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Equipment Discussions >> Cats & Casses

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EFT
Vendor - Deep Space Products
*****

Reged: 05/07/07

Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5997693 - 07/30/13 01:55 AM

Rich,

I think you are on up on me. Good thing it's time to get some sleep.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: EFT]
      #5997933 - 07/30/13 07:59 AM

One thing remains obscure to me, after reading through all this.

Where did the name Meade originate?


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Masvingo
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 01/10/12

Loc: Ayrshire, Scotland
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: dawziecat]
      #5997954 - 07/30/13 08:24 AM

Quote:

One thing remains obscure to me, after reading through all this.

Where did the name Meade originate?




According to the Company 7 web page on the history of Meade it came from the lake.

Quote:

John Diebel once explained that he came up with the name Meade for a possible new venture while working at Hughes. He was thinking of Lake Meade and the name sounded easy to say, looked good in a heading, and settled well with him. The name of the company was originally spelled "Mead", and it was another engineer at Hughes who suggested John add the "e" to make it Meade.






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Cotts
Just Wondering
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Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Masvingo]
      #5997963 - 07/30/13 08:35 AM

We've had another episode of personal sniping.

Guys, if you would learn the difference between disagreement with someone's opinion (this is fine) and personal sniping because you disagree with his opinion (thread killer) we'd be better off.

Dave


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Starman27Moderator
Post Laureate
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Reged: 01/29/06

Loc: Illinois, Iowa
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Cotts]
      #5998023 - 07/30/13 09:16 AM

+1 Let's keep it civil and useful.

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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starman27]
      #5998066 - 07/30/13 09:41 AM

The moderators are correct.

-Rich


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Mark Costello
Post Laureate
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Reged: 03/08/05

Loc: Matthews, NC, USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5998146 - 07/30/13 10:30 AM

Quote:

Anyone have a subscription to Astronomy magazine? Have Celestron ads vanished there, as well? If so, when? Come to think of it, others where Celestron once vied with Meade's ads are probably worth a look.

-Rich




I subscribe to Astronomy. Generally, Celestron places two full page ads there. One features an expensive rig usually emphasizing its capabilities for astrophotography; the other features a less expensive rig such as one of their SE or AVX line (usually the C8HD-AVX). The interesting thing about most of the Meade full page ads is that they feature only the more expensive LX850 or LX600 lines. I suppose this makes sense if they've gotten all the issues resolved as apparent from a good bit of the discussion here. It's been a very long time since I've seen anything on the LX80 line or even the LS-LT, LX90, or LX200 lines.....


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Mark Costello]
      #5998203 - 07/30/13 11:00 AM

They could have kept selling LX 200s. More water under the bridge, I guess.

That's probably the key to understanding the significance of the current products (or lack thereof). Does Meade financial data from before LX 80/ LX 800/ LX 600 show them as a going concern at that time, or were they already really in trouble? I'm guessing that would be 2.5- 3 years ago. If not, then the troubled product launch is, in my mind, provably a symptom and not a cause.

-Rich


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bicparker
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/07/05

Loc: Texas Hill Country
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5998214 - 07/30/13 11:07 AM

They had a going concern qualified opinion in 2008. They had several financial problems before that and appeared to have a problem getting their financial statements filed on a timely basis with the SEC on several occasions. This latter item can, though not always, indicate that they may not have had a good handle on their financial information on an ongoing basis. This can add challenges to managing a company.

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Glen A W
professor emeritus


Reged: 07/04/08

Loc: USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Starhawk]
      #5998302 - 07/30/13 12:09 PM

So the Chinese are taking over Meade. Did the Chinese contribute to the company's demise in the first place by dumping cheap optics here? I have bought some truly miraculously cheap optics of good quality this past decade. Glen

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gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
*****

Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: bicparker]
      #5998377 - 07/30/13 12:53 PM

Hasn't this dying horse been beaten long enough (this thread, as well as Meade)?

