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Mudcat Will be Fixed

Max 01 Feb 99 - 11:59 AM
Bill D 01 Feb 99 - 12:05 PM
Will (inactive) 01 Feb 99 - 01:10 PM
Max 01 Feb 99 - 03:26 PM
The Shambles 01 Feb 99 - 03:58 PM
The Shambles 01 Feb 99 - 04:07 PM
karen k 01 Feb 99 - 04:09 PM
The Shambles 01 Feb 99 - 04:10 PM
miker 01 Feb 99 - 05:24 PM
miker 01 Feb 99 - 05:29 PM
Joe Offer 01 Feb 99 - 05:30 PM
Roger in Baltimore 01 Feb 99 - 05:42 PM
01 Feb 99 - 05:46 PM
Kernow John 01 Feb 99 - 05:59 PM
The Shambles 01 Feb 99 - 06:06 PM
Sandy Paton 01 Feb 99 - 06:11 PM
The Shambles 01 Feb 99 - 06:14 PM
Joe Offer 01 Feb 99 - 06:15 PM
Frank McGrath 01 Feb 99 - 06:16 PM
The Shambles 01 Feb 99 - 06:16 PM
Joe Offer 01 Feb 99 - 08:29 PM
01 Feb 99 - 08:57 PM
Barbara 01 Feb 99 - 09:10 PM
Joe Offer 01 Feb 99 - 09:26 PM
karen k 01 Feb 99 - 10:50 PM
Big Mick 02 Feb 99 - 12:08 AM
02 Feb 99 - 03:53 AM
Roger in Baltimore 02 Feb 99 - 05:58 AM
The Shambles 02 Feb 99 - 07:05 AM
The Shambles 02 Feb 99 - 07:11 AM
02 Feb 99 - 08:38 AM
02 Feb 99 - 08:47 AM
The Shambles 02 Feb 99 - 09:04 AM
The Shambles 02 Feb 99 - 09:18 AM
miker 02 Feb 99 - 11:20 AM
02 Feb 99 - 11:32 AM
The Shambles 02 Feb 99 - 12:48 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 02 Feb 99 - 12:53 PM
miker 02 Feb 99 - 02:38 PM
02 Feb 99 - 03:21 PM
02 Feb 99 - 03:30 PM
Miker R 02 Feb 99 - 03:57 PM
Pete M 02 Feb 99 - 08:40 PM
Pete M 02 Feb 99 - 08:46 PM
Big Mick 02 Feb 99 - 11:24 PM
miker 03 Feb 99 - 09:24 AM
Pete M 03 Feb 99 - 02:50 PM
Liam's Brother 03 Feb 99 - 03:10 PM
Pete M 03 Feb 99 - 03:41 PM
Pete M 03 Feb 99 - 03:47 PM
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Subject: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Max
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 11:59 AM

Hi folks,

OK, we are finally there. The forum has gone over 50,000 messages, and is growing faster than ever. The forum's success has outgrown all of the original technology that it was designed with. We have spent months trying to convert it to a more robust database. The moment of truth is finally here. One of my best programmers has done about $10,000 worth of work to fix the Mudcat. The changes are being tested today, and if we feel good about it we will convert it this afternoon, Feb. 1, 1999 about 2pm EST. The site may be down for about 2 hours, but bodhi will be there. It may take us a couple of days to work all the bugs out so be patient with us, and confident that this will solve most if not all of the Mudcat's ills.

We have a great many new features and fund raisers coming as well, and I am sure you will all be pleased. In fact, I beleive you'll be amazed, so stick around.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 12:05 PM

ok...got my fingers crossed...in fact, I have my knees crossed...(tried crossing my eyes, but couldn't read the screen)...I, and everyone else will be waiting...thanks in advance, Max


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Will (inactive)
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 01:10 PM

Max, many thanks. I will uncross my knees and go to the bathroom while you make the changes.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Max
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 03:26 PM

Well, she's back folks. Let me know how she feels.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 03:58 PM

Max I have noticed that the last entry to the thread is now at the top. Are there any other major changes that we should look out for?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 04:07 PM

Max

Apostrophe's seem to be dooing something strange.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: karen k
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 04:09 PM

Max,

Are the postings going to be listed in reverse order now, newest to oldest? I'm used to the oldest being listed first so that you know what the question or comment is and then you are able to scroll down through all the posts in the order that they came in and easily follow he progression of the thread.

