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1092489 Posts in 72165 Topics- by 19436 Members - Latest Member: Pablo3A
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1  Town Hall / Comments and Suggestions / Re: Donations on: Jan 12, 2018, 06:07PM

mwpfoot writes:

> I'm posting my new posts over there...Respectfully to
> Geezer and other daily posters: Just do it? We are the
> community. We can do better. It's a tiny change. This
> site is searchable, and always will be in some form.
> Search here, post there.

That's the spirit!  It's not the archival content that makes TTF a success, it's the community.  A relatively small handful of regulars account for a significant portion of TTF traffic.  If some of those users were to decide they'd rather ride around town in a shiny new Tesla rather than a dilapidated old Edsel, others would follow.  Only the vehicle would be different; everyone would still be riding around with the same group of friends.

2  Town Hall / Comments and Suggestions / Re: Donations on: Jan 12, 2018, 02:59PM

mwpfoot writes:

> I posted twice over there yesterday: 11 views, no responses.

Typical chicken/egg problem.  When TC first went online there was plenty of traffic, and for a while I was optimistic that it would reach critical mass.  Alas, for whatever reasons, the community migrated back to TTF.  In retrospect it doesn't appear that TC can flourish unless TTF dies.  I find this sad, given that the TC proprietor listens to his users and has proven his willingness to implement the changes and features those users want -- something that will never happen here.  It's a mystery to me why people prefer to congregate on this creaky old site when there are infinite possibilities at TC.

3  Town Hall / Comments and Suggestions / Re: Donations on: Jan 12, 2018, 11:45AM

Having already argued in favor if allowing TTF to evolve into a read-only archive of past discussions, I recognize that there are concerns about TTF's long-term survivability.  While there's a lot of valuable information buried in the TTF archives, there's also a lot of dreck.  Scraping picks up both.  I assert there's an easier way to preserve "worthwhile" TTF content, but it requires help from the community to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Examine the URL for any TTF thread and you will see a string in the format "topic,<ThreadID>" where "<ThreadID>" is a number that uniquely identifies the thread.  All of the posts in a thread can be retrieved in a single, unadorned HTML page containing only text by plugging the thread ID into this template:


For example, plugging "30197", the thread ID for the long-running "Pet Peeves" thread, into this template returns eleven years of posts in a single page.  Massaging pages like this programatically into something a bit more attractive and readable is trivial, as is building a site to host them.  In fact, if the proprietor of TromboneChat were interested it would be no big deal to incorporate a read-only "Best of TTF" archive separate from the rest of the discussion forum.  The only real challenge would be building a list of "worthwhile" TTF thread IDs.  Is the TTF community up to meeting this challenge?

4  Town Hall / Comments and Suggestions / Re: Donations on: Jan 12, 2018, 10:20AM

Wilktone writes:

> It might be time to simply lock all topics here and post
> stickies to invite people to go to the Trombone Chat
> forum. Let this site be its own archive.

This is the best suggestion yet, particularly because it addresses some significant obstacles.  It's wrong to assume that content scraped from this site can easily be imported into another site like TromboneChat.  For example, there's no easy way to automatically map:

  • users on TTF to users on TC (if I register on TC using someone else's TTF user ID I can take control of that user's past posts when they are imported into TC);
  • TTF users to TC users who use different IDs on the two sites;
  • forums and sub-forums from one site to the other (the essential nature of "boards" differs significantly between the two sites.)

These are just the readily identifiable problems; this list is is undoubtedly incomplete.  While I'm sure a protocol for resolving these issues could be put in place, its implementation would rely on a significant amount of compromise and human intervention.

> There's nothing here that won't be duplicated over
> there once things are active.

Exactly.  If the community were to migrate to TC there's no reason TTF couldn't continue to operate as an archive of past discussions.  Alternatively, I'm sure there are folks out there who would happily provide financial and/or technical support to a new archive site populated with content scraped from TTF.  Either way, there's no advantage in moving these archival discussion threads to TC.  I would further assert that importing just a month's worth of recent TTF posts into TC would be sufficient to facilitate ongoing discussions seamlessly -- *if* the proprietor were interested in doing so.

Finally, I consider the discussion of copyright issues here to be an abject waste of time.  IMHO many (most?) of the interpretations of copyright law expressed so far in this thread are just plain wrong.  The only ones who need be concerned about copyright issues are people proposing to host scraped TTF content on another site, and I'm sure those individuals would be wise enough to consult with an IP attorney before acting if they have genuine concerns.

