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Ike's Progress

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
This is going to be a little ongoing series. Nothing too fancy. Just my latest progress on various PN projects.

JUNE 11, 2021
- I've changed site roles, going from an admin to a consultant. Various reasons contributed, but probably the main one is that I'd been busting a certain body-part for around a year-and-a-half for PN, and eventually, body parts can become sore. At the same time, merci beaucoup upon JonPurpleHaze, who first gave me a spam-busting role way back in late 2019. It's been quite the journey, really, and for the most part it's been super-fun. I mean that sincerely.

- What is a CONSULTANT, anyway? Well, in terms of site functionality, I have pretty much the same tools a global mod has, but without access to the staff forums. Policy-wise, my role as I see it is to continue helping with the site as I see fit, while leaving the daily site-running and decision-making to the staff. I will continue working on my pinball projects, including those which are site-related, such as resource entry and media curation. Also, I'll continue lending my opinions on site and staff matters, sometimes publicly and sometimes privately. A notable change, however, is that I no longer intend to spend time cat herding, and will instead aim to share feedback and be done with it, letting the staff do their work. As explained earlier, my goal here is to take a step back while still being involved with PN, and still letting inspiration have its say, so to speak.

- Couple days ago I finally finished my ROM icon project. Silly project, in a way-- just making sure that PN's 1100+ ROM entries had a proper icon to match. I do think it was worth the effort though, even if it took me a thousand years to gitterdone. Just for fun, I'm also attaching five images I was initially attracted to, but ultimately rejected as the official 'PN ROM icon.' (altho one of them I did find a certain use for)

- Improving the media backglass section has sorta been a hateful labor of love, but I try to keep whittling away. Currently I'm on page nein out of 17 total. With this kind of project, it's not so much that getting the game, maker and year is difficult, it's moreso that often it's worthwhile to do a deep search for a better image. Which can be quite the rabbit hole, if you like rabbit holes. That said, major whomping thanks to @Jens.L for his super find, which has allowed me to update some key backglasses starting from quality-but-small source material.

- Once again, major thanks to the table raters and commenters! Because whether you LIKE a table, DISLIKE it, offer quibbles or advice on what flavor of popsicle to suck... any way you slice it, such feedback is super-helpful towards improving our rating system. Specific props to folks such as @hawyer, @Ian (WVP), @inframun2, @xikin12, @vladaymir, and undoubtedly some I missed. :s
 

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Isaac Sauvage

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Consultant
Should have started this list a while back, and ultimately it probably deserves to be pinned somewhere. Anyone who can offer clarification on this stuff, please do! Note: the following brief summaries are based on my personal conversations with the authors in question. My bottom-line aim is to obey their wishes always, while helping out in sharing their works where they grant permission.

AUTHOR STANCE ON HOSTING CONTENT HERE:
- Bord: Prefers to have specific control. Always ask first.
- Bigus1: Req'd permission to host "Robo-War." (edit: no actually, think it got lost, need to try again)
- Bossman: Contacted at VPF, so far hasn't replied.
- Flupper: Has okayed "Diner." Hopefully more to come.
- Gottlieb (Jay Phillips): Based on the evidence below, seems okay to mirror his stuff here.
- Herweh: Multiple permissions given to host content here.
- JPSalas: Everything okay up to VP9. Only links are allowed to his VPX content.
- MartinB: Would be nice to host more of his stuff here. Is he amenable?
- NestorGian: Okay by request, as with Faces.
- RothbauerW: So far amenable when specific requests are made.
- Smoke: Would be nice to host more of his stuff here. Is he interested?

- All Authors who've uploaded stuff either here, at IRP, or at P-O, but whose content was lost over the years-- I've always assumed it's okay to restore. Please let me know if not!
 
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druadic

Stay tuned.....
Site Supporters
Ike,
I truly appreciate everything you have been doing and am shocked at the amount of work you've put into this, your efforts have been truly incredible. I for one find everything you've done just amazing.

I would like to speak up as an author that I DO NOT support anything of mine before VP9 for the reasons that most folks just don't care about them and I for one (if I had the time) would love to update everything from back then but don't have the images/graphics to bring them up to certain folks standards image wise. You are more than welcome to leave up anything older than VP9 but I cannot support them with the current workload I have do to so many requests I've been bombarded with at "the site that shall not be named". I have at least 60 tables WIP currently.

