GoodBye and Thank You

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Earl Bonovich, May 6, 2008.

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  1. May 6, 2008 #1 of 656
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    When I graduated from college in 1996... I moved back in with my parents (my wedding was being planned).
    Part of the arrangement was that I would buy the DirecTV hardware, if they pay for the service plan.

    Since then... I have been a DirecTV customer.

    Around Christmas 2000... My mother purchased a 40hr Philips SA TiVo for me.
    Which I paired up with an RCA DirecTV receiver box. Probably a few days later, I found

    From there, I started to learn more... absorb...
    Not just about TiVo and DVR...
    Not just about how DirecTV technology worked...
    Not just about how the Internet Forum world worked...
    But also how important all of that combined played out...

    Being a fast typer, someone that liked to stay busy. I continued to play a role in those communities... helping known and anonymous user...
    Then an opportunity opened up... get on the early pre-order for the HR10-250... and from a vendor that I already knew because of a great experience when purchasing my first HD STB.

    Then a few weeks later, there was an article about the DTiVo R10... and that vendor asked me to do a "review" of it...
    Which I did... and enjoyed doing... And then that somehow moved me to a different level in the community...
    I had a name and now a voice that was slightly heard.

    Then the R15 was announced... and quickly I jumped on the chance to do a review of it, as it was going to be "different".
    That difference poised a conflict of interest for that R15 discussion to continue at TCF..

    After some searching and looking for a new "home" for it... Chris welcomed me in at
  2. May 6, 2008 #2 of 656
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    So there was soon an R15 forum.... dedicated to talk about this new "non-TiVo" DVR...
    There were not many people that had one yet... but everyone was intrested in it.
    I spent a lot of time... testing, trying things out... answer questions for total internet strangers.

    Discussion threads... about features and differences, things that worked... things that didn't work.
    I did it for some strange reason, that I figured out in June of 2006 (talk about that later).
    But I did it... and I think I did it well.

    Then Donnie Byrd a moderator here at DBSTalk, had this crazy idea... to ask me to join the staff here.
    I accepted as I thought it was kinda cool... reminded me of co-sysop days back when I was a teenager.

    In the later portion of the year... I had my first non-customer communication with DirecTV.
    At that moment, a major chapter in my life so far... started.
  3. May 6, 2008 #3 of 656
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    DirecTV was intrested in communicating with the users here at DBSTalk and the internet.
    They saw the potential and wanted to give it a try. So working through me, I was able to gather information from the users.. and ask questions and get answers for questions being asked.
    At times there were times where I would let very active users know there was a software update in the stream... if they wanted to try it out...

    That was going pretty well..... but the news and discussions of the HD versions of the DVR were starting...
    Everyone wanted to know what was going to go on with the MPEG-4 compatible HD DVR.... And I did have some answers... but couldn't share them...
    Not yet at least.

    April 28, 2006... the worst day in my life so far.
    I had just started my new job... big step for my family... everything was going great...
    Get a phone call at work, that my father had collapsed earlier in the day and was at the hospital.

    Between the time the call... and the time I got to the hospital...
    He died. I didn't get to say goodbye... I didn't get to tell him one last time I loved him..
    The man who had a sweet tooth for new "toys"... the man that brought home a $2000+ Zenith Pop-Top BETA-II machine...
    The man that spent $3000+ so I could have an Apple IIe in the house...
    The man that tought me to help people... just because... was gone.

    My life changed that day... After that hellish week.. I came back here to DBSTalk with a different look on things.
    But when my good friend Donnie had opened a thread to tell you all what had happened... I couldn't believe what transpired afterwards.
    Post after Post... hundreds of PM's... for absolute strangers, who wouldn't have known me from any other person on the street..
    Were sending their condolenses... It was absolutely shocking to me... It was like going back "home" and hanging out with all your friends.

    DBSTalk was an escape for me at that time... but also was a major reason on why I was able to get through everything.
    And that event in my life, followed by my stress-induced "heart attack" that June, made me realize something.... This is what I was too do.

    My Dad helped a lot of people in his life... in person.. He would pick up people from the airport, go out late at night to help a friend out of a snow ditch...
    He was an insurance sales man with a heart, and helped people not get taken advantage and use the system... to help them.
    He gave his time and his energy to a lot of people.... And that is what I did...
    Just in a different way.... I was out here, helping you all... thousands... get your answers, get problems solved... and evenutally... make a difference.
  4. May 6, 2008 #4 of 656
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    So August 2006... the First Look of the HR20... the long awaited HR20...
    The internet pressured... where is it... the "delayed" box... was finally ready for it's unveiling...
    So it was released... and then that... was that... Many of you didn't know about DBSTalk to that moment...
    But you did shortly after...

