Anthony Scudese, also known as AN-NET at vBulletin.org, is the coder behind the award-winning vB Journal. Anthony also runs Animationation.net and is quickly gaining fame towards his hacking abilities.
Q.) Anthony, can you please tell us about yourself and your personal life?
A.) Well I am 16 and I live in New Jersey. I am not telling you where exactly because that is a mystery…ok I live in a cave. Anyways I am in high school and I am currently a sophomore. My interests are computer graphics (3D), coding, hanging out, playing video games, and having fun. When I am not sleeping, watching TV, or out...I a can be found on my computer. Wow I am predictable.
Q.) What first sparked you interest in online communities?
A.) Well what first sparked my interests in online communities was visiting Diabloworld.com. At the time, they had such an amazing community, and it made me want to establish my own.
Q.) Can you tell us about the history of your site, Animationation.net?
A.) Well AnimatioNation.net was first established on a PhpBB/PhpBBFM board, which was the only the available software at the time that I knew was free and somewhat dependable. The community was very small but my co-owner (who has since left the site), brought many of her friends to our little community. We were also hosted on a free host called Stag Hosting, very nice for free and the site was O.K.
After about 5-6 months after the community was first established, my Co-owner and I decided to move to a full fledge domain and a paid web host. When upon making that decision we decided we needed a more powerful bulletin board software, so we decided on vBulletin. We purchased vBulletin 2.3.4. I was so excited to be working with it. The template system was completely different from PhpBB's and much more advanced. We made our first custom style or as I like to call it, the "eye killer style" .With some help from affiliates of the site we made our second style which is now our main style. The style brought a new look to the site and drew in more members. As the community grew we experienced some problems as all sites do. We eventually moved past that and now we are growing each and everyday. With a dedicated staff and friendly users we hope to keep progressing forward with some new and exciting changes this year.
Q.) What motivated you to start making vBulletin hacks?
A.) Well the motivation was the lack of knowledge I had about the software I was using. My belief is that webmasters don’t run their site correctly until they have complete knowledge of the software they use. For me when ever I installed a vBulletin hack I always got confused and with my attitude when I do not know something, I strive to learn all I can. This is something every webmaster should do, you learn something and it allows you to manage your site better. After gaining knowledge of the coding language my software used I took it upon myself to satisfy what my site needed and what others needed. Doing this allowed to really expand my knowledge of PHP and become good friends with many other webmasters.
Q.) Can you list a few of your lesser known vBulletin hacks and the ones that you had most need of?
A.) Well one my lesser known vBulletin hacks is Unbannable IP’s which I have submitted to Jelsoft to consider adding to a future version to prevent hackers from banning admins or accidental banning. Another lesser known hack is my quick attachment approval system or “Q.A.A.S” as I like to call it. I created it because I got tired of having to log into the Admin CP to approve attachments, so why not approve them right in the thread? And lastly is Selected Files Not Closed, possibly my least known hack and most confusing. Basically it lets you choose files that do not show the inactive message when your board has been turned off. I really think those hacks would be great if more people knew they existed.
Q.) What inspired you to take on the task of making your own VBulletin Journal?
A.) After a large request for a journal system, lack of the coders taking up such a project, and the port of vBulletin 2 journal system not being released on vBulletin.org made me take on this task. Once I announced I was developing it I got an over whelming amount of support and response. After finally releasing I realized how important it was to users of vBulletin.org community and so I am grateful that my hard work was used in the best way possible, giving others the happiness they need.
Q.) What was the hardest part in creating vB Journal?
A.) The hardest part was including alot of the features everyone wanted in a journal system and getting it out in efficient amount of time.
Q.) Many are waiting for the new version of vB Journal; can you give some detail what the new version will have?
A.) Well I can tell you that it will surely expand the current version by far. It’ll possibly give some other blogging sites like Xanga and Blogger a run for their money. The features will include attachments, setup choosing, more customizing options (color), calendars, reporting, relationships, and more administration control. Oblivion Knight has also joined the vB Journal team. He will bring many new ideas to the project, as he is designing a new look for vB Journal. So everyone be ready for a newer and better vB Journal!
Q.) Do you have any surprises in store for vBulletin community, hacking-wise?
A.) I possible do, you never know what I will whip up. It’s really good I write down all my ideas or I would forget everything. I am really such a ditz about remembering things.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule, Anthony. We look forward to more of your hacks, and the newest version of vB Journal.