I’ve begun working on a major update of RocketReviews.com. The main goal of the upgrade is very general – to make things work better.
I’ve adopted the Invision Power Services Community Suite (IPS) as the basis for the new version of RocketReviews.com. The IPS architecture is similar to the one I developed for the existing RocketReviews.com web site. Like the architecture I developed, IPS makes it easy to expand the site by adding new features (IPS calls them “applications” and “modules”) on top of the existing framework. IPS’s architecture, though is more robust and capable than the one I developed.
In addition to providing a framework for custom functionality, IPS ships with a number of full-feature applications including a discussion forum, an image gallery, a blog, and a chat application. IPS implements hooks allowing the existing application and custom ones added later to work together.
I’ve installed IPS at Community.RocketReviews.com. You can log into the
Continue reading Help Determine the Future of RocketReviews.com …
The RocketReviews.com web site has been down a few times lately. Over the weekend, I discovered that the server’s main hard drive reported some errors causing the server to go off-line. So, I took the server off-line one evening and backed up everything from the failing drive to the server’s second drive. I then set up the system to boot from the second drive.
That went smoother than I had expected, so, of course, something went wrong later.
Earlier today, I found the server running very slow. After some debugging, I discovered that the hard drive had filled to 100% of its capacity. I had copied all the files from two 500GB hard drives onto the one hard drive since the system is now running with one drive. But, I forgot to turn off the automatic backups which used to be written to the second drive. So, the system drive quickly filled up.
Continue reading Here We Go Loop De Loop ….. …
Just a quick update on the status of the RocketReviews.com web site ….
I’ve been fighting back-to-back colds or the flu since Christmas and it’s caused me to fall behind in doing things like posting reviews that have been submitted and in answering emails. I’m working on catching up now. I apologize for the delay in publishing reviews that have been submitted. There are about a half-dozen in the queue right now.
The site’s Rocksim and OpenRocket Libraries currently have some problems. When I added the OpenRocket Library, I based it on the existing Rocksim Library and I discovered a problem. To fix the problem, I had to delete entries for many of the Rocksim files. The entries are being re-added over time, but some of the meta-data describing the entries is still missing. I’ll update the entries as time permits. Eventually, though, I need to revisit how the design files are stored and indexed.
Continue reading RocketReviews.com Web Site Update …
Here’s another deal I found with the Rocketry Deal Finder. Amazon has the Quest Shuttle Intrepid kit at 45% off list price. It is eligible for free “Super Saver Shipping” (on orders over $25) and for free two-day Amazon Prime shipping.
The RocketReviews.com Deals Finder currently shows that Amazon currently has bulk packages of 24 Estes C6-5 motors listed for $27.31 with free shipping. That’s more than $65 off the list price. Look for Amazon’s offer under “More Buying Choices.”
The catch is that Amazon is listing them as “Not in Stock.” But, they are accepting orders at the low price and promising to ship them later. So, I’m not sure if you’ll receive the motors at the low price or not. But, it’s worth a try.
9/24 UPDATE: The Amazon offer no longer appears at Amazon.com.
RocketReviews.com’s Featured Rocketry Blog Posts page list posts selected from rocketry blogs that are especially interesting. The page displays summaries of featured posts with links to read the entire post or to view a list of related posts. The Featured Rocketry Blog Posts page gathers the best of the rocketry blogs in one place.
Facebook Integration has been added to RocketReviews.com. If you enable this option, the flights, builds, build entries, and reviews that you add to RocketReviews.com will be summarized and posted to your Facebook page automatically. The Facebook post will include a brief summary of the flight, build, build entry, or review followed by a link to read the entire article at RocketReviews.com.
To enable Facebook Integration, log into RocketReviews.com. Select “Facebook Integration” from the “My Account” menu. Click the “click here” link as directed. You will be taken to Facebook where, following the prompts, you can log into Facebook and authorize RocketReviews.com to post to the site.
RocketReviews.com can only post to your Facebook page when you are using RocketReviews.com and are logged into Facebook. If RocketReviews.com tries to post something to Facebook and you are not logged into Facebook, RocketReviews.com will prompt you to click a “click here” link to go to
Continue reading Facebook Integration …
Do you remember 2010? Bell-bottom jeans, cell phones the size of a loaf of bread, the new Atari 2600 ….
Okay, 2010 wasn’t that long ago. But, it’s been a while since Nick Esselmann kicked off the 2010 EMRR Challenge. I took over EMRR (now RocketReviews.com) at the end of that year. Although filled with an incredible amount of information about rocketry, EMMR had become difficult, almost impossible, to continue to maintain and enhance. So, I undertook the task of updating EMRR to a more extensible and maintainable architecture.
With the work it took to create RocketReviews.com and import information from the original EMRR, the Challenge and the contests related to it, often took a back seat. I apologize if this bothered anyone, but I had to prioritize my limited time and many of the things associated with contests took larger blocks of my time than working on the web site.
But … we are
Continue reading 2010 EMRR Challenge Winners Announced …
When viewing an image in the RocketReviews.com Photo Album, you may see a link under “What You Can Do” for ordering a t-shirt, printed photo, poster, genuine US postage stamp, or other product featuring the image. The currently link appears only under images you have uploaded to RocketReviews.com and under photos that I contributed (such as the photos I’ve taken at ROCK, NEFAR, and TTRA launches).
The link only appears under images which are large enough to print well on most of the products. Generally, an image must be more than 1000 pixels wide or 1000 pixels tall for it to print well on a t-shirt. For this reason, the site includes the link to order products only if the image is more than 1000 pixels wide or tall.
Later, an option will be added to allow you to specify if you’d like others to be able to use your images on products.
Continue reading Photo Album T-Shirts, Posters, Postage Stamps, and More …. …
RocketReviews.com was down a few times over the past few days after the primary hard drive generated I/O errors. Once an I/O error is recorded, the operating system sets the drive to be “read-only” to prevent corruption of the data on the drive. When this happened, RocketReviews.com and the other sites hosted on the server, began returning error messages.
When it first happened, I didn’t realize the cause of the problem and, in an attempt to get the sites back on line as quickly as possible, I rebooted the server. Unfortunately, that actually made it take longer to recover because the operating system was not able to shut down correctly. So, when it re-booted, the system ran a “file system check.” The file system check, because of the large size of the hard drives, takes several hours to complete.
When the same problem happened again, I asked my Internet Service Provider (ISP) to look into
Continue reading Up and Down – RocketReviews.com’s Roller Coaster Ride …