Interview with [BOINCstats] Willy. Translated from the site team SEWI.Germany (September 2011) (Russian version)
How did BOINCstats came into existence?
During the SETI@Home era I had a small team with colleagues from work (a computer store). We ran SETI@Home on our own computers and also on computer systems we build and sold during the test-phase. We monitored our stats on the teamsite of http://www.seti.nl/.
When BOINC started I decided to make a small stats page for my team. It turned out to be quite a bit more than just a team site. Currently I consider BOINCstats a “gone out of control” hobby.
A little secret: I never used any of the programming languages used for BOINCstats before I started programming it. I used to program in Visual Basic but that turned out to be unsuitable for BOINCstats.
So how about BAM!?
It started around November 2005 when I first learned about the AMS functions of the new BOINC server software. I wanted to offer visitors of BOINCstats a page where they could create an account for themselves at a one or more projects. That was all, nothing more, I had no plans to do anything more with it.
So, I started working on that page and quickly found that it would be much easier to let visitors create an account so they wouldn’t have to enter their information every time they wanted to add another project. And wouldn’t it be easy to remember which projects the user already was signed up for to prevent multiple accounts?
When developing BAM! I was chatting with Rytis Slatkevičius (PrimeGrid) and he also suggested some features that should be in BAM!.
By the end of December 2005 we pretty much had most of the features you see today, except for anything related to attaching and controlling hosts to/from BAM!. During the Christmas vacation we build this and we started a limited beta test with about a 100 people.
On May 30th 2006 BAM! was declared stable and opened for everyone and the number of accounts went up steadily. In December 2008 BAM! reached 44000 members, at this time we have a little over 78000 members. 93000 hosts are controlled by BAM!.
Since the launch a number of new features was introduced, like the customizable signatures, syncing retired projects, text messaging, team profiles and the profile/friends pages, existing features were improved and somewhere in the middle we rebuild BAM! from the ground up to improve performance.
Shortly after SETI@Home stopped as a independent project most of my colleagues stopped and didn’t switched to BOINC. I renamed the team to “BOINCstats”. A lot of people joined this team because they like the statistics site.
It’s important to note that apart from a separate forum section, the BOINCstats team or its members do not have any advantage or extra features on the BOINCstats/BAM! website. I try to be impartial myself and therefore other people are actually running the team (Sid, Crystal Pellet, Ritterm and R Bruce Kennedy). That way I can focus on the site while they do an excellent job at running the team.
Do you have a real life, besides BOINCstats?
I live, together with my wife Trish, in Roosendaal, The Netherlands. We have a parrot (Odo) and three cats (Neelix, Seven and Riker) . As you can gather from these names I like Science Fiction, especially Star Trek and Star Gate (which are of course all cancelled).
I’m working at Alternate Computers for twelve years now, and I’m in charge of development and systems administration.
Favorite foods include Japanese, Chinese, BBQ, fries. Well, all the good stuff and it starts showing.
I like to ski, but unfortunately I don’t do that every year.
Back to: on site BOINC.RU