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Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 04-27-2003 07:05

I think I owe to it everyone to at least dip my toes in the water, seeing as it's been an eternity since THE BOX was last brought up.

For those who don't know what THE BOX is...


The biggest reason I keep putting this off is because there has to be a working site implemented before THE BOX itself is sent into action. And there's just so much functionality I see going into it, all of which I would need others to help with. I just have so little time for such diversions anymore.

First, I was hoping to implement an upgraded version of Max's Asylum Locator to show the path of THE BOX. I'd love for there to be a form in which Holders could enter their own coordinates, resulting in a new dot on the map. (I've entertained the idea of including an inexpensive GPS receiver is funds could be raised.) I'd love even more for the map to have an option to draw a path between the points in order. From what I've read, however, Max appears to be too busy at the moment.

Additionally, I had imagined a forum for THE BOX in which people could plan meetings and discuss upcoming travels. Maintaing such a thing would require outside resources, however.

I also envision something like a table that lists all the hand-offs -- from whom, to whom, when, where, what the Gifty was and an automatically generated thumbnail of an uploaded photo. Click a link for more information and you get a page all about that particular Hand-off, with more photos and entries written by the giver and receiver about their experience. Clicking a dot on the aforementioned map would also take you to that page.

I've also been trying to work out how to limit access to the form where all the information is entered by the Holders. It would have to be password-protected. A password could be included inside THE BOX, but I just know the password would get out somehow and trolls would start entering info. Maybe not, I dunno.

Ideas? Offers?




[This message has been edited by Wes (edited 04-27-2003).]

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 04-27-2003 07:52

well, after MUCH reading (which i hate...and still didn't read all of it), i think this is a VERY COOL idea!!
i don't know if there's really anything that *i* personally could contribute other than a donation. i don't really have any ideas that would be any improvment to what's already been mentioned.
if there's some way you think i could be of help though, let me know...i'm all for it!
because i didn't read everything, did you ever come to a decision about handing it off or mailing it or both? if it's going to be a hand off type of thing then sometime in the next 2 years (yes, very large window there) i'll be going back to australia, and could drop the box in korea to suho (providing he's still there), or take it onto OZ for one of the other inmates. it's something to keep in mind anyways

also, is the p.o. box still the same as the one in the faq??? i'd be more than happy to fire off a money order next week if it is

also, i hope you DID get the 'Thats Some Mighty Fine Thinking There' Award for this!!

__________________________
Cell 1007::SST

Dracusis
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Brisbane, Australia
Insane since: Apr 2001

posted posted 04-27-2003 08:46

I was wondering what was happening with this.

Yes indeed, a website with as many bells and whistles would be grand but err, trying to organise people here to actually commit to something is a little difficult. Hell, the ripper-report and PS-PONG web projects are still in their teething stages. All be it part of that is because I'm a slack bugger and never seem to have enough time to get any work done on it but I think if you stick to building the features of the website out of projects other inmapes have done before then you've got a much higher chance of it being complete.

Steve build a flash based located for the GN and flash’d probably be a better idea if you wanted to actually plot lines on the map, otherwise you'd have to be looking at a server side solution which would be possible but not quite as shiny IMHO.

I think a GPS system would be overkill. After all, the appeal of this is somewhat about low tech. The fact that we can be in contact with each other in seconds via this forum, IM clients or e-mail makes getting something in the mail box THE BOX's main appeal. I don't think we should need anything too sophisticated for people to update THE BOX's website but I think careful consideration should be given to how the site is designed as the other half of the appeal is following THE BOX's journey from the web and I think this could be done in some very unique and special ways.

I think rather than a GPS system shelling out a little for a small and cheapish digital camera would be handy. I know most people already have these but for the inmates that don't have one then we'll still be able to get photos at each point of the journey. Personally I think that would be more important for everyone follow the box from the website.

As for the mail/hand-off thing; I always thought we would try and do hand-off's where possible and where members agreed to otherwise we'd just post it. Making it hand-off only would be really special but it would be rather limiting for a lot of the non-US inmates.

platyjim
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Fromsville
Insane since: Feb 2003

posted posted 04-27-2003 11:15

Does anyone know how a minor can get a paypal account without breaking any laws (too blatantly at least) I want to donate to this but im under the age limits or some silliness like that.

platyjim
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Fromsville
Insane since: Feb 2003

posted posted 04-27-2003 11:21

If the following makes no sense at all its because of a major case of sleep deprivation.

quote:
A password could be included inside THE BOX, but I just know the password would get out somehow and trolls would start entering info. Maybe not, I dunno.



