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varuscelli
11-12-2006, 08:50 AM
Would any of you stringers out there be interested contributing to a stringing machine photo database/library?

While working on photos of my Gamma 6004 and participating in ongoing discussions of other machines, it looks like several of us have come to the conclusion that a source for machine photos (general photos as well as detailed photos, when possible) would be a great resource for the community.

Here's a link to my own project with the Gamma 6004:

Gamma 6004 Tennis Racquet Stringing Machine Photos (http://www.ruscelli.com/tennis_gamma_6004.htm)

(Edit a day after my original post: Here's a link to the first cut at the strining machine image library:

Tennis Racquet Stringing Machine Photo Project (http://www.photostringer.com/)

Hope this doesn't make things too disjointed.)

Resource-wise, it would have value to anyone who wants to buy a first machine, anyone interested in upgrading, and for general reference purposes.

For starters, I'd be willing to host the photos on my own site. Maybe eventually, TW would want to make it part of their own website/forum resources. But, to start, we could put forth our own effort. The photo database could always be transferred elsewhere if desired and if participation grows.

I could easily set up a series of pages dedicated to different brands and models of stringing machines, navigation structure, etc. I could take any images people want to contribute and place those in the proper category for make/model and set them up for reference.

Who knows, we might even be able to put together associated user manuals to go with the images. Gamma has many of those available on their website, but I've not seen many others available on the net. It's possible we could scan and insert PDF or HTML versions into the database to complement the photos (but that's thinking way ahead at this point).

We could even set up some really easy, basic criteria for photos. Full shot of the machine and a few close-ups of key components, to whatever extent each person is comfortable in contributing. Images could be e-mailed to me and I could take a first cut at it. I could optimize the images for the web, so it wouldn't be much work up front for anyone who wanted to contribute photos.

Anyone interested in participating? Redflea, jonolau, the rest of you guys who have already been posting some images?

Let me know what you think.

Swissv2
11-12-2006, 09:03 AM
Its a great project, but a suggestion could be a centralized website to list all the personal websites that have pictures (to save on bandwidth), and that website also having a repository for all those people who wish to upload their pictures.

The only thing I can see this project not going is
1. time
2. willing participants -> meaning few people have to contribute over 90% of the work
3. companies sensitive to having their copyrighted material (even though some manuals are public domain, some companies are like that).

GL with your project.

Swissv2
11-12-2006, 09:07 AM
had an interesting thought...you could take pictures of the serial numbers for insurance purposes. Say for example you have a table top and it gets stolen, if you haven't already registered your product with the company, then you have a record.

T.J. Planas
11-12-2006, 10:58 AM
I'm all for it. I'm one of those people who is frustrated with the lack of images that manufacturers furnish. I'm looking at buying a new machine in the 2-3k price range, and I can't seem to find any really good photos of key components.

-T.J.

jj300
11-12-2006, 11:22 AM
T.J,
2k-3k pick is easy
star 5
alpha equinox
silent partner opus

you can ask for pictures of star 5 from two people here that purchased one recently. there is an equinox owned by someone I know as well that posts on gss and I have a few pictures from Mark at alpha.

varuscelli
11-12-2006, 11:25 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Swissv2.

Its a great project, but a suggestion could be a centralized website to list all the personal websites that have pictures (to save on bandwidth), and that website also having a repository for all those people who wish to upload their pictures.

Actually, it could be a combination of photos on the site and links to other already established pages.

But the problem with links (and I have a lot of experience with this) is that every time you add a link, you're taking a chance that the link you added will eventually "expire" (sometimes sooner, sometimes later) Someone moves on to another site or changes the name of the page or removes a couple of photos or any one of a dozen scenarios where links go bad. It's a really frequent occurrence, so if photos are centralized and reside on one site, they won't disappear so easily. My own website has been up and running for quite a few years now and won't be going away any time soon. (Maintaining accurate and active links can end up being a real nightmare at times, but it's a good strategy with sites that are permanent.)

On the bandwidth thing, I've got quite a bit available because of the photographic nature of my site. Unless it started to be a real problem with thousands of extra visitors per month because of the stringing machine images, I don't foresee any issues. I run photography business with hundreds of visitors weekly, all of whom download images (bandwidth-wise) as part of the visits, so I'm thinking I can accommodate the extra visitors for the photo downloads of stringing machines (PDF manuals could be and entirely different issue). I can size images appropriately, so that it should be easily workable. Since the world of tennis stringers is relatively small, I can't really envision a problem with it.


The only thing I can see this project not going is
1. time
2. willing participants -> meaning few people have to contribute over 90% of the work
3. companies sensitive to having their copyrighted material (even though some manuals are public domain, some companies are like that).

GL with your project.

Time is OK since most of the work would fall on my shoulders.

