Notes from Fusor.net Meeting at HEAS

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Paul_Schatzkin
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Notes from Fusor.net Meeting at HEAS

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:56 am

About a dozen people, old faces and new ones alike, gathered in Richard Hull's lab this past Saturday afternoon during the HEAS event to discuss the past, present and future of this site.

The general consensus is that things are running pretty smoothly other than the glitches that arose when we migrated the whole site from Media Temple to GoDaddy.

Accordingly, the first two priorities we're going to address are a) getting the links to all the images that restored and b) restoring all the resources that were accessible from the no-longer-Wordpress "front page" of the site. We had to drop Wordpress because its database was causing conflicts with the phpBB database.

I know that the images issue has proved daunting; the important detail is that none of the actual images have been lost. Frank, Andrew and I have resolved to get the links restored even if we have to re-attach everything manually one-by-one. And the "front page resources" could be restored within the coming week with some kind of "flat HTML" installation.

Other topics addressed in the hour-plus:

1. The question of whether users (new and old) can readily retrieve the best info in the forums let to some discussion of compiling the FAQs into something more like a "Wilki" format;

2. So many fusor builders have created videos of their projects, a "library of links' to those videos might be a worthy addition to our site;

3. The new user registration process is a tad clunky but it works; If we ever get to the point where we have new users with the same name / User ID as existing users, we might have to add routine to suggest a different UID. The verbiage in the Rules and Regulations could use some simplifying (and it looks to me like the rule about "real first and last names" needs to be more clearly stated).

4. There are presently "5-kilo-users"(actually 4,451) registered to the site, including the late Dr. Robert Bussard (of polywell fusor fame), of which only a quarter have actually ever posted to the forums. Registered users who have never posted will be purged once a year. Users who have posted will not be purged. RIP Dr. Bussard.

5. As Frank has observed elsewhere, almost all of the site is accessible to read without logging in. The exceptions are the "New User Chat" area and the "Advance Technical Discussion" area. After some discussion it was decided there's no good reason to change that.

6. There was some confusion over how often a user needs to log in. As long as you've clicked "remember me" when you log in, you shouldn't have to log in again for 31 days.

7. Spam and Trolling are pretty much under control, but are always lurking in the cyber-wings. I had a moment when I pondered the possibility that we want to put the power of nuclear fusion in the hands of people who have nothing better to do with their time. Richard assured me there is no reason to worry myself about that (since it ain't ever gonna happen...<*sigh*>...)

8. Frank suggested adding another element to the "Trading Post" forum. Right now it's used for listing things people have to sell; Frank will add another forum where users can post their "wish list" of things they're searching for.

9. Funding: Unfortunately we burned through some bucks keeping the site on Media Temple when they were assessing ridiculous "GPU Overage" charges. Fortunately, there was enough money left in the coffers after the fund-raiser at the start of the year to purchase the next several years of hosting at our new ISP, GoDaddy. If necessary we'll consider another fund raiser next year.

10. Continuity: right now, I am the primary owner of the site since I own the account at GoDaddy. But Frank and Andrew have full access to the controls, so that everything can continue in the event of my untimely demise. Jeezus, I wonder if I have to put something in my Will...?

11. Everybody misses Carl Willis, but Media Temple will not be missed.

As we wound up, I added this note: in preparation for my first appearance for HEAS in several years, I did a bit of homework, searching fusion and fusor resources around the web. I even found a podcast devoted to the subject of fusion ( https://thefusionpodcast.squarespace.co ... format=rss ).

What I found remarkable and gratifying is the number of references I encountered to this site. The resource that has been compiled here is extraordinary and valuable and held in high esteem among the fusion cognoscenti. I don't know if we're going to save the planet, but we've made a worthy contribution and compiled a valuable resource here. My sincere thanks to everybody for all the time and expertise they have contributed.

What'd I miss?

--PS
Paul Schatzkin
Fusion Advocate since 1973 (and I'm gonna post that story somewhere soon)
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Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
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"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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Re: Notes from Fusor.net Meeting at HEAS

Post by Rex Allers » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:28 am

Re: "Everybody misses Carl Willis"

At the meeting, or is there more I am not aware of?

If a sensitive topic for some reason, please reply to my PM or profile email.
Rex Allers

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Re: Notes from Fusor.net Meeting at HEAS

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:50 am

Carl has many irons in the fire. Single all his life, he now has a wife, kids and has a new job and is, thus, very busy. This has happened to countless hundreds of good old fusioneers over the last 20 years here. Nothing really new here. Life moves on, gets more complicated, especially between the ages of 20 and 50 which are typically the years that define our job status, earning power, life style and family life's path which require intensive effort. Nothing strange here.

Now, to the perfesser's original posting. We, in the meeting, were very focused on making everyone's journey here smooth and one of learning while still retaining the serious nature of the fusor sites goals and avoiding bizarre non-scientific or nuclear fusion related postings by posters who would lead the discussions off course. We have had a couple of these critical meetings of real human beings at the HEAS yearly confabs in the past. They have all been highly focused and productive. This one was of particular significance in that we are in transition and we were fortunate to have all of the overseeing and maintenance people present, plus a few extra fusor.net folks to voice their opinions and fresh ideas. Very positive vibes came out of this 1.5 hour meeting.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Notes from Fusor.net Meeting at HEAS

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Tue Oct 08, 2019 12:15 pm

Rex Allers wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:28 am
Re: "Everybody misses Carl Willis"

At the meeting, or is there more I am not aware of?
I think Richard answered the question. Carl's name came up when we were discussing some of the history of the site and the people who have come and gone. Tyler Christiansen, Ryan Edgar and some other names I can't think at the moment were also recalled fondly.

Hey Richard, was Larry Liens the name you were trying to come up with?
Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
Author of The Boy Who Invented Television - http://farnovision.com/book.html
"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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Re: Notes from Fusor.net Meeting at HEAS

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Oct 08, 2019 7:43 pm

Larry was indeed the one I was struggling to remember. He and the others mentioned were just a few of regular posters. Richard Hester posted for years and provided valuable schematics of circuits he designed and tested for the scarce charge sensitive pre-amps so valuable in neutron detection. He is another name that is sorely missed.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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