Talking to people at our club meeting last evening, most have access to the internet, some are aware of this NG and some even lurk - usually via google, but none had actually posted or were even sure how.
Some time ago it was proposed (by David Mc Creath?) that an article be submitted to SEM about stationary engines on the internet (incl. NG). If it was ever submitted then it clearly hasn't appeared (perhaps the editor still regards the internet as a minority interest for computer hobbyists only) and now seems more overdue than ever
Roland's earlier posts on 'woodwork' are certainly appropriate as Nick's email has brought me out the woodwork again!!
It was my good self who was going to churn out the article on stationary engines and the internet. Unfortunately, time has got the better of me due to work and the summer weather however I still have all the correspondence that was received (last October! ashamedly!) in my Inbox and I promise to put this to good use over the coming few weeks to get this project moving - some 21 responses in all.
It is interesting that in the year that has gone by, there is still very little recognition of the internet in the magazine. I don't even recall seeing the SEM's own website being advertised in the magazine...
There are so many good links available that a periodically published register of websites alongside the club register and helpline would probably be very useful, if entertained by SEM of course...! Alongside the other ideas I have for this, and the prompting from the NG, I have no further excuses during these dark, damp and cold nights !! ;-)
Yes, but you will end up flooding this nice friendly group with hoards of the great unwashed . Where is your sense of elitism? Do we really want loads of commoners invading this NG? Seriously folks, I agree entirely with expanding awareness of Internet uses, engines, SEM and this group wherever we can. Here's a few suggestions of benefits to be gained from Internet usage. Engines come up for sale on ebay. This is only accessible via the net. SEM could be made available for download in a charge form format via the net. This would mean that everyone can get the magazine at the same time so items will still be for sale rather than "just gone". Other internet sites which carry engine information (eg, internal fire, Anson) are available, frequently with free downloads. Finally, people can get to talk to us lot and join in with our ramblings. Perhaps I should subscribe to SEM myself. Dare I admit in these hallowed portals that I'm not a regular reader?
I was only vaguely aware of news groups for my first couple of years of internet use, and certainly knew nothing about the distinction between Usenet and the internet. I know some people delight in technology but surely if one cannot use a resource without first learning how it all works then the technology is failing. I don't need to know anything about printing or publishing to read SEM.
When I stumbled across this group is was via Mailgate and I assumed it was run by Mailgate, in the same way that the stirling engine group I belong to is run by Yahoo. Only when Mailgate started having problems did I find out it's true nature and the company computer whizz kid showed me how to access Usenet groups directly.
It is far easier however for the novice to access via an internet portal (don't know if this is the correct terminology), Mailgate was/is good when it is working, Google is great for searching for archived posts but far too slow to sustain any kind of conversational thread, I don't know what the access offered by Internal Fire is like but if it proves to be quick and reliable I would certainly point interested parties in that direction rather than going through all the palaver of setting up a Usenet account.
I believe the NG can and should be compared to any engine (or other) club any one of us are members of. There are always the fully active members, the members who will get involved if asked(feel like it), the members who will do very little (if at all), and finally the members who you only see every year to renew their membership so they have insurance. I think the same rule can also apply to users of the internet. I for one would be classed as a "lurker" for the following reasons: 1. My knowledge and reference material is limited, so therefore is my possible participation in any thread. 2. I only have (and at present need) a 56k dial up access so only access the NG at most a couple of times a day and find a lot of the queries I could have answered have already been answered.
The fear of making yourself look a right idiot. I also find I learn a lot from just following the line the threads take. I am in the unfortunate position of although having internet access at work, newsgroups are a no-no. Also don't forget some people prefer to contact direct and not post on the NG. The one thing that I would like to raise is the reference to people like myself as "lurkers". I class a lurker like the type of moron who ripped off all of Paul Evans' work to make a quick buck, that is what I am most certainly not. Surely a term such as "bystander" fits the position the majority of non-participants like myself find themselves in. I am also aware that the term lurker has been around a long time and some things will never change. With reference to SEM and downloading the magazine. How long would it take to download a copy of the magazine if you didn't have broadband access? It also leaves the door wide open for abuse, similar to what we have recently seen. May I put forward a possible compromise. SEM (Kelsey) offer an article reprint service, why not have that facility put as a "fee" download on the website. I agree with the suggestion of putting any classifieds from the current month's magazine on the website, the fact that an item for sale would reach a potentially larger audience could increase the number of adverts and therefore revenue for the publisher. The one thing I intend to do in the guture is to introduce myself to NG users when the opportunity arises. I missed the opportunity this year at Banbury when I discovered (when I got home) that I was only a few engines away from Martin Perman.
