The history of SB-Software
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The beginnings of SB-Software:
SB-Software was founded in 1986 by Scott M. Baker, the current owner, operator, and programmer at SB-Software. Scott Baker was a high school student at the time, and was actively involved in the computer bulletin board scene. Bulletin boards can be thought of as a sort of predecessor to the Internet, and were a grass-roots effort to network computers for the purpose of sharing email, and playing online games.
The very first successful SB-Software program was a game called "Galactic Warzone". Galactic Warzone was a space trading game, and similar in theme to the popular "Trade Wars" games of the era. It was a text based game, but was very addictive and competing players would typically use up their full 1 hour timeslice of the game each day. Galactic Warzone was commercially viable, and sold somewhere around 1,200 registrations.
After Galactic Warzone came "Land of Devastation", or "LOD". LOD was a role playing game set in a futuristic wasteland. LOD featured EGA (and later VGA) graphics, and was one of only a handful of BBS games that included graphics. LOD featured a color scrolling map, advanced player inventory, multiple kinds of weapons and armour, and even a laptop computer that the player could run "ROMs" on. LOD was very successful, selling approximately 15,000 registersions.
Other SB-Software programs from the BBS era include SZModem (aka Scott's ZModem or Super Zmodem), a file transfer client that featured a multitasking interface, and Door Driver, a toolkit for creating BBS games. Scott also wrote his own BBS software from scratch, and used it to run a BBS called the "Not-Yet-Named BBS".
With the Internet came the transition from the BBS community to the World Wide Web. At the time, web space was at a premium, and newsgroups were seen as a great way to transfer files around without incurring the bandwidth charges that a website typically entailed. The next SB-Software program was the hugely popular "SBNews / News Robot" automatic newsgroup downloader.
SBNews was designed to run unattended overnight, and download entire newsgroups to your computer. When spam started to become a problem, SBNews gained built in spam filtering capabilities. When large files, such as mpeg and mp3 files, became popular, SBNews gained the capability to reassemble these large files. SBNews remains a dominant and popular newsgroup downloader to this day due to it's rock solid performance, and user friendly interface.
The logical successors to SBNews are Binary Vortex and QuadSucker/News. Binary Vortex was designed as a simplified, streamlined newsgroup downloader for people who only want to download pictures. QuadSucker/News was designed as an advanced multithreaded downloader that would pull down four files at a time, maximizing the available bandwidth of broadband connections.
To be continued...