I am still around - well more not than I am. I am sorry that I did not have the time to hang around more here on APUG. I was sick and had a lot to do for my job and no time to spend in the darkroom at all. So this also means for this round that I am late and I am sorry about this. But I will have some time next week to do my postcards. Better late than never.
The following was not easy for me to write, but in the end I had to.
I organize this exchange now for some time. A lot of people showed up, some stayed, some went away again, for some who left the exchange it was nearly as seeing friends leaving - and then there is this base of regulars - great people. And it was fun to go to the mailbox to find a nice postcard and knowing from the image alone who sent it. It's a great exchange, maybe the best invention here on APUG. I like this exchange and organizing it was a pleasure for me. But lately time got short and I was not able to be around here as I should have been as an organizer of the exchange. I am sorry it took me so long to realize and admit that at the current state of affairs I am not a good organizer of the postcard exchange. And that is not what you folks deserve.
OK, it's better to make it short: I decided that I can no longer organize this exchange. Not an easy decision for me, but we need someone to jump in and take over this exchange. Whoever is willing to take over, please send PM to me.
Sorry to see you relinquish the helm of the ship, but understand your reasons. A big Thank You for undertaking the organisation for as long as you have - it's been thoroughly enjoyable, and hopefully, someone will have the time to do the same (what HUGE shoes they have to fill!!!! :D)
Ruediger, you lasted longer than me! You've done a great job but sounds like it's time to let someone else have a go... not me though :)
I've been in this thing since round 10, I think. It has been what keeps the darkroom habit going for me at times - a forced deadline to get something out , even when the rest of my life is busy.
I would hate to see it fold. I am not a computer guru. That is why I love the darkroom; a reason to not look at the thing.
I understand that Ruediger has developed a tool to aid in automating the distribution lists.
If he is willing to pass on his tool, could explain what skills are needed to run that tool, and the platform it runs on, that might allow others to consider the task with less trepidation.
Like Mike I would hate to see it fold, and like Ruediger I too feel I have come to know so many of you through the exchange.;)
Originally Posted by Mike Wilde
After reading Ruediger's post and pondering on the challenges of taking on the postcard exchange, I am willing. I would be interested in understanding the automation behind the distribution list.
Oh I had better get round to printing all my cards for this round.
To set peoples minds at rest, Andy is at least the third to volunteer so the list will continue.
Andy I'll send you a PM shortly.
I'd volunteer to be the 4th, but I would assume that I haven't been around long enough.
OK, it's good to see so many people willing to jump in. So this exchange will live on. Very good. So now let me describe a bit the "technical aspect" coming with the groupings.
Yes I wrote a little Java program which allows me to easily do the groupings, all that is needed is an input file in the correct format. With this file the program creates the groups. The next thing is to send out the PMs with the address lists as these lists are different for every participant. Since I am kind of lazy my program creates a big macro file which I can run in Firefox with the iMacros plugin. So within half an hour all PMs are sent with only one click. But here is also the hairy part of it. Whenever the software running the forum the html to send a PM changes and that means that I have to adjust the part which creates the macro file. So if you are able to do a little bit of Java programming ...
OTOH I already have a program which just generates all the PMs to be sent and you can copy/paste from that file into your browser to send the PMs manually.
To use all this the minimum you would have to:
- be able to use a real editor (not to mix up with a word processor like wordpad or Word or OpenOffice etc)
- be able to install Java on your computer and run a Java program from the command line (my little program has no fancy window user interface)
- be able to deal with people who are a bit nasty when you make something wrong - a very rare case not happened for a long time
At the moment we have four people who want to volunteer (ozphoto, George Nova Scotia, Oxleyroad and Christopher Coy) that's great. And @Christopher - when I jumped in I wasn't around very long either. So I would not like to be the person who prefers one over the others. I think everybody should be able to use my program at least with the manual sending of PMs. The hardest part is to find good groupings and that is solved with the program. Sending the PMs by hand is probably one hour of concentrated but manual and boring work. I have to say that I resign not because of this part. I resign because I do not have the time to be around enough to be a good organizer.
Thanks to all of you who make this a great exchange.
When I was at the helm I did the matching and emailing (direct emails to your email) from an MS-Access DB I created. If that's useful for someone I'm willing to revisit it and help get you up and running.
And Now for Something Completely Different ...
I received Dercks "Lava Arch" today. Very fine shot indeed! I love the dark lava against the light grey water.