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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 08:04 AM UTC (Read 6140 times)  
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Help me fix my broke-ass stuff

TL;DR version: my cats are sick and a whole load of stuff somehow managed to choose today to break down, I need money for the vet bills to fix the cats and more money for spare parts and salvage to repair the machines, it's been an interesting day.

Long version:

Okay folks, let me tell you about my day.

I've had a perfect storm of shit breaking down, going wonky and needing attention, and some of these things are organic. First, my lion-sized outside cat (remember Leo / UncleDaddy? Yeah, that's the one) needed a microchip, flea treatment, fungal fur infection meds and his rabies booster. Couple hundred bucks - that was Friday. On Saturday, my inside cat Harley had to go and get `ihis`i microchip inserted. Then today, my van - a burgundy/pink 1989 GMC Vandura with tasteful rust accents that I got for nine hundred bucks because the bloke selling it had finally broken down in embarrassment and bought a blue one instead - started leaking something `igreen`i. This thing's already got a broken indicator relay, crunched back door, rotten spare wheel holder and a side step that's worryingly wobbly. Parts for these old vans aren't that expensive if you know where to look, and most of these are things I can fix myself, but it means taking time that I should be using to work on the Island.

After carefully driving my busted-ass van home, going slow and testing my brakes with increasing paranoia, I found out that my telly's gone tits-up again.

So let me tell you about my telly. It's a massive old rear-projection monster I found for a hundred bucks on Craigslist, sold cheap 'cause it wasn't quite as broken as the guy selling it thought it was. A few hours' worth of screwing around with magnetic centering and convergence adjustments, and it's right as rain - 'cept now it's lost all its convergence data, and the green part of the picture is six inches to the left of the red and blue, and the adjustments won't work. It's like watching an old-style 3D film, but without the glasses. Time for new convergence IC's, possibly a cap kit, almost certainly a bunch of fiddly little resistors, and a good afternoon's worth of time perusing the service manual followed by a couple of hours desoldering and resoldering and swearing like a fucking sailor.

The service manual is a terrifying document. The list of safety precautions goes on for eight pages - you'd expect it to be mostly about the thirty to fifty thousand volts stored in massive capacitors, ready to blow you across the room even if the set's turned off and been unplugged all day, but those well-beyond-lethal voltages only occupied a single paragraph. The rest seemed more concerned with the precise orientation and adjustment of the eight separate radiation shields and filters. Once you get beyond the "Those thick wires leading to the CRT anodes are red because they're more dangerous than lions, not because they're strawberry flavoured, you stupid bastard" sections (with such alarming headings as "Leakage Current Hot Check," "Picture Tube Implosion Warning," and "Hot Chassis Warning"), you get to the parts where it gets on with the business of reminding you how far you're in over your head, using such phrases as, and I quote:

"Turn the G deflection yoke and adjust the vertical raster inclination." What?
"The vertical incident illumination on the screen should be 20 lux or less." `iWhat?`i
"For this adjustment, the set should face East." WHAT.

The parts list contains, among other steampunkesque wonders, a "Ceramic Oscillator (500KHZ)," a "Crystal Resonator (8,000MHZ)," a "Purse Lock" (what), an "Analog Monolithic IC" (WHAT) and something called a "Ferrite Beads Core." According to the technician's manual, some of these parts are made by ACME. `iApparently there's a real company called ACME`i, and they make parts for arcane and dangerous old tellies. I'm not making this shit up.

The really, truly frightening part is that I know what all that incomprehensible twaddle `imeans`i. But it's not because I'm a smartass, and it's not because I `iwanted`i to learn this stuff - it's because I've never had the wedge to afford stuff that doesn't break down every few months.

Moments after I checked the diagnostic menu and got the error code that said my TV was well and truly bollocksed, my housemate told me that Harley was squinting, and her own cat Cami (who is purring in my lap right now) was both squinting and puking, and the microwave was acting weird. So, vet visits for both the cats and a new microwave (microwaves are the one thing I will absolutely never try to repair - if you think tellies and monitors are dangerous to work on, you wanna read about what goes on in a cavity magnetron), spare parts for the TV, and the fan on this laptop has just now, as I type this, started to grind. It's one of those magnetic-levitation jobs without bearings - they tend to somehow get demagnetized and not last terribly long, especially on old laptops that get pushed pretty hard (like this one). eBay has them sometimes, but they're kind of a bastard to find, so they cost ALL THE MONEY.

Oh... and then our commentary system broke too. Big Grin

So, yeah. A lot of things broke all at once today, and I could honestly do with some extra cash to help cover the vet bills and the cost of spare parts, and it'd be nice to take the van to a proper mechanic so I don't have to spend too much time away from the Island. Normally this all wouldn't be a problem, but it all came at once, and February was a stinker of a month donations-wise.

