Stringing Machine Photo Project

Discussion in 'Stringing Techniques / Stringing Machines' started by varuscelli, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Requesting Digital Photos for Stringing Machine Photo Project

    Hello, stringers of the Tennis Warehouse forums!

    I am working with a large and loosely related group of stringers/contributors to put together a website that will serve as a stringing machine photo library.

    To help collect as many images as possible for the project, we would like to put out a request for digital photos from the stringers and other contributors from this forum. This stringing machine image library consists of manufacturer stock images and personal photos contributed by stringers and machine owners from around the world.

    Here is a link to the site’s home page:

    Stringing Machine Photo Library Project

    We have collected and are displaying literally hundreds of photos for the website, and this number will easily grow into the thousands as the project grows.

    The scope of the project is to consolidate as large and complete a collection of stringing machine photos as possible (of machines both new and old).

    The greater the number of images we can post to the site, the less the person doing research will have to hunt on the internet or elsewhere.

    The goal of the site is to provide a photo-based resource for tennis players, stringers, and small businesses owners who are:
    • Purchasing their first tennis racquet stringing machine
    • Upgrading their existing stringing machine
    • Switching to a different style or model of stringing machine
    • Visually comparing makes and models of stringing machines
    • Viewing stringing machine images for general reference purposes
    What Kind of Photos Are We Looking For?

    One of the goals is to collect as many detailed owner/user photos as possible to go along with the rather generic, full-length photo images usually shown on vendor pages. Vendors and manufacturers are welcome to send in photos of new machines, as well, to help keep the image base current.

    We are happy to accept any stringing machine photos that are contributed into the collection. However, ideal contributions consist of sets of images that include:
    • Photos of the entire machine from two or three angles (full length from front, back, and/or side)
    • Separate photos of major assemblies like the turntable (side view, end view, top view, angled views), stands, and tensioner mechanisms
    • Close-up shots of various machine components like clamp heads and bases, clamp teeth, clamp rails (when applicable), mounting system, adjustment devices, shoulder supports, tools and tool tray, mounted racquets, etc. (and anything else that makes a particular machine unique – even a shot of someone working at the machine, if desired).
    • For tabletop models, shots of your work surface (stand or cart, etc.) would be appropriate to show how you’ve set yourself up to use the machine
    • Specialty tools or accessories you’ve bought or made for yourself to use with your machine
    The website will also have links to as many related manufacturer sites as possible to make it easy to navigate from this site to others where more info can be found, and links to where the machines can also be purchased. (Links to other relevant sites, like for stringing instructions, etc., will be included as well.)

    We’re open to suggestions from anyone on how we can improve the site, things that should be added, etc.

    Please contact Al Ruscelli if you'd like to contribute some photos (as many or as few as you like). I think that in sharing your photos, you’ll be helping out others who are in need of better resources to help them make informed decisions when it’s time to buy a machine.

    Rough Photo Submission Criteria:

    Digital photos can be e-mailed to directly to Al Ruscelli or placed on an Internet site like Photobucket or anywhere else you might be accustomed to placing photos. (Putting them somewhere on the Internet for me to go out and grab is easiest for me, but e-mail is fine depending on what’s easiest for you.) If you put them on the net, just give me a link and I'll go get them. If you use Photobucket, note that you can change the default size of the images to be larger by clicking on the "Uploading Options" button.

    Relatively high resolution photos are best. Ideally, images should be no smaller than roughly 600x800 pixels (although we can accept smaller images if you are limited to providing smaller sizes). Larger images up to several megabytes in size may also be contributed, and those will allow more room for any needed cropping or zooming in for detail purposes. Large sets of photo files may also be zipped/compressed for quicker, easier e-mailing.

    If you e-mail the images, make sure that you include your TW forum user ID (if you are a member) somewhere in the e-mail message so that we don't get confused as to who sent what. Contributed photos will be credited to the senders in whatever way they like (real name, TW forum user name, or no credit at all if that’s what’s desired). All contributed photos will remain as the property of the contributor (whoever “created” the original image). We will use them on the site merely as images donated to help the project grow as a useful Internet resource.

