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What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?

Related thread:
(origins) Origins: Down by the station, early in the morning (42)


CRANKY YANKEE 24 Dec 01 - 03:16 PM
53 24 Dec 01 - 03:25 PM
katlaughing 24 Dec 01 - 03:38 PM
GUEST,Desdemona 24 Dec 01 - 03:48 PM
Noreen 24 Dec 01 - 05:04 PM
Celtic Soul 24 Dec 01 - 05:27 PM
Snuffy 24 Dec 01 - 06:20 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 24 Dec 01 - 07:05 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 24 Dec 01 - 10:24 PM
WyoWoman 24 Dec 01 - 11:44 PM
katlaughing 25 Dec 01 - 12:35 AM
Wesley S 19 Feb 03 - 11:15 AM
Schantieman 19 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM
MMario 19 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM
GUEST 19 Feb 03 - 11:19 AM
My guru always said 19 Feb 03 - 11:21 AM
GUEST,FOGIE 19 Feb 03 - 11:23 AM
beadie 19 Feb 03 - 11:31 AM
Bill D 19 Feb 03 - 11:33 AM
Steve Parkes 19 Feb 03 - 11:33 AM
Cluin 19 Feb 03 - 11:55 AM
Rick Fielding 19 Feb 03 - 12:06 PM
BanjoRay 19 Feb 03 - 12:11 PM
Allan C. 19 Feb 03 - 12:35 PM
Bill D 19 Feb 03 - 12:36 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Feb 03 - 01:14 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Feb 03 - 01:16 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Feb 03 - 01:20 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 03 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Feb 03 - 01:28 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Feb 03 - 01:32 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Feb 03 - 01:36 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 03 - 01:42 PM
Bill D 19 Feb 03 - 01:46 PM
GUEST 19 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM
Micca 19 Feb 03 - 01:50 PM
Bill D 19 Feb 03 - 01:53 PM
MMario 19 Feb 03 - 01:54 PM
Gareth 19 Feb 03 - 01:55 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Feb 03 - 01:57 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Feb 03 - 01:59 PM
Nigel Parsons 19 Feb 03 - 02:06 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Feb 03 - 02:13 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Feb 03 - 02:13 PM
Bill D 19 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Feb 03 - 02:37 PM
Penny S. 19 Feb 03 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Q 19 Feb 03 - 02:41 PM
GUEST, Dale 19 Feb 03 - 03:45 PM
Snuffy 19 Feb 03 - 07:24 PM
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Subject: Puffer bellies?
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 03:16 PM

I just heard another A U T H O R I T I V E version of " down by the Station". The only other people I've heard sing it right are those I taught (or corrected) and the guy I learned it from, Todd Farnham, 95 years old. He's the guy who gave me the "one of a kind" F J Bacon-Todd Farnham long necked five string banjo that I play. IT WAS MADE IN 1925

For all you purists, it isn't "Buffer Bellies, it's, "PUFF AND BELLER" (or "Puff and Bellow" if you prefer. as in,

"Down by the station early in the morning
See the little Puff 'n Bellers all in a row." O.K.?

Merry Christmas
Jody Gibson (73 years old)


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: 53
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 03:25 PM

i thought that it might be an ovation guitar, its got sorta of a puffer belly. BOB


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: katlaughing
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 03:38 PM

Jeepers, Jody, tell us some more about the old fellah you learned it from, please???


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: GUEST,Desdemona
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 03:48 PM

Excellent! That's been a favourite "sing to the kids" song in my family for several generations now; I've always sung "puffer bellies"! The gent you learnt it from sounds fascinating---more please?

Puff, puff, toot, toot---off we go!


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: Noreen
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 05:04 PM

Interesting...

Children here (UK) sing 'puffing Billies', as that's a child's name for a steam train- but I've no idea of the history of the song or where it was from. Quite commonly sung by children over here, Jody, or at least it was in my day...!

Noreen


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 05:27 PM

But isn't that just an example of the evolution (or de-evolution) of language at work?

Like it or not (and sometimes I do not...like when people legitimize the word "irregardless"), that's part of the nature of not only the folk tradition, but of language as a whole, wouldn't you say?

:D


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: Snuffy
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 06:20 PM

There was quite a bit of discussion on the history of the song on this thread Lyr Req: Down by the station, early in the mo back in March of last year.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 07:05 PM

I just read the thread Snuffy referred me to. So much for "Experts" (like me) One can never trust an expert. SNUDDY: I'll go along with that one too. So now we have two entirely different "Authentic" versions of a much loved children's song. I do, however, like "Puff'n beller" But, I'll quit correcting people. There's enough good, solid data for me to change my mind about. That's folk music, isn't it? I'll start a new thread about Todd Farnham

Merry Christmas, A-Salaam, Shalom, Allah Akhbar, Donna Nobis Pacem.

