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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

2 days 22 hours ago

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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-914 AEC Articulated Lorry (1965-70)

3 weeks 4 days ago

Dinky 582/982 Pullmore - Dark Blue Cab/Dark Blue Body

3 weeks 4 days ago

-914 AEC Articulated Lorry (1965-70)

2 months 5 days ago

-163 Bristol 450 Sports Coupé (1956-60)

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-163 Bristol 450 Sports Coupé (1956-60)

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-914 AEC Articulated Lorry (1965-70)

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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-508 DAF

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--14c and 401Coventry Climax Fork Lift Truck (1949-64)

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FRENCH DINKY TALBOT LAGO

3 months 4 hours ago

-Boxes General Discussions including end flaps, both British and French

3 months 4 hours ago

--14c and 401Coventry Climax Fork Lift Truck (1949-64)

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--14c and 401Coventry Climax Fork Lift Truck (1949-64)

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-508 DAF

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023

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-508 DAF

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-508 DAF

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DTCAwebsite upgrade 2023 (cont...)

RaviBee's picture
RaviBee
Online
CanadaDTCA MemberPostwar

John, in July this year I pinned a post in the FB Dinky Toys Collectors Group advertising the DTCA. The post has been viewed by 1000 members. Hopefully more references to the DTCA in this and other FB Dinky groups might draw individuals to the DTCA website.

binnsboy650
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DTCA MemberUK

Well done, Ravi! I must look for more opportunities to do the same.

Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Yesterday I received the January 2024 Journal and I was very disappointed, yes very angry. Not a single word from the chairman or anyone else in the Journal about the forum's problems. No word to solve it. On 17 December 2023 I sent an email about the forum's problems to our chairman Michael Driver as I indicated on the forum. No response received. Not on the forum and not by email. Now also nothing about it in the Journal. As if nothing is wrong. After a year of promises and waiting, still no photos can be uploaded. I no longer believe in it that this can be repaired and I feel cheated because the chairman has not responded to our problems in any way. I'm just saying it how I feel. I am for open communication and say how I feel about this in a polite manner. I hope Al Keeling reads this and is willing to fully disclose why this can't be resolved. Are the repair costs the problem or are you not getting enough support to solve the problem? Is there no suitable software available or can it no longer be repaired at all? Just tell us what's going on and if it can't be repaired, just say so so we know where we stand.
I have a number of articles that I would normally like to post on the forum, but it has been impossible for a year. My enthusiasm breaks down.
Kind regards, Jan Oldenhuis

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

I agree with every word Jan has written. The situation has become untenable and it is inexcusable that the latest Journal (I have of course not received my copy yet in California) should not even mention the website and difficulties with it.

I will write an open letter to Michael soon and share that here. But the short version is that the DTCA needs to hire professional help to get the website working as its very highest priority. It is not an option, it is a matter of life or death for the club.

janwerner's picture
janwerner
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

I agree, Jan and Jon, and you have my full support. The last words of my article in the January issue were: 'Let's hope that in the meantime the DTCA's website and forum, which we sadly missed in the past year, will be fully restored in 2024, for the benefit of all of us'. I really thought that on publication of this January issue the problems would be solved again. In vain, apparently.

MB Simiele
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DTCA MemberUSA

Jan, like Jon said your spot on. There is no communication or updates and as members of our club you think there would be.

Jon, please do reach out to Michael. I never heard back from him when I emailed him on October 7th.

kasvd
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DTCA Member

For me the main reason for being a DTCA member is this wonderfull website loaded with all this knowledge.
I’ve got lots of great rare findings i want to share with you all, so please get this website working.
An update is much appreciated.

binnsboy650
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DTCA MemberUK

I can only agree with the opinions expressed above. This site should be where the world comes for Dinky knowledge and advice yet things here seem completely static. Meanwhile, the Dinky Toy Collectors Group on Facebook goes from strength to strength with 11k members.

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

I sent the following open letter to Michael Driver today. Hopefully he will respond and take action.

Dear Michael,

I don't think we have corresponded before. I wish we could meet in person over tea and biscuits (make mine Digestives and Bourbon Creams please), but since I'm in California and my health makes travel difficult, this will have to do.

I'm writing this open letter on behalf of myself and at least half a dozen other DTCA members. As I know you are aware, the DTCA website has been out of order since March 2023, nearly a year now, with the result that members cannot post images. This has brought useful communications to a halt.

Progress reports regarding a fix have been few and far between, and unless I am mistaken, the DTCA Journal has not published any information regarding the state of the website. Further, the July 2023 Journal reports regarding the AGM made no mention whatsoever of the complaints/comments about the website that were raised on the behalf of overseas members by the late David Busfield.

