The Pinside and me

The Pinside and me

By Martijn

March 31, 2008


9 years ago

A bit about me

Hello there, stranger, how are you doing? My name is Martijn, I am 40 years of age and I am one of the developers of Pinside.com. I live in Alkmaar, a Dutch town about 40 miles to the north of Amsterdam and I live there with my daughter Elin and my cat Pesto. I studied computer science combined with economics, and I have a background in programming and databases. My brother Robin and I have been creating games and applications together every since we were kids. He always working on the design and I more on the code itself. So that we'd team up to create the Pinside was only a matter of time.

My hobbies? Besides pinball I love everything that has to do with sports, music, computers, programming, games and all that. If you're about my age you will know what this means: growing up with disco, Commodore 64, Amiga, BBS, Atari, Arcades, Adventure games like Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle and Sid Meier Games. I absolutely love that kind of stuff. Heck, I can talk hours about it. But as this is a site about pinball let's concentrate on that for now.

So how did I get involved in the Pinside?

Ever since my brother Robin and I have been little kids, we have been in love with the magic of the silver ball. A few months after obtaining our first machine: Doctor Who, we discovered that you can buy pinball machines and lots of other pinball related stuff on the Internet, and my brother obtained a pinball book from which I don't remember the title anymore. He was just getting into building websites at the time, and he decided he had to build a pinball related website. I though this was a nice idea and using my background in building databases I helped him build the database design. Using the book he had bought and lots of other resources available on the Internet my brother manually put every machine in this database, which I though was a crazy man’s job. But he did it anyway. And that was the beginning of Pinside.com (or the Solid State Pinball Database as we called it back then).

After creating the archive, we started to build the rest of the site. Well, actually my brother did most of the work, because back then I wasn’t as interested or as skilled in developing websites as I am now. Anyway, a few months later we were satisfied with the result and we decided to publish Pinside.com on the web and to see what would happen. And that’s where you guys came in. Slowly but steadily Pinside.com started receiving more and more visits, which resulted in other sites noticing it and in the site climbing the ranks of the search engines. At that point Robin and I actually didn’t develop any new features, we just maintained the website and added important pinball related news as it came along (which wasn’t very much at the time). 2 years or so later, Robin thought up and developed the Pinside Top 100, which quickly became a pretty big success (you guys seem to love voting), and after this we went back to just maintaining the site again. Until 6 years ago or so…

Pinside.com new style

Somewhere in 2008 my brother and I decided we wanted to do something for ourselves and we founded a small company named Keeple. We wanted to do something we really care about, and since Pinside.com was still a pretty well visited site in spite of us doing almost nothing but maintaining it, we decided we had to do something with it. We started to restyle and rebuild Pinside.com from scratch, but now bigger, better and more community driven. With our love for pinball as a solid foundation, we hoped we could help making the silver ball alive and kicking on the net! So that’s why we decided to build this new platform that’s all about pinball. To share our enthousiasm and knowledge of this great game with you and to give you people the means to do the same. On this new site we built a lot of new features to make this possible and are always in the progress of building many more.

And the rest is history

Or so they say. One day we decided we needed a forum, built one and after a slow start it begun gaining traction, snowballing further and further, and eventually exploding in the place it has become now: a crowded yet safe place to discuss and learn about pinball related things (being it the latest buzz, the best tips to play and maintain your machines or the nicest places where you can still play the silver ball) where thousands of pinheads from all over the world meet. We're very pleased and proud to have you all here and hope we will be able to welcome you on our site for many years to come!

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Comments

9 years ago
HI, that is a great story! thanks for starting the web site. I was at a pinball tournament last week , it was put on by a Stern dealer in Toronto , Canada. what a blast, every body had fantastic time. Gary Stern was there. The winner of the tournament was from White Rock BS. He got a score of 816,780 on indiana jones. the a Score !
8 years ago
always nice to know how it started
I think it's a great idea to have a place for the world of pinball to get together on line.
5 years ago
Great story, and thanks to you and robin for pinside!
5 years ago
Pinside IS my new favourite website. I enjoy reading, learning, posting, voting and after that playing. Thanks Martijn, thanks Robin, great work!
1 year ago
Pinside has cost me a lot of money but it has replaced it with a lot lot more fun.
Great story and thanks for the awesome site!
Dave

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