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Jim's Lab Notes
— Site News, Baseball Talk, and a Bunch of Other Stuff

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Call for Help

My father always told me to never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Well, we need your help.

Due to a number of factors, it’s been a while since we’ve undertaken any major site changes. Although the site seems to satisfy a still-growing number of visitors, there are a number of feature changes/additions we believe would improve things. That’s where you come in. We need your help improving the site.

What do you want?

From past experience, we’ve learned it’s better to garner as much feedback before implementing changes, rather than thrusting them upon you without warning. With that in mind, and since we’re just beginning the process, we’d like to solicit ideas for ways to improve the site.

What types of features would you like added? How can we improve the way things are configured here? What types of new content would you like to see? How can things be better organized? Would you like to see social network functionality (like some Facebook-type stuff) integrated into our design? Would you like a dedicated section for more off-topic material? Would you like blogs for every team? Again, what do you want?

Alpha/Beta testers needed

We’ve already begun tinkering with some ideas for improvement. Since we’re also sure you’ll be able to suggest nice ways we can improve the site, we’ll need more feedback when your ideas move into tangible features. We’ll also need people to try the stuff out to make sure it works properly. With that in mind, we’re looking for volunteer testers. If you are interested, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Team Blogs

Dan has been pushing the creation of enhanced team-oriented blogs for some time. We already have a few volunteer editors on board and we’re looking for more. So, again, if you are interested .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Baseball Newsstand

We’re considering moving the Old-School Newsstand back to its own domain,, and expanding the links and content. We’re looking for ideas about the structure of the updated design and suggestions for links and RSS feeds that should be included. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Primer Blog

We’re considering moving the main blog onto its own domain and bringing back the domain. We believe by moving the blog over to its own domain, it will be easier to spotlight the best daily links. Plus, over the years many people have written to say they miss the old site name. We recognize the attachment, and hope you’ll welcome the return. What do you think?

Contribute a Few Dollars

We’ve appreciated your contributions in the past. With these tight financial times, we’d appreciate your assistance more than ever. We’ve always been dedicated to freely providing all of our content. With the depressed ad market and every-growing traffic, doing so has gotten harder and harder. What would we like you to contribute? Anything you could give us would be greatly appreciated and will help keep the site up-and-running.

Whether you can help out in these areas or just have time to post an occasional link or comment, we thank you for being part of our community and for helping to make this such a fun place for us to hang out.


Jim Furtado Posted: May 27, 2009 at 06:24 PM | 542 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   501. Howie Menckel Posted: June 07, 2009 at 12:39 AM (#3209056)
Sorry I couldn't reply right away - I had to log in AGAIN!

If I can find the "change your password," I will find out if that sucker has a cybernanny.
If not, at least I'll be able to log in without having to look up the password.

EDIT: Well, I just tried one that reflected my opinion of this glitch - more an insult than profane.

That went thru, and it's easy to remember, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.
   502. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 07, 2009 at 01:08 AM (#3209110)
Jim, this really is weird, and I don't think that the browser has anything to do with it.

Just as an experiment, I opened a new Firefox window to the BTF newsstand, and was already logged in.

But as soon as I came to this page I had to log in again.

Before I did, though, I went back to the home page and found that I was logged in all over again. So I came back here, found that I was logged out, and went ahead and logged in. All the fields were filled in except the check box about the auto log-in.

But there are other times when I go to the login page, and all the fields are already filled in, and still other times when they're all blank. It's like a three card monte game.

And just for fun, I opened a second window, and this time when I went to login, only the bottom box was checked, and the name and password boxes were blank.

Personally, I think that it must be the Illuminati or something. I'm stocking up on night lights and joining the NRA. You never know.
   503. Endless Trash Posted: June 07, 2009 at 01:20 AM (#3209119)
Again, guys, note the domain. For some reason this thread has a different domain name. A cookie that is set by "" is not readable by "," it's as simple as that.
   504. Guapo Posted: June 07, 2009 at 01:46 AM (#3209143)
My father always told me to never be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

You should print out this thread and give it to him. Teach him a lesson.
   505. Endless Trash Posted: June 07, 2009 at 02:09 AM (#3209156)
Hm good thought, but not so.

I just looked at it. My cookie for is set to expire on Sunday, June 06, 2010 6:20:14 PM. Not
   506. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: June 08, 2009 at 03:39 AM (#3209838)
Another 10 minute long outage. Completely unacceptable. On the other hand, I would hope you haven't had to actually pay a hosting bill in years.
   507. Obama Bomaye Posted: June 08, 2009 at 05:06 AM (#3209865)
I like the girl in the ad.
   508. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 08, 2009 at 11:02 AM (#3209889)
Except for that one time on Friday, I haven't had any problems. Whatever the problem is, it's not affecting each of us in the same way.
   509. Jim Furtado Posted: June 08, 2009 at 01:30 PM (#3209933)
For people with the cookie problem...I'm looking in to this. I use Firefox and don't experience the problem. In the meantime, try logging out, and then clearing your cookies.