The way they are appearing now with the most recent on top is harder, at least for me.

I'll look for your response. Thanx, karen k

I really do love the Mudcat - don't change it too much.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 04:10 PM

Well that one was alright, but when I did a Forum search on the 'Original Songs That Sound Traditional' thread, they were doing something odd!


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: miker
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 05:24 PM

The Shambles,

Can you be a bit more specific on the oddness you experienced when you did a Forum search?

-Mike (Max's helper)


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Subject: please ignore
From: miker
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 05:29 PM

>The basic story; a man comes courting a woman but her mother or >grandmother (an tseanbhean - the old woman) tricks him out of the house >by getting him to help her twist a hayrope. As for why anyone would >twist a hayrope, well that's how people used to make rope for >themselves. A few Mudcatters may have seen "Siamsa Tire" folk theatre of >Tralee, Kerry perform a dramatisation of folk customs which includes >rope-making. > >Casadh an tS£g in


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 05:30 PM

Shambles, if you're using apostrophes in forum searches, don't. Mike - I think I may know what the problem could be - stuff that is enclosed in aprostrophes or quotation marks in thread or message titles isn't searchable, or at least it wasn't searchable the way the forum was before.
The forum seems quite speedy, which is a real relief over what performance has been recently. It's sure nice to be back.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 05:42 PM

Mike and Max,

My initial impression when I re-entered the Mudcat at the Forum page was that it all seemed sharper. The list of threads seemed to be spread more. It was a bit of a shock, like all things new, but I think it will ease the eye strain, especially since so many of us are over 50 and probably wear glasses and have bi-focals or tri-focals.

I will let you know more as I experience the new Mudcat. This is the first place I headed.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: please ignore
From:
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 05:46 PM

asdfsadf


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Kernow John
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 05:59 PM

Max and Mike The thread title seems to be getting shrunk to one word.
Thanks for all the really great work you are doing it really is the best site on the net.
Thanks again Baz


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 06:06 PM

Mike

I did a forum search on a recent thread titled 'Original Music That Sounds Like Traditional'. In the places where I knew there should be apostrophes there was another symbol in it's place. Joe I didn't use apostrophes when I searched and It has not happened before now.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 06:11 PM

I'll let you folks work out the "search" problems. I'm just delighted with how much faster it all seems, and the threads I've looked at seem to be in the same order now as they were before. Am I doing something wrong by getting 'em right?

Sandy


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 06:14 PM

Subject: Original Music That Sounds Traditional? From: The Shambles Date: 30-Jan-99 - 08:32 AM

In the John Tams thread there was some mention of songs written by him that people would have said were traditional. It was also mentioned that Richard Thomson had also written songs that were the same and I'm sure there are many others, Ewan McColl, Cyril Tawney spring to mind from the UK. I'm sure there are many more from here and any other parts of the world. Further examples would be welcome.

I copied the above from the thread and reposted it. It was still wrong when I copied it but I don't know what it will look like now?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 06:15 PM

Shambles, I told you that you were a wayward soul. Use the filter or the forum search and look for original. If you use Forum Search, remember that the word will be in the title, not in the body, of the messages. Now, young man, go back there and see if that don't work.
-Joe Offer-

Mike, I'm having trouble posting a long message that I pasted into a reply box, and I sent an e-mail to mud-error about it.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 06:16 PM

I don't have a credit card but I shall certainly invest in some Mudcatobelia when you have your new products launch. Snail mail still works fine for me.
You deserve every support for providing such an important international resource.

