a couple of forum changes

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a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:59 pm

In an effort to cut down on the clutter I have set the forum to display the fantastically awesome "The Sun" banner only on the main index page and the forum log in page. You will not see this banner on any other pages for now. Let me know if this is OK. I know some of you will have immediate withdrawal symptoms from not being able to stare at my awesome artwork on every single page of the forum so I will send it to you as a jpg and you can print it out and tape it above your monitor if you want. :)

One user is having trouble with the "new posts" feature being accurate, if anyone else is having this issue please advise me.

Also, on my screen at least, at the bottom left of the main index page it is always showing something like 600 users logged in, around 50 registered users and about 500 or so guests. This has got to be innaccurate and I believe it comes from the same people coming to the forum over and over. I think that the infinite time limit before the auto log out takesplace (as requested by users) may be causieng this innaccurate count. I dont really care as it looks good on the stats but I dont know if this may be causing any other issues. If you wouldn't mind could each of you actually log out occasionally with the log out button and swee if this fixes it?

Another touchy issue. I want your advice. Its no secret that I am a big fan of a certain vendor. I was a little embarrassed when a few posts surfaced with very inflammatory titles about this vendor. I would like to ask that if you have a beef with a vendor that you either post a reasonable description of the issue without all the inflammatory comments or that you just take it over to the other forum. Any input? Im not married to any particular vendor but only one of them has ever given a [bad-word] about our program and I support them 100%. So, I am biased, I admit.


Now, you guys know that you can save a little time by posting your stuff here and then just copying and pasting it into other forums or you can just post a link to the SolarChat thread on other forums if you want? You dont have to be a member to view posts here, only to comment on them. Most forums use the same BBcode so the post should work equally well in other forums. If you upload a file here, please click the "insert" box so it will show in the post as well as be an attachment.

Lastly, since I have set the new user registration to be of a manual nature, each new user has to be approved by me and I only allow actual names to be users, we have eliminated all the spam that once polluted our forum. I get about 25 or so emails a day from spambots trying to register on the forum. What I dont get are very many actual users trying to register. I would like to ask that all you guys make an effort to go and get a couple of nerdy solar types to come here and register. I would appreciate it.

If you are member of the utreach club and you haven't registered on NASA Night Sky network, please do so at this link: NASA Night Sky Network CBSAP membership



The end of the tax year in the US is in two more days so if anyone wants to send in some money to help the outreach club, now is the time to do it for a tax deduction on your 2011 taxes. Im happy to share everything I have for the hobby but it does cost a lot. Thats all I'll say on this topic.

Paypal Donation link for CBSAP


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by vidman » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:11 pm

I have had problems on the "new posts" feature. It no longer takes me to the new posts. Starts at the top. Just saying....

I don't need to be logged in for hours. I log in and out when I am done. Just like saying Hi and Goodbye. Momma told me to be polite. lol If it is better for you to stay logged in I will do that. Let me know.


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Montana » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:17 pm

Hi Stephen,
Your work on this forum is extremely admirable.

I am currently having problems with the 'green new posts' they are always the same every time I log on, but do reset after a couple of days, this has only been a recent problem of perhaps the last 2 weeks. I log off every time (I'm a bit of a fuss pot) but I do also find that I am logged off automatically after around 20 minutes anyway.

As regards the certain vendor I do think you should be a little more impartial, not everyone has a great time with every company and it is important to hear the truth in everything. However, there is no need for anyone to stray from the straight facts and nastiness is never acceptable.

I have invited quite a number of people here and all but one have joined :)

Alexandra



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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:50 pm

Thank you for the advice.. Could you guys go and check the "mark all new posts as read" button and then see if it starts working again?

Im just curious and I dont mean anything argumentative here but why should I be more impartial when it comes to Lunt? There the only company who supports the program and I dont really have any reason to be partial or impartial as I am just a guy running an outreach program. I dont really see how my impartiality would make any difference. I am extremely biased towards supporting the members of my club any way I can over other astronomers and plan to continue to be so. If Coronado, Daystar, Meade, Solarscope or whoever else is applicable, after repeated invitations to help, arent interested in supporting this program which directly helps them sell more product by promoting the hobby, why should I be impartial? I dont think anyone could read my reviews on the other site and call them anything less than impartial. In fact, the way I got involved with Lunt was by writing a terribly scathing review of their first LS60 released in America. It was a dog! and I put it out there as such. They got in touch with me and made it right with astounding customer service and took my input as an opportunity to improve their product. On the other hand, Daystar, after reading the review of their horribly ill-designed original SolaReddi scope actually tried to anufacture a story about ME damaging the scope and just not understanding how to use it, complete with fabricated pictures...!

