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Jun 30

Caesar 3

Caesar III CoverCaesar III is one of my favorite games. I got the demo version in 2000 and I loved it, but unfortunately I could not get the full version until 2005. I played it a lot in 2005-2006, then in 2008, and a little since October 2011, the moment in which I launched this fan page. But in 2012 the business forced me to quit games.

I played all career scenarios, but what I like most is the free scenarios (city construction kit), where I tried to built the largest city possible on each map. I heard about other city-building games such as Pharaoh and Zeus only in 2007, too late to enjoy them. Anyway, Caesar 3 is the BEST game.

Check this useful Caesar III .XLS table made by me in Excel, containing house evolution, empire locations, best city layout plans and more.
Do you want to download any .sav file? Contact me and I will send you.

Biggest Caesar3 cities – Maps from City Construction Kit

CorinthusCorinthus
September 2005
Population 10100
Typical 2005 design, inefficient infrastructure, excessive intersections made to use every corner of map, but this worsened walkers and required a lot more buildings.
CorinthusCorinthus
Remade in October 2011
Population 16300
Total new design, farmland and sea coast optimized, road infrastructure reduced at minimum possible, roads at 6 squares apart and grouped houses up to 3 squares beyond roads… 60% more population.
CarthagoCarthago
Made in 2005, improved in 2009
Population 24300
CarthagoCarthago
Remade in may 2012
Population 43600.
Widespread famine, as the farmland is insufficient, and fires are frequent.
LindumLindum
January 2008
Population 24000.
LondiniumLondinium
Second attempt made in January 2008
Population 25800
LondiniumLondinium
Third attempt made in October 2008
Population 30000+
Improved in 2011
Population 35500
Some houses are non-grouped so further improvement is possible.
MediolanumMediolanum
Made in 2006.
Population 12800.
Pretty good design for its time, but too many elite buildings, academies and colloseums eats precious land.
MediolanumMediolanum
Remade using new skills in October 2011.
Population 19900
Farmland and housing land optimized.

Rio de JaneiroRio de Janeiro (map downloaded from caesar3.heavengames.com)
Made in November 2008
Population 32800
Many building stopped working, fires appeared everywhere in the city, no matters how many prefectures I built, in certain areas none got employees.
ToletumToletum
Made in September 2005
Population 19800

ToletumToletum modified
First attempt in February 2008
Population 21500. Farms could not sustain more population. (removed invasions and the earthquake which smash the precious farmland)
ToletumToletum modified
Second attempt, March 2008
Population 24500.
Farmland usage and road network highly optimized. I wasn’t aware that most fishing wharf were not working, fishing boats can’t navigate due of a piece of land.
ToletumToletum modified
Remade using new skills in May 2012
Population 31500.
Navigation problem solved by serving wharfs from one half of water with shipyard then built wharfs in the other side of water.
TarracoTarraco
Made in 2005
Population ~17000.
Tarraco
Remade in February 2012.
Population 31500.
Again employment problems, pottery problems appeared since population 20000.
ValentiaValentia
Made in 2005
Population ~15000, never finished (did not built up to data limit)
Valentia
Remade in February 2012
Population 45000
Little pottery problems but everything else is OK.

See my evolution!!

You can notice in my early cities, I misunderstood the principle of the game “make as few intersection is possible” and I made all cities in grid network (I am sure that most beginner players did this mistake), straight roads long as much is possible, even worse, numerous short roads were added at edge of land (sea, mountains), to improve land usage and use every corner of map, rather than improve road network efficiency. Not only roads were grid but also I placed fountains every 4 houses, each fountain had a prefecture and a engineers post on each side (same layout used on Northern provinces with no fire risk = prefectures are not necessary), making the city to look beautiful, but reducing the chances for houses to merge. Residential and community zones were well defined.

I always let the houses as they appeared, merged or non-merged. I played until reached Data Limit of 2000 buildings, resulting at most 20000 people, then quitted and started another.

Since 2008 I use a complex road network, curved, S-shaped roads and loops to cover more land without having intersections.

Since 2009 I started to demolish the houses that does not group and I built new houses elsewhere. The city size is now limited by the amount of farmland and its usage efficiency (distance to granaries).

Starting from 2011 I am trying to maximize merged houses, I build houses in in groups of 4, group by group, see if they merge, I use the space for community buildings, this is why you can see community buildings placed randomly in middle of residential area (example: Valentia).

Conclusion

Is very hard to raise population over 25000. Can’t understand how I put 30000 souls on Londinium in 2008. In february 2012 I found a .sav from someone that put 50000 people on Tarraco, using gatehouses, I decided to try in my classic style (all neighborhoods linked, no gatehouses), but reached only a little over 30000 because because of strange employment problems, many building stopped working due of “No one is living nearby”, even if they were surrounded by houses, fires appeared everywhere in the map, no matters how many prefectures I built, in certain areas none got employees (same problem like on Rio de Janeiro in 2008). I tried on Valencia too and got 45000 people, surprisingly, no employment problems! Did anyone know the cause?

Caesar III gives you messages about population milestones at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 5000, 10000, 15000, 20000, 25000, then is quiet. The game was NOT designed to sustain cities with over 30000 inhabitants.

Caesar 3 Data limit

What limits the city size is the data limit of 1999 buildings on map. If you are asking for hacks to remove the data limit, I tell you that data limit cannot be removed.

Why do you want to remove the limit? You can win all scenarios without going closer to limit.

What will be the point of game without such data limit? You could build huge cities filling enormous map at an undesirable housing density, you will hate maps with large amounts of water, etc.

I am happy that the data limit exists. My point is to make largest city in terms of population with less than 2000 buildings.

Pottery problem

Large cities get strange pottery problems, workshops produce pottery but warehouses do not receive it. Seems that this is related by population living in houses demanding pottery and capable to evolve above Small casa, I do not get any other explanation why pottery appear again if I cut the houses’ food source.

Pottery problems in cities over 25000 inhabitants can be avoided by not supplying certain parts of city with pottery and keeping at Small Casa, leaving only certain zones supplied with pottery, zones which probably you want to rise to Luxury Palace.

Houses merging in groups of 4

The worst part of Caesar 3 is how the houses combine (or refuse to combine). When a game is started, the map generate a set of merging tiles.
Houses which are on merging tiles group of they are at same level of evolution, if they evolve differently, you can delete and rebuilt them, or just delete their water source, at tent level they have all the chances to group IF they are on merging tiles. If they still not group, means that tiles are not merging tiles, and you cannot do anything! See the screenshots, how I maximized the quantity of grouped houses!

he only way to “force” house merging is to raise them above level 11 (Large Insulae) which require 4 tiles. However houses cannot be kept stable to Large Insulae in an open city, but only on a small loop with no intersections (which can be done with gates), and when it devolve, it splits into four 1-tile Medium Insulae (or lower level) then regroup if are on merging tiles. Since my cities are built up to data limit, a 4-tile Large Insulae risk to devolve into a 1-tile Medium Insulae and lose 75% of population, thus I avoid Large Insulaes in my cities made after 2011.