Sincere Thanks to you, Susan, Dick and all your team.
Frank McGrath


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 06:16 PM

There is the problem.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 08:29 PM

Mike, take a look at this message and one above from Shambles. Mudcat seems to be having trouble interpreting apostrophes and maybe quotation marks from his Cornish Keyboard (well, I guess he's not quite in Cornwall, but close...). There was another post from Wolfgang in Germany, in one of the "Mermaid" threads. He posted it quite a while ago, and it looked fine. When I looked at it this afternoon, it was wrong. I edited out the offending characters in his post, though, so I guess it won't do any good to point to that as an example.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From:
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 08:57 PM

The apostrophe problem comes when some people use a slanted apostrophe, instead of the '. The slanted one comes out like the AE combination on my screen.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Barbara
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 09:10 PM

Joe, Max, a sample of Wolfgang's apostrophe change can be seen in the "Billy O'Shea" Thread.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 09:26 PM

I believe the problem with the European apostropes just came up with the latest changes in the 'Cat. It didn't happen before, as far as I can tell - but all the old posts now read wrong. Wolfgang and Shambles have made significant contributions to the forum, and it would be a shame to garble them like that.
And I'm still trying to paste a long message into a "reply" box and keep getting error messages. Even ten lines seems too long.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: karen k
Date: 01 Feb 99 - 10:50 PM

Thanks for putting the postings back to the oldest to newest order.

Keep up the great work.

karen k


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 12:08 AM

Love it, seems quicker and I am having none of the problems listed above.

Anything I can do to help with the fundraising? And Max how about trying to work out an agreement with Elderly? I mentioned this in an earlier thread. I would be happy to make the approach, if you would like. They get a lot of play here.

All the best,

Mick Lane


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From:
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 03:53 AM

I've just sent an anonymous post to the 'Goodnight Irene' thread. I'll try again. In case this is anonymous as well, would someone let me know why what I write in the 'From:' box gets erased in posting? I'd hate staying anonymous although I still cannot subscribe to the Mudcat. Thanks, Susanne (skw@worldmusic.de)


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Roger in Baltimore
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 05:58 AM

Joe,

I posted a long reply in the "moving" thread. I copied it from a Word Perfect 7.1 document without problem. I, too, get the AE combination for some apostrophes, even in one message from you, Joe.

Roger in Baltimore


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 07:05 AM

I too am having a problem in posting a longish message in the reply box.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 07:11 AM

I couldn't post it as a new thread either?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From:
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 08:38 AM

Just testing as my last two posts have lost the
From: entry

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From:
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 08:47 AM

Second test with client-side data:

Browser: MSIE Version 4.72.31.10.8
OS: WindowsNT Version 4 (Build 1381: Service Pack 3)

AndyG


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 09:04 AM

This is what I get when I try to post longer messages (made up with Word).

Error Occurred While Processing Request

Error Diagnostic Information

ODBC Error Code = 37000 (Syntax error or access violation)

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Line 2: Incorrect syntax near 't'.

Date/Time: 02/02/99 09:02:44 Browser: Mozilla/3.01C-VN711-003 (Win95; I) Remote Address: 194.168.67.132 HTTP Referer: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=8934&messages=25 Template: c:\webserver\mudcat\htdocs\threads.cfm Query String: Title=&Age=1


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 09:18 AM

It would appear to be Word that is the problem, for when I pasted from Word to Word Pad and then posted it worked?

Please Advise.


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Subject: Posting Problem
From: miker
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 11:20 AM

I doubt very much that it is a "Word Problem".
Could you please try to repost you word message in this thread? Please carefully note how you fill out each fields.

Thanks. Mike


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From:
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 11:32 AM

Mike (and in response to long messages getting cut off):

How are you passing text into the database? I never tried passing a string into a text (ie memo) field. Maybe that's the problem.

As for the slanted apostrophe be converted to AE, that's probably a bug in the sql server, don't ya think?

-Brian (one of the other Onstage/Mudcat helpers)

the rest is a test............................................................1..........................2.......................................3..................................................4........................................................5..................................................................6.....................................................7........................................................8..........................................9


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 12:48 PM

Mike I did try to post it here (as pasted from Word)but it gave the error message above. I have also E Mailed it to you. All I tried was to put the cursor in the box and paste, as usual? But if I paste it to Word Pad first and then to here it works?


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 12:53 PM

When I was on my Mac (G3) at work yesterday I tried to create a thread and got the same results as Shambles; so it doesn't have anything to do with Word as far as I can tell. I just typed it directly onto the space provided.


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Subject: To Shambles
From: miker
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 02:38 PM

The Shambles,

Could you email the Word document in question to mud-error@mudcat.org?

