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Huw Griffiths

RMweb Gold
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Everything posted by Huw Griffiths

  1. If, instead of this site, anyone were to look at Android games, there'd be no element of doubt. With lots of them, the "get rid" flag doesn't exist. With others, it might appear to exist - but clicking on it only takes you through to a "sales" site or (when the adverts are for games), it takes you to what looks like the "play store" - often repeatedly - before (hopefully) finally allowing you to return to your "game". Whatever the score, you know you're going to be forced to sit through at least one 30 second advert for every few seconds of "gameplay". As for the "games" themselves, many of them seem to have been designed specifically to ensure that you spend much longer looking at ads than you're allowed to spend actually playing the games. Often, the difficulty of levels also seems to be calibrated - either so easy that a 2 year old could clear them in a few seconds - or unplayable without "boosters", for which you're either expected to pay or forced to sit through even more adverts. Strangely enough, I'm not planning on downloading / installing any Android games any time soon ... .
  2. Sounds like it could be a case of: "Euston, we have a Problem ... ."
  3. I must admit that I hadn't noticed the emojis. However, in view of a number of recent posts from some people (not all of whom remain here), the "debate" doesn't look like going away any time soon. As for the stuff about advertising, premium membership etc, I don't see any need for people here to panic. Yes - there are / have been problems with certain adverts - but this is being worked on. "RMweb Gold" / "WoR Plus" works for some of us - fair enough. Standard membership works for some people (especially once the "bugs" get "swatted"). As for people who don't want all the adverts - and are happy to contribute towards the site costs - but don't want the "full-fat" "WoR Plus" package - it sounds like there might soon be something for them, too. Of course, if anyone wants none of these options, nobody is forcing them to join or stay. Although I'm sure that some people would disagree with me (and I'd have no problem with them disagreeing with me), I can't help wondering if there's actually anything further that can usefully be added to this debate - at least until "RMweb Silver" (or whatever it's called) is officially launched. When this does happen, I'm sure that a new thread about it is likely to "pop up".
  4. Andy makes an excellent point about the hosting - although I must admit that I wouldn't be in any rush out of the door. As for the suggestion of Gold members looking down on anyone who disagrees with us (or, as effectively suggested in another person's post a few days ago, anyone who disagrees with moderators etc), I don't think this could be much further from reality. In my case, I only "signed up" for "RMweb Gold" earlier this year - and this was mainly because a deal on offer at the time worked for me. There's certainly no "looking down" from me. I could also add that, for a number of years, I worked in a university - in daily contact with students - so I'm used to people having and expressing their own opinions (including opinions which I might not happen to agree with). I've never been in the habit of "slapping down" discussion - far from it - although I'd obviously prefer this discussion to remain polite and civilised, as at present.
  5. I can understand where you're coming from - especially if you're referring to small shows, run by a local club. The position might be rather different for large "commercial" shows - held at major exhibition centres - at some of which the catering has prompted a number of very critical posts on sites like this. Made them visit the shower? (For some of these guys, I could imagine that being like something out of a horror movie.) Oh, sorry, you meant the sandwiches - in flavours like fish paste, or mashed-up boiled egg? The thought also sounds decidedly scary.
  6. There was me, thinking of him as "the voice of Quest". He certainly seems to narrate lots of their programmes (not that I've got any problems with this, you understand).
  7. Absolutely. There was always the risk that someone might see the "Preview" ... .
  8. Well I guess it's either that or a name for people who count "rivet counters".
  9. Let's guess - did he say he'd prefer a year's supply of cakes? I think we both know which would be the cheaper option ... .
  10. Some people might regard your analysis as rather harsh. There are significant costs attached to running a site like this one - and that's even when this relies heavily on people spending a lot of their own time (ie unpaid) "policing" the site and whatever stuff other people post on it. I also didn't miss you saying that you don't even buy model railway themed magazines very often (and presumably Warners model railway titles even less often) - this would suggest to a reasonable person that you probably don't contribute very much towards the cost of running this site. For this reason, I would "respectfully" suggest that you might not find too many people around here particularly sympathetic to your viewpoint. Fair comment. An "interesting" analysis - albeit based on incorrect assumptions. Firstly, a lot of subscriptions won't be at the current "new subscriber" prices. The prices vary over time - and renewals are often based on "rollover" of existing subscription deals, with annual direct debits at the prices originally charged. This is made clear in letters / emails sent to new new subscribers upon "signing up". To be honest, this strikes me as fair - after all, in addition to existing subscribers not getting any "new customer" freebies which might sometimes be offered eg at shows, there's more administrative work involved in setting up a new subscriber (and sorting out any "teething problems) than there would be in allowing an existing contract to auto-renew. Apart from staff time (not all of which is likely to be remunerated), web hosting and software also cost money - and I suspect there might well be other costs I don't know about. In other words, I very much doubt if Warners would see very much of this "vault full of dosh" that some people appear to imagine might exist. Let's face it, pal - you are definitely not being patronised - and I somehow doubt if Andy, Phil or anyone else particularly care for being trolled. OK - you might not personally agree with my assessment - and it's reasonable to expect you to have your own viewpoint. However, the tone of some of your recent posts comes across as somewhat combative - verging on abrasive - so a lot of people round these parts would have no complaints about Andy or Phil getting irritated. In fact, you can count yourself lucky - on a number of forum sites, your recent posts would probably have led to a ban, forum suspension, "moderated status" or other disciplinary action. You know what your options are. I would "respectfully" suggest that it's time for you to make your choice. Huw.
