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Old 01-17-2009, 07:56 AM   #1
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An open letter to Alex Turcic from a concerned MobileRead member

Dear Mr. Turcic:

Greetings! It is around 3 AM in the morning, the place is dead, and I just saw your MobileRead Week in Review post for this week, and it's as good a time as any to compose this letter.

The inspiration for this letter came from a recent announcement that you made about an upcoming server maintenance, where you said,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic View Post
Yeah... It's that time of the year again where we're planning a quick maintenance window for our servers and software. The maintenance will be performed on Sunday, Jan 18th at 4:00am Eastern Time and I don't expect any downtime for longer than five minutes.

Cheers,
Alex
There was something about this announcement which troubled me, albeit for a reason which I could not quite understand until after some persistent pondering on my part. After careful examination of my thoughts, I finally came to understand what it was that troubled me so. And it was that I do not see many announcements like this from you, that is, announcements of MR maintenance which would result in utter disruption of the use of these forums. I think the phrase "It's that time of year again" clues me in that this is an annual maintenance schedule. And this is a problem.

Mr. Turcic, you would be bestowing upon me--and I suspect upon a few other MR members as well--a wonderful benefit if you schedule more of these server maintenance periods. You see, if you do so, then there would at least be more periods of time wherein it would be absolutely impossible for me to access these forums, and thus regain some of the productive time that I used to own before I discovered MR. I think a daily maintenance schedule would be optimal. Besides increasing the rate of maintenance times, I would also highly recommend longer maintenance periods, say about 10 hours per day, which would at least give me the minimum time that I need to do the actual work that I am getting paid for. As it is, your 5-minute maintenance duration just doesn't cut it. And at 4 AM Eastern on January 18, I will not even be able to take advantage of this 5-minute down time because I am scheduled to then be about 30,000 feet up en route to some insignificant destination.

I put these forward for your consideration. Just think of all the wonderful improvements you will be able to make on these forums with such a maintenance schedule as I propose. I thank you for your good work and for the services these forums provide (for free) to eBook lovers everywhere. Despite my concerns, these are not lost on me.

Sincerely,
Seabound
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:34 AM   #2
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Sound recommendation there Seabound. But this isn't something we should rush into. Probably ought to discuss it a length in the various Forums. Maybe set up a poll. And we should sort out Zelda Pinwheel's avatar first. And maybe have a few meet ups on the subject.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:02 AM   #3
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hm. weren't you the one complaining recently about the conspicuous absence of the majority of the population, who were presumably sleeping at the time ? you can't have it both ways, you know. so which is it : lively discussion 24h / day and no sleep, or 10 hours offline so you can manage to go outside from time to time (and work) ? you're going to have to make up your mind.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:08 AM   #4
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Lucky for me at 10pm this board dies, so I don't stay up surfing and I get some actual sleep

But then, when I wake up, there's all these new posts.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
... you're going to have to make up your mind.
Technically, you don't have to make up your mind, but it probably helps. Just last week I spent three years learning the fine art of origami, and I made up my mind into a hat, a broach, and then a pterodactyl. I could have made it up into a pterodactyl-hat, but I find it musses up my long, flowing locks...which I guess is your point. Seabound, MAKE UP YOUR MIND, or end up with a bad hairdo.

Cheers,
Marc (What? It's after midnight? Whose "Eastern Time" is Alex referring to? Mine? The Ming Dynasty's? Hmm, might have to get out the water clock for accurate scheduling...)
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montsnmags View Post
Technically, you don't have to make up your mind, but it probably helps. Just last week I spent three years learning the fine art of origami, and I made up my mind into a hat, a broach, and then a pterodactyl. I could have made it up into a pterodactyl-hat, but I find it musses up my long, flowing locks...which I guess is your point. Seabound, MAKE UP YOUR MIND, or end up with a bad hairdo.

Cheers,
Marc (What? It's after midnight? Whose "Eastern Time" is Alex referring to? Mine? The Ming Dynasty's? Hmm, might have to get out the water clock for accurate scheduling...)
ooh, ooh, i vote for the pterodactyl !! make up your mind into a pterodactyl !! (but i'd like to see that pterodactyl hat, too).
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:08 AM   #7
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Hear hear, Seabound!! We could all use a gentle nudge from these boards.....some of us need a whack with a stick, but I"m concerned about the emotional toil that would be incurred......Perhaps, we could have an alternate site "ICE", (in case of emergency) where we could meet while this one was down.

Just a thought.

"HI! My name is Desertgrandma, and I'm a mobileread-aholic....Its been 8 hrs since I logged on, but truthfully, most of that was spent sleeping and on abolutions........."
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
hm. weren't you the one complaining recently about the conspicuous absence of the majority of the population, who were presumably sleeping at the time ? you can't have it both ways, you know. so which is it : lively discussion 24h / day and no sleep, or 10 hours offline so you can manage to go outside from time to time (and work) ? you're going to have to make up your mind.
Dear Ms. Pinwheel:

Yes, I vaguely recall that post of mine, now that you remind me of it. It is very clever of you to to notice the apparent contradictions between this and that post. But please allow me to explain myself.

