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      Please help us for July   06/30/2017

      This month we're hoping for a little bit of a boost this month or next, in addition to covering the regular bills, we could benefit from some hardware upgrades. STEX Collector's Set gifts can now be sent to you via digital download as well as regular mail if you wish! Every donation dollar goes toward keeping Simtropolis online and humming along. Your contribution counts! Hardware Upgrades As our website community software improves with more and more features, and as we bolt on additional features such as chat, the increased load to handle all these new toys is taking the server a bit to task. You may have noticed that we'd been forced to temporarily disable the chat as we worked out allocating resources for more optimal performance. Following this, we've applied a number of 'soft' changes such as caching options and experimented with server configurations (nginx as proxy, for example), so the hardware aspect is also an area we'd like to focus on. The last time we upgraded hardware was back in 2012, prior to the release of SC13. Your contribution means a lot! Your donation will go toward helping us to 1.) migrate to a newer server or 2.) at least get some ram/cpu/storage updates and any other infrastructure hardware or services. Donate and Get a Gift or Donate Any Amount Thanks so much! - Dirktator & The Admins
CorinaMarie

The End of an Era (Photobucket Borks the Internet)

141 posts in this topic

4 hours ago, CorinaMarie said:

I imagine they can do whatever they want. The original agreement prolly says they can change the rules at any time...

[Image of Creature Foaming At The Mouth]

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3 hours ago, catty-cb said:

SmugMug plans range from $4 a month  to $25 a month if you are a business

https://www.smugmug.com/plans

That's only if you shell out for the whole year up front.  If you pay monthly it's $35 per month.  But i believe even the cheapest plan has unlimited upload and bandwidth.

That said, i love smugmug.  In the last two years i've gotten a nice camera and gotten into landscape photography.  I'm hoping in the next couple months i can get a pollished website up and start to sell prints. (I have a couple 24" x 36" prints hanging in my office at work and they're flippin gorgeous.) Very pleased with smugmug so far on all levels.

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I went to smugmug and tried it. Looks fast and easy enough, butI don't see how I can post pictures to  my cj on simtropolis. Im not very good at those  things ; where's is the place where you find an URL you can copy and paste ?

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17 minutes ago, tariely said:

I went to smugmug and tried it. Looks fast and easy enough, butI don't see how I can post pictures to  my cj on simtropolis. Im not very good at those  things ; where's is the place where you find an URL you can copy and paste ?

I believe right-click protection is turned on by default.  So if you open up the gallery your pic is in, click the picture so it takes up the full screen (like a slideshow type view).  On the bottom theres a little share button.  It looks like a box with an arrow coming out of it.  Click that and you get the base URL for the individual photo you can copy and then paste into the simtropolis UI. It has tools for the base URL, HTML link, or BBCode link, as well as letting you limit the resolution shared so you can preserve bandwidth (or discourage image theft.

edit: i just did a little testing. linking my smugmug hosted photo was easy and working with both the base URL and the BBCode link.  But when you click the photo it follows the link back to your smugmug site, so you might want to check your site permissions and be careful about what else you host there if you go with that route. I would share one of my landscape pics but my website isn't complete and im not ready for shameless self-promotion.  *:rofl:

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18 minutes ago, blunder said:

But when you click the photo it follows the link back to your smugmug site ...

In the ST post editor, double clicking the image should allow any set URLs to be edited or removed.

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4 minutes ago, Cyclone Boom said:

In the ST post editor, double clicking the image should allow any set URLs to be edited or removed.

Test:

sunset%20flowers%20st%20helens-XL.jpg

 

Or just copy over the BBCode text and hack the URL part of it off the front and back.  Jeez im rusty at this interwebs community sharing thing. 

Thank you, sir.

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29 minutes ago, blunder said:

Or just copy over the BBCode text and hack the URL part of it off the front and back.

Yes, good point.

Even though BBCode is technically deprecated on the site, the basic functions should still be converted to HTML once posted.


E.g.

