Daily Log Book
September 27th, 2001
I have been swamped by other projects this week, and have had to put aside work on this website for a short while. This week has seen hundreds of test takers, and we reached 9000 exam questions so far. I am glad to see so many people enjoying this test!
September 23rd, 2001
I added a few hundred terms to the searchable on-line glossary. In addition, I also merged the acronym database with the glossary database, so you have the ability to do everything from just one search. The new glossary now covers EVERY term found in the AIM Pilots Glossary, AND every term found in Part I of the FAR (Definitions and Abbreviations). This is a very useful tool that makes looking up practically any aviaition term easy.
September 22nd, 2001
Added an enhanced "about" section including a half dozen sub sections on privacy, linking, advertising, contact information, etc.
September 21st, 2001
Thanks to Michael Weiss for pointing out incorrect linking to aopa.org within the "Learn to Fly" sections.
September 18th, 2001
Added a set of flash statistics utilities to start monitoring website traffic. Keep in mind that you will not see huge traffic numbers for at least another month!
September 17th, 2001
Work continues on the new enhanced Exam question bank. A complete side note, my new Bose Aviation Headset X just arrived via express mail. Since all VFR flights are grounded until further notice, I had not choice but to run around the house wearing my new headset, testing it against fans and car noises. (sad, but true, just the same)
September 16th, 2001
Converted new section entitled: Choosing a Flight School, which is now linked in the Library. I need to take some pictures this week at the airport to incorporate into this section.
September 15th, 2001
New exam database offers 3 additional fields, providing reference to figures required for questions. Up to this point, I have not offered figure questions because the figures all needed quite a bit of work. The enhanced exam will offer a complete set of figure reference questions, with included figure graphic. (note: this is in development only, and is not live)
September 14th, 2001
Work continues on the new, greatly improved exam bank. As I am building this bank, question by question, I am finding that there are lots of charts it would be nice to have on hand. An example would be the V Terms reference chart that I created for the library section.
September 13th, 2001
There are already a massive number of pages to this website. I spent the early AM hours re-doing the directory structure of the site. This does not affect most visitors, however if you have bookmarked a page that has moved, you may find that your bookmark now brings up the home page. No pages have been removed, just moved! A few files were given name changes (like this page). Now that I am more organized, I can move forward without restriction.
Due to the website engine I have built, adding new directories (or the ability to detect directories) took a little bit of re-coding, however the time spent was well worth it.
September 12th, 2001
Following the feelings of yesterday, very little was accomplished on site production today. I would like to thank those of you who keep returning to take practice exams, and for all of the kind feedback I keep receiving.
September 11th, 2001
Created a call for hangar flying stories. I am also searching news groups for interesting flying stories to post. I hope to have 10 stories before posting this section. If you have something to add, check out what i am looking for here
I can't speak for everyone else, but its a total shock what has happened in New York. I am having a hard time working, or doing anything for that matter. I feel hurt, I feel shocked, but most of all, I feel angry. My heart goes out to all involved.
September 10th, 2001
While a few minor updates were made to the site itself, most of the work involved the plans for the next major stepping stone of 4vfr.com. If you have not had a chance to take the FAA private pilot practice exam, I suggest you give it a go. the next stage of production involves offering detailed information about the questions you missed, their exact location in the FAR/AIM and more importantly, the exact wording as stated in the FAR/AIM, delivered all in email format to your box. This will provide a COMPLETE study reference that will allow you learn the questions, but also learn WHY the answer is correct or incorrect. This involves updating over 950 questions, one at a time. This really is starting to be a job of love!
I'd like to thank everyone who has sent in countless kind comments and encouragement to keep building! The highlight of my day was learning that one of my own Web clients was a WWII Mustang P-51 pilot with over 25,000 hours of flying time to his credit.
