The highlights of my IT career.

Action Replay

Datel Electronics and the PC Action Replay cheat device: Datel was quite a large premises as they manufactured the devices too. There were two technical departments, one contained the electronics designer(s) and the other us programmers bashing out millions of lines of assembly which was eventually burnt onto PROMs -- my development card had an EPROM so I could keep updating it. Not only did I write the code for the hardware, I also wrote the accompanying DOS software for installation and set-up. The user interface I modelled on Norton Utilites which looked very cool for the time and text mode had to be used because you could switch the PC's video card from graphics mode to text mode and back and it wouldn't corrupt the video memory. You had to be careful though to record and restore the contents of the video card hardware registers because it was common at the time for games developers to create custom video modes.


Lanzarote Beach Club Resort Management System: Unfortunately I've looked for the screenshots I took of this project and I can't find them. I have a feeling they're on an old knocking hard disk that joined the pile of knocking hard disks which means it's unlikely I'll find them again but I'll remain optimistic.

The project involved initially working with another guy and my boss. We were given the task of replacing an old resort management system which was basically constructed from all sorts of aging bits of code and protocols and we played with an HTML and ASP interface but eventually chose Visual Basic. We coded the reservations department interface, the reception interface, an accounts department interface and two minimal interfaces for the concierge and housekeeping. The developers of the team had an administrator interface with access to many tools that I wrote so eventually this was a very big project and in addition to that I wrote one or more applications that ran on the server to do maintenance on the database.

We installed the project in the resort, trained the users and then the system was tweaked here and there. The other guy left and my boss was everywhere anyway and then the owner of the resort and associated companies started to move as much as possible to Eastern Europe before it was part of the EU and many Eastern Europeans were brought over to replace some of the resort staff. At the time we were approaching the euro changover so I remained in the resort and spent several months on my own preparing the system for that and it was a very big job and it had to work so much of the latter part of that period was testing. I added a switchover button to one my server programs and told the IT department guys to press it when required and then left for Christmas. I remember they said "What happens if something goes wrong" and I said "It won't" and they looked at me with surprise but it did work. There was a rounding error that I had to fix when I returned but I was more than happy with how that turned out.

Inevitably I ended up in Eastern Europe with a team of six fabulous Russians guys and one girl but I must've spent a year without actually doing anything substantial, just prototyping I guess. They were writing an HTML and ASP system to manage the customers and members and once they'd finished that they moved onto the resort management system because all the data was being moved out of the resort. I managed to work in the resort again for a while and then called it a day.


International Vacation Club website: my boss and I worked on the layout, I coded it and he added some ASP for the reservation request form. The artwork came from the company's art department and I simply placed it where I thought was best. We had a brochure to work from so I effectively reimplemented it for the web.


These excluding the snowman I designed from the artwork within the brochure. Each section gave me enough material to make three pages of text and images and then I chose a word to focus on such as "choice" and "pleasure" etc. The snowman animation excluding the text I drew by hand within the Macromedia Flash IDE. I remember at the time that the falling snow layer could be a bit CPU intensive on some computers but of course nowadays you can run it fullscreen easily.