It is a fact--and this is corroborated by Lilac's statement in this very thread--that these forums suffer a sharp decline in activity beginning around 10 PM to 11 PM Eastern. (Coincidentally, for some strange reason, this is around the same time that you disappear from these forums.) This MR dead time can last up to about 10 hours. (Again, coincidentally, the time when MR activity picks up happens around the same time you reappear in these forums.) In other words, MR dead time is a reality which I have learned to bravely accept. I am afraid not even Mr. Turcic has the power to remedy this situation. As far as disappointments go, I have suffered many with far more devastating consequences than this, and it is now only a mere irritation that everyone else logs out of MR when I log on.

Nevertheless, dead time notwithstanding, I still have free access to MR at all hours of the day. The forums still appear on my browser window, the many unread posts and threads still exist, and those quiet times invite the perusal of those posts no matter how arcane. And there is still that New Posts button at the top of the page which I am quite fond of pressing in the pathetic hope that someone will write a new post. In other words, never mind that everybody else leaves--I am still here.

Which is why I have put forward this new proposal to Mr. Turcic as I had outlined. I hope my explanations will help put to rest any misunderstandings that you had.

Kind regards,
Seabound
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Old 01-17-2009, 11:55 PM   #9
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ah yes, i do understand your dilemma, now that you've explained it (however, i take no personal responsibililty for any lull you may observe, i just want to make that clear. coincidences are more common than we realise). i have no ready solution to propose myself, although i can see why you would propose that particular one. i suppose i can only offer as a small attempt at consolation that we are all delighted to read your previous night's posts when we log back in the next morning. you could always try resetting your circadian clock. i, for instance, am apparently operating on Newfoundland time, for some incomprehensible reason.

and on that note, i must go to bed. nightly nightington !
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:01 AM   #10
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Since you are all bored, feel free to download my first upload- Wanted A Chaperon in LRF

Sorry, I am very proud of myself.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:04 AM   #11
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Since you are all bored, feel free to download my first upload- Wanted A Chaperon in LRF

Sorry, I am very proud of myself.
Will do, Lilac. And please don't apologize for a good job.
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:11 AM   #12
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Will do, Lilac. And please don't apologize for a good job.
It remains to be seen if I did a good job I've really got to figure out a way to get these great illustrations in...
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Old 01-18-2009, 12:11 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
ah yes, i do understand your dilemma, now that you've explained it (however, i take no personal responsibililty for any lull you may observe, i just want to make that clear. coincidences are more common than we realise).
It is better to give than to receive, and thus we are only too happy to offer you, based on your remarkable loquaciousness, responsibility for the lull without necessitating your willingness to take it. I like to shave with Ockham's Razor.

Quote:
...
i suppose i can only offer as a small attempt at consolation that we are all delighted to read your previous night's posts when we log back in the next morning.
...and, as an even smaller consolation, that I believe my particular timezone-circadia places me more often within the solitary confinement of catchup than its proximity to the dateline might otherwise suggest - living in the future, chasing the past.

Quote:
you could always try resetting your circadian clock. i, for instance, am apparently operating on Newfoundland time, for some incomprehensible reason.
I think we should set up ZZZelda Mean Time as our standard. It'll add variety, if we alter our arbitrary measurement of 4am your time to actually just mean "Whatever time Queen Zee goes to bed relative to the time you went to/will go to bed, uncorrected for time travel". I believe I'm currently operating somewhere between ZZZMT+9 and ZZZMT-fish.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:47 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by zelda_pinwheel View Post
ah yes, i do understand your dilemma, now that you've explained it (however, i take no personal responsibililty for any lull you may observe, i just want to make that clear. coincidences are more common than we realise). i have no ready solution to propose myself, although i can see why you would propose that particular one. i suppose i can only offer as a small attempt at consolation that we are all delighted to read your previous night's posts when we log back in the next morning. you could always try resetting your circadian clock. i, for instance, am apparently operating on Newfoundland time, for some incomprehensible reason.

and on that note, i must go to bed. nightly nightington !
Thank you for understanding, you are very kind. I did not mean to imply any causal relationship between the MR lull and your disappearance. I just thought you might be interested in the coincidence because it was so odd.

There is very little hope for my clock; I have tried many times to reset it. The problem is that mine is not circadian but more like circabidial (I made that up).
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:49 AM   #15
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Hear hear, Seabound!! We could all use a gentle nudge from these boards.....some of us need a whack with a stick, but I"m concerned about the emotional toil that would be incurred......Perhaps, we could have an alternate site "ICE", (in case of emergency) where we could meet while this one was down.

Just a thought.

"HI! My name is Desertgrandma, and I'm a mobileread-aholic....Its been 8 hrs since I logged on, but truthfully, most of that was spent sleeping and on abolutions........."
You tell it like it is, Grandma!
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