I've got enough available here and there that if I do it slowly and methodically, I can keep up with it. It would grow as it grows. For redundant images, I would post only the best (not multiple similar images of the same machine, unless something made the image unique). For the people providing images, they might spend as little as 10 minutes taking a few shots of their machines (of course, more if they're so inclined). I've got the image posting part down pat, having been running my own photo site for the last seven or eight years. I'm willing to do the difficult part if people are willing to send me digital photos. I'll even enhance them as necessary to look good on the site (when any work is needed). :)

On copyrighted materials like manuals, that could be a legitimate concern. If so, we won't do them. I'm more interested in the photos than anything else. Access to manuals would just be a perk. I can ask for permission on the manuals and see if it flies. If not, we stick to photos. ;)

varuscelli
11-12-2006, 11:36 AM
you can ask for pictures of star 5 from two people here that purchased one recently. there is an equinox owned by someone I know as well that posts on gss and I have a few pictures from Mark at alpha.

Great, jj300. Got photos of your own machine you'd be willing to share? The Alpha, right? And if you have others of the Alpha machines, it would be a start (as long as there's not some kind of limitation on their use).

Hopefully, the other guys would be willing to respond, too. If there's a decent response from machine owners, I'll take 'em.

mellofelow
11-12-2006, 11:53 AM
Varuscelli,

Great idea bro... but my photography skill is sooo not up to par. Here's a thread I made a year ago regarding using fishing scale to calibrate tension. It contains a few pictures I took. If I borrow my brother's digital SLR, I might be able to take some close-ups of the Eagnas and the old Ektelon.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58248

varuscelli
11-12-2006, 12:07 PM
Varuscelli,

Great idea bro... but my photography skill is sooo not up to par. Here's a thread I made a year ago regarding using fishing scale to calibrate tension. It contains a few pictures I took. If I borrow my brother's digital SLR, I might be able to take some close-ups of the Eagnas and the old Ektelon.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58248

Thanks, mellofelow...

Hey, photo don't have to be perfect. I have an advantage in that I have kind of high-end equipment available. But the photos you showed me are great. Those would kind would work just fine as far as I'm concerned. To me, any kind of photo collection that helps people get an idea about what these machines really look like is going to be helpful.

And yeah, a digital SLR is best, but a point-and-shoot will do just fine. Even better if it can be used where it doesn't need to depend on its flash (with flashback glare and all). But that can be gotten around with bright lights in a room or even doing photos out on a back patio where natural sunlight might help. But like I said, the photos in the thread you pointed me to are just fine. :)

Redflea
11-12-2006, 01:26 PM
Great idea! I'll post a bunch of the Alpha Pioneer DC to my photobucket site, and you can grab all you want from there to put them on your site, right, V?

varuscelli
11-12-2006, 02:08 PM
Great idea! I'll post a bunch of the Alpha Pioneer DC to my photobucket site, and you can grab all you want from there to put them on your site, right, V?

That's great. ;)

I'm going to go ahead and take the initiative to set up a rough menu structure on my website based on major manufacturer names. I'll gradually break that down into models and we can start filling those with images. Pretty simple stuff once I can grab the images or have them sent to me.

Just send me a link to the PhotoBucket page (or link to it in this thread) and I'll download as needed.

Thanks, Redflea...

If anyone wants to e-mail me, please use either:

al@ruscelli.com or vruscelli@houston.rr.com

Contacting me via the TW e-mail function might not work (it hasn't in the past for some reason).

I can also be e-mailed from the linked page here:

http://www.photostringer.com/

Redflea
11-12-2006, 03:14 PM
Here's the link...I believe you can download the images directly from the site.

http://s137.photobucket.com/albums/q202/RedfleaBucket/?start=#imgAnch1

I may have time later today to take and upload a few more images, but it might be longer than that depending on the difference between my plans and my wife's plans for the rest of the day. ;)

varuscelli
11-12-2006, 04:20 PM
Here's the link...I believe you can download the images directly from the site.

http://s137.photobucket.com/albums/q202/RedfleaBucket/?start=#imgAnch1

I may have time later today to take and upload a few more images, but it might be longer than that depending on the difference between my plans and my wife's plans for the rest of the day. ;)

Great! That will work just fine.

No rush on anything since I still have to set up a directory and navigation structure, and I really envision this as a long-term project to be slowly built up. But I'll likely start on the web pages and navigation to just show how it can be done. ;)

varuscelli
11-12-2006, 10:13 PM
OK, I've put together a sort of "shell" of a set of web pages to see if we can get something worthwhile going on this stringing machine photo project.

To visit, click below:

Tennis Racquet Stringing Machine Photos (http://www.photostringer.com/)

Feedback and other help will be appreciated!

There's a lot to fill in. But a rough intro page is in place, a sample page in the form of my Gamma 6004 page, and place holders for about a dozen of the stringing machine manufacturers are in place.

Eventually, the manufacturer pages will be broken out into separate models, if all goes well and if we get enough participation from other tennis players/stringers.