Biggest Caesar 3 cities – maps designed by me

First Caesar 3 map by Teoalida designed for making highest population possibleI prefer to use Central Provinces. Desert provinces are too prone to fire and fountain coverage is smaller, while Northern Provinces although that have no fire risk and prefectures will be not necessary, they require much more farms to produce same quantity of food.

I do not try to raise houses to villas and palaces, as they have less population than large insulae and is hard to keep them stable. They are good only to raise prosperity rating and make money from taxes.

First city

After I played all original maps, reaching at most 25000 people, in november 2005 I wanted to design my own map using Caesar 3 Map Editor I planned the city in same grid-network, not only the roads were grid, but also fountains, prefectures and engineers. This severely prevented houses to group, population: only 31500.

Second and third city

In january 2008, I tried again, this time I designed a map with separate clusters, each cluster have own farms and is served by a rectangular loop road and the city have no intersections (except ones under Granary). All houses to be capped at Small Casa to avoid the need of industry, warehouses and a lot of extra buildings. Population over 40000.

Then I heard that I can control the city traffic using Gatehouses. in march I designed another map with gated residential neighborhoods connected to a central production zone. I also deleted some of the non-grouped houses until I reached a population of over 50000.

Second Caesar 3 map by Teoalida Third Caesar 3 map by Teoalida

What limits the population is the fucking houses that refuses to group. The single way to force houses to group is to upgrade them to Large Insulae. For this, I need to build industry and have pottery, furniture and oil.

Failed attempt to break the population recordFourth city – FAIL

OK, in 2009 I tried to design another map, each residential cluster have 6 fountains and one reservoir serve 2 clusters, 4 clusters are served by a central production zone. Residential clusters are 39×14 and can have a max population 4452 at Large Insulae. I made several tests to equalize production with consumption and see how big should be the industrial zone.

Final test, I succeeded to stabilize population at about 17500, then I built second zone of city, I could not reach 35000 because I got same fucking problems with pottery supply, causing most of houses to fell at Small Casa and population stopped growing above 28000-29000.

I halted wheat production, causing most of city houses to downgrade to Large Tent and population reduced to under 20000, this resumed production of pottery, then I resumed wheat production, causing the city population to boost at 31600 but soon they ran out of pottery and felt back to ~26000. See screenshot at the population peak!

Suggestion to achieve high population: don’t build industry, use only Small Casas.

Greatest Caesar III map by Teoalida, population record 118848Fifth city

Since 2009 I planned to break the record, using Small Casa but a enormous map where I would have space to delete all single houses and keep only grouped houses. I spent dozens of hours for testing walkers path distance and the best road layout. I estimated that I can reach a population of at least 110.000. Due of lack of time for games, I did not made the final city until february 2012. Sorry for delay.

I used a northern province to avoid need of prefectures, I checked Rome supplies wheat (a normal city should be made with farms, but this time I just wanted highest possible population).
I divided the map in 8 road loops each one surrounding two reservoirs, 8 fountains per reservoir.
Due of building data limit, 6½ loops are built. 13 reservoirs, 104 fountains, and unemployment ratio 95%. Probably can be improved but only slightly.

Gods were turned off and money cheat was used (in c3_model.txt I set a -$10000 negative price for a building.

To get as many houses grouped is possible, I built houses one by one, starting from corners of area covered by each fountain, towards the fountain. I waited people to occupy their tents and deleted all houses that refused to group. I kept entire city to Tent level until I reached about 100 buildings left until Data limit. Only at this stage, I built the reservoir and the public buildings to raise the tents to Small Casa.

Took about 10 hours to build the city, 300 in-game years passed. Max population achieved: 118848 !!

Tiny Caesar 3 map by Teoalida for highest population

Biggest & best cities on each map size

Also, I tried to overcrowd the tiny map (40×40 squares) with the largest population possible. Final population 10800. The reason for which some houses are not Small Casa is the desirability. Made probably in 2009.

 

 

 

Optimal cities in Caesar III – maps designed by Teoalida

How much food is required for X population?

My tests made with cities with 10000-15000 population housed in Large Insulae revealed that for 10000 people is necessary ~50 wheat farms (central provinces) or ~65 wheat farms (northern provinces), 8 pottery workshops, 8 furniture workshops, 5 oil workshops, also one raw material per each workshop.

Note that larger is the city, lower is the food efficiency. In case the nearest granary is full, cart pushers go to a further distant granary and until they reach it, it may get filled by others.

I will publish more precise results, completed with screenshots, when I will succeed to stabilize the houses!

Attempt to build a perfect city

I am working for a stable city with all population in Large Insulae on a medium map, 20000+ people. Update: I finalized the city but is barely stable and don’t know why.

In March I tried a smaller city with 10000 people. Longer loops having gatehouses at both ends. 8 market per loop. But still unhappy by the results.
I realized that making smaller lops and building more markets increase house stability. Then no time for games.

Caesar 3 Perfect City designed by TeoalidaThe Perfect City for 6000 people

In May 2012 I got a great idea to make a windmill-shaped city rather than symmetric city, on a tiny map. In 2 corners I designed 2 loops each containing 36 Large Insulaes, in the other 2 corners I placed the farms. Surprisingly, the space remained in center of map fits perfectly 2 granaries and 6 warehouses. There are no houses in the production area, all labour is served by the houses at 2 squares apart roads Target population: 6048 people.

Results: for 6000 people you need 34 wheat farms (central provinces) / 40 wheat farms (northern provinces), 4 workshops of each type (pottery, furniture and oil). But the oil will be in slight overproduction. Trading prevent warehouses to get filled.

Central province: Perfect City.map file, year 60.sav file, year 200.sav file. First final test: I built one loop in first year then the second loop I built trough year 10 to 50 to reduce population age fluctuation. In the year 55-60 the city reached peak population, a little over 6000 but not 6048. Over next 140 years, the city lost 10% of population even if all houses supposed to be full.

Northern province: Perfect City.map file, year 65.sav file, year 200.sav file. I tested again, now on northern, slightly different layout. one extra market per block, for perfect housing stability. I built 18 houses in the first 2 years and the rest of 54 houses built from year 10 to year 64, this caused uniform age pyramid. The city lost 13% of population over next 135 years.

Refer at Caesar III .XLS file for the city plan. You can use it for testing purposes, for example delete all wheat farms and built vegetables farms.

Highest taxes level?

In a city where everything is good (enough food for all, no unemployment, all citizens praise the city), I succeeded to raise taxes to 18%. City sentiment was “People are annoyed / upset with you”, I constantly got messages “People disgrountled”, but nothing worse, no theft or riot unless unemployment reached to 5%. Due of fluctiations in population age, I had to constantly build and demolish academies (for 100 denarii you get 30 jobs) to reduce unemployment and prevent worker shortage. High taxes prevented immigration, but birth rate kept city population stable.

Emigration starts when unemployment is over 20% but it can be prevented by keeping taxes low. Wages should be Rome +5.

Caesar 3 population age and employment

People aged 0-15 are school age, 15-20 academy age, 20-50 working-class and 50-100 retirers.

