DSLRUsers History - so how did it all start?

A brief history of DSLRUsers.net

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DSLRUsers History - so how did it all start?

Postby broadbean on Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:47 pm

I'm fairly new here, and came across some passing references here and there about how DSLRUsers first started. Cool, so I thought I'd wander to the forum that made the most sense to find out more - DSLRUsers History - only to find little if anything about how this all started.

A quick pm to Gary to clarify, and he suggested it was indeed a "to do item", but was still getting around to it.

So here's your chance folks, let's reach out to all of you who've been around since the beginning or thereabouts, to share your thoughts and anecdotes about the forum's history and what started it all.

Over to you!
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Postby Killakoala on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:00 pm

The first thing i remember is reading a post on DPreview that Gary Stark made regarding a get together of Sydney D70 users. We all got together at a foreshore park at Brighton-Le-Sands. IIRC the majority of those first few members at the inaugural meet are still regular visitors to this site :)

I did have a gallery from that first meet. I will repost it when i find the images.
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Postby phillipb on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:00 pm

I was reading a thread at dpreview where Gary was discussing some nikon D70 issues with someone else when it was suggested to him that he should start his own website for aussies so he did. I joined as menber No.2 after Geoff and I've been visiting on a daily basis since.
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Postby gstark on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:03 pm

Let me start the ball rolling by saying that the initial impetus came from me seeing, on DPR, that D70 users (of whom I was one) in other parts of the world were getting together to meet and do some shooting together.

I thought that there must be more than a few D70 users in Sydney, and that we, too should get together if possible, and have a meet. And I thought that rather than clutter up the pages of DPR for the organisation of that first meet, I could start a small forum, running on a server in my living room, and we could use that forum to organise the details of that very first meeting.

So I acquired the D70Users.com domain name, set up the server, tested it, and invited Geoff to have a look as well. When we were happy, we made an announcement of the local forum - for Sydney people to organise this meeting.
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Postby Marvin on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:06 pm

phillipb wrote:I was reading a thread at dpreview where Gary was discussing some nikon D70 issues with someone else when it was suggested to him that he should start his own website for aussies so he did. I joined as menber No.2 after Geoff and I've been visiting on a daily basis since.

Me too. Before that I was always on dpreview but I haven't visited there much since this forum. I remember when we were excited to get 50 members!
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Postby gstark on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:06 pm

Killakoala wrote:We all got together at a foreshore park at Brighton-Le-Sands. IIRC the majority of those first few members at the inaugural meet are still regular visitors to this site :)


Brighton was actually the second meeting. The very first was at Circular Quay, where we started with about 8 or ten souls meeting for cough-ee at .....
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Postby gstark on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:15 pm

The very first meet was on August 22, 2004. There were posts prior to that date, with the organisation of the meet to be attended to and such ...

but here's a link to some discussion and images that were posted following that very first meet.
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Postby sheepie on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:17 pm

Ahhh - the memories ;)

It's about time we had an "I remember when" thread - thanks for starting it!

I remember it wasn't all that long after I bought my D70 and I was looking through the DPR forum and came across Gary's thread seeing if there was interest in a local group - it was the right time, right place, and I've not looked back since :)

Didn't make the very first meet (in Circular Quay as Gary says) but did get down to the Brighton le Sands meet, which was rather different - no-one knew anyone, and certainly no-one had any idea what this group was to become!

Over the ensuing years I've made many great friends - some of which I now classify as my very best friends - and had some great times. These days, meets are like a family gathering - one where everyone gets along though - it's a bit like we're long-time friends meeting after a time of absence.

Long may it continue!
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Postby big pix on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:24 pm

I joined on the 17 feb 05...... and still here...... and still enjoying the site
Edit: I am member 233
Last edited by big pix on Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sirhc55 on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:32 pm

12th September 2004 a day not to be forgotten (at least by me) - the day when I came in as member #59. Where did those three years go :roll:

Friends, peers, fun, laughter but above all comradeship in the best hobby in the world (next to marriage, that is) :wink: :lol: :lol:
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Postby the foto fanatic on Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:42 pm

Yep - caught a post from Gary on dpreview and joined on 22 August. Member #39.

