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We had a chance to chat with hgtonight, moderator of Vanilla Forums Community Forum
**Tell us about yourself. **
I am a 26 year old North Dakota native. That is in the midwest of the United States for the folks that are no good at geography like me . I develop embedded software for a living. This means I am used to bare metal programming and working with realtime operating systems.
What first brought you to Vanilla Forums?
In a word, gaming.
Back in college, I was big into a game called Team Fortress 2. I naturally joined a gaming community and made a lot of online friends. The community forum was running PHPBB 3 and we were having troubles keeping it up to date due to the archaic patching system PHPBB 3 used. We started looking into alternative forum software and a community friend suggested Vanilla with "It is pretty nice looking out of the box and it has excellent dev support."
After installing it, I was immediately won over by how simple and intuitive Vanilla was compared to PHPBB.
What do you like best about Vanilla Forums?
The extendability is by far my favorite feature. It lets me quickly prototype new functionality as my community requests it. Aside from that, the source code is well written and documented. In this regard, it is steps above the competition.
What is one thing you recommend to those starting out using the Open Source version of Vanilla Forums?
Paraphrasing my own forum signature here: "Search first and check out the Community Wiki." After that, Vanilla is this amazing piece of software that we get for free. So remember that open source really thrives when you, yes you, contribute to the community. Get your hands dirty and make something awesome!
What are your interests outside of Vanilla Forums?
Gaming, DIY, reading, collecting movies, fixing up pinball machines, and spending time with friends and family. I really like creating and software is an easy way to translate the random ideas I have into something with a potential use. Beyond all this, I try to keep up with my two small children and my awesome supportive wife.
Any fascinating facts about yourself that you would like to share with the Vanilla Forums community?
As far as I know, I am the only hgtonight in existence on the internet. If you spot hgtonight on some random site, drop me a line and say hi!
What is the story behind your Avatar Picture?
A few years ago, a friend took actual photos of our community members and created stylized vector versions of them. I really liked the way mine turned out, so I kept it.
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