A Brief History of TC and EB

By | August 15, 2019
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A Brief History of TC and EB

Preface by TC


Darcy (EB) wrote this little story eleven years ago, way back in 2008. Things have changed so much over these past eleven years — but the history is still the same. We hope you all enjoy this little trip back in time to the very beginnings of Cloudeight when EB (Darcy) and I first met. (TC 8/15/2019)

We have had many ask the story about how TC and I met and how we developed Cloudeight… so the story begins…

It all started in a land far, far away. well, actually it started in Michigan when I met my friends Orca and Ldy on the old IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Michigan Chat lines. We had a regular room we used to talk in and some time in 1996 TC came snooping around one day.. even though he was not from Michigan! It made him stand out, so naturally, I began chatting to him. He was making a web page and was a newbie, so I took him under my wing, shared all my store of knowledge from the two months I had accumulated, and taught him how to put some images on a page. We started emailing and chatting about new things we were learning, and found that each other were eager to learn all we could! Wow.. a cyber match made in heaven!

OK… on with the story.

One day I was searching the web for something new I had just learned about something called “scripts”. I set out to learn them inside out. I was playing around with one of these scripts and it made my picture appear to be scrolling. Wow! Something really cool! I sent it in an email to TC and asked him if he could “see” anything. I was not sure if others could see the scrolling or only I could see it.

He was as excited as I was.. instead of just answering me to say yes or no, I had to wait all day and my answer finally came. He had created a nice graphic of his own (using skills he had obtained from the one and only… !) and had it scrolling away! We couldn’t believe something like this could be done on the computer, much less in an email! We gotta tell our friends about this.. and off we went, emailing our friends with our discovery.

We found our friends were just as excited about our discovery, and soon they were asking how to do this. We tried to explain, but it seemed so complicated, especially for those that didn’t understand scripting or those that did not work in PSP/Photoshop, so we “made” stationery for them and send it to them in email. They would in turn click reply, remove all the text, change who they were sending to, and were sending their “own” stationery. It was a roundabout way of doing things, but it worked, so our circle of friends were having fun along with us now!

Soon, the requests got overwhelming… just couldn’t find the time to send to everyone! So, TC and I decided to make a website page for our friends to download the stationery we had made. We created it from any pictures we thought were nice and soon we had 10 or 15 people a day coming to our new website. We were ecstatic when it hit 20! Twenty people in one day! We couldn’t believe all the traffic!

When we weren’t chatting, we were creating! We would spend days on a single stationery, sometimes editing an image one pixel at a time to get it to tile perfectly. I remember letting “the little things” go, like the dishes and the laundry so I could create. We put our hearts into every creation, couldn’t wait to show each other, and up on the web it would go. Lucky for us, TC had his very own domain… it was empty and unused, so we had a great place to put our stationery site. Cloudeight had not yet been born.. but soon would be and its home would be http://thundercloud.net

Our next step was to come up with a name for our site. We pondered on this for days, tossed names back and forth, but nothing sounded “right”, until one day we mentioned something about being on cloudnine and how nice it was.. and it hit me… let’s combine our names.. (or part of our names!) and call our site Cloudeight! A step back from “being on cloudnine” but better than cloudseven and certainly better than being on the ground. And finally we had a name that clicked and after all these years we are still known as Cloudeight. This explains why Cloudeight has its home on thundercloud.net!

Jump ahead to today, we have a mailing list for our stationery and tech news with over 200,000 members, and while we have created many new sites and products since then, our stationery site remains our biggest site with nearly 10,000 visitors every day and more than double that amount during holidays and winter season.

An afterword by TC

It is hard to believe it’s been almost eleven years since EB wrote that little piece. Little did we know in 2008 that one year later we would find our dream shattered by Windows 7. Windows 7 brought an end to Outlook Express and its sister Windows Mail. Our stationery, designed for these two great email programs, was about to become unusable by users of Windows 7.

