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>>> The Second Greatest Story Ever Told: The 4th Annual Blue Moon Holiday <<<

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TiVolutionary is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 06:39 PM
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TiVolutionary
Unemployed Geek

Registered: Jul 1999
Location: Sunnyvale, CA, US
Posts: 15

Cool The Second Greatest Story Ever Told: The 4rh Annual Blue Moon Holiday

Dear Friends,

For those of you new to the world of TiVo, or who have never heard the story before, tomorrow is a very special day in the world of TiVo. Tomorrow is the 4th Annual Blue Moon Holiday.

Tomorrow is not a blue moon, but 3 years ago, the last day in March was a blue moon. The historians of Silicon Valley will show that TiVo shipped Version 1.0 on March 31st, 1999, during the 2nd full moon of that month, and about a month before any competitor shipped a PVR.

The story goes something like this. We had just come back from a very exciting CES show in January, and our booth had been located yards from ReplayTV. We know our competition. We had looked into their eyes.

Our CEO, Mike, called a company meeting, and we all gathered in the big open common area. He told us he was proud of where we were, but that now was the time to show what we were made of. He told us that the company that shipped first was going to get the leap that would put them on top of this new and exciting category. In the middle of January Mike stated, in a fairly comprehendible Scottish accent, that we were going to ship on March 31st, or we were going to die trying.

By my best calculations, I was the head of Quality Engineering at the time, we were about 4 or 5 months from really being ready to ship. I went back to my desk after that meeting and sunk into my chair. I just stared at the open TiVo in front of me. I couldn't imagine how that thing was going to be ready in just 2 and half months.

You could feel the tension all over the company. You could hear the low murmurs of engineers grumbling to each other that it simply couldn't be done. It wasn't that we didn't agree that we needed to ship first. It was that we had already had a grueling Fall and Winter, and we were already pretty burnt out, and there just wasn't much more give in our lives. At the time I was regularly pulling 60, and often 80 hour work weeks. We all were.

But a good friend, Steve, went back to his cube and noticed something. He had a giant lunar calendar on his cube wall, and he noticed that March 31st was a blue moon.

The next day we had an engineering meeting to figure out the new schedule, and better understand how we were going to bring in the schedule by more than 50%. We played with numbers, lied a bit, and eventually we came up with a very hair-brained plan that given a little magic, a small manipulation of the space-time continuum, and a willingness to forgo sleep for a while, might just work. We needed a rallying cry, which for Engineering teams is often a good codename. Someone suggested Mission impossible, which was too negative, and then I told the team about what Steve had seen on his cube wall. Once in a blue moon, greatness happens, and we decided to codename TiVo 1.0 Blue Moon.

At the end of that meeting one of our heads of engineering showed us the clip of Olivier’s St. Crispin’s Day Speech, from Henry V. (Yes, we’re really that sappy.)

quote:

“But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:*
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.”



I can’t remember all that happened in those next months. Much of it was a sleepy dream. I remember a lot of days on end that coudn't be formed into weeks, because they all ran together. I remember that we also came together as a team. Engineers fixed bugs while everyone else, Marketing and Sales and executives, beat on their TiVos trying to break them.

And we made it. We damn near killed ourselves and each other, but we shipped TiVo on March 31st, 1999. On that Wednesday we went to the plant, adorned our lab coats, and watched the very first TiVos roll off the line. We drank champagne, told stories, and watched like proud parents as the blue boxes came streaming off. We all signed the first few of them. Wouldn’t you like to have one of those.

The next day Mike told us how proud he was, how great we were, and that the doors would be locked on Friday. No one was to come to work. It was to be made a national holiday – the day that TiVo changed the way people thought about television forever. He told us it wasn’t just our holiday, but that everyone in the world would celebrate it, too. I think Mike may have been tired, too, and maybe a lot of champagne.

