About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

News Views Etc...Bits and Bobs

His Majesty's Imperial Cadet Corps
Mustering sometime in 1911 in the run-up to the Delhi Coronation Durbar

First I'd like to thank all the new followers to this blog, all traffic greatly appreciated and my hits have doubled since October, indeed my stat's make interesting reading and I may do a blog on them soon.

Some of you may have noticed I've added a lot of new links in the last few days and there are more to come, basically I've lost so many useful bookmarks in the various crashes on the old laptop, that I felt it was easier to get all the bookmarks I still have on it, this new one and the PC placed here where A) everyone can use them and B) I can't lose them (or can rant like crazy if Blogger loses them!).

On the subject of Blogger; Quite apart from all the other problems;
* Deleting and adding blog links.
* An apparent 300 blog link limit.
* Lots of "received invalid response" messages, causing loss of work.
* Lots of "Blog Not Found" messages, causing loss of work.
* The layout reset to one post per page the other week (I'm still not back-up to my 15 posts per page, despite saving it as a change to 20 - twice!).
* Problems with three-column blogs and the right-had widgets moving over the central column images last Wednesday evening.
* Some people having trouble uploading images from their PC and having to use Picasa.
* Some people having trouble uploading images from Picasa and being limited to their PC!
* "Memcache value is null for Form Restoration" messages when trying to comment from Wordpress....

...and adding all the problems with layout (automatic Div's and Para's in the coding leaving great gaps, and the problems I had on the Airfix page with the 'updated blogger interface') back in the summer, this all adds-up to a failure by Blogger to understand the philosophy "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"...

...there is also the new limit on Tags/Labels, which has been set at 20 words per post OR 200 characters in total, whichever is reached soonest. This limit is farcical....while I can understand the overall limit of 5000 words per Blog (if anything - over-generous?), the post limit means that some of my past posts have already 'gone over' the new limit meaning that I will never be able to edit or update them again as they will not save without me taking out labels that have been there quite happily for years!

Now while I realise that a lot of the problems listed above are due to the increasing complexity of the Internet, the introduction of another coding language and the fact that it's all being written (the coding) for three new operating systems as all this mobile technology speeds and spreads causing compatibility problems for all users, it is equally true that the post limit is down to Blogger and no one else.

If people have been taking the piss out of tags, shut them down or warn them or something, don't hit the rest of us. 30 words would be a far better limit, a lot of people don't even use their tag list, or produce minimal labels that don't help at all. This is a problem caused by the commercial guys using Blogger templates on their own-hosted web-pages, who are using as many words as possible to drive traffic to their clearance white-goods or whatever.

I sometime produce posts in which the products of several companies from several countries in several materials and scales appear together, and collectors following me need to find those figures under any of those headings (maker, nationality of maker, scale, material), along with nationality and era of the figures shown (or whether they are infantry, cavalry or sailors etc...) meaning a 20 word/200 character limit necessitates leaving out a load of valid tags.

So - if you go on the Blogger Forums, please fight for an increase to 30 tags or 300 characters - whichever is the larger, and better policing of the piss-takers.

The feeling is that Blogger provide for free and we should live with it, well yes...but they also make a fortune from the Adsence carried by some blogs, which is one reason I've dropped mine, why should Google (who own Blogger - and "will never do anything bad") and Blogger take two cuts while never actually sending me a penny? And if they didn't provide - someone else would.

The rant sort of over; I tried to re-tag the first month of my blogging the other night and ran into horrendous problems with the new limit (and once you've reached the limit on one post you can no longer edit all the posts with that tag, as the changes won't save!), and can see that I'm going to have to re-do the tags on 460-odd posts, taking out all plurals, extraneous (to Blogger) words and using abbreviated forms wherever I can. This will take a month or two, but should be worth the effort in the long run as it will be easier to find past posts on a given subject or theme.

So; some days that will keep me away from posting, however; coming in the next few days are American GI's in larger scales (already started) and Giant Napoleonics continuing from this odd box I've got. We'll also look at the Elephant pictures in the 101 year-old report into the Delhi Durbar from which the above image was taken and there will be more art links involving toy/model soldiers and things.

I also want to close down the 'Other collectables' blog and transfer the posts to this blog, I don't know how to do that so that they appear when they were originally published, so you may find, one day, four pages of shite from over there...over here!! But I'll soon bury them with new soldier posts! I will also ask blogger if there is a way round it using the 'Import Blog' feature I now can't find but which used to be there somewhere! I may also Bring the Airfix page over here as well...but don't know yet?

Thanks for popping-by, do keep checking back when you have the time, try requests - I may be able to help, do report dead-links and please comment or correct, it all adds to the bigger picture.

Hugh.

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