2004 – 2007: Development & Design

Years ago, in the year 2005-2006 I was a web developer professionally and I’d started in Design. I’d used various products; things like PHPBB amongst others but eventually came across a software named Subdreamer.

Subdreamer was founded and Managed By (originally) Ziad Hilal (AKA “Subduck”) alongside Alice Hilal. Since then as I understand it, the Company has been sold to new management at least 3 times. But whilst I was Free, These products I made at SDDepot included Design files which change the look of the site called “Skins”. To Me, it as an ideal way to make money; and many were willing to pay the money.

I eventually, slowly worked into the programming language PHP and came to understand a little, enough to start making programs called “Plugins” to add new functionality to Subdreamer.

I was initially working with a Woman named “Krystal Hjertet” Who was My Lead designer; She came up with the first official SDDepot Logo design.

I Highly recommend “Krystal Hjertet” If You’re looking for a Web Designer in the future.
She was fantastic and had an awesome collection of Photoshop filters and whatnot.
She’d always come up with something trendy.

We had come up with various designs together. Some which were really stunning and almost “ethereal” to look at. Krystal is very good at making grain and textures which were Smooth.

Subdreamer is basically a product (like “wordpress”) that Makes a website for You.
You’d press buttons and input text and it arranges everything just so.

The Design (Skin) files were the look and feel of it, and many layout changes could be addressed utilizing them. My designs were pretty good, I needed a bit of practise; But My newer products were really popping.

I knew at that time that I was ready to go Commercial.
in 2006 I found online a fellow programmer (though I worked more with Javascript, Less with AJAX at the time) named Tobias Teschner.
Tobias Ran a Company named Con-Dev which specialized in a logistics and tabulated data analysis and organisation program entitled SQR Runner.

I guess there had been various database types, and the older SQR model was still being used in commercial sectors. Tobias specialized in working with such data types.

Tobias (And sometimes Robert P. Skold)
and I were able to make many plugins together.

Some of these groundbreaking plugins were:

Previous Coding examples:

Clicktracker Plugin
Image 1    Image 2
(Click for Image)

Ajax Articles (Mod)
Image 1    More    More    More
(Click for Image)

Banner Link To Us
Image 1    Image 2    Image 3    Image 4
Image 5    Image 6
(Click for Image)

Mass Media Pro
Image 1    Image 1    Image 2    Image 3
Image 4    Image 3    Image 5    Image 6
Image 7    Image 8    Image 3    Image 9
Image 10  Image 11  Image 12  Image 13
(Click for Image)

Turbo DB Admin
Image 1
(Click for Image)

Simple Docs
Image 1    Image 2    Image 3    Image 4    Image 5
(Click for Image)

2005: Official Partner of Subdreamer, LLC

We (Tobias Teschner And I),
SDDepot – Had become the Technology Partners with Subdreamer, LLC. In the Year of 2006.
What this meant was that when new technology was available For Subdreamer;
and in the conception and instrumentation of those technologies –
SDDepot was there to either facilitate Contract by Contract or to be there
as advisors and sometimes Troubleshooters.

SDDepot would either make the technology from scratch, or Conceive how existing technologies
could be augmented into the Subdreamer Product.

Both Tobias and I had access to the Private Administrator Sections at the Subdreamer.com forum,
and We often would chat with the staff at Subdreamer.com in either Casual or Business forms.
Often on Skype or IM.

I distinctly remember Hanging Out with Ed Zielke Online – it was a real pleasure. He’s Very Likeable.

SDDepot Web References

Keep in mind if businesses online cease existing, the only way to prove your were
once a member or employee is to use old archives and chronicle your involvement

Leif Andre (Labrekke)
Explaining that as of May 2006, SDDepot was No Longer Technology Partner of Subdreamer, LLC.
(They Hired Tobias – And Tobias Resigned from SDDepot)

Note: Subdreamer Changed their forum path to “Community/” instead of “Forum/”. But being that Archive.org is a publically funded service (Once Governmental), An archived page is just as valid in court.