I must say that being a member here has been very rewarding - both photographically and personally.
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Postby ozimax on Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:04 pm

Member #326, just a newibe really, incidentally that number was also my HSC aggregate in 1979, what a totally useless piece of information, except for the fact that my two best friends in the same year got 325 and 327 respectively!

I must say the D70 camera was revolutionary in it's day, it was another class of camera.

Enjoyable post!

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Postby phillipb on Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:04 pm

I just found that thread at Dpreview,
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... ge=9804096
Have a look at the names on the right hand side, do most of them look familiar? :)
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Postby blacknstormy on Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:42 pm

I was number 277 :)
Simon (Manta) told me about this 'great forum' that he had found online, and that it was full of great people - all enthusiastic photographers.... I had just bought my first (and only) slr, and jumped in feet first :)
And they haven't been able to get rid of me permanently yet ;) LOL
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Postby ATJ on Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:49 pm

#478. 8)
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Postby Yi-P on Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:54 pm

I joined about a year after this has started, but got to mention, this is the greatest thing I ever experienced in photography community up so far. I learned so much here that I wouldn't if I didnt join. Simply the best!!

And this site is not that colourful nor attractive in its design (just very simple), but I keep visiting on weekly if not daily basis. Something I just can't stop doing... Maybe I'm addicted :roll:
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Postby olrac on Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:29 pm

I have been around for since 8 june 2005 so that is just shy of a year after creation.

I remember reading about the first AW diner and thinking that this was a community unlike the other forums I was reading.

Looking at that old post I have one question
Whatever happened to Birddog?
For those of you who who don't know who I am talking about he is the man who introduced us to the special individual known as Poon.

Oh and does he still hold the record for most posts?
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Postby MCWB on Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:49 am

olrac wrote:Whatever happened to Birddog?

Oh and does he still hold the record for most posts?

He no longer posts here, but still has the most posts (by a couple of thousand, with Gary next). Might be best to leave it at that; this thread is going quite well and I'm not so sure it's good to revisit all that drama quite frankly.
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Postby Pa on Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:40 am

number 677----17 april----05

learnt a lot from the members of this club [thanks all]

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Postby TonyH on Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:54 am

#1146 August 2005...... and still here :D
All I know, is that I don't know enough.....
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Postby gstark on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:07 am

sheepie wrote:Over the ensuing years I've made many great friends - some of which I now classify as my very best friends - and had some great times. These days, meets are like a family gathering - one where everyone gets along though - it's a bit like we're long-time friends meeting after a time of absence.

Long may it continue!


Leon makes a most important point here.

I too have made some great friends here ... and also caught up with some I'd not seen for maybe 20 years or so.

The making of these new friendships, though, is one of the more important aspects of what I think makes this a special place. The friends I now have, all over the world, that I would not have otherwise have made, has enriched my life in a way that I cannot even begin to describe.

I'd like to hear more, from others, on this aspect.
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Postby gstark on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:09 am

phillipb wrote:I just found that thread at Dpreview,
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... ge=9804096
Have a look at the names on the right hand side, do most of them look familiar? :)


Phillip,

You are truly evil. :)

Thanx for digging that up. It sure makes for interesting reading.
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Postby gstark on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:20 am

Carlo,

olrac wrote:For those of you who who don't know who I am talking about he is the man who introduced us to the special individual known as Poon.


Actually, Thanh did not introduce us to Poon.

Poon came to us through some of our members who had successfully engaged in transactions with him (HKSupplies) through eBay.

One person made a post in our Traders' Opinions section to that effect, and someone else than added to that thread with a similar positive experience, and then another, and another.

Soon people, in dealing with HKS, were mentioning the fact that HKS had received a good wrap here, and that they were members here. Poon then started to refer other customers here, to this particular thread, and then he joined the forum himself.

So Poon's relationship with the forum predates his relationship with Thanh, and that relationship with the forum is stronger today than at any time in the past.

Thanh (Birddog114) left this forum to go to another, because he was in dispute with the Admins. And the Mods. And the KMs. As Trent suggests, it's best to just leave it at that.
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Postby the foto fanatic on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:24 am

phillipb wrote:I just found that thread at Dpreview,
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... ge=9804096
Have a look at the names on the right hand side, do most of them look familiar? :)


Holy nostalgia, Batman! :D
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Postby gstark on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:39 am

gstark wrote:Carlo,

olrac wrote:For those of you who who don't know who I am talking about he is the man who introduced us to the special individual known as Poon.


