Forum vs Blog vs Astone

Hi Everyone,

Okay so the following is interesting only to anyone who owns and uses a media player or interested MySQL databases,  Forums: PHPBB2 & PHPBB3.  I’m in two minds now about what to do & where to go from here.

I started this month off with creating a forum to share information on subjects I enjoy.  Recent events over at the Astone – Design for Life website looking like it has died, sparked my desire to create my own forum.   A bit of history for you here.  Up until its recent demise I held the Moderator/Admin position along with Thunder Bird (may he R.I.P. previous post) on their forum.  It required an upgrade from version PHPBB2 to PHBB3 sounded relatively simple. Or so we thought. Seems the Achieva (Astone is a division of Achieva)  can’t get it back online.  I’m not sure I understand this.  A little research and I have managed to get a local copy going.  Why can’t they? As volunteers neither of us wanted to undertake this responsibility in case something went wrong.  Now I’m finding this scenario hilarious.  Oh well seems they stuffed it up anyway. :(

I digress, to cut a long story short.  After 2 months or so their forum is still in temporary mode.  Being concerned Achieva may not have bothered to do one before upgrading.  I emailed them offering my backups.  Until then no-one seemed to care.  Oops seems they didn’t have any.  An email arrived asking if I could upload my copies.  Not to their server site but via a free hosting site, in return they would be happy to send me some free products.  Achieva is a huge company surely they have an upload area and don’t rely on free hosting sites. Or was this so no-one would know what really happened.   I have sent it off and 1 month later still no freebies only more emails for help or ideas so they can work out how to get it back online.  They admit to having trouble in doing this. Not sure I understand why……..

Up until recently Astone sent Thunder Bird and I new release products to test for them.  This worked well for them to enable us to help others on the forum as well as us receiving a freebie.  Our last requests for items to help out a members fell on deaf ears.  What happened, no answers via email, no return calls.  Did we do something wrong ?……more on that later on.

Back to the website.  If I can research what’s required for an  upgrade and recreate it successfully then surely someone at Achieva can.  Please don’t think this post is blow my horn about me.  Quite the opposite.  It’s about the lack of support available for Astone products. Seems they don’t want to put too much effort into this side of things.  Sadly this is the very reason people turn away from their brand and are willing to pay more for a similar item elsewhere.  People want support and are willing to pay more for a brand if they supply support.

What to do ?  I believe Achieva don’t think support is very important and would like a sucker like me to do the work for them.  Achieva have people paid to look after this stuff.  I’m a mere volunteer.  The temporary website they have put up is a disaster.  Even if Achieva created a basic forum would be far better than the temporary one. Oh and to date I still haven’t received any freebie products.  Mind you that has nothing to do with why I won’t do the work for them.  I just don’t have sucker embedded across my forehead.  I enjoyed testing and writing up posts to help others.  I had a good relationship with our contact. (Kevin Qi)  He has since left, not sure if he quit or retrenched.  Who know’s.  The new fella I’m dealing with now. (Rex)  I’ve only dealt with via email.  We weren’t even told the Kevin Qi had left, until disaster struck. Now I understand why my last request is still in limbo land.

Astone totally rely on volunteers like myself for their forum and rarely post anything other than the odd new firmware.  So let me think for a bit.  Should I continue and be taken advantage of.  Continue to  do the work for them and be the only moderator (Trevor R.I.P.) that is still willing or stupid enough to take care of all of it.  As it was I was trying to fix their forum that had no editing done for a  long  time.  With no responses from anyone Astone or Achieva re how they wanted it to look.  I took it into my own hands and started to revamp it.  Nice they totally trusted us on that part totally.  Left to Thunder Bird and I, well honestly it was great.  Left to our own devices.  if you were ever on the Astone forum you would know we did our utmost to solve a problem if we could, along with a few others who participated in there with us.

