You'll probably have noticed the new Ladybumps section. It contains a large and growing number of large and growing stories. See below for more on Ladybumps.
How long it takes to download, for a start; that's why the file size is important. And then, how long is the clip; a few seconds, or much longer? How big is the window it plays in? Does it have sound? And the frames-per-second is an indication of movement quality.
But most of all, I thought, a picture gives you an idea of what's there. So I'm doing a little thumbnail for each clip, choosing a scene from the clip that gives you some idea of what it's about.
Aren't these files BIG!. So I squeezed a few of them between my thighs and made them a lot smaller. Of course, if you're not a Valkyrie, you can't do that, so here's what you might try.
A lot of video clips are made without using a sensible compression system (called a CODEC, compression - decompression). I sniffed around, and it looks like the Intel Codec Indeo 3.2 is pre-installed on all the computers I could find, and it works well. So I tried re-compressing the videos with that, and I found that some of them came down to a third of the size, or even less. If you'd wanted a clip before, but had been put off by the size of the file, have another look, it might be one of the ones I made 1/3 size. And if you tried a video before and it didn't work, chances are you didn't have the Codec that was used to make it. I've remade a lot of them with the Intel codec, so try them now, possibly they'll work on your system.
There's a similar peoblem with sound, and here you have to use an Audio Codec. Plus, you can use an audio/video interleave that isn't wasteful of space, and don't have every single frame a key frame. With all this, you can get AVI files that are comparable to MPG in size.
I also re-compressed clips that I know I could play, but that people have reported as not working on their systems. My guess is it's the codec; unless you have the right codec installed, you're stuffed. I remade the ones that I'd had reports on, using the Intel codec. So if you downloaded a clip that didn't work, look again, and if it's a different size now, I re-compressed it, and it's likely to work for you now. Oh, and one clip, wingchun, needed a major reduction in gamma correction, and it changed from almost unviewable, to nice and clear.
And I converted all the MOV files to AVI (the MOVs are still there, too).
Aren't I lucky - Valkyries don't have to understand all this geek stuff; just put the thing between your thighs and SQUEEZE. Anyway, go look, and you can probably find things you couldn't view before.
Quite a few members have asked me if I could put dates on the links, the way the Library and the Galleries have dates. So I thought a bit, and I thought, wouldn't it be great if you not only knew when a link is new, but also when the page linked to changes? And could we check out the links to see which ones don't work any more?
Every night at 5am, Lucretia the Links Valkyrie checks all these links, and updates the table. "Added" is when I added the link to the list, "Status" is the status of that page when Lucretia tries to read it. If it says "Server down", that could be a temporary problem, but if that condition persists for a number of days, then it could be that died and gone to wherever web sites go when they die. But don't give up just because Lucretia couldn't wake the server up, it might be that it was only down at the time she tried it.
"Updated" is when the page that Lucretia checks says it was last updated. This, of course might be misleading for a number of reasons. First, the site might be changing all the time, but not the page that Lucretia is watching. If your site is like that, then let me know a good page for Lucretia to watch for changes. Secondly, the site might not be changing, but there might be something on the page (like the date) that changes all the time, but that isn't a very interesting change! Thirdly, Lucretia isn't very patient with web sites. After waiting for a short while, she's smoke. Most web surfers are the same; if a site doesn't seem to respond, it's on to another one.
OK 301 means that the page reports that it's permanently moved, 302 that it's been temporarily moved. "Password needed" means that the page demands a password, and Lucretia doesn't know any passwords, Forbidden means that the server simply won't let her see that page (or you). And "Not Found" is the usual message that you see when you try to access a page that isn't there any more. Either the page doesn't exist, or it's been renamed or moved.
By the way, Lucretia tells me that all the rumours about her are false, and it's quite safe to eat her cooking.
We now have a Forrest Curran bookshop, with extracts from his stories, which tend to be book-length (or at least, a lot longer than the run-of-the-mill short story).
And I added a bunch more LH Art books for sale.
And I've opened up a CD Rom shop; the first item for sale is an archive of the alt.amazon-women.admirers newsgroup. Narella has taken out practically all the spam, we got rid of all the text files (you can see those on Deja News if you really want to), leaving just the pictures and the video clips, giving a CD Rom with over 9000 files, over 650 megabytes. To index it, I made thumbnails; smaller than the ones on the web site, but you can still see what the picture is before you load it. And you can use your browser to view the pictures (or Paintshop, which I prefer, and I've made Paintshop thumbnails too for use with their picture browser).
This is available to members for $25, including post, packing, shipping, handling and taxes. Non-members will pay $40, and I guess you can see that I hope it'll encourage them to sign up, and I think that once they've seen all the other good things, they'll stay.
Sonia Fernandez, lady wrestler will be doing a regular Friday chat session, at 3pm EST (that's 8pm UK time). You can see the Sonia Galleries, and she's also responsible for the one file that causes more bandwidth consumption than any other, the 18 minute video clip of Sonia vs Lutz wrestling.
When you go into the chat room, you can choose to view the last 300 messages, which is usually enough to cover the last 24 hours, so you can see what people have been chatting about. Of course, the flip side of that, is that anything you say, can be seen by people for quite a long time afterwards.