    Text Details

    Provide any details you want included about your machine, including commentary (which I’m also glad to post for you to go with your photos). Try and be as specific as you can in telling me the make/model of the machine so I don’t have to guess too much. You may list the “parts” of the machine, if you wish, that are shown in the photos.

    Thanks! We’re looking forward to hearing from as many of you as possible.

    Al Ruscelli
    vruscelli@comcast.net
    Stringing Machine Photo Library Project
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2008
    #1
  2. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

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    Al, this is an excellent effort and highly impressive. You can use the picture of my Gamma Progression ST-II in your website.
     
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  3. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Great, Jon, and thanks. I'll put that one out there. But I was sort of hoping you'd chime in and say you have a few you could send me. You don't happen to have that one photo in a larger size do you? If so, I could pull a few tighter images out of it and get something like three or four for the price of one... :) (Unless, of course, you have a couple of more photos you want to include. If not, I'm happy to have the one to add in.)

    Good to hear from you on this! :)
     
    #3
  4. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    The site is looking really great...but now I'm embarrassed at the quality of my photos of the Alpha Pioneer DC. I'm going to have to take some new ones... :)
     
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  5. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Now I'm going to put more pressure on you by making one of your own photos the "lead-in" photo to your photo set (rather than the stock image). But it's more realistic that way as opposed to leading in to a personal set of images with a manufacturer stock image. Actually, I think the images are a lot more self-explanatory that way. But I could use feedback on that, too.

    I actually just made that change, so you might want to go in and approve or disapprove the choice I made on the Pioneer DC Plus, Redflea. I tried to pick a good one, though.

    Jon...your photo is out there on the Gamma page if you want to have a look. Hoo-rah!

    We're moving right along... :)

    PS to Redflea: No hiring anyone from Glamour Shots to come in and photograph your machine. If I see any signs of eyeliner or rouge on it, I'm disqualifying you. :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2006
    #5
  6. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    Oh, ick! Did I really take that!? The gauntlet is thrown down...I shall return w/images that will dazzle the mind and cause the heart to swoon.

    And no eyeliner, I swear.
     
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  7. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    I could use the vertical shot of it on the stand. That might actually be the better shot, except that I was trying to conserve vertical space -- the vertical thumbnails are actually larger than the horizontals. Probably makes no difference in the long run, though, as the pages fill out more. Argh, I might have to start rethinking my strictly vertical layout and do something more "condensed" on the pages, where you see more at a glance without scrolling down. But the vertical is less cluttered, so I'm not sure which way I'll need to go in the long run in terms of page layouts that I apply globally.
     
    #7
  8. Redflea

    Redflea Hall of Fame

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    I think a grid pattern for the thumbnails might be more usable...less scrolling to find/see the smaller images, and can quickly compare and decide which one you want to view...

    An option to consider in your spare time: :)

    1. Grid view of "thumbnails" on which you can select individual images to view
    2. Added "view all" option that takes you to a page where you can scroll/page up/down through all the images on one page.

    The target page in both 1 and 2 above can be the same page, with a "Return" link next to each image (also clicking on any of the images) to return you to the grid view. That way the "customer" can choose to view images indvidually, or scroll up/down through them if they prefer...
     
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  9. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

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    Glad to contribute to your fantastic site. Let me take some high res shots later and I will email you the link.
     
    #9
  10. josephhkim

    josephhkim Rookie

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    I just sent some pics.

    Hopefully, this gallery will become pretty large.

    Good luck!
     
    #10
  11. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Now you're making my brain hurt and I must lie down with a cold compress on my forehead. :p

    But it's true, I might have to rethink some of this layout stuff before it gets too far along, especially if we end up getting lots of contributions and the pages grow significantly. That's what I WANT to happen, but working through this stuff so quickly over the last three days or so, I'm taxing my ability to look ahead by virtue of having to "model" the thing on the fly. But I do want to keep the pages as user friendly as I can, as long as I can do it without making long-term task more labor intensive than I can keep up with. I've had the luxury the last few days of having some time to play...but don't know if that will last for long. My schedule tends to vary radically with my kind of work (often feast or famine rather than consistent days, if you know what I mean).