Actually, Thanh did not introduce us to Poon.


I sit somewhat corrected.

I just dug up the original thread that I was thinking of, and the original recommendation to trade with Poon indeed came from Thanh.

Here's that thread.
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Postby norbs on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:42 am

Gary, did search work for you? I tried searching Birddog (needed my morning soap opera hit) and it would let me see past the 1st page of posts.

Reading the history, I know understand why these forums are so Nikon-centric. :)
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Postby gstark on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:51 am

norbs wrote:Gary, did search work for you? I tried searching Birddog (needed my morning soap opera hit) and it would let me see past the 1st page of posts.

Reading the history, I know understand why these forums are so Nikon-centric. :)


I had a fair idea of which forum the posts I was looking for were located in, so I just went to the earliest posts there and looked.

And yes, that's why we were originally somewhat Nikon-centric.

After about 8 months though, we realised that being D70-centric - as we originally were - was not really a great idea. :)

So we registered DSLRUsers.com.

We've never actively refused or rejected other brands or models though, and one of (what I believe) our strengths have been is that we've not simply been accepting of all brands and models, but actively encouraging of this.

Apart from a bit of banter and ribbing, of course, we have been genuinely open towards all manner of photographic equipment, and we take a serious view of pissing contests between brands and/or models, and this is one aspect that I think lifts us from some other similar forums.
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Postby Mal on Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:59 am

This is certainly a great post. Thanks for the history lesson.
Like most who have posted I am a regular visitor but not as regular a poster. I am still wanting to crack that 1000 post mark..... one day.
For me this is the place of learning and sharing. I can look back to the day I joined (7th March 2005. #540) and see now how much my photos have improved since then.
Many thanks to Gary and all the other Mods who keep this site going for our enjoyment, education and friendship.
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Postby olrac on Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:25 pm

I was a less than active fourum member for about 6 months and in that time Birddog was gone with no mention and had just wondered since then.

I am glad that noone (even someone as active as him) is not above the principles of this forum, it is what make the forum what it is.

Sorry if I opened some wounds that were better left closed.
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Postby gstark on Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:48 pm

Carlo

olrac wrote:Sorry if I opened some wounds that were better left closed.


No need to apologise. Your question was reasonable and valid. While there were certainly some wounds, most of them lie, I think, elsewhere. :)

We continued to focus on what we considered was important - photography and related content.
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Postby Greg B on Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:32 pm

I was member 43 joining in September 2004.

The much smaller scale of the forum in those early days meant that things were
quite a bit different than what they are today - virtually every member posted in
every thread for example, and there would be hearty congratulations at 50, 100,
200 posts and so on. I recall that we were very excited when we hit 100 members!

Forums are funny things, and it hasn't always been easy to maintain the sort of tone
for which Gary was aiming early on, and for which the mods and key members have
also worked towards. I think the success of the forum owes a good deal
to Gary's approach,
even when he is in his crotchetty mode (usually with good reason I might add).

I have learned a great deal here, made some purchases at good prices, made some good
friends and had a lot of fun. I am sure all of that will continue.
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Postby SteveB on Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:49 pm

I was lucky number 400 in January 2005. Unfortunately I have not been a big poster (never seem to have spare time) but it has turned into a great group.
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Postby gstark on Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:05 pm

Greg B wrote:I think the success of the forum owes a good deal
to Gary's approach, even when he is in his crotchetty mode


I think that's a compliment, Greg. :)
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Postby stubbsy on Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:06 pm

I joined 8 December 2004 (member 215) after having bought my first dslr (D70) a few weeks earlier. Prior to that I'd not really done much photography - never used film and only had a camera since 2001. Being such a newbie I was lamenting how hard all this DSLR stuff was to a guy at work. He had a friend who was a lurker and knew of the place so I joined up.

One of the things that struck me immediately was how helpful and friendly and welcoming people were. I asked some pretty dumb questions and was treated with respect and courtesy so I stayed. Along the way I learnt how to take decent pics (my first shots were pretty bad) from the great advice here and, as already commented on by others, have formed some terrific friendships to boot. Of course my one regret about having found this forum is that my bank balance is decidedly lower than it used to be.