We believed all posts were lost to somewhere in the clouds and never seen again.  Thankfully this is not the case.  I have rebuilt the complete database along with the new PHPBB3 with my new structure, retaining all our posts.  Even if I was to upload to a freebie host area, what will Achieva do with it.  They already has a complete database & structure update.  Seems they don’t  know or want to do anything themselves with it. Or are they waiting for me to do the work and someone else taking the credit for it.  I think the latter as the very tacky temporary website with a few scraps of firmware added is their current contribution.  I’m no boffin and if I can do it then they definitely can and should.

My interests have waned for supporting their forum now.  Seems absolutely this is at the bottom of their to do list.  Most people believed I worked for them. Nope just enjoyed helping others out.   This I intend to continue to do on my own.  Call me crazy, but I get a kick out of this sort of stuff.  Before rebuilding the Astone forum I had created my forum.  Still under construction but getting there.  The Astone one still requires a load of editing, now I don’t want to spend my time doing that right now.  The good news is I can find all of my posts and share them again.  I never dreamed Achieva were so unprofessional.  Love their products but as far as support goes.   Well they stink.

Now to my dilemma do I continue with my forum I have created or add an area on this website to share my stuff for the products I own.  Quite a bundle of those.  I own over 20 different models & brands or so plus ones in the graveyard.  I suppose I’m not really wanting an actual forum but to share all the stuff I have on the models I own.  A forum might need more time than I have now due to moving on 3rd December.

Really I suppose I would like to have an area for people to get their firmware, discuss some tips and ideas, mods how to’s. FAQs and not be hassled by angry customers who have purchased their media player and not getting satisfaction or support. To help find answers to people who like me have older models and want to get the best out of them.

I like to get the older models to keep on working too.  A bit of a challenge but fun for me. :) What’s the plan ? To give it a bit of a trial in here while the forum is still in its infancy and see which works better for my purpose.  Any ideas let me know.  Go here to My Forum and see if there is something on it for you.
It’s not just about media players. :)

Meanwhile I’m going to do a bit in here and see whether I can create what I really want in here :)

Cheers

Kazza

2012 October

Hi Everyone,

This month brings with it, packing and a new creation of sorts.  Building a forum of my own.

After such a sad start to the month as in my earlier post, I needed something to dive into that didn’t need too much effort.  I’m also involved with another forum right now.  FoxyRoxyLinux Distro now in development.  When released it will be amazing.  More on that another day.  After thinking about it for a bit, I thought why not have a  play in creating one for myself.  One way to increase my knowledge on forums is becoming the founder of my own. Best way to learn more is to stretch what I already know further and  just do it.

Being an Admin of a couple of forums is one thing.  Being the founder and having complete control is the only way to really increase my knowledge.  I can experiment to my heart’s content, until I’m satisfied with the look.  I don’t want the confines of another persons rules. :) If I screw it up then it’s my fault. I’m also in the process of packing getting ready to move it’s nigh impossible to concentrate on any one thing for too long.

I’m hoping it will add another dimension to this website. It;s just for a bit of fun. Right now while I’m madly packing up my house to move in December.  I required a small challenge to take my mind off packing and other recent events.  I needed something that I didn’t have to think to hard to put to-gether.  Once the basis is up I hope to make it something worthwhile.

Not really worried if it doesn’t work as it’s FREE :) and a bit of fun.

There are a couple of other candidates and they offer a little less in some areas and a little more in others. Mainly I wanted a Free Hosted service with No Ads.  This is very hard to find.  At present http://www.Freeforums.org do offer for 5 users with no Ads.   I’m not sure how long that offer is valid for.  Anyway it’s where I have begun.  The other potentials are http://www.forumotion.com and http://www.proboards.com.  the latter two have Ads for everyone on the Freebie.