September 9th, 2001
I am seeing record traffic today. There were quite a few debugging requests made by visitors. I would like to thank Ron Hammer for catching a typo in one of the Class G airspace questions, as well as some very helpful feedback on exam screen size for 640 X 480 AOL users. I am working to make the exam screen just a bit smaller to prevent un-needed scrolling. Thanks Ron
September 8th, 2001
Published a presentation on "Tips on Mountain Flying", originally published by the FAA back in 1999. I have imported and modified this information for the web. I still amd missing a few figures for this presentation, however the text reads well without any additional graphic references. A great read for anyone who is planning on doing some mountain flying.
I also ordered a stack of reports directly from the FAA that I plan on offering here at the site as a public service for all pilots. Made some font color changes to headers throughout the website, and added a full library section (although its currently far from full!) I have also archived the previous months log book files. They are available on the August 2001 Logbook Page
September 7th, 2001
Fixed some minor bugs in the exam. There were a few questions that were not displaying correctly, and a few "\n" symbols that were appearing now and again in the text. These should all be zapped now.
September 6th, 2001
Worked on converting some great information on finding an instructor. You can find this information in the Library
September 5th, 2001
The new graphics navigation interface is up! Don't mind a few empty pages for part of today, I have added two new sections that are lacking content. this is just temporary and will be taken care of today. I really dig the new interface - and smaller file sizes as well, for faster loading times!
Here's a quick side note. I was finishing up a touch-and-go lesson with my instructor yesterday, when he asked for my log book. I searched my entire flight bag but never found my pilot log. It took me quite some time to figure out where I left it... it was still in my scanner from making this here logbook graphic :-)
I received an email today requesting questions relating to figures in the exam. there are not figure questions currently because the figures are in sad condition. I am re-building the figures to make them more web friendly, while still keeping the original intended image in-tact. Please look for these figures to be up in the next few days.
September 4th, 2001
A few minor "behind-the-curtain" modifications were made early this morning. I am working on a new menu interface that will be up for review today or tomorrow. I am also working on the site registration system. Soon, you will only need to login to the site once when you arrive, instead of just when you start a new exam. The results of this are still several days away.
I also managed to overlook the possibility of getting a ZERO on a practice exam. Thanks to Steve for pointing that out :-) I have allowed my gauge interface to allow for users who score a zero!
September 3rd, 2001
I added/built a cool graphic guage to the exam results page. The results are high impact, but the project involved a couple hours of time. I like the feature though! to see it, just complete an exam.
Here's an interesting fact. The average 4VFR exam visitor spends 40-45 minutes at the site at a time - and that is just from the few of you who have been nice enough to try out the site at this pre-launch time. most people will take 3 or 4 exams at a time. I have recieved a comment from one visitors that "[the exam is] more fun than solitare!" What can I say to that?
In addition to the guage, the entire quiz interface was re-built this afternoon. Everything has been simplified. gone are the header menu options, replaced with a simple QUESTION or ANSWER graphic. I made some A B C graphics and eliminated one of the clicks required to answer a question (something you will be thankful for if you opt for a 100 question exam).
the "you chose" text on the answer page was also replaced with a better looking "you selected" graphic that changes color pending on if selected the right answer.
September 2nd, 2001
Also try out the "highlight" feature, which allows you to search and highlight any word or phrase, in any FAR document on our site. I will offer a complete set of FARs at 4VFR.com. The problem with most on-line FARs is the formatting. Even in the book, due to limited space, it can be very hard to follow the regulations. I have provided an enhanced outline structure while keeping with the format of the original FARs.
Today I start down the long road of converting all the FARs to web format. There are plenty of sites that offer web-based FARs, but nothing you have seen compares to what 4VFR will offer. Here are two examples to check out.
In addition to this, the entire FAR section will be searchable, providing easy access to exact wording on any subject, on any page.
September 1st, 2001
Built two cool counters from scratch, and wrote code to make them interface with the quiz question and exam engine. As of September 1st, I am keeping track of all questions asked, and exams completed. The exam only counts COMPLETED exams, so if a student bails out in the middle of a test, it does not count! I also modified the email message to include a personal note from your's truly, in hopes of getting some non-spam email in my own box. Both counters were set to 0 after I finished my testing around midnight this morning.