A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

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Andrew Robinson
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Andrew Robinson » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:44 pm

Let me know what you guys decide on. I am still pro "FAQ scavenger hunt" and will be more than happy to help with the programming.
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Adam Szendrey
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Adam Szendrey » Sat Mar 14, 2015 9:13 pm

I actually really like the idea of a single "fusor almanac" in pdf form! I'll see if I can actually do that (should be straight-forward enough). Everything in one place and the use of the search function could make things simpler, so more folks would first turn to that document...but as mentioned by Scott, it might not help at all (although personally I'd find it extremely useful). I haven't checked right now, but

Andrew, you also might be onto something there...If it was made into a bit more "playful" form, not childish, just more...hm...amusing maybe?...it wouldn't just be a "test" or "exam", at least it wouldn't feel like it.

Also, I just noticed an odd thing...if I try to search only for the word FAQ , and only in topic titles, I get zero results (I wanted to get all of the FAQs in one search). I also tried "FAQ - " (in both cases with or without quotation marks), thinking maybe that three letters is too short or something. In fact nothing turns up when I simply search for "FAQ" on the forums, even though they are there. I tried following Richard's advice on how to get all the FAQs in one blow but no luck. If I use FAQ* instead of just FAQ, and I switch to either "Post subjects and message text" or "Message text only" and I check "Topics" instead of posts, I get 28 results though. In reality there are over 130 FAQ topics... I get zero results if I try searching "Topic titles only". Shouldn't I be able to find all the FAQs if I search only in topic titles for the word "FAQ" ? Certainly doesn't seem logical that I find none. This is actually a bit confusing, and might contribute to this issue. I might be doing something wrong though, or it's my browser or whatever, so do let me know if I'm just being a moron here.

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Richard Hull
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:05 pm

I assume you know that 100% of all the FAQs related to each forum are at the very top of that forum? Just click on the FAQ banner and they open up.

Note: Stupidly, and for what ever reason, not all forums have FAQ headers. The ones that really count do have a FAQ banner, of course.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Andrew Robinson
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Andrew Robinson » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:19 pm

I dont believe the FAQs are that difficult to locate. Creating single document would require someone maintaining it. The FAQs are in a great place, and having them divided by topic is great. By not having a single doc, the community as a whole can maintain it. Perhaps inatead of the quiz idea, a guided tour would be better. Showing people how to use the forum, where to click, etc. It could be a button driven tour (Next) that the user must click though immediately after registering. Could even show an example or two of what not to post. When finished they would be dropped right to the main forum like normal, but now hopefully a little more prepared.
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Richard Hull
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:21 pm

I really like the quided tour idea for newbs. The best thought yet!

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Bob Reite
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Bob Reite » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:03 pm

One problem with the "Use your real name" rule for login is that the majority of systems only allow letters, numbers and maybe the underscore character for the login name. So people think it has to be one word. I did when I first joined using BR2600, but of course I entered my real name in the user control panel, thinking that met the requirement. I later found out that phpbb allows spaces in the login name, and I was even more delighted to find that I could change my login to my real name with spaces and not lose any of my content.

Perhaps the entry page that new users read should make it more explicit that spaces *are* allowed in the login name and that they are *required* to use their real first and last names for their login account name.
The more reactive the materials, the more spectacular the failures.
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Frank Sanns
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Frank Sanns » Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:31 pm

There are many good and not so good suggestions here. As I said, early on, people that came to the site READ and used common sense without implicit instruction that 2 comes after 1. There were no FAQ there were no masses of people. There were not even 50 registered users for the longest time. We knew each other and each other's work. Go search back what was happening before 2004 and you will find some of the very best core work. Richard mostly summarized the work into FAQs to make it super easy for anybody with any patience and a brain to get years worth of work out of an hour or two of reading. Of course there is the doing part that seems to be lacking with many visitors. Flashes in the pan too often and certainly we have not had a glut of people advancing the science.

