Posts from category "Site News"

The News Blog is now archived ...

Due to installing the Kunena forum plugin for Joomla I am henceforth making all new posts regarding site updates and new releases there. This blog will not be updated moving forward however it will be available as a record of previous site happenings etc.

Please bookmark the Forum as the place to get the lates news.

Cheers..... Kiwi 

Added a Forum

Installed Kunena forum plugin today with a view to dropping the blog feature of the site in favour of something that is easier to see replies etc. Members will see a forum menu now. Go, have a look around, and maybe even leave a post or two  :-)

New Site Layout ...

Things have been progressing well with testing replacement download managers. I have settled on PhocaDownload as it provides users with a view at the files available on the site while restricting downloads to free files only for visitors. This should allow everyone visibility of the collection our scanning members have submitted. 

As a result of the above I have brought the new version online. You will see a [TEST] menu option which is the new download manager.This is running in parallel with the current download pool as I work to add content to the new menu. Not much is available as yet but you can see some examples loaded in the Edge Magazine (UK) menu and also in Non-Fiction Literature.

As always, feel free to leave comments in the news thread regarding the new site and/or download manager.

Site Update ...

Things have been a little slow on the scanning front lately as I grapple with personal life issues. Nothing major or anything but there's been little free time lately and frankly I've been "bloody well knackered" so just taking a few days to recuperate. Summer has been dreadfully hot this year and I actually can't wait for it to end to be honest.

Onto site news and I've been annoyed with the fact that visitors to the site aren't currently able to see exactly what we have archived for members to download. The current download manager has been great compared to the one used previously on WordPress but the inability to display our magazines while disabling downloads for non-members is hugely counterproductive when it comes to encouraging visitors to participate in the site. As a result of this along with the basic nature of the site theme I have begun searching for and testing download managers which can hopefully provide me with a better experience for both members and visitors alike. That includes features like being able to make some downloads available to everyone.

Other options could include moving to the different platform altogether, such as the IPBoard software used by sites like Retromags, which incorporates forums as well but I'm struck by both the initial costs and the fact that I'd have to get my head around it all. Still, maybe it opens it up to Moderators or scanning members being able to add new content themselves? Food for thought. Anyways, give me a few days to see what options work and hopefully things will be all systems go moving forward!!

Eureka!! ...

Over  the weekend I decided, due to the continuing page slipping problems with the Avision, to bite the bullet and attempt to dismantle and clean the fi-5650c which was all but useless due to the increasing dust problem in the optics. Two hours later after some cursing and a little blood on the floor I now have a clean scanning Fujitsu scanner once more. And it gets better. I managed to get the top optics sorted so for the first since I bought it I can now scan duplex on the thing. OMG!!!

The result of this is I have been going hard scanning stapled early issues of CVG as raw scans in preparation for editing and making them available. I have also started scanning the early issues of Computer Games: Strategy Plus along with setting up pages/uploading the covers for them.Although there might possibly be one faint line on a page I feel like I am tfinally on top of keeping the scanner working.

If anyone else has a fi-5650c and is having issues with dust in the optics let me know and I will create a "how to clean it" page. These are magnificent scanners, way better than the low end models, so it really is worth trying to keep them operational.

Scanner Problems .....

Unfortunately the "big mutha" fi-5650c has now got to the point where there are just too many problems with lines on the output for me to want to continue using it.This means I am now limited to the Avision AD240 which, while it has noticably cleaner scans, is exhibiting some issues with pages slipping. Unfortunately, the local seller will not sell me new rollers as it was not purchased frolm them. I am trying to source a correct set of rollers but evidently there are two revisions of the damned thing with different consumables by the look of it.The upshot of all this is I have put off scanning donated mags (Dreamcast (Japan) and Computer Games: Strategy Plus) until such time as I can get acceptable scans off them and have relegated my scanning efforts to pushing through other magazines that I don't care so much for.

In other news we now have 103 members .. woohoo!! .. so thanks to all of you for your support in keeping the site running. Now if we can just get another 100 members signing up with even just a tenner as a deposit we'd have enough funds in the kitty to go out and buy a new Avision locally to allow me to acquire the consumables to keep the thing scanning. In the meantime I will soldier on as best I can.

Site going down ....

Hey everyone,

It's aircon install day here today so shortly the site will be going offline for possibly a couple of hours while the techs install a new circuit breaker in the switchboard and route power cabling to the new aircon unit. Can't wait to get the PC room running at a breezy 20 degrees instead of the 30 it's been getting up to over the summer.

Anyways, if you see this before it goes down you will know why. Unfortunately I haven't managed to acquire a UPS for the server and there's no telling whether the job will take longer than it could supply power to keep it running anyway. We will be back on the other side of the install. See you again soon!!!

Action Stations .....

Got the Avision scanner back in operation today and figured out how to create raw scans using their software without it automatically cropping the hell out of the pages. This will allow me to push through destapled magazines and obtain raw scans much much faster than via the fi-5650c as it can be used duplex thanks to no scratches on the glass or dust stuck under the glass. Yay!!!

Putting it through a test run I have scanned several magazines without any problems so you can see covers added to various magazines (Commodore User, Commodore World, Personal Computing Today, Bits & Bytes) with "Coming soon!!" to indicate issues now scanned and awaiting editing.

Issue 109   Issue 109

Frak it's HOT!!!

Just an update to say I've retrieved the fi-5650c from the basement and even scanned issue 127 of Edge but it's just too damned hot to sit in front of the PC editing scans for any length of time with Auckland sweltering near 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit for those using that scale) which is bad enough, but factor in 90+% humidity and it's friggin' awful!!Biting the mortgage bullet and putting aircon units into the house in a couple of weeks and hopefully the temps will settle down in the next week anyway but I can't even begin to fathom what Jason must be going through with temps in the 40's over in Oz.Still, at least I am one step closer to getting my own scans back up and running.

Too darned hot ....

Gosh darned if it isn't hotter than hades at the moment in this part of the world. Jason has been dealing with scorching temps approaching 50 degrees and even in NZ we have seen nearly 30 degrees which is just ridiculous!! That's meant neither of us have been too keen on spending time in front of computers at the present time. Good news is that I am now back on normal work weeks (five days) so I will be getting the scanner out of the basement and looking to clear the backlog of donated mags in the near future.

On a more serious note .... if you cannot read the information on the Download page on how to obtain access to the site don't expect me to reply to emails sent to me asking for access. And CAPSLOCKING your email is only going to result in it being deleted uber quickly. The requirements around access are spelt out on the page in black and white. It's sad that I have to state the obvious from time to time but I do get sick of getting the same old emails all the time...