QuickBASIC, SEAV Softwares, and GeoCities

6:10 pm PHT

Back in the early to mid 1990s, I was already a geeky young man having taught myself how to program BASIC from several books borrowed from the school library. While I enjoyed playing games on the PC (Sid Meier’s Civilization rocks!) and the Nintendo Family Computer (Super Mario Brothers 3 is still the best), I eventually realized that it was more enjoyable creating programs and with it, the ability to create my own (simple) games. I eventually discovered the QBasic and QuickBASIC variants of BASIC that have their own IDEs and it was such a powerful feeling having the power to create your own EXE files. When the World Wide Web came to the Philippines, I quickly discovered that there was a worldwide community of QuickBASIC enthusiasts with plenty of websites containing tutorials, programs, and discussion forums.

It was in this environment that I decided to create my own website to showcase my QuickBASIC/QBasic creations and to provide a resource for the community. So a little more than 12 years ago, on October 20, 1997, I registered for some free web space on GeoCities and selected the Horizon/2586 address under the Silicon Valley category. I still remember liking that particular address number because 586 or 80586 is the code number of the original Intel Pentium processor, and I thought that it was quite appropriate. GeoCities was an easy choice. It was, by far, the most popular service for free web hosting, more so than Angelfire or Tripod, which are two of the popular alternatives.

The website I had on GeoCities was named SEAV Softwares and it was basically my corner of the QuickBASIC online community as well as being my personal homepage. With the website, I was able to build a pretty good reputation as a QB and QB+assembly programmer and it was with it that I learned much of the skills that I use to this day. I learned how to code in HTML 3.2, taught myself some graphic design, studied some rudimentary Perl in order to create a simple discussion board, and learned a tiny bit of CSS and JavaScript. I eventually grew tired of programming in QuickBASIC as college life became quite hectic. My online life eventually drifted to PinoyExchange, then Wikipedia, and then to blogging and social networking.

I feel a bit of nostalgic sadness when I learned that Yahoo! decided earlier this year to close down GeoCities. I practically owe my online life to the experiences and lessons I’ve learned coming from that GeoCities website of mine. So, in order to preserve a large part of my early web history, I placed a copy of my website on my CodedGraphic web space. Go visit it at Too bad I can do little regarding the broken links to the old GeoCities site.

I’m also proud to say that my site does not look like your typical GeoCities website that contains animated GIFs and blinking text. I do think that my site had a pretty good design though it used tons of nested tables for layout, <FONT> tags, and spacer GIFs, which were state-of-the-art in web design back then. And take note, everything in that site was hand-coded. Now I try to code in semantic (X)HTML for structure, with CSS for presentation and unobtrusive JavaScript for behavior.  :-)

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