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Member postings for Colin Bishop

Here is a list of all the postings Colin Bishop has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Uploading to albums
23/02/2009 10:30:32
I have been uploading pictures to update the articles section on the homepage for several days. In most cases this entails creating an album and loading in up to 35 jpeg images, five at a time. I have had no problems and the uploads have been very quick.
However, all my pictures are between 50kb and 100kb each. There is no point in making them any bigger as this is sufficient  resolution for the site.
If you are uploading much larger files straight off the camera then they will indeed take a lot longer to load and the process is more likely to go wrong depending on how good your broadband link is. Once they arrive on the website they are reduced in size anyway so It is much better to reduce the images to something like "Desktop Resolution" or a bit smaller before uploading using the free image resizing programs you can get on the Internet. I use VSO Image Resizer for Vista but you can also get a similar program from Power Toys for XP.
Thread: Magazine and Website Contacts
22/02/2009 23:08:08
No, they are probably not. There are some ongoing bugs in this area which technical support are aware of. Apparently the whole website including all the magazines are affected. There are a range of issues which have been prioritised and which are being worked through.
Thread: Boating locations
22/02/2009 22:35:48
Yes Len,
There do seem to be some problems with the left hand column. Something else to put on my little list!
I'm not sure where the list of clubs has come from either. Anybody know?
Thread: Website Editorial
22/02/2009 22:30:08
I don't think it is desirable to try and make filling your profile in compulsory as this could deter members from signing up. Putting too much information about yourself on the Internet can have undesirable consequences so I can understand why people prefer to be a bit reticent. However I certainly agree that some indication of your location can be useful even it it is just your country and County/Province.
22/02/2009 10:29:52
Re you comment - "I dont agree with the rationale that a website is an expensive luxury that has been gifted to us by a benevolent company."
It's not the Website which is seen as a luxury, it is the Forum. A web presence is without doubt a necessity and as such can take a number of different forms. The forum is much less essential from a business viewpoint and indeed the magazine's main competitor doesn't have one.
If you look at similar forums to this one, the successful ones all have what might be termed a critical mass of active and knowledgeable members which keep it buzzing. That is what we have to achieve here. It can be a slow process at first until it takes on a momentum of its own and I will certainly attempt to stimulate progress myself. However, for the last few days my priority has been to update the material on the main website and make a few changes in its appearance. As a result of this I am putting together some ideas to run past Paul Freshney concerning both the main website and the forum which will hopefully give us a sense of direction.
But I'm a great believer in the old saying - act in haste, repent at leisure. Any initiatives have to be sustainable within budget and resource constraints otherwise they will fail.
22/02/2009 09:49:26
Ashley, it just means that if somebody irritates you beyond belief then you can click the "ignore member" button underneath one of their posts and you will not then see any of their posts - which may then make the dialogue on a thread a trifle difficult to follow!
I have an extra level of sanction with a special button which means that I can make any member's postings invisible to all the others. This can make things even more confusing!
You may have clicked on the ignore member button by mistake but you can always unignore them again, the sun will shine and everyone will be happy!
Thread: Magazine and Website Contacts
20/02/2009 17:33:07
Thanks John, still quite a bit to do yet to get up to date though. I do have an idea or two to keep the site looking fresh but I'm keeping them up my sleeve for the moment.
Thread: Possible Get Together of Forum Members
19/02/2009 10:15:55
I have been following with interest the various suggestions for some sort of Forum event to bring members together to meet one another and just talk boats etc. This is a very good idea although previous experience elsewhere does suggest that initially there may be a relatively low attendance as our members live all over the country and outside the UK so travelling does present some practical difficulties. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't go ahead!
Some of you may be aware that the Magazine has recently been taking a stand at some of the bigger events such as the recent Alexandra Palace show. The stand is staffed by Dave Brumstead who is a regular contributor. It seems to me that we could use the Model Boats Stand as a meeting point for Forum members at one or more shows. We could go on from there to maybe stage something like a rubber powered competition or display some of our models if the facilities permitted it - particularly those built from MB plans. This would all have to be worked through of course, I'm just floating the idea at the moment
I have been in touch with Dave who tells me that the only confirmed dates to come this year so far are the Inagural North East MB Show, South Shields, Tyne & Wear, 28/29 March and the South West Model Engineering Model & Hobbies Show at the Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, 18/19 April. There will no doubt be others and I will check out the position with Paul Freshney who is away at the moment until the end of the weekend.
In the meantime it would be useful to have some idea of that members think of the idea.
Thread: Rubber power
15/02/2009 22:12:06
It certainly has potential if the practical issues can be overcome. I will let you run with it for the moment. If you think it is a starter then we will see if we can get a prize organised.
15/02/2009 21:06:43
The Managing Director has suggested running a competition with something like a free subscription as a prize. This would be an interesting idea but would probably be too local if confined to one pond unless it was somewhere in the middle of the UK.
Still, all ideas gratefully considered!
Thread: Gallery comments
15/02/2009 10:55:46
I've made a note of it Bob but there's a lot of other things for me to look at first.
Thread: Current & upcoming issues