That's about it. Thanks for all your work Ike. Much appreciated.
 
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Isaac Sauvage

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Site Supporters
Consultant
Hi Will,
Many thanks, and I've slightly formatted your post above, mainly because you've made the above thoughts abundantly clear several times now. Like-- I get it, dude, I get it.

And yet, as officer-detective-lieutenant-sergeant Frank Drebin once alluded to-- This is *my* hill, and these are MY beans!

 
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Isaac Sauvage

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Site Supporters
Consultant
Oof...

Okay, finally finished the PN-backglass cleanup.
Here's now PN's working collection, sorted by name.

- Title (Maker, Year) now correct across all entries.
- Wherever possible, credit given to the person who first captured or re-created the image.
- Lowest-quality images replaced by best results I could find.
- Wherever possible, both flat-lit and lamp-lit versions retained.
- BMP images don't seem to display correctly, so I've either converted them or upgraded them.
- As a consultant I can only soft-delete items. @JonPurpleHaze, you may want to hard-delete the least-helpful of the soft-deleted entries, your choice.
- This is a decent start I hope, but lots of entries could still use an upgrade, plus there's always room for more material(!)

A few thoughts: Obviously many more tables & BG's could be added from a numbers & 'completeness' standpoint. At the same time, I feel like its way beyond the scope of any one site to archive them all, 'perfectly' or not. Just hit me up here if you want me to look for a better backglass. Thanks.

General thanks to: Google search, PinballArtUSA.com, VPUniverse.com, ClassicPlayfields.com, VPForums.org, VPPinball.com, and any particular source repository I might have missed. They've all been nicely-helpful in terms of this project.

Specific thanks to: @Popotte, @wildman and @Loserman76 for fueling and re-fueling the project.
 
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Isaac Sauvage

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On the restoring the collection bit, anything at all of mine you have, feel free to load here. I don't have half of my old stuff from PO.
Oh man. :/

If you remember any particular title though, lots of that stuff got preserved in torrents and at the IA. I have an index file I can search if you're looking for anything in particular.

Jon also has an internal archive of PO stuff that he was able to preserve. Let me know.
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
AUGUST 7th, 2021:
Okay, *phew*!
Finally... every resource (~4,400 files in all) now has an appropriate resource icon. At some point in the past, most had sadly gotten lost in a site migration or whatnot, but now they're all restored and them some. So if it's a music, installer, graphics, video, support, or ROM file, it now has a suitable icon.

Of course the much larger task here was producing custom resource icons for all the tables. This often involved downloading the tables one-by-one and getting them up and running, simply to re-create a missing screenie. Oi! Anyway, finally finished the last resource page (#44) last night.

Man, after first beginning this project in early 2020... yeah, let me just reiterate-- *phew*!

Specific & MAJOR thanks also go out to Charles (@xenonph), who swooped in like a divine crusader recently, greatly helping me with this project. What's more, he's the one responsible for completing missing secondary prefixes, lots more tags, and in general, cleaning up a whole bunch of entries, including adding correct ROM sources as well. Truly, a monumental (borderline unbelievable) feat on his end. oO :clap:

Now there's still about ~two pages of entries left (like pages #31 and #44) that need that extra info added, but all the other entries have been essentially completed at this point. In any case, we hope our work makes the whole resource section that much easier and useful to browse.

Bonus pts-- if you have a couple minutes to spare, one of the entries I particularly enjoyed restoring myself was the story (and pics) about the very first Whiffle Board. (the first true pinball game?)

Cheers, mateys.
 

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JonPurpleHaze

Site Nudger
Staff member
Thanks for everything Ike, it's pretty outstanding with what you've done for the site!

Your Backglass Images edits are appreciated, loved the soft delete descriptions, they helped me a lot when hard deleting them.
Most of the media deletions involved the old user imported images that were posted in this thread, removed the image in the post and it also amazingly and instantly deletes the associated media item:
It was challenging to match the images in that post to the media image, think it worked, and you replaced and removed a bunch of stuff that wasn't needed. .bmp images do work, they won't create thumbnails though, the replacements are better.
:salut:

I uploaded screensavers of pinball images in the past, love pinball images, John’s Background Switcher is what I have installed, time to fire it up!