[b]Bold[/b]

[i]Italic[/i]

[u]Underline[/u]

[color=blue]Blue Text[/color]

[center]Center[/center]

[img=http://community.simtropolis.com/library/misc/bzt.gif]

[url=http://community.simtropolis.com]URL[/url]


Is automatically rendered as expected:

Spoiler

Bold

Italic

Underline

Blue Text

Center

bzt.gif

URL

 

29 minutes ago, blunder said:

Thank you, sir.

You're welcome! *:)

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12 hours ago, Cyclone Boom said:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Bold

Italic

Underline

Blue Text

Center

bzt.gif

URL

 

You're welcome! *:)

(all the above conversation : Thank you, guys. You are faster than the Smugmug Help Heroes :-)))

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Here's one I've keep track of and used a couple of times:

On 4/6/2016 at 5:07 AM, HawkDawg said:

I can't answer your question, but I can give you a small tip on posting using acronyms. Using your post as an example, you could use this BBCode.


[acronym=If I Remember Correctly]IIRC[/acronym]

Which would give you this - IIRC.

Hover your mouse over the acronym to see what it stands for.

 

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So I've now downloaded all the 3 882 files (spread over 15 albums, thank god Photobucket allows full album download).

I was trying to use dropbox for external hosting via THIS method for fizing my old threads in the forums. However, when trying to use the "insert image from URL" method, the dialog box simply refuses to accept the link https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/

Is there a way to overide this box and allow for html edit? Or to patch this dialog into accepting dropbox links?

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18 minutes ago, FlyHigh said:

So I've now downloaded all the 3 882 files (spread over 15 albums, thank god Photobucket allows full album download).

Woot! Grats on getting them all downloaded. (Mine was easier cause I never created any separate albums and they were all just in the main one.)

 

20 minutes ago, FlyHigh said:

I was trying to use dropbox for external hosting via THIS method ...

That is dated 2013-11-03 which is prior to Dropbox changing their rules to disallow 3rd party linking a few months ago.

 

21 minutes ago, FlyHigh said:

Is there a way to overide this box and allow for html edit? Or to patch this dialog into accepting dropbox links?

This part is more techy than I can answer, but I suspect Dropbox's policy change prolly has some rules that say you can't do that unless you pay them money.

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5 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

That is dated 2013-11-03 which is prior to Dropbox changing their rules to disallow 3rd party linking a few months ago.

 

This part is more techy than I can answer, but I suspect Dropbox's policy change prolly has some rules that say you can't do that unless you pay them money.

 

Hahah you're right! The fact that there were comments dated "3 days ago" and "one month ago" misled me!
Back to the drawing board then (I really am trying to avoid putting bandwidth strain on CB and on ST)!

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1 minute ago, FlyHigh said:

Back to the drawing board then (I really am trying to avoid putting bandwidth strain on CB and on ST)!

There have been a few other sites suggested in this thread. Imgur getting the most praise. (For myself, I won't trust any other free picture hosting site again as it's obvious to me they are each going to get overwhelmed and have to fold up too. Thankfully CB (our admin here, not catty's site tho she did offer) rescued me and suggested I could host all my ST pics right here.)

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Posted (edited)

10 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

There have been a few other sites suggested in this thread. Imgur getting the most praise. (For myself, I won't trust any other free picture hosting site again as it's obvious to me they are each going to get overwhelmed and have to fold up too. Thankfully CB (our admin here, not catty's site tho she did offer) rescued me and suggested I could host all my ST pics right here.)

That's also the reason I haven't mentioned them. I don't want to host my pictures on those companies. I'm guessing, since photobucket and imageshack have changed their business model, others will follow suit soon.

Since I don't really post too much, I rather have links on my pages (and yes, boring text as in the old days) then to have to rehost everything again in a couple of mounts time.

 

Also, the reason why I didn't suspect it was a DB change in policy is because the link format they suggest in the post really does go directly to the image
Eg. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/5gxpd2yyhy8baq2/VV13980.jpg

I assumed it was just a matter of the forum not recognising the host.

 

25 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

Woot! Grats on getting them all downloaded. (Mine was easier cause I never created any separate albums and they were all just in the main one.)