From this lack of information, as well as the lack of participation online by DTCA officials, it seems clear that many view the DTCA website as an afterthought at best. Perhaps some are just too old to be comfortable with technology?

But no, I don't think that age can be an excuse. After all, DTCA member Jacques Dujardin was, I believe, born in 1941, yet he has singlehandedly created a website on disk that is the world's best Dinky Toys resource, continuously updated and going beyond any previously published books. In fact, Jacques has said he would be willing if suitably compensated to see the Dinky Toys Encyclopedia made part of the DTCA website. Requiring a member login of course, it would be the ultimate perk for members.

Getting back to the present, the DTCA website needs to be repaired at once before all remaining momentum is lost. Not only do overseas members rely on it for our lifeline to the club, but also the articles there are a vital source of Dinky information. They become all the more important as many collectors who had first-hand knowledge sadly pass away.

As you know, some DTCA members have left, or are planning to leave, the club because of the website issue. (Personally, I am stubbornly hanging on.) Meanwhile, the largest group on Facebook devoted to Dinky Toys -- there are multiple such groups, actually -- now has more than 11,000 members.

That growth is despite the fact that Facebook provides no way to organize information well or publish articles. The search facilities are also poor. Yet, collectors are turning to it out of desperation and a hunger to share information. Can you imagine if even one percent of these 11,000 Dinky collectors, much less ten percent, were to join the DTCA?

Al Keeling has been doing his best with the website, I know, and his efforts are appreciated. But it is past time for the DTCA to hire professional help and get the site working -- at once. This is nothing less than an existential threat to the club.

Professional assistance will cost money, but this needs to be prioritised over every other expense. If necessary, Vectis should be asked to assist, extending its existing support for the Journal. They could be rewarded with ad banners on the website, which would link to the latest diecast auctions and would be a "win win" for everybody.

I understand that things are not easy for you and the other DTCA members volunteering their time to keep the club going, especially with none of us getting any younger. Perhaps with those of us who remember Dinky Toys drying off, the DTCA will inevitably dwindle and turn to dust. Perhaps even a well-functioning DTCA website, with innovations such as an online Dinky Toys Encyclopedia, would not bring new members to the club.

Obviously, I am not ready to listen to these counsels of despair, as I hope you are not. And, even if Dinky Toy collecting has passed its peak ...

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Yours faithfully,
Jonathan
#754

DavidT
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DTCA Member

Jonathan, you have put my thoughts exactly to print, the web site should be the holy grail of information regarding Dinkys, in fact as a collector of all things that came out of the MECCANO factory would like to see a super site to combine all.
I look forward to once again contributing.
David

binnsboy650
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DTCA MemberUK

Well put, Jonathan. The DTCA website is surely central to attracting new members to succeed we oldies. Also, so much information is still in the heads of long-standing members and, if there's no viable means of disseminating that information, the world of Dinky will be the poorer.

fodenway's picture
fodenway
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DTCA MemberUK

I share other members frustration concerning the difficulties with the site, and the problems encountered in posting images. I am in no way tech-savvy, quite the opposite in fact - "cyberphobic " might be a better description - but somehow (don't ask me how! ) I managed to post a photo on the 582/982 Pullmore - dark blue cab/dark blue body section. For some unknown reason, around a quarter of the image is missing, I don't know whether I did something wrong, or the witchcraft within the site did something. It took me quite some time and several attempts to get that far, but my message is that if I can do it, almost anyone else should be able to! Don't give up, if at first you don't succeed etc.!

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

I appreciate the support that other members have given to my open letter to Michael Driver regarding the status of this website. Unfortunately since writing it I learned (via receipt of the January Journal) that Vectis is, for unspecified reasons, no longer supporting the Journal's publication, so I presume that my notion they might help fund the website operation is a non-starter.

Meantime more than a week after writing Michael in what I had meant to be a kind and constructive manner, I have had no reply from him. I see above that esteemed member Jan Oldenhuis, whose contributions to the forum have been detailed and wonderful, never received the courtesy of a reply either . Nor does there seem to be the slightest inclination for Michael or anyone else in DTCA officialdom to actually deign to use the website.

Are we now witnessing the collapse of the DTCA? I sincerely hope not, but for many of us, especially overseas members, who have felt spurned and ignored for nearly a year now, it is going to be hard to "forgive and forget" and contribute as in the past -- either financially or in any other way.

Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Jonathan. This is very sad news that you too have not received any response from Michael Driver or anyone else from the board. This strikes me as very heartless. The fact that Vectis has withdrawn in terms of financial contribution is of course very unfavorable for the financial stability of the club. This is, now that the website needs to be updated and an x amount of money costs, will be very inconvenient. It would be nice if, for example, QDT or other related auction sites could fill that gap. But that is outside the communication you would expect from a chairman. I expected to receive a message with a possible solution and an estimate of the costs involved. We can then look at how this can be tackled and how we as a club can obtain the finances. The board could do its best for these plans and implementation in collaboration with the members. I'm thinking about what else can be done about it.
Jan Oldenhuis

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

Thank you very much, Jan. If you have any more thoughts about it they will be most welcome.