The regulars in the Clubhouse Chat Room are Peeping Tom, Crystal, Hardbody Paul, Steve, Blu (Nicole's husband) Lutz, Blasterman, Raging Bullwinkle, and if I missed anyone out, let me know!
When you go to the chat room, click on "Who's Here" if you want to see who's there, and then you just type into the box and press "Send Message".
Thanks to Soltan Gris for the impetus to set this up. I'd been thinking of it for some time, but it was his ftp that gave me the final nudge.
I took the stories I had on GLOBES (I used to run a story-server), added some from Soltan's ftp, contacted Some Sort of Dog (a prolific writer, and the creator of R & D, the newsletter for the field). I made a few new Message Boards, dug out some artwork, and behold! Ladybumps!
I also hooked up access to a few newsgroups that look like they might be appropriate, with the usual de-spamming and picture decoding.
It occurs to me that some people won't know where that expression comes from. It's a very English word, used by genteel young ladies who don't use vulgarities like "hooters". Plus, you can say "Ladybumps" on AOL without being TOSsed but a Guide.
As yet, it's mostly a story site. We'll see how it grows and develops. To find it, go to the Library and scroll down. You can't miss it. Or go to http://www.ladybumps.com
Correction - I added a Gallery already. Tina Small, who is rather ... different. More. Very ... bumpy.
Further correction - I added a bunch more Galleries.
If you have any material that would be suitable for adding to this site, do send it to me in the usual ways.
Sandra the Librarian. She does the Library searches on request, and she's also responsible for the What's New page, at 4:23 am every day, she looks at all the files on the site, and compiles a list of those stories and galleries added in the last couple of days, the last week, and the last month.
Greta the Graphics Valkyrie. She's the one that reads every news posting, and if there's a picture attached, she decodes it and makes a jpg (or gif) out of it.
Narella the Newsgroup despammer. It's her task to read the whole of every posted article, and decide whether it is spam, and if so, grey it out.
Corinne the Art Gallery Curator looks after the galleries. She checks to see if there are any new pictures and thumbnails, and if there are, she makes a Gallery out of them, and posts a link to it in the "New Accessions in the Gallery" page.
Sally the Accessions Valkyrie. She looks to see if there are any new stories in the Accessions bookshelf, and if there are, she moves them to the correct Bookshelf, and puts a link to it in the appropriate menu.
Lucretia the Links Valkyrie (explained above).
And finally Mavis. Mavis helps me by looking after the Message Boards; when there's more that 200 messages up, she chops out the oldest 100 messages, and creates an archive of them, which should help make the message boards run faster. She is also the Valkyrie who will answer you if you email me about lost passwords, requests for upgrade to Silver Membership, and various other simple and routine requests. So, counting up, you can see that they're the Seven Samurai (well, the Seven Valkyries). And that's not counting Nicole Bass, known as the baby Valkyrie, on account of she's so small and undernourished. Chicken soup, that's what she needs. Not rice and shrimp!
The #awa channel has moved again. Now to get on it, you go to a server irc.superchat.net and when you get there, say "Hello" to Athena, she's always there. And I'll be putting up the newsgroup archive, for free downloads. If you're persistent, and don't mind it taking a long time, you could eventually download the entire CD Rom for free. If you just wanted one or two of the pictures on it, though, that would make more sense.
If you do go there and you can't find me, or if it's moved again and you don't know where, then come and maybe find me on dalnet, in a channel there called #awa which is one that I'll create if necessary.
Ladybumps afficionados also have an IRC channel. It's on Dalnet, and it's #!!BE_LOFT and I hang out there sometimes. Funnily enough, I've bumped into some of the #awa regulars there. Small world, isn't it.
And people are *still* complaining about the spam. Folks, there's no point in posting in the newsgroup to complain about the spam; spammers don't read the newsgroup, they just copy their unwanted messages into thousands of newsgroups, on the prinicple that it costs them nothing and they might make some sales. If you want to do something about it, either use a de-spamming newsreader, or a de-spamming news server (like the one on the web site) or else complain to the spammer's ISP, or to the ISP's service provider, but that's not an easy thing to do, you have to work out where to complain from the headers.
You're probably heard of the Ms O contest, probably the number one competition in the calendar? I'm offering to sponsor the tenth prize in that, which means that I get to hand a check for $1000 to whoever wins that place.
And then I thought, I bet someone from the web site would really love to go up on stage and present that prize! Why should the Valkyrie have all the fun? So, if you're going to the Ms O contest in New York in November, and you promise me you'll wear a suit and make me proud of you, then you could be the lucky person who gets up on stage and hands over the envelope (I can't promise you'll get a kiss). Obviously, rather a lot of people are going to want to do that, so I'm stipulating that it has to be a member of the web site (because it's the members subscriptions that will be in that envelope), and then I'll do a draw to see who gets to give the prize.
Email me if you're going to be there, so I can have some idea.
So much change, I started to think, how will they find their way around? So I made the Magic Carpet, which gives you an easy way to go to whichever part of the site you want to get to. Bookmark the Main page (announcements go there, and you don't want to miss those) and the Magic Carpet, and you'll navigate the site like Sinbad the Sailor. Or maybe like Popeye the Sailorman, if you eat your spinach.
The new 23gb drive is in place, and Ladybumps is up and running. I just did a count-up, there's over five gigabytes of files on the server now, and growing ....
See you in the Chat room.