Good or bad we will soon find out. It’s an experiment in progress and you can browse without having to sign -up.  However if you wish to post you are then required to register.  Registration is free. You can look at it here. If you have any ideas or suggestions let me know. I’m still tossing up between http://www.forumotion.com and http://www.freeforus.org. I will do side by side for a while to decide. Plus for forumotion better formatting.
If you have never been on a forum it’s a great place to gain information.  Gain knowledge on areas you need help in or help others who have issues you have the answers to.  Pretty much there is a forum for everything these days.   You are as anonymous as you want. Or be whoever you want.  If you are shy it’s a great place to strike up friendships in a safe environment.  All forums I’m involved with to date are safe.  This is true for most forums and if you are careful to obey the rules and not be silly with your information you won’t have any issues.

Please remember not everyone is genuine on forums.  So why do it well for me it’s another way of expressing myself and what I love and enjoy doing.  If you have a peek you can read more on why I decided to go ahead with this.  I have made some wonderful friends who share my common interests.  If this doesn’t work out I’m still part of a team on other forums where I can still have fun. 

If you get a message saying it’s unavailable sorry. Right now I’m doing some construction work.  Browsing could be unavailable.

This will only be a temporary issue. http://smileys.emoticonsonly.com/emoticons/c/construction_worker-3506.gif

Cheers

Kazza

July – August – September 2012

Hello Everyone
It’s been quite some time since my last post.  A lot has happened some good some sad.  This year isn’t quite turning out like I first thought it would.  Then again does any year in anyones life go exactly to plan.  I don’t think so and this one is certainly turning into a doozey for my family and I.

As previously mentioned one item on the agenda has finally been dealt with:
The second time around, we sold our house.  Hooray for that. I will state here and now I hated every stinking moment of it, and the real estate agents that were involved with it.  They truly are sleazier than car salesman if that’s at all possible, and deserve their shitty reputations. Not quite the price we wanted but it’s done.  Settlement for us is 3rd December.  At first I felt quite sad to see it sold and a lot of emotions were flying through my mind.  I really wasn’t happy at all on the day even though we really did want to sell.

The last 22 years have been a mixture of many memories and we have experienced some amazing things within these walls. We have shared many a joyous celebration and led a wonderful and fulfilled life here.  So many have been with our family, friends and colleagues.  I will take all of them along with me and in times of doubt will reflect on them in our new abode.  Of course there has been some times of grief and sadness as you would expect to experience over such a long period of time.  Thankfully the happy memories far outway any of the sadder times.  These I take with me too.

By the next morning I began to look at things in a different light.  It’s a new beginning to expand and broaden my knowledge again.  Apartment living will certainly be something neither my partner and children have ever done before.  Well apart from the family holidays. :) Will I love it or hate it.  Who know’s but I am now very much looking forward to finding out.  One thing’s for sure:
I’m certainly not looking forward to; packing everything up that has accumulated over the last 22 years. That in itself will stretch me to my limits.

Needless to say that the last three months has also brought along with it some sadness and grief.

I have lost two of my lovely friends Pete & Trevor,
My thoughts and condolences go out
To all of all of their friends, families & colleagues & anyone who knew them.
I dedicate the following to them: Kinda reflects the type of people they both were:

May they both rest in peace
Miss you both
Kazza

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be critical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

© Max Ehrmann 1927

Why My Guitar Gently Weeps

Hi Everyone,
My post originally started out  – All About The Guitar.http://www.tonesproject.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Guitars.jpg
I started writing and thought I would begin by including some of my own experiences with the Guitar.  The original Quest in wanting, needing and the desire for learning to play an instrument.
Read on or scroll down for some links I have found for The Guitar.

As a very young child my dream wish was to own and play the Piano.
I remember constantly hounding my parents forever about this and getting into strife over it many times over.  After an eternity or so it seemed, finally they relented and bought me an Acoustic Guitar with steel strings. This was the best present ever.  My very own instrument.

A Guitar you say what happened to the Piano ?http://www.guitaraffair.com/images/gigliotti-guitars-model-line.jpg At the time I know they couldn’t afford a Piano. They also believed it was just a passing phase I would eventually outgrow.  I’m happy to say I never have and never will.