The TiVo folks did celebrate it, though. We let go. In fact, almost nine months to the day after we shipped Blue Moon 5 babies were born to TiVo employees within 5 days of each other. (True!) Sacred indeed. Anyway, to this day, we don’t work on the last Friday of March each year, as it is known as the Blue Moon Holiday.

So tomorrow, as you tune in to your TiVo to see what joy it has gotten you, remember my band of brothers. Pat your TiVo doll on the head and say, “well done.” Post nice things here on the forum, and think twice about calling Customer Care. If you see someone who doesn’t know about TiVo, tell them this tale. If you see a TiVo employee give them a hug.

I leave you with my favorite Beetles quote:
quote:
“And in the end,
the love you take
is equal to the love you make.”


-The TiVo Minister of Propaganda and Evangelism

Last edited by TiVolutionary on 03-28-2002 at 06:50 PM

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TomK is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 06:46 PM
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TomK
New Member

Registered: May 2001
Location: Huntsville, Alabama
Posts: 918

One thousand 'thank yous' would never be enough. Thanks for being such a great company with such a great product. May you see many, many more Blue Moon Holidays.

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it was probably worth it." -- Red Green

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tornado is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 06:50 PM
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tornado
Member

Registered: Aug 2001
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 42

Our boss just declared a half-day holdiay for Blue Moon! Well, he said it was for Good Friday, but we know the truth.

Long live TiVo!

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& lifetime service since Sep 2001
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walters is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 06:52 PM
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walters
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Dec 2000
Location:
Posts: 2408

I get five personal holidays that people generally use for religious purposes.

Perhaps I should take one tomorrow

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gleffler is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 06:55 PM
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gleffler
This one goes to 11

Registered: Dec 2000
Location: Louisville, KY (USA)
Posts: 575

I still love hearing this story.

/gleffler

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Charles R is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 07:18 PM
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Charles R
Member

Registered: Nov 2000
Location: Carmel, Indiana USA
Posts: 5

Congratulations and thanks for one for the world's best computers.

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GBL is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 07:20 PM
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GBL
covert opiniative

Registered: Apr 2000
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 570

Congratulations all around at TiVo - a holiday well deserved!

PS: This begs the question, What's the greatest story ever told, according to RB?

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Otto is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 07:26 PM
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Otto

Registered: Mar 2000
Location:
Posts: 1031

Blue Moon - The Marcels

Bom ba bom bom bom bom bom ba bom
dang a lang lang a ding a dang ding
Blue moon, blue blue moon
Dipidipidipip
Blue moon, blue moon, blue moon
Dipidipidipip
Blue moon, blue moon, blue moon
Dipidipidipip
Bom ba bom bom bom bom bom ba bom
dang a lang lang a ding a dang ding
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
you saw me standing alone,
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
Without a dream in my heart,
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
Without a love of my own,
Bom ba bom bom bom bom bom ba bom
dang a lang lang a ding a dang ding
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
you knew just what I was there for,
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
You heard me saying a prayer for,
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
Someone I really could care for,
Wahouaouaoua
And then there suddenly appeared before me,
The only one my arms will ever hold,
I heard somebody whisper "please adore me,"
And when I looked the moon had turned to gold,
houaouaoua
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
now I'm no longer alone,
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
Without a dream in my heart,
(Blue Moon blue moon, blue moon)
Without a love of my own.
Bom ba bom bom bom bom bom ba bom
dang a lang lang a ding a dang ding
Blue Moon
HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
Bom ba bom bom bom bom bom ba bom
dang a lang lang a ding a dang ding
Blue moon
HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
Bom ba bom bom bom bom bom ba bom
dang a lang lang a ding a dang ding
...
Bllllluuuuue moooooooon

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LifeIsABeach is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 07:33 PM
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LifeIsABeach
Senior Member

Registered: Feb 2001
Location: Drexel Hill, PA
Posts: 332

Thumbs up

TiVo has changed all of our lives. Enjoy your well-deserved day off!

