Interview With Stuart Wright - Founder Of AVForums!

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The Sandman

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Interview With Stuart Wright - Founder Of AVForums!

Stuart Wright (AKA Spinball) is a familiar name to most people who frequent XenForo.com (or who have more than a passing interest in all things audio/visual). That's because he's just recently completed a conversion of the AVForums he founded from vBulletin 3.8 to XenForo 1.2. That's a big deal for a forum with over 18 million posts and tons of custom features. A project like that doesn't happen overnight, and it's not the work of a single person, but Stuart is the driving force behind it all. I really appreciate the time and effort he put into responding to my long list of questions (and getting them back to me within 24 hours)!

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Can you give us a brief biography?

I got fascinated by computers on a school trip to the London Science museum in about 1977 aged 12. I learned coding in BASIC on the school Commodore PET (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodore_PET) and later on my Video Genie (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Genie). I did badly in my A levels because A level courses in computer studies did not exist at that time, so I went to Sunderland Polytechnic (now University) to study HND computer studies. But I dropped out after the second year because computer studies was about accounting, business and programming on COBOL on mainframes by submitting your programs on punch cards and I could never be interested in that.

I started my first job on my 21st birthday in Sheffield computer programming on mini systems (PCs weren't invented, yet). I packed my job in a couple of years later to be a drummer in a rock band and a few years after that, I returned to programming computers in Birmingham where I met the wife.

In 1999 I contacted the owners of Home Cinema Choice magazine and offered to set up and run their website in exchange for keeping the advertising revenue. This expanded to several tech publications and by 2000 I had given up my programming job and started M2N Ltd. (Magazine 2 'Net). I started AVForums shortly after in early 2000. A few years later the company who took over the magazines cancelled the contract, but by then running AVForums was a full time job.

What is your educational background?

Good 'O' levels (aged 16), bad 'A' levels (aged 18) and dropped out of higher education.

What do you consider as your accomplishments up to this point?

Growing AVForums to be one of the bigger communities in the UK. And of course a couple of kids to...
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