That way I can reproduce the error here.

Thanks -Mike


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From:
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 03:21 PM

Apparently the new mudcat handles characters with codes greater than 127 different than the old. probably some sort of smart quotes. In particular in some messages the quotes ` and ' are rendered as characters 0xBE and 0xAE respectively. Could you run all the messages through a filter to translate these characters? I assume very few messages actually wanted those extended characters which seem to be the upper and lower case versions of the (dipthong?) ae. No doubt there are other problem characters also.


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From:
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 03:30 PM

My last message

"Apparently the new mudcat handles characters ......"

appeared to be anonymous even though I put my name in the "From:" box.

Let's see if it neglects my name in the "From:" box of this message. In case it's relevant, I'm using an old version (3.01) of Netscape. I didn't have disappearing name problems before the new Mudcat.


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Subject: From is null
From: Miker R
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 03:57 PM

I fixed the problem
"appeared to be anonymous even though I put my name in the "From:" box."

-Mike


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Pete M
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 08:40 PM

Hi Mike

still getting problems when inserting long messages. Error message follows:

Error Diagnostic Information ODBC Error Code = 37000 (Syntax error or access violation)

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Line 2: Incorrect syntax near 's'.

Date/Time: 02/02/99 20:23:33 Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows 95) Remote Address: 202.49.158.185 HTTP Referer: http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=8934&messages=29 Template: c:\webserver\mudcat\htdocs\threads.cfm Query String: Title=&Age=1

Unfortunately the error message doesn't reproduce the invalid command syntax. I tried twice mindful of Shambles previous comment. the "..error near" letter changed. Hope this helps.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Pete M
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 08:46 PM

Mike

Curiouser and curiouser, I tried copying the message to word pad, re-copying to the clipboard and then pasting to the message input and this posted OK. It looks as if it may be MS Word putting some non printable characters in somewhere. Do you have the db field defined as alpha, string or what? and does this exclude non standard ascii?

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Big Mick
Date: 02 Feb 99 - 11:24 PM

Hi guys,

I have noticed that two posts show on my "Messages since last visit" screen without a topic. Hence you cannot access them. I would think someone just forgot, but one was Dick Greenhaus and the other was Ferrara. Neither are likely to commit this error, and in such a short period.


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Subject: To Pete M
From: miker
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 09:24 AM

Pete M,

Could you email the offending word doc to mud-error@mudcat.org? This would help tremendously b/c I cannot reproduce the error here.

Thanks a bunch,
-Mike


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Subject: test - paste from ms word
From: Pete M
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 02:50 PM

If this posts OK please ignore it, it is a duplicate from the "Original music that sounds traditional" thread posted as a test for Mike.

