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RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby D3796 » Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:45 pm

I am sorry, I much prefer the previous option of being able to download a PDF version with one single click. I was thinking of going Digital with the RO untill the recent changes have put me off.
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby D3796 » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:08 pm

D3796 wrote:I am sorry, I much prefer the previous option of being able to download a PDF version with one single click. I was thinking of going Digital with the RO untill the recent changes have put me off.

Been thinking even further as whether it's even worth renewing my RCTS membership when views go unacknowledged!
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby GeoffPlumb » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:16 pm

D3796 wrote:
D3796 wrote:I am sorry, I much prefer the previous option of being able to download a PDF version with one single click. I was thinking of going Digital with the RO until the recent changes have put me off.

Been thinking even further as whether it's even worth renewing my RCTS membership when views go unacknowledged!

Please don't despair, hopefully someone from the hierarchy will respond at some stage!

I do agree with some of the previous postings in this topic, in that the digital version of the RO is a great boon, though as I get the physical production as well as the digital, I have no real need to download in any form. Being able to read the digital issue before the hard copy arrives is very useful, especially on the odd occasions when the printed version is delayed. Assuming, that is, that I have the time to visit the website in any case...

I also agree that the team producing the RO, in whatever form, do a great job (and thanks for that), the quality of the product is really excellent and has come on in leaps and bounds with regard to photographic reproduction and diversity of content, both pictorially and in articles. Having said that, and I do not wish to appear to be criticising in a negative way, there are some presentational issues that ought to be considered. Writing as a photographer, it is very nice to have pictures printed as large as possible, but the format of the RO is not conducive for large landscape format photos, these being spread across two pages with a fold and possibly staples (in the case of a centre spread) distorting the resultant image. Even in the digital version, there is a black line down the middle of the two page spread, which completely ruins the appreciation of the photographer's work.

Even worse is when written content is spread over the centre fold, this makes it very difficult to read as half of words are lost in the fold, spoiling the potential enjoyment of someone's written efforts. A case in point is in the November RO, the article spread across pages 766 and 767, the tribute to Peter W. Robinson by John Broughton. The text is very difficult to read in the printed version and the black line down the middle of the text in the PageSuite version doesn't help matters in what is otherwise an excellent endorsement.

This article also raises the issue of proof-reading in that there are some glaring errors with photos and captions (ironically on the pages just before the article on a Proof Reader's Perspective!) - in the printed version of four photos, two of them are identical with different captions. The caption is correct in the case of one of them and presumably correct for the other one, but it relates to a different picture! Subsequently, in the case of the digital version, this has been noted and the correct picture replaces the previous incorrect one, but unfortunately the wrong way round - we now have two different pictures, each with an incorrect caption!

In the past, I have contacted Mike Robinson by email to point out errors in photo captions (notably one from Gilberdyke a year or so ago, when a caption and photo were mismatched - a correction for the error was published in a later issue of the RO, but so far nothing has appeared to correct the errors this time...) and there has, in the past, always been the possibility of pointing out such things via the "Letters to the Editor" medium, but that is an avenue that seems to have disappeared at the moment.

There are some other errors noted in the November RO in terms of photo captions - on page 792 is a photo of 46256 at Carlisle, by one Mike Robinson, apparently on the RCTS tour from Preston on 27th September 1964. This tour, recently recreated 50 years later, started from Crewe and actually ran on 26th September 1964 - "The Scottish Lowlander" ( I was on the tour)!

On the opposite page to this, the inside back cover, is an excellent photo of TPE 185101 having just passed Grindleford station, but the caption states that this view is from the east of the station - obviously it is from the west of the station - if you're east of Grindleford station you may well be in Totley Tunnel!

I appreciate that proof-reading is difficult, I find that when I write anything myself I can check it several times and when it's published there are still errors I have overlooked, so understand the problems. There may well be "typos", spelling or grammar errors in this message, but it is not being checked by other parties to scrutinise for mistakes (apart perhaps from other forum members...).

The RO has a well-deserved reputation for accuracy but such errors as these should be picked up...

Cheers, Geoff
Chairman, Watford Branch.

