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Author Topic: Mr Bach Man - Site Format  (Read 8532 times)
Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2008, 01:06:01 AM »

This isn't about statistics, it's about people. Everyone wants to be on the "winning team", so those who started their internet with broadband will argue against any statistics.

But since it was brought up, the 20% was from several ISPs in  predominantly rural areas, such as here in the west.  In the cities, the average might be closer to 10% to 15%, but that's not the issue.

So let me rephrase my previous comment, can Bachmann afford to lost 20%,  15%, or even 10% of its audience and customers?  It would appear so.

It's all well and good for those with broadband to say they like the new format.  But real change only comes when those with broadband support those who don't and say "Enough is enough, separate the site as it was before, business site for business, and the forum for ALL members to enjoy."

The problem with the world today is, the "haves" don't give a hoot about the "have nots".  Several of my friends,who have broadband, have urged me to hook up to satellite.  Fine, I say to them: "Send me $300 for the install,and $60 a month to pay for it.  If anyone thinks I'm foolish enough to spend $700 a year just to use this site, then they don't know me very well.

Anyway, during a 3 hours session tonight, I had to reboot twice. I'm glad I have 2 backup computers, as this one is slowly being ruined.  I was logged in for 3 hours, spent about an hour typing up this reply, then lost it all because it said I was not allowed to post, then it locked up everything.  I had to reboot and retype it all over again.  What used to be fun is now sheer drudgery.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 01:28:45 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
WGL
Great Northern


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« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2008, 02:14:47 AM »

Yampa Bob,
  I stuck with dial-up for 14 years, mostly because we got it free through the university, but last year, I got AT&T Basic DSL for $10 a month for the first 12 months; after that it will cost $15.  I get up 768 Kbps downstream speeds.  All you need is a phone line & a DSL modem, & AT&T gave me a $50 rebate to pay for the modem.  I find downloading files is about 15 times faster than with my 56k modem, which never got faster than a 42k connection. 
  I am among those who would miss your contributions.
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2008, 04:08:42 AM »

WGL

Thank you for the kind comment, I really appreciate it.  The only reason I put up with the new format at all, is because I enjoy helping others.  In my first year on the forum, I received a lot of valuable help, and want to pass it along when I can.

We live on a ranch 10 miles from the nearest city.  Qwest doesn't have the lines out here for DSL.  There are lots of people out here  with the same problem.  As I mentioned before, people are moving away from the city by the thousands, out to where land is fairly inexpensive, and they can set up a nice manufactured home for less than $100K. 

In the southwest, people are moving 30 to 50 miles out in the desert, beyond even electricity.  I designed and installed Solar Electric Power systems for many years, even have a Solar/Wind backup for our ranch.  But satellite is our only option for high speed internet, and the cost is prohibitive.

At one time, you could have both TV and Internet as one package for a total of about $50 a month.  Now you have to have separate packages and two dishes, at double the cost.  We now have to pay $52 a month just for basic (and crappy) TV programming.

As long as this computer holds out, I will continue to contribute in spite of the hassle.  But if I have to reformat it one more time due to the invasive scripting, then it's just not worth the trouble.
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I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
Santa Fe buff

N&W


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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2008, 12:56:32 PM »

YEAH! YES! and everything happy with a Y,
BACHMANN did it! I'm more happier then when I found out how to use the new site! Smiley Smiley Grin Grin
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- Joshua Bauer
NelsOn-30

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« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2008, 01:19:10 PM »

Originally the telephone network was designed for and required to handle the major range of voice frequencies. (60-10K)

With the birth of the internet the telephone network became the main means of connecting by having a modem and dialing into a modem at the telephone exchange. The modems convert data (Digital) to analogue (voice range) and back again. This system functions wherever adequate voice communication is available.

The dialup connection is limited to a speed of 56K and has been superseded by DSL, Cable, and satellite higher speed (larger bandwidth) and more expensive connections.

DSL operates by extending the bandwidth (Frequency range) within the telephone distribution network. This creates a limitation in that the availability of this service is limited to a short distance from the telephone exchange due to signal loss. (3 miles /5 km typical) I lose 6% of my DSL speed as I am near the distance limit as the cable runs.

The availability of a cable TV connection is required for this option.

Satellite internet is the only available high speed option where cable and DSL is unavailable. My understanding of satellite internet operation is that it is only high speed down (incoming) and the up (outgoing) data utilizes dial up. This busies out the phone line and depending on the satellite providers modem location long distance charges can apply.

I agree with Yampa Bob as to the need in web site design to have all sites dial up friendly. This can be done by providing user ability to temporarily exclude high data enhancements thereby expediting the downloading.  These enhancements include animation, high resolution photos and graphics, and sound. This should be done in a manner that does not restrict the availability of the full content to those that can utilize this information.