When a new city is built, most of immigrants are working-class people, aged up to 55 years, they will make babies each new year, but if all housing is full, the babies will disappear. Cities such as the ones above, with all population in Small Casas and minimal of public buildings, reach an unemployment ratio of 80%. Even with this huge unemployment, after about 30-40 years they will ran out of workers, because of aging population (photo 1). Houses will devolve causing the city to lose even more workers, then a new group of working-class people will come and restore the city, but the unemployment will still fluctuate from 0% to 50% in the next 50 years. About 200-400 years are required to stabilize the age (photo 2).

A stable and healthy city will have after hundred years same number of people between 0-60 years and a constant decrease of people 60-100 years. Average life span is 80 years but only 3/8 will be workers, that’s TOO BAD. Sierra shall make the game with retirement age at 60 years old, and obviously, more workers required for each building.

Solution: if you are going to build a city that should remain stable for hundred years, simply do not built all at once, built it over a period of 40 years. If the city is already build, demolish a reservoir to cause houses devolve then built it back, working-age immigrants will come. Save game before, sometimes when houses devolve you will lose mostly working-age people rather than all-ages people.

Caesar 3 aging Caesar 3 population age

Another strange phenomenon is that the city is losing population over time. I had played two perfectly stable cities of 3000-5000 people for 1000 years and they lost 10-20% of population in this way, even if every house was supposed to be full. And they still consume same quantity of food like that when it was brand new.

Tips & Tricks + Useful info asked by visitors of my website

You can have an one-road city with actor colony at one end and theater at other end, all houses get entertainment access!

Walker control
You can use gatehouses to control random walkers, they do not pass through gatehouses. Only point-to-point walkers (immigrants, cart pushers, prefects going to extinguish a fire, entertainment people going from training center to venue) pass through gatehouses.

What is the purpose of oracles?
In my early years I did not understood their purpose, as they do not send walkers, so I placed a shitload of temples.
A oracle please 5 gods for 500 people, a small temple please one good for 750 people, a large temple please one god for 1500 people. So, if you have 1500 people in the city, to please all gods you need 3 oracles or 10 small temples (2 x 5 gods).
However a city with only oracles do not work. Only temples provide house access to religion.

Connecting roads with gardens
I downloaded some cities and noticed some roads being broken by 1 tile of garden. My experiments did not revealed the purpose, the gardens are threaten as roads by all walkers. Does anyone know the purpose?

Caesar 3 map sizes
Tiny map – 40×40
Small map – 60×60
Medium map – 80×80
Large map – 100×100
Huge map – 120×120
Enormous map – 160×160

Have questions? Want more tricks? Just ask me!

Jun 28

Age of Empires

Excel tables made by me, containing list and tree of buildings, villagers, military units, boats, animals, research and upgrades. Hit points, attack, armor, piercing armor, range, speed, cost, time required to produce, etc.

Download here:
Age-of-Empires.xls
Age-of-Empires-The-Rise-of-Rome.xls

I got Age of Empires I in 1998 from a neighbor, in fact, it was my first Windows-based game, started playing on our brand-new computer with Windows 95 (I had played only DOS-based games, as my first computer had only MS-DOS and Windows 3.1).

It is probably most played game by me, in first year, my “playing” style was just roaming around with the four villagers, trying to hide from attacks. I was too young to understand english, I did not know purpose of Houses (that allows creation of 4 more people), once I built houses but seeing that they do not create any units, I did not build them again. I did not know how to advance through ages, that I need two buildings from each age, etc.

But later, I learned english and read entire Help file and became a great Age of Empires player, frequently defeating computer on any map! I also built about 20 own maps, intended for multiplayer gaming, thinking that in some day I will join a LAN network and I can challenge with other players. I played these maps only against computer.

Got connected to apartment block’s LAN in 2004 and internet in 2005, but I was disappointed that nobody play this game anymore. I never challenged any human.

In 2007 I got Age of Empires II but never enjoyed it so much like first Age of Empires. I hate that the Age of Empires 2 map is so zoomed in, cannot even see a quarter of my city even at biggest screen resolution, in first Age of Empires I could see entire city at once.

In September 2012, due of increase popularity of my Caesar 3 fan page, I decided to create a page for Age of Empires too, as both games were launched almost same time and are played by same kind of people.
Let’s see how many visitors I will get, and if they have any suggestion to improve my Age of Empires fan page!

Age of Empires game review

– I hate that Age of Empires AI is very poor.
– Computer never put villagers in transport boats, to be able to construct buildings and manage resources on other lands.
– On my own maps I banned siege weapons. Computer frequently bring catapults to hand-to-hand fights, they shoot enemy units but the catapult damage area kill own units and allied units too. If you hit allied civilizations 2 or 3 times, alliance is broken.
– I cannot command troops to return in original position after the threat has been eliminated, the computer do this all time. As human, I can only command them to Stand Ground, but they will not move at all, making them vulnerable to archers.
– When I play on hardest difficulty, computer civilizations advance through ages faster than my civilization, I get numerous early attacks of bronze age troops while I am still in tool age, and only with a good city planning and good controlling of troops I can survive. Computer can control individually 50 units at same time, no human can do this.
– If I survive the early attacks, and reach Iron age, I do not get any more attacks! For unknown reason, computer stops creating new villagers if I kill them, so it is unable to get more resources or to repair the buildings, this made computer easy to be defeated. The game is NOT fun anymore!
– I did some experiments, using a small map with 4 civilizations, all enemy each other, plus a 5th civilization controlled by me, allied with all four. I used cheats to reveal entire map and see the computer-vs-computer fights. In one hour 3 civilizations were almost defeated, killed all villagers and they did not had resources to create new villagers, I donated them food, and I revive them. But after 10 hours, the game still had NO WINNER. Computer never take care to fully kill a civilization, they just attack buildings and people that they find in the way, while other buildings remain.
CONCLUSION: if you use a large map and know where to hide, computer will never beat you!

My playing strategy

– I take care of natural features when place the city. Optimal is to built at least 4 towers in a narrow pass and some walls around towers to make enemies to walk in zig-zag within tower range and get shot by all towers before being able reach the towers and do damage to your city.
– I start attacking only when I have created an army with at least 30 units and resources for making a second army.

For more strategies and tricks, just ask me!

Jun 26

Beetle Crazy Cup

Note that this is a FAN PAGE intended for people who already have the game. Do not ask me for link to download full game because I do not support piracy, go and buy it from stores or search yourself in torrent websites.

Beetle Crazy Cup, also know on warez websites as Beetle Buggin’ (probably due of amount of software bugs included in game), or Käfer Total, is one of the worst racing games I ever played… but it can be fun if is played at home with a friend.

Beetle Crazy Cup is the most recent game that can be played with 2 persons at same computer, know by me. Do you know other such games?

See what I made: Beetle Crazy Cup.xls, containing statistics such as vehicle list with car prices and car top speed in each gear.

Game review

Horrible psyhics: Buggy cars have similar acceleration, but the speed makes the difference; Speed cars have similar top speed, but the acceleration makes the difference (see the Excel file for details); with the slowest Speed cars is impossible to reach top speed on normal track.