I think that is all I have to add at the moment so will now retreat to the sidelines.......
"John Manders" wrote in message news:bqpmco$ email@example.com...
John. Please post at will. Ignorance never stopped any of us posting :-) There are a number of counter factors in this equation: The Kelsey management still seem to feel that the Internet is only used by a small minority of engine folk. I suggest they are quite wrong and that the paucity of ads in SEM demonstrates that. Many Internet users find NGs daunting. The reason doesn't matter but the fact remains. I've lost count of those to whom I have suggested an NG post which never arrives. Many ISPs do not carry this NG and viewing/posting via Google is a wretched business. ....and dare I say that on occasions our antics are enough to put anyone off
There is a long-standing fear of them losing their subscription fees if the magazine went live on the internet. I don't know what the current subscriber numbers are, but if they are still well below
10,000 then they have a hill to climb to get the volume to the point where they can expand the magazine. I don't know if they then would have the magazine content to fill a greater number of pages without becoming even more 'pictorial' than they are now, which is the reason I stopped taking the magazine a year or so ago.
The newsgroup business is a strange one, very few ISP's want to carry them as they are effectively free and they do not benefit in any way from carrying them. Customers are on line using their equipment for something which is not part of their core business.
Google could make life a lot easier, but I agree that at present, trying to post via Google is just not effective, and Yahoo groups is a degree worse with the pop-up adverts etc.
That's part of the charm... :-))
We spent three hours with Tim's wife down at Southampton today, (Tim and Sally are who we stay with in the USA when we visit California, she is over here 'cos her mother had to have an emergency heart op) she was saying that eccentric Englishmen are generally accepted well by the Americanos, so all of the guys on this newsgroup should go down a bomb over there, especially our resident Viking... :-))
Peter Forbes Prepair Ltd Luton, UK email: firstname.lastname@example.org home: email@example.com
John, I enjoyed your reply and I feel that if only five extra people like yourself posted occasionally, the group would be greatly enriched.
I am not one of the most regular posters as I am pretty much a novice whose enthusiasm greatly exceeds his knowledge. By partaking, I have learnt quite a bit and have the pleasure of chatting to, or eavesdropping on, people of like mind. If I get the chance to spend a day playing engines or something related I do try to write something about it and post some photos on Webshots, just to make a contribution.
This is one of the friendliest talking shops around. I've never seen any hostility towards those who are not experts. So don't worry about making a fool of yourself. I've done it and everyone has been polite enough not to notice! Many groups, forums, lists are part populated by bombastic, self-said experts whose only possible claim to a position in life is expounding (sometimes wrongly) from behind the safety of their keyboards.
I've only got a 56k modem up on a Welsh hillside, and at the moment my connection is running at 26.4k - feel the power! It doesn't make much difference to using newsgroups.
A word of warning, however, watch out for Martin Perman.;-)
I have been involved recently with another cap on, on the strowger Yahoo group, when the mention of badges raised it's head. Another participent found that the cheapest deal that could be got was £1 a badge, with the minimum order of
500. We had to abandon the idea, as we have nowhere near that number of participents.
Unfortunately, 'lurkers' is the name by which people who 'lurk' in the background have been known since the beginning of Usenet - it is not necessarily pejorative and definitely not personal. I agree that 'bystander' is less emotive.
The technical term for the likes of those who ripped off Paul Evans is 'shit' (as in 'the little shit' or even 'the big shit'). Other words may apply.
I think those that are the three that do. Believe me many, an increasing number, do not. I have seven years up to but I can well remember the initial difficulties and the help you gave me at the time George. None of that would have been necessary with a decent ISP of course and how many of those are there? (that is not intended to steer this debate off-track!).
Although I post using a Demon address, I no longer use their facilities. It has to be said that in the past they had one of the best newsfeeds available anywhere - I don't know if that's the case these days. I currently use Supernews via Nildram, which I find to be a good combination.
On the subject of decent UK ISP's, there are perhaps more than you'd imagine - of course, some are more decent than others :-) I can recommend my employers, Loud-n-Clear.net, but we don't offer a newsfeed directly (although we run at least one private news server). We recommend Nildram or gradwell.net - we buy facilities from the former and sell facilities to the latter :-)