A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Let us all know what you are up to with your current restoration project. Get that Minor on the road!

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don58van
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A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby don58van » Sat Oct 12, 2019 12:46 am

Webmaster, and others

One of the most important functions of this Club is to help Minors to survive in a safe and serviceable condition.

Unfortunately some of the Club's very valuable resources to this end have been damaged.

Many of you will be aware of outstanding restoration threads by Neil MG and Taupe. They have lost their usefulness because photos have been lost from the threads. (I don't pretend that these are (were) the only excellent restoration threads on the site).

I, and I am sure, many other inexperienced restorers, regard these threads as extremely valuable resources. (I have every book on Minor restoration, but I regarded these threads as offering a lot more).

Can we think creatively about getting the photos back?

1) I know this is an outrageously cheeky suggestion*, but is there any chance that the original photos (ie direct from the contributors) can be restored to the threads?
I know it would involve considerable (unreasonable/impractical?) work and time--and might not be even be possible.

2) Or, perhaps someone out there downloaded the threads before the photos went missing (I did this for several threads on an Australian Minor site before the photos went missing, thus being able to make them available to the for reloading).

3) Is there another way, short of paying a ridiculous ransom to the original hosting site, to get them back?

If there is something within reason that I could do, I am up for it.

Don

* Because it is proposing that others contribute their work and time.

Mark Wilson
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby Mark Wilson » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:36 am

I'll second Don''s plea - this is extremely important. It would be good to have a response from someone in the club.

Mark

simmitc
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby simmitc » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:28 am

I have drawn this thread to Mike's attention. I'm sure that he already does everything he can, but will await his comments on this subject.

PoolGuy
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby PoolGuy » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:33 am

I agree. There’s a huge amount of useful information here, but equally there are lots of broken links which is frustrating when you think you’re about to be linked to a thread that will answer your question.

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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby taupe » Mon Oct 28, 2019 9:46 pm

Don

I have a copy of my Rose Taupe Traveller thread with photos......The original thread dosent seem to be editable or I could reload the original pics which have been so spoilt by Photobucket.......

Taupe

don58van
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby don58van » Tue Oct 29, 2019 6:08 am

Taupe

PM sent.

Don

kevin s
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby kevin s » Thu Nov 07, 2019 12:22 pm

I have the photos which I could update mine with but as above can't access it for editing, in fact half the time I can't even open it.

don58van
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby don58van » Thu Nov 07, 2019 8:18 pm

I sent our Webeditor a message on 29/10 about allowing the OPs access to edit the threads ... but alas it hasn't been viewed yet.

Don

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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby Admin » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:25 am

Nope, happy to hold my hand up for stuff I'm accountable for, but even I can't read messages I've never been sent :)
Mike Dean
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don58van
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby don58van » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:12 am

Hi Mike

It appears that I sent the message to the wrong PM address. :oops:

I sent it to 'Webeditor' (as I said in my previous post) rather than 'Admin'.

So... I'll try again.

Regards
Don

BTW: Who is Webeditor then, if it is not you? The message I referred to is still in my Outbox.

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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby geoberni » Sun Nov 10, 2019 2:52 pm

don58van wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:12 am

BTW: Who is Webeditor then, if it is not you? The message I referred to is still in my Outbox.
Somebody who hasn't been here since 2006....
Screenshot_20191110-144449.png
Screenshot_20191110-144449.png (79.91 KiB) Viewed 338 times
Basil the 1955 series II

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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby Admin » Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:33 am