Lack of realism: walls throw you back with the same speed. In Cross events, is better to crash with full speed in the walls at certain angle, rather than use handbrake and turn without damage the car (cars don’t take damage anyway). Beware that some walls are bugged and you can pass through them!

Gearbox trick: Automatic transmission change to next gear only when the top speed of each gear is reached. This causes waste of acceleration. You can do much better times using manual transmission and change to next gear at redline. But surprise: the gearbox is not saved by replay. In replay the speed shown on tachometer is determined by acceleration rather than actual speed of car, if you select manual transmission the replay will show only 1st gear.

CRAZY TRICK: Select manual gearbox and drive entire track in 1st gear, without raising finger from acceleration. Save the replay, select automatic gearbox then watch how in replay your speed is going crazy! This trick was useful for me to determine the top speed of some cars with slow acceleration, if the road was not long enough to reach top speed (especially in Jump events).

Jun 24

GTA Vice City & San Andreas

Note that this is a FAN PAGE intended for people who already have the game. Do not ask me for link to download full game because I do not support piracy, go and buy it from stores or search yourself in torrent websites.

Probably one of most played games today is Grand Theft Auto. Although I do not like violent games, I still played Vice City and San Andreas around 2005-2007, more as a driving game, not shooting and killing as many is possible (as my friends were doing!), but I also finished all missions of the story line.

I show here the Excel files made by me with statistics about game:
GTA Vice City mission tree, property list, weapons list, vehicle list with their top speed and other info.
GTA San Andreas vehicle list with their top speed and other specs, mission tree, weapons.

I left the world of gaming after 2007.

Jun 22

Need For Speed

Note that this is a FAN PAGE intended for people who already have the game. Do not ask me for link to download full game because I do not support piracy, go and buy it from stores or search yourself in torrent websites.

My favorite racing game was Need For Speed: Porsche 2000 / Porsche Unleashed. I got it in 2003 from a friend. I made this table NFS Porsche 2000.xls, including car list, top speed of each car, written my personal records, and other stuff.

The next Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 was a worsen game, as they moved to Arcade style of racing, no damage. Got it from friends. I made table NFS Hot Pursuit 2.xls, containing car list, car max speed, career track, prices, etc.

Then I was very disappointed when they switched to “underground” style of racing, with only 4 players, the beautifulness of Need For Speed was destroyed for ever!

But, thanks of internet connection, I still played (and finished) the first Need For Speed: Underground, in 2005-2007. Download NFS Underground.xls, my database including career events, list of cars and their performance, list of tuning items, etc.

Later I got older Need for Speed games, currently I have all games from NFS 2 to 7 aka Underground 1 but the Porsche game remain the best! So sad that nobody make anymore such beautiful games.

To make NFS series enjoyable again, they should make a NFS game with a free mode to drive around the city, like Grand Theft Auto and Midtown Madness, to reintroduce damage and to offer daylight races (daylight racing do exist in NFS Most Wanted but were removed again in subsequent games). LOL! I found in 2014 that exactly the game following the last game I played, Need for Speed Underground II, introduced free roaming concept. But nowadays I no longer have time to play it.

Jun 20

The Sims 2

The Sims 2 is my favorite game, beside making functional homes and playing the game in normal way, I also practiced my urban planning talent by building planned cities with decorative apartment-like blocks.

I had played The Sims 1 too and made nice houses, but I don’t think that worth to post here because today nobody play it anymore. I never entered in The Sims 1 since I have The Sims 2.

Since February 2013 was The Sims 2 section was moved a separate WordPress installation (sub-website).

Enter The Sims sub-website

The Sims 2 fan page has been initially made in 2009 as ONE page on teoalida.webs.com.

Since September 2012 I made a new website teoalida.com to replace the crappy Webs.com one, and The Sims 2 section was a Category with 30+ pages.

After adding non-gaming stuff to teoalida.com, I decided on 1 february 2013 to give to The Sims 2 a separate sub-website instead of a category, URL remained the same: www.teoalida.com/thesims and I added a bit about The Sims 3 as well! See List of updates.

May 10

Books and databases Word / Excel

Since childhood I love writing books, doing research, making databases and statistics. I started using computers in 1997, my dad taught me to use Word, but around 2003 I started using Excel more than Word. Analyzing data, making tables and charts about everything encountered in my life! For example, in racing games I measure the speed of each car and write the numbers in an Excel spreadsheet then make a chart.

Early works were pure hobbies, made from personal interest. Hong Kong Housing Database‘s expansion with private estates, was the my FIRST large project done for a customer, an insurance company, in 2011.

Other works such as Car Database and HDB Database were started as hobby for my personal use, but had an unexpected turnout into business after 2012, and now I update them regularly to sell for professional use.

List of Word / Excel projects done so far
incomplete list, I made so many… that I forgot them! I will post more works, once I remind them, and recheck the quality
Do you want to make any database for you?

