Tell them Serge sent you ;-)
Monday, May 21, 2007
Scott Hanselman is one of the most humble .NET community leaders I have met. And althought I'm not as expressive as Mark Miller I have huge deal of respect for Scott as a person and professional.
Please join me in helping Team Hanselman to reach their goal on a great cause - Fight Diabetes !
This month we are having biggest giveaway ever at vbCity - 50(!) licenses of ApexSQL Code to the top forum posters in May.
For details see » forum post «
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
- architect on Visual Basic Team at Microsoft has posted what is it that he actually does
. Very interesting reading!
Monday, December 18, 2006
I've been working on this for some time now but finally I'm happy to announce we have obtained exclusive distribution rights to the latest version of Steve Sartain's C#/VB .NET Coding Guidelines 100+ page ebook, and are offering free download.
More info - http://submain.com/blog/FreeCVBNETCodingGuidelinesEbookDownload.aspx
C#/VB .NET Coding Guidelines home page - http://submain.com/guidelines
Download - http://submain.com/download.aspx?product=guidelines
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I have been working for over two months setting up new community site http://dev.net.ua - Ukrainian Developer Community. It went live on November 1st. You may not believe it but dev.net.ua is first Ukrainian developer community site, for Microsoft technologies anyway.
My apologies if I was not very responsive - you know I do these things in between my other jobs..
Thursday, September 28, 2006
vbfeeds.com subscribers may have noticed the site was down for about 24 hours. Hopefully it wasn't much of inconvenience.
VB Feeds was running on SQL 2005 Beta 2 which expired in this month. I knew that's coming but as usual many things that required immediate attention pushed moving VB Feeds to another box with SQL 2005 RTM down the list.
It is done now - I moved the site on Monday night and it is running fine.
I apologize for the downtime.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Those of you who are subscribed to our VBFeeds have only seen one side of the coin ;-) Today the other side has become available - Steve Smith launched similar C# Feeds service:
Today CSharpFeeds officially goes live. This is a pet project of mine and Gregg Stark’s based on Serge’s VBFeeds.com site and its source code (thanks to Serge for letting me see the source!). VBFeeds is a great place to find just VB information from the top VB people, moderated so that it doesn’t include posts about going on vacation or other personal posts. C# Feeds seeks to do the exact same thing, but for C# content, rather than VB. If there’s a C# feed we should be pulling that we don’t have, let us know. We’ll be adding a suggest a feed mechanism fairly soon, though I’m not sure what that translates into in real time.
Oh yeah, and we updated all of Serge’s admin tools to use Atlas. Anonymous users won’t see any difference, but it totally speeds up the post moderation process. Very cool.
via Steve Smith
And, Steve, I wouldn't mind taking a peek at the Atlas admin piece ;-) I do the majority of the VBFeeds moderation on my Pocket PC phone and the mobile layout is most important for me, but a real life Atlas example would be cool to look at.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Today's braking news - BillG announced he is stepping down from his full-time role (no, that is not two weeks notice, over two years that is :) Gates will remain the chair and will dedicate all of his time to charitable work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Robert Scoble posted just a couple of lines but we all know Bill's decision is driven by Scoble's announce last week about leaving Microsoft for Silicon Valley based video blogging and podcasting startup PodTech.net
Joel Spolsky is surprised Microsoft stock didn't go down yet. Me too. But I think the two year transiotion period has something to do with that.
I think this is great that BillG with all his wealth wants to focus full-time on helping others. I have always respected BillG (personally) for his vision, brain power, geekyness, integrity - and this move ... Bill, you da man!
I was asked if I would fill in - very serious move and while I was thinking Ray Ozzie stepped in :) Well, I'm happy at what I do anyway ;-)
More on that at MSNBC and CNET News
Monday, May 22, 2006
I've been following the Web 2.0 buzz since August 2005 and until recently from the t3echnology prospective it was primarily associated with PHP and Ruby On Rails. Since the introduction of Atlas things are changing! A very well written article:
Top 13 reasons to CONSIDER the Microsoft platform for Web 2.0 development
[via Brad Abrams]
This one has been coming back at me for some time. I've installed one of those Vista Skins for XP over 6 months ago - yes, I can blame Stuat for that :) and then replaced Visual Studio 2005 Beta 2 with the RTM version when it was released early in November of last year. Since then I've been having to live with the funky looking dialog windows (some of them) in Visual Studio
It looks like VS is confusing the system font and uses that ugly Fixedsys instead :( Ughh!
But it appears the custom XP skin it what causes the trouble, so to “fix“ the font
- uninstall your custom skin and reboot
- or just switch to a standard windows theme
This does the trick and my VS Options dialog is back to its normal look
And I got tired of the custom Vista skin anyway ;-)
This fixes the system font issue on your Windows, not just for the Visual Studio - I've seen Opera, some setup kits, and quite a bit of other software getting confused and use the wrong system font.
vbCity is part of a contest with lots of valuable prizes! » read more «