Guitars are a wonderful instrument and bring enjoyment to many others like myself all over the world.  A Guitar can speak any language and be used in all forms of music.  They are extremely versatile, you can learn to belt out a tune quickly and of course transportable.

The Guitar wasn’t what I wanted, however I didn’t give a toss right then. The guitar was mine and I finally had a real instrument.  This was a defining point in my early years.  My love of the Guitar and the strings was born.

After driving my parents crazy with my wild strumming.  I can only imagine it must have been awful.  I distinctly remember the joy I felt when told I could start lessons at Primary School.  Only to have it crushed when arriving at school with my permission slip. I still have vivid memories of being asked to hold up my hand to show the teacher and her telling me.
I’m sorry I believe your hands and fingers are too small to play“.http://www.metaphordesignwebs.com/patrickguitar/images/lessonsguitaranatomy.jpg
This made me even more determined to prove her wrong and I convinced her to let me at least try. I remember her sitting me down and showing me a couple of chords from memory they were C7 and G. Not an easy task for someone who has never tried before.  It hurt like hell but I was not going to fail.  I managed to stretch my little fingers much further than she thought I could. This was enough for her to decide to let me go ahead and so began my learning curve.  Reading & playing Classical Guitar.  Learning the Art of Finger Picking and growing those weird painful calluses on my small fingers.

My parents would send me to my room to practice my Guitar Chords and never seemed all that interested.
Or were they totally consumed  by other family matters and relieved I was finally quiet and occupied elsewhere.  You don’t really appreciate your own time till you have children, maybe this was part of why they seemed not to care.

This was of no concern to me.  My wish had come true.http://kazzascornerstop.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/style4.jpg?w=192&h=230 Not a piano but by then it didn’t matter. Now it was totally up to me to learn and play to my hearts desire.  This is exactly what I did.  I was adamant in my agenda and would prove to them all I could play well. It didn’t take too long to kill my guitar.  The trips to and fro school in a pillow case was probably the main reason.  Thinking back now it must have looked pretty silly but I didn’t care.

I received a new Guitar for the Christmas before going to College. Wow I remember looking at it and feeling really pleased with myself.  It was a Yamaha Acoustic with Nylon Strings and a proper carry bag.  I knew then the neck was way too big for my hands and wondered how I would cope.  It was much harder for me to play but I didn’t care it was so much nicer and I still have and cherish this guitar today.

I was all ready to show off my skills at College sadly that’s not  what happened. As far as I can recall the College only offered Piano & Singing with extra classes outside of the standard lessons.
How could they not have any Guitar. http://www.hunterdonacademyofthearts.com/Portals/73663/images/classical.guitar.small-resized-600.jpg I was heartbroken.  I suppose that’s how times have changed and how schools now acknowledge the many benefits of having a dedicated music and instrumental program with extra lessons available for many different instruments to choose from. Most public and private schools now offer this.

My parents decided if the school couldn’t give the lessons then that was the end of it no more discussion. I sourced where I could go for lessons after school I hadn’t given up yet.  The answer was still a flat NO. Why buy a child a new guitar and suddenly not let them learn.  It didn’t make sense to me then.  More than likely it was financial, being a selfish kid why would I think that was an issue.  It never crossed my mind it might have been just too expensive.

Without any encouragement coming from my parents and no way to pay for lessons I put my guitar away to sleep for a while.  Instead I threw myself into all kinds of sports, as you do at that age.  Strangely this is something my father was actually keen for my sisters and I to pursue.  So sport it was anhttp://cdn.daz3d.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/m/i/millennium-girls-sports-pack-0.jpgd I enjoyed that too.  Still now and then I would have that nagging urge and retreat to my room and play.  Somehow playing was soothing and making up tunes and trying to work out hit songs was a buzz. I still love to play when I can and am grateful for being exposed to this beautiful instrument.

