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Cyclone Boom

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Cyclone Boom last won the day on
April 3

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About Cyclone Boom

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    Simtropolis Geek

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    United Kingdom
  • Interests
    City-builders, simulation games, golf, cricket, tennis.

    Technology, websites, problem solving, multimedia & photography.
  • City-building game(s)
    SimCity 4
    Cities: Skylines
    SimCity 3000

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  1. Thanks for the report. External services are known to occasionally drop out or throw errors. As far as I'm aware, there's been no recent site updates or on-site changes to the logins. Can anyone confirm this is still an issue 3 days later? And if so, are there any specific error codes?
  2. bugs

    The puzzling thing about this change is there's no apparent news or anything referring to the release of a version 16. Or if there is, Google's non the wiser. A search for "Roboto v15" brings almost 20,000 hits, while "Roboto v16" less than 100. And guess what's currently top of the list... (This thread) There is also very little reference to any of the supposed older versions. For it to accumulate the majority of results, this suggests that v15 has been the stable and most common edition used around the interwebs for quite a while. Interestingly to note that by changing the version number in the URL, it's possible to access all those back to v12. None of the others are still hosted in that form at least. Checking back through my archives, Roboto was first introduced as our site font in June 2015 (coinciding with the debut of IPS 4.0), and the font remained as v15 until this week. So it seems rather peculiar to go at least 2 years without modification, and then all of a sudden someone force feeds this update without making any of the Five Ws known. An official entity must've authorised the release, though I find it hard to believe we're the only site who's so far experienced and is discussing the change. With there being a difference on mobile and some text, I believe this is actually an illusion: On devices with smaller resolutions, the site uses a 13px font as I've formatted this sentence. This is one increment smaller than the default 14px on the main desktop view. But viewing them side by side, the smaller size does seem quite a lot smaller. Checking the page styles, the same also applies with text fields including the user titles and location. Since the new font has basically raised the characters (as per my gif preview), it gives the impression of a larger size when the area is in fact identical. Anyway, if the general consensus is we're satisfied with the new font, I'm more than happy for it to remain. Should we stick with it, I'm sure it'll quickly become increasingly familiar with those who aren't yet in favour (for one, it's already growing on me).
  3. Something to consider is the site's database was compromised in mid-2008 in what was known as the "hack attack". Since I wasn't around, I'm not familiar with the exact happenings, though I believe it was due to malicious code which propagated and caused all sorts of havoc at the time. As a result, it caused large quantities of site content to be truncated or malformed beyond repair, and any attempt of restoration must've failed. It was more a basis for damage limitation. Although it's long been resolved, this explains why some users' post history (like Nonny's) doesn't date back as far as you'd expect. Or if there are any irregularities for older posts (like with the timestamps). Then combined with the various site upgrades, there would've been potential for corruption in other areas. Conversion scripts are meant to take care of the data transition process from one framework to another. However, they only work without flaws when data is in the expected form. With the issues previously, such conversions may well have been disrupted, leading to further potential losses. @citycowboy As you've registered long after the known cases of data loss, this is highly unlikely to have affected your account (or anyone else's since). Could it be either of these by chance? (From your list of posted threads)
  4. bugs

