User talk: Joe Ellis

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Like userboxes?

I take it you like the userboxes? Neat idea. This was not possible with MediaWiki 1.5, but with 1.6alpha, there's lots more script/template support. I'm still adding (copying from Wikipedia) some boxes. TazzyTazzy 18:04, 23 January 2006 (EST)

Yeah, I like 'em ;) I put a few on my page. Had to figure out how to put them in tables to make the layout neat. I don't pretend to know how to create one from scratch, but I know enough HTML to figure out how to change an existing one. <<grin>>Joe Ellis 18:30, 23 January 2006 (EST)
You can also stack them like I do on my page so they "float" around the text on the right side of the page. Check out my source code on my user page. TazzyTazzy 18:55, 23 January 2006 (EST)

Userboxes and dashes

What are you trying to do with the User System template? Maybe I can help. I see a few revisions, but can't figure out your goal. Let me know and I'll see what I can come up with.

Many of the userbox templates call other templates. Some userboxes take 3 or 4 templates to complete a single userbox - sort of like calling functions upon functions to get something done. Kind of kludgy in way, but also allows us to create boxes using recycled code. I think this may be where you are having trouble, not sure what is calling what. This took me a long while to figure out and understand - and i'm a programmer.

If you're trying to make the number appear below the "code" IE: DT-1 should be DT(br)1.. Then, that you will need to change the system wide appearance of userboxes...which would apply to en-1, en-3, digitrax-2, NCE-3, etc etc. I was following the standard Wikipedia has set. I like the single and I like what you've done with the DCC-1 ( DCC(br)1 ) so that DCC 1 are on two lines. If this is the case, you'll need to modify Template:User blank-1 through -5. I suggestion making changes to Template:User blank-1 and see if you like the en-1, NCE-1, digitrax-1 userboxes. You can make the change, and the goto the DCCWikipedia:Userboxes page and see the boxes there so you don't have to add them to your own page or whatever.

Sorry for the long post. But I modified Template:User blank-1 to have the number below the letters. I think i like the "en-1" instead of "EN(BR)1" because it seem too big. I do like the numbers below the DCC though - more pronounced. Let me know what you think. Also, sorry if i'm rambling, it's late, and I should be bed.. And on that note - good nite. TazzyTazzy 02:39, 24 January 2006 (EST)

Ah-HAH! THAT'S where that dash has been hiding! Yes, the User blank-x template is the one I should have been working on - I couldn't find a dash anywhere in the template I was working with! I was going to add Lenz and some others, but didn't want to do it until I knew it was at least going to be consistant, no matter which way it worked.
Here's my reasoning on getting rid of the dash. Hyphens at the end of a line usually indicate a broken word, right? Yet the "system-x" looks like it should read as "NCE4" if it were on a single line. What we're really trying to say, though, is "NCE Level 4", isn't it? So then, no dash is called for because no words are broken. Graphically, too, the included dash sets the top line off to the left and off center in the box, and then the number below doesn't "support" it visually. OK, maybe I'm over-analyzing it some, but I've done a lot of layout over the years... back to the days when you did camera-ready artone letter at a time with rub-on Presstype, and did all your alignment by eye. The included dash just looks wrong to me! ;)
One more thing (he says at four in the morning... yawn). What about color? Am I assuming correctly that the colors are consistant across the levels? (Digitrax level 1 the same as NCE Level 1, all level 2, etc...) If so, we should probably make the other ranked items conform as well, such as the JMRI boxes... or should they all be the same color, and RR&Co have its own color? It can go either way, but we should try to be consistant.
Let me know, and I can take care of the modifications... tomorrow. No, it is tomorrow already... make that later today. Got to get some sleep! Joe Ellis 03:59, 24 January 2006 (EST)
I can see your point. I second your vote, "down with dashes". With the JMRI and RR&Co boxes, i went to the website of each one, and used their color schemes on their websites. This way, people familiar with their products will reconize the color scheme.
Again, i could go either way. Keep color schemes of the products, or standardize all color schemes to this website. I kind of like having the various colors - don't want to end up with office cube grey/blue all over and be boring...But at the same time, don't want useboxes to be distracting. I like the idea of using the colors of whatever the product is and I like the variation in color. I guess I change my "either way" to "leaning to diverse colors".
PS, I added section breaks to topics here so that I could edit a single section. :-) TazzyTazzy 12:08, 24 January 2006 (EST)

Add link from your site?