Microsoft decided not to include an email client in Windows 7 and offered Windows Live Mail (part of Windows Live Essentials) as an alternative. But Windows Live Mail was a resource-hungry, flaky program, noted for being very buggy. We tried desperately to find a way to make stationery for Windows Live Mail — and Thunderbird — but it just wasn’t the same. Both clients allowed little more than backgrounds in email — and that’s not stationery, at least not in our view. But we did keep making some stationery – but, alas, it was never the same as the good old days.

Our mailing lists – once over 200,000 gradually shrunk as Windows 7 users increased and our stationery, once the lifeblood of our business, just about faded away. 

In 2011 we started our Cloudeight Direct Computer Care service (Darcy’s idea) and it kept us going. But Cloudeight Direct takes a lot of our time because we are the kind of people who always want to do the best we can for everyone. To this day, we try to treat each computer we work on as if it were our own — and sometimes we are too fussy and take longer than we should with each customer — and we would not have it any other way.

To say the problems we’ve had in the last eleven years hasn’t affected our partnership and our friendship would be untrue. It has put a tremendous strain on us both. I tend to be hot-headed and gruff and Darcy is always the diplomat. So, I guess I’ve made it harder on her that it should have been — Heaven knows it’s been tough enough. So I apologize to her for that. And, I will say, that over the past couple of years, I’ve grown kinder and more patient, and it makes life easier for both of us.

It’s no secret that over these last eleven years, we have struggled financially. We’ve both taken huge pay cuts to keep things going.

But you know, there is one thing, more than any other, which has gotten us through the thundering rapids of decline. YOU! Those of you who have helped us with a donation or purchased one of the products we sell or those of you who have used our Cloudeight Direct Computer Care services are the reason we’re still here.

Without your support and your help, Cloudeight would have fallen into the sad, growing sea of dead web sites. Web sites long ago abandoned and forgotten.

And we would have had left would have been good memories — because “what’s too painful to remember, we simply choose to forget…

A big THANK YOU to every single one of you. You’re the reason we are still here.

24 thoughts on “A Brief History of TC and EB

  1. Georgene

    Very nice article! Just one question: Are you two married?? I think you would make a sweet couple.
    thank you very much for all that you do.

    1. infoave Post author

      Heavens NO! Not married 🙂 Dary concurs – Dogs and cats. Mice and rats 🙂


    Your stationary was so much fun and unique. I get very dizzy with any movements and until i learned how to stop the scrolling while typing, it was rough but I loved it when I was able to use it much more comfortably. Wasn’t there music as well? Maybe I’m thinking of our own web page we had. That’s a long time ago. And Georgene, they are definitely not married. lol!!! But what a team, through thick and thin, all these years. You should get medals for putting up with each other!!! Especially you EB but I’m certain you got back at TC. Love you both and for all you do for us. Hope you can keep it up.

  3. Marguerita Harris (N.Z)

    What a lovely way of bringing all your clients into the inner circle. I have had many years of help and guidance from you both and would not be where I am today with still my very limited knowledge if not for your time and patience over the years. I loved your stationery and even tried to teach myself which I did in a very limited way. It did give me many hours of frustration but at the end of it when I was able to send something pretty to friends and family and they thought that I was great it made me feel that all the trials and tribulations were worth it. Still, miss the pretty emails and still do try to cheat a little through Thunderbird and Outlook 2003 sometimes it works and sometimes it does not but I still keep trying and hit and miss is better than nothing. Darcy and TC you have both done a sterling job over the years and can take great pride in the joy, security and honesty you have brought to your followers over the years. The very best of luck for the future and may we be lucky enough to have your expertise for a long, long time to come.

    Warmest wished,

  4. nick roehrig

    In world with far to many self serving, what’s in it for me, remote controlled service, ethics absent and money grubbing tech entities you guys are a model and an example of how it should be done. I was a computer neophyte and a klutz in 2002 but with a desire to be better at it and a friend directed me to your site. I was skeptical at first since my involvement with computer clubs was a bust but I am so grateful that I found you. You not only have given me great tips, explanations and “how to’s” but also confidence in not being afraid to try something new. I could never hold a candle to you two when it comes to computer expertise but find myself being “consulted” by my seniors friends from time to time thanks to your weekly and daily newsletter. Thanks for the “history” piece and your commitment to fairness and excellence. Just wish I was blessed with better means but promise to help where I can.