@Anthias, I do have a backup of the old Pinball Originals site, includes a database from 10/ 2014, Thanks for adding your tables here!
VPOdefault_avatar.gif


The Resources section has been vastly improved by @xenonph and @Isaac Sauvage since we changed to XF, we need more Consultants and Moderators like you, both of them are great but Charles is amazing!

We have a article thread by John about Whiffle Board and also have some downloads.

First: :pinball:, :groupwave: !!!!
 
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Isaac Sauvage

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Re: Mirroring Jay Phillips @Gottlieb's and crew's content, see below.
Eh, I was just reminded that incredibly, Jay Phillips' (i.e. @Gottlieb) VPGD.net site is still hanging on, long after their forums & chatroom went down. Like... unbelievable on one hand, yet also kind of alarming, because the clock is almost certainly ticking on the small but top-notch collection of VP content over there.

Unfortunately, the next step (contacting Jay) is proving to be a poser. There doesn't seem to be any email or contact across the whole site, and like I say-- their chatroom is long-defunct. To that end, I've left a general message for @rascal and the crew over at The Big Bang Bar asking if anyone's seen Jay recently. (incidentally, the BBB is a great, longtime pin sim chatroom, so feel free to check it out sometime) EDIT1: Also, checking his ID at VPF, Jay hasn't logged in there in eight years. I also left a note for @greynurse and whoever else here.

Anyway, I'll continue to put the word out as I can, and if there's still no leads after a couple days, I'll upload Doozie, wait a little bit, then upload another one. If that's wrong, then obviously I'll have to sadly delete the resource entries. But @Gottlieb does have five resource entries here, and IIRC, the "VPGD crew" also uploaded their originals to PO, our former sister site. So far, so good.

Btw, by my loose count-- there are probably around two dozen or more tables the VPGD crew shared here and there, and then it looks like a bunch of Jay's re-creations were later converted to VP9, so we might be talking closer to three dozen tables in all, maybe even more.

Yo Jay @Gottlieb,
as the most typically available member of your group, I reckoned I'd start with you. If you somehow do get an email notification of this tag, please weigh in?
Thanks, folks.

EDIT2: No feedback at the other sites, and Jay's listed email (pinball@thefunhouse.nu) bounced, but considering that he and the crew have uploaded their work to both of our sister sites (IRP & Pinball-Originals), I think it's safe to cautiously proceed with some uploads. :-)
 
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Isaac Sauvage

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Consultant
Someone needed a hand finding an older version of VP, so I decided to add a bunch more info (prefixes & tags) to the VP resource entries to help search whatever version is needed. The current list of minimal and full installers looks like this: (14 in all)

https://pinballnirvana.com/forums/tags/vp-app/ (vp app)

You can also combine multiple tags here to find what you need. For example, if you're looking for a VP9 installer only, you'd combine the vp app & vp9 tags, and something like this should result:

https://pinballnirvana.com/forums/search/26333/

I also figured the correct creators should be consistently credited, so with a couple of these (if it wasn't already the case), I changed the resource owners to @RandyDavis or @toxie. (@destruk also has a credit)
 
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Isaac Sauvage

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@JonPurpleHaze,
Looks like I (unsurprisingly) lost the ability to ban users.

Actually I think it's a good idea if things stay that way, but that does mean that someone on staff needs to step up in cases like this. Because the @sampomkjiu acct is behaving the same way as all those spam bots did that were overrunning the site in 2019. Not sure how it slipped through the newer, more robust spam defenses, but I guess one was about due.

Note: if you're not a staff member, you shouldn't really see anything odd in the link, as the spam posts are now soft-deleted. Edit: Someone banned the bot. Good deal.
 
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Isaac Sauvage

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Hmm. I guess it's been two years now since I first got involved helping the site.

Specifically-- in late 2019 I got my start helping deflect spam, which was plaguing PN and similar vBulletin sites in almost Biblical fashion at the time. (we never did have a rain of frogs though, hah!)

A bit later, in early 2020, with the inevitable demise of pretty much all vB sites (the original owners / programmers sold it out to quick-scam opportunists, essentially), @JonPurpleHaze was faced with a pretty hard choice-- that of closing this pin-themed site he'd run since 2003, or somehow figuring out how to rescue it. (but how?)