I'm just thinking maybe there could be a "BOX Moderator" or something like that who we know wouldn't leak the password. Then each holder puts a new pass into the logbook and relays the pass to the "BOX Moderator" who changes the pass. This could limit the troll problem.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 04-27-2003 15:53

Wes: Good to see things are moving on this front. Some thoughts:

1. Bang in phpBB2 as you can use this as the basis of your user registration across the board (a lot of us can do this but it is pretty simple and quick and as you are learning PHP it might be worth your while doing it yourself).

2. If you haven't come up with a design for the site and then skin the board accordingly (Michael!!!!).

3. The Locator - TP (as well as Steve and I) have worked up a locator. If anyone was interested in going the Flash route (TP's was DHTML) then I know I'd be happy to provide the code for it and I can ask Steve and that could act as the base for what you want. You'd need someone to work on the maps and fiddle with things but the GN locator could provide ideas on various aspects you'll need to look into.

4. The Hand-off Table - you could hook this into the user database and when someone handed The BOX over they can add a comment and then select the name of the person they passed it on to (people with moderator status could pick up any times lazy buggers forget). This would avoid the problem of having one password. This would be pretty simple to do. You can allow them 2 comments - when they get handed the BOX and when they pass it on.


Some other thoughts (which I've learnt the hard way):

1. Keep the team as small as possible otherwise you'll end up spending a lot of your time chasing people.

2. Try and keep it rolling because if the momentum slips it can be tricky getting it running again.

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

docilebob
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: buttcrack of the midwest
Insane since: Oct 2000

posted posted 04-27-2003 16:30

I`d be glad to do the set up and skinning of the PHPbb.
I even have site space and and width, if needed.

I`m glad this is thrashing it`s way to life. Very cool project.

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 04-27-2003 17:20

I'm going to address more of this later, but I just wanted to note that the P.O. Box mentioned in the archived thread is defunct. Do not send anything to that address.

I didn't realize I had posted it in the forum. Is there any way someone can go in there and replace the address with [Address Defunct]? Don't want people's cash getting lost in the mail.


Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 04-27-2003 17:26

Wes: I can't but if you drop a note in the FAQ (and as you can never have too many links):

:FAQ:

then that should cover most people's questions.

Emps

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

platyjim
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Fromsville
Insane since: Feb 2003

posted posted 04-28-2003 01:19

How about something that'll generate a mapquest link that gives directions between two people. I think they have a feature that shows you landmarks within five miles of the route. And the url contains the information for the directions so it shouldn't be too hard with php or something like that.

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 04-28-2003 02:03

Ah, yes... I was wondering what happened to this as well. I thought it was a great idea then, and I still think it is a great idea now.

As for still being here in two years, Lacuna, yup, I'll still be here. And if you don't drop in for a visit on your next trip, I may have to get excessive with your shock treatments! ;-)

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 04-28-2003 05:45

oh suho! don't tease me like that!!!

__________________________
Cell 1007::SST

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 04-28-2003 05:57

Ah, but you would know I would never tease you about something so serious!

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 04-28-2003 15:31

Okay, let's see here...

quote:
Lacuna: i don't know if there's really anything that *i* personally could contribute other than a donation.


Don't trivialize a donation. I greatly appreciate any help anyone provides in the monetary area. Every dollar helps.

quote:
Lacuna: did you ever come to a decision about handing it off or mailing it or both?


Take a look under "Shipping THE BOX" on the Guidelines page.

quote:
Dracusis: I think a GPS system would be overkill. After all, the appeal of this is somewhat about low tech.


I certainly agree with the point you're making. My only reason for having the GPS device is to make it easier for people to locate their coordinates for entry on the tracking map.

quote:
Dracusis: a small and cheapish digital camera would be handy


I think that's a good idea, but I'm afraid that would cause a lot of problems. While a GPS receiver would simply have to be turned on to get your coords, a digital camera would be much more involved. Either the user would have to have the proper reader for the memory card or install the drivers to hook up the camera directly (as long as he has the proper connection, of course). We could use a camera that uses floppies, but the only one I know of is a Sony Mavica and you're talking $300. Then there are the people who would just not be able to figure out how to take a picture with it.

