Aphelion Author Index 2013


Feedback to the editors about the zine not relating to any specific issue.

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Post October 21, 2013, 09:56:32 AM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

I chipped in a little more, and I have Sept's info saved.
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Post August 23, 2014, 03:33:50 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

The index doesn't seem to be working. Is it long dead, and I just didn't notice?
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Post August 23, 2014, 03:40:43 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

Tao was hosting it offsite, so...I don't know.

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Post August 23, 2014, 10:15:59 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

When the July flash contest ran last month, I wanted to search the indices for the title of a story. The author index wouldn’t open, but I figured it was my laptop misbehaving.

I don’t know if there is a way to search the main index by title or subject, but I did eyeball the listings of all the flash contest entries.
QW
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Post August 24, 2014, 01:07:08 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

Last time I tried to use Tao's author index, I got sent to a page saying the domain name was up for sale. Hope he kept a backup.
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Post September 22, 2014, 04:46:53 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013 and beyond!

Lester Curtis wrote:Last time I tried to use Tao's author index, I got sent to a page saying the domain name was up for sale. Hope he kept a backup.


QuietWhisper wrote:When the July flash contest ran last month, I wanted to search the indices for the title of a story. The author index wouldn’t open, but I figured it was my laptop misbehaving.

I don’t know if there is a way to search the main index by title or subject, but I did eyeball the listings of all the flash contest entries.
QW


doc wrote:Tao was hosting it offsite, so...I don't know.


kailhofer wrote:The index doesn't seem to be working. Is it long dead, and I just didn't notice?


All of you are partly right, and it's my fault, and finally today I went and fixed it. Let's do a bit of a rundown.

I've been in terrible emotional shape for some time now, getting worse this year, and it also wasn't clear anyone was even looking at it (until these notes, and our fresh new crop of users), and then/so my attention has been drifting away from it, so part one was I let it stagnate.

Then part two was Register.com's auto-renewal system conked out, but for a while I couldn't even figure out what it was because in some versions of my browser, I was getting blank pages, and then in another browser I did finally see the ads, and made it through to Register.com's renewal page and in a tiny link of "why are these ads here" I got the correct notice of "this page is under administrative protection, please call customer service." So I finally did that today, and an hour later, it's supposed to be back up for two more years. So for Kailhofer's comment, "long dead" is "sorta no, only since July" (for large values of "sorta".)

For Lester's comment, I absolutely have a backup. The index is built off of a certain notes program called MyInfo that contains my master build, and I paid $100 for the "killer app" feature in the Pro version that lets me spin out fresh copies of the index whenever I want with whatever new content I happen to have added. But in a few seconds I can even make a backup local copy for if I magically hit a nuclear bug and Fat-Thumb it, so I'll go do that soon. Then I think I used to keep variant backups by version code on my server.

So for QuietWhisper, it's definitely there now, so do two things:
- Check it now, and maybe try Control-F5 to try extra to try to dump the bad page you might have gotten last time in the browser cache and re-load the real one. Then if you still can't get it to load, I promise I am at least returning from Cthulu's Stomach where I've been and I'll treat it like a tech support question. But the export is pretty good, so it should load. So since you mentioned July, that was when the domain was hiccupping. But since you said you eyeballed the Flash listings, that tells me at least earlier you know what it's supposed to look like. So presuming everyone can see it, let's get to usability.

To prevent this from being a turbo wall of text, see my next post.
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Post September 22, 2014, 05:24:53 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

Out of curiosity when do you think we will be up to date on the index/archive? Not that I am complaining just wondering FYI kind of thing?
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Post September 22, 2014, 05:56:06 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

EddieSullivan wrote:Out of curiosity when do you think we will be up to date on the index/archive? Not that I am complaining just wondering FYI kind of thing?


I don't know. Last year and into this one a tax prep class and then a bad work experience this year summoned a Depression Monster that I am only just barely starting to fight. I do know it helps and feels good to be able to see and report progress because I think there might be more loose ends than some people realize especially as I try to both catch up and try a few mad scientist experiments. Since this is already the sprawling thread, I can consider making a second short one for "Archive Milestones" that would have very few announcements for people who don't want to get bogged down in the "work log" in this thread.