    But yeah, keep those ideas coming my way. I'm somewhat limited in my web designer skills set (and I use Microsoft FrontPage, which probably limits me even further), but if I can handle the design aspects without my brain overloading, I'll keep trying to improve it as we go. ;)
     
    #11
  12. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Great! I was hoping you'd say that. :)
     
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  13. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Excellent...I appreciate it! :)
     
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  14. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

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    Nice to see that your return to this wonderful game has taken on full vengeance and seems almost insatiable!!!

    The enthusiasm that you have is extremely infectious and in my personal observation, you and redflea have injected new life into the strings/stringing/stringing machine section of Talk Tennis.

    At the same time, we still have many of the other experienced contributors such as Blabit, diredesire, Steve Huff etc. who are still actively participating. Sorry if I've not mentioned other names, but you know who you are and it's nice to see the contributions flowing.
     
    #14
  15. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Varuscelli, if you'd send me some directions in posting pictures, I'd love to.

    stmt@comcast.net
     
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  16. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Ha! You've got me pegged, Jon. Here I was thinking I was flying under the radar or something. ;)


    Hi, Steve, and thanks! It's great to have a few of you real experts take notice of this. But I hope that's exactly the kind of thing that makes the little project stay afloat rather than sink.

    I'll be glad to help get photos out there any way I can. So much of it depends on what each person is comfortable doing in terms of digital photos and working with them.

    I did put some brief instructions toward the end of the original post. I can basically either have them e-mailed to me or posted to a website of the photo originator's choice where I can go get them. Unfortunately, I don't really have a place set up for people to post to themselves (unless they're already comfortable with Photobucket or something). But e-mailing directly to me might be the easiest option for many people.

    In either case, I have to do the final preparation and posting to the end site myself since I don't have that part automated or anything. If e-mailed, I prefer high-quality (high resolution) files, if possible. Whatever your e-mail service provider's bandwidth allowances will bear. I've received some files 5 or 6 MB in size and those are great to work with. But anything is fine as long as they're not too, too small. Let me know if you want to talk about it person-to-person or anything, if that would help. (Again, it's hard to know what each person is comfortable with, but I'll assist in any way I can.)

    Al Ruscelli
    al@ruscelli.com
    vruscelli@houston.rr.com
    Tennis Racquet Stringing Machine Photo Library
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2006
    #16
  17. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    We should get more guidelines up! Such as:

    Picture of:
    Turn table
    -Clamp rails (if applicable)
    -Underneath shot (if applicable, to see how sturdy)
    -method of fixing mounting posts

    clamps
    -adjustment method (thumb wheel, etc)
    -teeth, diamond dusted, etc
    -base (fixing style)
    mounting system
    -6 point inside outside, how the posts mount to the table
    tensioner
    -linear gripper, diablo, etc
    stand (if applicable)
    - How the machine fixes to the table

    BTW, you got an e-mail.
     
    #17
  18. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
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  19. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Good suggestions, and I'm going to go back and edit down my original post to the essentials, including suggestions for what to shoot, how to shoot, in case there are those who would like some suggestions.

    Some time shortly after that, we might go ahead and lock this thread and I'll create an ongoing thread for additional comments.

    Al
     
    #19
  20. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    I knew that the tough questions were bound to arise sooner or later. ;)

    And they need to be addressed.

    My biggest mental problem is how to tackle peripherally related issues with this kind of project, like copyright, etc. Most of my work in the past has been with my self-created material. As a photographer, it's easy to address when you're the one creating the images. You are protected by basic copyright laws (at least, in your own country) and it's pretty straightforward to mark your creations, etc.

    But this effort...I've never tackled a project like this before. So many contributors and a LOT of borrowed material that I would not normally borrow. There's a lot of gray area in there, even with the manufacturer photos. Those materials are generally (as far as I can see) not marked as copyrighted and seem to be used/distributed very loosely all over the Internet (even though they probably are copyright protected from a technical standpoint). But I really believe that the manufacturers benefit from the extra exposure to an extent that they would not object to the use of their images. Essentially, it's free advertising. And if the images of their machines are not out there among their competitor's machines, the advertising goes to the competitors. (This site is already getting lots of hits and that will increase significantly as the search engines begin to index it.)

