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It's good to be back

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Brendon Pywell, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Brendon Pywell

    Brendon Pywell
    Bob's Track Builder

    Hello Track Makers,

    Well from the looks of the tracks in progress and XPacks available that things here have been ticking along on BTB even if I haven't been. I have been away from the development for much much longer than planned for a number of reasons for which I will attempt to explain.

    BTB was/is a labour of love for me; as said before I spent every spare moment working on this software in order to turn it into a tool that others could use. For many years part-time, and for over a year full time I worked on BTB whenever I could, even on holidays I would take the laptop with me. My hope that this time away from a full time job, in a well-paid position, would eventually be repaid through BTB sales.

    So you can imagine my disappointment when sales, which were never great to begin with, suddenly declined to almost nothing. It was this period of time when someone brought to my attention that there was a pirated version of BTB on the internet. That was shattering and quite depressing.

    As it was I had planned to return to full time work, my savings had almost depleted and having a family that depends on my income it was necessary to return to regular employment. During this time I reflected upon the previous few years of BTB-dedication. I realised I had in some ways neglected my own needs; in working such long hours I had gained weight, my health suffered and there were times when I was pouring over code instead of enjoying life with my wife and children.

    Whilst BTB became far more powerful and we managed to release some great laser scanned tracks I had to wonder was it all really worth it? I decided to give myself a month off development and then see how I felt.

    Climate Change - what does this have to do with BTB? Not much, but it did and will continue to impact on the spare time I have. Humans have enjoyed a relatively stable climate during this interglacial period for around the last 8,000 years, allowing us to advance like never before. Why risk that for cheaper dirty energy. It seems strange that we exchange our short term gain from coal fired power plants for the long term stability of the planet's ecosystem. I'm not usually one to get involved in politics, never liked politicians, but I feel passionately enough about the future of our planet, the ones that my kids will grow up in, to become more vocal about Australia's pathetic effort so far. Enough said for now - perhaps we can discuss more in an off-topic thread.

    So a month went by, and I kept telling myself I would get back into BTB “soon”, but I never did to any great degree. Having the website hacked and my PC infected with a BOOT virus also made life miserable for a while. Other hobbies and pastimes were more emotionally rewarding. The months rolled on. I've been teaching myself piano for the past two years and I found spending an hour trying to master Clair de Lune far more satisfying than getting another BTB patch out, even if it was extremely self-indulgent. I also took the time to look after my health, I ate healthier, got fit, shed 15 kg and started Karate - even earned a recent gold medal (in my age division).

    All this time the thought of having coded BTB for hundreds (maybe thousands??) of hours only to it ripped away by piracy has sat in the back of my mind. It's as close to depression as I would like to come - a glimpse of what people with severe depression might experience, except that I had great family support and other interests to keep me going.

    Sadly this experience left me with less motivation for adding to BTB, or even interacting with the community. The number of people wanting to now run it on non-XP based platforms, the endless “you should support Vista/Win 7/Mac” and “if you add XXX feature then I will buy it” emails I got didn't help. So I totally switched off from BTB and everything related to it, and instead focussed on the more grounding aspects of my daily life.

    That said, I do check my emails every couple of days and will help those who have genuine license issues running BTB under Windows XP, my email address is bob@bobstrackbuilder.net . I could be wrong but it appears most people with problems are running Vista/Win7 or have not bothered to contact me because of the experiences of some people. On a few occasions, impolite or abusive emails have been deleted without further correspondence. The same fate awaits those that spam my inbox multiple times in a short time period. I simply will not engage with anyone that is disrespectful or rude.

    Now for the more cheery news.

    I am preparing to relaunch the BTB Pro beta version that had been under test. I now have Windows 7 x64 and BTB runs well on that. There has been no issue with the license system, but that doesn't mean it won't have issues running on other people's machines. I need more feedback from people on this and any bugs found so I will release the beta on the website and automate the licensing for that so anyone with a current BTB Pro license will be able to help test. More details to follow within days after I make some final changes.