P.S. Thank you for overlooking the typo in the spelling of your name, now corrected. That shows how flustered the situation had made me. :)

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

How to upload photos on the DTCA web site.

Register to Serving.com

Image hébergée par servimg.com

1 - drag your picture on this window
2 - clic on the blue "send all" button
3 - using the slider on the right side of the window go right down
4 - select all the line "show picture to a friend"

go to your post on the DTCA site
type
paste the line from Serving
type
write the caption and clic SAVE

If this does not work, do contact me.

Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Hip Hip Hooray!! I managed to create a new topic 914 in the normal way and upload photos in the normal way. See topic 914. Who's next.
Jan Oldenhuis, 24 March 2024

Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

Jacques. I now discover that yesterday it was a lucky shot that I was able to upload photos the normal way. I just tried again and now it doesn't work anymore. That's why I tried your way via serving.com or www.serving.com, but ended up on a religious website. I think the designation of the website you mentioned is incorrect. Please can you explain.
Jan Oldenhuis

RaviBee's picture
RaviBee
Online
CanadaDTCA MemberPostwar

Jan,

Here are a few free image hosting alternatives to serving.com (which as you correctly indicated is a religious site). Note, I haven' tried any of these myself.

Post Images = https://postimages.org/
Free Image Host = https://freeimage.host/
Image Hippo = https://www.imghippo.com/

Update: The correct link to the site suggested by Jacques is:

https://servimg.com/

and not:

https://serving.com/

--Ravi

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

I did finally receive a reply from Michael Driver regarding my e-mail. I shared his reply on the Dinky Fans mailing list, but suffice it to say that updates to this website have been "dogged by technical issues" and "delayed again."

Meanwhile, regarding Jacques' post about Serving.com (the correct name is Servimg.com) I had already shared information in the New Arrivals thread (see post #1868 for example) about how one can share images using an external hosting site. The problem with such a workaround is that the images will not be part of the DTCA Forum database, as it were, and are also at the mercy of the external site -- which may in future disappear, start injecting ads with every image, or cause other mayhem.

For my own tests, I used Dropbox, a paid service which is probably one of the more reliable for the long haul (but nothing is certain on the Internet -- remember Myspace?). Apparently Google Photos may also be used for image hosting, and that would likely also be one of the more reliable. Here is an article explaining how to use Google Photos for image hosting.

But in short, I really do not think external image hosting is an acceptable solution for the DTCA Forum.

Jan Oldenhuis's picture
Jan Oldenhuis
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DTCA MemberNetherlands

These are all tools that really shouldn't be necessary and don't help to get new members excited about joining the forum. A very limited number of people may be able to handle it because they really want it and need it, but if it is not made easy the forum will collapse. Uploading photos must be very easy for members, otherwise most members will refrain from doing so. Al Keeling also mentioned several options for pasting photos into the text, but I haven't seen anyone doing it. That just doesn't work. The DTCA board has a great responsibility to make this possible. What did Michael Driver have to say about this when replying to Jonathan? I don't know that yet. If they don't do anything about it, the forum will collapse. I'm waiting for the board meeting. If nothing positive comes out of this, it's over for me and I will become a member of the HRCA.
Jan Oldenhuis

dinkycollect's picture
dinkycollect
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DTCA MemberFrance

Jan,

For Serving. com, try https://servimg.com/images.php

I know that using an outside server for the photos is not the right solution but we can use it until the problem is solved if it is solved before the DTCA colapses completely.

Richard's picture
Richard
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DTCA MemberFrance

Any news about the photos problems ? I think that, if nobody in the club is able to manage these problems, please call a specialist !
Good luck.

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

I never received any reply to my second e-mail to Michael Driver, but it has been made clear by his earlier comments as well as by an item in the latest Journal that the DTCA does not want to spend any funds on fixing the website. We who rely on it -- especially overseas members -- have been abandoned. Unless the 2024 AGM -- where, alas, we will no longer have Dave Busfield to plead our case -- brings a belated change of heart, the DTCA may be beyond saving.