The membership as a whole helps maintain a reasonable sense of decorum too. Gary made things clear from the outset that bad behaviour wouldn't be tolerated and everyone knows that. Sure there will be times we rub each other up the wrong way and we'll have our disagreements - but real life is like that too - and like real life (and unlike many online presences) this never descends into full on flaming matches because the members as a group are quickly onto people who are out of line.

One final comment - I believe a major reason this place works is that many of us actually meet in the flesh - there are periodic get togethers to take pics or to chew the fat over a meal (like our soon to be announced Christmas dinner) and it's not uncommon to catch up with people when you travel interstate who show you the sights of their home towns and cities. It's this anchoring in the real world that makes this place so different to many other virtual locales and one reason why I'm still keen to visit.

I talk a lot don't I - guess that's why this is post #9238 :lol: :wink: :oops:
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Postby ATJ on Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:41 pm

stubbsy wrote:The membership as a whole helps maintain a reasonable sense of decorum too. Gary made things clear from the outset that bad behaviour wouldn't be tolerated and everyone knows that. Sure there will be times we rub each other up the wrong way and we'll have our disagreements - but real life is like that too - and like real life (and unlike many online presences) this never descends into full on flaming matches because the members as a group are quickly onto people who are out of line.

Peter,

This is a really good point. This site is extremely well behaved especially when compared to other web forums regardless of the forum's purpose. Yes there is some angst from time to time but it is a much better place than any forum I have been a member of. In fact, I have lost interest in forums in general because they basically become talk back radio - everyone has to provide their opinion regardless of whether it is informed or not. DSLRUsers is different from this (mostly) and it is a joy to belong.
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Postby Andyt on Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:25 am

Member #95 :D

I joined on the 13th October 2004 :)

Having entered digital photography via a Canon G2 P&S, I progressed to the stage where I felt that a DSLR was the right next step.
During my research online I came across D70Users.com.

My memories of all the help and advice given by members at that time and since, still makes me feel somewhat guilty as these days my online time is not as much as it used to be and I feel I am not "putting back" what I have taken out. :(

One recollection that I have is an event that made me realise how of all the internet sites I had visited and patronised at the time, paled into insignificance when an April fools day joke was played on us at the time unsuspecting members, upon logging on we found that the home page carried an anouncement to the effect that Maxwells (then Nikon Aus importers / distributors) were taking over this forum!
What a shock it was and a realization that this unique place was going commercial! (I still have mixed feelings about that one, was roped in good and proper! :P )

Even today, because of my remote location, I rely mainly on the posts here to try and stay up todate with relavent DSLR news & gossip etc. Although in hindsight I should have called myself "The Lurker" as time these days seems to beat me, usually dropping in a few times a week to quickly read and catch up. Maybe things will change when the hot weather gets here soon, only 37 - 38 at the moment 8)

I won't repeat what already has been said, other than to endorse those positive comments and express my thanks to Gary & Admins who make this place possible.

My only regret, which I hope to fix one day is to attend a meet or Anniversary dinner and put faces to all those avatars and handles that I have come to know.

These days I have more camera gear and technical knowledge than creative ability and don't mind admitting a few pangs of regret when chimping pics posted taken with a D70 and comparing them with mine, I have traded up to a D2X and mostly fast glass and sometimes wonder if I had been better off keeping the D70 (not the 70-300G!!) and putting the money saved towards airfares and coming over to see you all! :lol: :P :lol:

Best regards to one & all, Andyt
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Postby jethro on Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:33 pm

I joined in nov 2004 member 116 from memory and thanks to RADAR who I have no idea his whereabouts today are. I believe something catastrophic happened to him according to his missus. I am truly disturbred by his missing and antics to this forum.

I had some great fun early days and after some extremely unsavoury times bought on by myself have settelled into a well defined group of members and their somewhat witty and interesting spins on everything.

Gary you have brought something unique to cyberspace! Bravo! even though I dont contribute as much as I can
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Postby HappyFotographer on Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:00 pm

Member 316 here.

I stumbled across this website after I was gifted a D70 for Christmas.

While I spent time here it was fun, the people helpful and supportive and a fun bunch to meet up with. I remember after the first Anniversary gathering my husband told me I had hooked up with a great crowd of people...and he was right.