  11. In the past, I seem to recall some sections of this site having been sponsored by some model railway businesses. I'm not sure if something based around this might be an option in the future - or perhaps a parallel advertising stream, administered by Warners, in which businesses which directly approach Warners (and are presumably reasonably relevant) get the opportunity to place header / footer adverts, visible to everyone. One of the issues for many of us is that we're never likely to have much idea of the terms of any ad placement contracts sites like this have with Google (probably "commercially sensitive", for want of a better description - and quite possibly designed to favour Google). Anyway, if the "Advertising sub forum" concept could be made to work, it sounds like it could be a good idea. I don't want to stop legitimate, relevant, businesses letting us know what they have to offer - I doubt if many people here would want to stop them. Totally irrelevant (and in some cases downright offensive) or intrusive ads are a completely different matter - which the people "behind" this site probably "like" about as much as the rest of us. Huw. Before anyone "jumps in", I should probably mention that this post "crossed" with those from Andy and Ian - a situation not helped by the site automatically logging me out whilst I was typing. Still, what should I expect - after all, I'd been logged in for a full 2 minutes ... . I could also mention that the BRM ad appears in a different place on my Android tablet (on the forum "front page", on the right, just before status updates - it doesn't appear otherwise). Apart from this, after logging in, the only other ads I've seen recently have also been BRM / Warners related (skills week, stuff like that). Of course, before logging in is a completely different matter, which I'm sure Andy is fed up of hearing about.
  12. Either that, or there's another bus on the same route, a few metres in front of it. Although my post was a comment about the sort of stuff that I'd imagine might fill up a notional website about bus spotting, I referred to a real vehicle (which, as a prototype, found its way into a number of books and magazines). The stuff about other vehicles with the same design of bodywork being recalled was also well known - others (including some in a town I worked in) also had completely different bodies fitted some years later. For obvious reasons, although I only mentioned stuff that would be "checkable", there was plenty more that I didn't mention. I didn't want someone posting a rambling reply - setting out mind-numbing details of how I'd got my facts wrong - followed by full operational details of every vehicle fitted with this design of bodywork (and, presumably, where some individual sourced a cheap, nylon, zip-up jacket, about 10 years ago - I definitely don't want to know where they buy the fish paste for their sandwiches). Just for information, my coat is made of waxed cotton - as was the coat it replaced. I wouldn't want anyone to get the wrong idea ... . Anyway, I think that's enough about that stuff. Huw.
  13. Although another member of this site might hit the "report" flag on this occasion, you can't guarantee that this will happen every time. For this reason, if anyone else wishes to change their "board name", I wonder if it might be worthwhile sending Andy a PM. After all, there are lots of threads on this site - probably too many to constantly keep track of all of them - and I suspect that a number of them are likely to give Andy far more grief than this one - so threads like this one can easily get missed. Huw.
  14. Wow! That sounds exciting! I wonder if they've got some decent photos of that Bristol RE, which got rebodied with a prototype of some new coach body - which only otherwise got used on mid-engined chassis, some of which were recalled due to structural weakness around the rear luggage locker ... . I mean ... I'm sure they must have even more exciting stuff just like this. I can't wait ... to give it a really wide berth. Huw.
  15. With a brewery in my part of the world putting a load of pubs up for sale, there might soon be less places you can get a pint of beer. Whether you regard this beer as decent depends on your personal taste. As for the reference to "buy one get one free", I could imagine a lot of places running these promotions precisely because they have difficulty persuading enough people to buy both the "paid for" item and the "free" one at full price. However, the prize for odd promo pairings would have to go to some hypermarkets in the Middle East a number of years ago, when my brother worked in that part of the world. There, it seemed quite commonplace for items to have no apparent connection with each other - by which I mean pairings along the lines of "buy a large box of cornflakes - get a can of WD-40 free". OK - I can't remember seeing that particular pairing, but ... . (Since this was a number of years ago, I can't remember any specific examples, but this was typical of what I saw - certainly, a lot of the pairings did seem to be completely random, with no discernible logic to them.) Ssshhh! Please don't say that stuff too loudly!! Some of us are rather keen for our existing subscription deals to get rolled over!!! Fair comment. There's also the issue of companies not wanting to offer too many package deal options to new customers. Too wide a range of options could potentially lead to the extra costs involved in offering / setting them up exceeding any potential extra revenue from new customers. If, instead, they just offer a limited number of standard options - let's call them "A", "B" and perhaps "C", they might be able to reduce this problem. In view of me not having access to a car, it's hardly surprising that I can recall a public transport related example of this sort of thing. A few years ago, a bus manufacturer offered "basic" and "high spec" versions of one of their vehicles - well they did until they "drilled into" their accounts. Someone worked out that, if they only offered the posh version, they'd be able to sell it for less than the base model would otherwise cost! It sounds like this decision probably made itself. Anyway, returning to the topic of RMweb Gold, I've never been against it - although, for it to work for me personally, several factors needed to work together. The deal I'm currently on definitely works for me - in fact, it's such a good deal that I would probably have been crazy not to "sign up" for it. Of course, if I'd felt that anyone was trying to "bounce" me into "signing up", I would have been rather less keen on even this deal - thankfully, though, I didn't need to worry on this score. In fact, signing up for "RMweb Gold" (as it was then called) has turned out to be a very good call for me. Whether it's also a good call for other people is not for me to decide. Huw.