Local Copy    Archived Page
original url: http://www.subdreamer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9510

Leif Andre (Labrekke)
Explaining that in March 2007, SDDepot and Subdreamer Put together version 2.4.1 of Subdreamer Pro.

Note: Subdreamer Changed their forum path to “Community/” instead of “Forum/”.
But being that Archive.org is a publically funded service (Once Governmental), An archived page
is just as valid in court:

Local Copy    Archived Page
original url: http://www.subdreamer.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9421

Zoominfo: Leif Andre (Labrekke)
About His career with Subdreamer

Note: Saving a site as HTML is not always pretty “looking”. If You want it to be, use full URL’s to all elements.

Local Copy    Archived Page    Live URL

Zoominfo: Ed Zielke (HeavyEddie)
About His career with Subdreamer
(Mentions SDDepot technology Partnership)

Note: Saving a site as HTML is not always pretty “looking”. If You want it to be, use full URL’s to all elements.

Local Copy    Archived Page    Live URL

@subdreamer.org: Robert J. Ellis (Subdreamer.org Moderator)
I had been a Moderator and an Administrator With Adam B. Cohen for Years. (More about Adam up the Page)

Note: I was’nt able to find an archive of My being an Admin at Subdreamer.org,
But I could follow up by Phone or Something else Should it be considered a reason to “Hire” Me.

Local Copy    Archived Page
original url: http://www.subdreamer.org/forum/index.php?showuser=7

@subdreamer.org: Robert J. Ellis (Subdreamer.org Moderator #2)
I had been a Moderator and an Administrator With Adam B. Cohen for Years. (More about Adam up the Page)

Note: I was’nt able to find an archive of My being an Admin at Subdreamer.org,
But I could follow up by Phone or Something else Should it be considered a reason to “Hire” Me.

Local Copy    Archived Page
original url: http://www.subdreamer.org/forum/index.php?showuser=7

@subdreamer.org: Robert J. Ellis (Development Blog)
I ran a Development and Coding advice Blog at Subdreamer.org for a few years. (Bottom of Page)

Note: There’s two archive.org links. One to this HTML File, and another with which You can see Inside My Old Blog
Local Copy    Archived Page #1    Archived Page #2
original url: http://www.subdreamer.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=7bfde355a746398d5f89a7a2d9ccfea4&f=33

@subdreamer.org: Robert J. Ellis (Free Designs)
I often Contributed To Subdreamer.org by Providing Designs that Customers could use Free of Charge. It attracted business. (Bottom of Page)

Note: The local backup is pretty terrible. We did’nt design the site to be compatible with Archive.org lol.
Local Copy    link
original url: http://www.subdreamer.org/sd_skins/p13_sectionid/2

Subdreamer, and onwards…

Everyone at SDDepot and Subdreamer seemed to get along quite well.,br /> We’d often Talk On Skype, and send emails back and forth.
Subdreamer had a great team. Though losing James Spibey was a hit to the team – Gaining Ed Zielke and Tobias was a Plus to Subdreamer overall.

The challenge which Subdreamer faced was that of versions of PHP and Mysql.
Their new Dev team was setting their sights on the newer SQL versions. But that of course meant that Subdreamer’s old versions and ultimately (old customers) Who did’nt want to change PHP or MYSql versions were out of luck.

To each their own. I prefer a product that works with both, I think it is a matter of philosophies; Because ultimately; Subdreamer became a better product in the end.

I very enjoyed Working with Tobias Teschner. I think He appreciated My clarity of thought and foresight. But perhaps the scope and articulation of My plans was sometimes awe-inspiring; Daunting to even the hardest of workers.
“I’d recommend Tobias Teschner to anyone. He was the Co-Manager at SDDepot and was always working very hard to produce top notch programming.”
www.con-dev.de ” (email:info@con-dev.de)

2005: The Future of PHP development

By this Time, SDDepot was in full swing. And Tobias Teschner and I were coming up with some fairly decent applications. He would look at an idea and We would decide back and forth how to address an Idea or Plan.