    You came as guests... new subscribers.. people intrested in this new box...
    Questions asked, answered... long days and nights... just going full tilt... It was great... It was rewarding... It was tiring.
    At the time... it was just me with the HR20.. Donnie and Clint were still watching and maintaining the R15 world... while I focused on the HR20...
    Crazy Crazy... but I got through it... More people joined that had the unit... they were able to answer questions...
    And post issues, and trends and this new unit... well the shine wore off...

    Where was OTA... What was that network port for... all sorts of things.

    So by this point, the DirecTV people knew what they had here at DBSTalk... They knew they could trust me.
    After several weeks of kicking the idea around with one DirecTV individual... The decision was made.
    I would make an announcement to the entire public forum... not just individuals... that a new software version would be made available.
    Santa I -- The release that brought OTA, and the release that showed that this process would work.

    So there was the first crazy night/day for Santa I, then Santa II... Elvis, Raven, Benz... This was going to work.
    So... I talked with the DirecTV contact and jointly decided that this is a process that should stick around and become a little more formal.
    I forgot the name they wanted to call it, but just not "Beta Test".... I came up with the name Cutting Edge... Bleading Edge didn't sound right, but it was generally the term used when using the latest and greatest.
    This eventually took a natural shorten version of the CE.

    The official start of the CE.....
  5. May 6, 2008 #5 of 656
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    Shortly after we got a new moderator... Tom... Tom helped keep my work load down, while I was busy doing some private first looks.
    The first SWM-5 then the SWM-8... Starting that first field trial, with the SWM-5's...
    The HR20-100 in piano black...
    Then the HUMAX LCD (which I had an opportunity to do back in 2006, but had to decline due to a conflict of intrest)
    Then the Samsung Fliptop...
    Then the H21 field trial...
    It was an awsome ride... each review/trial, new CE... brought intrest to DBSTalk... and to DirecTV.
    This CE process and the opportunity to help change a unit for everyone out there... was very appealing and rewarding.

    We recently added Doug and Stuart to the Mod ranks at this point... two guys that had been around for a while... and showed they had the stuff.
    More field trials (I have lost track of how many we have done now)...

    I kinda sat up on the top... watched over this "entity" that grew... it is amazing when I look back at what it was.. .and what it is...
  6. May 6, 2008 #6 of 656
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    It wasn't all "cream and cherries" though.
    There have been down times... there have been users that decided to take it to a personal level.
    I was stalked once, when someone wanted to prove that I was lying.
    A hate site was created about DBSTalk and me.
    A few users felt it necessary to constantly join and re-join, just to attack me with false statements... that I proved over and over again were false.
    There were only a few times that I snapped out a bit... and thought of leaving...
    But overall... those times were often short lived, by getting messages from others telling me to forget them... and simply saying thanks for what I have offered to them.

    It is amazing what a simple thank you does for a guy's confidence...
  7. May 6, 2008 #7 of 656
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    So why all of this... well...

    I am leaving... not just DBSTalk, but the forum/blog world as a whole.
    I have made a very important decision for myself and my family...
    I am making a major career change..

    That decision also carries a big downside... It carries a conflict of interest.
    And thus... I can not continue in the DBSTalk Moderator role... nor as the role I served with communicating information about DirecTV.
    I also can't continue helping... I have to almost go cold turkey...

    Effective today (For the most part)..

    Over the last several weeks.... I have been preparing for this.
    Mike D'Angelo was added to the staff...
    Doug and Stuart have taken on some new roles.
    Tom has gotten a lot more involved with the actuall CE communications (as did Doug and Stuart).

    The CE program is as strong as it ever has been....
    Even though I am leaving, the CE program is not... it will continue... and should not skip a beat.

    DBSTalk is not going to stop being your source for DirecTV information...
    It will remain that way... I've made sure of that... or I wouldn't be leaving..

    DBSTalk and the CE process is more then just "me"... it is all of you.. you make DBSTalk and the CE process what it is...
    Don't let anyone tell you other wise... I am just one guy... dug the first footing... it has grown since then because of all the people involved.

    DBSTalk will still be the official home of the CE process... it always has been
    DBStalk is still going to be communicating with DirecTV... on issues, ideas, field trials, new things...
  8. May 6, 2008 #8 of 656
    Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

    Nov 15, 2005
    As for me...
    This has been an absolutely amazing chapter in my life... without... this new opportunity for me would never have been.
    I have all of you to thank for that... I have all of you to thank for the ulcer I know have (just kidding).

