Dead or Dying Already?

A forum for the discussion of railway related topics
Ian Prince
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Re: January RO

Post by Ian Prince » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:53 pm

Peter Hall wrote: One does suspect that a fly on the wall at that MC meeting may have had an interesting few hours.
Maybe a 'Norwegian Blue' parrot might have been more appropriate. :roll:

Peter Hall
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Not easy to find on the Web as it is.

Post by Peter Hall » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:12 pm

Got moaned at in the pub last night!! The gist was that I had told them to look on the RCTS website for something. They had put RCTS into a search engine and got a load of medical stuff. Did the same and it was page 7 before the Society website came up,

Was told a few months ago this might happen with another website I contribute too. Something to do with not having a website that is designed for use on those hand held things that many people clutch even more than cardboard coffee cups when they arte walking around, then your website will not show on the first page of results. Looks like that has happened.

Site Admin
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Re: Dead or Dying Already?

Post by webmaster » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:18 pm

One issue with search engines in that "RCT" is an abbreviation for "Randomized Controlled Trial" and "RCTs" is more than one of them. What should happen is that entering "RCTS" gets you to the society home page (as top hit on both search engines I tried) and the top hit for "RCTS Sheffield" is the Sheffield branch meetings page. If you are getting loads of medical stuff and nothing about trains the best advice is to simplify your search and/or try some different terms as this is the search engine's way of telling you it didn't find much on our site.


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Re: Dead or Dying Already?

Post by pdeaves » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:37 pm

rcts train returns as the top five results. Put in something railway specific to get rid of all (well, most of!) the unwanted stuff.
Last edited by pdeaves on Sun Mar 05, 2017 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Peter Hall
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:51 am

Towel finally going in.

Post by Peter Hall » Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:14 am

A few days ago I received a message from BT/EE/Orange/wannadoo or whatever they call themselves this week which reads "Orange Email will close on 31 May 2017. This means that from this date onwards, you will not be able to access your account" Great, just what I wanted to hear!!! I was one of those that headed for a Lloyds(?) chemist shop to acquire a freeserve disc when they were launched around twenty years ago. I have used the same email ever since and it is linked to almost everything I do online as well as being my main 'fishing' contact throughout the world (emails from Germany and Australia as well as all parts of the UK currently await action). Out of the blue I receive emails because years ago I left a card with it on or it was on a document I produced. Unfortunately in the autumn of 2015 I suffered catastrophic multiple computer failures which meant that my email contacts and history were corrupted and although believed backed up it has never been possible to retrieve them. Slowly this has been rebuilt as people have made contact but many who I might wish to contact have not yet resurfaced.

The 2015 problems really opened my eyes to how we have been sleepwalking into the clutches of what was predicted for 1984. When it comes to computers everything is now download rather than disks. Why? This does not suit me as it takes control away from me. Software such as FoxPro, that is essential for my data I have on disc, and for now at least can still be installed. But not other essentials such as the operating system, Word and Excel. Discs allow main and reserve computers to be configured exactly the same. Downloads do not allow this and problems I am currently having emphasis the point. I have two computers both with properly licensed Windows 7 downloads. One allows Genie timeline one does not because some code is missing!!! However much protection you have, connecting to the interweb opens you up to attack and being spied on. My strategy is to have a computer that is never ever connected to the interweb. Thus I can use it as I did in the early 1990s to manage my data and produce hard copy documents. Transfers in and out by memory stick or similar and set up using discs with external hard drive/memory stick backup. Proving somewhat difficult to achieve! In addition I have a computer that is connected to the interweb but still I wish this to be disc configured as much as possible.

Anyhow, having suffered so many computer issues recently the email thing is the final straw. Still developing a strategy but it will be much lower profile and less contributory. The biggest problem is finding someone who understands my requirements and can point me in the right direction.
Last edited by Peter Hall on Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dead or Dying Already?

Post by MisterC » Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:22 pm

You have my sympathy but I doubt that I can provide any practical help.

My knowledge of all this stuff was mostly learned at work and has not advanced much since I retired. I do nearly everything on Excel or Word in the hope that Windows will last longer than I will! I try to do backups onto memory sticks but remember less frequently than I should.

I feel most vulnerable on email where I still have a heritage ntlworld address. After many takeovers I now find myself a customer of Virgin Media. I don't use Outlook instead reading and storing my emails online. That's ok while Virgin survive and I can still use them but I do think that I need some sort of backup. A reliable email that is going to be around in the future, but where the provider is not going to abuse the trust I'm giving them, is what I'm looking for, but the search has barely started!