And then using My design and Browser-war hardened knowledge of javascript and css I would come up with some crazy stuff. Like for instance Something I called “SDDcode”. SDDCode helped Tobias to make cooler designs for the plugins We would make.
While he wrote code to do something. I would research and find the coolest visual effects and come up with ways of making each product dummy-proof (So that it would not break; IF conceivably, The ‘User’ made a mistake). But naturally, I wanted Us to have the coolest looking plugin GUI’s on the internet So I created SDDcode, it’s like BBCode in a forum system:

Basically; (For those Who don’t know what BBCode is), there’s a simplified way of making links and colors for a forum’s post. And you use it like this:

[b]Text[/b] (makes the text appear BOLD)

[i]Text[/i] (makes the text italic)

examples:  Image 1    Image 2

So I thought about it, and realized.. Why should Tobias have to worry about making html code and fancy ways of making popups and slider features.
When I had been studying the ins and outs of it for about 4 years?

SDDepot was dependant on Me working on new designs, so SDDCode was the answer.
I realized, Color pickers and fancy layouts could be as easy as a few bits of text on a text file which I could then create a program to process.
A program that would automatically add the code corresponding to the simplified [code], Just like a smilie:
🙂 = Smiley

Image 1    Image 2    Image 3    Image 4

A snazzy code that was about as simple as this:
[sddcode][button option=”do this” type=”slider” value=”this and that”]Button Name[/button][/sddcode]
And I had even built into it a skinning engine.
So that people who are hard of seeing had an optional theme and it would be saved in a cookie.

This means that You could pick from the coolest (somewhat antique now) Mac styles with blue and gray accents, or You could go with muted colours and beautiful pastels.

Public Awareness & Involvement

You could choose the best of both worlds. So with only a few code entries it would add all of this stuff automatically. Tripling his efficiency. By automating these processes it allowed Tobias Teschner to create the coolest stuff that nearly instantly looked better than everyone elses stuff. And I went out of My Way to buy the coolest of software too, like from this site – Who made a crossbrowser color picker. And it is still to this day the Best One on The Market that works for Everything!

http://www.daantje.nl/gpl-projects/minicolorpicker/ Used To be the link to Daantje’s MiniColorPicker; But it looks like His site is under Maintenance. It’s understandable, I mean Imagine running a Website company for 16 Years…… OMG lol.

So, at any rate – You can visit Web.archive.org to see the Old Government Backup (In all its former glory):

And if You Have’nt already,
consider Donating some money to the Now publically funded Archive.org!.
They keep antiques like this gem still in circulation. Because it’s the best colorpicker in the world!
BTW, it’s legal to use – You could probably just download the Javascript and find the instructions somehow.
I’ll Maybe hold the torch and ask him if I can host his script. He seems to like Me.

Want to see a live Demo Of SDDepot Code using ColorPicker By Daantje.NL? Press HERE:

This Demonstration is actually the Oldest of them. It’s the Original HTML version of the
Concept which went into the guts of the Mass Media Pro’s skinning engine.
While this is a rather simple; Antiquated example – It’s still ahead of the pack
and It still works in every browser. That was the difference between code found elsewhere
and SDDepot’s programming. Code that was made to last forever. The code quality of SDDepot
is reminescant of Good Old North American Quality and Workmanship.
Programming that is well thought out and Conceived.

Image 1    Image 2    Image 3

What’s a few hundred dollars when I could have the creator of the script make it legal for commercial
use by changing the license type. In coding it’s better sometimes to give then recieve because You can rely on code;
And if You need the author to make changes; He/She can.

Though Tobias and I were working on a new groundbreaking product called the Mass Media Pro (A YouTube like website Management system);
There was a shift in the way that Subdreamer was operating professionally.


