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> And...happy Birthday UA !    
post Apr 28 2003, 10:34 AM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 1,562
Joined: 4-September 01
From: Ft. Collins, Colorado

Glen, fantastic job on the site, and congrats for getting through the first year. I was really panicked when I learned that A3 was to be taken down. But you (and Scott, and all the others) stepped in and made a great site even better. I'm proud to be associated with you, and everyone here.
Here's to catching up with Ricky in year two!
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post Apr 29 2003, 02:40 PM

Posts: 1,038
Joined: 10-April 03
From: Lansing, Michigan

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post Apr 30 2003, 04:40 PM

UA Administrator
Posts: -8,388,356
Joined: 21-April 01
From: Right here.

I've stumbled upon some interesting historical pages from the 'old days'. Perhaps when Simon has a moment he'll stop in and fill in the gaps for everyone!
If you dig deep enough you can actually find the forum with content!!
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post May 1 2003, 07:47 AM

Posts: 38
Joined: 3-April 03

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post May 1 2003, 03:48 PM

UA Quasi Admoderuser
Posts: 2,256
Joined: 30-January 00
From: Windsor, ON, Canada

Happy bday UA - to #1 and to many more to come!
ow, where's that cake & ice cream?
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post May 2 2003, 07:03 AM

Retired Moderator
Posts: 8,589
Joined: 19-December 02
From: Lansing, MI

Didn't you get that fax? Don't tell me I sent that cake for nuthin.
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Simon Wolf
post May 14 2003, 04:31 PM

Honorary Forum Administrator
Posts: 962
Joined: 23-January 00
From: Somerset, United Kingdom

A somewhat belated happy birthday and well done Gord for taking A3 and massively increasing the popularity of the forums.
Is for some history, well you guys (well some of you) asked for it ...

Way back around March 1997 I joined the on-line world and decided that I wanted to have my own web site. In a vain moment I registered wolf-UK.com and created a very simple, and very poor, web site. Some of the site was devoted to Microsoft Access and, to my great surprise, people found the site, enjoyed the Access section and took the time to email me and let me know.

Greatly encouraged by this I decided to create an Access-specific site and I called it Access All Areas. Access All Areas duly got it's own domain, athree.com, and became a bona fide site. The majority of the content was static pages of information but I also took the plunge and introduced a few interactive elements. The chat room never took off but the discussion forum became quite popular and a core element of the site. Over the next couple of years the site continued to evolve and became more and more popular. The forums were a great success and I was very lucky that not only did I have some great members who would spend their time answering questions but I was also saved from nuisance posters who could easily have ruined it all.

During all of these formative years I had been using some forum software called WebBBS which was very good but it became slower and slower as more and more posts were created and there was really no way to handle the thousands of posts we had. Messages were archived and an active forum of around 1,000 messages limped along for a while longer. Then, in January 2000 I took the plunge and bought some new forum software called WWWThreads. This software used a database as its back-end and was much more powerful than WebBBS had been. This was the birth of the forums as you now know them.

Throughout the history of the site I had funded everything out of my own pocket. However, during 2000 the site became more popular than ever and the increased demands of the forum software necessitated a move to a dedicated server. This massively increased my monthly expenditure and, to compound the problems, I was soon to get married and my interest in running the site was declining rapidly. In addition, the focus of my job had moved from Access to Visual Basic meaning that I was no longer using Access on a day-to-day basis. From around mid-2000 onwards I kept threatening to close the site only to be persuaded not to by anxious visitors.

In January 2002 I left my job in London and my wife and I moved to Somerset for a more rural existence. Sadly work was not easy to find and spending over £100 (around $160) per month on server rental alone just wasn't worth it since I was getting nothing in return (brief attempts to raise some money through banner adverts had failed and no work was forthcoming through the site).

In April 2002 I finally pulled the plug, actually closing Access All Areas with no notice to avoid the pleas of the visitors which I had so often given in to previously. Immediately following this a new A3 member called Gordon rang me from Canada and, over a few phone calls and several email, persuaded me to let the forums live on under his watchful eye. The result was UtterAccess, a site which has massively outstripped the popularity of A3 and continued to become more popular each and every day.

I finally found a permanent job in March of this year and I have to say that the wait was worth it. I am working for a wonderful development company where the work is interesting and challenging and I get on well with my fellow employees (all four of them ... we're a very select group!). Who knows, I might finally become one of those employees who stays with their employer for many years (but not as long as Brian M has been with his!).

I do occasionally pop in to UA but I now use VB as my primary development tool and SQL Server as the back end. I have also started to write some software for Palms in my free time and my wife and cats now take up what little time is left. Heaven knows how I'll fit children into it all (no news yet Lynn ... we're still just practicing!).
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post May 14 2003, 06:26 PM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 7,138
Joined: 29-July 02
From: Perris, California

Wow!!! Thanks Simon, I really love this site and appreciate all of the efforts everyone here has made to make this site what it is today, especially you and Gord.
When I first found this site I had stopped developing in Access for a couple of years as I just couldn't find anyone interested in anything, and once I found this site, I was back into it again, and haven't looked back since. My abilities have increased to heights I never thought possible. It's just like the old saying, "I thought I knew everything, until I came here!"
THANK YOU, And all the members of UA!!!
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post May 14 2003, 06:56 PM

UtterAccess VIP
Posts: 4,959
Joined: 22-May 02
From: SouthEast MI, USA

Thank you for clarification historical dates and people involved.
It was a good one story.
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post May 14 2003, 09:38 PM

UA Admin + Auntie Virus
Posts: 2,671
Joined: 15-July 02
From: USA

Thank you so much for posting the story of A3/UA, Simon. A little history for us new folks makes for a good read. And thanks for all the work you guys did to make this place so awesome.
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post May 14 2003, 10:26 PM

Retired Moderator
Posts: 3,150
Joined: 31-January 00
From: Indianapolis, IN USA

Wonderful to see the whole story Simon. Hard to believe its been that long!
ow.....you do realize you have misallocated your time?
It should be (in this order) Wife, cats, then programs for Palms.....
*tsk*tsk* I would have thought Wife 1.0 would have set you straight by now!
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post May 15 2003, 01:07 AM

UA Admin
Posts: 31,195
Joined: 20-June 02
From: Newcastle, WA

Thanks, Simon, for starting this experience we now know as Utter Acess. And thanks for having the courage to let it live on in other hands. I'm not sure many people would have been able to let go of their creation as you did. The regulars here owe you far more than most of us probably realize.
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post May 15 2003, 04:56 AM

Utterly Skewed !
Posts: 382
Joined: 20-November 02
From: Albany, NY

Wow, What a history. I just want to say thank you this is the best site I have ever found. I have a lot of trouble learning something unless someone is there to spell it out and make it simple for my thick head. I am so glad that you and Gord put the effort to keep this help line open for us Newbies. Isn't that the best part about having kids... Practice makes perfect...
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post May 15 2003, 11:18 AM

Utterly Analytical !
Posts: 481
Joined: 14-September 01
From: Guatemala

A very nice story with a happy now (not an ending, yet!). AThree was a life-saver for me, and when it 'vanished' I was devastated, and went back to carrying around the Developer's Handbooks with me when I was off working in other countries. Those of us who live outside the U.S., in particular, know how very important it is to be able to 'consult' with other developers--and that can be hard to do. Yes, I know that some U.S. members are as isolated as us international types are, and I am sure that UA is their life-saver, too.
On incredible resource, available from anywhere at any hour. Problems and solutions from around the world that make everyone of us look critically at how we use Access and see how to improve our apps. Great site!
Thanks to Simon, Gord and all of the others that make UA the special place that it is.
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