The difficulty with the smaller providers is that they can vanish overnight, the fotopic photo sharing website being a salutary example.

Peter Hall
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Re: Dead or Dying Already?

Post by Peter Hall » Tue Mar 07, 2017 10:17 pm

MisterC wrote: A reliable email that is going to be around in the future, but where the provider is not going to abuse the trust I'm giving them, is what I'm looking for.
Which is precisely what I am looking for, or several to be precise, so the impact of discontinuance will not be as great should it happen again. Also needs to be suited to diverts from the RCTS website so hopefully some recommendations from those involved with matters IT in the Society will be forthcoming.

Paddy C
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Re: Dead or Dying Already?

Post by Paddy C » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:50 pm

In reply to some of the above Phil is quite correct. Always add a qualifier or clarifier to ANY web search. When I look up abbreviations for the RO Index I always add RAIL to the acronym. If not I get amusing hits. Sometimes obscene. Regarding freeserve I as a wanadoo user am in the same boat. That is why I have notified our Editor of my new email address, now on the Officers thingy on the web. I am afraid this has been a long time coming via freeserve, wanadoo, Orange and now EE who are washing their hands and apparently have nothing to offer customers using heritage mail accounts other than migration. This I can, have and will do reasonably painlessly but I am aware that some members archive their email history on their original account servers. I have looked at the ways in which email accounts may be archived but it seems to me that unless you are or can set it up in Outlook archiving is not a simple matter. I now use webmail so I can access across phone, tablet and laptop but again this is of no help to users who need to do something before 31 May for their email history. The other issue raised is the archive medium. I have moved from disc to memory stick to portable memory drive with massive memory but these all require a USB port and 2 of my devices do not have this. I don't use iCloud much but this may be the way. Google and Yahoo have good free memory on their free email accounts but I do sympathise with users, as one myself, who have found that their heritage email accounts are an embarrassment to successive administrators in terms of maintenance and support.

Peter Hall
Posts: 268
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:51 am

More baffled now than a week ago!

Post by Peter Hall » Sun Mar 12, 2017 10:12 am

A week on and I am more confused than ever! Comments received on here and privately are much appreciated. Clearly I am not unique in having endless problems and unable to understand what all the different options involve and in particular how things are backed up.

Take the example of my main email address. It ends in but when I use it I click on Windows Live Mail. However I can access it by clicking on Orange webmail in my favourites. If I have got this correct the is an email client but you need a email server such as windows live mail or orange to receive and send emails. Are the likes of Yahoo and Gmail integrated as one? After 31st May will all the old emails still be on Windows Live Mail for reference or will some cunning EE worm kill them off?

However, when it comes to storing old emails on Windows Live Mail I have all those since I was up and running on this computer early last year. However, those on Orange delete after so many months. Does this mean with Windows Live Mail I have them stored on my computer hard drive but with Orange they store them for me and chuck them away after so many weeks. What happens with Gmail and Yahoo, where are they stored?

Hopefully the hard drive off this computer is backed up to an external hard drive. Thus, when I break this one which I am sure to do, my email history will hopefully be safe this time. Anyhow before the freeserve problem kicked off I trialled copying the email history onto another computer. First problem, not got Windows Live Mail installed. Simple I thought, download it from Microsoft. No, Microsoft don't allow you to anymore because you should now be on something else. If it had been on disc like it once was it would have been done in minutes. Eventually an obscure free download was found but this involved downloading loads I didn't want then uninstalling all but live mail. Then guess what, external hard drive did not allow transfer because genie timeline had been used and the problem of incompatible versions of Windows 7 cropped up.

Yahoo and Hotmail had been suggested as alternative emails. I actually have Yahoo as a reserve but the and .com thing has caused confusion, however the impression I have got is that Yahoo is considered to be many as a failing It company so best be avoided. Hotmail is now owned by Microsoft who it appears wish you to use so I would not be surprised that those with Hotmail emails will not be joining me in the near future.

Further comments and advice welcomed. Also, sincere apologies to those awaiting emails from me. Hopefully a normal service will be resumed eventually or else visit me some time in the nut house where I seem to be heading trying to untangle this lot.

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Re: Dead or Dying Already?

Post by dcd » Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:59 pm

If you are at the AGM I'll try and find you and explain what I know about email, it is not easy to put on here and make sense to all.

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