  16. I don't know about the Romans - but I seem to recall reading something along similar lines about rug makers in some Muslim countries. He looks friendly ... .
  17. Now that many of us have read the write-ups - seen the videos - what have we taken away from them? Have they got us thinking about new things we might be able to do - or new methods to try? Also, how many of us have different ways of doing things - that we'd be happy to share, in a positive way? For example, when I saw Howard demonstrating brush stippling "stonework" on a model station building, I was struck by how effective this looked. However, this struck me as tedious (perhaps maddening) to do - and I wondered if dabbing paint on using a small foam brush (like those sold by Asda etc in kids' craft sets) might be a lot quicker. Meanwhile, Phil's video - showing the use of a servomotor and servo tester to operate a level crossing gate - got me wondering if it might be possible to use similar gear to operate a transfer table (albeit one with rather more travel than the gate). If I were to try this, I suspect that I'd need to do something about the gearing and travel limits for the servomotor. I wouldn't hold your breath ... . Anyway, that's enough from me for now. What have you taken away from the skills week? Huw.
  18. I suspect that steam locomotives are one of a number of things that a number of people could lay claim to inventing (or inventing different refinements that made them workable). How do you define "inventing steam locomotives" - the basic concept of using a steam engine on wheels, to pull trains - superheated boilers - or perhaps something else? In a sense, this reminds me of television. Who invented that - Baird ( whose original system was soon rendered obsolete) - or perhaps one of the other pioneers connected with TV? Huw.
  19. More "gold" content - perhaps with pointers in the "gold members' zone"? Perhaps not - just a throwaway thought! Huw.
  20. Fair comment. As for the point about squeezing pliers too hard, this is why I thought it best to mention the possible use of a small screwdriver to open up the slots in rail joiners. I don't doubt that other people will have their own ideas here, though. Huw.
  21. I haven't often needed to work with rail joiners - when I have, I've just used old-school box nose pliers. As you're aware, these joiners are basically a thin metal strip, bent up into a flattened tube (which covers the flanges at the bottom of the rail), with a slot the whole length of the joiner (which the vertical web of the rail goes into). Just slide the joiners around the flanges - using pliers to hold them - you want them to stay in place, so they don't want to be loose - but they also don't want to be too tight. The joiners can be flattened / tightened using the pliers - to loosen them, a small flat blade screwdriver might also come in useful. As for these tools - along with the fancy drill bits - I'd be inclined to try looking in a specialist tool shop (lots of large towns have them - but I'm sure that some of these places also sell by post or over the internet). I'm not sure if Screwfix or Toolstation do the drill bits - but probably worth checking. (I'd be surprised if the pliers and screwdrivers weren't to feature in their catalogues.) Otherwise, keep your eyes open the next few times Lidl or Aldi do "centre aisle" promos on tools / DIY. Huw.
  22. Immediately after the first screening of episode 1 of the series 3 of "The Architecture The Railways Built", there was a repeat of 2 episodes of "Secrets Of The London Underground". The car from the 1980s green prototype train was of interest to me - mainly because I remember travelling on it in February 1987, when it was used on the Jubilee Line. Although the trains were brightly coloured (and looked somewhat incongruous), I don't recall seeing too much in the way of branding on them (of course, I might just have not been looking too hard). The 3 prototype trains were split up - with sections of each train marshalled together to form trains. These trains were used in passenger service for a short time - with some distinctly anodyne questionnaire forms made available for passengers to fill in. In case anyone's wondering how I can be so definite about when this was, at the time I was a 21 year old student on an industrial training year. At the time, British Rail offered a February "wow deal" to people with Young Person's Railcards - InterCity returns between pretty much any 2 stations for something like a fiver a "pop" (after a certain time, I think) - and no need to book in advance. (I seem to recall that a similar deal a year later also came in rather useful ... .) In my case, I took a week's annual leave - took (and failed) my second driving test on the Monday - and did a series of day trips from Hartford (on the WCML, a couple of kilometres from my lodgings in Northwich) to London. You can safely assume that my Travelcard got a serious workout. Huw.
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