On the back of my black belt I have embroidered, "Amor Vincet Omnia" Newport, Rhode Island's motto. (And Newport, France's also)
Happy new year.
Jody Gibson.


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 10:24 PM

KATLAUGHING

DESDEMONA

See new thread: TODD FARNHAM of Tiverton, Rhode Island

Jody


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: WyoWoman
Date: 24 Dec 01 - 11:44 PM

Oh. And I thought this was just another thread on the Mudcat Nearly Nude calendar ...

ww


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Subject: RE: Puffer bellies?
From: katlaughing
Date: 25 Dec 01 - 12:35 AM

Hahaha, WyoWoman!!

Thanks, Jody, will do!


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Subject: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Wesley S
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:15 AM

One of my sons childrens tapes has a song on it with the following lyrics:

Down by the station early in the morning
See the little pufferbillies all in a row
See the stationmaster early in the morning
Puff puff whoo whoo off we go.

They go on to sing another verse about a caboose.

So what the heck is a pufferbillie or pufferbelly ? I suspect it's some sort of train term. My wife thinks it's the name of a bird. So does anyone know for sure ? Thanks - Wesley


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Schantieman
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM

A puffer billy - or puffing billy - is (or was) kiddiespeak for a steam locomotive!

Unless anyone knows different.....

Steve


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: MMario
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:18 AM

That would be a steam engine, wouldn't it?


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:19 AM

Pufferbellies are simply trains puffing smoke.


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: My guru always said
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:21 AM

It's surely a puffing billy - slang I think for steam trains :-)


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST,FOGIE
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:23 AM

i'M SURE THERE WAS AN OLD LOCAMOTIVE CALLED PUFFING BILLIE, BUT I DON'T KNOW IF IT WAS A REAL OR FICTIONAL ONE. MAYBE ONE SOON AFTER THE ROCKET?


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: beadie
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:31 AM

It could be a name for almost any form of steam locomotive. If you've ever been around one at a railroad museaum (I'm actually old enough to remember when they were still used in daily rail operations), you may have seen the almost animate huffing and puffing of steam engines.

Although the term was not common when I was a kid, my Daddy said that, in his day, most of the smaller (short-haul) locomotives were, indeed, called "pufferbellies."


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:33 AM

for many images of "Puffing Billies", go here


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:33 AM

Don't you guys have search engines? (Or do you just have railway engines?!)


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Cluin
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 11:55 AM

The theme music to the old Cap'n Kangaroo show was call "Puffin' Billy".

    (CBS: 1954 - 1974): "Puffin' Billy"
    [aka: "Puffin' Billy (The Captain Kangaroo Theme)";
    aka: "Captain Kangaroo Theme";
    aka: "Captain Kangaroo";

    This was a track from a British production library known
    as the "Chappell Recorded Music Library" which was sold
    through a New York company called Emil Ascher; the tune's
    original title referred to a British steam locomotive; it
    became so popular, that in 1957 permission was granted for
    Mary Rodgers to write lyrics to the tune and it was given
    the vocal title "Captain Kangaroo"]

    Composers: music by Edward G. White (ASCAP) with
                lyric added by Mary Rodgers (ASCAP)
                      [professional name of Mary Rodgers Guettel]


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 12:06 PM

Bill, what does it mean when I go to a link (yours) and get thousands of little squares instead of words?

Rick


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: BanjoRay
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 12:11 PM

I went to the same link and got loads of pictures of steam engines. Maybe it means you're not on broadband and have to wait a while for them to download.
Ray


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Allan C.
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 12:35 PM

Rick, the little squares are what I often get when accessing a Japanese website or that featuring some other foreign lanugage. You may need to adjust the language setting on your computer. The page is written in English rather than Canadian. *G*


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 12:36 PM

hmmm...all is 'should' mean is some setting is not right. The browser is trying to 'read' the URL link 'as' an image perhaps. All I did was go to http://images.google.com/ and enter "puffing billy" as the search term ...then I went to http://tinyurl.com/ and smallified the 94 character result and posted it...you can repeat my search and see the images


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:14 PM

Bill *amp; Rick

Are the little squares just the images that haven't "finished" loading?

It looks like the original search was probably a Google "image search" and what you get is a page full of "thumbnails" of images. It can take a while, on a slow connection like mine, for the pictures to start to "fill," so it looks like just "a bunch of squares." Or, I would supose, if you browse in a "text only" mode, you probably only get placeholders.

