We'd like you to join us in a round of digital applause as we congratulate Mark Beckett ( mcb1) on becoming element14's first ever Level 9 member! As many of you know, Mark's been with us for a long time, but more importantly he's contributed a lot to the community and its members, so we wanted to raise a bit of noise around his hard-earned achievement.


Here Comes the Hertz

Mark Shabaz Visit.jpgEach level on element14 is associated with a great mind from within the world of electronics, with German physicist Heinrich Hertz lending his name to our top membership tier.


It takes 100,000 points to climb to the lofty heights Mark's now achieved, which is no small feat. To give you a bit of perspective, Level 2: Volta requires just 500 points, while Level 8, which he's just progressed from, demands 50,000. Also, if Mark was only earning points by creating new discussions here on the community, he'd have kicked off 10,000 different conversations.


Of course, that's not how Mark's found his way to the top. He's a regular participant in our Design Challenges, and has bagged more than a few badges thanks to his regular, insightful and often entertaining contributions on the community. And he's one of the few element14 members who's actually made his way to our headquarters in the north of England, which is particularly impressive for Mark given that he lives in New Zealand.


I'm not sure we've ever really told Mark this, but the news of his and shabaz's visit to element14 and Farnell spread throughout the company and around the world, having been mentioned in global reports and among the top echelons of management. In fact...


Hats Off to Hertz

A message of personal congratulations has come through from the guy at the very top of the Farnell pyramid.

Mark_Whiteling_1.jpg"A huge congratulations on breaking through our elusive level nine," says Farnell element14 CEO Mark Whiteling. "We always knew someone would do it, but when I heard it was a fellow New Zealander (also called Mark) and one who had so recently taken the time to visit our operations here in the UK, I was especially thrilled. I want to thank you for the contribution you have made to the element14 community. The expertise you, and so many members like you, add to our community through your knowledge sharing is invaluable. Thank you, and well done."

And Mark's not alone in offering a hearty slap on the back. Naturally a host of other members and Top Members -- many of whom have met Mark during his worldwide Travels of a Water Bottle tour -- and many of you have had equally hearty congratulations to offer.

profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=22831&size=350"It's been a pleasure to have been connected with you through element14's communities. You have always been very eager to help, communicating your unmatchable experience and expertise, mixed in with some of your trademark style and sense of humour. It's always been a blast whenever you're involved, and even though I haven't had the time to be that active lately. In some sense, you are a major part of element14's communities, which is a big achievement in itself. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy having you here, and congratulations on levelling up!"

~ lui_gough

new-avatar.png And here's 1,000 words of congratulations via a single, sensational picture from shabaz

"Hey Mark, congrats to you, and the NZ spirit for conquering yet another peak!"



"I've watched Mark climb in the standings with excellent posts and helpful ideas. I was not surprised when he passed my total and reached for the next level. He's worthy of special recognition for his continual efforts to make element14 a great place for young and old, newbies and old buzzards like me. It has been a honor to exchange information and ideas with you and I am very happy that you beat me to the next level. You have done a wonderful job at helping the community. Well done Mark, look forward to many more years of interacting with you."



"Is that the crazy New Zealand bloke I met the other month? I have few memories of that evening, I think he might have slipped something into one of the beers."

~ Workshopshed  -  One a side note, Andy's also sent you a CodeBug program, Mark, which is attached to this blog post, and the video below:




~ jancumps

profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=29515&size=350"It's always a pleasure when a technical chat becomes a nice friendship sharing interests and vision of the things. I should thank Mark remembering me that irony is one of the better forms of elegance. Mark, now you have passed to the next step: pure high frequency! It's an honour and an example for we low vibrations My best wishes for reaching this goal for first!"

~ balearicdynamics


ntewinkel also offers his felicitations in amusing picture form:profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=22449&size=350




"Congratulations Mark! You're a source of inspiration here on element14!"



~ gadget.iom



screamingtiger.png"During my Sci Fi Project, Mark offered encouragement several times when I was frustrated and assured me I was doing okay when I thought I was failing.  He's also one quick to brings things back to reality and keep people (me) focused on realistic goals."


~ screamingtiger


"Best wishes Mark! From all of us!"


~ phoenixcomm


"Hey Mark. Up the Hobbits! Congratulations on becoming a frequency!"

~ Problemchild


"Congratulations to Mark. If he hadn't pulled my question off the then-defunct Jeremy Blum thread and helped me over two years ago I would have missed all the fun I have had and the new friends I have made on e14. Mark is one of the guiding lights of this forum and I wish him the best as he begins the long trek to the next level."

~ jw0752


profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=27779&size=350"Right from day one when I joined the community several years ago, you where there helping out and providing excellent advice and you have been consistently doing it since then, sticking to your principals, never letting unsafe stuff to the community without saying something but still providing good advice and reasoning in the process. I have been very impressed with your abilities in multiple fields and your willingness to help others. keep up the good work!"

~ peteroakes



"Hey Mark! Congratulations on reaching 100.000 points! (Please, give us a chance and let us catch up a little before you start racing for 200k )

If you ever find yourself near Belgium again, don't hesitate to pass by. There are more kinds of beer for you to try "


~ fvan


"Congratulations, Mark.  Amazing achievement.  Thank you for your many, many contributions."profile-image-display.jspa?imageID=18527&size=350




~ johnbeetem



"What’s it like at the top? We are so proud of you and for you!"

~ lslater


Obviously these warm words of admiration are priceless, but the Farnell family is also keen to show it's appreciation to Mark for blazing such epic community trail, and has arranged for a permanent discount to be added to his Farnell element14 account for as long as he's an active member right here on the community, as a token of thanks for his enthusiastic efforts.


More important than money, of course, is recognition from Mark's caring overlord, Queen of the Minions, and part-time chicken fancier, Nicole:


"Congratulations to you, Mark! You’ve always been willing to offer your advice, opinions and help to your fellow members. Thanks for your efforts to make element14 Community a better place for all engineers to collaborate! Here’s to another 100,000 points more in the future! Cheers!"


~ nlarson












So well done Mark, and keep up the good work! I'm expecting you to become our first Level 10 very, very soon (now get back to posting more discussions, blogs and projects!).