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    • October 23, 2019 8:06 PM EDT
    • Character art or ASCII art, or line drawing art

       

      HTML came way later

    • October 23, 2019 3:15 PM EDT
    • Oh, the olde HTML art. Or is that DOS art? Either way..... I haven't seen that for a long time.

    • October 23, 2019 6:40 AM EDT
    • :(

    • October 23, 2019 5:34 AM EDT
    • Not just in your state.

    • October 22, 2019 9:35 PM EDT
    • I work for the county engineer and part of my responsibility is making the estimates to pay the contractors who are doing work in the county for the state. The estimate software is maintained by our state DOT and it is still DOS based. Go figure!

    • October 22, 2019 1:57 AM EDT
    • Bob,

       

      Thanks for the update and for you personal effort in making LSC a place for rookie and expert to meet and learn.  More important than the software has been your careful attention to the "people-ware."  I have left websites of more than one hobby because of a my-way-or-the-highway attitude, and your careful, consistent attention to how we participate is at least important , if not more important, than the ever changing software platforms upon which we operate.

       

      Eric

       

       

    • October 21, 2019 8:34 PM EDT
    • I joined LSC exclusively back in the day because it was "Your RR Your Rules" attitude and it still is ! Always has been and I suspect it always will be !

    • October 21, 2019 8:12 PM EDT
    • GAP said:
      Ted Doskaris said:

      GAP,

      I suppose links to facebook to access your material, and others, will work Okay for those that are registered with them, but not for those of us that don't choose to do so.

      -Ted

      I do not have a facebook account but still look at the facebook thread I just click "Not Now" on the login/create account pop up.

      I agree BookFace sucks but it is a consideration.

      As a non member, too, I have done the "Not Now" on the login/create account pop up upon different occasions and found that you are only permitted to go so far as to being limited in what can be accessed.  Another consideration, as I read somewhere, is that FaceBook "tracks" what even non members do with their browsers to gather information.

      -Ted

    • October 21, 2019 7:20 PM EDT
    • I am not well versed in forums, but am wondering if there could be an 'archive' system where the older threads could be 'zipped' for some space saving and unless a search for something within the archive is requested, it is largely ignored. This might have the added benefit of less live data for the forum to manage and quicker access for members. As has been mentioned, many of the older threads have lost varying amounts of data when Ransom Bucket (and others) forced folks to give up on them.

       

      Speaking solely for myself, all my photos that are on the web site are hosted on a server that I pay for, along with having all the originals on backup storage. That said, I would hate to have to go back to my threads and re-link those photos. For those not willing to purchase their own web space, consider paying a bit extra with Bob and getting his extra Freight Shed space. It is not expensive and keeps everything here with the forum. Something to consider.

       

      Just a couple random thoughts .......

    • October 21, 2019 6:48 PM EDT
    • Bob McCown said:
      ...*LOTS* of people read LSC (most of that traffic comes in from search engines, so various threads pop up when people look for things on Google.  So, good job of providing good content, all y'all)...

       

          Well I'll be damned. I tried a Google search on "John Passaro Yankee Girl Mine" and lookie what came up on top. Then I tried a less specific search "Model of Yankee Girl Mine" and LSC is third on the list. I never knew.

       

           (As an aside, let me say right out that this model, which I am proud of, never would have been built without the Challenge and the Challenge wouldn't exist without Large Scale Central--and Dave Taylor's efforts--so there you have it.)

       

       

    • October 21, 2019 4:29 PM EDT
    • Ted Doskaris said:

      GAP,

      I suppose links to facebook to access your material, and others, will work Okay for those that are registered with them, but not for those of us that don't choose to do so.

      -Ted

      I do not have a facebook account but still look at the facebook thread I just click "Not Now" on the login/create account pop up.

      I agree BookFace sucks but it is a consideration.

    • October 21, 2019 2:36 PM EDT
    • I agree with Pete, but Bob, as you have identified before, most traffic comes from a small group of people, so it makes sense that your analytics show people just looking for new posts as opposed to going to a forum first.

       

      But that is sort of a red herring, since we daily/hourly people are skewing your analytics.

       

      For the new person, or more occasional user, the breakdown of forums into sub forums is IDEAL in my opinion. (Now we could do a better job of posting to the right forum, but that's just a niggle)

       

      So, your current breakdown is the optimum in my opinion.

       

      For contrast, look at Yahoo groups, and it's up and coming replacement groups.io..... to find anything you can look at a list of topics (not organized in any way) or search (which is a trip down frustration road).

       

      If a person comes here with a DCC question, or motive power question, or track question, he can go to the appropriate forum IMMEDIATELY and thus making his search for information much quicker.

       

      So, maybe back to PHPBB? What you have works, let's try to find the same architecture please.

       

      Greg

    • October 21, 2019 9:47 AM EDT
    • Very few of you visit the list of forums and click into the forums.