    A Grateful Canadian Supporter

  5. Arnie Brown

    A sincere THANK YOU from this gray-haired, balding, SOMETIMES cantankerous old fart, who lives in Nova Scotia and appreciates the way you do business,……. the “OLD FASHIONED WAY”. THANKS AGAIN.

  6. Janice M. Stotler

    Thanks for a reminder of the history of your group. You’ve been such a great help. At almost 90 the computer keeps my mind active and you always seem to get me back on track when I slide.
    I sent an email yesterday asking for a complete “house cleaning” for my laptop. I have complete faith in letting you work on my laptop when I’m not even watching. Thanks for your great, dependable service

    1. Nancy Zilch

      I trust Cloudeight with my life and my computer’s…Darcy and TC, thanks so much for all the good you have done over the years…may it continue ❤?

      1. Sharon Langdon

        Hi, Nancy! I agree with you completely about the trust! It’s very rare these days that anyone is deserving of it. I also hope Cloudeight and these two wonderful people can continue on until I’m no longer able to know they aren’t.

  7. Martha Gress

    Thanks for the story of how Cloudeight started. I appreciate everything you have done and shared with all of us. Looks like many of your followers have said everything that I could have added. thanks for the help you have given us.

  8. Dawn Campbell

    I can’t remember when I first joined you but it was back in the stationery days. My late sister and I had lots of fun trying to make it work! There isn’t ANYONE in the service business to this day that can take the place of your integrity , patience, knowledge and plain language, foresight and a whole slew more of adjectives that I can’t call up at the moment. Thank you both for all you do. Onward and upward!!
    P.S. Glad the married question was answered. Lol.

  9. Lee Connor

    I have been with you folks since the beginning. Altho I have become an advanced user and have even delved into some program and web design work, I still keep learning from your newsletter and website. It has been a very nice and educational ride and I hope the journey continues for a long time. Keep up the good work.

  10. Cheryl

    I’ve been with you guys since 1998 or was it ’99? Long time regardless. Found you quite by accident (although I do not believe in coincidences), after crashing my brand new computer 3 x in one week. Had to drive 30 mins each way and pay $ to have the techs fix my screw-ups. While browsing the internet one day, I happened upon your website. (Must have been my guardian Angel helping me). Started following you and believed you were honest folks just trying to help others (rare back then; even more so now). The words “Thank you” do NOT express the gratitude for both of you with everything you’ve done to help others. I am very proud to call you both “friends”, even though we will probably never meet in person. You are both very special people to me and millions of others. We (I’m speaking globally here) feel like we KNOW you. We always know where to go and who to talk to about computers. I, personally, share your information with anyone that will listen. I also share your info on FB and via email. I will continue to pray that you will always be able to financially afford to continue publishing and training us “UNtechies”. I print out a lot of your articles and keep them handy for reference. Mr. TC has worked on my computer (when it was operating Windows 7). It took him 3 days to figure out what was wrong but HE NEVER GAVE UP! It was a corrupt file from Microsoft. He fixed it and it worked great!! Then, recently, I asked him TONS of questions about the Windows 10 upgrade and he answered every question. I then purchased the Windows Transformation key and allowed Mr. TC to upgrade my computer. Everything went smoothly and it’s running great!! (Thanks again Mr. TC) This allowed me to save $800 or more because instead of having to purchase a new computer, I spent $35 and I’m now using Windows 10!!! How’s that for being thrifty??!! All of this was possible because of Ms. Darcy and Mr. TC being honest folks willing to help people and not charge them a fortune. There are NOT enough wonderful words in the English language (or any language for that matter), to describe you two. I, along with ANYONE that’s ever spent 5 seconds with either of you can not express our appreciation enough for everything you two do. You both spread so much love and compassion around the world. Thank you for being you. CYBER HUGS to you both. ♥♥

  11. Marilyn

    I think I’ve been with you since almost the beginning. I bought my first computer in July, 1995, Windows 3.1. I was too new to computers to realize if I had waited until Aug 1, The OS would have been Windows 95. Instead I had to pay for the upgrade. Anyway, over the years I have learned so much about computers and have to credit this to you two. I bought the Direct Computer Care key from you last Dec. and when I can find the time, I will set up an appointment with you. Thanks for everything.

