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 !! ;-)
Stationary Engines Scotland
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.
3. 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
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
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
....and dare I say that on occasions our antics are enough to put anyone off
just my 2p as always
nr Exeter Devon, UK
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... :-))
sugested that we could print this (or similar) to pin on our coats so we can
each other at rallies.
It would be nice to have a proper badge but they would probably cost too much.
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 don't understand the difficulty accessing this newsgroup in the UK.
For more than seven years now I have used USENET via three different
ISP's. Demon, Freeserve and BTinternet. All have carried this newsgroup
Using both Outlook Express and Turnpike it has been possible to set up
access with only several mouse clicks and very little typing. Indeed
Turnpike allows me to view postings as threads very easily.
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
I'll put my head back behind the flywheel now.
Agrre with that, George, but for a 'first-timer' it is not that easy, I can
remember well the hassle I had getting onto newsgroups with IE4.1 as it was
It's not intuitive, and there is very little help in the IE help section or on
the net unless you know where to look.
Peter & Rita Forbes
Engine pages for preservation info:
In message , John Rogers
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
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!).
It works, not as fast as using Outlook Excess or similar but useable if
you are stuck.
It does require you to register on Internal Fire - I have to have some
traceability over the people using IF to access the internet.
Article posted from Internal Fire Newsreader
Share your knowledge in... uk.rec.engines.stationary
In message , Roland and
Celia Craven writes
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
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 :-)