IIRC, both Shiva (Paul) and Internet Research led to the discovery and choice of XenForo (coded by the original vB folks!) as a worthy successor. Which Jon done did! :D

The great thing about all that is that vanilla XF is a *huge* upgrade compared to vB, or even most modern forum software, and that might just include the all-mighty VPF, as I perceive it.

Me, having been part of this site in one way or another since it's inception, I felt hugely-enthused by all this, wanting to help out however I could to help 'rebound PN' and help bring it up to the standards of the then-current leading VP/FP sites,.

Also as I understand it, Paul ("Shiva" / "Blue") put out the word to PSDB's dying forums (relentlessly overrun by spam) that HERE was a better place to take part. As I understand it, @shiva sent this call out to: @Gimli, @Paolo, @NitroNimbus, @GeorgeH, @polygame and many other FP authors and contributors.

Good stuff! And I think the main point to know about me is that, at the end of the day, I'm just some idiot trying to help the site work. And you know how that goes, right?
 

Isaac Sauvage

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Oops, sorry. Almost forgot the salient points I was hoping to make! Okay then, is be these--

TBH maties, I'm not sure what I'm doing here, anymore. Like... I'm a "consultant" now, yet I find myself doing mod-work over & over again because nobody else does. Why is that?

For example, why wasn't @GeorgeH trained on how to do this stuff when he first volunteered to be a moderator?

And why was it on me to deal with Paolo (disastrously) when nobody else was willing to step up?

Meanwhile, I've put a metric FUCK-LOAD of effort in to this site, cleaning up and enhancing a variety of needful areas across my time here, and I'm increasingly left with an impression of people largely unable to express clear thoughts, unable to deal with adversity, unable to even know what exactly it is that they want, anyway. And like it or not, that starts with @JonPurpleHaze.

Now rip me up.
 

Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
And why was it on me to deal with Paolo (disastrously) when nobody else was willing to step up?
Damn but you're really a maniac!!!!!
I told you that I would never answer you again, but this is another context, so I find myself forced to do it, again, again and again.

you keep on mentioning me, even though I have left the site, do you like to put fuel on the fire?tell me guys if this is not persecution towards me? I could decide to report this mania of yours to persecute me to the authorities competent (as police web), because now I am really very angry.

consultant.....aren't you happy yet? do you want also GeorgeH to go away of this site?

What the fuck are you asking yourself? but you really are brutally dull-minded?

you wonder who should have done it for you,instead of you....to YOURSELT???? REALLY ???? YOU ARE VERY CRAZY!!!?????? nobody if you want to know but.....I'll explain it to you......why?
1)no one felt like doing it, because there were no reasons.
2)it was a peaceful discussion between me and another Italian, and especially in the Italian language,if furio requested your intervention, you first had to talk to me too, because Furio's problem was that he hates vpx and fp,and consequently whatever I said about it.
3)the reason that prompted you to do it, is: you think you are the big boss here.
4)your conception or perception, of being a consultant, you clearly trade it with being the boss here in PN, and you feel compelled to act as you want in a very wrong way, so for me you are not capable of doing NOTHING!!!
I could tell you a lot about that you can't able do anything of anything, but I don't want to offend you.

Consultant,you are pathetic and sick, you reopen a closed discussion, even putting George on the line, in the most wrong way (as I explained above)until he sees it Please @JonPurpleHaze and I hope that (but how are you? and you haven't connected for a while) will only name you a normal member, with no particular function as a consultant or anything else.

you are not fit to do anything in this site believe me, but you are very good start fires, and send people to GFY
1.JPG


even if you removed your comment from mine, for your fucking powers, my quote remains.
2.JPG
 
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StevOz

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Read the rules, the entire thread please.


Moderation of posts is and has historically been a last resort measure.

Only applied to dilberate, repeative offenders.

Disagreement between users is not a cause for moderation.
 

Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
Moderation of posts is and has historically been a last resort measure.
Hi @StevOz

Thanks for this, obviously this rule for your consultant doesn't work:scratchchin:

For many years I have contributed to fp / bam ..... is true, I am a bit particular (who is not?), if sometimes I prolong some discussion, but I assure you is not for my primary will, but only a consequence of How to develop the discussion.

in fact my discussion with Furio was peaceful .... there were no reasons to close the thread, as if the fault were mine alone .... your consultant misunderstood the real reason for furio's call to the consultant, who reacted using his powers incorrectly and closed the thread.

in fact this was the spark that started the whole discussion, with the result that as a simple member I never said bad words to people, instead your consultant sent me directly and told me GFY. see above please

EDIT:
and I tell you more now he also takes it out on @GeorgeH he/consultant is not happy that I have left the site (my activities) but obviously he/consultant, also wants George to leave if he names him that way
 
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Isaac Sauvage

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Paolo, I am truly, truly sorry for not handling things well, and for my unforgivable insult, there.