I offer as an example the streaming audio web site I often use. Both the user software type and the appropriate download speed (bandwidth or fidelity) are user selectable.

Bob an important thing to remember is to stop banging your head against the wall when it starts to hurt.
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Nelson

Notka Lake Logging & Navigation RR
JerryB

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« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2008, 01:59:49 PM »

<snip>Satellite internet is the only available high speed option where cable and DSL is unavailable.
Satellite is not the only available alternative to dialup, cable and DSL.

Two weeks ago I got a Verizon EVDO modem. The modem itself looks very much like a USB thumb drive, going directly into the computer's USB port. The WWW connection is via CDMA protocol to a Verizon cell phone tower, with the unit working nationwide. It provides nominal 800kbps in both directions and acts just like the 'always on' cable and DSL connections. The Nationwide Broadband data plan is $60 / month, with no per minute charges. The modem was 'free' ($50 charged, with a $50 mail in rebate) and is usable in any computer with a USB port. I originally used it on my Macintosh G4 PowerBook and my MacBook. The provided VZAccess Manager software runs on PCs or Macs. They also have PCI card modem versions available.

For the first few days, I took the modem between my house and office computers, but then purchased a Cradlepoint Technology MBR1000 Wireless (802.11 b/g/n) Broadband Router. The Verizon modem is plugged into a USB port on the router, which is mounted in the attic of my office. This creates a Wireless Local Area Network that allows any computer with WiFi to access the internet at really good speeds. The whole system is password protected and I can also connect non-WiFi devices such as scanners, printers, etc. to the WLAN using ethernet cables to the router. My MacBook connects at 802.11n speeds, while the PowerBook is limited to 'g' speeds. Both are much faster than the nominal 800Kbps of the EVDO modem, so it is all very transparent speed-wise.

I regularly see speeds up to 1.2Mbps over the Verizon system and am really happy to be off dialup. I will save some of the cost of the Verizon Broadband by dropping the dialup phone line (~$20 / month), and changing my ISP access from a 'full service account' (~$200 / year) to a single email only account (~$50 / year). That wouldn't be necessary, but I want to keep my current email address.

Hope this helps.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
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Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
Boonville Light & Power Co. in 1:20 / 45mm
Navarro Engineering & Construction Co. in 1:20 / 32mm
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NelsOn-30

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« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2008, 03:10:58 PM »

Thanks Jerry

You discovered one of my “seniors moments” that I am qualified for.

Cell phone technology now includes internet access. Does the Verizon system utilize the cell network or is it stand alone? What is the range and availability of this system?

It could be a viable option out on the open range.
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Nelson

Notka Lake Logging & Navigation RR
JerryB

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« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2008, 04:20:41 PM »

I too am subject to those senior moments, but this is a really new item. I didn't know about the EVDO service until a month or so ago. Originally I thought it was something you added to Verizon's cellphone service, but that's not the case. I don't use Verizon as my cell phone provider. I purchased the modem and contracted (24 months) for the EVDO Broadband service only, and as a stand alone, hoping to improve over my dialup access.

I don't know specifically how it interfaces with the regular cell phone service, but it says it supports text messaging over the EVDO modem, just like a voice cell phone. The Macintosh VZAcess software doesn't support this, but the Verizon customer rep. said they are working on it. Everything else works the same as for a PC.

Go to Verizon's website. It has maps there for their various service coverage areas. Look at the map for "NationalAccess - BroadbandAccess." The maps are so small that they are really difficult to read, but the Verizon store knew where it would work. They offer a 30 day no-charge return privilege, so there really isn't any risk to trying it.

It really provides a superior alternative where we can only get dialup, with no cable or DSL available. I seriously looked at satellite, but there are several problems, including cost of installation, adding a dish and its maintenance, speeds only slightly higher that dialup (for the lowest cost tier), and strictly enforced 'fair use' policies that can see your service decreased or disrupted as a penalty for exceeding your allotment.

The EVDO modem works everywhere there is Verizon Broadband service, making it a good choice for a traveler, and can be transferred between computers at will. Just unplug the modem and plug it into the next machine. Really slick. My neighbor saw mine and was at the Verizon store by the time they opened the next morning!

I have no connection with Verizon, except as a very satisfied new EVDO Broadband customer.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
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Sequoia Pacific RR in 1:20 / 70.6mm
Boonville Light & Power Co. in 1:20 / 45mm
Navarro Engineering & Construction Co. in 1:20 / 32mm
NMRA Life Member #3370
Member: Bay Area Electric Railway Association
Member: Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources
Yampa Bob

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« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2008, 05:48:09 PM »

I appreciate your comments and suggestions.  All web sites can be made dialup friendly.  I visit many sites where I have the option of viewing a non-flash version, on some I can even choose the resolution I need for my computer.