If these other companies like Celstron or Meade gave a hoot about customer service in any way, I would be praising them too..:)


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:59 pm

Oh yeah,
I was skipping the obvious here. You guys know that the recent posts has a filter on the left that allows you to9 change it from "posts since last visit" to posts since a certain time limit. If you have it set on say, last 48 hours then it will show the same posts as recent posts. Try "posts Since Last Visit"


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Suncityan » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:36 pm

Hummm.....thought that since each time I select SolarChat in my favorites menu it asks me to log in I was automatically logging out whenever closing it. I'll be more attentive, thanks!



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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Montana » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:14 pm

I guess with regards to you Stephen, I always think of you as the impartial moderator, the leader of the forum and therefore the wise one, a bit like a judge, which is quite some responsibility. I forget that you are also a customer and have your own views too :) you need two hats!

Kind regards
Alexandra



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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by vidman » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:53 pm

I do not mean this as a diatribe or negative to anyone. Just my humble opinion.

I met Stephen last April at NEAF. Prior to that I my only involvement was a small donation and a thank you from him. So I do not know him as well as some of you. However, his partiality is never pushy. His reviews have been honest and forthright. His partiality toward Lunt is above board and is totally understandable. As a person who only supports companies and organizations that provide proper Customer Service I totally understand his views concerning LUNT. He is NOT the only one that speaks highly of them.

Last February I decided to go to a new scope for Astrophotography and ordered an Orion 80. I knew this to be on BO for 20 more days. Then it became 45 days. Then 60 and by the time of NEAF it was 120 days. Not great customer service. At NEAF I met Scott Roberts of Explore Scientific and purchased a 127 CF (autographed and all) thru Woodland and he dropped shipped it in a week. I had a small issue with the focuser and it was modified by Russ, customer service, and sent to me with a return shipment label for the original at no cost to me. I was NOT without a scope for any time. This is Customer Service! I can only compare the customer relations concern of ES to LUNT. My experience from Meade has been very uh...."different" would be a nice way to put it.

I hope my opinion has not upset anyone. I only support companies that support me and those I know.


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:38 pm

Joe, I can assure you that CN will not allow comments concerning vendors like the ones we had this week. In fact the person who made them was removed from CN and is welcomed here. CN has extreme TOS's that go beyond comprehension in a lot of ways. We have none. I am not a company. I am a person who operates this from my living room at my expense.


I am asking how everyone feels about it after telling you how it affects me. I made my view known and am asking for your views.


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Montana » Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:55 pm

Stephen, like with any forum, if someone feels upset about a post that is never a good thing. Usually the moderator sorts them out but I guess if the moderator is upset then that is worse. Hopefully all of us can comfort you :) People often remember only the bad but think how many people have posted good things about all the vendors as well!

It is always essential to hear facts, but only facts should be posted, it goes without saying we must always be polite and consider whether anything we say may cause offence (I hope you are OK Stephen?). But we do subliminally look to you for impartial advice being the Admin.

I checked my settings and I do have the green set on the top setting, I cleared all the posts, and it still remembers where I was and doesn't clear the green unread, sorry to be a hassle.

Regards
Alexandra



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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Suncityan » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:02 pm

Just gotta say that stifling any deserving praise or otherwise well put comments probably tends to stifle or influence to some degree all communications between forum participants.

Heck, since enjoying this hobby for many years I've come to the same conclusion as is voiced herein. I don't need to write about it for the world to read, maybe go outside and kick a rock around the block though.

So lets move on.

Just my two cents worth, Tommy Judson



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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by vidman » Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:51 pm

I don't want to move on...lol.

I'm still having probe with the forum posts. When I come back and see the new posts (green) it still goes to the first posting when i click on the green. Is there a setting that got changed? Is there a setting i need to do? I can't find a setting at all. Is this because I am using Safari?