 

According to them, My account was opened August 27th, 2008! Quite a while ago! *:party:


  Edited by FlyHigh
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How about doing it like this?

[img=https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/5gxpd2yyhy8baq2/VV13980.jpg]

VV13980.jpg

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How have you done it exactly? Via "insert image from URL", via "insert code" (if so what language) or via "link"?

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41 minutes ago, FlyHigh said:

How have you done it exactly? Via "insert image from URL", via "insert code" (if so what language) or via "link"?

I copied this part from CB's post:

[img=http://community.simtropolis.com/library/misc/bzt.gif]

And pasted that in Notepad on my 2nd screen. Then I copied this part from your post:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/5gxpd2yyhy8baq2/VV13980.jpg

And pasted that over the:

http://community.simtropolis.com/library/misc/bzt.gif

part to make this:

[img=https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/5gxpd2yyhy8baq2/VV13980.jpg]

 

So, pasting that in a code box let's you see the syntax. And directly below that I pasted it right in the editor which then converted it to a displayed image.

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30 minutes ago, CorinaMarie said:

(...) And directly below that I pasted it right in the editor which then converted it to a displayed image.

Oh yeah, I had tried that before but didn't let it load!

Problem solved.

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On 7/1/2017 at 9:04 AM, rsc204 said:

But I think Corina, if you just stick to the important stuff like your shoppes and tutorials, you'd find this task is about a days work. But yeah, going full-on updating everything is not a task I think anyone sane would consider.

With CB's help I got my shoppes and tutorials updated first. Then as I looked thru some of my content I realized most of my posted pics were replies to some question or other and served to illustrate my answer (or illustrate a text only answer by another member) and so I've spent every moment of my free time updating them all. I guess that shows I'm not sane. *:lol:

Anyhow, I believe everything I've posted publicly here on ST is now fixed. I didn't update any Private Message pics, but if someone lets me know in said messages, I can patch them up too. And if anyone finds a public pic I missed, let me know about that as well.

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OK, I've tried Smugmug (and read their terms of use from beginning to end. Well, almost, as I don't intend to commercialize any of my SC4 pictures...:-) I am tempted (although the "unlimited storage online" made me go "uh ?). I just want to be sure the basic plan (3.99 a month I can manage, even in US $) includes third party hosting. The option is in none of the plans. Does it mean that it's standard, default, for all plans ?

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38 minutes ago, tariely said:

OK, I've tried Smugmug (and read their terms of use from beginning to end. Well, almost, as I don't intend to commercialize any of my SC4 pictures...:-) I am tempted (although the "unlimited storage online" made me go "uh ?). I just want to be sure the basic plan (3.99 a month I can manage, even in US $) includes third party hosting. The option is in none of the plans. Does it mean that it's standard, default, for all plans ?

All four plans have the option to "Embed photos and videos on other websites" see comparison at the bottom of this webpage

https://www.smugmug.com/features

Instructions for doing it are here

http://help.smugmug.com/customer/en/portal/articles/93254-share-my-photos?b_id=14506

 

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OK,GOOD. Basic plan it is. (although I think they generally further compress pictures ? I hope it can be addressed with the Choose Size option...).

And now for a week at last of reuploadings... gah. But I said I'd be back and I WILL BE BACK ! :-)))

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On 12/7/2017 at 5:43 AM, CorinaMarie said:

How about doing it like this?


[img=https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/5gxpd2yyhy8baq2/VV13980.jpg]

 

Totally off-topic, but love to see a historical Eberswalder Straße station (Berlin U-Bahn system) picture in this thread.

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(Still tinkering with my Lazarus CJs' images on smugmug.)


 (a) : is it my aging sight or are pictures a bit fuzzier (either the very large or the large size)  ? I think I read somewhere in this thread that smugmug compresses images more, or something of the kind. What does it mean for the quality of images ? Should I upload pngs instead of jpgs ? [see first images of Middletown Commerce & Industry]

(b) could someone remind me of how to get the "click to enlarge" function ?

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1 hour ago, tariely said:

 (a) and (b)

Aren't we getting off the subject in hand?