James (Spibey) Had left the employee base of Subdreamer; So Subdreamer was out a programmer.
James and I at first had not seen things eye to eye. I think He may have seen Me as being a bit too formal.
Possibly because My interest on the Subdreamer.com website had been a commercial one.
However, after some time We started to get along OK;
and from then on We were cool.
This is an animated GIF Forum Avatar that I jokingly made. You see at one point He used the image of a “Star Wars” snow speeder as his icon (avatar)
at the Subdreamer Forums. So I animated (quickly, poorly) a Tie fighter shooting it down.
I think after He saw it He might have liked me better.
[It’s a timed animation So You’ll have to wait a few seconds before it appears animated” – Psych! 😀 ]

Ah, the days of Jasc Animation shop and Adobe Image Ready in Photoshop CS2!. Oh joy, those were the days. And still are…
I suppose in light of Flash being banned from the internet (for the most part).
Maybe it’s that people who are really good at making animated GIF’s will be very handy, lol.

2006: Side Projects

But, I had already been working on the practical theory of an entirely New CMS, One that would change everything.
I’d taken design technologies to their maximum extents and Knew in My Gut that a better CMS was possible.
Here’s An Image of the PHPShark design [below].
Image 1

PhPShark, It was summation of some of the biggest boldest and best new ideas that Tobias and I had come up with.
And it seemed practical that it could be entirely Ajax. But what I wanted to do is have encoded flatfiles instead of sql driven data.
I came up with one the most uncrackable ciphers ever conceived (That I do not believe even a Quantum Processor could beat)
which relied on original data. I realized that by using re-encoded files, that there would be no need to hide data or secure it
when by default it was already encoded. And the only thing that could decode it is
the configuration files in tandem with the PhPShark Product.

Just imagine, for instance the ability to back up Your site By dragging the files (like in Your computer.). Drag them from one file to another. Press a few buttons and it’s back in operation.

SQL is a bloated idea that is slow, and xml is a better option because it allows queries and even assists PHP in the means of file execution and write-time. Arrays can even be made of group files instead relying on only one file.
It is so much more practical to be working with data when there is a Physical Backup.

Such a name too. PHPShark – I used to own the .com, Maybe I’ll find another cool name and make this idea a reality in say a year or so.
It could start as a free beta or something. Maybe it could be opensource and people could add to the idea, like on Github, Pen, or Sourceforge.

Imagine PHP for instance, where every fancy function was rewritten from scratch, so no matter what every function worked.
I try to avoid PHP Class files because of the way that they are cached And what ends up happening is their functions are
constantly re-iterated (like having to call a person to dinner 10 times to get it done).

And dom storage is too unpredictable. It’s too hard to control the storage on a User’s end; And YET, trying to re-check and
cache simultaneously ultimately comes down to Sphagetti coding. “Sphagetti” coding is one of the faster approaches but it is unforgiving.
It is done by preventing there being any nested components.
Like for instance if I was to make the word “BlowDart” start with bold and then end with italics (and Bold), I would do this:


And it would look like this:


Yet Sphagetti code (sometimes) nests code. But if at all possible, it avoids it.
It’s like constantly having to remember everything. Would’nt You rather remember less? Code and CPU’s are the same way.
By preventing Nesting it’s much faster (like below).


And it would look like this:


It is this simple philosophy which I hoped to utilize. By saving memory in every way I could, Even with the best encryption in the business, My code would be faster. But, SDDepot Still existed; And So did Subdreamer – And like all great ideas – It’s the time required.

2006: Change of Subdreamer Development Team

In Light of James’s absence, They Hired His replacement; Someone named Ed AKA HeavyEddie, Whose work was fairly good; But I think He was new to the product – Because after a few small fixes and releases He became bogged down by service requests and people needing Him to repair everything. Being a fairly complicated product; Subdreamer needed more staff;
Ultimately, Mine (to SDDepot’s great loss).

They Hired My Business Partner Tobias Teschner part-time and they used Me for a few programming contracts.
While Tobias Still worked Part-time at SDDepot, SDDepot was still the Official Technology Partner of Subdreamer, LLC (2006).