      Well, if we visit on a regular basis (I check in daily unless I am traveling or running trains,) the "recent acrtivity" is the place to go first. You can't tell what has happened by looking at the forum list - there may be several new posts on a forum but you only see the first in the list.

       

      As Greg said, the value of the forums is that it is a tidy place where topics are organized for posterity.  I often search back for a particular topic that I vaguely recall - and it usually turns out to be 2013 and different from what I recall.  [BTW: I use google "site:largescalecentral.com search-terms" because the search on this site never seems to produce useful results.  For example, if there's a thread with a title that matches, you get a list of ALL posts in the thread which may fill the first 'n' pages of the results!]

       

      As far as the site growing in size, that's true of all the internet.  Storage gets less expensive to compensate? The only solution is to archive old posts and files (say >10 years old) on a local disk or CD-ROM.

       

    • October 21, 2019 9:43 AM EDT
    • And some info on the history of the software for LSC.  Originally (18 years ago) I spun up PunBB for the initial incarnation of LSC.  Within a year, it was obvious that it was not up to the task of anything resembling a high-traffic forum, so I switched to PHPBB.  That worked....ok... for a few years, and then I switched over to an early version of Zenforo.  Within a year I switched to SocialEngine, and have been on SE ever since.  

      The main issue seems to be that much forum software is written for small-capacity sites, with a low amount of traffic.  LSC gets a TON of anonymous, non-bot traffic.  *LOTS* of people read LSC (most of that traffic comes in from search engines, so various threads pop up when people look for things on Google.  So, good job of providing good content, all y'all).

      Anyway, the other giant thing is user and subscription management.  A site like LSC needs mature, secure user management, with a TON of options on how to manage users and their subscriptions to the site.  SE does it mostly, but there is still some that I have to actually go into the database itself and add a record manually.  Its annoying.

      I guess that's a long-winded way of saying "Yea, theres a bunch of forum software out there, but not much if it is up to the task of running a large, professional site"

    • October 21, 2019 9:36 AM EDT
    •  

      Nobody's talking about turning LSC into something like Facebook, and I think there is a misunderstanding what is meant by a flat forum.  All it means is that instead of the "List of Forums" and then posts, the prominent display is "Recent Activity".  Judging by the Google Analytics, 88% of post visits are from the Recent Activity on the main page, or you all scroll down to the Latest Posts on the main forum page.  Very few of you visit the list of forums and click into the forums.

       

       

    • October 20, 2019 6:48 PM EDT
    • By the way, "thread" is usually a chain or group of posts on the same subject in a forum, what we have here.

      That "facebook thread" is an entire Facebook page just dedicated to a particular subject.... the problem is there is a lot of overhead maintaining a facebook page, so having multiple "topics" all on separate facebook pages is really not practical, each page must be managed separately, and no way to tie them together, and searching for information, forget about it.

       

      Greg

    • October 20, 2019 6:26 PM EDT
    • GAP,

      I suppose links to facebook to access your material, and others, will work Okay for those that are registered with them, but not for those of us that don't choose to do so.

      -Ted

    • October 20, 2019 4:42 PM EDT
    • Greg Elmassian said:

      Actually building a web site is easy, there are many tools that make it very simple from any browser. There are many free ones, but eventually storage and traffic will probably force you to pay something. But for about $100 a year, less than $10 a month, there are many options. Wordpress and Joomla are the top web site builders. I use Joomla. I find building my site easier than understanding all the options in Facebook.

      GAP said:
      Greg Elmassian said:

      I really want a "threaded" forum, not a "flat" one like facebook.

      Some threads may take a year to complete, and the forum is a very valuable resource to see the evolution of a topic over time, whether it is a build project, layout redo, investigation on a problem.

      This is basically impossible to do on a flat system like facebook, and if it is like facebook, then just go to facebook itself...

      This ability to keep information organized by specific topic is what led me to build a web site and to host vignettes, since they can help others as reference material even years later.

       Greg

      Greg,

      I have been looking at this Facebook thread of an English railway for ideas inspiration since it started in 2012.

      https://www.facebook.com/Wetton-Gooey-Light-Railway-246392918762922/

      I am starting a new layout and would like to document it and save the information using facebook is one option (just need an account).  I have considered a blog and posting on a forum but as I, like you, am a member of multiple forums this would mean duplicating all the data and as I have found recently some forums just fade away through lack of posts or the owner is no longer able to run it. 

      If that happens then eventually the data will disappear.

      I do not think I have the technical expertise or the resources to build my own website (it would just add to my stress trying to do it) so facebook is looking as the best option with a link being inserted into threads created on the forums I frequent and bumped up as new data is added.

      Your and others thoughts on this appreciated.

      Bob,

      Apologies for high-jacking this thread now back to the subject

       

       

      Thanks Greg