5  Town Hall / Comments and Suggestions / Re: Donations on: Jan 11, 2018, 08:19AM

BillO writes:

> Well, it really does look like the admin
> took our money and abandoned us again.

This is hardly breaking news.  Based on past experience it appears that the proprietor looks upon this site as his personal piggy bank, which can be tapped whenever he's hard up for cash -- or at least there's solid evidence that has, in fact, been the case in the past.  There's also good reason to believe he has collected far more than the actual cost of operating the site.

Note that this is the second round of fundraising that has promised a software upgrade to the vulnerability riddled eleven-year-old beta test software on which the Forum has always run (it has *never* been upgraded.)  My advice:  don't hold your breath.  It's a mystery to me why folks continue to patronize the place, when there's an alternative at "TromboneChat.com" with endless possibilities for new features and adequate support.

6  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Music scanning and reading apps on: Jan 09, 2018, 10:28AM

As I wrote earlier, I retired my desktop scanner some time ago in favor of the ScannerPro app on my iPhone.  When I searched online recently for a stand to hold the phone while I served as a human sheet feeder for longer documents, it occurred to me that I already have a small tripod and a tripod mount for a phone.  I tried it out and it works like a charm, as shown in a short video I made for a discussion in another forum.  ScannerPro automagically identifies the rectangle of the document, takes the shot, corrects for keystoning, and optionally uploads the final product in JPG or PDF format to Dropbox. The scan created eliminates the shadows, imperfections, etc. that are clearly visible in an ordinary photograph.

7  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Method for making sound files available to others on: Jan 08, 2018, 03:30PM

robcat2075 writes:

> > Dropbox recently sent out a bunch of notices about
> > the way it handles this kind of link.
> Where can I find the notice?

Check out the page that discusses important changes to the Dropbox public folder.

> If I need to change the link on trombone forum, that
> would be hopeless since we can't edit old posts.

A moderator will update the link in the old post for you upon request.

8  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: HP laptops found to have hidden keylogger on: Dec 12, 2017, 10:02AM

robcat2075 asks:

> What do you do with a keylogger in an audio driver?

Debug the API that supports system-level keyboard-based (including macros, keyboard remapping, etc.) audio controls.

9  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Anyone can unlock your Mac by typing "root" on: Dec 04, 2017, 08:30AM

Bruce writes:

> Wonder if this applies to Linux as well.


10  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Music scanning and reading apps on: Dec 04, 2017, 08:22AM

I've stored the sheet music for all the groups with which I play (and then some) on a 12.9" iPad ever since the device first shipped.  My desktop scanner has been in mothballs ever since I discovered that it's faster and easier to use ScannerPro on my iPhone (or iPad) to scan the originals (the Notes app also supports document scanning in iOS 11, but ScannerPro does a better job in several ways.)  When a new chart is passed out in rehearsal or on the bandstand I can scan it into the iPad on the spot.

I also use forScore for some applications (specifically for linking lead sheets to backing tracks in my iTunes Library), but I use a general purpose document viewer called GoodReader to store my main library.  I chose GoodReader for two reasons:  it supports hierarchical folders, and it syncs with the "official" copy of my library on my Mac with a single tap.

11  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Anyone can unlock your Mac by typing "root" on: Dec 04, 2017, 07:59AM

robcat2075 writes:

> Unbelievable oversight or most unhidden backdoor ever?

Apple reached new heights of sheer sloppiness last week.  I suspect there were some personnel changes in Apple's release management group.  Let's review:

1. A bad macOS release goes out allowing anyone to login as root without a password.

2.  Apple releases a patch without adequate testing and unwisely decides to have Software Update install it on customer devices without user intervention.  The patch fixes the root login problem but breaks File Sharing.  Apple develops and releases yet another patch.

3.  A crash loop reported by numerous iOS 11.1.x users does not appear to affect 11.2 beta testers, so Apple decides to rush 12.2 out the door.  The release notes announce the availability of Apple Pay Cash (person-to-person transfers) but it doesn't work because the backend won't be turned on for another week.

12  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Anyone can unlock your Mac by typing "root" on: Dec 03, 2017, 06:16AM

sudo passwd root
13  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: USB stick fail on: Oct 29, 2017, 09:16AM

Whitbey writes:

> This link is the stick I bought...