What new grids have be made? What new gasses? What new geometries? What new metrology?

Somewhere on the site was a grand plan to further the science. Long lost with the noise of those wanting to dabble or to do a science project are the real doers. That is the part that I miss the most.

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Adam Szendrey
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Adam Szendrey » Sun Mar 15, 2015 1:23 am

Aye, the one thing I didn't like about the "collected FAQ" thing (into a pdf) was the fact that then it wouldn't be maintained, or would need someone to do so, although personally I didn't find that as big of a problem. As for the FAQs, yes, of course I know where they are located, I simply wanted to see all of them in a single search (my reason was simply to see if I can actually do that), and I couldn't (as I mentioned in that post). This might indicate an issue with searching (I might be wrong) and I wanted to point that out. That's all.

Bob has a point, although it's quite obvious when one looks at the usernames on the forums, that they all have spaces in them, so that should give a strong indication that it's possible.

I agree that the "tour" thing isn't a bad idea. It's more than nothing I guess, it could show some basic info where to find answers. Although it would be quite simple just to "click spam" the thing, and go through it without reading...hence I proposed the idea of asking some questions...but alas, it seems that idea is not very popular.

As for what you said Frank...I'd have an easier time expressing any thoughts on that if I was actually doing anything progressive in this field. I was inactive for a long time, and as it stands, I'm trying to get my lab together, and I'm just all words...My only excuse is that a lot has happened in my life and I simply didn't (and still don't quite) have the resources (I did collect a lot of stuff though...in storage at the moment). Thus, while I agree, I can't help but feel some guilt for not contributing more. In general I'd love to see some "real" science done with fusors, as I don't believe there is no room for improvement. I'm not chasing a dream of a compact home made fusion power plant, I just think there are a LOT of things one could try. I have proposed a load of grid geometries, way back when (and I wasn't the first, or last), but without experiments backing up my ideas, they are just that. Ideas.
I do remember that the research was a lot more lively back then. A lot of "new stuff" was done, for example what Larry did with pulsed fusion. I don't see the same enthusiasm and drive to "deviate" from the "classic" fusor these days. The fusor kind of became a more flashy "Tesla coil" of sorts. What I mean by that is that it's just being copied over and over and over with the same general structure...Most of the time. Is that a bad thing? Well in its self it isn't, but when it's the only thing going on, then things get kind of repetitive, and...well...flat.

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Richard Hull
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:10 pm

I agree that the fusor may be the new replacement for the old Tesla coil, homemade gas laser or super science project. Certainly, it has become the ultimate DIY, but the doing in science and engineering is the thing, even if the net result is as flat as a flounder in the long term. Innovation and research comes when it comes. It will come when those few gifted and inquistive people push the boundry. This is something of great value. Things of great value are rare. So, we "old boys" should not expect an adrenaline rush each day here.

Fond memories of the beginning back in the 1990's are great, but we were just miming the 1960's Farnsworth/ITT effort. Yes, we were pioneers and put a lot of shortcuts and innovations along with early research into the amateur fusion effort. Hell! We started the the amateur fusion effort!! That was tough, too, as we were the first pass into a new world of amateur science. The struggles were many and the vigor and excitement was very great as it is now for the DIY junkies and the true amateur scientist landing here.

We ancients may never know that thrill again here......Until some young pup comes in a kicks the whole business up a notch. Kinda' like waiting for that "lucky donkey" I speak of so often.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Bob Reite
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Re: A proposal..or a rant...probably both?

Post by Bob Reite » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:57 am

I'm experimenting with different ways to "get rid of the grid". The two pointed electrode approach I have documented in Images du Jour. Since that post, I tried having both electrodes at the same voltage. It turns out I don't need a "beam current" between the two electrodes, The points seem to provoke more ionization between the two points and I still get fusion. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I have "real life" work coming in now that pays the bills, but takes away time from fusion experiments.
The more reactive the materials, the more spectacular the failures.
The testing isn't over until the prototype is destroyed.

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