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(Sorry. I thought we were discussing the merits and modalities of various image hosting sites) Can you tell me where should I post this ?

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Part of the issue is that these sites are commercial, and the endeavors of us and the people like us are inherently non-commercial. With regards to "monetizing" these sites, such a program doesn't mix with what we nor many other users want out of an image hosting service (or probably much of what we do online in general). Imagine if our very own Dirktatorship tried to monetize Simtropolis - it simply wouldn't work nearly as well as it does today1. Many of the moves of these "businesses" make sense in the context of commercial image hosting, but it leaves us not-for-profit hobbyists out in the cold. Personally I doubt if all of the users who image-host along the lines of the average Simtropolis user put together are costing them that much, but what do I know?

1Now, Simtropolis does have to cover its costs from donations and the like but monetization is quite different from this. There are multitudes of human endeavors that do not need to be commercial in order to provide value. Indeed, most such endeavors actually provide less value to people's lives if made commercial.

Seeing as the prevailing ethos of the image-hosting industry and our community don't seem to mix very well, I agree with those who have said over the years that the optimum solution would be for us to have our own image-hosting service. Short of that the best option would be for each of us to host images from our own websites - from what I've heard getting a personal website isn't too hard, so in light of how many times we've been burned I think more of us should consider this choice.

On 6/30/2017 at 5:20 AM, catty-cb said:

If you want to have a temporary on-line location for your pictures and so your guides, etc continue to look ok, while you look around and decide just what you want to do, you are welcome to set a picture album here

https://www.city-builders.info/cb-community/albums

Just checking if picture linking works ok

bbanished0001_original.jpg

seems to work ok.

Although I won't take advantage of your offer, I'd like to thank you for your generosity.

On 6/30/2017 at 5:30 AM, Cyclone Boom said:

This is completely deplorable. Corporate greed at its finest. If you or anyone else would like a special quota of storage here at Simtropolis, please let me know and this can be arranged. That way as long as ST is around, so will the images.

Ditto - thank you for your generosity in this matter.

On 6/30/2017 at 4:08 PM, Cyclone Boom said:

The way I see this, greed is a by-product of the motivation. Since for greed to flourish, it needs a desire. The purpose of this change in policy is surely driven by the sole, selfish and steadfast desire to make an extra buck. Not at all considering the global implications for communities such as ours. This move is clear proof that sadly, they couldn't care less about the wonderful work Corina and others do to help others with guides, tutorials and journals. It's not personal, but it affects everyone equally who has depended on their services.

While any business requires cash to survive and prosper, there are absolutely much better ways of generating a profit than thoughtlessly pulling the rug from under everyone's feet. For me, it's greed because of the methodology -- what they're doing to obtain it. They know all too well everyone won't fall for their nasty trap, yet will still take such extreme measures regardless. Putting aside people's views and feelings in a desperate attempt to boost their wallets.

Let's say they do make enough profit from this foul scheme. No business strives to fail, and that must be the objective after all. So all's well and good, apart from the small fact of ensuring absolute chaos for sites relying on the images for content. We're the ones paying the price here, without spending a penny.

What they've done is intentionally hold people to ransom. No prior notice given before rendering millions of images unusable for their intended usage. Want your images back? Sure, then pay the fine. But who will seriously go from spending absolutely nothing, to suddenly requiring a subscription with an exorbitant fee?

It's absolutely ludicrous.

Indeed. If the growth of third-party hotlinking was going to cause them problems in the future the least they could do was grandfather in the hotlinks that already existed, if they saw such a problem coming at any point in time for their outfit. At the very least they could have given us advance notice so that small-time users like us wouldn't have their work disrupted.

Trust, goodwill, and respect for the artistic integrity of the individual user are all essential to cultivating a loyal userbase for your service willing to promote it to others and pay for your offerings. By throwing all that in the garbage can and additionally daring to use hostage-taking tactics against us they have also thrown away the chance that I will have any more dealings with them whatsoever as long as I live.