If you've already given some money to charity this month and you still find yourself with `ijust too much money,`i please chuck a couple of bucks in the hat and keep... I won't say "keep my cats in good health," because they're going to the vets regardless, but help keep this Caveman afloat, eh?


And then I remembered... Japan.

Perspective is a bitch sometimes.

So, put yerself in my situation - you can see the donations meter, you know I'm not exactly rolling in cash. A whole bunch of shit hit me all on one day, quite frankly I'm in trouble, and my resources are slim. On the other hand, Japan. What would you do?


 
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Matthew
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 08:18 AM UTC  
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An idea:

I would not begrudge you running ads. At all. I know a big part of the advertisement for this game is 'no ads', but sometimes life's a bitch, what can you do. How many pages are loaded? Each day? By how many people? Good Lord, just thinking about it is a bit staggering. That's a metric fuckton of hits, every day. That could probably translate to a good chunk of revenue! Below the donation coin slot is a perfect place for them; unobtrusive, out of the way, don't even have to glance twice at it if we don't want to, and if someone finds it really horribly offensive, then that's what adblock is for (though I would personally encourage people not to do that).

I can understand being frustrated about the nigh-constantly empty donation meter when the game's your livelihood. But, well, to be blunt, everyone else is just as broke.

Maybe even a system where ads show when the donation meter's empty, and goes away when someone kicks some money in. I can understand how that could have a bit of a draconian bent, though; 'donate or DEAL WITH ADS HAHAHA SUCKERS'.

It's a thought.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 03:56 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

An idea:

I would not begrudge you running ads. At all. I know a big part of the advertisement for this game is 'no ads', but sometimes life's a bitch, what can you do. How many pages are loaded? Each day? By how many people? Good Lord, just thinking about it is a bit staggering. That's a metric fuckton of hits, every day. That could probably translate to a good chunk of revenue! Below the donation coin slot is a perfect place for them; unobtrusive, out of the way, don't even have to glance twice at it if we don't want to, and if someone finds it really horribly offensive, then that's what adblock is for (though I would personally encourage people not to do that).

I can understand being frustrated about the nigh-constantly empty donation meter when the game's your livelihood. But, well, to be blunt, everyone else is just as broke.

Maybe even a system where ads show when the donation meter's empty, and goes away when someone kicks some money in. I can understand how that could have a bit of a draconian bent, though; 'donate or DEAL WITH ADS HAHAHA SUCKERS'.

It's a thought.



I used to run ads, don't anymore. Ads don't make money.


 
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dizzyizzy
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 04:28 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: Matthew

An idea:

I would not begrudge you running ads. At all. I know a big part of the advertisement for this game is 'no ads', but sometimes life's a bitch, what can you do. How many pages are loaded? Each day? By how many people? Good Lord, just thinking about it is a bit staggering. That's a metric fuckton of hits, every day. That could probably translate to a good chunk of revenue! Below the donation coin slot is a perfect place for them; unobtrusive, out of the way, don't even have to glance twice at it if we don't want to, and if someone finds it really horribly offensive, then that's what adblock is for (though I would personally encourage people not to do that).

I can understand being frustrated about the nigh-constantly empty donation meter when the game's your livelihood. But, well, to be blunt, everyone else is just as broke.

Maybe even a system where ads show when the donation meter's empty, and goes away when someone kicks some money in. I can understand how that could have a bit of a draconian bent, though; 'donate or DEAL WITH ADS HAHAHA SUCKERS'.

It's a thought.



I used to run ads, don't anymore. Ads don't make money.



But if they're gonna come up when people aren't donating, they would. Not the ads themselves, people desperately trying to get rid of them.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 04:35 PM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: CavemanJoe

Quote by: Matthew

An idea:

I would not begrudge you running ads. At all. I know a big part of the advertisement for this game is 'no ads', but sometimes life's a bitch, what can you do. How many pages are loaded? Each day? By how many people? Good Lord, just thinking about it is a bit staggering. That's a metric fuckton of hits, every day. That could probably translate to a good chunk of revenue! Below the donation coin slot is a perfect place for them; unobtrusive, out of the way, don't even have to glance twice at it if we don't want to, and if someone finds it really horribly offensive, then that's what adblock is for (though I would personally encourage people not to do that).

I can understand being frustrated about the nigh-constantly empty donation meter when the game's your livelihood. But, well, to be blunt, everyone else is just as broke.

Maybe even a system where ads show when the donation meter's empty, and goes away when someone kicks some money in. I can understand how that could have a bit of a draconian bent, though; 'donate or DEAL WITH ADS HAHAHA SUCKERS'.

It's a thought.



I used to run ads, don't anymore. Ads don't make money.