But unfortunately I am rarely here anymore...raising family, not time to do the photography I want got in my way. Occasionally I drop in and check things out, and it is good to see the familair faces still here, and the amazing work they are now producing.

I still have the D70 with no real plans to replace it.
"Sometimes when you are sad Poko, it's good to hug the monkey."
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Postby broadbean on Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:26 pm

Surely raising a family gives you a great subject and your D70 a well deserved work out!
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Postby HappyFotographer on Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:47 pm

broadbean wrote:Surely raising a family gives you a great subject and your D70 a well deserved work out!


Well yes, I have lots of kid shots. But it never went past that and kid photography wasn't what I wanted to be doing exclusively with my time.

Photography has always been in my life, it just isn't and hasn't been at the forefront right now.
"Sometimes when you are sad Poko, it's good to hug the monkey."
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Postby Geoff on Thu Nov 08, 2007 10:05 pm

I was very enthusiastically and excited to be the 3rd member (1st after Gary and Leigh) on the forum. I was at the right place and the right time, which happened to be online (on dpreview) when I saw a post made by Gary about his desire to start up an Aussie forum...and I'm still here, and loving it. Whilst my life has become somewhat more crazy (busy) my input here has reduced somewhat but what has been said before this post is so true. There is an amazing amount of camaraderie and friendship on this forum - which has kept me close by! I'm proud I was one of the first few, and still look back at the very first 'mini meet' with great fondness :).

So, let me make this a small plug to book in for the dinner on the 8th of December if you're in Sydney, they're always a fun night :).
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Postby Big Red on Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:57 pm

nostalgia

member #237 joined on 15 dec 2005
heres my first post and pic
:lol:
http://www.dslrusers.net/viewtopic.php? ... ht=#148845

i have met quite a few members here and really enjoyed the photoshoots i've been lucky enough to attend :mrgreen:
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Postby Dargan on Fri Nov 09, 2007 5:03 pm

Member #72 joined on Oct 1 2004

After many months of research I bought the D70 and came across the forum in that research and joined. Much less intimidating than Nikonians. Enjoyed an early post on Guitar and photography. Noticed the first 100 members appeared by Oct 14th 2004 and there are quite a few in that list who have never posted or only have one or two posts. Still learning and have a D200 as well now. Many thanks to Gary and those who have done the behind the scenes work.
In the end we know Nothing, but in the meantime Learn like crazy.
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Postby Nnnnsic on Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:02 pm

I'm actually not the second member. I'm the thirteenth.
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Postby bwhinnen on Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:36 pm

Wow this is a trip back down memory lane. It is interesting to read your first few posts again, see the first ever pic you posted. I am member 200, joined in late 2004 after owning the camera for a few months ;) I think I was probably a lurker too :P

I know that I loved the community (and still do) the willingness of sharing from the other members, the criticisms that were un-biased and helpful. It is funny that all of that is still here today. Somewhat of a testament to the Moderating team and the Admin team and of course my fellow members!

Great work guys, I am happy to still be a part of this great community!

Brett
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Postby Marvin on Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:04 pm

As an accompaniment to this thread, this is my second post here - I thought some newer people might be interested in the story behind some of the people here.

http://www.dslrusers.net/viewtopic.php?t=208&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
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Postby Big Red on Sat Nov 10, 2007 11:49 am

Marvin wrote:As an accompaniment to this thread, this is my second post here - I thought some newer people might be interested in the story behind some of the people here.

http://www.dslrusers.net/viewtopic.php?t=208&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0


that was quite an interesting read :lol:
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Postby broadbean on Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:28 pm

Hey Gary, if no one else is going to add to the early history of this site in this thread, maybe it's worth moving it to DSLRUsers History where you'll instantly bump the thread count there by 50%. :lol:

In summary (from what I gathered), the forum started life as a suggestion for local like-minded enthusiasts from dpreview as D70Users, then became DSLRUsers to be more inclusive. HKSupplies was soon after introduced to and embraced by this site and its members.

The experience of the members as indicated in this thread add to the rich tapestry of the ongoing history of this forum.
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Postby Handlebars on Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:30 am

This is a great read!

It should definitely turn into a forum history sticky. :D
C&C more than welcome!
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