I do not like the idea of causing offense, but it is very clear that the DTCA board members do not use the website and just do not care. I wonder if they ever embraced electricity in their homes or are still sticking with the gas lighting they know and love ....

kasvd
Offline
DTCA Member

The main reason i am a member is because this very useful website.
It seems it will never be fixed, so this will be my last year.
I’m one of the younger members.
Born after the golden years of Binns road.
Without a good website the next Dinky generation will leave.

alkeeling's picture
alkeeling
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AdministratorAeroplanesPostwarPrewarUK

Hello again everyone. Once again I can only apologise for the late delivery of the replacement website. As Jan noticed earlier, when starting a new thread the picture posting features are shown with the editor. The picture features are still here but hidden for replies/comments for reasons that I just have not been able to determine. There are many picture hosting websites available by doing a google search and as an emergency workaround, images can be uploaded there and linked in comments. This is not an ideal stopgap or substitute for a better website, and given that this one is already obsolete.
While I can't make a committee authorised statement about it, because i'm not on the committee, I think that the provision of the website is not really part of the club's subscription offering, which is meant to cover the production and delivery of the journal and meet expenses for the club's presence at toyfairs and the like. The subscription doesn't really have sufficient residual to fund very much of a web experience. This website originated with Peter Golden and was continued by other members after his passing. Over the years the cost of building websites has steadily increased when it was already beyond the means of the club at the start. These days, the cost of a new website through a paid professional would be more than the entire subscription generates. Much of the creation and maintenance has been historically performed by other unpaid club members - and the available expertise is highly restricted. Given that all the previous webmasters have passed away, this function has devolved to myself alone. Unfortunately the new site has been beset by technical issues and by chronic faults at the webhost. Also I am not retired and have been extraordinarily preoccupied in recent month in trying to weather my business through the present economic turmoil - so my availability to focus on club work has been very poor. By which excuse I hope not to give the impression that I've given up, but ask for your continued patience while I get the project back on the rails.

johnnyangel's picture
johnnyangel
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DTCA MemberUSA

Al, thank you for your reply. While it has been said in the past, it should be said again that we who have complained about the website greatly appreciate your ongoing efforts to make things right, at high personal cost and without outside support. Naturally you must also put your own business (and your health!) first.

You have stated the situation straightforwardly and eloquently. Our complaint is not with your yeoman efforts, but rather with the committee’s tendency to ignore the situation. The club is at a crossroads. If it is to be only a social organization for those who can attend UK events, so be it. But if it is to serve international members and younger people generally, who prefer to interact electronically, something must be done.

There are members who would contribute to the cost of a rebuilt website. I also know of one (unfortunately not local to the UK) who is a programmer and experienced in website creation. Further I imagine that if approached properly, SAS, Vectis or another auction house would help pay for the effort, in exchange for acknowledgement and probably an ad banner (members will not mind advertising if it actually is relevant to diecasts). If they can and have helped with printing costs for the Journal, they can do this.

Those of us who may not renew for next year will miss the Club, the Journal, and many of the kind folks associated with it. But ultimately, the Journal is just one more publication regarding Dinky Toys for our overstuffed bookshelves. In contrast, a website is a vehicle for communication among members, as well as an international showcase. And as far as the Journal goes, since significant content for it has been drawn from website contributions, if nothing new can appear on the site, how hard will it be for the Journal to continue?

RaviBee's picture
RaviBee
Online
CanadaDTCA MemberPostwar

Hi Al,

Could you inform the DTCA management committee that the domain name "dtcawebsite.com" is due to expire on 27 July 2024? Unless this is renewed, all access to the site will disappear. See:

https://www.ravib.com/images/icann.dtcawebsite.com.png

Thanks,

--Ravi

alkeeling's picture
alkeeling
Offline
AdministratorAeroplanesPostwarPrewarUK

Thanks for the kind replies, gents. Ravi, the domain is set to autorenew at the end of its annual subscription, so the website is safe in that respect, at least.
Johnny, Vectis have been generous supporters in the past but I'm not sure that the club can hope for a white knight to meet the scale of expense that would be involved to produce a website of this kind. In a way, Google has been that saviour for quite a few years now - because the presence of their advertising has been paying the whole cost of the hosting. The membership has been reducing slowly - as you know, we have lost some dear friends lately - meanwhile costs, especially for posting the journal, has been rocketing. Now it may be that the membership would like more of the website and less of the journal, if it comes down to optimising the budget. That could be a suggestion raised to the committee - see the journal for contacts. Certainly with a higher budget, the club could maybe get a maintained site going forward - perhaps with extended features.

binnsboy650
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DTCA MemberUK

I'm saddened by events that seem to be unfolding with regard to the DTCA website and forum. Whilst I understand that the committee may not feel that the website is relevant to them they should be apprised of how important a web presence is these days.
Anyone who has seen the massive growth of the Facebook Dinky Toys Collectors group in recent times (14.2k members and rising) will be aware of the widespread interest in Dinkys that still exists, with many people keen to ask questions and glean information. Some of us are spending more time there than here and if the website goes by the board then the DTCA will be missing a trick and be the poorer for it.
None of this is to denigrate the efforts of Al Keeling and I know we all wish him well.

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