Project File type Size (KB) Pages /
rows
How was
made
Date made /
maintained
World geography-related
Solar System (Word version, DELETED) DOC manual 2000 ?
Solar System (Excel version) XLS 45 manual 2014
World countries & facts
(Word, based on old atlas, DELETED)
DOC manual 1998-2000
World countries & facts (Excel, based on Encarta 2002) XLS 81 ~200 rows manual 2004
World cities population DOC 727 130 pages manual 2003-2005
Tallest buildings database XLS 5425 15000+ scraping 2015-present
Singapore-related
Database of HDB Blocks XLS 6000+ 14000+ rows manual 2009-present
Database of HDB Resale Flat Prices XLS 24307  80 rows copy-paste 2009-present
List of BTO & DBSS projects XLS 103 300+ rows manual 2009-present
List of BTO prices XLS 121  500+ rows manual 2009-present
List of SERS sites XLS 49 80 rows manual 2009-present
Hong Kong-related
Hong Kong Public & Private Housing Estates Database XLS 592 1000+ rows manual 2011
Romania-related – download from www.teoalida.com/ro/geografie
Geografia Romaniei (geographic features) DOC 198 23 pages manual 1998-2006
Drumuri nationale (list of roads) DOC 72 6 pages manual 1999-2006
Cai ferate linii (list of railways) DOC 74 6 pages manual 1999-2006
Cai ferate linii & statii (list of railways with stations) DOC 347 51 pages manual 2000-2006
Impartirea administrativa interbelica (1925-1940) DOC 166 11 pages manual 2006 ?
Impartirea administrativa in regiuni (1950-1968) DOC 81 8 pages manual 1999-2006
Impartirea administrativa actuala (1968-prezent) DOC 105 10 pages manual 1998-2006
Populatia judetelor si oraselor (city population) XLS 213 320 rows manual 2004-2006
Automobile-related – download from www.teoalida.com/cardatabase
Car Models List DOC 403 59 pages manual 2003-present
Car Models List XLS 835 4000+ rows manual 2012-present
Car Models Timeline XLS 584 no manual 2003-present
Car Models Encyclopedia DOC 1680 360 pages manual 2005-present
Car Models Database XLS 1338 3000+ rows manual 2005-present
Car Models & Engines Database XLS 12873 16000+ rows manual 2003-present
American Year-Make-Model XLS 1117 10000+ rows manual 2013-present
American Year-Make-Model-Trim-Specs XLS 22954 46000+ rows scraping 2013-present
Indian Car Database XLS 17152 3000+ rows scraping 2013-present
AutoKatalog Statistics XLS 212 manual 2012-present
Automobile Production XLS 130 copy-aste 2012-present
Computer-related
Screen size calculator XLS 50.5 manual 2014
Screen resolution statistics XLS 326 copy-paste 2014-present
Screen resolution statistics by country XLS 2380 copy-paste 2014-present
Gaming-related – see www.teoalida.com/games
Age of Empires DOC 208 manual 2001 ?
Age of Empires (base game)
(table of military units)
XLS 106 manual remade 2007 ?
Age of Empires: The Rise of Rome
(table of military units)
XLS 112 manual remade 2007 ?
Beetle Crazy Cup
(vehicle stats)
XLS 71 manual 2002?
GTA Vice City
(mission tree, vehicle stats)
XLS 117 manual 2005
GTA San Andreas
(mission tree, vehicle stats)
XLS 134 manual 2007
Commander Keen 4 – Second game I ever played!
(statistics of levels and items)
XLS 117 manual ~2000? DOC
remade 2007 XLS
Midtown Madness 1
(vehicle stats)
XLS 40 manual 2003
Midtown Madness 2
(vehicle stats)
XLS 35 manual 2005
Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed
(vehicle stats, personal records on every track)
XLS 217 manual 2003-2006
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
(career levels, vehicle top speed stats)
XLS 58 manual 2003
Need For Speed: Underground
(career events, vehicle performance stats, tuning items)
XLS 161 manual 2006
Quake 3 maps statistics
(not yet public due of messy work)
XLS ? manual 2000-2007
The Sims 2/3 List of houses made by me XLS 24 manual 2013
The Sims 2 Career Tracks XLS 219 copy-paste 2012
The Sims 2 List of Items XLS 216 manual 2012
The Sims 3 Worlds and List of Lots XLS 398 manual 2013
Miscellaneous
Music Database XLS 2000+ 5000+ rows manual 2005-present


Some projects (example Database of HDB Resale Flat Prices) involve copying the data from a source website and pasting in Excel, then few visual adjustments to make it beautiful, which takes just few hours to create a 20 MB Excel database.

Other projects (example Database of HDB blocks) involve compiling data from various sources and manual data entry in Excel, taking hundreds hours of work!

All works are made primarily for visualization in Excel, but some (especially the Car Database) are often used by professionals who are converting the Excel spreadsheet to CSV and MySQL and use in web design and mobile app development.

About me & history

My parents encouraged me to work in Microsoft Word, and told me to finish and print the work because “what is not finished have ZERO value“. I never understand why they wanted to print… some works for example Car Database should NOT be printed and cannot be “finished”, it need to be updated constantly with new launched cars. They promised me that will help me publishing a book… but this never happened (there is a possibility that they encouraged me just to give me a solitary occupation at computer to prevent me disturbing them, instead of letting me to have a social life).

My dad even set me rules, how a book should be written: Arial font, 12pt body text, 16-20pt titles, all titles centered, bolded, underlined. However, since my writings were not really a book but a list of… something, the rules imposed by dad created excessive bold and centered text.

Around 2001-2003 I got fascinated by Notepad and by fixed-width font and I was using lines of — and === signs full page width to enhance titles.

Since 2003 I broke away from dad rules and started using Excel more than Word. New works in Word were optimized for on-screen display instead of printing, often using non-standard page sizes, to make exactly 1 page for each subject. I write with 10pt font for body text, 20pt and 15pt for titles, 10pt and 5pt for empty spaces.

Since 2003 for both Word and Excel works, the titles were white text on blue background for full page width, which does not look very well on paper. I used same style when created my website in 2009.

Since 2010, one of the distinctive features of all my Excel works are the coloured columns, older works were coloured to this format too. I combine the Excel databases with my graphic design hobby, making Excel files also artistic!

Since 2015 I changed the standard of Word files, removing full-width coloured backgrounds of titles and putting instead full-width horizontal lines (similar with what I was doing in 2001-2003 in Notepad). This will be better for printing (even if I assume that nobody will print my works). I changed also my website design to this format.

Example of styling in my books: 2012, 2013, 2015 editions of Car Models Encyclopedia
  

I also done some kind of competition between my works, a race to create biggest database in Excel or biggest book in Word, in terms of pages and file size, under certain standards (10pt font, no duplicate stuff, no large open spaces, NO bullshit but useful content, etc). I kept track of file size in an Excel table similar with above table.

May 06

World countries and cities database

Geography is my oldest hobby, starting around 6 years old I was studying geographic atlases and already learned all the countries and capitals. Between 1998 and 2005 I done few works in Word / Excel based on World atlas books or digital encyclopedias. Here are few of them:

World cities population

World city database World city database

I compiled this Word file starting from 2003, initially sourcing data from Encarta Encyclopedia 2002 that I got from a friend. It was the ONLY recent geography encyclopedia I had, all others being world atlas books from my parents childhood (1970s). I did not had connection to internet until 2005 to get other sources of data.

Over next years I improved the Word file using Encarta 2006 and 2009, completing all countries and included about 3800 cities over 100,000+ and additional 3000 cities over 20,000+ from selected countries. Since 2016 I offer also an Excel version beside the Word one.

Administrative divisions (states, regions, provinces, etc) are included for 30 most major countries, second-level administrative divisions are included only for Italy at this moment, but I am able to add them also for United Kingdom, France, Spain and United States if you want.

Download FREE samples

World Cities Database simple version .DOC
World Cities Database detailed version .DOC
World Cities Database detailed version .XLS

Buy full city database

Buy & download

City database history

2003-2005 – I compiled list of cities of Europe, former USSR countries, Middle East and Africa. Using Encarta 2002, which have a limited amount  of cities shown on map so I was planning to include ALL cities shown on map, meaning cities over 20.000 people, but for biggest countries of Europe would have been too many so I have included only cities over 100.000 people.

2005 – my family installed internet connection. I discovered Wikipedia and no longer saw a purpose of making my own world cities database, the internet provided already up-to-date population numbers and updating my table constantly is a waste of effort. I left geography and migrated to other hobbies such as architecture, without finishing the list of World Cities as intended (to include all cities over 20,000 people from EVERY country).

2006-2007 – I included few more countries: China, Japan, Mexico, etc, using Encarta 2006, this one having a lot more cities shown on map, would take a lifetime to include all, so I decided to include only cities over 100,000+ people. Then I let the city database abandoned.

2015 – given by the success of one of my other hobbies, Car Database, which turned into a business by selling Excel databases to businesses and web developers, I started questioning whenever the World Cities hobby, if converted to Excel, may be useful for web developers for CSV and MySQL databases. I published for the first time the incomplete city database on my website, one-country SAMPLE, inviting people to contact me if they wants the Word file for free, or Excel conversion as paid service.