Since it doesn't mention what version of the USB spec it supports I suspect it's a USB 2.0 device.  That's the explanation for your speed problem; you're moving a *lot* of data to a very slow device. If your computer supports USB 3.0 get a USB 3.0 stick next time, or better yet get a USB 3.0 external SSD, otherwise you'll just have to wait for the copy to complete.  Just for sake of comparison, it took me eight minutes recently to move two movie files to my media server over WiFi but only six seconds to copy them to a USB 3.0 Samsung T-3 backup drive.

As you discovered, you can't put a computer to sleep while copying files to external media, remove the media, and expect the copy process to continue later where it left off.  On Unix systems (including Macs) the 'rsync' utillity facilitates syncing two file systems, including recovery from an interrupted sync process.  I don't "do" Windows, but there appear to be a number of 'rsync' work-alikes available for Windows.  Perhaps a savvy Windows user can recommend one.

14  Town Hall / Comments and Suggestions / Re: Donations on: Oct 23, 2017, 06:41AM

Euphanasia writes:

> if you were to set it up as a GoFundMe, then people
> could actually track how their contributions move
> toward a goal.

But that would allow everyone to see how much money had been collected, information the proprietor has NEVER shared with anyone, not even the staff.  Only the proprietor knows the actual cost of operating this site, which some have suggested is far less than is collected in donations.  If this is, in fact, the case, it should be clear why the proprietor doesn't want to disclose donation totals.

15  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Time to rethink Kapersky on: Oct 11, 2017, 10:15AM

A Russian security firm founded by a former KGB intelligence officer is selling software that spies on its users?  I'm shocked, I tell you, shocked!

16  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: IOS 11 on: Oct 09, 2017, 08:18AM

Of possible interest to Howard and others is the release of a "legacy" version of iTunes that still supports app management.  It's intended for corporate customers but is generally available at present, so it if you're interested grab it soon before Apple changes its mind.

17  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: IOS 11 on: Sep 22, 2017, 03:44PM

Howard writes:

> If anyone know if iOS 11 requires the latest iTunes,
> I'd appreciate hearing.

Word is that iOS 11 does play nice with iTunes 12.6.  I feel your pain.  We had satellite Internet service with a 17GB/mo cap for a decade, and my workflow was the same as yours.  But when we entered the world of iOS apps I had to charge up the Mac, take it to the public library, and use their network to download updates.

Driswood writes:

> Waiting to see how it affects battery life.

Remember that there is almost always some kind of buzz in the wind about reduced battery life associated with major OS releases.  A common explanation for this is that folks spend a lot of time fiddling with new features, updating apps, etc., comsuming more battery than they usually do.  That’s the best reason to wait a week or so before trying to evaluate battery life.

18  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: Need some sound isolating headphones on: Sep 20, 2017, 08:08PM

Something to keep in mind when considering price, especially if you expect to wear your ‘phones for long periods, is comfort.  Everyone’s ears are different, and ‘phones that are comfortable for one person may not be comfortable for you.  Personally I’ve never found any in-ear ‘phones I would want to wear for a long time, and I would certainly want to “test drive” any on-ear or over-ear ‘phones before making a decision.  Needless to say, the more comfortable ‘phones often cost more.  As with selecting a trombone, try before you buy if at all possible.

As for active noise cancelling, both my Here One “smart” earbuds mand my Parrot Zik over-ear phones do a pretty good job.  They remove fixed freauencies like airplane noise, the hum of an old refrigerator motor, the buzz of a lawnmower outside, etc. almost completely.  They also do a decent job of attenuating random noise, like a TV in the background; you can still hear it but muted and at a much lower volume, as if it’s behind a closed door in the next room.  Add some music at even just a moderate volume and background noise is pretty much inconsequential.

19  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: The computer bug is 70 years old on: Sep 09, 2017, 02:22PM

Exactly, except with radio waves.  She was often asked by military brass, politicians, and bureaucrats why it took so long for signals to propagate through a satellite, so when she spoke she'd pass out the short lengths of wire to everyone in the audience and explain, "It's because there are so many nanoseconds between here and the satellite."
20  Horns, Gear, and Equipment / Technology / Re: The computer bug is 70 years old on: Sep 09, 2017, 09:59AM

More interesting than the moth itself is the story of Grace Hopper, the person who logged the moth's discovery and one of the brighter luminaries in the history of computing (those of you who were lucky enough to hear Admiral Hopper speak in the '70s probably still have one of the "nanoseconds" she passed out; I still have mine.)  And just for sake of completeness it looks like it was Thomas Edison who first used the term "bug" in an engineering context.
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