    But there are a few individuals that have to be thanked specifically.

    -) David Bott... for creating where I got introduced to this world.
    -) Robert from ValueElectronics... for getting me that HR10-250, R10, and R15 to do the very first reviews
    -) Chis Blount... for extending an invite to have my R15 discussions here at DBSTalk
    -) Donnie Byrd... for asking me to be a mod..
    -) Clint, Tom, Doug, Stuart... for helping carry the load in the DirecTV forums.
    -) The other DBSTalk staff members... for helping me learn how to moderate and have my back when necessary

    -) My anonymous initial contact at DirecTV... I glad that I didn't let you down.

    -) My dad... for providing me with opportunities at a very young age, that a lot of kids didn't have.
    And for teaching me the importance of helping, without expecting anything back... (and for a lot more)
    -) My mom... for teaching me the importance of just being a good person, and letting things go.

    -) My wife... my wife... my wife... you all can not imagine what a saint she has been with me on all of this.
    Constant changing equipment, new software versions, late night here on the forum... bring the laptop to my inlaws to be here...
    ect... ect... ect...
    -) My son... who will soon learn that having more time with dad... isn't necessarily a good thing.. :)
    -) My soon to be daughter (August 2008)... for giving me a reason to take a risk, and take this new opportunity...

    And lastly... each and everyone of you that has logged in... even if you never posted a message...
    Both good and bad messages... Even the attacks.. and the low blows... those too have helped me grown in this role.

    I am going to miss this aspect of my life...
    It is going to be hard for me not to post, I am probably never going to stop reading...

    So as a last message to everyone:
    -) They are listening... don't stop complaining... just do it constructively...
    -) Be true to yourself and be good to one another... this is a community, not a barroom...
    -) Keep the CE alive by participating... giving feedback... giving ideas

  9. May 6, 2008 #9 of 656

    PoitNarf New Member

    Aug 19, 2006
    Best wishes to you and your family Earl. I truly enjoyed our interactions here. You will be sorely missed.
  10. May 6, 2008 #10 of 656

    MIAMI1683 New Member

    Jul 11, 2007
    Good bye Earl,

    All the users here will miss you. Everyone jere appreciates allyou do and did. Good luck with your new life. I hope it gives you everything you want. Enjoy your family. Good luck!!!!
  11. May 6, 2008 #11 of 656

    TheMoose Icon

    Jan 20, 2006
    You'll be missed,
    Thanks for everything & Good luck!!
  12. May 6, 2008 #12 of 656

    Castlebill Legend

    Jul 25, 2006
    Thanks a lot Earl - your efforts were much appreciated.
  13. May 6, 2008 #13 of 656

    jimb726 Icon

    Jan 9, 2007
    Well Earl, I sincerely hope that all goes well for you in your future endeavors, you have been an invaluable resource for the entire forum community here and will be completely and absolutely missed. Please make sure that you check in occasionally and let us know how you are doing. Be well.:D
  14. May 6, 2008 #14 of 656

    gpg Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2006
    Long Island
    Thank you for all that you have done. I wish you well in whatever endeavor you're now starting. You've made lots of friends that you'll never meet, but we're all grateful for knowing you.
  15. May 6, 2008 #15 of 656

    krock918316 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 5, 2007
    Thanks for everything Earl, and Good Luck!
  16. May 6, 2008 #16 of 656

    bluesman40220 Legend

    Jul 13, 2006
    Good luck in all future endeavors! You will be sorely missed, but not forgotten.
  17. May 6, 2008 #17 of 656

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    Wow! You will be greatly missed here, but I'm sure that DBSTalk and CE will continue on just fine because of the groundwork you have done. My sincere condolences on the loss of your father (I still painfully remember the day my Dad passed away nearly 40 years ago) and my best wishes that all goes well for you and your family.

  18. May 6, 2008 #18 of 656
    Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Earl, I'm proud to call you a friend. I can't thank you enough for all you've done for me and for

    I can't think of a smilie big enough to tell you what a great job you've done here.
  19. May 6, 2008 #19 of 656
    Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    Best wishes to you Earl .. You will be missed .. I thank you for the great opportunity that you have afforded me personally and I'm very appreciative of the program that you have created here.
  20. May 6, 2008 #20 of 656

    say-what Active Member

    Dec 14, 2006
    New Orleans
    Best wishes in the new endeavor Earl. Things won't quite be the same around here without you.
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