Over next months I completed remaining countries from Asia, North and South America, including cities over 100,000 people, using Encarta 2009 (last Encarta). I created 2 Word files, one for all countries including cities over 100,000 (60 pages) and one for 20 biggest countries, including cities by province over 20,000 or 100,000 depending by case (70 pages).

2016 August – first person contact me to ask for city database. He wanted list of cities in Excel, I offered him to convert the Word to Excel but he was not patient and asked me to give what I currently have (the Word file). However, I started converting it to Excel to be ready for sale when next customer is coming. I created 2 Word files, both containing all countries, LITE one containing cities over 100,000 and BIG one contain cities over 20,000 by province, plus the Excel file similar with Word FULL one, and put them for sale so people can buy directly (instead of contacting me get complete database). Also expanded the page to get more traffic from Google.

The city database currently contains 298 cities over 1 million, 316 cities over 500,000, ~3000 cities over 100,000 and additional ~3000 cities over 20,000 in selected countries. It is NOT FINISHED and will never be 100% complete, but may be sufficient for your needs, if not, I can do additional work if required, such as adding cities between 20,000 and 100,000 people from countries where they are not yet added, or do changes in data structure to make it more suitable for your project. Contact me and tell me your requirements!

Note: city classification is done based on the icon shown in Encarta Encyclopedia 2009, and it do not always reflect the actual population indicated in city article. For example there are cities with icon of 1,000,000+ but having population around 900,000, as well as cities with icon of 500,000+ but having population over 1 million. Cities under 100,000 do not even have article to indicate exact population. This was Encarta Encyclopedia, the only resource of information available for me before connecting to internet.

City database per country

Romania city population .XLS – I made originally in 1999 in Word sourcing data from books then remade in 2006 in Excel format sourcing data from Wikipedia pages of each city (hours of work!). It does contains all 320 cities of Romania with their population at every census from 1912 to 2011 (next census probably in 2020) except when they did not had city status at the census year. Why Romania? Because here I was born.

United States city population .XLS – including 304 cities with over 100.000 inhabitants. Source of data: Wikipedia, copy-pasted in Excel and enhanced visually. Contains population at 2010 census, 2015 estimate, as well as area, density and GIS coordinates, latitude and longitude.

If you want for other countries, please ask!

Note: list of cities from certain countries can be also found on government census pages, for example http://censusindia.gov.in/Tables_Published/Admin_Units/admin.html – List of Towns in India – 5161 towns. If you can’t find a ready-available list of cities, contact me and I will see what I can compile from Wikipedia.

I think that I can also make a worldwide database of cities, sorted by country and administrative divisions, preferably without population because require too much effort and each country have different census year. But before starting this megalithic work I need to know who would need such database. Please tell how do you intend to use city data and what info / columns the database should contain!

World countries database

World Countries Database .XLS – I compiled this Excel file in 2004 based on Encarta Encyclopedia 2002.
Contains country area (sq km), population, density, growth rate, and projected population for 2025 and 2050.

If you want up-to-date data, I can create a new database sourcing data from The World Factbook. Country facts are in continuous change, so the database need to be made at the time you need it rather than made in advance then going outdated before having a sale. Contact me if you are interested, tell how much data do you need per each country (more data = more time needed to collect it = bigger price).

Other geography stuff

In 1998-2003 I also wrote lists of natural features, seas, rivers, etc, and astronomy-related stuff…. all in Word. I started using Excel more than Word in 2003. Today I consider them useless because such info exist for FREE on Wikipedia and is not necessary to make my own databases.

Solar system database

A thing that I re-made in 2014: Solar System Database .XLS, compiled with data sourced from NASA website.

Why I made this? Because I love Excel… and because I wanted to compare facts of all planets and satellites, while the NASA website allow only 1 vs 1 comparison.

May 04

Buildings database

Looking for other kind of buildings database for any country? Contact me for a quote!

After making databases of HDB and condos from Singapore, as well as public and private housing estates from Hong Kong, and other databases, in November 2015 I started making a database of skyscrapers… finalized it in January 2016, having over 15,000 buildings taller than 100 meters.

This was done soon after learning about web scraping in August 2015. I made the skyscrapers database for purpose of showcasing my ability to create databases by scraping data from websites, and for my personal interest in studying evolution of skyscrapers over history.

Skyscrapers database, tallest buildings in the world

Download SAMPLE: Skyscrapers Database.xls

Under construction buildings are included so the database will be valid for next 3-4 years. I will update the table depending by how many people buy it.

Summary database

FREE version, containing:
Tallest buildings today 300 meters / 984 feet, 218 buildings, completed and under construction
Tallest buildings in year 2000, 1980, 1960, 1940, 1920.
Timeline of tallest buildings in the world, in United States, and outside North America.

 

FULL database

All buildings over 100 meters / 328 feet, 15727 buildings, completed, under construction, planned, vision
Sorted by city (~600 cities having buildings over 100 meters), can be re-sorted by height or any other column.

 

Buy & download

How the Excel database was made

Identify on map the cities with many buildings, check them on Emporis, make a list of skyscrapers for each city (most cities checked do not have any skyscrapers), then input list of URL in scraping software to get details about each building and put in Excel table, then enhance Excel table, remove day/month from construction dates (leave only year for easy historical analysis), etc… dozens hours of work!

How the Excel sheet can be used

Filter the table and make top tallest buildings by country, state, city, building usage, etc.
Filter the table by year and make top tallest buildings in any given year of history.
Analyze data and make statistics what cities have most buildings over 100, 200, 300 meters.
Convert Excel file to CSV or MySQL and create your own skyscrapers website or mobile app.
Etc…

New database: 160,000+ buildings from United States

In April 2016 someone seeing my skyscrapers database asked me if I can create a database of buildings in Ontario state of Canada. DONE!

In November 2016 someone asked me if I can scrap data from Emporis to create database of not just skyscrapers but also high-rises in United States! DONE in about 5 days!

Buy FULL database:

Buy & download

He further asked to include low-rise buildings. So I decided to re-scrap website with all types of buildings and also included all 50 data fields and no just the ones of my and his interest.

DONE in about 2 weeks, including 20 hours of manual work to build the list of URLs for all buildings then many hours of scraping. Emporis have an anti-scraping feature blocking my IP after accessing 1000-2000 pages, so had to run in batches of 2000 buildings (taking 15 min each) then join the files and re-scrap blocked URLs. A huge effort than deserve this price, not counting highly valuable information collected.

Download SAMPLE: Buildings Database.xls

Buy FULL database:

Buy & download

These 163,938 buildings are not all buildings ever built, but all buildings included by Emporis as December 2016 (except New York City, note below). Maybe not 100% complete, but still the BEST resource of building information that you can get.

Emporis include famous buildings, and most (if not all) large public buildings, commercial buildings, churches, etc. But in case of residential buildings most are not included because are not famous.

Note for New York City: this is the only city in the world where every single building was included in Emporis, including 390,000+ low-rise buildings and 320,000+ houses (more than double of whole rest of US). Would have taken extra 30 days to scrap them all, and the customer said “need few dozens buildings from every US city” and “in case of NYC scraping high-rises and skyscrapers is more than enough”.