    But on to other areas of concern, we're putting out a united effort in terms of contributing to a project that has a LOT of contributors. I'm certainly not going to claim any copyright to other contributor's images on my own behalf, other than for my own created images and the general site copyright. The images submitted to me are still owned by their creators. (You take a photo, send it to me for use here, and it's still YOUR photo -- not mine, at least in terms of ownership. It's just being used on the site for informational/educational purposes.)

    Admittedly, I'm in unfamiliar waters here. The idea of the Creative Commons is interesting, and I need to study it more thoroughly.

    And I'm open to suggestions on how to handle this. I'm not even sure what range issues might arise (I know what some of them are), but I'm open to suggestions or help in how to best prepare for issues that might come up.

    Suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2006
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  21. xtremerunnerars

    xtremerunnerars Hall of Fame

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    Varuscelli, do you have photoshop? If so, you may wish to check out their batch photo gallery feature. It will make the gallery and give you a finished .html file if that's what you wish. Most of the process is completely customizable. Judging from your photomanips it looks like you can clone stamp and such which makes me believe you are using ps.

    File>Automate>Web Photo Gallery
     
    #21
  22. federer_nadal

    federer_nadal Professional

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    Is it just me or isnt the site working? I have been trying for the last 10 minutes and i keep getting the website not found page?
     
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  23. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    Nope...it's not just you. I wasn't able to get on all day yesterday.
     
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  24. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    I just got an e-mail from Al this morning about his site......he is in the process of changing servers and has run into a couple of glitches.....he says he expects it to be back up by Monday (2/5)

    rich
     
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  25. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Yeah, sorry guys. I am in the middle of switching from a shared hosting plan to a dedicated server for several websites for which I have primary maintenance responsibility. By switching the Stringing Machine Photo Library to that dedicated server along with those other sites, theoretically we won't have any prohibitive limits for bandwidth or hosting space. Thus, if I want to add some things like stringing videos or the like, I should (hopefully) be able to do so.

    The downside is that moving from a shared hosting plan to a dedicated server is a bit more complex in terms of my setup responsibilities, etc. So it's going a bit slowly and there are some server problems that the hosting company has not resolved. I'm trying to get around that by doing an FTP upload of the site tonight (Saturday, Feb. 3). With a bit of luck, the site will be up shortly... But we shall see. ;)
     
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  26. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    Al, do you need any photos of an Alpha Revo 4000? I can get some in a few days if you'd like.
     
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  27. chlsmo

    chlsmo Semi-Pro

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    site seems down again.
     
    #27
  28. ericsson

    ericsson Hall of Fame

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    yes for some days now, anyone know when it will be fixed?
     
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  29. ericsson

    ericsson Hall of Fame

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    the site is working again ;-)
     
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  30. gocard

    gocard Semi-Pro

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    Pictures of the X-6FC??

    Hi Varuscelli, I just wanted to say that I really enjoy your site! And to everyone who has posted pictures of their beloved machines, thank you! I can see how much you value your machine with all the nice pictures taken.

    I was wondering if anyone who owns the Gamma X-6FC would be kind enough to post some pictures of it, either in the Stringing Machines section or on Varuscelli's website? So far I've only seen one angle of the X-6FC, the same one shown on every retailer's website so I can't tell how wide it actually is. It'd be great to see the up close details and different angles of the stringer.

    Thank you so much! :D
     
    #30
  31. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i just want to say i am starting my research on string machines since i am going to get one, and your site is already a huge help with info,links,etc. keep up the good work. the site is amazing, and i have only been browsing for about 30 minutes so far!
     
    #31
  32. abdjeter2

    abdjeter2 Rookie

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    is it more cost effective to buy a stringer for home or to just pay to get it strung every time?
     
    #32
  33. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    depends on how disciplined you are. You save the labor fee (at least $15 in some areas) every time you restring. The down side is you might start trying more expensive strings more often, with the mindset that you've saved a lot of money ;)
     
    #33
  34. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

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    No machine is too old...........

    I have noticed that some of the older machine that may come up on the used market are not in the collection.
    As an owner of a Gamma 4000 { 1987} & an early 1990's Gamma 6000 I am remiss for not adding to the information base.
    I hope this will help collectors and bargain hunters.
    Thanks AL.
     