On 6/30/2017 at 5:52 PM, CorinaMarie said:

They could've handled this much better. Like give 6 months notice and then say us little peeps would have to start paying $9.95 per year and I'll bet a bunch would do so if they explained how otherwise the whole business would fold up. For power users, sure charge them a bit more. Make tier based on the bandwidth usage. The problem is some accountant (who's body resembles a Mobius strip due to the location of their head) has multiplied $400 times 100 million users and liked the result that shows. The complete lack of wisdom to know that won't actually happen and will likely bankrupt the company is beyond their comprehension.

If that's what happened there's an excellent chance I would have taken up such an offer - at least I would have seriously considered it. And these bureaucrats and accountants et alia need to be thrown to the wolves.

EDIT: That's quite funny considering that I'm a "Clerk of Red Tape" according to Simtropolis *:P.

On 7/1/2017 at 4:55 AM, Fantozzi said:

 

The contract you sign says: [...]

 

Yes, they have the right to change their terms at any time - I, one of their customers, also reserve the right to give them exactly what they deserve when they act like douchebags to me. They have the right but not the duty to treat me with courtesy and respect, and I have the right but not the duty to treat them with courtesy and respect. If they act like dogs I retain the right to call them out on it. That's how at-will and similar arrangements work - it is symmetric, not one-sided.

In other words, just because you can doesn't mean you should, and if people reserve the right to call them out on treating them like dirt they should exercise that right.

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2 hours ago, tariely said:

(Still tinkering with my Lazarus CJs' images on smugmug.)


 (a) : is it my aging sight or are pictures a bit fuzzier (either the very large or the large size)  ? I think I read somewhere in this thread that smugmug compresses images more, or something of the kind. What does it mean for the quality of images ? Should I upload pngs instead of jpgs ? [see first images of Middletown Commerce & Industry]

(b) could someone remind me of how to get the "click to enlarge" function ?

59 minutes ago, huzman said:

Aren't we getting off the subject in hand?

49 minutes ago, tariely said:

(Sorry. I thought we were discussing the merits and modalities of various image hosting sites) Can you tell me where should I post this ?

As the topic creator (and as a moderator) I don't mind it this gets discussed since it's somewhat related to how peeps resolve the issue created by the PhotoBorkit catastrophe.

 

 

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1 hour ago, huzman said:

Aren't we getting off the subject in hand?

1 hour ago, tariely said:

(Sorry. I thought we were discussing the merits and modalities of various image hosting sites) Can you tell me where should I post this ?

If you'd like, I can move your posts about SmugMug over to a new topic.

But otherwise you're quite right -- it is still related to image hosts, and I'm sure @CorinaMarie won't mind.

EDIT: As confirmed above. :ooh:

 

2 hours ago, tariely said:

(a) : is it my aging sight or are pictures a bit fuzzier (either the very large or the large size)  ? I think I read somewhere in this thread that smugmug compresses images more, or something of the kind. What does it mean for the quality of images ? Should I upload pngs instead of jpgs ? [see first images of Middletown Commerce & Industry]

That's very possible. I've heard some image hosts do compress images to conserve bandwidth by reducing file sizes. This is likely to be more noticeable on JPGs, since it's a lossy format. The higher the compression, the more blurry or degraded the overall quality becomes.

Usually I'd advise against sharing PNGs, since they're prone to be larger in size. Most notably for images with lots of detail (e.g. landscapes), where the difference can be in megabytes. The reason being, PNG images use lossless compression, which means the file size is reduced without losing quality. But this comes at a cost, since it's harder to compress images without discarding data. A useful purpose of them is for smaller web images, where visuals must be crisp & clear, without the file size getting out of hand.

It might be worth checking your account settings at SmugMug, as they may allow the level of compression to be adjusted. Otherwise it wouldn't hurt to test a PNG upload and try a comparison in terms of quality vs. file size. If the advantages are great enough, that might be the best solution. At least for images you'd like to stand out or feel would most benefit from the increased clarity.

 

2 hours ago, tariely said:

(b) could someone remind me of how to get the "click to enlarge" function ?

I believe that shows on attachments uploaded here to ST, or automatically if an image overflows the boundaries of a page.

For images posted from external sites, this won't show if the image fits without being scaled (resized).

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