Meantime the original skyscrapers database did not had any sale… so I changed page name from “Skyscrapers database” in “Buildings database” and published the US all-buildings database, in case other people are interested too.

History of skyscrapers

United States is well-known for skyscrapers, but in reality only a small area in the downtown have skyscrapers, and the era when United States was the only country with skyscrapers ended long time ago. A lot of high-rise buildings were built since late 19th century. What is less known, is that early skyscrapers were not so well received by population and most US cities set height limits to counter the “skyscraper race”, but in New York the law failed to be approved, so taller and taller skyscrapers were built. Early skyscrapers had continuous facade at street line, ugly side walls and airwells, making street to look like canyons. 1916 Zoning Resolution prevent buildings to cover entire plot of land.

The 1930 recession ended skyscraper construction in North America, for about 30 years no more tall buildings were built. Between 1933 and 1953, in entire world were 19 buildings over 600 feet (183 m), all of them located in United States, 17 of them were in New York alone (source).

Nice find: http://wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21249 – a lot of vintage photos of skyscrapers taken from 1900s to 1930s.

A thing less known, Russia attempted to take away the title of world tallest building from USA, with Palace of the Soviets started in 1938, but due of the World War II the construction was abandoned. After war, seven smaller but still megalithic buildings were built. Moscow State University completed in 1953 was the tallest building outside United States, until 1975.

Since 1990s a new skyscraper race began, probably helped by computer technology. New buildings over 300 meters appeared in Malaysia, China, Taiwan, as well as Europe. The world had 26 completed buildings over 300 meters as 2000, 53 as 2010, 126 as 2015, and 218 including under construction ones, according my database.

Asia started building skyscrapers with over 200 meters slowly during 1980s and nowadays it have most skyscrapers under construction.
Singapore’s UOB Plaza was tallest building outside United States between 1986 and 1989, and remains tallest in Singapore due of the height restrictions.

Malaysia surprised whole world in 1998 when completed Petronas Towers with 452 meters, taking the title of world tallest building from United States, and now is constructing KL118 with 635 meters, which in 2020 will become 3rd tallest in the world.

China had in 2000 only 4 of the world’s 25 buildings over 300 meters, and now it does have 98 of the 218 buildings over 300 meters according my database (including under construction).

Buildings over 500 meters have been proposed also in India, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea. These countries may join the race during 2020s. How the earth will look like in 2050?

Latin America has been building skyscrapers since 1930s, Martinelli Building (built 1934, 130 meters), then Altino Arantes Building (built 1947, 161 meters), being also the tallest building outside United States. But the evolution was slow and not much taller buildings were built over years. Presently Brazil does have few hundred buildings over 100 meters, mostly residential, but the tallest, Mirante do Vale (built 1960), is only 170 meters. Tallest skyscraper in South America was Parque Central Complex built in 1983, only 225 meters until 2014 when Gran Torre Santiago was completed, with 300 meters.

Europe is the place where skyscrapers enjoyed little popularity, except Russia. Most skyscrapers of Europe are located in Moskow. Eiffel Tower was the tallest structure in the world from 1889 to 1930.

Middle East does have relatively few buildings over 100 meters but between 2012 and 2015 it had the two tallest buildings in the world, Burj Khalifa and Makkah Royal Clock Tower, and now is building a new world’s tallest, Jeddah Tower, 1 kilometre high.

Skyscrapers statistics

Total buildings in database: 15727 (as January 2016)

By type:

10212 existing buildings
1867 under construction buildings
1833 planned buildings
1764 unbuilt buildings (cancelled / vision)
51 demolished buildings

By region:

4142 North America (US & Canada)
1031 Latin America
519 Australia & New Zeeland
1395 Europe (including Asian countries of the former Soviet Union)
1301 Middle East
412 South Asia
1424 South-East Asia
5377 East Asia
126 Africa

Countries with most buildings:

3983 China (including Hong Kong and Macao)
3383 United States
846 Japan
759 Canada
590 Brazil
550 United Arab Emirates
526 South Korea

Cities with most buildings:

1327 Hong Kong (1270 completed)
879 New York (670 completed)
478 Tokyo (412 completed)
470 Dubai (247 completed)
464 Chicago (297 completed)
438 Toronto (222 completed)

 

Year Number of buildings with over # meters
  150+ 200+ 250+ 300+ 400+ 500+ 600+ 700+ 800+ 900+ 1000+
1910 3 1
1920 10 2
1930 47 5 2 1
1940 66 10 5 2
1950 69 10 5 2
1960 86 13 5 2
1970 154 25 8 3
1980 320 71 18 7 3
1990 592 143 36 13 3
2000 1051 255 68 26 6
2005 1516 371 93 31 8 1
2010 2258 603 154 53 14 2 1 1 1
2015 3444 1135 349 126 26 6 3 1 1
incl. U/C
excl. planned
4115 1503 533 218 55 21 7 3 2 1 1

See how many tall buildings were built starting from 1980s and especially during 2000s, probably helped by computer technology. How the world will look like in 2050?

May 02

Teoalida’s Music Database

Probably one of most USELESS things that I ever made…

Starting from 2005, I created in Excel a database with the songs that I downloaded or 30-seconds samples from iTunes Music Store, to review each song and give a rating from 0 to 16, and make top best artists, best albums, best genres, etc, using complex mathematical formulas, that show you exactly what music I like and how much.

The music database include most of my favorite artists / bands, but also few artists / bands that I do not like, selected to be representative for each region of the world and each music genre.

Last release: July 2016 with 6000+ rated songs. Download FULL database for FREE!

Note: if you came there looking for a different database about music or any other database that can be made in Excel, contact me and I will tell you if I can build it! See other databases made by me.

Music Database

Some local friends, the ones who know me in real life or the ones I sent my music to them via internet, blamed me for listening to the shittest music possible. What is the problem if I rarely listen music from my own country? if I can speak 4 languages and I listen music in languages that they do not understand, as well as other languages that I do not understand myself too, does not mean that the music is a fucking piece of shit. I love collecting music sung in as many languages possible and I do not always care about the lyrics.

Also the friends said that this Excel Music Database is the craziest thing made by me, or most useless thing they ever saw, and suggested me to STOP wasting time doing such things.

I agree, I may be the ONLY one person in the world having such crazy detailed database showing personal musical preferences, and yes, I am aware that is USELESS… that is why since 2009 I am paying little attention to Music Database, adding new songs at a slower rate, 2.5 years passed to raise song count from 4000 to 5000, and migrated to other hobbies, such as making other (more useful) databases.

What is your opinion? Leave comments!

How my hobby for music started

Hobby for music started in 1999, after replacing our 486 computer with 200 MB hard disk with an AMD K6-2 333 Mhz with 4.3 GB hard disk, my dad brought some CDs with mp3 songs, mostly pop and rock songs from 1960s to 1990s, and made a selection of songs according his own preferences, unfortunately deleting many songs that I liked. The he burned the selected songs on 2 CDs. I had no rights to decide what to listen, only parents were putting music in our home, and for many years, my dad’s songs selection was the only music I was listening. I wonder, if I did not had these restrictive parents, were my music preferences different today?