Speculating???

John


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:16 PM

Slight change to the immortal poem posted by Wesley S:

Down by the station
Early in the morning
See the little pufferbellies
All in a row
Hear the station master
Blow the engines whistle (pull the little handle)
Puff, puff, chug, chug,
Off we go.

The definitive vocal is here: Puffer Belly
Click on Little Puffer Belly.

Now will someone please explain to me how the station master blew the engine's whistle? And who is the culprit-er, author?
Riding in a car with a brother-in-law's kids for 50 miles while they sang that inane song over and over permanently traumatized me. The little puffer bellies run through my mind repeatly whenever someone mentions the song.


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:20 PM

Q

The way the kids in my neighborhood did it was:

See the engine master
Pull the little handle
Chug chug, toot toot
Off we go.

Makes better sense that way?

John


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:20 PM

Bill D, you've successfully hijacked this thread as we turn our attention to your URL and this nifty little site for making small URL's. I'm sure there's a catch--I'll have to explore and test this a bit before I trust my URL's to consistently go through there (and it says they're stable) but it sure is a neat trick. Thanks!

SRS


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:28 PM

See the song "Down by the Station" by the Four Preps in thread 19708: Down by the station
The little chorus appears at the end of the song.

What is an engine master? Is this a British term?


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:32 PM

You guys are just tryin' to confuse me.

Bill D's link says it's to "http://tinyurl.com/62ug," but it takes me directly to a "Google image search result page" and shows the first 20 of 879 "hits," with the normal "page" and "next" buttons to remaining hits.

Probably my fault for using 'conventional' software.

John


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:36 PM

The little verse is copyrighted by Lee Ricks and Slim Gaillard, 1948, according to National Institute of Health website (lyrics given) at Down by the station
Click on the singalong index for other songs.


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:42 PM

John, go visit http://www.tinyurl.com and get the explanation. It's also tied in with Amazon--it greeted me by name. There is some kind of authentication software/cookie stuff going on there. I'd be concerned at it's use as a filter and if it remains stable.

SRS


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:46 PM

John., I'm not sure how it works...I 'thought' it went first to TinyURL and read the 'code', and referred you to the proper link, like some other pages do, without leaving a trace...but *shrug*...(I learned about it thru the alt.comp.freeware newsgroup, where lots or arcane stuff is posted.

SRS...it seems to be stable, and I only use it for really big ones where wordwrap sometimes prevents the end from showing.


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:49 PM

Guest Q
I think you mean 'station master'. Nowadays he'd probably have a more imposing title, but he was the official in charge of the station.


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Micca
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:50 PM

For those with a sense of the ridiculous and a good "imaging set."
In my distant youth while serving on a large Tanker( almost quarter of a mile long) we had an agreement with the First Mate that, due to the distance involved, our break(smoko) would not be timed until we reached the accomodation at the after part of the ship, when we were working on the Fo'cs'le so when smoko came round we would form up in single file on the flying bridge each with a hand on the shoulder of the man in front and would not start aft until the First Mate sang the whole verse of our version of rhis song as follows :
" See the little engine standing in the station
see the little wagons standing in a row
see the little driver pull the little lever
Chuff chuff chuff and away we go"
Close your eyes and Imagine the scene, 8 mostly large, Hairy arsed able seamen standing in a row making train noises and waiting for a 20 year served Master Mariner to metaphorically pull a lever and go" woo woo" so we would move... aand he did!!!! The things You do when you are bored at sea


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:53 PM

it seems that there is one other site like TinyUrl

http://makeashorterlink.com/about.php


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: MMario
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:54 PM

Micca - were you the caboose?


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Gareth
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:55 PM

The version I learn't as a kid was -

"Early in the morning, as the sun was dawning,
See the little Engines all in a row,
See the little driver, pull the little lever,
'Chuff, Chuff, Chuff, and away we'll go.
Down by (?to) the sea, Down by the sea,
where the Watermelons grow " and then degenerates into a nonsense ryhme.

BTW the original "Puffing Billy" was built by Willim Hedley in 1813 for use in the Wylam Colliery. This predated Stephensons 'Rocket'.

Blowing the Whistle could also refer to the now obsolecent practice of the Gaurd (Conductor) and station staff blowing a whistle as a signal that the train was about to start and all should get on board and close the doors. The "right away" signal being traditionally given by a hand signal with a green flag, or lantern. These days its two rings/buzzez on the intercom.