Ultimately, Tobias Needed to Move On – As He had dreams and aspirations which He felt Subdreamer’s Company could provide.
But ultimately; Subdreamer losing business firstly, and then Changing Hands of Ownership was Too much for Him to worry about.

I’m glad that Tobias was so delicate about following His dream; Because it was a sad time for Me.
And an ever sadder time for SDDepot Customers.
Tobias and I still are On Good Terms; And We did not exchange Any Heated words. Tobias is a real Gentleman.

To Have subdreamer suddenly being Non-functioning only 3-4 Months later was a Hit to SDDepot’s business – A Hit which was Crippling.
With a skeleton crew SDDepot still operated, But Subdreamer had ceased being an “In” product.

At least until they let Tobias make a thousand fixes or so.

In Hindsight, I should Have sought out “Robert Skold” again and Inquired whether He’d want to Get back on board.

I’m pretty good at finding fixes to programming errors and challenges.
But unfortunately for Me Tobias Teschner already had another Company in Germany named Con-Dev.
He worked expressly with SQL Database and Tabulated data. But now I’m sure He does a bit of everything [especially after working with Me, lol].

However, Summer 2006.. Subdreamer was non-functioning.
There was too Much work to do and they had not been relying on Tobias.
Instead they were relying on Ed to get things working – And I suppose there were just too many errors.
I was not happy, many months had been invested in making a solid product that people were happy with.
Moreover, The Invision Power Board Program that I was using for a forum system had a (seemingly)
very stable payment portal that I was using to accept payments for Paying Customers.

It had an auto renew selection in the product that I guess was bugged and it kept auto renewing.
Eventually I had to shut down that paypal address entirely (Sorry to previous SDDepot customers.).

As both Invision Power Board’s service staff were telling Me (and Paypal’s help sections).
There were un-complicated ways of turning off these auto subscriptions through Paypal’s site,
but frankly it was not obvious.

“Buyer Beware.”
“The next time I want to use a forum solution I will just Make My own.
Not all that much to it until You try and make it complicated.
I found Invision Power Board good, but its flaws almost Put Me Out of business.”

But I was still in the game and had been studying CSS2 to its fullest extent. And here is the summation of that experience.
The most user-friendly Dropdown Menu Ever Created. It’s called The Shark Menu. It works in every browser ever made, even the Older ones.
“And I Realized….. I had done the impossible and just made the Best CSS Dropdown Menu Ever Coded.”

See The Demo:

Image 1    Image 2    Image 3    Image 4
Image 5    Image 6    Image 7    Image 8
Image 10  Image 11  Image 12  Image 13

in 2007 I had a beta of the Mass Media Pro which worked very well. And yet the newer version required a newer version of SQL.
I’ve always been for making things for all versions; But that’s Me.

I’d had offers of over twenty thousand to do some customisations to the thing but
in reality I had to make choices – There was too much work to do.

And on top of that I had bought James Spibey’s creations. Namely the Paypal Download Manager and He
had some modifications which could be added – Integral with his Paypal Download Manager.
It was a good price, and I still own the product and yet I’m not into PHP anymore, Oh well.

I however think I might get back into programming – But this time My way. And My way is to test it on everything
and change little. It may take more time initially but there is less problems.
I think too that I would use more XML and less SQL because of the
time required to load and access queries [information saved within a program].

I was working on a very interesting project which was in regard to site design.
I was experimenting with concepts which allowed You to control the design and style with the touch of a button.
Pretty amazing too. Maybe at one point I’ll get a live demo uploaded – It was pretty cool :D. It was called the Graphite Pro Control Panel.
Maybe one day, I’ll make something like it again.

2019: Looking Back

Subdreamer lost business, and I was tired of waiting for it to bounce back.
It had already been nearly a Year – And I just did not have the time or money to get into it.
Even My customers were not showing their faces at My site because they were reliant on the Subdreamer product. It was really sucky.