As for wireless access, we have two pocket sized cell phones by Nokia.  We only pay $11.00 a month flat rate with a usage charge of 20 cents a minute.  We only use them for emergencies.  We are not like the people you see at grocery stores, walking down the street, driving their car, even at the movies, with a cell phone constantly glued to their ear.  Why should I have to pay extra just to use this site?

"Banging my head against the wall?"  Perhaps, but that is not the issue.  Stores don't charge admission to their customers.  All these various options are like today's so called "modern medicine", whereby they treat the symptoms with expensive prescriptions, but don't cure the illness.  I'm sure the comment was a friendly one, however it might be construed to mean "It's hopeless, so you might as well give up and move on."  As a courtesy to Bachmann, I have tried to keep this discussion respectful and just relate the facts.  If I am ultimately banned by them from this forum, then the decision will have been made for me.   

I'm not compaigning merely for myself, but also for the hundreds, perhaps thousands who are being affected.  Now that we've discussed all possible "prescriptions", let's get back to the illness, which is the new format.  The cure is to fix it right, as it should have been done in the first place.  I have a high threshold for pain, it comes from 20 years of ranching.  So my head doesn't hurt and my thinking is very clear.  Some people are willing to accept the status quo regardless of how bad it is, I am not one of those people.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2008, 05:56:56 PM by Yampa Bob » Logged

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NelsOn-30

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« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2008, 11:33:20 PM »

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php takes me directly to the message board and may speed up loading.

Bob, my 'head against the wall" comment was intended to be humor. Sorry for any misunderstanding.

How does one become a "full" member from a guest with log in requirements?

Some ID must have changed during my upgrade to a new computer.
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Nelson

Notka Lake Logging & Navigation RR
rogertra


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« Reply #25 on: August 30, 2008, 12:54:15 AM »

http://www.bachmanntrains.com/home-usa/board/index.php takes me directly to the message board and may speed up loading.


Doesn't everybody connect directly to the message board rather than through the Bachmann home page?
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grumpy

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« Reply #26 on: August 30, 2008, 01:08:31 AM »

If the Bachman Co. is going to offer an internet service Iam sure it is to expose more people to its service and products . If they want to achieve this then the service has to be made available to all users of the internet not just those who use high speed service . Some areas of the country do not have any kind of high speed service and so they have extreme difficulty in accessing  the website and using the forum . The forum has been an excellent source of information  and it should be available to all . Those who now participate in the forum but have trouble accessing it will drift away and those may have become involved in the forum but could not easily access the forum will be missed altogether. . Although I use DSL because it was available to me inexpensively I will consider this access problem everytime I plan to purchase a loco .
Mr. Bachman please correct the problem with the website as you would correct a problem with a loco or rolling stock. It is a small price to pay for customer loyalty
Don Sad
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TrampTrader

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« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2008, 02:13:26 AM »

 Smiley


Hi Bob,

I sincerely hope you, and many others, are able to remain on this site.
I, for one,  have always enjoyed reading your postings, advice, and knowledgeable comments, as well as many of the other experienced modelers, and newbies who contribute to this site. It has truly become a special place, to hang out, for me, and I'm sure many other newbies! Also, as a person who can't move around as much as I used to, I have enjoyed seeing other folks photo logs, of their railroad travels, as well as the photos of the wonderful modeling work done by the site contributors. I'm sure all of these issues will be ironed out by the most appreciated, Bachman !








Pete   :-)
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2008, 03:26:28 PM »

Thanks Pete.  More important than receiving or giving information, is the friendship of many modelers I've met here.

Nelson:  No problem, I knew it was in humor.  Earlier one member did tell me that if I didn't have broadband, that was just "tough".  The gist of it was that those who have broadband shouldn't be "held back" by us slowpokes.  There are always two sides to any issue.  Those who have never experienced dialup don't realize the difficulties.

Don, you presented an interesting viewpoint.  Obviously I have been selfishly considering only myself and the current members.  I wonder how many prospective new members, who could have made valuable contributions, were scared off at their first exposure to the new site.  But I've noticed that several members who used to post regularly are no longer active. 

I was lucky to have joined when the old site was up.  If I had this much problem from the first, I wouldn't have hung around for 5 minutes, let alone 2 years.  But now I'm "hooked" on the forum, hard to get it out of my system.  As Pete said, it's become a great place to hang out.

In life, there are many different kinds of handicaps and disabilities, not necessarily of a physical nature.  The Americans With Disabilities Act  (ADA) prohibits discrimination against those with handicaps of any nature.  For many of us, dialup is a handicap, something to ponder.

Loyalty is definitely a two way street. I will also have second thoughts about any future purchases.   
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I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
WGL
Great Northern


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« Reply #29 on: August 31, 2008, 01:49:46 AM »

Yampa Bob,
  What you say suggests that people in the Southwest are bucking the trend of moving back to towns & cities to save gas.  I guess the cheaper housing offsets the cost of commuting.
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