QuietWhisper, something that might help you is down in Experiments and Tests. I began testing a "global list" that can then be searchable by title or author, and something similar for the Flash challenges.

One problem is, my first version of this whole index was on another program almost identical in concept, but then I found a devastating database flaw in it, and had to switch. I don't yet know how easy it is to create a new global index in the new program. The process has to do with export capabilities, and I haven't tested this yet in the new program.

Hoping that I can get going on all this again, my work style involves a lot of progress updates. I got one set of comments that it all can look like I am "showing off". Instead, I meant it in more of Firefox's "Aurora Development testing" channel, where I spin out fairly quick updates because I work "laterally" with a bit of everything in stages and rough layers, and not everything all drilled out cold. That's why I buried them all in this Hydra-Thread. The rabid what's new types can pore over them, others can just skim it and go back to the other stuff.
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Post September 22, 2014, 05:59:55 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

:D Well do your best that is all we can ask.
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Post September 22, 2014, 06:25:21 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

My server upload is working too so that's fixed as well.

Heh so I'm pretty badly tired but I gotta do something for five hours before I crash to sleep so I don't keep waking up at midnight!
:)

So I might as well smash some stuff in and fix a couple bugs and then flip the version code so I at least know where I am re-starting. I think I'll start with the Flash since it will be much easier to break the ice, because I haven't practiced making the "archive issues" of the main zine yet and it kept making me nervous last time so I need what's left of my A-Game before I go near that side.

Also because it's the same crowd that actually posts here.

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Post September 23, 2014, 12:16:14 AM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

Tao, Thanks for addressing my question about the index.
As you surmised, I used to browse the main index to see the flash stories. The Fun & Games indices by month did still work. I had been checking that my generic contest title hadn’t been used.

I looked at your Global list, by author, of titles; copied it to a file; searched for a title. Seemed to work. This was brute force copy-paste-search in an MSOffice app. Importing, exporting, data query, et cetera just consumed an unproductive hour of my ever shorter life to no avail. If your only tool is copy-paste, then every problem. . . .

I wish you strength and success with the problem in your private life. Good to see you back in the contests.
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Post September 23, 2014, 02:40:50 AM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

QuietWhisper wrote:Tao, Thanks for addressing my question about the index.
As you surmised, I used to browse the main index to see the flash stories. The Fun & Games indices by month did still work. I had been checking that my generic contest title hadn’t been used.

I looked at your Global list, by author, of titles; copied it to a file; searched for a title. Seemed to work. This was brute force copy-paste-search in an MSOffice app. Importing, exporting, data query, et cetera just consumed an unproductive hour of my ever shorter life to no avail. If your only tool is copy-paste, then every problem. . . .

I wish you strength and success with the problem in your private life. Good to see you back in the contests.
QW


Yikes for the lost time!

One of the challenges I face and why this kind of project can chew up my time "behind the scenes" is because with each release I split my time between "working harder" and some mad-scientist "working smarter". The Mad Scientist section is expressly to build in subtle little tricks to allow people to explore the info in their own way. The problem is, some of the tricks are "chained", so like a puzzle game, the solution can be pretty fast, but it's far from obvious. And because in Mad Scientist mode, I keep layering tricks together, documenting each series longhand without knowing who will need them is shots in the dark.

Did you ever see that old puzzle "Rubik's Magic"? In my view it's as much about some math concepts on how the strings of the plastic link together, like an exhibit for a Topology class. But once you know the trick, the solution takes about a minute and it's easy as pie (unlike the cube!)

So I advise anyone who wants to explore the data in some way to drop a line here first before they feel like they are in a puzzle game, to see if the Mad Scientist has found a trick.

For example, if you're searching for a title, directly in the browser, try using the "Find" Command. In my quick tests, in both Firefox and IE Explorer, that's Control F.

So let's say you remember some sort of fragmentary word in a title like "it's either child or children, so I'll put in "chi" as my search. Then you can hit "next" to your heart's content. But if you just put in "chi", a little surprise pops up: you also pull in a "forum poem" called "Yet Still the Chickens Come" from Nov. 2, 2012. (As well as all the ones about children.)