The usual but not only reason that pictures go missing from threads is that they are no longer available at the place they were hosted, and redirected, from. In older iterations of the message board, images simply couldn't be posted in threads, and were just links to the images hosted elsewhere online. I think I remember posting myself here fifteen years or so ago and having to put links to photos hosted on various image hosting sites for my pictures. Some of those hosts gave that service 'free' by advertising embedded on the pages with your images etc and we ended up with distinctly dubious advertising (think porn/littlebluepills/dodgydating/etc) linked within this site - not great.
With the advent of very cheap data storage, most of those image hosting services have now disappeared, taking with them the pictures that were hosted there and meaning that the links on our site to those pics simply shows empty boxes. I very regularly get quite stroppy messages from members telling me that I've deleted their stuff and I need to put it straight back when I haven't done a thing to their posts! I usually ignore the messages as I'll not deny it's a struggle to be polite to someone who's shouting at me for something he's too ignorant to understand he did himself :roll: .
But there are also a not-insignificant number of messages which have lost their images due to errors on the board, and these are very very difficult - sometimes genuinely impossible - to resolve because of legacy issues with our software. The underpinning software that runs this message board hasn't been current for a decade, which is a lifetime in software terms, and because it has been edited and modified so often over that time, by well-intentioned but amateur assistants who haven't commented their code changes to let successors know what has been changed where and for what reason, it's not possible to upgrade this board to run the later version of the software.
We get the odd complaint that the board doesn't do X feature well - or at all in some cases - but the complainant isn't factoring in that this board was around and providing this service long before the advent of other types of board software that now does it better, and before the idea of Facebook et al had even been conceived. Those complaints are the equivalent of being annoyed that you bought a Morris Minor and it can't stop as well as a modern hatchback!
Editing rights is another question that looks incredibly easy at first glance, but which is actually more more difficult to answer. In the past there were near unlimited editing time limits, but we had instances where people revisited threads years later and removed their posts from it, rendering the rest of the thread worthless as it didn't now 'flow' correctly. Worse, people had made accounts here using email addresses they've now abandoned or just don't use, and that led to significant further issues.
The 'easy' answer to these issues is just to get rid of this board and install a faster newer cheaper alternative, but again that comes with a price - we'd lose the valuable content that is here now. An alternative is to allow this board to stay, but not have any more posts to it, as a searchable 'archive'. Any new posts would go on a new board, but we could refer to this one for older stuff. That's the 'least worst' if you like, and that's what we want to do, but we're looking to see if we can bring users from this one to the new one to avoid any issues of 'Minor1000 is pete@wherever.com on the old board, but Minor1000 is john@somewhereelse.com on the new one'.
As for solving this particular issue, I don't know which thread/s are referred to* but if someone would like to send me a PM (there's a link under my name on the left) I'll look to change the editing rights to them such that the original author can replace images if they so desire.
Mike Dean
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don58van
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby don58van » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:13 pm

Hi Mike and others

Thank you for your very informative post. There are many points in your post that I didn't know and I am sure that would be true of most other users of the board.

I want to make it clear to all that when I started this thread, I didn't intend to imply criticism of anyone nor of the messageboard software. Rather, I was only seeking a specific outcome--rectification of one or two threads that had apparently been affected by actions taken by photo hosting sites (ie. third parties, out of the control of our Webmaster and original posters of the threads).

What is needed is to restore all the photos, in their original quality, that were originally posted therein. I think this would involve giving the original posters editing rights to those threads so that they can re-upload the relevant photos from their personal collections.

OK, some will think that I am inventing work for other people to do. To those people, I would say that one of the core functions of our Club is to keep our Minors on the road and in serviceable, safe condition. The threads I am thinking of gave excellent guidance on making bodywork repairs, particularly those aspiring to a high standard of work. They would not only be of great assistance to DIY owners, but they will help those using commercial repairers by giving them benchmarks of what standard of work is achievable.

I must declare that I am restoring some Minors myself and found these threads extremely helpful (before the photos went missing or were corrupted). I have all the publications on Minor restoration, but I still found the aforementioned threads particularly helpful.

I hope the threads can be restored, but of course I understand that there may be technical impediments and others may not be able to contribute the very significant time and effort needed.

Mike: I will be sending you a PM.

Don

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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby Admin » Tue Nov 12, 2019 10:21 pm

Absolutely no offence taken Don - I agree entirely that the threads are too useful to lose if we can do anything, so as I said I'm happy to grant specific permissions to replace missing pics if the original poster is able and willing to do so!
Mike Dean
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don58van
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby don58van » Thu Nov 14, 2019 1:16 am

All

You will see that Taupe has commenced replacing the photo's in his Rose Taupe Traveller Restoration thread. You will see that his starting point was... errm... jaw-dropping :o :o :o . Thanks to him and our Webmaster.

I have been in contact with Neil MG. I am delighted to advise that he, without hestation, offered to restore his photos too. :D :D :D :D

What a great Club we have. Neil MG and Taupe are willing to undertake all this extra work so that we can benefit. And our Webmaster is doing the work necessary to enable them to do it.

If you haven't seen these threads, I urge you to have a look. They are inspiring. (Neil will need some time to find his photos, but as you see above, Taupe has already started.)

I repeat my earlier remarks that these two certainly aren't the only examples on our messageboard of clever and skillful restoration work by members. That said, there are aspects that make them stand out.

Don

Mark Wilson
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby Mark Wilson » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:23 am

Don, thanks for your persistence with this important issue. And thanks to Mike for responding to it.

Is the club intending to take any action, eg a backup archive, to ensure the long term preservation of valuable posts?

Mark

don58van
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Re: A plea to restore valuable restoration threads

Postby don58van » Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:00 am

Hi Mark

I am very pleased that these threads are to be restored.

It really wasn't a matter of persistence. The players involved were all quite willing to get it done. There was a lengthy delay because I sent a key message to the wrong PM address.

Anyway, I for one will spend a good chunk of time viewing these threads again. I have two Minor restoration projects that have been in 'hibernation' for a few years for a variety of reasons, but I am eager to get things moving again.

As for protecting messageboard content against this type of loss in future, I feel that Mike (our Webmaster) is well aware of the issues (see his detailed post above).

As we have all learned, nothing is invulnerable in cyberspace, so I will be downloading key content to my own computer.

Don


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