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Although not as active or prominent as they once were, Maxcoderz is one of the longest running programming groups in the TI community (started in 2001). The group and its individual members have been involved in several of the happenings that have taken place in the community over the years including major program and game releases, as well as group mergers, site startups, and site wars. Simply put, they are an integral part of the TI community history.
The Maxcoderz group has released several high-quality programs and games in both TI-Basic and assembly for the TI graphing calculators, as well as having some really amazing projects under development (such as a full-featured assembly version of Metroid). They are probably most well-known for their many complex and well-made RPGs including Hitoshi's Tales of Magic series, Tom Dupont's Chrono Trigger, Colby Anger's Mercenary, Trey Esmond's Gundam Wing, Patrick Prendergast's Desolate, Maarten Zwartbol's Verdante Forest, and Marc Ryan's Marc the Superkid Quest.
Besides the programs and games, Maxcoderz has also been involved in several TI community happenings. In particular, a sizable number of the members have come over from other programming groups that either disbanded or simply merged with Maxcoderz (including Alienhead Productions, Greenfire Software, and Drubu Productions). Maxcoderz itself was a byproduct of a programming group that went inactive and eventually disbanded (xCoderz), with one of the members (Martin Johansson) deciding to form his own group. Several of the Maxcoderz members also had their own personal TI site.
Maxcoderz also had one of the most active forums in their early years, and even led the entire TI community in activity in 2005. However, their forum activity started falling, and after a few slow years they averaged under 500 posts per year. In early 2013, the remaining staff attempted to revive the site with a website redesign that was reminiscent of what they used back in 2004 and 2005. Although the revival attempt initially proved successful, as in just three months there was three times as much activity as there was during the entire previous year, it did not last because the forum was overrun with spam. Since there was not enough staff to help clean it up, user registrations were disabled and whatever momentum they had generated quickly dwindled to nothing.
Several members of the group were involved with other sites and programming groups before joining Maxcoderz including Vincent Jünemann (Greenfire Software), Joe Pemberton and Marc Ryan (TI World), Justin Wales (United-TI), Benjamin Ryves (Greenfire), Hans Tornqvist (Drubu Productions), Sean Sartell (BASIC Guru Online), and Chris Coykendall (Flameblade Programming), Tom DuPont, Colby Anger, and Hitoshi Koizumi (Alienhead Productions).
Site Names & URLs
Since its founding in 2001, the only name that the programming group has ever used is Maxcoderz. Of course, the group has used different variations of the name. The original spelling was MaxCoderz, with the capitalization of coderz borrowed from the xCoderz group. They have called it Maxcoderz Software, Maxcoderz Inc., and Maxcoderz Software Inc. The abbreviation MC was also commonly used. Due to the longevity and popularity of the group, all of these are recognized as referring to Maxcoderz by most people within the TI community.
The Maxcoderz site has used various URLs over the years. They first used a free third-level subdomain with the URL http://www.maxcoderz.f2s.com, which they used until early 2002. A domain name was then purchased in Summer 2002(?) and the new URL was http://www.maxcoderz.com. When they didn't renew the domain name in time, a squatter captured it and they were forced to move to http://www.maxcoderz.net. Unfortunately, the same thing happened again, and they switched over to http://www.maxcoderz.org. This is the current location of the site.
Three of the site administrators have also hosted the site on their personal webspace. Durk Kingma first hosted the site at http://www.kingmastate.nl/maxcoderz/, then Vincent Junemann at http://kvince83.tengun.net/maxboard/, and finally Joe Pemberton at http://joepnet.com/hosted/maxcoderz/. They also had a chatbox for a short while, and it was located at http://strayinfo.cjb.net/Hosted/Maxcoderz/chat/index.html.
- June 5, 2001 — Maxcoderz Software founded by Steve Riekeberg and Martin Johansson
- June 2002 — Alienhead Productions and MaxCoderz Software merge
- February 2004 — Greenfire Software and Maxcoderz Software hold a joint programming contest (see ticalc.org news article)
- October 13, 2004 — Vincent Jünemann joins the group
- December 19, 2004 — Maxcoderz moves to a new host and starts using the domain name http://www.maxcoderz.net
- February 17, 2005 — Michael Angel joins the group
- March 3, 2005 — The Maxcoderz Programming Competition (MPC) starts, with the goal of a demo with cool effects like monochromatic
- July 9, 2005 — Programming competition started to create the most efficient sorting algorithm routine
- November 24, 2005 — Programming competition started to create the most efficient sprite rotation routine
- December 5, 2005 — Benjamin Ryves joins the group
- December 16, 2006 — The maxcoderz.net domain name is allowed to expire
Maxcoderz has had a very complex and convoluted history to reach where it is currently at, involving multiple mergers and numerous programmer additions along the way. It all started with SiCoDe Software, which was a programming group that specialized in creating high-quality advanced TI-Basic programs and games for the TI-83/+ calculators. That group existed from Summer 1998 to February 2001.
There were some internal disputes within SiCoDe about its direction and focus, and in August 2000 Tim Parkin decided to start his own programming group called Basicoderz Software with friend Jeff Ruud. He took fellow SiCoDe members Brandon Green and Douglas O'Brien with him, with both of them owning the rights to the respective games that they created while members of SiCoDe; some of the their games were later re-released under the Basicoderz banner. This created a rather bitter feud between both groups.
The Basicoderz name was short-lived, however, and in September 2000 the group name was changed to xCoderz Software. The group members decided that they didn't want to limit themselves to just TI-Basic and the TI graphing calculators, but be open to programming in many different languages and for multiple platforms. Although the group name was changed, the Basicoderz and xCoderz names were often used interchangeably by the members. This can be seen in some of the games that they released, where it was first released as a Basicoderz product and then re-released as a xCoderz product.
Unfortunately, xCoderz suffered a similar fate as SiCoDe and eventually was disbanded due to member disputes and just general inactivity. One of the members (Jonathon Capps) joined Cahal Technologies, while another member (Martin Johansson) started his own programming group. It should be noted that another member (perhaps Brandon Green or Jeff Ruud?) continued to use the xCoderz name for his own personal computer and web development company until 2008.
Both Martin Johansson and Steve Riekeberg (the other founder of MaxCoderz) were members of BASIC Guru Online, and decided to join forces and start a new programming group. The name chosen for the group was MaxCoderz, with the capitalization of coderz borrowed from the xCoderz group. MaxCoderz was officially started on June 5, 2001, and the original URL for the site was http://www.maxcoderz.f2s.com. Their first new member to join was Sean Sartell (also a member of BASIC Guru Online).
Alienhead Productions and MaxCoderz merged in June 2002, with Alienhead bringing its high-quality TI-Basic assembly-assisted RPG projects that were under development. In particular, the Final Fantasay: Tales of Magic series, Chrono Trigger, Parasite Eve: Mercenary, and Gundam Wing. Joe Pemberton and Marc Ryan joined Maxcoderz in 2002 after TI World was disbanded due to inactivity.
When the Drubu Productions programming group was disbanded in Fall 2004, Hans Törnqvist (coelurus) joined MaxCoderz. Similarly, some of the members of Greenfire Software joined MaxCoderz when it was disbanded on September 28, 2004. Although the other members started their own programming group called Revolution Software, both groups worked collaboratively on various projects with members commonly posting projects and helping out on both groups' forums.
Vincent Jünemann started the Calc WebZine in August 2004, with the purpose of creating a TI community news aggregate and conglomerate, and both sites jointly hosted a programming competition later that year.