  12. Bonnie

    Great Story…You two did an awesome job in creating all of this. Please continue to do this.
    Thank you so much.

  13. Marj

    The above notes say it all. I think i was one of the earlier or earliest subscribers also.
    What I have learned, used, and appreciated is immense.
    I don’t think you can go on forever; but stay with us as long as you can.
    It’s a treat that you have given to us this history.

  14. debbie

    I remember those days and the fun that was had every time I turned on my computer, went to your page and found something new. I was obsessed with your sight and it was the first thing I looked at when I had time to spend on my computer.
    I signed up for a subscription to your newsletter back then, when it was a paid subscription. You were the only sight that offered hints and useful information that didn’t crash my computer! I remember the stationary and always downloaded it and used it. I was very disappointed when windows 7 came out and I couldn’t use it anymore.
    I have stuck around all these years because I only got clear, useful information from both of you, without the BS the other sites were throwing around.
    I have used your Direct computer care on numerous occasions , because as I age and the medical problems take the fore front, I tend to do stupid things on the computer and foul it all up. I contribute to keep you going as I am able and I am very grateful to both of you for all you do to keep us safe on the “world wide web” and never lead us astray.
    Thank you! You will always hold a special place in my heart and I am thankful every day for both of you and your site!

  15. Marilyn

    A wonderful story & so nice to hear in this day & age, where honesty & integrity are sadly lacking. I have had computer repair sessions, and so much advice & assistance through emails as well as the newsletters over the many years, from both Darcy & T C, (probably about 18 years), that I would never look elsewhere. You have earned every kudos that comes your way and then some. I pass on the newsletters to friends & bought a Windows 10 to 7 transformation key so a friend could get back to computing following ill health. The windows 10 download didn’t work due to the age of the computer, but Darcy cleaned everything up & spent time over two sessions to do it. It was a great experience for my friends & when a new computer is purchased I will do the same for them again.
    I wish you both the very best not only for the future of your little business, but personally as well. We would all be lost without you,, very broke from paying unscrupulous techs ( there are some honest ones out there, but far more more expensive), & would not have the wonderful experience of watching the cursor fly around our monitor screens. Not to mention having to sit on our hands to prevent us from touching the mouse!
    Walk tall & know how much you mean to those of us who have had the privilege of getting to know you & have used your services.

  16. JP

    After all these years, you have both served us all, like two distant spirits, or shall I say, “guardian angels”. Now don’t you think the time has come for you to reveal your images and give us all a nice photo of you both, so that you don’t disappear into the sunset lone rangers , unknown and forgotten. What do you say!?


      I agree JP. I too stumbled across them way back. and been with them every since. I bought a subscription to their newsletter and one for a couple friends. They are the only ones I trust with my computer.

  17. Arlene Gnirk

    I’m so happy I somehow found your site. I can’t remember when or how but you’ve been a real blessing to me. I am so glad to read this story of your beginnings. May God bless you both as you help the old and young with our computers! Thank you!!

  18. Bonnie Clark

    Thanks for the story and for all your help through the years. Just one more thing… how about a picture? We sure would like to see what you look like.

  19. Jennifer Akridge

    It is nice to know how Cloudeight came into being. My thanks to both of you, Darcy and TC, for all you do. Over the years you have become my computer repair gurus. Without you I probably wouldn’t be using a computer for all the tasks I do daily. 🙂

  20. Gail Bartley

    Wonderful story! I love you two and all that you have done for me. If it weren’t for your offering the Direct Computer Repair I would be easily found out here amid the cornfields because of the piles of computers I had trashed. You have saved me from that and saved my sanity many times. You are truly appreciated. Will see you soon since I had to fill out another request for repair. Sigh.


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