I really believe an overwhelming amount of time would be spent explaining to people how to get it to work. IMO, it's better to leave the photo responsibilities up to the individual. Each person could use what he's familiar with and would be able to keep the originals for himself.

quote:
Emperor: If anyone was interested in going the Flash route...then I know I'd be happy to provide the code for it...


Emps, you've just elected yourself as my locator man. Do you have a link to Steve's version so I can take a look? I can't seem to locate it. (Ah, the irony.)

quote:
Emperor: The Hand-off Table - you could hook this into the user database [of phpBB2]... This would avoid the problem of having one password.


Nifty solution. And I would love to have accounts integrated with functionality throughout the site. Maybe that'll be step one -- getting phpBB2 installed.

quote:
docilebob: I`d be glad to do the set up and skinning of the PHPbb. I even have site space and and width, if needed.


Thanks for the offer. I may set things up on my own host to begin with, but that may soon change.

quote:
platyjim: How about something that'll generate a mapquest link that gives directions between two people.


Last time I looked at something like this, I discovered that any such extensive linking to MapQuest requires a licensing arrangement. Besides, I think once two people decide they're going to hook up, they can find directions and organize the specifics of their meeting with their own resources.

Also, a note has been added to the FAQ concerning the P.O. Box.

In the meantime, here are what I think should be the first steps:

  1. Anyone who would like to make a donation, please do so at this time. No one is obligated, of course. I don't expect this of anyone. I can't guarantee anything in return. I can't even guarantee you will ever see THE BOX, so anything anyone contributes is greatly appreciated.
  2. The reason I ask for donations now is because I would like to go ahead and purchase the Pelican case that will become THE BOX. I will then photograph it and we can begin experimenting with designs. I think the final design of THE BOX should then be used as a basis for the design of the site, so that everything has a certain feel to it.
  3. If he agrees, Emps and I will start looking at the locator.
  4. I will try to find the time to install phpBB2, so we can use it in creating other functions. We could also use it for more BOX planning.



Veneficuz
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: A graveyard of dreams
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 04-28-2003 15:57
quote:
Emps, you've just elected yourself as my locator man. Do you have a link to Steve's version so I can take a look? I can't seem to locate it. (Ah, the irony.)



The Locator

_________________________
"There are 10 kinds of people; those who know binary, those who don't and those who start counting at zero"

krets
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: KC, KS
Insane since: Nov 2002

posted posted 04-28-2003 16:00

Maybe one of those cameras that takes the little sticker pictures? Lemme do a bit of Googling...
http://www.i-zone.com/products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=30587&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=398115&bmLocale=id&bmUID=1051538560481&PRDREG=ID&FromListing=1&SOURCE=catalog

Polaroid I-Zone (Copy/paste the link...)

Or a simple Polaroid camera would work too.

:::krets.net:::

[This message has been edited by krets (edited 04-28-2003).]

[This message has been edited by krets (edited 04-28-2003).]

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 04-28-2003 16:07

Wes:

quote:
Emps, you've just elected yourself as my locator man.



Steady now - the real work is in the Flash. The link is above anyway - I'll speak to Steve but you'll probably need a Flasher to do the hard work but I'll offer what advice I can

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 04-28-2003 17:36

To get phpBB driving your sitewide user authentication see:
www.ajquick.com/programming/phpbb/tutorial/
www.phpbbhacks.com

e.g.:
www.phpbbhacks.com/viewhack.php?id=139

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 04-28-2003 18:04

krets - I like the idea, but a roll is only 12 images. Every two or three people would have to track down the right type of film and reload it. (Hell, I'd use up the whole thing in one meeting.) And I'd bet some countries don't even have it. Besides, it would be used at the Hand-off and THE BOX should typically not be opened at the Hand-off.

I'm open to ideas, but I still think it's best to leave the photos up to the Holders. Anyway, this is something that can be discussed in the future. I'm more concerned with getting the site underway right now.

Emps - Sorry, I misunderstood you to mean that you and Steve had worked on it together.

Oh yeah, and !

I love that locator! I want it. It's beautiful! I must speak with this Steve. Do I know Steve by another name? Does he know about THE BOX? Inform the man.

krets
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: KC, KS
Insane since: Nov 2002

posted posted 04-28-2003 18:12

Yeah Wes, that would be Steve as he's known around here...
http://www.thegoldenmean.com

:::krets.net:::

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 04-28-2003 18:41

Wes: Steve and I did work on it together but he did all the hard work creating the Flash and I chipped in a few bits to hook it into the user authentication and the database

I have emailed Steve about this. However, you will still need a Flasher to work on the locator (I have Steve tied up from here until Doomsday - pos. literally if that is what it requires) but around these parts that isn't going to be a problem. You might also want someone to make a purely vector map - that would have some interesting possibilities (and I think I can track down some resources for a base image).

