View Full Version : Post #15000 ... a personal retrospective

10-01-2014, 01:32 PM
Someone pointed out this morning that I was nearing a milestone - my fifteen-thousandth post to the NewTek forums. (Two others, hrgiger and erikals, are just a few hundred posts away from the same post count). I thought I’d like to mark the occasion with something less mundane than by replying to the next random query to come along. This post is the result of that notion.

Like most longstanding forum members, I came in contact with NewTek via the Amiga platform. Say what you will, but I am completely convinced that – more than any competitor – the Amiga fostered the most amazing user community (traces of which can still be seen in present company), at once exuberant, creative, gifted, generous, and loyal (and along with that, resulted in countless changes in career path). I advanced though DPaint and Brilliance, AdPro, Image FX and Scala; I was of course aware of NewTek thanks to the Video Toaster and LW, but my video interests had followed a somewhat parallel path through Macro Systems VLab Motion and DraCo lines. The appearance of LW 3.5 standalone for Amiga in 1994 allowed me to finally join the NewTek family.

The Amiga’s decline and my personal resistance to the merciless dictates of its history were just barely preceded by the arrival of the Internet, and the ‘Web’. This serendipitous timing had already resulted in my being involved in related writing and advocacy efforts, and now led to collaborations with prominent members of the ‘No, we can’t let this happen!’ crowd, including leading lights of the Amiga’s development and history. This was a great and terrible time.

Sigh …

I came to discover that the spirit of the Amiga community resonated in the NewTek community. The ‘Don and Ralph’ show at NAB was high on my list of “Things Not to Miss”. Though my contributions were small, Andrew, Chuck, Don, Ralph, Paul Lara, Aussie, John Perkins, Donetta, Michael Kornet, Phillip, the inimitable and modest Tim, and many others always made me feel like a member of the immediate family.

In time I found myself reinvented as an earnest advocate and reseller of NewTek’s products. From time to time I would be invited to do consulting gigs on behalf of the mothership. Perhaps the first time was late in 2002, when I was tasked to re-write the Aura manual for the version 2.5 release. I came to be a big proponent of the VT system, through its many incarnations. Like many VT users at the time, I was inclined to be a bit dismissive of its sibling and eventual successor, TriCaster. I clearly recall Tim Jenison sitting down beside me during an introductory demo of the first TriCaster model at NAB in 2005. He asked me what I thought of it. I replied to the effect that ‘I really wanted to hate it, but couldn’t, because it was just so well executed, presenting all of the most key capabilities of VT but doing so in much more user-friendly fashion’. Little did I know …

When I finally gave in to Andrew’s persistent requests that I join the team, Bob Tasa (a longtime member of the VT community and third-party developer) wrote a reply to his announcement on the VTNT mailing list to the effect that it was ‘rather dumb’ of NewTek to hire me! I tended to agree, but was a bit surprised, I admit. I could only laugh when, upon someone asking why, he responded “He’s been working for you for years for free!” It was true, I suppose, though I will state categorically that I have never taken NewTek’s side in any matter unless I could do so in full sincerity – then as now, and on those rare occasions when I felt they’d got it wrong, I was not shy about letting them know.

Some years ago I gave in to Andrew again, and moved to San Antonio. I really don’t know why I argue with him; he’s nearly always correct, and I’d generally have been better served by listening to him sooner (though I’m claiming some points for my never-ending fight for a robust audio mixer implementation, if you’re listening, Andrew) ;)

It has worked out well. I love my work, and nearly always consider it ‘play’. I am thrilled to be surrounded by hugely gifted people who feel just like I do, and to work in a place where senior management really, truly does care - about people, and about ethics, as repeatedly demonstrated in tangible ways.

So, my first 15k … time to acknowledge just how truly big a role NewTek has played in my life for over 20 years, and to say a genuinely warm “Thank you!”

10-01-2014, 02:43 PM
Wonderful writing, Steve. A sincere joy to read and a rare talent to possess. I had no idea how long you've been associated with NewTek. Congratulations, not necessarily on your post count so much, as it's a metric not confined to longevity, but on your following your heart.

10-01-2014, 02:47 PM
... not necessarily on your post count so muchMany would agree with that (and you're no slouch either!) ;)

10-01-2014, 03:06 PM
Congratulations Steve on a momentous landmark! I know I post nowhere near as much as I used to - only because work is so busy and is still LightWave. But when I do read your posts, it's great to note they are always well thought through and fair - something to be praised in these days of the internet. From one old Amiga user to another, I know exactly where you are coming from :)

10-01-2014, 03:42 PM
Boy! I have some works cut out for myself.... Congrat

10-01-2014, 03:57 PM
Congratulations SBowie on your 15000 post day, and congratulations to have been fortunate to enjoy it so much.

10-01-2014, 04:33 PM
Congratulations SBowie on your 15000 post day, and congratulations to have been fortunate to enjoy it so much.It's kind of a bitteersweet 'celebration', isn't it? It could be taken as 'Man, you really need to get a life!" ;)

10-01-2014, 05:42 PM
I appreciate your help for the few problems I had with license numbers and such. That's dedication and that has value.

10-01-2014, 06:03 PM
Many would agree with that (and you're no slouch either!) ;)

I did get a boost when you handily renamed my previous moniker used in the v9 Beta forums. Prior to that, I was lookin' like a n00b. ;)

<Rodney Dangerfield>"I don't get no respect, I tell ya; no respect at all."</Rodney Dangerfield>

10-01-2014, 08:06 PM
It's kind of a bitteersweet 'celebration', isn't it? It could be taken as 'Man, you really need to get a life!" ;)

All I can say is THANKS for sharing your life - and thoughts - with us.
So many of us are better for it.

10-01-2014, 10:04 PM

10-01-2014, 11:18 PM
Yeah I was top poster until I decided to just post whenever we got news on LightWave. Now you can see why I've fallen to 3rd.

10-02-2014, 07:32 AM
And, they're off ... ;)

10-02-2014, 07:59 AM
who? http://erikalstad.com/backup/misc.php_files/smile.gif

10-02-2014, 08:30 AM
Steve, what a great way to mark the milestone. I haven't been on these forums for as long as a lot of the guys here, but I can say that I relate to a lot of your experiences with the "World Of Commodore" and how it gave birth to whole industries and how they shaped my life in many profound ways.

I consider myself very lucky to be around when NewTek was formed because I was exposed to things I hadn't even conceived, and that broadened my mind to what was possible. And thanks to their products I've been able to follow my heart and do things that I never thought I could.

So on reading your story I too am thankful to them for, in no small way, keeping that Commodore spirit of camaraderie going and a making a great bunch of people, both staff and users, feel like part of the family.

I say a big thank you to NT for all your amazing work and to all the users for keeping them alive for as long as you have.

I owe you big time.

10-02-2014, 02:18 PM
And, they're off ... ;)

:D :D :D This was the first post read today when I got to the studio. Being morning (relatively speaking), it was a mouthful of double-latte that nearly passed through my nose. :D

10-02-2014, 02:55 PM
It's kind of a bitteersweet 'celebration', isn't it? It could be taken as 'Man, you really need to get a life!" ;)

Not that when thats part of your life/job and there's some enjoyment in it. Other than, you know, janitor tasks. But also thanks for those and for keeping the forums clean.

I guess as celebration you should add a hat to your avatar or just another icon. A pen maybe :D


10-02-2014, 05:16 PM
I joined this forum in 2003 and over the years learned to always read your posts.
Life is full of millions of small good things. Thanks for adding a few thousand to mine.