Topics

Model Train Magazine Index web site

robertb@smartchat.net.au
 

Does anyone know  if the Model Train Magazine Index web site that was on the Kalmbach site is still working ? I keep getting this message.

Regards,

Robert Bogie

Randy Hammill
 

There’s one on the NMRA site: www.olimpia.com:8084/magazine-index.html

Randy
--

Randy Hammill
Modeling the New Haven Railroad 1946-1954  | https//:blog.newbritainstation.com

StephenK
 

Steve and Barb Hile
 

It works for me, but in a kind of hit or miss fashion.  If I hit this screen, I use my browser Back function to try again.  It can be frustrating.
 
Steve Hile



From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of robertb@...
Sent: Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:04 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Model Train Magazine Index web site

Does anyone know  if the Model Train Magazine Index web site that was on the Kalmbach site is still working ? I keep getting this message.

Regards,

Robert Bogie



Nelson Moyer
 

I tried a couple of searches for articles I know were published in Mainline Modeler, and the search hit on some key words but not others. Stock cars gave results, but CB&Q came up empty. On one of the hits, there were five pages of articles, but only the first page worked. Clicking NEXT brought up an error page. Pretty clunky index search functions! I wonder if the programmer actually tried the use this index to see if it worked.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of StephenK
Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2019 9:04 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Model Train Magazine Index web site

 

Try this:

http://trc.trains.com/modeltrainindex

Steve Kay

Tim O'Connor
 


The problem with the index is that it uses 50 year old technology, and the world has moved on.

Here's what we need - every magazine and model railroad book ever published put into readable (OCR)
PDF file format and then INDEXED using Google indexing software. I run Google Desktop (the final version
before it was discontinued) on my PC and it indexes every PDF file, every photo, every text and every email
that's been stored on my successive computers for the past 25 years. I can search them all in 5 seconds or
less.

Unfortunately, the above won't happen until the copyrights have all expired - 75 years after publication. So right
now we're only up to 1944...

Tim O'Connor


On 1/6/2019 10:34 AM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I tried a couple of searches for articles I know were published in Mainline Modeler, and the search hit on some key words but not others. Stock cars gave results, but CB&Q came up empty. On one of the hits, there were five pages of articles, but only the first page worked. Clicking NEXT brought up an error page. Pretty clunky index search functions! I wonder if the programmer actually tried the use this index to see if it worked.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of StephenK
Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2019 9:04 AM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Model Train Magazine Index web site

 

Try this:

http://trc.trains.com/modeltrainindex

Steve Kay


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Dennis Storzek
 

On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 11:34 AM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
The problem with the index is that it uses 50 year old technology, and the world has moved on.
The Model Train Magazine Index was the creation of one man, Jeff Scherb IIRC, who's job had him doing a lot of flying. The database was literally built on airplanes. Jeff would read the articles and assign keywords to each. The index search function would search for the entered keywords. At least, this is what Jeff told me the year we hosted the index on accurail.com.

Like all labors of love, it eventually became a chore, and Jeff sold the index to Kalmbach, who felt it would be a traffic builder for their newly launched TRAINS.com. I'm not sure if Kalmbach realized how much work keeping the index current was going to be, and I have no idea who now gets stuck assigning the keywords, but that is likely the root of the inconsistent search results. Other issues, like pages not loading, are likely an indication of how much interest they currently have in it.

Dennis Storzek

Nelson Moyer
 

Sometime around 2009, I did an index search using the keywords, CB&Q and Burlington Route. I got 241 articles from all of the magazines with articles on those key words. I saved those results as an Excel file. Today I did an advanced search of the index using CB&Q as the keyword, and I got zero matches. Something drastic has happened to the index, and it’s not for the better.

 

Nelson Moyer

 

From: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io [mailto:main@RealSTMFC.groups.io] On Behalf Of Dennis Storzek
Sent: Sunday, January 06, 2019 7:16 PM
To: main@RealSTMFC.groups.io
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Model Train Magazine Index web site

 

On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 11:34 AM, Tim O'Connor wrote:

The problem with the index is that it uses 50 year old technology, and the world has moved on.

The Model Train Magazine Index was the creation of one man, Jeff Scherb IIRC, who's job had him doing a lot of flying. The database was literally built on airplanes. Jeff would read the articles and assign keywords to each. The index search function would search for the entered keywords. At least, this is what Jeff told me the year we hosted the index on accurail.com.