Ahhhh ! Childhood memories.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:57 PM

SRS -

Looks sort of like a solution in search of a problem, although I suppose it might be useful if you have a problem with links in email. I haven't encountered that yet, but most of my email is with "business" associates who don't use text-only readers.

Still doesn't answer why Rick was seeing "thousands of squares," unless we assume that "about 20" = "thousands" and he's got a slow hookup and no patience(?). But we know him better than that...

Incidentally, I find the "Google Toolbar" really simplifies choosing what your searching for. You don't have to "code" images etc into the search, just click and go. If you want "advanced search" functions on the bar, you do have to let them "cookie" you, but it seems to be for a good cause, and - as the author says - "Mostly Harmless"

John


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 01:59 PM

Guest, I was asking John in Kansas about his suggestion of engine master. I had never heard the term.
Anyone have the verse about a caboose? Or is it for adults only?


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 02:06 PM

MMario: just to answer your query (overlooked so far!):

Steam Locomotive: "That would be a steam engine, wouldn't it? "

Not quite. In railway (railroad) parlance the two are probably interchangeable. But..
A Steam Engine is a device for converting heat energy into kinetic energy.
A Steam Locomotive is a Steam Engine capable of self propulsion.

In the past there would have been many examples of static 'steam engines' driving mills, or transported on lorries to drive harvesting and threshing machines. To be classified as a locomotive it needs to be self-propelled (and, preferably able to pull a 'train' of carriages or wagons!)

Nigel


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 02:13 PM

The stability I have in mind is the durability of time--is this service something that will stick around, or if it dies, do all of the links posted everywhere go with it? If the site is down, do all of the links break until they're back up again?. It looks nifty, but it's just as easy in many cases to cut and paste and make hot links that don't take up much space for the person who just clicks on the link.

SRS


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 02:13 PM

Q -

"engine master" was probably the most common term I heard, although "engine driver" was also used.

Some people used a line:

"See the station master ring the little bell," but it's been too many years for clear recollection of where it fits.

Quite possibly, a bunch of 7 year old Cub Scouts were not too concerned about historical authenticity.

John


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Bill D
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 02:20 PM

SRS..that 'other' site says..

"How long are the shorter links going to last?

For as long as possible. Put it this way: as long as we are in charge of the database, the links will continue to work. If the time comes when we run out of money or interest in maintaining it, we shall make the database available to anyone who wants to take it on. We hesitate to say "forever", because that's a very long time indeed. But the links will remain usable for a long time."

I suspect TinyURL will be similar...it wouldn't use a lot of database space.


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 02:37 PM

SRS & BillD -

It would seem that the tinyurl site would have to be up for the links to work. That doesn't seem like too much of a problem - you just gotta' have faith in some things, and the life of a link more often ends because the site you link to goes down - or gets edited.

The link posted here, "62ug," assuming a "base 36" numbering (10 digits + 26 letters), comes out at about the 15,210,629th link posted through them (don't check the math, I was in a hurry). Given modern web traffic, that's not too unreasonable.

If the links are separate files, they're already at about 7.5GB on an nNIX drive with 500 byte clusters - or 30GB on the more common 2K cluster formats. I'd suspect they use a database format that breaks the cluster granularity, but that's still a lot of data for one of us - but not unreasonable on an Amazon-scale server.

They should be able to (affordably) support it for about as long as most "real" links will survive (except for mudcat, which is forever!)

John


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Penny S.
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 02:39 PM

The version I have indelibly imprinted goes;

Down by the station
Early in the morning
See the little puffer billies all in a row
Man in the engine
Pulls the little handle
Ifty-pifty Oo Oo
Off we go

I believe this may have something to do with Listen with Mother on the BBC Home Service. The tune is not as represented on the link above.

Penny


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 02:41 PM

Bill D, thanks for the images of puffer bellies.

Nigel, railroad nuts use the term locomotive, but normal people (I hope my railroad buff friends don't see this) speak of steam engines, diesel engines, electrics, etc. when they see them creeping by at that barrier across the road. I hope no one brings up motorcar (There once was an automobile called the Locomobile, but with a name like that, the maker naturally went broke).


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: GUEST, Dale
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 03:45 PM

Check out the Puffing Billy site ~~
http://www.puffingbilly.com.au/ Victoria, Australia

Hear the Puffing Billy song sung by the children of Emerald Primary School, http://www.eps.vic.edu.au/puffingbillysong.htm

More on PB from the school site http://www.eps.vic.edu.au/puffing.htm


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Subject: RE: What's a pufferbillie / pufferbelly?
From: Snuffy
Date: 19 Feb 03 - 07:24 PM

Also see this previous thread


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