14/02/2009 22:45:18
Gerald's post should be visible again now.
I have spent all afternoon trying to update the new issue contents on the homepage but there appears to be a problem with uploading the images at the moment as the site is giving me an error message. I have taken it up with Tech Support.
Thread: Gallery comments
14/02/2009 12:53:58
Not down to me I'm afraid Bob, but I'll take the credit if you insist!
There are a number of things being worked on across the sites which should result in some improvements being seen.
Thread: Website Editorial
14/02/2009 10:30:16
Yes, I do have some ideas but as, on all Forums, it is the membership which makes it what it is and generates the atmosphere. The Editor's job is largely to facilitate this rather than take over the site themself. I don't have a blank cheque here. The recent changes, including the departure of Vinnie and my own appointment on very much a part time basis reflect the desire of the site owners to trim overheads in a difficult economic situation. From the commercial viewpoint a forum doesn't add much if anything to the bottom line and is therefore something of a luxury item. That doesn't mean improvements cannot or will not be made, just that we have to work within the constraints that exist. Sometimes it is very easy to make an improvement by simply tweaking the software, other times a lot of work is required which makes things more difficult. All the other magazines in the Group are using the same IT platform so an improvement which benefits all is more likely to go ahead than one which is only useful to us boaters. Until I get up to speed with the admin and other functions on the site \i cannot judge where the "quick wins" might be so it would be wrong at this stage to make promises I cannot keep.
As far as the website as a whole is concerned, the objective will be to align it more closely with and in support of the magazine as up until now it has been run as a largely separate entity.
By all means PM me with your suggestions as they will help me judge what the membership would like to see, for example I already have a couple concerning easier management of the album and picture facilities.
I hope that explains things a bit. But if you were expecting Lord Nelson to arrive in a blaze of glory I'm afraid you will be disappointed. My approach will be evolutionary rather than revolutionary as the latter usually throws up more problems than it solves.
But I am convinced that, with the help and participation of the membership, we can indeed take the site to the new heights Paul aspires to.
Thread: Magazine and Website Contacts
14/02/2009 09:55:15
John, I assume you mean articles posted by Members as opposed to those published in the magazine? I can't give you an immediate answer on that as I haven't started looking at the article facilities yet. My immediate priorities are sorting out the reported glitches on the Forum and then updating the outdated magazine content on the website. As I think I've already mentioned, the basic instructions for administering the website run to 16 pages and are still not yet complete so there is a lot to take on board. I am however compiling a list of queries and requests for attention as soon as time permits and have added this one to it.
Thread: Logging in
13/02/2009 19:20:33
And you're now logged in THREE times Bob!
You must be something really special!
Leave it for now and let's see what the tech expert says.
13/02/2009 18:43:43
It might be something to do with opening a second window on the website. You are currently showing up as having two logins! Maybe one has not logged out properly and the system is becoming confused! Something similar happened to me when I tried to run one session as administrator and another as member emulation. It may be to do with the fact that the system tracks your email address across all sites in the magazine group and treats you as one ID. I also wonder if it might be associated with your missing pictures. The Technical Support guy suggests you delete and repost the pictures as he hasn't got the time at the moment to really get into the problem. I have however asked him to comment on your login problems. Alternatively - do you have a split personality?
Thread: Website Editorial
13/02/2009 08:44:29
Very good to hear you are on the mend Paul. Just take things easy for the moment - as if you had any choice!
12/02/2009 17:08:53
It appears that your Action Springer album did not have a title and that the "Public" box was not ticked. I have amended the album and hopefully you can see it now.
I have heard from technical support that the reason for a number of missing pictures is that when the site was migrated onto the new IT platform there was a gap between the picture transfer files being created and the old site being closed down. Pictures posted during this period were therefore not transferred over. Efforts are being made to obtain them but without much success to date. This may not account for all the missing pictures but I'm afraid it has to be accepted that when a migration of this nature takes place some things do fall through the gaps - I experienced this in my previous job!
As far as the size of the picture files is concerned I have not been able to find any instructions so far and don't want to be too much of a pain to the technical guy who is doing his very best to help. I have however just created a test album which has 3 images on it. One is over 2MB, one is just under 1MB and the other is a very small one. All of them seem to have uploaded successfully which suggests that there is a built in resizer in operation on this site. Having said this, you can speed up the upload time by resizing the original picture using one of the handy free picture resizers ( Power Toys for XP or VSO Image Resizer for Vista) to make a "desktop resolution" size copy which gives a file size in the order of 240kb or so. You won't notice the difference on screen and it's a heck of a lot quicker!
12/02/2009 15:36:17
When I was looking through the albums earlier there seemed to be quite a few blank pictures.There has apparently been a problem with migrating images from the old setup and I am taking this up with Technical Support. MB is not the only site affected.
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Make your own contribution to the Website

We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.

In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.

The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their  expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!

I look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Colin Bishop - Website Editor