What I wanted was to communicate a strong reaction, and clearly I went way overboard.

I apologise to you, sir, truly and sincerely.

Please be good, my man, for all time. We are not enemies IMO.
 

Isaac Sauvage

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Foof...

You know, one thing that seems to keep hitting me about our scene is how very much creative-passion seems inextricably linked to our projects, our contributions, and even our "bonhomie," i.e. our pleasant work-a-day feelings upon our fellows. In this case, I'm trying to put myself in teh shoes of some of our modern kickass-types, @TerryRed for example.

But I'm thinking any modern author (FP, VP or other) can still kinda starve a bit upon rightful plaudits upon their excellent work, directly fueling their interest or disinclination to push forward, if that makes sense.

Aye laddie, the whole thing kinda makes me sad, but I sure don't know what the solution is. :s

Coming up on twenty years now, I can say for sure, over and over again-- when I was working away on -this- creative project or -another-, a mere 'friendly thanks' meant all the world to me, directly fueling up my engines.

Also in my case, this might have been a bit magnified due to health issues (it's honestly astonishing that I'm still alive in 2021), but in general, I'm thinking other authors & creative-types might have had that sense, as well.
 
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Isaac Sauvage

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Thanks!
Please consider your engines fueled! :pacman:
Hey thanks, it worked! :-D

1) This past week I decided to do some work expanding the media section and linking it to table entries. For starters, every table entry that mentions the word "flyer" now has a flyer uploaded in media, and linked in the entry. Here's the total list: (about 60 tables)

2) The other day I happened to stumble upon a small treasure trove of lovely scanned, reconstructed backglass art, The typical size is just under 1000x1000, file size ~2-3mb uncompressed, and they're all perfectly flat as a... well, they're all perfectly flat. The quality is such that they could probably be enlarged via AI as needed for various projects.

There's more of these, but I focused on uploading these 40+ backglasses wherever they were missing here, and where we only had backglasses of lower quality:

3) In future, I'm thinking it would be pretty awesome for table entries to automatically grab the matching flyers and backglasses to help create a fun, good-looking resource entry. Jon is still finishing up his house move these days, but hopefully this is something we can make some progress on, in future.
 
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NitroNimbus

Pinball Hall of Famer
Site Supporters
Sounds good to me!
Anyone who contributes time and efforts to this "free" pinball community should be thanked more often!
I hope you don't think I was being disingenuous.
It's all good "Rocket Man"...
OK, bad Elton John reference!
If Elon Musk discovered you can get fuel from just a thanks!
He we would of colonized Mars years ago!!, cheers!
 

Isaac Sauvage

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Site Supporters
Consultant
I'm not a big fan of CPR. Quality is not constant.
True, but most of CPR's stuff is still conspicuously high-quality as compared to the body of existing material we have. When I say "we," I mean both this site specifically and the scene in general.

There's also the fact that no one photo or reconstruction is ever 'perfect.' Because even the very best backglass photos contain minor or major biases with regards to art detail, lighting, saturation, sizing, and so forth. Even the B2S stuff (as excellent as it is) suffers these same kinds of issues.

Anyway, where are those two backglasses from, JP? They're super! Thank you!

Concerning flyers, you have this really good site -> Flyers
Thank you. Do you know if they have significant material the IPDB is currently missing?

Why to have multiple places with the same things? (same for IRP and PN)
Because having a healthy redundancy hurts nobody, I suppose?

PN and IRP got founded upon significantly different purposes, didn't they? It made sense at the time why they were separate, I think. For example, when this place was only accepting flipperless tables, and VPF was kinda hellbent on SS re-creations, IRP was a great place to upload EM's.

If you're asking why IRP & PN didn't get merged with time, I'm guessing because that would have entailed a healthy amount of work for Jon, and a healthy amount of work for various volunteers.

So just as in life, I'm guessing that kind of thing pretty much comes down to: 'who wants to put in the major effort upon such a project?'
 
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