Hi Shambles me old mucker, now that's a cunning way to start of version 967 of the "what is folk" thread! ;-) Actually I've tried to take my time before contributing as it is clearly a subject which deserves a thoughtful response, and as usual if I wait most of the things I would have liked to have said have been said already. So, rather than opting for a "me too" I'll try and address each of your original questions in turn; always bearing in mind that phrases like "a good thing" have never been the same since Sellars and Yeatman! 1 Is it a good thing that songs can be written in a style that could be mistaken for a traditional song? I think that this is not only good, it is essential and inevitable. Inevitable because we create within a frame of reference which includes the "traditional" music of western culture, so that will influence the outcome - now the degree to which this is obvious will vary tremendously but it will be there. It is also essential if the folk tradition and here I would define the folk tradition as being something of, by and for the people ie excluding anything written for an audience, or personal aggrandisement; is to continue. "Traditional" folk music, like most things which are currently unfashionable (eg hierarchical management structures) have survived for thousands of years because they work within the situations for which they were created or from which they evolved. 2 Is it a good idea for new writers to consciously try and write songs in this style? Probably the hardest to answer as it "all depends". For people like MacColl and Tawney, it works, and it is hard to imagine them writing in ant other style, for others it doesn't work, and for still others it should not even be considered. I think if you are steeped in the tradition within which you are writing and the subject matter, your natural style of writing and your tune fit, then there is a good chance of it working. 3 Is it the only way that some people will actually be prepared to listen to original material? I think you had your tongue firmly in cheek with that one mate! I'm sure, as I suspect you are, that the only people most to get steamed up over current songs written in traditional style are those who have a narrow definition of "traditional folk" which includes "more than x years old", and who think that nothing else is worthwhile. I don't think any of us including the curmudgeonly twins (Bill D and me (hope you don't mind Bill)) dislike new songs in any style (except for new age !@#$ navel gazers) We might get excited if someone tries to pass them of as traditional, but we would welcome songs which, if they stand the test of time, will become a valid and necessary contribution to the continuance of the corpus of "traditional" songs. 4 If the original songs in this style can be so easily mistaken for the "real thing" does this not make some of the purist's views somewhat invalid, in a musical sense if not a scholarly one? Nah! Firstly I don't believe there is such thing as "purist" category into which we can all be fitted or we wouldn't be having this conversation. Fortunately or unfortunately, we humans love taxonomical quibbling and there is constant changes in what is "in" or "out" of classifications in all fields. Also I think you, and the "if it sounds like a duck" argument are missing the point of this particular category. To stretch the analogy, a duck may answer a duck call, in other words the hunter sounds like a duck to a duck, but he doesn't pass the Turing test, a duck can't get meaningful responses from him. Similarly a song may be identical to a "traditional" song in subject matter, style, music and the use of language, but that is not the only criteria which is relevant. To me it is like eating with a peg on your nose, its Ok and fills you up, but there is not the same enjoyment. Again, I would stress there is no implication that the new song is of any less worth, just that it is not (yet) "traditional". I think that at the root there may be a confusion that "traditional" implies static. Clearly, folk music has and is growing and evolving, some songs which could now be considered "traditional" were not written when Sharp was collecting and some which were sung and popular then have been quietly forgotten as not belonging in "our" bucket. Oh well, time for a work break. Lets try out Mike's changes and see if this posts OK Pete M


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Subject: RE: Mudcat Will be Fixed
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 03:10 PM

Thank you, Max.

All the best,
Dan


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Subject: Forum search error
From: Pete M
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 03:41 PM

Hi Mike,

Error found when using forum search. The search returned a list of hits, I selected one of these which was displayed correctly, but the following error message was appended to the bottom.

Error Occurred While Processing Request Error Diagnostic Information An error has occurred while processing the expression:

REPLACE(getdetaildata.Name,' ','%20','ALL') The error occurred on (or near) line 83 of the template file c:\webserver\mudcat\htdocs\Detail.CFM.

80: 81: Add Thread To Tracer 82: 83: Delete Thread From Tracer 84: 85:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Error resolving parameter GETDETAILDATA.NAME

The column NAME is not present in the query named GETDETAILDATA. It is likely that you have misspelled the name of the column.

Date/Time: 02/03/99 15:36:14 Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows 95) Remote Address: 202.49.158.185 HTTP Referer: http://www.mudcat.org/Results.CFM Template: c:\webserver\mudcat\htdocs\Detail.CFM Query String: messages__Message_ID=55655

Pete M


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Subject: Test post of paste from ms word pad
From: Pete M
Date: 03 Feb 99 - 03:47 PM

Hi Mike,

Unfortunately I didn't save the MS word doc which caused the problem when I shut down last night and didn't get your message until this morning. I tried copying the original back from the thread and posting that but as you will have seen above, that worked OK. I will try creating a new document of about the same length and containing the same type fonts etc and see what that does. To other 'Catters please excuse the non sequiter that this will create, I'm afraid I'm not so dedicated as to write over a page on nothing off the top of my head, so I'll copy in another document.

Mike I'll make sure I save this just in case the test works ie it fails to post, repeat the procedure I used last time and try and do a compare and a hex dump on the two clipboard contents. Of course if it fails, the text posts, I suppose we will have to put it down to gremlins.

Perhaps that's worth mentioning though,

Test post unrelated to anything else follows.

Use of Radar

How it works

RADAR is an acronym for RAdio Direction And Ranging.