But if they're gonna come up when people aren't donating, they would. Not the ads themselves, people desperately trying to get rid of them.



Not an option - stuff like that is against the ToS of most ad providers.

Seriously, ads are worthless on this site.


 
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Chimental
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 04:51 PM UTC  
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May I suggest re-releasing the Emily Bundle? It's been a while since it was released and there's sure to be enough new players willing to buy the pack. Maybe split the profits between cat, computers, and charity?


I make the many models of a mutant individual. To make them I use vegetables, animals, and minerals. From robot bugs to zombie bears to many singing barnacles.
 
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Iriana
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 06:42 PM UTC  
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I agree. I don't know how many of the newer players that have cropped up lately are alts (a lot, I think) but I'm betting that enough are not-alts who would be willing to spend a bit on the Emily Bundle, or a similar package. It is a truly splendid deal, after all. You know, it probably ought to be a little /less/ of a good deal--so people will buy more.

I'm sure there are people who would buy multiple packages for their roleplay alts.

I will scrape the bottom of my metaphorical piggy bank and chuck a few dollars in the hat.


 
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Beeps
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 07:08 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Chimental

May I suggest re-releasing the Emily Bundle? It's been a while since it was released and there's sure to be enough new players willing to buy the pack. Maybe split the profits between cat, computers, and charity?



Obviously this would need to be some sort of new, "Murphy's Perfect Storm" bundle.

I was actually wondering if the Selection Boxes would be something that would be refreshed every other month or so - A limited quantity item that people scrambled for when they were released. How long did it take for the builder's boxes to vanish?


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Maniak
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 07:11 PM UTC  
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They lasted one day, last time. They might be a bit *too* cheap with their reduced prices.


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Trowa
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 07:58 PM UTC  
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I would totally be up for buying a new bundle if it came with a shiny, custom "Help CMJ Fix His Broke-Ass Stuff" Medal! I'll even spend all my points now so I actually have to donate again to buy it!

*shakes fist at two-remaining crate hunting medals that seem to evade him, and the Emily Bundle medal he'll never, ever, ever get but would eventually throw off the symmetry of his medal display anyway....*

I totally understand the trouble with sick cats, having a few myself. (Cats, not necessarily sick ones. Although that might change...) Wish I'd read this post first, though, before running my mouth in a different post. I tend to suffer from Chronic Foot-in-Mouth Disease. Fortunately the cure in this case seems to be more donations. And so I shall! Mr. Green ...just as soon as I check my balance...


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
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g_rock
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 08:20 PM UTC  
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As regards this...
[So, put yerself in my situation - you can see the donations meter, you know I'm not exactly rolling in cash. A whole bunch of shit hit me all on one day, quite frankly I'm in trouble, and my resources are slim. On the other hand, Japan. What would you do?]

I would say, post it, with a note about Japan. CMJs gotta eat, at least until you get those omniscient admin goggles for real life. Post, let people make up their own minds, and maybe donate anything above and beyond a predetermined amount (maybe enough to cover repairs on machines/mammals plus some amount of server costs) to the relief effort?

My two cents (Which, incidentally, is all I can afford to give right now... Oops! )


 
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Beeps
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 08:26 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Trowa

*shakes fist at two-remaining crate hunting medals that seem to evade him, and the Emily Bundle medal he'll never, ever, ever get but would eventually throw off the symmetry of his medal display anyway....*



The crate medals go:
Supreme Crate Finder - Find 10 crates.
Expert Crate Finder - Find 50 crates.
Supreme Crate Finder - Find 250 crates. (Wait, what?)

And crate appearances are based on donations, so if you're looking to get medals, start looking a while after you've donated. So get donating!

As for donations... I have $116 (That's an optimistic estimate) to make last until the 13th of next month, and only because I'm in such a financial bind that my roommate's covering my portion of the bills this month. And I just realized my phone bill comes before the 13th. If I magic up $400 in the next week, I'll give what I can.


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Matthew
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 09:29 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Seriously, ads are worthless on this site.



Not that I disbelieve you, but why is that? What makes them not worth it? I'll admit that I don't exactly have experience with with that kinda thing; never had a website to run ads on.


 
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Maniak
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 09:59 PM UTC  
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I'd buy favour. Or anything that could get me off the failboat without a newday. Current situation: Good Joker day. Plenty of stamina. 17 rounds of gargleblaster left. 58 favour. Yup.


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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 11:15 PM UTC  
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Seriously, ads are worthless on this site.



Not that I disbelieve you, but why is that? What makes them not worth it? I'll admit that I don't exactly have experience with with that kinda thing; never had a website to run ads on.



Yeah, sorry, I was a bit terse up there - sucky days.

Google ads aren't allowed on game sites, and Google can ban you and keep your money at any time and for any reason (up to and including no reason at all).