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Bill E. » Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:54 pm

Stephen,I think Lunt products are great,But if someone has a valid issue and wants to vent...Well that's OK with me. Lunt is a growing company with more demand than supply. Quality control must be maintained .Negitave comments help keep quality control in check. :)



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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:53 am

Ive come to the conclusion that I am too sensitive. It takes a lot more to get me upset than someone mouthing off about friends of mine but I just dont like it when people who work so hard to do something right get these kinds of explosive over generalizng comments made about their work.

Anyway, Tommy, Bill and Alex are right. I do have a certain responsibility I guess as a well known entity in the field to not let my protective instincts cloud my judgemet. So, I will not mention it again ad will let Lunt's work speak for itself.

Now, Chuck is using safari. Alex what browser are you using?

Mine still works perfectly on safari and IE so it is hard for me to troubleshoot when I cant duplicate the problem..


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by vidman » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:42 am

Thanks for the help Steve. All is working well now.


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Montana » Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:44 am

I'm using Google Chrome, and the new posts today just led me to the same new posts I read yesterday :( Do I need to click 'Clear all posts' before exiting? as this worked yesterday. I have the setting 'posts since last visit' selected.

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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Fri Dec 30, 2011 2:43 pm

Alexandra,

First off, I cant believe you use Google Chrome but wont use Facebook. Googler Chrome is specifically designed to harvest your information and browsing habits for Google's use in marketing to you and to steer you into Google Plus. I expect you have had an increase in silly junk mail since you downloaded it. Of course, they all do a little of this (except safari) but Google Chrome is by far the most privacy intrusive browser on earth.

I would like for you to go to this button on the MAIN INDEX page and click it:


Then go to Google Chrome options menu and click the clear browsing data button making sure that the bottom selection and sending usage statistics is unchecked...





Then, in the popup window, make your options look like this and click the clear browsing data button




Now use the logout button on our forum, and then log back in making sure your recent posts selection is set on "since last visit"

lemme know.


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Wissixwe

Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Wissixwe » Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:01 pm

I'm guilty of fanning that fire, before I realized there was a biting the hand connection. You slapped my hand and I shut up about it. No harm intended on either part. The funny thing is, I would *never* even consider taking my telescope apart and messing with it's insides, so if I were to purchase that vendor's product, I'd never know there was an issue in there to go bonkers about. Seriously, my PST gives me a satisfying image, so there could be dead flies inside it, but I simply don't care.

Ignorance can be bliss, you know. ;)

But every now and then every one of us will go ballistic over something in this hobby, and that is never gonna end. We will naturally want to share our feelings with those we know in a forum like this one. That being said, it is perfectly appropriate for this forum to set the Rules of Engagement.

Which is yet one more task for our beloved Moderator. No good deed go unpunished.



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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:30 pm

Well, there is a font selector button up there on the reply board but it only effects the finished product. Let me see what else there is. Have you tried enlarging your view to 125% (IE)


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:55 pm

I changed the reply and quick reply font size to 50% bigger. Try it and see what you think. I am not that great at CSS editing but I gave it a try for you Cai.


You know, as I sidenote I found in the edit profile section where users can change the forum to display last posts first thus eliminating the need to worry about showing only posts since last visit as it will always show the last post first if you guys want to do tha. I am trying it now..

go here and click this:



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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by Montana » Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:43 pm

Thanks Stephen I will give it a try!

Yes, you have to watch Google Chrome like a hawk, never download the toolbar that is for certain! if you avoid all the garbage and not allow it to download in the first place, the basic viewer is very fast.

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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by vidman » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:32 pm

[quote]Alexandra,

First off, I cant believe you use Google Chrome but wont use Facebook. Googler Chrome is specifically designed to harvest your information and browsing habits for Google's use in marketing to you and to steer you into Google Plus. I expect you have had an increase in silly junk mail since you downloaded it. Of course, they all do a little of this (except safari) but Google Chrome is by far the most privacy intrusive browser on earth.



That explains the Muppet Porn I used to get when I used Google Chrome a year or so back.... :blush:


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Re: a couple of forum changes

Post by solarchat » Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:36 pm

Cai, are you using Mozilla by any chance?
I am at work using it now and the font is horribly small. Much smaller than on my home computers using IE and safari......

OK, I just found a fix in Mozilla/Firefox. Go to the "Tools"/"options"/"content tab"/"advanced" and set your minimum font size to 12. This makes the text look like everyone else's in the reply window...


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