March 26, 2005
Wow, that was insane

SquawkBox 3 released less than two days ago and as of now, over 6200 different people have tried the software. While reading through and responding to the posts in the technical support forum has been daunting, the relatively small number of problems that have come up has been really encouraging!

Thank you to everyone that has sent words of thanks and congratulations--it means a lot to me. In a little while you will have the opportunity to direct this good will to benefit a charity that helps those much less fortunate than all of us. Stay tuned for more on that.

I want to take this chance to thank a few people.

Thank you to all the excellent beta testers. Their tireless hours flying with half-working software and doing countless re-installations really helped make SquawkBox 3 all the better.

Thank you to the folks at VATSIM who have helped support the release of SquawkBox 3 on their network. Richard Critz, Richard Jenkins and George Marinakis in particular were very active in making the release process go smoothly.

Thank you to everyone that has helped answer questions on the forum since SquawkBox 3 has released. It has been a very difficult task just keeping up with all the postings so I could definitely not have done this alone.

Thank you to all the users and volunteers on the network that make this hobby into something special. I got involved with this development because I thought online virtual ATC was about the coolest thing I had ever seen. I still feel that way and am looking forward to getting back to flying myself!

Finally, thank you to my wife and kids for putting up with my at times unhealthy obsession with finishing this software. People always e-mail thanking me for my work and sacrifice, but in reality this is pretty fun for me. The real sacrifice has come from my longsuffering family. If you want to thank my wife, her e-mail address is

Lastly I want to offer a small admonition: enjoy the software, but please don't take this hobby too seriously. It's a game after all and it's meant to be fun. Play nicely with others and try to do your part to give to the community as much as you take from it.

Cleared for takeoff!

Posted by Joel at 06:45 PM
March 25, 2005
It's a Good Friday

I am pleased to announce that SquawkBox 3 is now publicly released. No pushing and shoving please: there's plenty for everyone. Click on the download link above to try it out.

I hope you enjoy using SquawkBox as much as I enjoyed creating it. It has been a genuine pleasure.

Posted by Joel at 06:40 AM
March 22, 2005
Documentation Content Complete

I have finally completed the draft of the SquawkBox documentation, in that all the content I'm planning is now in there. I know many of you have already read much of it, but I have been continuing to add content all this time. So please have another read and let me know if you find any problems. Are parts unclear? Are any links broken? Is the writing awkward? Are there spelling or grammar mistakes? All feedback is welcome!

I'm going to do a full editing pass on it all myself and I wouldn't consider it final until that is completed. I would ask that you refrain from reformatting, translating, copying or redistributing this manual in any form. It is copyrighted material. It seems some people started doing this as soon as the Manual link was live on the site.

Thank you to all that have provided excellent feedback on the manual.

Posted by Joel at 11:29 PM
March 20, 2005
Site Changes

The web site is now more or less put back together. Thanks for your patience. If you notice any problems with the pages on the site, let me know. I'll be continuing to fill out the content over the next few days.

Posted by Joel at 10:35 PM
March 19, 2005
Site Upgrades

Over the next few days I will be doing a major update to this web site. You may experience periods where the site is unavailable or parts of it are not working. Please excuse the mess.

Posted by Joel at 11:05 AM
March 13, 2005
SquawkBox 3 Launch Party

We have now come to the most important part of SquawkBox 3's development: the planning of the launch party!

The party will take place at my house. Food, drink, good friends and good times will be in abundance, and of course SquawkBox will be setup and available to play. All enthusiastic online aviators and controllers are welcome to come!

I have never invited this many people to a party before, so I will need you to let me know you are coming, lest we either run out of food or violate local fire regulations! Please RSVP here.

Here are the particulars:
Friday, April 8
6:00 p.m. until very late

I live in the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada area. The nearest airports are CYVR and CYXX. KSEA and KBLI are also reasonably close.

Hope to see you there!

Posted by Joel at 12:00 AM
March 12, 2005
Release Candidate 4

The Release Candidate 4 build has been sent out to the beta testers. This was completed slightly ahead of schedule thanks to some quick turnarounds from VATSIM. If no problems are encountered, this is the exact build that will be publicly released.

Posted by Joel at 11:52 PM
March 09, 2005

Everything is progressing according to plan. No major issues have been found in the RC3 build. A few minor changes have gone in but most of my time has been spent finishing the manual. When the first draft is complete I'll post the URL here so that everyone can help me review and edit the manual.

The final release candidate is still planned for March 15.

Posted by Joel at 08:29 PM
March 02, 2005
SquawkBox 3 Release Date

While I feel like I should accompany this with some huge flashing disclaimer, I finally feel like I can give you all a date for SquawkBox's release. My best guess at this point is that it will ship during the last week of March.

As I have indicated, several things that need to happen before release are out of my control. So I certainly can't guarantee this date. But after all the discussion about the release date, I figured I would let you know as soon as I felt confident enough to predict it.

Release Candidate 3 went out to testers tonight. The open bug list is now completely empty. A final release candidate will be released in a few days which will have all beta version specific code removed. Barring any problems being reported, that build is the version that will ship.

As always, thanks for your continued support and patience.

Posted by Joel at 11:20 PM