The Dish Network User's Resource
ABOUT THE EKB
What is the EKB?
The EKB (Echostar Knowledge Base) is a repository of information gathered since about 1997 when the site's founder, John Buffington or jbuff started to collect questions and answers dealing with Echostar's Dish Network from the usenet newsgroup alt.dbs.echostar. At the time newsgroups were really the only place to go for any kind of information like this. The web forums like DBSTalk and Satelliteguys weren't around and John Hodgeson's now defunct web site DBSDish was just getting started. The nature of usenet newsgroups meant that within a few weeks or even days of a question being asked and answered, no one could find it again. jbuff collected all the most relevant and frequently asked questions and put them in a repository in a WIKI site with the intention of allowing anyone to update and add information. Unfortunately some though it would be "funny" to edit pages, remove information and post misinformation, and sometimes libelous statements. This lead to John locking the site and inviting only a few frequent posters at alt.dbs.echostar to keep the site up to date. BobaBird and TNGTony became the editors of the site when jbuff suddenly announced he was "retiring" from the site. He maintained the news area for a while, but due to the combination of his "real life" and discontinuation of his Dish Network subscription (in no small part due to the original Dish Player (7100/7200) bugs that affected all DP owners), he slowly drifted away from maintaining the EKB. eventually he "faded away" and has not been heard from in many years. In 2007 Raymie was brought on board to help keep up with the news. Unlike JBUFF who just linked to headlines and offered no editorial opinion, Raymie set up the NEWS MONITOR and maintains a news blog with headlines and some analysis which makes for much more interesting reading.
How can I contribute information to the web site?
Information contributions and constructive suggestions are always welcome. If you have questions, constructive comments, corrections, or contributions dealing with any of the information on this web site, please feel free to e-mail us HERE. Many web pages have a separate e-mail link. If your e-mail deals with that page specifically, it may be a good idea to use that e-mail link instead so it can be routed to the person actually maintaining that page. In any case I will be happy to help in any way I can even if it's only to forward your e-mail to the proper editor.
Why did the EKB leave DBSTalk?
The decision was not an easy one. For several years there has been pressure on the editors of the EKB to go to a so-called neutral site. Due to a very ugly rift in the management of DBSTalk, another DBS forum came into existence: Satelliteguys.us. At first the EKB was kept on DBSTalk since it was the established site. Moving to an untried "start-up" site was considered too risky and ultimately the owner of DBSTalk and the EKB editors never had any problems with each other. The irony is that Scott G, the founder of Satelliteguys, was instrumental in helping the EKB in its initial move from the failing WIKI site to DBSTalk in the first place!
The readership of the new start-up web site (Satelliteguys) wanted to have nothing to do with DBSTalk. Even though the EKB is and always has been a separate web site, the "dbstalk.com" part of the url was enough to keep some of the satelliteguys readers from visiting. We here at the EKB thought that would eventually pass. It hasn't. This move is not to diminish, slight or insult DBSTalk's importance or standing in the community. The move was done only to allow visitors from either satellite discussion forum to come without worry that they may be supporting a "rival" web site. The fact that Chris still maintains a link to the EKB on its front page is proof that the separation was amicable. We here at the EKB wish to thank Chris Blount at the EKB for allowing us to use his server for these last 6 or so years.
Why was the Echostar Knowledge Base on DBSTalk in the first place?
Since the loss of the echostaruser.org site, (2001) I have been concerned with the reliability of the echostar.swiki.com site. Lately the Swiki server has suffered outages ranging from just minutes to hours to days and at one point more than a week. The editors of the EKB have absolutely no control over the maintenance or outages. In order to have a more reliable place for this information, Chris Blount graciously offered, and the EKB accepted, space on the DBSTalk server.
Why didn't the EKB go to Satelliteguys.us instead of DBSTalk?
The answer is simple: The EKB came to DBSTalk a year before Satelliteguys existed. It is not a matter of editorial preference to one site or another. It was inertia. Anyone who reads the forums knows that I am a frequent poster at DBSTalk, a "Super Moderator" at Satelliteguys and have been a member of DBSForums (now defunct) since that site was created from the ashes of DBSDish! I'll take my information where ever I can find it and (with the author's permission) will put it on the EKB. Chris Blount offered the space on DBSTalk and the EKB needed a stable home (see paragraph above). Scott G was instrumental in initially talking me into moving the EKB to DBSTalk from the failing Swiki site. At the time, Scott was an administrator at DBSTalk.
Just a reminder, the EKB had a home on the DBSTalk servers but it was always an independent web site. Neither DBSTalk, its owners nor its advertisers had editorial control of any kind. In return, as a courtesy, "Hosted by DBSTalk.com" was placed on most of the EKB's pages. I personally considered it a payment in kind and an ever-present "thank you" for allowing the EKB to exist here. It is not an endorsement nor a preference. I personally appreciate the work Chris does at DBSTalk, Dan did at DBSForums, and Scott does at Satelliteguys. I personally enjoy all three web sites for their unique styles and visit them all daily.
[more history follows!]
What will happened to the EKB on Swiki?
Everything that is posted here, will also be posted on the Swiki site in the foreseeable future. The news pages and "what's new on TV" pages are updated daily on the swiki site and backed up here as I have the opportunity to transfer the information.
UPDATE 3/3/04: The Swiki site is all but dead as of December 2003. Swiki.net suffered a massive failure during December and has been sporadic at best ever since. After quite some time waiting for the folks at Swiki to get their act together, Bobabird and I decided to make the EKB on DBSTalk the "main" location. Some links to Swiki still remain, but I don't expect it to be resuscitated any time soon. BobaBird and I will slowly start to "lose" the links to the old Swiki. It served us well. If and when Swiki is restored, we will start using that site again.
UPDATE 12/4/05: The Swiki site is dead as of October 2005. The domain name Swiki.net was bought out, To my query about the old Swiki EKB I got the following response: "We have just recently bought the domain name as far as we know the old site is totally gone"
Since there are many historical pages on this site which BobaBird and I do not update any longer, we would appreciate any help we can get. At last count there were a total of over 10,000 links on the near 400 pages that make up the Echostar Knowledge Base.
If you find a dead link or image/picture pointing to the old Swiki site (http://echostar.swiki.net)
please let us know. Use the mail link on the page if one is available or
firstname.lastname@example.org if it is not.
Just include a link to the page where you found the dead link and the dead link
itself. This does NOT include the "news" pages since many of those stories
are no longer available. If the dead link is for something you really want
to see and the link begins with
http://echostar.swiki.net just replace that with
everything after that as it appears on the dead link.
For example: http://echostar.swiki.net/17 is a dead link. Simply change it to http://ekb.dbstalk.com/17 and it should work. In any case, please let us know if you find one of these.
The EKB is currently a joint effort between BobaBird and myself (TNGTony). BobaBird deals mostly with technical issues and maintains most of the site while I take care of the Dish programming side of things. Raymie handles all the news in the News Monitor section of the EKB. None of it would be possible without the efforts of jbuff who founded the site. He also maintained the "what's new on TV" page on Swiki. He may eventually wish to do the same here. And most of the information here ultimately came from the countless e-mail contributions from people just like YOU! Thanks!