Joe, I saw that you maintain a website for your club. I was wondering, are you able to add a link to ? It's been rather hard to get people to link to this site since it's new, and most people are afraid of both Wiki's and new sites. Having more links to that address should help Google and Yahoo searches. Also, besure to you add your club to the Clubs page. I hope you consider this. Thanks.

Use some of your art work?

Joe, A found a file at the yahoo groups, Digitrax files area called "Block Boundries.gif" Was wondering if I could use that as part of a a block detection page? TazzyTazzy 12:58, 27 January 2006 (EST)

Ummm.... that's not mine. ;) Joe Ellis 10:08, 29 January 2006 (EST)

Develop DCC Code?

Maybe we should develop a DCC Code??? LOL.. I think it would be very funny, and fun to boot. Include DCC manufacturers, a couple general DCC topics, wiring levels, scales, computers, programming... Whatcha think? :-) TazzyTazzy 18:01, 14 February 2006 (EST)

Sounds like fun... but we wouldn't be able to have the "auto-decode" like the Geek Code. Well, I know _I_ haven't the chops to write it, anyway...
Let me see what I can put together for some ideas. I think it's going to repeat a lot of the stuff in the User Boxes, though... Joe Ellis 00:30, 15 February 2006 (EST)
Yea, it probably would repeat the userboxes. Hrrrm. I think for now, our energies can be better spent on creating more DCC content. I think once there is a bigger community, it would be more fun. However, near the end of my work day, my brain was getting tired, and I did come up with a few ideas. I'll post it tomorrow - it's on my work computer. Heh. Sometimes need to have fun. :-) Just a note, it is possible to have an encode/decode page within the Wiki system. But, part of the fun in having a "code" is that it's cryptic, so these special pages would be low priority for me.
Speaking of building a community here. Any thoughts on that? I've posted as many links around various places without being too intrusive. I've been trying to get other web sites to link to as well so others can find this site. As a result, it's been slowly climbing up Google/Yahoo search results.
Right now I'm working alot of project at home, so I haven't been able to write as much new content as I'd like, but I think this site will eventually catch on once people realize the power of a Wiki system AND that this site even exists. However, I know that good content is needed first to reach a "critical mass".
One last note, I want to thank you for contributing lots of your time here! I think if there were a couple more people like us, this site would take off even faster. TazzyTazzy 02:23, 15 February 2006 (EST)
Heheh... DCC Geek Code ..Have fun.. TazzyTazzy 11:49, 15 February 2006 (EST)

Yeah, I'm back

Sorry to have been away so long - real life intruded. Joe Ellis 21:23, 21 June 2006 (EDT)

I missed you! I haven't seen your posts in a very long time. I understand about real life getting in the way of fun. Work has a way of doing that to me - it seriously cuts into my DCC web surfing time. :-)
I'm glad to see you're back, and I see your up to your old tricks - fixing lots of errors. ;-) As you've noticed, I've added a few basic N-Scale pages to get that going.
I've been a little to busy to work on the DCCWiki much. I mostly just maintain the backend stuff - software upgrades, patches, etc. The stuff people don't see. I added a few domains to make it easier to find.. and .net, .org, .info . :-) Cheers! TazzyTazzy 22:20, 21 June 2006 (EDT)

DCC Waveform drawing

Joe -

I just came upon your drawing ( At first, I thought it was incorrect. Upon further inspection, I agree with what you are saying. However, I believe that it will lead the uninformed to assume that there is 24 volts across the two rails. Would you consider revamping it?

           Bruce Petrarca, Mr. DCC