The History of Stu’s Quiz Boxes

12 08 2007

10 years ago, in 1997, I wrote the first version of a little program called Stu’s Double Jeopardy in just one night. I spent a little more time to add the ability to play WAV (music files) in early 1998 and then promptly left it alone.  It was written on an old Windows 95 PC which sadly died in 2000. Unfortunately, the only backup of the source code I had was on a floppy diskette and when I intended to update the program in 2002, that floppy diskette failed me. I lost the source code (about 3,500 lines of code). Nevertheless, the executable lived on at my website and has been freely downloaded over 1,200 times from countries all over the world – but it has clearly dated:

Old Jeopardy 1

Now while it may look plain and old-fashioned (if you can call computers old-fashioned), the gameplay of it was almost perfect. Up to four players (or teams) could play, and it kept score as the game progressed. Furthermore, with it’s built-in quiz editor, you could build your own gameshows and share them with others as well! That’s the reason a lot of schools in particular took to Jeopardy. It was both educational and entertaining. Here’s the old question board:

Old Jeopardy 2

Interestingly though, the reason I first wrote Jeopardy was for conferences I used to attend.  The after-dinner activities were generally very boring and I thought I’d spice it up a little. When one of the attendees brought along a paper-based trivia game for us to play, I thought it was great, but completely the wrong medium for what was a technology conference. So overnight, the first release of Jeopardy was born.

Of course, it had to run on a 640×480 data projector which back then was about the best you could get. But regardless of the simple display and the low resolution, Jeopardy played high-quality WAVs for a great, interactive multimedia experience. We used Jeopardy at every conference (four times a year) for the next two years until they ceased that particular conference. I’ve used it myself at many other gatherings as well.

So now, here we are, ten years later, with a brand new version of Stu’ QuizBoxes to talk about.



2 responses

16 08 2007

hi this is demii I was askin a question about the stu’s double jeopardy and all i was doing was asking how do you make on of the Quizzes? I didn’t want to enter any comp I just wanted to ask a question.

16 08 2007

Hi Demii,

There is no competition on at this site. Just access to a free game for Windows with which you can make your own quizzes. The game won’t be launched until Sunday, but here’s the article with step-by-step instructions for making your own quizzes.

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