SL: Tell us a little bit about yourself (Age, Location, etc.)
Tweak3D: Iím 19 years old and I live in Bakersfield, CA. Iím not quite the typical computer nerd but I admit Iím a big geek deep inside. When Iím not working on the computer Iím either at school, skateboarding, or working on my car (itís project car. Lots of fun!).
SL: Tell us some history and how you got Tweak3D Started?
Tweak3D: Phew... this is a long, boring story ;). Tweak3D started under the name Danís Technology Page back in April 1998. I took a class in computer repair that also happened to teach the students basic HTML. This is where I got the idea to make a web site. The only problem was that I couldnít figure out what to write about, so it was basically like most of the sites on the web... pointless and lame. I upgraded my PC from a Cyrix 6x86 PR166 to a P2 266 and I bought a Riva 128, the Viper V330. Iím not sure if you remember this chip, but it had several flaws. I was always tweaking the card and finding how to fix bugs with certain games. Eventually I got into discussion boards at RivaZone.com and I was always talking with people about fixes, etc. HTML meets Riva 128... the first guide was written up, the Riva 128 Tweak Guide. Sure it wasnít anything special, but it did help thousands of people fix their problems and give me tons of support.
After the support started growing and the hits started increasing, I started writing guides about other components. Eventually I found out people were actually getting hardware for FREE and some were making money from this. This was unbelievable to me at the time because I loved doing it for free. Getting paid and getting free hardware sounded unreal. After I started getting loads of hardware and reviewing it, writing more guides, etc., things picked up and it started to earn money. I think I made the first buck off the site back in December, 1998. Since then, things have progressed beyond my dreams. Itís awesome!
SL: How long do you spend working on Tweak 3D a week?
Tweak3D: Itís hard to say right now because I just started a new quarter in college, but when I have the time (like during weekends or breaks), at least 5-8 hours a day. During school Iím usually reduced to about 1-2. When I am busy doing something else, Iím always thinking about what Iíll be doing next on the site, when Iíll get time to update, etc.
SL: How many people do you have working for Tweak3D? Can you tell us a bit about your staff and what they do?
Tweak3D: There are a lot of people on the staff right now. Most of them arenít even doing anything. Iím just too busy to remove their names from the About page, etc.:-) As far as who updates the most, Chris Burek and Keith McClellan both write tons of reviews/guides. They really work hard and get a lot done. Our HTML guru and hardware editor, David, gets news posted almost every day. Lately heís been busy though. The majority of the other guys arenít around a lot anymore, but Nafterclifen still moderates the discussion boards, and Xero and tapped both post news and articles from time to time. I probably missed someone too, but itís getting late.. sorry guys!
SL: Who designed Tweak3D, and what sort of technologies did they/you use?
Tweak3D: David ďSpunkĒ Grampa did the design. We set it up so everything could be changed using just a couple of files (ya know, via SSI). It makes it extremely easy to do updates, write new articles, or even change the layout of the whole site in a matter of hours instead of weeks. The search engine and news script are CGI based and our discussion board uses Cold Fusion. Soon the whole suite will be Cold Fusion though.
SL: Who are your influences in life and why?
Tweak3D: I donít have many big influences in ďreal lifeĒ other than my parents, but there are a couple of webmasters out there who I still look up to. Like Billy ďWickedĒ Wilson of VE. Billy is a damn nice guy, and he probably works harder than almost any webmaster out there. I feel like I owe him something for all heís done to promote and help Tweak3D. Kyle at HardOCP is also a big influence. I started Tweak3D right around the time HardOCP started and ever since then, Kyle has been an unlimited source of support. Heís got a great style too. There are several other webmasters out there that I feel helped me along, like Felby from RivaZone, who helped me back when I first started. And although Iíve never actually talked with him, Anand is definitely someone I respect. He works really hard and it shows.
SL: Tweak3D is on the 100 hot list, when did you realize your site was a winner?
Tweak3D: Someone told me it was on the 100 hot list not too long ago and I didnít even know. J I realized the site was a winner when I posted the first tweak guide. Once I posted that first Riva 128 guide, I received so much support that I wanted to do this forever.