Since the moderator unlocked this thread, there have been 70 posts, but not one has any actual news of Meade's financial situation.

There has been lots of conjecture, reminiscence, sniping, Meade and Celestron print ad posts (interesting), the origin of the Meade name (interesting), but no news.

Moderators: You already said this 20 days ago "The mods are doing their best to let this thread live on but frankly there seems to be little reason to do so. After 38+ pages is anyone really adding any new insight to the discussion?
".

Since then there have been only a few posts with any information about Meade's situation, but hundreds of off topic posts. The first half of the the posts in this thread were a lot more on topic, but this has now devolved into one of the most ridiculous threads in the history of Cloudy Nights forums.

Why not put this one out of its misery by locking it, and let a new thread be started when there is any actual news.

This thread is heading toward having the most posts in the history of CN (other than the "show me a picture of..." and the "eternal star party" threads). The only threads I could find with more posts in the unarchived data are "Vintage and Classic Binoculars discussions" and "NexStar AP Graduates Images and Discussions", but this Meade thread definitely has the most off topic posts (including a couple by me).

At this point the only thing thickening is the number of pages you have to scroll through when reading this monster.

Greg


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: gmartin02]
      #5998443 - 07/30/13 01:24 PM

Because this isn't a news site this is a discussion forum.

We are hanging out in here because it is interesting and standing around the campfire telling fish stories is what people do. Those who are not interested don't have to read this thread or post in it. When this thread runs its course or people get so nasty that the mods are forced to lock it again, then it will go away. Until then, the probable demise of one of the biggest names in consumer astronomy gear is interesting. Just as the Titanic sinking is interesting. Maybe someone will make a movie about it.


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Wmacky
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 11/24/07

Loc: Florida
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5998457 - 07/30/13 01:33 PM

This thread currently has 38,381 views. Apparent some find it of interest?

Edited by Wmacky (07/30/13 01:34 PM)


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gmartin02
scholastic sledgehammer
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Reged: 04/11/05

Loc: Santa Clarita, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5998508 - 07/30/13 01:55 PM

Quote:

Because this isn't a news site this is a discussion forum.




That is true, but the topic of this thread is to discuss the Meade takeover.

Quote:


We are hanging out in here because it is interesting and standing around the campfire telling fish stories is what people do.




This is exactly what has become the problem of this thread. This is not a topic of telling fish stories, or "what is the origin of the Meade name", or "I want to buy a Made refractor". These things should have been new threads started, not part of this thread.

So, especially after so many posts, you are saying it is OK to post anything Meade related in this specific thread? Why even bother to have different threads then? Let's just have one giant thread named "anything related to Meade" with 50,000 posts.


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Whichwayisnorth
Pooh-Bah
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Reged: 07/04/11

Loc: Southern California
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: gmartin02]
      #5998546 - 07/30/13 02:23 PM

My point is that whenever you have people standing around talking about something the topics will drift. The moderators are tasked with herding cats, no pun intended. As long as we don't drift to far and stay civil, I say we keep rolling.

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Jon Isaacs
Postmaster
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Reged: 06/16/04

Loc: San Diego and Boulevard, CA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Whichwayisnorth]
      #5998631 - 07/30/13 03:19 PM

Quote:

My point is that whenever you have people standing around talking about something the topics will drift. The moderators are tasked with herding cats, no pun intended. As long as we don't drift to far and stay civil, I say we keep rolling.




What I see is a long thread that has remained remarkably on topic. People are sharing stories and experiences with the goal of trying to fathom why Meade is where it is today. For many of us, it is something of a mystery.

I have learned a lot following this thread, not only about Meade but about the financial aspects of running a business, it is obviously an interesting thread.

As with any thread, sometimes people's buttons get pushed and they push back in response. I am not immune to getting my buttons pushed and retaliating but before I push that send button, I almost always have the sanity to ask myself whether I would be proud of my post 5 years from now because it will still be there to read.