I was just thinking and it should be no problem to do take the data from the handoff table and pipe that into a locator so you can show the current position of the box and also plot its route. Lots of potential for some fancy stuff

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 04-28-2003 23:05

I've spoken to Steve about the map and, as it is a 'Family' project, he'd be happy to make the Flash available to The BOX project with a couple of caveats like it not being available for distribution (we don't want to have to spend the next few years dealing with queries about implementing it), etc. Whoever does the Flash may want to start from scratch but we have had to work through a lot of the problems that they will run across so it should help whoever takes on the job

Anyway there are various things that need to be in place first and you don't have to accept the offer but if it might prove useful then give us a yodel when you are ready

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-04-2003 23:01

Okay, so Steve contacted me and he's pretty willing to do what he can, but like myself, doesn't have a lot of time to develop something extensively.

As I see it, this map is going to be a major focal point of the site. Is there anyone who might be interested in pursuing this endeavor? I'd love to see this thing kicked off in the near future, but without a site to track its progress, there's not much point in sending THE BOX on its way.


Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 05-04-2003 23:28

Wes: Have you installed the forum yet as that really needs to be done first before anything is bolted on? There are plenty of more than capable Flashers around (for some reason Tikigod's name springs to mind but.....)

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-05-2003 03:38

I just spent the entire weekend trying to fix the audio in a package I did for the station, which was supposed to take me only a couple of hours. (I thought desktop editing was supposed to be easy nowadays. Ugh...the more I learn, the harder it gets.)

It looks like I might have a pretty normal schedule this week, so as long as I get the proper sleep, I may be able to catch up. I'll try to have the forum installed soon. Before I do it, is there any advice from anyone who has installed phpBB2 before?

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 05-05-2003 03:48

Wes: This is my advice:
www.ozoneasylum.com/Forum12/HTML/001361.html

Its a little basic and probably somene like WarMage might have more to add but it should be enough - if you had ICQ you could drop me aline if it all went wrong

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-05-2003 11:18

What interesting timing.

I'll try writing my butt off this week so I can make the time to install the board.

(Hmm...it's too bad writing one's butt off is not a legitimate tax deduction.)


tikigod
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: outside Augusta National
Insane since: Nov 2001

posted posted 05-08-2003 08:04

enps-

thanks for the ICQ . I would have responded sooner but I slipped a disk in my lower back last week so my time at a desktop computer is pretty much limited to work. I have just started using a laptop in bed while I'm at home.

I have been a big supporter of this project from the start and I would be more than happy to help out. I can write the actionscript for a map engine while at home but I would need someone to design the skin for the GUI. It a little harder to design with a touchpad while flat on your back.

I can easily salvage(and improve) the code on this map I made (in a rush) for the Iraq War.

I can easily supply whoever does the flash with a vector map. I can make these quickly with Arcview(a GIS package) it should only take me a couple of hours depending on how detailed of a map you need.

--tiki

ps. Sorry if I rambled- just took my percacet

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 05-08-2003 10:42

tikigod:

quote:
I would have responded sooner but I slipped a disk in my lower back last week so my time at a desktop computer is pretty much limited to work.



Ouch.

I'll drop you a line to clarify details.

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-08-2003 11:12

Yikes, tiki, I hope you get better.

Let's not worry too much about the detail of the map just yet. The final look will depend on the style of the site, anyway, which has yet to be designed. I assume that's something we can replace fairly easily, though.

Drop me an e-mail, too, and we can discuss the basic functionality as I see it.

Thanks for offering your help!

Rinswind 2th
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Den Haag: The Royal Residence
Insane since: Jul 2000

posted posted 05-09-2003 03:38

pffff done some reading.
OK here is another pair off hands. Where ever i could help i will gladly do so. I am a bit low on finances but the income is going up. Maybe i could donate later this month if it's still welcome.
But in the mean time i will support when possible.

__________________________________________
"Art has to be forgotten. Beauty must be realized."
Piet Mondriaan

Wes
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Inside THE BOX
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 05-11-2003 23:13

Okay, well, I've begun installing phpBB, but f*****g DreamHost is taking its sweet time creating the MySQL database I defined. Can't really do much till that's done.


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