Out of my dad selection, I also made own selection of few dozens songs which I was listening only when I was home alone.

After 2003 revolution and removal of restrictions imposed by family, I was able to listen my music anytime I wanted, and soon I got bored by my few dozens songs, I was desperate to get more music, and started recording via TV-Tuner (ending in having lots of songs in bad quality). I wanted more songs from certain artists, I went to music stores in the city but my parents did not agreed to pay money for music CDs.

In 2005 we connected to internet so I was able to download music freely for first time using DC++ file sharing network (Youtube was not yet launched). In November 2004 I accidentally turned on TV when was Junior Eurovision Song Contest, won by Maria Isabel. So, first songs that I downloaded after connecting to internet were Maria Isabel’s 2 albums and 2 more children artists discovered while looking for Maria Isabel: 3+2 and Danna Paola, additional songs from the artists I already had songs (Aqua, Shakira, Shakin Stevens, Thalia), also originals of about 100 songs recorded from TV in bad quality.

In 2006 while looking on Youtube for Danna Paola I found accidentally a video featuring Tatiana, so I started looking for Tatiana music too, on ARES (file sharing software popular in Latin America) and direct downloads (like MegaUpload) and by this way I downloaded also Fandango, Flans, Timbiriche, R.B.D, and got addicted to Mexican 1980s-1990s pop-rock. In 2008 I had 3000+ songs of which 30% being from Mexico. Tatiana remaining my all-time favorite even in 2013. In the same time I started watching Mexican TV shows and I learned Spanish.

I was looking for more diversity, so since 2009 I also downloaded music from other Latin American countries, and got addicted to Brazil country music as well as 3 big artists hosting children shows (Angelica, Eliana, Xuxa), which generated bad comments from my overseas friends (are you retarded? why do you listen to children music?), by this way in just one year I learned Portuguese to the level I am able to write lyrics of any song. I also downloaded American country music (Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Taylor Swift, etc), British, French, German, Italian pop, rock and folk (ABBA, Al Bano & Romina Power, Alizee, Andrea Berg, Ricchi e Poveri, etc), Japanese and Chinese pop music (many small artists), I liked all them but none caused long-term addiction until 2013 discovery of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. There is also music that I can’t tolerate: Arabic and Indian music.

The idea of creating an Excel music database

The idea of using Excel to make table with songs, and rate each song, dates back from 2002. I added all songs in WinAmp, generated HTML playlist and copied into Excel, then added a numerical rating. This means no complete discography of any artist, no year known, etc.

In 2005, thanks to the internet connection, access to internet music stores and filesharing networks, I could get information about artists and complete discographies, with album names and release date, I decided that is the time to start making a serious music database.

Source of data: primarily iTunes Music Store (copying album by album with just few clicks, so columns in my database were matching columns in iTunes until it was redesigned in 2010 thus I had to copy song by song), secondary Amazon Music Store. The the italic song titles are taken from MP3 filenames found on the internet so their spelling accuracy is lower.

I did not intended to make a database with ALL songs from my computer, also I did not intended to reach a certain number of songs at a specified deadline. I just added artist by artists at random basis, originally adding only my favorite artists (most of them having short music career), and since 2008 I paid attention to famous artists, adding in database a selection of artists representative for every region of world and every genre of music.

Music database evolution:
2000 songs, 37 artists in top – June 2007
3000 songs, 57 artists in top – February 2008
4000 songs, 71 artists in top – August 2009
5000 songs, 92 artists in top – April 2012
5437 songs, 97 artists in top – late 2013
6000 songs, 105 artists in top – June 2016
Note: the top include only artists with minimum 10 songs and at least half of their songs rated.

Songs rating system

Since the Music Database was started in the era I was fascinated by Base-16 numbering system, the songs are rated with numbers ranging from 0 to 16, originally lower values being better, but in 2016 I inverted the ratings, making higher values better. Total: 17 possible values, which is my birthday and my favorite number.

Rating is composed from 4 categories, each having value from 0 to 4.

Sound: I love instrumental diversity and guitars. Rock and country songs win rating 4 in this category, while hip-hop songs have rating 0.

Voice: I love nice voice and lyrics diversity, but I don’t care about the lyrics content. The songs sung in languages unknown by me or artificial languages can win rating 4 too. The rating drops if lyrics contains too many repeating words, or if the song is only instrumental, the rating is 0.

Mix: I love the songs which have a continuous and fast rhythm. Dance songs can win rating 4 in this category. Rock songs have rating 2-3, Pop songs have rating 1-3, slow songs or bad mixed songs gets rating 0.

Addiction: some songs attract me so much that I listen them again and again for hours, they win rating 4 in this category, they are bubblegum dance, Japanese pop as well as songs from children show of Latin America (this is what attract negative comments from my friends, that I listen childish music, music for retarded people, etc). Rock and country despite of winning in other categories, makes me bored after listening few times so they have rating 1-2, while the louder songs like hard rock which make pain for my ears that I cannot listen a song until its end have rating 0.

To rate each song, is enough to listen 30-second preview on iTunes, but I prefer to rate only when I download full songs. Addiction rating is hard to be decided initially and sometimes I modify it after days or months. The 17 ratings are distributed like Gaussian curve, but asymmetric, rating 8 having 10% of songs, rating 0 having 2% and rating 16 having 0.2%.

My everyday playlist is composed by songs rated from 12 to 16, including songs with rating 8-11 temporarily and keep them if rating is 3 or higher. This create a playlist of about 20% of songs included in database.

Artist ranking system

In 2005 I made a ranking based on average ratings of all songs of each artist. But this turned into a problem: the top places were occupied by small artists that produced just few but good songs, while the most famous artists occupied last places. Is natural that the artists with long career to not be able to make many songs good as the few good songs.

In 2006 I added a SCORE for each artist calculated by a more complex formula. I added columns for number of songs and the total value of songs. Song value is calculated like inverted binary logarithms: value 16 divided by every rating, exception for rating 1 which have value 12 and rating 0 which have value 16.

In 2008 I further improved the ranking by adding a multiply factor for song diversity, calculated like this: total value of songs divided by number of songs divided by average song rating, sum resulted square rooted and and multiplied by 2, resulting a multiply factor between 1 and 1.5. Artists having diversity, few good songs in a total of mostly bad songs, are helped by having higher multiply factor than the artists who have all songs at same medium rating.

How the score is calculated: average song rating (ranging 0 to 16) multiplied with 4 (I can increase this multiply factor to boost artists with one but good album or reduce the multiply factor to boost artists with long career), plus square root of total value of songs (ranging 4 for one-album rappers to 30 for Tatiana’s 20+ albums), sum of these 2 is multiplied with diversity factor between 1 and 1.5, them multiplied with 128 to get a nice-looking 4-digit score for all artists varying from 2500 to 9000+. This numerical value have no other meaning than classifying artist in top. Do not consider that an artist with score 8000 points is two times better than an artist with score 4000.

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