Jon


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cn register 5
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 12/26/12

Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Glen A W]
      #5998638 - 07/30/13 03:22 PM

Quote:

So the Chinese are taking over Meade.



It seems to me that this is self inflicted - or maybe an unintended consequence. I wouldn't be surprised if Meade's aggressive pursuit of Celestron over the North and level patent was what pushed Celestron into Synta's Chinese arms.

And I wonder if the huge amount of money that Meade spent on this didn't weaken them enough that they ended up where they are today.

Chris


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Cotts
Just Wondering
*****

Reged: 10/10/05

Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: gmartin02]
      #5998652 - 07/30/13 03:29 PM

"This thread is heading toward having the most posts in the history of CN..."

I thought this to be an admirable goal....

But srsly, folks, the thread stays as per the collective decision of the mods and admins. There is much to be gained if we avoid problematic posts. Even when this thread goes to thread Heaven sometime down the road, it will live on as a 'sticky' for the edification of all.... Such an important topic.

Dave


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Starhawk
Space Ranger
*****

Reged: 09/16/08

Loc: Tucson, Arizona
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: Cotts]
      #5998710 - 07/30/13 04:05 PM

Wait- what's the record?

More seriously, giving a quick answer is good for evening news sound bites. But for a company which has been around for 40 years, I think they deserve more than some trite off the cuff, "Well, it's customer base shifted" or some other glib doubletalk like we hear on the finance programs in most cases.

Meade did a lot of things. They changed a lot. They forced others to change. They blatently ripped off ideas and copied others. They broke new trails where no one had gone. They sued with a vengeance. They got sued with a vengeance. They delivered great hardware. They delivered junk. Seriously, there's a lot to talk about, here. I can see one might say, "Hey, let's wait for the announcement." But you know what? There's a strong possibility that's the end of the story. What, why, and how things got to where they are has many a lesson.

In the meantime, I'm going to remember Jon's 5 year rule.

-Rich


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derangedhermit
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 10/07/09

Loc: USA
Re: The plot thickens (Meade takeover) [Re: bicparker]
      #5998733 - 07/30/13 04:18 PM

Quote:

They had a going concern qualified opinion in 2008. They had several financial problems before that and appeared to have a problem getting their financial statements filed on a timely basis with the SEC on several occasions. This latter item can, though not always, indicate that they may not have had a good handle on their financial information on an ongoing basis. This can add challenges to managing a company.




Wonderfully professional understatement. Classic wording.

You do need to have some idea how much is coming in and how much is going out.

It's not as unusual for a company to not know their costs as one might think. My wife was once in an HQ analyst position and started asking about rather vital things, like how much the company's bread-and-butter product cost to manufacture. They made a few million of them every year, and they sold for maybe a thousand bucks each (yes, that adds up to "billions".) Her boss couldn't tell her. None of the C-level people could tell her. None of the financial people.

She started to think it was too big a secret for her to know, but then she went to the factory and talked to the man that ran it. He was very open; he had no idea how much they cost to make. They just made as many of them as they were told to, and it cost whatever it cost to run the factory for the year. No one had ever asked him before. He asked her "What difference does it make? The salesmen have sold them, so they have to be delivered..."

She was amazing. She led the CEO, the CFO, the CTO, and the head of manufacturing through her analysis of the entire company's profitability - gently showing the direct linkage to the cost of making those boards. The CEO issued some orders, the CTO got R&D on a mission, the factory manager started overhauling parts procurement and manufacturing processes. 3 months later, the factory manager knew, and reported in detail every month to the CFO, CEO and CTO, what the boards for that month cost and why. A year later the new design from R&D with new parts and new factory processes was in place, and they were being made for 30% less each, and everyone knew exactly how things were going and if a problem came up. All that money goes straight to a company's bottom line.

She was so smooth about it I don't think they ever knew it was anything but their own management brilliance.


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