Yet what were you exporting? Supposing you had found your two titles, would you have been done?

The mad scientist had thought of that too. So bear with me it's slightly broken right now, but imagine the following set of steps.
1. Copy and paste the global list into a text file.
2. Do Replace-All the word Issue with *Issue and save that text file.
3. Replace-All the word "The" with nothing to delete all cases of it
3. Select all and copy
4. Open up a spreadsheet. (I only have Libre office right now, but I recall this trick used to work in Excel and Kingsoft.)
5. Paste into the top left corner which should bring up a text importer
6. Set something like "delimiter = other" and the * character and hit ok or go or whatever.

Ideally I'd have these kinds of special copies already posted down there in Experiments to save you the trouble.

With luck, you now have a spreadsheet that you can sort to your heart's content of titles by first word, or by issue and theoretically by author (but it wasn't at all working that time. But in the broken version the authors show up too, in the wrong column. Look at Richard Tornello's section - if I had gotten the whole list to look like his, it might have, and then you would have had four things to cross-sort by.)

Further tricks tap the power of the spreadsheets so for example intermediate level tricks include selecting four authors you want, on the next tab to the right you put like a $ sign, then you filter by the $ sign and THEN sort, and you get only your four authors sorted, and then export it to whatever.

Let's do another one!
"I am writing a class essay about children in science fiction / fantasy / horror. I want to study all the stories and poems in Aphelion about children, with a list of citations."
(I'm typing this at 4AM so the steps are a little off, so bear with me.)
1. Once you have that spreadsheet, you make a new tab (spreadsheets can have tabs remember, to do different things!).
2. In the text file replace chil with $chil
3. Re-import into the new tab with $ as the delimiter / splitter
4. In the spreadsheet this means you have an otherwise empty tab with your answer in it.
5. A little cleanup and re-sort as you need it.

Not counting some breaks in my data, the answer is (main section only for this example, not the flash) :

Only children *Issue 011
Speaker's child *Issue 023
Boil a Manchild for Odin *Issue 029
Come Close, children *Issue 040
Poem # 25 One More Circus Balloon In My Hand: Goodbye childhood, Hello "Real" World Forum Poem

And so on!

Whee! Blinded by Science!
:D

What do you think? Did you find what you were looking for? You said you had "no avail" last time, so can I help?
But putting in the formatting of these tricks takes more time, and there's only so far the mad scientist can out-think offbeat needs of the readers!

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Post September 23, 2014, 04:43:37 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

TaoPhoenix wrote:
What do you think? Did you find what you were looking for? You said you had "no avail" last time, so can I help?


Searching directly in the browser is the immediate solution for me. It works fine in Windows IE.
Thanks for the details of importing data. I loaded some of it into Excel last night, but didn’t delimit it properly. Next time I will sort text first, then extract the sorted data. As happens, my connection last night was very slow, and the file was large.
In the flash contests, I rely on the editor and other contestants for background references. Some SFF websites also categorize their flash stories by subject, so one can read a dozen stories about the contest topic. So, sorting online by a keyword, like “tags” do, should give me results.
QW

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Post September 23, 2014, 05:21:44 PM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2013

QuietWhisper wrote:
TaoPhoenix wrote:
What do you think? Did you find what you were looking for? You said you had "no avail" last time, so can I help?


Searching directly in the browser is the immediate solution for me. It works fine in Windows IE.
Thanks for the details of importing data. I loaded some of it into Excel last night, but didn’t delimit it properly. Next time I will sort text first, then extract the sorted data. As happens, my connection last night was very slow, and the file was large.
In the flash contests, I rely on the editor and other contestants for background references. Some SFF websites also categorize their flash stories by subject, so one can read a dozen stories about the contest topic. So, sorting online by a keyword, like “tags” do, should give me results.
QW


Well, I'm glad I got you half way there!

For the rest of it, it comes to limits on the method I chose a while back. The program I use is a text structured tree lister, with a web based exporter. I'm sorry it didn't delimit all the way during import - that's one reason it was down there in experiments. It's far from clear if I can even fix all of the glitches since I rely on the export of my program and I'm already pushing its limits because besides simple output formatting, there are logic issues between machine friendly and visual friendly information, plus we have some semi uncategorizable material that breaks standard layouts.