Like all labors of love, it eventually became a chore, and Jeff sold the index to Kalmbach, who felt it would be a traffic builder for their newly launched TRAINS.com. I'm not sure if Kalmbach realized how much work keeping the index current was going to be, and I have no idea who now gets stuck assigning the keywords, but that is likely the root of the inconsistent search results. Other issues, like pages not loading, are likely an indication of how much interest they currently have in it.

Dennis Storzek

Tim O'Connor
 

Dennis

Yep. I first encountered it at the NMRA convention in Denver in 1991. A man was selling searches from
the database - some amount of money per page! Funny when you think about it. Then he sold floppy disks
with the database for early PC models (MS-DOS, remember that?) and for a fee you could subscribe to
the updates. I did that for a while too. I think index books were printed as well.

But, like I said, utterly obsolete technology, and often less useful than a Google search. I keep my own
database of hundreds of text files built up over the past 30 years but I've greatly slacked off since so much
information is redundant or has been supplanted with new publications (RP Cyc) or Excel spreadsheets,
etc. I only rarely encounter a question that can't be answered quickly nowadays.

Tim





On 1/6/2019 8:15 PM, Dennis Storzek wrote:
On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 11:34 AM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
The problem with the index is that it uses 50 year old technology, and the world has moved on.
The Model Train Magazine Index was the creation of one man, Jeff Scherb IIRC, who's job had him doing a lot of flying. The database was literally built on airplanes. Jeff would read the articles and assign keywords to each. The index search function would search for the entered keywords. At least, this is what Jeff told me the year we hosted the index on accurail.com.

Like all labors of love, it eventually became a chore, and Jeff sold the index to Kalmbach, who felt it would be a traffic builder for their newly launched TRAINS.com. I'm not sure if Kalmbach realized how much work keeping the index current was going to be, and I have no idea who now gets stuck assigning the keywords, but that is likely the root of the inconsistent search results. Other issues, like pages not loading, are likely an indication of how much interest they currently have in it.

Dennis Storzek


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

Tom Madden
 

The 1991 Denver NMRA national convention is also where I bought that index. I think the fellow was from Texas and he called the product Datatrain IIRC. 
Tom Madden

Dennis Storzek
 

On Sun, Jan 6, 2019 at 09:03 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
Yep. I first encountered it at the NMRA convention in Denver in 1991. A man was selling searches from
the database - some amount of money per page! Funny when you think about it.

Tim,

I think that was an earlier effort... the name Data Train of Texas comes to mind. As far as I know, Jeff's index was always free, and was hosted by a friend (not a model railroader) who had space on his server. That free part became a problem when the free server space was wanted for other uses, and the index was in danger of shutting down. I offered space on the server Accurail was using, since we were paying for way more than we were using at the time, but couldn't justify the time to keep the index updated. Kalmbach was the 'white knight' that saved the day. But I agree with you, the index is less useful than it has been in the past. I don't think I've used it in two or three years. 

Dennis Storzek

Nolan Hinshaw
 

On Jan 6, 2019, at 7:34 AM, Nelson Moyer wrote:

I tried a couple of searches for articles I know were published in Mainline Modeler, and the search hit on some key words but not others. Stock cars gave results, but CB&Q came up empty. On one of the hits, there were five pages of articles, but only the first page worked. Clicking NEXT brought up an error page. Pretty clunky index search functions! I wonder if the programmer actually tried the use this index to see if it worked.
I suspect that Kalmbach have outsourced much of their web-based applications *and* customer support.
[rant deleted -- not enough room in the margins of this message...]
--
"I think we are pole vaulting over mouse manure here."
Stolen from a private mailing list

Nolan Hinshaw
 

On Jan 7, 2019, at 5:55 AM, Dennis Storzek wrote:

[...]

But I agree with you, the index is less useful than it has been in the past. I don't think I've used it in two or three years.
About a year and a half ago I got some useful results; last month all I got was a nest of authentication failures there and every other time I attempted something with any Kalmbach site. Just moments ago I entered mrr.trains.com and attempted a login - authentication failure, unrecognized credentials; got into customer service with subscription credentials (why isn't this an option on the MR site?), changed the password, exited, and got the same failure message. Mirabile dictu, it works now.

As well, Zinio's user interface for digital subscriptions is as execrable as the archive's. Someone needs to hire a cognitive psychologist to straighten things out.
--
"I think we are pole vaulting over mouse manure here."
Stolen from a private mailing list