I've left some of the minor and/or obsolete manufacturers off the list, but may also have left some major players out. I could use help with who else to include and who to maybe leave of. There are a whole lot of question marks - but, it's a start. :)

Again, feedback on what needs to change or anything else is welcome.

Redflea
11-12-2006, 11:37 PM
'Tis a thing of beauty...very nice job very quickly. Of course, I think the home page should feature my Alpha, but maybe I'm just a bit biased... ;)

Maybe add links to the TW Stringing Machine and Stringing forums from your pages.

And edit your first post in this thread to include the link.

Really nice work - I hope we get some contributors to build up the image library.

varuscelli
11-12-2006, 11:44 PM
'Tis a thing of beauty...very nice job very quickly. Of course, I think the home page should feature my Alpha, but maybe I'm just a bit biased... ;)

Maybe add links to the TW Stringing Machine and Stringing forums from your pages.

And edit your first post in this thread to include the link.

Really nice work - I hope we get some contributors to build up the image library.

Hey, I'm still up and working on it. Dang, I have a Links page but forgot to "link" the links page to the rest of the pages. It has a link to the TW forums on it as the first link already (the only link for the moment). Let me "relink" it.

I also just downloaded your Alpha pics, so that's next... :)

Yeah, great idea to put the link in my first post! Too busy to think of stuff like that.

And thanks for using the word "Library." That's what it needs to be called, I think. Or I need to sprinkle that word in as an occasional part of the description.

varuscelli
11-13-2006, 12:34 AM
OK, Redflea, you're up there too, now.

To test, go to the main page, click on the Alpha Link, then click on the Alpha Pioneer DC image on the Alpha page. Your images should magically appear. ;)

Tennis Racquet Stringing Machine Photo Project (http://www.ruscelli.com/tennis_stringing_machines.htm)

And now, I must be off to bed...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

theace21
11-13-2006, 07:03 AM
Looks good, can't wait to see the new photos...

LttlElvis
11-13-2006, 07:55 AM
varuscelli,

I would like to send you pics of my set up. My stringer is not brand new though (6 years old). Is there a place we can self critique (pros/cons) our machines or have our own commentary about the machine? I think it would be good to have basic headings such as Brand/Model, date of purchase, price, pros, cons within the pics we post.

I wonder if the board moderators can put up a sticky at the top of this forum so all can access it quickly?

Once again, thanks for making that website, varuscelli. Good job.

varuscelli
11-13-2006, 08:20 AM
varuscelli,

I would like to send you pics of my set up. My stringer is not brand new though (6 years old). Is there a place we can self critique (pros/cons) our machines or have our own commentary about the machine? I think it would be good to have basic headings such as Brand/Model, date of purchase, price, pros, cons within the pics we post.

I wonder if the board moderators can put up a sticky at the top of this forum so all can access it quickly?

Once again, thanks for making that website, varuscelli. Good job.

Thanks, and great feedback.

I'd be glad to post images of older machines. You can either post them somewhere temporarily on the Internet and give me the link so I can download them myself (if you have a way to do that, like Photobucket or whatever) or send them to me via e-mail. (vruscelli@houston.rr.com or al@ruscelli.com).

And I'd be glad to post any comments the photo originator would like to send along with the images. I can label them to a certain extent (as long as the person sending the images gives me the info he'd like to have associated with the specific images).

What I could do is set up some optional photo submittal criteria, just as you stated. We'd obviously want to give the machine an accurate label, but if the person wants to, they could provide other suggested details.

I'd love to be able to set it up for users to post their own comments, but my expertise in that area is sadly lacking. I know how to set up comment areas, but I DON'T know an easy way to keep out spammers and spambots, etc., so "open" comment areas tend to get flooded with irrelevant spam. I tried it before with another area of my website and got slammed by spammers to such an extent that I had to shut that part down. Maybe with this I'll be able to figure a way around it. But if anyone wants to send critiques/comments with the photos, I'll post those right there with the images.

And personally, I really do think this one would make a very good sticky for the Stringing Machine forum, as long as we keep getting contributions. By by making it a sticky, we might help ensure more contributed images because of visibility. Don't know who to ask about that, though.

Al Ruscelli

varuscelli
11-13-2006, 08:37 AM
I wonder if I should consider doing a new thread titled something like "Request for Stringing Machine Photos" with a bit about the photo library project, and possibly ask for that thread to be "stickied" for ease of use and visibility?

Since this thread didn't really have a fixed direction yet, it might be better to do a new thread with an absolute goal.

Think it would be a worthwhile thread to "sticky" that would help us accumulate photos? (And I emphasize "us" because this absolutely has to be a community project in order to work. I can facilitate it, but sure can't do it myself without photo contributions from other forum members.)

Or would it be better to leave it at this one and see if the mods might want to grace it with "sticky" status?

LttlElvis
11-13-2006, 09:35 AM
I like a new thread idea. It needs to be stickied at the top and locked for no comments other than the thread starter.