Even if somehow I could, I don't have a way to get tags in coherently, besides the terrific judgement problem of what tags to put there at all. Especially given our style of challenges! "Include a two-headed creature in your humorous story." The actual story themes went in all kinds of fantastic directions!
:cry:

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Post October 05, 2015, 01:33:14 AM

Trying to restart the index for 2016

Whew!

This was started in better times!

My health crashed, and I am barely pulling back together. Meanwhile there has been lots of great Aphelion stuff going on!

It's obvious by now (with a few blunders from me!) I just don't have the knack to make the old style pages, so I asked Dan to look for someone to put those up.

However, for my side of the system, it turns out that a medium clever Google Advanced search gets there pretty well.

The exact style of the link is a little different, more as a long link rather than "behind the text", but that's the best I can do. It's better for it to be up and different than getting older and older.

So first I'm going to start a new section of the issues step by step, and then later I'll filter those results up. It's going to be a long slow grind, so I've gotten varying feedback before, on how many notes you all want to see here.

So maybe a different way to look at it, is depending on how much you look and how often I post them out, the top of the index (or maybe a little tab nearby) will start to have change log style notes, as I am doing this with a bit of a software mentality. I am trying for a few medium-fast pushes just to boost my morale and get going, before maybe later I'll hunker down and try for a big update. Watch for software style versioning too, with the "first number" being the big overall class of the status, and the "sub numbering or lettering (as my fickleness changes)" being indications of smaller stuff going on.

Anyone who is actively interested is again encouraged to post notes here and I'll try to push those requests out in one of the small updates fairly quickly. If I really hit a milestone, I'll post another big memo here.

The new issues section will start where the old ones leave off, meaning only about two years worth so far.

EDIT:

WOW this new method is astonishingly fast! They'll look a bit bumpy, but I'll have the last two years of issues up in a day or two!

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Post October 05, 2015, 11:32:20 AM

Alien Trash - Richard Tornello or Robin Lipinski?

Hey you poetry veterans!

From November 2014 I have a mismatch.

Alien Trash
http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/poetry/ ... Trash.html

The index (And Google) has it Richard Tornello but the byline on the poem is Robin Lipinski.
Will the Real Alien Trash ... please stand up ... ... please stand up ... ... please stand up ... !

:o

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Post February 11, 2016, 02:26:18 AM

Re: Aphelion Author Index 2016

I'm struggling but I'm still here.

This is an interim report just to freshen some news.

I had a decent desktop for its day, which lasted a good couple years longer than "industry average", but in some rocky times for me, I ended up being about three months too late for a clean "exit strategy" to properly prepare for an upgrade. I am rather proud that the longest "mission goal" for a specific type of project purchase worked - my old machine was custom built medium-high end for its day as the first generation of Quad Core computing, which though faster now, is still in the center of the computing model today.

... Then it crashed!

Fortunately, it seems to have been some kind of cpu-type overheat or whatever, because my brother has a couple of contcts with computer people and they ran a low level hard disk drive reader and recovered basically all my essential data. (The second drive with random notes was gone but no biggie.)

And ... it was daunting to do the final step of going straight from Win XP straight into (forecasting from then, what is now called) Windows 10, so it's as fresh and modern as it gets. Mission ...

And then the big test came.

The information notes manager program tech that I built my archive on ... has a good lead developer, and has kept up, and it didn't age out. The file came through intact from the HD save. My new machine is once again just a hair above average, and the whole process works. So the archives will keep going.

I have to re-learn little things like updated server settings from my host provider, but that's just a couple of sharp days of focus.

So I just am glad to report that the engine behind the archive seems alive and well!

As for issues, html just falls outside my style of tech instincts, so I just am not able to produce those. But early reports (on a local copy I have) I can very nearly reverse engineer them from Google Advanced searches. A couple of questions popped up here and there, but I have most of it.

Dan, I should talk to you later about your editorials ; they are the missing link.

And I'll be doing more board posts very soon.
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