    Nope, you're not seeing things. The font has certainly changed, and I noticed this Monday evening and initially thought my browser was to blame. As a comparison, here's a quick preview showing your post in both fonts: (Imported into a page I had saved locally from February.) Unmistakably the font appears the same style but stretched/raised vertically. Not sure of everyone else's opinions on this, but I think it now appears less clear, especially for certain letters. Although visually larger in size, there's less definition and it's not as legible IMO, especially for lengthy paragraphs. The font used is called Roboto, and is available on Google Fonts listed here. Simtropolis seemingly uses this through reference inside a style sheet (as a web font). The style is 14px regular, which can be recreated using the sample on that listing. Now interestingly, checking the CSS from my archived page and that which is currently used, there's a small but notable difference: Old: url(http://fonts.gstatic.com/s/roboto/v15/CWB0XYA8bzo0kSThX0UTuA.woff2) format('woff2'); New: url(http://fonts.gstatic.com/s/roboto/v16/CWB0XYA8bzo0kSThX0UTuA.woff2) format('woff2'); The old code makes reference to a version 15 of the font, while it now refers to version 16. Now, it's not clear whether this change occurred this week, or any of the weeks prior. But based on this, there's a strong possibility the font has been automatically 'upgraded' without our approval. There have been no recent theme changes made on-site to my knowledge, in which case this has come completely unexpected. I'll check with Dirk to see whether reverting is an option. The old version still seems to be online (by visiting that URL), so that may be a possibility. Or if everyone's happy we can always keep with the new version. Maybe it'll just take some getting used to. Any thoughts on this? Maybe another referendum beckons...
  5. Hi there, It requires spaces to separate months, days and the year: Try the following syntax: SimDate MM DD YYYY E.g. SimDate 04 18 2017 Note: The way it works, the day after the one entered is used. So remember to input the previous day to set the one desired. All these commands are very particular, and the parameters only work in the format they expect. There is no validation or leeway on the user's part, and it's also not always clear what format they require (they were originally intended as dev tools, hence the lack of documentation). Many of these have just been found by the community through trial and error. This also explains why some still have unknown functionality to this day. Hope this helps.
  6. An update: Dirk has now changed the PayPal form to an alternative method, which should hopefully simplify the checkout process for donations.
  7. Welcome back to the community and forums! This 'game' really is timeless because it's based on principles which apply to society. And being into any of the social sciences, there's nothing better than a pursuing a hobby which complements your studies. Or maybe it works the other way around.
  8. You're very welcome back to the community. It's never too late to rejoin the SC4 scene, and as I'm sure you've noticed, it still has an active following some 14 years on and counting. If you'd like any help with getting the game running, or for any tips or advice, we're all here to help.
  9. Thanks for your intended support of the site. If it's any help, I was able to retrieve the list of US states (or other country area) by: First entering the desired Donation amount at the top. Selecting the Country. The page will then auto-reload (you may need to enter a quick security code). The correct area list should now be populated, and can be selected. The same also for other country specifics, such as "ZIP Code" vs "Postcode". Not entering the donation amount seems to prevent the fields from updating. Since it rather counter-intuitively throws an error upon selecting the country, once the page is refreshed. PayPal really ought to improve that, such as by only validating once the form is submitted. Hopefully this works for you. If not, I'll inform Dirk via the emergency line.
  10. First of all, thanks very much for sharing your idea. Without bold concepts, there is no chance for significant innovation. Although I think with this, it's important to consider that SimPeg was more than a SC4 fansite with a custom content exchange. Similar to here at ST, it was a unique community which built and grew progressively over many years of exploration. As a result, without the founding fathers or regular contributors, a community is irreplaceable. Even to a limited extent, while it's possible to recreate the site's structure or add new content, people can never be replaced if they've moved on. In any website, the people are always the driving force. It's less about the site name, design or features, which are supplementary. Those who contribute are the sole reason why a community survives and sustains in a creative cycle, for any prolonged duration. That's why as much as this is a nice thought, and we'd all love to see SimPeg return as a SC4 institute, it would merely be a small shadow of its former self. Thankfully as mentioned, there are communities like ours which continue to prosper. The fact a 14 year old game is still a prevalent focus among the Skylines' of the city-building world, is a remarkable feat to say the least. This is strongly evident all around us -- in the STEX, CJs and forums. And for one, speaking here as an admin, Simtropolis continues to look onwards and upwards.