Radar sets operate by sending out a focused beam of radio waves, and capturing any signals reflected back to the set. The quality of the signal reflected will depend on the: Size, The bigger something is, the easier it is to see at a given distance Composition Something that reflects well, will be easier to see Orientation, Something square on to the observer is easier to see than something angled away, Texture A rough surface scatters light and radio signals whilst a smooth surface gives a good echo - ever seen a mirror with a rough surface? Shape A curved surface, or one which is at an angle to the beam, will reflect the beam away from the receiver.

Uses

1. Ranging

Radar uses the time taken for the return signal to be received to calculate the distance of the target, and since the speed of radio waves is precisely known, radar ranges are very accurate.

2. Direction finding

If you illuminate something, it is a fundamental law of physics that you cannot see anything smaller than the wavelength of the illuminating beam. Although there are still some sets around which operate in the metre wavelengths, most sets we are likely to come across operate in the centimetre band so definition is quite good. However there are a whole series of problems which degrade the signal to the extent that Radar bearings are nowhere near as accurate as ranges.

Display

As far as the radar set is concerned, it is the centre of the universe, and the screen reflects this by having the set (and the vessel it is mounted on) at the centre. Any echoes received are shown as a blob on the screen, the size and shape of the blob being determined by the factors noted above rather than the reality of the target.

The only information that we can deduce about a target from the radar screen is 1 It probably exists. 2 It's distance from us when the echo was received 3 Its bearing relative to the object on which the set is mounted.

These can be interpreted as follows:

1. Existence. If an echo is present for several sweeps, it is reasonable to presume that something solid is out there. What we cannot deduce is anything about its size or composition. We have been reminded recently that sails are not good reflectors of radio waves, and a 40,000 ton vessel will have a bigger echo than a yacht, but a 6000 ton destroyer may not!

2. Distance. This is obtained by moving the cursor or range ring to intersect the echo. It is very accurate, but only true for the time of that sweep!!

3. Bearing. This is also obtained by moving the cursor to intersect the target, is again only true for the time of the sweep, and it is relative to the transmitting vessel!!!

Interpretation of display

The first thing to remember is that radar is a decision making aid, and that the information it provides should be interpreted in conjunction with all other aids available to you, including the eyeball Mk1 and charts. A radar display, can only show you what has happened, a radar plot enables you to make an informed judgement about what will happen.

Range

It is impossible to tell from looking at a radar display whether a target shown is one cable or ten miles distant. If someone has changed the range setting since you looked at the set last, it is possible that the display will present the same picture, and a potentially dangerous situation be missed until it is too late. So, check the range setting before you do anything else!

A quick rule of thumb, is that an echo which remains on a constant bearing is on a collision course. This is fine for single, slow moving targets, at long range, but if any of these conditions are not met, a more rigorous approach to interpreting the data is required. Also, the converse, that an echo which does not remain on a constant bearing is not on a collision course is not true.

Plotting the tracks of the targets.

Relative bearings

It is essential to remember that ranges and bearings are relative. So the first thing which must be done is to establish your own vessels position and track.

To plot the position of the echo:

Establish your current position. (It is normal good practice to maintain a plot of the ships course, with fixes every 20 minutes, so at the very worst it will be possible to extrapolate your current track by the distance run since the last fix. Of course a new fix would be better.)

Establish your heading. This can be either derived from the track by plotting tidal influence, or converted from the compass bearing to true. Plot the echoes bearing, relative to your heading. Strike an arc at the range of the echo to intersect the bearing.

Example.

You are heading 094o T and the radar bearing of the echo is 054o R The true bearing of the echo is 094o + 054o = 148o T.

Plot all echo's of interest for that position. Repeat plot a suitable time later. Remembering to plot from your new position. For each echo, connect the points plotted and read off course and speed. Use this information to extrapolate the echo's, and your, future positions, and determine if any danger exists.

Remember to use ALL information available to you.

Example

You have three echoes on your screen.

position 1 at 0230 position 2 at 0245

Echo1 bears 083o R 3 miles bears 083o R 2.3 miles Echo2 bears 330o R 5 cables bears 290o R 6 cables Echo3 bears 315o R 2.2 miles bears 345o R 1.8 miles

Your speed is 6 knots

In the absence of any other information, what action, if any would you take?


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Mudcat time: 2 December 6:12 AM EST

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