KIDWARE SOFTWARE 35+ YEAR HISTORY
1982 – KIDware & BibleBytes were both founded in 1982 to publish a series of non-violent “family friendly” learning games for kids. Computer names like the Radio Shack TRS-80, Commodore PET, Apple II, Texas Instruments 99/4A, Atari 400, Coleco Adam, Sinclair Timex, and the IBM PC Jr, were finding their way to market. We quickly expanded all our learning games to other popular micro-computer platforms. Click here to view some of the original computer systems these games were developed on back in those early days of 8 bit micro-computer programming.
1983 – The Conrod’s publish their first computer programming textbook using the source code from some of their early learning games. The first textbook was officially published By Accent Books on January 1, 1984 which covered the popular TRS-80, TI-99, and Sinclair microcomputer BASIC platforms. The 2nd computer programming textbook was published on July 1, 1984 which covered the Apple II, Commodore, and 250 different CPM MBASIC systems. In 1985, sales of IBM PCs and clones exceed all other platforms combined so we started to switch all our development efforts and to the IBM PC platform.
1995 – Lou starts developing a new college level programming curriculum to help him teach Visual Basic 4 to new programming students at the University of Washington. Lou’s curriculum and writing style would become the inspiration and base tutorial text for our programming tutorials for the next two decades.
1998 – The new www.KidwareSoftware.com website officially launched on the rapidly growing World Wide Web to help market and distribute our newly developed Microsoft Visual Basic programming tutorials for Windows 95/98. LEARN VISUAL BASIC 5 was written as a beginning Visual Basic programming course for colleges and universities. Lou taught this course at the University of Washington for the next decade. VISUAL BASIC FOR KIDS 5 and BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC 5 were also developed as beginning Visual Basic programming tutorials for kids and young adults. All of these programming tutorials were updated to Visual Basic 6 later that year. We also finished upgrading all of our KIDware Learning Games for the Microsoft Windows platform.
1999 – The VISUAL BASIC 5/6 AND DATABASES tutorial was published as an intermediate college-level course for Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Databases.
2002 – Microsoft launches a new version of Visual Basic called Visual Basic .NET and it is very different than Visual Basic 6. Philip takes an official Microsoft Certification course to determine what the major changes were for Visual Basic. VISUAL BASIC .NET FOR KIDS and BEGINNING VISUAL BASIC .NET were both written for the new Visual Basic .NET 2002 development environment.
2003 – JAVA FOR KIDS, BEGINNING JAVA, LEARN JAVA GUI APPLICATIONS were all written for the popular Sun Java development environment.
2004 – VISUAL C# .NET FOR KIDS and BEGINNING VISUAL C# .NET were written for the Visual C# .NET 2002 environment. VISUAL BASIC .NET AND DATABASES was developed as an college-level course for Visual Basic .NET using Microsoft Access and Microsoft SQL Databases
2005 – LEARN VISUAL BASIC was updated to Visual Basic 2005. VISUAL J# EXPRESS FOR KIDS and BEGINNING VISUAL J# was released for Microsoft Visual J# Express.
2006 – The Seattle Times recognized Lou’s Introduction to Visual Basic course that he taught at the University of Washington.
2007 – KID GAMES WITH VISUAL BASIC EXPRESS was written for Microsoft Visual Basic Express 2005. KID GAMES WITH VISUAL C# EXPRESS was written for Microsoft Visual C# Express 2005. LEARN VISUAL C# was developed for Visual C# 2005. VISUAL BASIC AND DATABASES and VISUAL C# AND DATABASES were both written as intermediate college-level courses for Visual Basic and C# 2005 applications using Microsoft Access and SQL Databases. Lou was invited by Microsoft to write an article on Visual Basic Express forms development for the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). Lou also taught a virtual MSDN Online Webcast: Introduction to Windows Forms Applications Using Visual Basic Express Edition (Level 200) on Microsoft’s MSDN World Wide Events.
2009 – The VISUAL J# EXPRESS FOR KIDS and BEGINNING VISUAL J# courses were retired as the Visual J# language was formally discontinued by Microsoft in 2007.
2010 – MICROSOFT SMALL BASIC FOR KIDS, BEGINNING MICROSOFT SMALL BASIC, KID GAMES WITH MICROSOFT SMALL BASIC, and HOME PROJECTS WITH MICRSOSOFT SMALL BASIC were all written for the new Microsoft Small Basic development environment for beginners created by Vijaye Raji. Microsoft writes a nice review on our programming tutorials on their Small Basic Developer blog here. We also acquired the re-publishing rights to several classic BASIC computer programming books that were originally written and edited by David H. Ahl and Edward H. Carson and updated them to Microsoft Small Basic. We also published the very first DEVELOPER’S REFERENCE GUIDE TO MICROSOFT SMALL BASIC. We launched a new www.ComputerScienceForKids.com website to showcase our new Microsoft Small Basic Tutorials. Our Microsoft Visual Studio tutorials were updated to Visual Studio 2010 Professional Edition and Visual Studio Express 2010. We also updated all of our remaining Java courses for Oracle Java v6 and Xinox JCreator v5.
2011 – Microsoft Corporation licensed several chapters from several of our new Microsoft Small Basic Programming Tutorials and published them on the Microsoft Developer Network website as part of the Microsoft Small Basic 1.0 launch event. You can see our programming Small Basic Programming textbooks highlighted on Microsoft’s website here. We also changed the company structure to a Washington State Limited Liability Company (LLC) after Lou retired from KIDware. Philip Conrod became the President & Publisher of Kidware Software LLC.
2012 – We updated our tutorials to support Visual Studio 2012 and the Oracle Java v7 development environments and added a new color printed edition.
2013 – We updated all our Visual Studio tutorials to Visual Studio 2013.
2014 – We started working on a new Unity 3D Adventure Game Programming Tutorial using C# which we plan to release in 2019.
2015 – We updated all our Java tutorials to support Oracle Java JDK 8 and switched to the NetBeans 8 Integrated Development Environment (IDE). We also updated our Visual Studio Tutorials to the new Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition. We discontinued support for all of our old KIDware Visual Basic 6.0 Learning Games as Microsoft discontinued support for VB6 on Windows 10.
2016 – Kris Murray joins the tutorial writing team as a co-author on a new Unity 3D C# Game Programming Tutorial project. Philip started working on a Unreal 4 Engine Medieval RPG Game Programming Tutorial using Unreal Engine Blueprints which we plan to release in 2019.
2017 – Microsoft highlighted our Developer’s Reference Guide to Microsoft Small Basic and our Beginning Microsoft Small Basic tutorial on their Small Basic Developer Blog.
Today, Kidware Software’s award wining computer programming tutorials are used by teachers, parents and computer enthusiasts all over the world to introduce beginners to the wonderful world of programming. At last count, we estimated that our Kidware Software computer programming tutorials have been used by over 1 million students. For example, our LEARN VISUAL BASIC 6.0 1999 Edition programming tutorial has been downloaded over 600,000 times just from the Download.com website alone.
In addition to our company website(s), our paperback textbook programming tutorials can also be purchased though the following online book distributors and bookstores:
United States of America:
- United Kingdom