    Progress will be slow. I am still time-poor as I still have a regular job as well as the family and other commitments taking up time. Please continue to use this forum primarily rather than emailing me for personal advice.

    Thanks to all that have given me support, I hope I can at least give something back by continuing BTB at whatever pace I can. Your patience is appreciated as is the great support of those people that are creating additional XPacks and new tracks.
  2. This is wonderful news!! Maybe could be nice idea and way to help for us users to "buy" BTB again , and to donate at least the same price that we have paid from BTB. it has given so much to us and the original prize has been ridiculously cheep compared how powerful and unique the program actually is.
  3. Welcome back Brendon!

    It's good you got it out of your system and posted this. We had all presumed this was the main cause anyway and I think it's safe to say that all the locals here understood this from the start.

    I think I speak for most people here when I say we are here for you if you need us, you gave lot's of people an open door to the track building scene, none of who would be anywhere near where they are now if it wasn't for you.

    I have win7 pro 64 if you need help testing.

    Good on ya mate!

  4. Bram

    Roaring Pipes Maniacs | #27 Staff Premium Member

    Welcome back Piddy :thumb:
  5. Welcome back :) I have never lost my positive energy for you! I'm also happy for your music and sport's successes!
  6. Great news :) Welcome back!

    As for piracy, i really hope you find a solution.

    BTB works fine in my Win7 x86 setup, never had a problem.
  7. Welcome back Brendon:) Don't care about negative people (hard i know), they don't know what they are doing or what they have.
    Take your time for developing BTB, we are just happy that you are doing that.
  8. Hi Piddy nice to see you again ;) ... I just have the license problem 2 days ago and it seems to be because I add a new hard drive (Win7 x64) .. I would like to help you with the 7 development.

    Your program is kind of a need here in my country because I make the real ones of the national autocross into Rfactor ones and me and my friends use to practice on them. I have also been making the Formula SAE circuit to my University team until it lock up u.u

    Anyway welcome back and congrats for all of those music and sports achieves

    Gonzalo – Lima Peru – Hardcoresimracer :D
  9. Welcome back!

  10. Mikec87

    Premium Member

    Hi Brendon. So good to see you back. Missed you somewhat. Hope we can do some projects in the future again :)
  11. Nice to hear these news, welcome back. BTB has always been great tool and great fun for me :redface:
  12. Welcome back! i truly hope you can get a better license system or something to help keep those crackers away! and yes, family must come before everything else and life is something you have to focus on aswell :) but i hope you got some energy back and can do some small works on btb when you feel motivated and have an hour or so avaliable...

    The best thing is that you are back and alive and well :)
    thanks alot piddy!
  13. Pieter Theron

    Pieter Theron
    Premium Member

    I don't do BTB but have to applaud your courage to come back after such an experience. All the best :)
  14. Welcome back!!!

    Great news!!
  15. The rumor that you was snatched up by a giant sea turtle was false?, I was getting sea sick looking for you.

    I'm really glad you found the time to post an update for the paying customers that supported and will continue to support you. (bring back the thank you Wall?)

    The Monster you created is still waiting to be fed, we have lived off each other for survival, its time for a juicy 8oz steak!
  16. Welcome back Brendon! To be honest i lost faith in you, I unsubscribed from forum news and start learning max instead because of license issue i had with BTB. But i miss a lot your nice features you implemented in BTB inside max. Now i'm subscribing back to forum news!
    You have my full support and i understand your thoughts in your post. We are all humans!
    Best wishes from Slovenia and looking forward for some more good news from you.
  17. Erwin Greven

    Erwin Greven
    Premium Member

    Welcome back Piddy!!! :welcome:
  18. good to see you come back Piddy, hopefully BTB development will be more rewarding this time.
  19. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    I currently have a big smile on my face that reads 'Fk You Piddy Haters' :)

    Welcome back is the general thought of 99.9% of the members here and elsewhere that have used your creation. :thumb:
  20. Welcome back!