  11. From a staff perspective, we're always open to ideas of how the site can be improved. Finding ways to make Simtropolis more enjoyable for everyone is still the end goal, even amongst technical and financial considerations. That's precisely why this topic had been opened. We didn't want to decide the direction of Chat ourselves, without first seeking the opinions of the community. Because without people here sharing common ground from many corners of the globe, ST wouldn't have sustained for over 14 years. By making such big decisions, we'd like those who bear by them to have a say on them. Sure, the journey may not have always been plain sailing -- much like life there will always be ups and downs, with twists and turns thrown in. But although it shouldn't be ignored, the past can't be changed or erased. So it's best to not dwell, and instead look ahead and focus on the things we can do now at this moment in time. Step by step learning from what's gone by, and laying solid foundations for the future. If anyone has suggestions of how Simtropolis can be improved, in whatever way, we'd love to hear how we can do better. For instance, by opening a new thread in ST Related, posting in the Suggestion Box, or contacting a member of staff via PM. In the near future, we also plan to open a dedicated forum, where anyone can communicate with staff in private (more on that after the Trixies). Although the site is run by a team of volunteers, it has become a full time unpaid role for many of us. We're passionate about what we do, so it's our aim for the site to prosper for many years to come. That is our commitment. Because with the community being the driving force, all your opinions and ideas do matter. In terms of this thread and with the poll concluded, I believe we've gathered sufficient feedback to help shape the future of Chat. It is our intention for it to remain a part of the ST culture, and be an increased focal point going forward. Thanks again to everyone who posted here.
  12. General Feedback Thread - To help pass the time until the Awards Ceremony, here's a place to share your experiences of the new Trixies format. What went well, and how can they be improved for next year? As you're likely aware, this Trixies introduced various changes. Not only being the first time multiple years (2015 & 2016) were combined, but notably nominations were accepted in a special forum, allowing you to post and edit them in private. Based on your ideas, the Default Awards List was also created, and intended to provide a suitable baseline to cover the wide range of site contributions. In summary, here's a few possible possible topics of discussion: Award Categories Total available default awards: 101 Custom Content: 34 City Journals: 40 Community: 27 Too little? Just right? Too many? Spread between categories. Coverage of types/themes? Any confusion or conflicting awards? Did the descriptions help or hinder? Nomination Process How did you find it compared to years gone by? Were the instructions clear and easy to follow? Was it helpful to edit and view your nominations? Any issues along the way? Duration of nomination period: 23 days (including the 2 day extension). Too short? Just right? Too long? Trixies Build-up Interviews To what extent were they helpful / enlightening? Types of questions asked? Format / presentation. More for next year? Content lists (2015 / 2016) Did they help with your decision making? Were they a useful reference? Should all content have been included in the lists? Grouping per author or per category? Community discussion How could this work better in future? Anything else which could be done in build-up? Trixies Promotion Too sparse? Just right? Too excessive? When did you first become aware of the Trixies this time? How useful was the info banner at the top? Should anything else have been included? Were the countdown timers helpful? Visibility of the Trixies forum. Should any other banners have been added? Homepage features -- were they useful or too repetitive? Anything else? Post away! We're always looking to improve the Trixies, and this was really a learning experience for everyone. Hopefully it worked well as a comeback after being absent for such a long time. But like anything, there's always room for improvement going forward. So if you've any comments or suggestions (even not on the above list), big or small, please post below and we'll take them into consideration. Feel free to post multiple times in this thread to your heart's content. And of course, you don't have to answer all the above questions -- they're just pointers. Thanks!
  13. I guess there's different ways of looking at it, each with their own merits. Since we're a leaning community, I don't see a problem either way. Tech issues are never easy to diagnose without knowing the bigger picture. With so many variables, there are numerous possibilities, each which can trigger similar signs and symptoms. One way or another, let's first see how the OP responds, and then take it from there...
  14. I can confirm @JP Schriefer's observation is spot on. They're ranks tied to your content count (posts + other site items). As this increases, you'll reach levels which provides: A new custom user title (e.g. "Resident" to "Foot Soldier"). At certain levels, a new accompanying rank image. Reputation is not a factor here, as that uses a separate rank system. These images essentially contain a maximum of 5 slots featuring stars or shields. Each subsequent rank will add a new star, until you receive the 'upgraded' style. In theory, they are supposed to increase in grandeur the higher you reach. The rank earned by @A Nonny Moose is the highest active, and was specially made gold in tribute:
  15. bugs

    I've performed an auto-recount for those selected members, which has increased their rep totals to the correct values. For whatever reason, it turns out their total was much lower than their actual received rep. The Leaderboard must display them properly, since the data is regularly rebuilt on a scheduled basis. Now you've been registered over a year, looks like this is no longer noticeable. I'm beginning to think there's something awry with those counters... Anything intermittent usually points to a server issue. And since Chat is an external IPS service, I'd guess it's on their end. Let us know if it persists any longer, and it can be reported. Even though there's not much longer than 3 weeks remaining, IPS Chat is still a service we're entitled to receive in a functional state until it closes. Not willing to address something as simple as the scrollbar bug (which I found a workaround with minimal effort), it does make you wonder about their focus now on maintenance in general. I guess it isn't overly surprising with the imminent retirement.