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"Woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man."

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alexcue is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 07:56 PM
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alexcue
Senior Member

Registered: Apr 2000
Location: Tujunga, CA
Posts: 257

Thumbs up Cool!!!

Well that's really cool! I wish i could enjoy a day off in honor of TiVo, but i'm in the middle of tax season. Even Easter isn't sacred around here, still gotta work. But come April 16th, I'll enjoy a blue moon holiday also!
Congrats to all the Tivo gang!

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foo monkey is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 08:31 PM
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foo monkey
Member

Registered: Jul 2001
Location:
Posts: 117

blech

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TivoDaddy is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 08:41 PM
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TivoDaddy
The Phantom Spitter

Registered: May 2000
Location: So Cal
Posts: 882

Great story and congratulations to all at TiVo. I have the day off tomorrow and will be spending it watching a "24" marathon that my wonderful Tivo has saved for me.

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-Jorge

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biker is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 08:53 PM
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biker
Advanced Member

Registered: Jan 2001
Location: Atlantic County, NJ
Posts: 933

Cool

Happy Moon Holiday

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Born To be a Wild!

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grecorj is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 08:58 PM
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grecorj
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Feb 2002
Location: CT
Posts: 2651

So we'll be in the year 3 A.T. tomorrow, eh? (Anno TiVo)

Thanks for the story, TiVolutionary!

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Ereth is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 10:59 PM
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Ereth
MMM..Strawberry!

Registered: Jun 2000
Location: Jacksonville, FL, USA
Posts: 6819

Every year this story seems more special.

Enjoy the day off and know that we are thinking about you guys and how you've changed our lives.

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TheSimpsons is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 11:13 PM
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TheSimpsons
Posts: 140,518

Registered: Sep 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 293

quote:
Originally posted by tornado
Our boss just declared a half-day holdiay for Blue Moon! Well, he said it was for Good Friday, but we know the truth.

Long live TiVo!



I just asked my boss if I could commemorate the holiday be leaving early and watching TiVo. Then get this--He says "You can watch all the TiVo you want". Wow, what a great guy! So I left early and on my way out he gave me some pink slip. That reminds me--I ought to read that.

-The Simpsons

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TivoDaddy is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 11:28 PM
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TivoDaddy
The Phantom Spitter

Registered: May 2000
Location: So Cal
Posts: 882

quote:
Originally posted by TheSimpsons


I just asked my boss if I could commemorate the holiday be leaving early and watching TiVo. Then get this--He says "You can watch all the TiVo you want". Wow, what a great guy! So I left early and on my way out he gave me some pink slip. That reminds me--I ought to read that.

-The Simpsons



ROFL! You're on a roll today!!

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TheSimpsons is offline Old Post 03-28-2002 11:33 PM
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TheSimpsons
Posts: 140,518

Registered: Sep 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 293

Thanks, but I'm only upholding the reputation of my username.

-The Simpsons

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Xaa is offline Old Post 03-29-2002 12:29 AM
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Xaa
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jan 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC USA
Posts: 1439

Well done RB.

Let's all think of the progress since 1.0. Amazing. What are your favorites?

Mine:

Season Pass Manager
Dual Tuner (no brainer)
Dynamic lineup changes (no guided set up every time)

Xaa

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Dan203 is offline Old Post 03-29-2002 12:59 AM
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Dan203
Cyn-er

Registered: Apr 2000
Location: Carson City, Nevada
Posts: 3744

Cool

quote:
Originally posted by Xaa
Let's all think of the progress since 1.0. Amazing. What are your favorites?


One of the biggest things most people take for granted wasn't introduced until 1.3.... Auto Pause! Before 1.3 you had to remember to pause a show manually before exiting to the menus, live tv, etc... otherwise it would start over from the very beginning when you came back to it.

Dan

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Note: Two of the above TiVos actually belong to loopey, but I have access to them so I'm counting them

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