Project Wonderful ads bring in perhaps five to ten bucks a day on Improbable Island, and donations drop to about a quarter of their normal rate. No reason to donate to a site making money off ads, y'see.

Other ad networks mostly include terrible ads, and there isn't an ad network worth mentioning that still operates on non-unique page views. The click-through rate of ads on the Island was always terrible, and most people blocked them anyway.

Incidentally, ad blockers are why ads are getting worse - every drop of attention has to be squeezed out of the few people still not using ad blockers. Coincidentally, ads getting worse are also why more people are using ad blockers. It's not a model that's worth getting into unless you've got millions of people visiting every day, none of whom care enough to donate actual money.


 
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dizzyizzy
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 11:16 PM UTC  
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Here's a little bit more perspective:

First thing: I am not suggesting in the slightest that what happened to Japan was not terribleawful. It really was, and my heart goes out to them. That being said...


Japan was the best country for this to happen to. Since they have a mostly competent government, they've got plans in place that they immediately put into action. Remember Katrina? That is the opposite of what's happening in Japan. I'm about 85% certain they had crews fixing the air and sea ports before the shaking even stopped. They've been able to provide for the basic needs of their citizens adequately so far, and there are standing offers of help from the governments of several countries. Remember, we're not dealing with Haiti, This is a country that knows what it's doing and has the means to do it.

I'm not trying to downplay the tragedy, and I'm sorry if I've offended your sensibilities. I'm just saying that they don't need the full $20 from you right now. Maybe go $15 for the real island and $5 for the online one. Small tragedies are tragedies too.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Wednesday, March 16 2011 @ 11:33 PM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

Here's a little bit more perspective:

First thing: I am not suggesting in the slightest that what happened to Japan was not terribleawful. It really was, and my heart goes out to them. That being said...


Japan was the best country for this to happen to. Since they have a mostly competent government, they've got plans in place that they immediately put into action. Remember Katrina? That is the opposite of what's happening in Japan. I'm about 85% certain they had crews fixing the air and sea ports before the shaking even stopped. They've been able to provide for the basic needs of their citizens adequately so far, and there are standing offers of help from the governments of several countries. Remember, we're not dealing with Haiti, This is a country that knows what it's doing and has the means to do it.

I'm not trying to downplay the tragedy, and I'm sorry if I've offended your sensibilities. I'm just saying that they don't need the full $20 from you right now. Maybe go $15 for the real island and $5 for the online one. Small tragedies are tragedies too.



See, I knew we'd get around to this sooner or later.

You're right, of course. I'd just like to add that this is why I donate primarily to Doctors Without Borders - they don't do fundraising for specific events. You give them money, they say "We'll do whatever we think is best with this, and that might well include continuing efforts in areas which don't get media coverage because they're just too damned depressing to put on the news - areas which have had their much-needed funding diverted to this latest event. If you want this donation to all to go to the latest tragedy, look elsewhere." That's the reason why they don't want to do event-specific fundraising - the reason they don't have to is that they're organized enough to hoard some of your donations so that when something Really Big And Bad goes down, they're there, ready equipped with the resources they need and sorting shit out while everyone else is kicking up the fundraising.

It must be hard to be on their funds allocation staff. To help so many people, they must have hearts of stone.


 
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Raidur
 Thursday, March 17 2011 @ 08:17 AM UTC  
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I think the middle ground might be best at this point. Perhaps run a special of some sort, for... say, 2 weeks, half of the donations will go to charity. Doctors without Borders sounds like a good idea to me, they'll be helping in japan if they are needed anyway. But also, run something like the Emily bundle again for that time period. When you run specials, the donations do seem to go through the roof, at least from what I've seen. Either way, I get paid friday and I'll see what I can squeeze out between bills and living expenses. I love the island too much to see it go under.


 
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Felix V
 Thursday, March 17 2011 @ 09:57 AM UTC  
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As a faily new player, I have no idea what the emily module is, but I already want it!

Also, I already donated the maximum amount I want to give to japan. So you wouldn't be stealing bread (rice?) from anyone's mouth.


 
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Epaphus
 Tuesday, March 22 2011 @ 02:10 AM UTC  
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Okay, I'm gonna ask the question that needs to be asked. CMJ, why the heck are you watching television? There are bugs to fix, enhancements to code!--Get that nose back to ye olde grindstone, and press firmly.

The cats, I can understand: Every minion needs to keep his gods happy and healthy. But television? We slapped you in leg irons and chained you to that laptop for a reason, and it wasn't so you could catch up on reruns of "Sanford & Son." *
_____

* And don't tell me it's because you wanna watch the Z/Sessine sex video everyone's talking about. Who wants to be the first to insert a completely inappropriate "eating crow" joke here?


 
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