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Happy Birthday to us

October 16, 1998
by Alex Zavatone

A lot has happened in the past year since Doug's inception. I think it all started with all three of us trying to come up with an idea of a project to do and then with a few quick emails, Doug happened. I'm not really sure if we anticipated the level of involvement from the user community and the first thing I'd like to do is to thank all the contributing authors who took their ideas and approaches, put them into article form and passed their knowledge on to the rest of the community. Thanks to all of you.

I can't help rewinding to a year ago when Zac, Pat and I were hustling to get the site together. Zac was working on his Breakpoint Challenge and getting the web structure underway, Pat doing all the Biz stuff and I was getting the basic requirements for the 1997 MM Ucon Lobster Boil ready. Somewhere our Evil Twins were hard at work writing articles as well as those things we call our day jobs. But worst of all, I had to clean my apartment - or at least hide some of the mess.

Those days, it seemed that 3360 Scott St, #3 was the temporary command center of Director-Online. At any one time, Zac or Pat could be seen chugging away on my 'puter amidst our pre-party fracas. Stephane "Mister Lobster" Comeau, who was gracious enough to offer 100 succulent New Brunswick lobsters, was popping in and out of the kitchen. Matt Craig often appeared with his evil "why don't you have a beer Zav" grin. Dana Nuon and Brian Gray must have been there too and I think I even remember a stray Hagers from the Netherlands paying us a visit. Peter Lundholm from Daydream in Sweden payed us a visit but witnessing all the commotion, was wise enough to practice being a tourist.

At any time of day, one or two of my computers would be occupied, somone would be crashing on the bed, I'd be hanging from my neck brace, Stephane would be filling in as lobster chef, we'd be wrangling a cooling system for the 55 gallon lobster tank, friends would be stopping by with fresh beer, Zac & Pat would be talking about which section of Doug had been completed yet and "who's going to Kinkos to get the DOUG flyers for the party?"

This was all AFTER I convinced customs at SFO that I was not a restaurenteur trying to smuggle in lobster for free.

Well, thanks to all who survived Doug's preparation and launch at the 1997 MUcon Lobster Boil, our site was born.

Evidence of our dastardly deeds exists below for your viewing. Thanks Alan and Darryl: http://moshplant.com/direct-or/ucon97/ucon97-1.html http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/director/misc/ucon97/alanz/index.html

As the year progressed and Doug's content matured, we wrestled with lame ISP's, flakey CGI's and crashing RAIDS and those ever present deadlines that I still struggle to meet. Our little Web site got a new look and at that time, it became apparent how far we'd come and how far we had to go. With almost weekly techniques articles, help sections, developer profiles, search engines, it was hard to remember that this not our main gig. The emailed encouragement from readers always brightened our days and we thought up next week's features. Giveaways and sponsors helped us to keep plugging away.

So now here we are with over 40 (count em kids) Techniques articles, new columns (Biz Matters), 23 individual developer profiles, a Showcase of sites, Help Central and help wanted, and even some interviews with the folks behind the scenes that made Director happen. I can assure you that from here, it will only get better. Zac's hard at work getting his own BBS constructed for our Help Central section and a live chat is planned to fill in for those "temporarily out of order" areas on Help Central. I've even been to LA, Pheonix, San Fran and Auckland, New Zealand to speak about DOUG and Director development. We've got other surprises planned as well but gotta keep some cats in the bag.

So here's to all who helped to bring Director-Online to its first birthday. Raise your glasses and give each other a good virtual toast (love that internet). We'll do our best to keep this the best free Director and Shockwave Development site on the Net and don't forget, if you've got ideas that you want to share with the rest of the community, in the form of an article, you know my email. :]

A Director user since 1987, Alex (Zav) Zavatone has worked on the engineering teams for both Director and Shockwave, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Recent investigations find him developing foundation classes for Director with asynchronous process management and other life threatening activities. In its early days, he had something to do with this Internet thing known as "DOUG". A noted ne'erdowell, slacker and laggard, Mr. Zavatone is nonetheless is trusted by children, small animals and the elderly. In his spare time, Mr. Zavatone rehabilitates lame desert trout.

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