    #34
  35. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    i agree. but machines do give you that luxury since no matter what string you pick you still save a ton of cash by stringing yourself.

    FWIW, luxilon big banger alu in my area is $45 plus tax. even if i buy string and pay $15 for labor it's $30. buy a stringer and it's $15. 20 string jobs and you've just paid for your machine.
     
    #35
  36. tennispro93

    tennispro93 New User

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    2 thumbs up amazing im also gonna take new pictures
     
    #36
  37. User Name

    User Name Semi-Pro

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    sites really coming along now, looks great, ill send you some pictures of my machine soon
     
    #37
  38. T-fighter

    T-fighter Rookie

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    the emailadress doesn't seem to work? I was trying to add some pictures of my stringing machine.
     
    #38
  39. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    Pretty much.

    Hm, this is a nice project. I'll try and send some pics of my SP swing this weekend.
     
    #39
  40. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    behind you, but i have to be somewhere else by the
    have any pics been added within the last year?
     
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  41. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Nah, I think Al has been really busy, I e-mailed him a long while ago, and he said the project has taken the back seat to the rest of his life ;P
     
    #41
  42. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    behind you, but i have to be somewhere else by the
    i belive it, its still a nice resource
     
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  43. AznRamenDude

    AznRamenDude Rookie

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    is it me, or is the link not working? :shock: man, i really need this site working. was using it for reference.
     
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  44. YULitle

    YULitle Hall of Fame

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    Oh no! It's not working!
     
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  45. diredesire

    diredesire Super Moderator

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    Use archive.org.
    Should be able to get you most of what you want.
     
    #45
  46. Deck

    Deck New User

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    Tried archive.org and it has no pics, oh well.
     
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  47. b0oMeR

    b0oMeR Rookie

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    any idea when its coming back up?
     
    #47
  48. varuscelli

    varuscelli Professional

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    Hi, guys.

    I'm popping in after a long, long absence to let you all know the status of the photostringer.com website. It ought to be up and running again as of this evening (www.photostringer.com).

    I have been long remiss in updating the site with the regularity that I originally intended, but my work and family life have been such in 2007-2008 that I've not have much time for anything but earning a living...so, sadly, the site had to take a back seat to other things for quite a stretch of time.

    That aside, we got directly run over by Hurricane Ike weekend before last, which in itself presented us more than a few difficulties to deal with. The hurricane was bad enough by itself, but ironically the web server that houses the photostringer.com site was the victim of what looks like a malicious hacker attack that was in the process of taking place just a day or so before we had to evacuate our home and head for the hills of central Texas for a few days because of the hurricane. While we were gone, the server was pretty much destroyed by viruses and a slew of other malicious goodies that were placed there to do their evil deeds. We've been working feverishly over the last week or so to get our lives back in order AND to reestablish all of our websites, including photostringer.com (with no e-mail available, either, for the same reason as the sites being down).

    I also have to apologize to all the folks who have kindly sent in photos to us to place on the site over the last year and a half, most of which have had to be placed on hold more or less indefinitely while I attended to other necessary duties in my life. I have, however, held onto everything that has been sent to me with the intent of getting it all out there at some point. But, my priority with all the stringing machine photos over the last few days was to get the photostringer site back up and "on the air," so to speak -- and I think I've done that as of tonight. I'm sure there will be a few glitches to work out, but hopefully most all of it is viewable again.

    Thanks to the couple of you who called while I had r-u-n-n-o-f-t from the hurricane, checking on my well being and the status of the site. I guess it caused a bit of concern when the site suddenly and mysteriously disappeared...especially without any word from me in so long (I think some folks were wondering if I was still around or abroad or in prison or whatever...).

    So, anyway...hello, everybody. 8)

    Hope all has been well around here. ;)

    Al
     
    #48
  49. zidane339

    zidane339 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Messages:
    1,720
    Nice hearing from you Al and I"m glad you came through the hurricane ok. I'm excited that the site is back up, I enjoy it very much!
     
    #49
  50. mellofelow

    mellofelow Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Messages:
    446
    Welcome back Al. Hope you get your daily life back in order soon. Just shout if you need help with anything.
     
    #50

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