As I got older I began to understand. It was just a matter of waiting until a I was old enough to leave and afford to do it for myself. This is exactly what I did and have done ever since. I now own a beautiful collection of Guitars consisting of Bass, Electric and Various types of my favourite: The Acoustic.  Yes I finally did get my Piano and the lessons I so dreamed about.

Why am I telling you all of this.  To share what I learned from my experience:http://graffletopia.com/images/previews/436/original.png?1250609494
Encourage your children and to nurture their love of any instrument no matter what it is. If your child is interested it can bring you and them so much pleasure and happiness.  Sometimes they are not sure what they want to do.  Let them explore and experiment a little.  Don’t push them into a corner because it’s what you want. While they are at school is the perfect opportunity for them to trial out different instruments offered.  You will soon know if they love one over another and whether they are willing to commit and accept the practice required to achieve their goal.

Push them but not too hard.  Be supportive even when it all goes to belly up. It’s vitally important that they still enjoy the experience. Once it becomes a chore it’s pretty much all over rover chances are they will not continue later in life.  Always remember it’s  their need not yours for them to play.  If they have the passion, they  will love what they are achieving.  Discuss with them and allow them some freedom to explore other avenues of their musical talents. Give them time to breathe, sit back and relax once in a while.

Remember the key ingredient to a wonderful musician is they love to play it. To truly shine requires a real passion for it.  Everyone has an ability to learn and yes if they practice enough will become proficient. What makes some stand out from the crowd.  They live and breathe what they do.http://www.minermusic.com/images/inst,xmas/otannenbaum.jpg

For me at the end of the day all I ever wanted to do was to play something. I chose the Piano because I was in awe of anyone being able to play and loved listening to this delightful instrument. That said the guitar became my first love by default.  I will try just about anything that has a set of strings.  I ‘d love to get my hands on a zither.  Now that would be an interesting adventure.

Today I’m still experimenting. I’m limited right now I have injuries on both hands.  This has not stopped me from enjoying and seeking out new avenues to quell my wish to play something.

If you love music or playing you will always find a way. A Lap Steel Guitar being one of my later acquisitions.  Even though I can’t play them now.  I could and  I haven’t given up on being able again some time soon in the future.

I suppose I’m trying to say it’s never too late to enjoy an instrument. Looking at my collecthttp://www.frets.com/FretsPages/General/Glossary/LapSteel/LapSteelViews/lapsteels.jpgion still gives me wonderful memories of what it was like to play them all and this makes me feel happy.  I look forward to the day I can play again and relish in that thought.

So why not get together and play for your friends.  You’ll be amazed at how many people you find along the way that do play.  Maybe they never ever told you about their talents. Maybe they’re just waiting for the right moment.
Or maybe for someone to ask. Did you ever learn to play a musical instrument?
You never know you may just bring someone back to actually wanting to play again………………..

Here are some fabulous links to articles that I found.
Enjoy
Kazza’s Corner.
A Brief History of the Guitar

Some Guitar History

Top Ten Guitar Websites

The Roaring Twenties

Ever wondered what it must have been like to live in the Twenties Era?
I got to thinking the other day about the fashion, fun, music and frivolity of that time.http://rlv.zcache.com.au/dainty_frocks_roaring_twenties_vintage_fashion_poster-r4bc99dba13bf45e5ac6450fd7b91c9a9_ai41z_400.jpg
Was it so or is it just our perception ?
Of course it was the time of the Gangster and sadly the Depression and Stock Market Crash.
So lets take a look and see what really went on.
Was the 1920s fashion the beginning when buxom women were no longer looked upon as attractive. Click here to find out all about the
The Fashion and Music
plus more.
Some History, Facts, Videos, Pictures and more. This is where the web is an invaluable tool, chock full of wonderful facts, pictures and pretty much anything you want to know is there.  I have only chipped at the top of the enormous amount of information available and hope you enjoy what I have found.
All About The Roaring Twenties : History