Please visit my Photo Gallery at PLUMB LOCO This is my new location since the disappearance of Fotopic...
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby MIKER » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:09 pm

D3796 wrote - Been thinking even further as whether it's even worth renewing my RCTS membership when views go unacknowledged!
Please don't despair, hopefully someone from the hierarchy will respond at some stage!


Sorry chaps if you require an acknowledgement or direct response to posts from the Ed Team please submit to individuals. You are of course free to post any such email to the forum should you so desire.

Geoff Plumb wrote I appreciate that proof-reading is difficult, I find that when I write anything myself I can check it several times and when it's published there are still errors I have overlooked, so understand the problems. There may well be "typos", spelling or grammar errors in this message, but it is not being checked by other parties to scrutinise for mistakes (apart perhaps from other forum members...).
The RO has a well-deserved reputation for accuracy but such errors as these should be picked up...


We have seven proof readers plus a proofing manger - David Bird - and we cannot trap everything. We allow seven days for the entire PR process each month and without either lengthening our reporting / picture horizon - or moving the doorstep delivery date back by perhaps a week, it is unlikely that our present team can detect more errors. Many result from incorrect information sent in by contributors / photographers and which with a very limited fact checking capability will remain however long we allow for the process. Perhaps Geoff, and indeed anyone else concerned with this issue, might like to volunteer to join the proof reading team. We always need Editorial team volunteers as you will see from the next issue of the Officers directory which highlights two reporting vacancies we have so far been unable to fill.

As regards the Letters column in the RO. we publish everything we get. Its frequent lack of appearance is entirely due to an absence of correspondence, whether on the RO or other matters, from our 2,500 members so I guess we must be getting something right!
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby D3796 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:59 pm

MIKER wrote: Sorry chaps if you require an acknowledgement or direct response to posts from the Ed Team please submit to individuals.

Sorry, I thought this was a discussion group!
I think it's retrograde step in not having a single click option of downloading the RO. Never mind, my membership will expire shortly. BYE.
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby pdeaves » Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:50 pm

D3796 wrote:I think it's retrograde step in not having a single click option of downloading the RO.


You are, I assume, aware that the digital RO system is provided by an outside company and not programmed directly by RCTS volunteers? The team investigated various alternatives and picked the most suitable. If you know of a different system that does exactly what you want then do shout out; there are many systems and it is not possible to know what all of them are unless, probably, one actually works in that field!
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby D3796 » Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:14 pm

pdeaves wrote:
D3796 wrote:I think it's retrograde step in not having a single click option of downloading the RO.


You are, I assume, aware that the digital RO system is provided by an outside company and not programmed directly by RCTS volunteers? The team investigated various alternatives and picked the most suitable. If you know of a different system that does exactly what you want then do shout out; there are many systems and it is not possible to know what all of them are unless, probably, one actually works in that field!

One of the few things I am aware of is that the old system allowed a single click downliad of a pdf file and that the new system requires the pages to be selected and then compiled before downloading. A retrograde step in my view. Railway Herald have à single click option that works very well.
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby pdeaves » Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:16 pm

D3796 wrote:One of the few things I am aware of is that the old system allowed a single click downliad of a pdf file and that the new system requires the pages to be selected and then compiled before downloading. A retrograde step in my view. Railway Herald have à single click option that works very well.


Why not click 'download', then 'download all' (top right, opposite side to the select/select all options)? That way you don't have to compile anything.

Hope this helps.
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby D3796 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:52 pm

pdeaves wrote:
D3796 wrote:One of the few things I am aware of is that the old system allowed a single click downliad of a pdf file and that the new system requires the pages to be selected and then compiled before downloading. A retrograde step in my view. Railway Herald have à single click option that works very well.


Why not click 'download', then 'download all' (top right, opposite side to the select/select all options)? That way you don't have to compile anything.

Hope this helps.

Thank you, I will give it a go when the Pagesuite issue is resolved.
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Re: RAILWAY OBSERVER CHANNEL

Postby windsor_lad » Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:40 pm

For those of you who have grumbled at the Editorials in the RO go and read the one by Phil Deaves in the January issue - what a positive breath of fresh air.

Well done Phil for cheering us all up, it's a far cry from the gloomy days of the 1970s - I have always considered the period from 1969 to 1973 to be the most depressing in the history of our railways.

And, its all up to us to report it all.

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