As for the nightly outages, this thread is the first I've heard of the problem. I'm investigating the problem as well.

Thanks for the heads up.
   510. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: June 08, 2009 at 01:36 PM (#3209936)
Yeah, the site goes down at exactly 1am (or is it 2am?) EDT every night, for about 2 minutes.

Last night's outage was not the same, and resulted in SJ making a 70-something post in the lounge on pages 20 and 21.
   511. base ball chick Posted: June 08, 2009 at 02:15 PM (#3209972)
6 pages???!!!


i am not into all the fancy bookmark/ignore thingy and actually do not get why anyone would want that and i hope you don't make it too heavy on that kind of stuff so that people like me who are computer igggnerint can still easily go to newsblog/hot topics

if you are gonna have blogs for teams, it might work better if you would have them in the sidebars on the hot topics/newsblog page too not just the very front page. i don't think a whole lot of people go to the front page anyhow

i sure nuff would love to be able to search archives, if not by posters' handles, then by their member number. i can't NEVAH find nothing on ANYthing even if i try using topics

and also
if you gonna have ads about fantasy, uh, ball, hows about no more sluttttts and hows about more nearly nekkid MEN???!!!

now THAT is something worth having fantasies over.


you disbelieve me, ask sam
   512. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: June 11, 2009 at 04:00 PM (#3214568)
There was another 10 minute outage this morning. You really shouldn't be paying your hosting provider. They give you a completely unacceptable level of service.
   513. GGC Posted: June 11, 2009 at 04:21 PM (#3214587)
Jim, is there a way in the forums where it would be easy to quote one post without quoting every post that that post quoted? You get ziggurats of nested quotes (if that's the correct term) in the Lounge and it becomes a readability issue.

I see that I didn't have to log in to post here, so that's a positive.
   514. Jim Furtado Posted: June 11, 2009 at 09:16 PM (#3214941)
Fly, the 10 minute outage this morning was my fault. When I went to download a mysql backup I hit the wrong link and instead of downloading a previously generated backup it started downloading a live backup which locked the mysql table, for some reason. I didn't notice the problem for ten minutes. I suspect this issue might be related to the 2PM outages as well.

Sorry for the inconvenience.
   515. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: June 12, 2009 at 11:20 AM (#3215874)
Ah. That makes quite a bit of sense. Good to know you're on the trail.
   516. GM Posted: June 18, 2009 at 04:58 PM (#3223552)
Does the Newsstand RSS feed actually work? If so, I’ve never been able to get it to continuously update (as in, when I initially subscribe, it looks fine, but it never stays in sync) using NetNewsWire on my Mac or iPhone. That would be a huge win, well, that and Newsstand tags actually working again. And by working, I mean when I click on Mets actually getting only Mets articles, and not every article, which is definitely the case now.
   517. Jeff K. Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:21 PM (#3254763)
1) I'd like to reiterate my call to remove from the login script. Now whenever I log in, I'm taken to that page as usual, except it's now parked by a domain squatter. I then reload Primer and it says I'm still not logged in. Until I load another page and everything is copacetic.

2) Also again, please, for the love of Christ, ditch
   518. Fly should without a doubt be number !!!!! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 12:55 PM (#3254772)
What JeffK said. The hosting is beyond atrocious. It's literally the worst hosting I've ever seen by an order of magnitude.
   519. Jim Furtado Posted: July 15, 2009 at 01:46 PM (#3254829)
The account was already removed from the login script a few days ago. Flush your cookies for the site and login again.

As for, last night's outage was actually my fault. I've been running a script daily that flushes the database logs. For some reason the script has not run the last few day and I missed the error report. Since I was at a concert last night and didn't check the site until early this morning, I was unaware of the outage.
   520. Jeff K. Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:21 PM (#3254892)
Dumped site cookies and all of cache, that did the trick. Capital.

Jeez, though, how many cookies you need, man? :)
   521. Repoz Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:31 PM (#3254902)
Since I was at a concert last night

Was that the Asleep at the Wheel gig?...:")
   522. Jeff K. Posted: July 15, 2009 at 02:39 PM (#3254915)
No, but it was the one after that. The SQL.

That's two!
   523. Harold can be a fun sponge Posted: July 15, 2009 at 11:56 PM (#3255642)
I had noticed it a little after midnight and figured you wouldn't be too happy if I called you that late!

I was up late last night, and started to wonder how late for me was early enough on the east coast that I could call Jim. Then I decided that missing Primer enough to bug Jim at 3:30am is probably a sign that I have a problem.
   524. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: July 15, 2009 at 11:57 PM (#3255643)
I would love, LOVE to run a Marlins team blog here.
   525. Endless Trash Posted: July 16, 2009 at 01:09 AM (#3255665)
No, but it was the one after that. The SQL.

That's two!

I ####### hate it when people pronounce it like that.

(Yes, I hate everyone.)
   526. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: January 19, 2010 at 04:39 PM (#3441041)
I'm glad that focus on the late-night outage has been reduced by adding other outages throughout the day.
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