Pandemonium was founded in 2006 by Dave Driesen in Antwerp, Belgium. It is a Development Studio and ICT Consultancy/Service provider specialising in multiplatform C/C++ Software Development and Microsoft/Linux Systems Administration.
As founding father, it consequently seems appropriate for me to contribute this entry to the website in person.
What came before
It's hard to say where it all started. Pandemonium has been around for almost 2 decades as a name and a label. It came into existence as a Bulletin Board System many years ago in the Belgian 03 scene, which consisted of hackers and modem enthusiasts in and around Antwerp. Pandemonium as a board was launched with immediate success and immediate integration into the existing scene as a coding board for several scene groups and users. With the rise of the internet and the disappearance of the modem scene, Pandemonium became more of a label which surrounded its website and offered the old guard as well as new enthusiasts a place to be, and a place to meet one another. On a sidenote, the original Pandemonium board was created through merger of the Oblivion BBS and Trilogy which was being run side-by-side with Dark Entries. All 4 boards were affiliates of PRoZaC which was the group that brought everything together.
During this transition and afterward, I was employed by a number of large scale corporations throughout Belgium where I rose in the ranks all the way to the top of the ICT hierarchy of a substantial government organization where I became the Senior Microsoft Systems Administrator. Regardless of the position's description, I was also driven to make intensive progress on the linux platform, inspired by a passionate and complacent friend and coworker whose knowledge and capabilities greatly overshadowed that of others who flaunted technologies which were cludgy at best.
This linux progress then led to the development of the first generation of Pandemonium SMS Gateway appliances. My C knowledge was rusty, although present, and in order to fully deploy my capacities on the linux platform and utilize its versatility to the fullest, I wanted to shape that knowledge up while also advancing my C++ skills. The world of C/C++ is, like many things, ever changing, and ever staying the same, which makes it the ideal language for any developer to be skilled in. Development of the SMS Gateways provided a roadmap and stepping stones to strike 3 flies in one blow: enhancing development skills, advancing linux knowledge, and developing a useful product.
Some years later, Belgian telecommunications provider Belgacom chose to terminate their semaphone services across the entire country. Termination of the semaphone services would leave many organisations crippled because they relied on these services for alerting purposes; semaphones were the so-called "beepers" that people were carrying around before the onmarch of the cellular networks and -phones. An ideal replacement for these alerting mechanisms was clearly the common man's cell phone in combination with text messages, which created a vacuum in the telecommunications market and more importantly, a vacuum that the SMS Gateway was more than capable of filling up.
Hence, Pandemonium was again transformed, this time into a commercial business which was profitable within the first fiscal year. I did not have the economical background to start up businesses so purchased studying material and signed up for the necessary qualification tests, initially being told that the tests would be taken several months later. To my great astonishment I soon received a summon to present myself to the World Trade Center where I would need to perform business management qualification tests 2 weeks after the date of writing. This basically left 10 days to study the entire course material for business management which was a 400 page course including preliminary tests which I was not able to complete in the given timespan. Nevertheless I presented myself to the examinatory commission on the appointed date, completed all tests being the first to hand in and leave the examination rooms, and started the long trip home.
Some time later, word came from the examination commission that the tests had been completed with positive results and it was time to do the final paperwork. Pandemonium became a business, several distributors were contacted and the first appliances were being produced to go into testing phase at several organisations throughout the country.
This was met with great rejoicing as enthusiastic users and administrators got their chance to play around with some new toys. The testing phase was a great success with not a single failure and a longest uptime of over 500 days, for a machine that was being used in a live site to perform alerting for dozens of critical systems.
The success of Pandemonium soon became a thorn in the eye of many, the issue of the founding of the company was raised time and time again by my employers, who at the same time wanted a piece of the pie and for some time pressured me into providing unlimited use of our services for free; and with the exception of some, it soon became unbearable and impossible to work with the people I had once called friends.
By 2008 Pandemonium had quite a following already and it was time for something new, in addition to the corporate activities we had been engaging in up to that point. My developments on linux had also gotten me working on OpenGL applications on Linux and Windows, some of which were very advanced, incorporating advanced pathfinding algorithms, audio, and several advanced graphics techniques.
Some of this early work caught the eye of more enthusiasts who spoke with great praise of it and subsequently hopped onto the Pandemonium train. One thing led to another and for some reason we were able to use existing in-house developed libraries to compile side-by-side linux and windows binaries of 3D applications using ALSA/Xaudio sound and OpenGL graphics using GLSL pixel shaders by Q2 2008. This was 2 years after the birth of Pandemonium and less than 6 months after starting our entertainment activities.
After that, more and more names were appearing on the website and we were able to get an immense amount of work done in very little time. By Q3 2008 we had a first overview of our 3D framework drawn up and we decided to expand the framework base even more, harnessing more power for an eventual release. It is our goal to have a first instance of a commercial application using our technologies available before 2009 is out.
Aside from this, my strong background in the world of corporate ICT allows me to perform whatever systems administration contracts I can find and the development skills that the Pandemonium developers possess allow me to take development contracts and also handle requests for designer software, which are 2 specialisations I strongly strive to be active in.
Pandemonium is a Development Studio and ICT Consultancy/Service provider specialising in multiplatform C/C++ Software Development and Microsoft/Linux Systems Administration. We are active in many branches of the economy and have frequent deliberations and dealings with organisations and businesses in these branches. We are highly qualified and deliver professional products and services, we are very well connected and have extensive experience with the do's and don'ts in the world of corporate ICT.
Founder and CEO
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Welcome to Pandemonium.be - Antwerp based development studio providing development and administration services. Developers and maintainers of the Pyromasaur 3D framework.Secure