Interestingly as I researched through the information it seemed
there is always a particular style portrayed in many movies and photographs to
depict the 1920s. However there were many more styles as you will see looking through  the links.
1920’s  Hats for Womenhttp://www.papergoodies.com/ProdImages/1040-ChapeauxOf20s.jpg
What about the inventions of the 1920s it wasn’t called the industrial revolution for nothing.  It was a time of creativity in all areas.  The people of the 1920s, Toys, Homes and more.
It was also the time of the Gangster due to Prohibition. laws being passed in 1920. There is so much about this time but..
Of course all good things must come to an end and so it was for the 1920s.
I found some differing viewpoints on what really happened in regards to the
Depression and Stock Market Crashes. What do you think?
The Depression and Crash of 1920-1921 you never heard about.
About the Great Depression
The Stock Market Crash of 1929

https://www.e-education.psu.edu/drupal6/files/egee120/lesson04/Depression-stock-market-crash-1929.jpg

I hope you enjoyed this brief post of information about the 1920s.  When I have some more time I will update it with anything else I find that will give an insight about this most fascinating time in our history. Obviously I can’t post about everything at once, however there a key things I know I have missed and so it is a work in progress.
So keep checking back to follow me into the 1920s
CheersThe trading floor of the New York Stock Exchan...
Kazza’s Corner

Puppy Linux Distros: Lupu 528 and Saluki

Image representing Boxee as depicted in CrunchBase

As per last months update I did start working ohttp://kazzascornerstop.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/think2boutside2bthe2bsquare.jpg?w=226&h=226n my Ultimate HTPC and began experimenting with different flavours and versions of the Mint operating system.  Their new release Mint 13 was looking good, but seems that the two don’t like to play well together. After wasting endless amounts of time and energy or so it seemed I became a bit disheartened and left it to sit and ponder for a while and think outside the box for a solution.
While researching for a fix related mainly to booting issues I spotted a review of the latest Puppy Linux Distro Lupu 5.28.  Then looking into this a bit further I found a video review of the Puplet:Saluki.  Wow.
I originally learnt about the Puppy Linux Distro, while looking for an alternative to Windows. In the end my kids were sick to death of me preaching Puppy Power to them and I suppose at some stage I let the interest wane due to other areas that required my attention.
Well I’m back with the same passion if not more for Puppy Power. This http://fundablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/640px-Puppy_linux_5.3.0_Slacko_puppy.pnglittle Distro has come a long way since I first used it. Even then it was pretty amazing. Well now I would call it a fully fledged and polished system to replace whatever desktop solution you have going now. Be it Windows/Mac/Unix or whatever Platform you now use. Puppy can do it all and it’s completely free!  Anyway enough of me telling you about it.  Go here for the latest flavours downloads and information for The Puppy Linux Distro.
So this month and probably July I will post about a few select Puplets and their Official Releases. Ideally which one is the best solution for my needs etc.
I have had some success with some of the releases of Puppy Linux using Portable Linux Apps on the above. If you arehttp://kazzascornerstop.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/puppylogo.jpg?w=222&h=222 after a lightning fast all-inclusive and free OS then stay tuned for my progress. I have found some of the links for the Portable Linux Apps don’t work.  This is a bit of a pain, however doing a search on the web you can usually find a link that works.
Till next month.

Cheers from
Kazza’s Corner

June 2012

Hello Everyone,

This month seems to have flown by and we are already heading towards July. Those of us in Australia are facing one of our coldest and wettest winters that I can remember for some time.
I’m writing this as I travel up to the beautiful Gold Coast to find some warmth for this time of year.

As the end of the financial year looms ahead the old Tax documents required organising.  So boring. As the old saying goes:
There are two things in your life you can’t get away from
Death and Taxes. Now that part of my life’s completed I can do more interesting things.

I have been busy testing out various bits of Hardware and software for my new HTPCs as per last months plans and this will more than likely be what I’m up to for a bit longer.

Don’t worry for anyone who finds this boring there will be plenty of other stuff going on as well.

Cheers

Kazza’s Corner