January 2005 in the Life of Ben (Blog)

  1. January
  2. February
  3. March
  4. April
  5. May
  6. June
  7. July
  8. August
  9. September
  10. October
  11. November
  12. December

MTAVC Moderator (28th January 2005)

I was inducted into the global staff of the Multi Theft Auto Vice City Forums on 2005-01-27 and am overjoyed at this opportunity. I shall be making a new forum skin for them along similar lines to my Conventional for GTAForums skin. I shall also be helping them create better policies for their forum to cope with the increasing popularity of the MTAVC project.

Barton Waterduck Joins Curveshire (28th January 2005)

The infamous mission coder and creator of the BW Mission Builder and who wrote many of the Myriad Islands missions. This means that the GTA 3 v0.02 release and the GTA Vice City v0.01 release will have a basic time trial mode. Probably. c{8¬)

That is the first time I have done a smilie on these pages for a long, long time. Things are really starting to look up. c{8¬) OMG, there’s another one!

Conventional for GTAForums (21st January 2005)

I am developing an optimised skin for the forums for those who use the forums to get stuff done with as little hassle as possible. I am developing it on a test board hosted by Illspirit.

Forced Absence #3 Ended (21st January 2005)

i have now been allowed on the PC until my parents go to bed for a few days in a row. There are no signs of this changing, so it looks like the ban has finally been lifted!

Assisting Segosa (21st January 2005)

Segosa re-added me to his contacts a couple of days ago. We used to really annoy each other but he has become really profficient at website, program and online coding and we share a preference for clear website layouts.

This has led me to assist him with his new site, where we are developing ideas for navigation and interfacing. Because he is now such a constructive and knowledgeable contact, I may well make revisions to Project Cerbera if we come up with any distinctly better.

Website Updates (14th January 2005)

I finally got around to taking lots of screenshots for some articles in the Tutorials which had been sat in the Works in Progress section for ages. There are only five left in there now but a couple of those need lots of work. I have changed the visual style of tables to use a stronger grey for the title background and the borders. This is to make it appear better on poor monitors, brightly lit environments and other circumstances were the previous subtle contrasts in tone were very hard to see.

I am thinking about splitting the news articles into smaller date ranges because some of these are getting really big. Now that I have quite full computer access and am working so hard on so much, only splitting the updates four times a year may prove inadequate. The alternative is monthly splits but this means twelve columns or rows would have to be made in the Blog and there would be dozens of pages in this section…literally!

Changing this format would also break any links to news articles. I often link to other news articles within my news articles, as well as on the forums, so this would be a real problem.

Conventional for GTAForums (14th January 2005)

After a few discussions about this with Illspirit and talking about it on the forums, this project is definitely going ahead. You can find out more in the topic I created for it. The basic idea behind the skin is to make the forums like this site, in that it will use a very clear colour scheme with highly optimised code.

Avondale Dental Surgery (14th January 2005)

My local dentists' asked me to make a website for them on 2005-01-07 and I agreed. After several e-mails I have created the first draft of the site and sent them a link to it, so hopefully this will turn out to be something really useful for my fledgling career.

Demarest banned from GTAForums (9th January 2005)

The administrators at GTAForums had been undertaking a secret investigation into what Demarest was doing with his staff powers and found out the true extent of his malpractice. This means that my complaints about him for the past few months have now been accepted by the staff and my position has been vindicated. Azkoyen even made a full apology in the announcement thread for banning me, so the staff seem to have realised I was right all along and they were wrong to reject what I was saying…yet again.

I have added a passage at the end of Misc - Temporary Ban to summarise the situation but you can read the Demarest Banned announcement for yourself, too.

Server Upgrade (5th January 2005)

My host recently upgraded to a new server, of which he is now the sole owner.

2× Dual Intel Xeon 2.4GHz 2GB RAM 35GB HDD space 250GB bandwidth per month

That is the new system specification. My share of that is limited to 500MB disk space and 10GB of bandwidth per month.

Apps Progress (5th January 2005)

Whilst at Emma’s house over the past two days I have made lots of optimisations to SiteStudio and have expanded it so you can delete all the files found. I have added error handling to all the programs and made lots of minor adjustments. The things which I still want to do to them all are writing a proper help file for each program and use InstallShield to package them.

Unbanned From GTAForums! (5th January 2005)

I spoke to Illspirit about getting the ban lifted from my account on GTAForums and he raised the issue in the staff area on my behalf. I then left for Emma’s place and when I returned and got on the online PC today I found he had sent me a new message, saying that I was not banned any more!

I have made a topic to announce my return to GTAForums and have made the Curveshire release thread, too.

Forced Absence #3 Reduced (5th January 2005)

On 2004-12-31 I was allowed onto the new PC, which allowed me to make a big update to the site which I have now followed up with the previous news update to add brand new content to a couple of the areas.

TextStudio Progress (1st January 2005)

I started TextStudio in December 2004 and already it is a stable, functional text editor. Think of a combination between WordPad for Windows 95 and NotePad for Windows XP, then add the ability to have many files open at once like Word and you have some idea of what TextStudio is about.

I am still previewing it with Icey, Delfi, Illspirit and Mortukai but I intend to make a public beta release of it somewhen in January. I will say on this page when it has been released but you can already view the page it will be released on if you so wish.

Project Cerbera In 2005 (1st January 2005)

I shall continue to work on the technical articles (Tutorials) as well as the occasional piece of general writing (Misc). I shall continue to develop my existing programs (Apps) and in particular my newest one: TextStudio.