PowerTimes started back in the year 1994 as the free newsletter of the Swiss Powerbuilder User Group (SPBUG), which was founded in September 1994. The SPBUG steering committee members Rolf André Klaedtke and Mark Lansing managed to grow it into a respected publication that was distributed world-wide: many Powerbuilder user groups in Europe and North America decided to subscribe to it for the benefit of their members. Issues were downloaded from almost all countries around the world.
We were happy to find many people willing to contribute articles and to promote PowerTimes at conferences and PowerBuilder user group meetings.
A special mention certainly goes to Boris Gasin, who not only created our long-time slogan “No Flash, No Glitter - Just content”, but also wrote articles and promoted it among PB user groups in North America and inside the legendary “Team Powerbuilder”. Another famous PowerBuilder developer and speaker at conferences,
Bill Heys, once even claimed that he would never write for any other PowerBuilder magazine than PowerTimes… he not only contributed many articles, but also traveled more than once to Europe, to speak at PowerBuilder conferences and user group meetings in Europe. Another mention goes to Arthur Hefti, who took care of the “Little Helpers” column. Of course, there were many more… I’ll think about a way to recognize them for their past efforts, maybe through some “Wall of fame”...
Anyway, to cut it short at this time, it can certainly be said that PowerTimes was one of the major publications in the PowerBuilder area. Financially speaking not as powerful as Sys-Con’s PBDJ, but with good content (and less advertisements)...
Over time however, PowerBuilder faced more and more competition: it was a mature product and more and more companies and developers moved to other languages/tools that promised new opportunities and new excitement (do you remember Silverstream?). The whole PowerBuilder ecosystem suffered, including PowerTimes. Although PowerTimes was always open to other technologies, the many years of searching for authors and new material, producing new issues during our spare time, had left some traces. Even more since we never became rich… (albeit famous ). The inevitable outcome was that we lost more and more authors and… motivation to continue.
The last printed issue was produced in 2003 and after that PowerTimes slowly fell asleep: the authors and editors finally decided that it was time to dedicate more time to other endeavors, including family and their jobs. Nevertheless, past issues of PowerTimes were long available for download, but after some time the site was taken down even though there were still some people downloading specific issues every once in a while.
A new start
PowerTimes could have been left sleeping, known only to those who once participated in one way or another in its production or by reading it. But… as the original creator and editor of PowerTimes, I thought about it every now and then, turning down offers to sell the domain name. Even though I’m still using Powerbuilder, I also gained a lot of experience with other technologies during my professional career. My main goal with PowerTimes always was to share knowledge with fellow software developers.
This is still something I like doing…. and the reason why I finally decided to re-start all over again. A discussion with Christophe Dufourmantelle, CEO of Novalys, during a SPBUG meeting in Zurich was the final “kick” to get me going…
Don’t get it wrong, there will be no more printed issues, only technical articles on this site… plus other bits and pieces that may be valuable to software developers.
The plan is to publish technical articles on PowerBuilder, PHP, (PL/)SQL, Expression Engine and other related technologies of interest. Not for the money, but for the pleasure to share knowledge.
Not that I’ll refuse any financial support though…