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About freetz

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  1. FYI: Online voting is open since 1 September, and Wolfgang has also sent me an updated membership list, so the five people that have entered the club since the last update should be able to vote (and download the disk images). Also, since online voting is possible in the hardware contest as well since this year, @Sleepy has asked me to incorporate this into the online portal as well. This is done now, so you can vote for both contests at the same time. Please bear in mind that you can only submit your vote once! There is no way to retract or alter your vote once it has been cast!
  2. @matosimi: Thanks for this very interesting blog post, very insightful - and what a tension near the finish line :)!
  3. Thanks for the clarification. But just to be clear: Yes, money was exchanged and service (i.e. club membership as defined in the statutes) was/is rendered. You will receive the next magazine together with the disks like any other new or old member and any other service that is defined in the statutes. The forum, the online portal and the early access to disk images, hell, even the ABBUC website, is not part of the statutes, it is "just" an effort provided by caring members. And as soon as these members decide to no longer invest their time in their respective project, it will "fall asleep" as long as another caring member finds it in his heart to take over. Yet at no point would that construe as a "service not rendered" by the association. However, if at one point Wolfgang would no longer be able to send out the club magazine which, as defined in the club's statute, must(!) so far include a floppy disk, then this would be breaking the club's statute and someone of the club headship would have to take care that this is done one way or the other. Maybe association/club rules in the US are different to the ones we have in Germany, but the latter ones are the ones that bind us.
  4. @TheNameOfTheGame: I was not going to respond to your post at first, but now that you removed the "upset" part of it, I assume it was just the heat of the moment. But seriously, guys, what do you think that ABBUC is? A commercial enterprise that collects your money for profit and thus has to "deliver" instantly, and if not you have the right to complain and make demands? This is a club, an association run by people who do this voluntarily in their (little) free time. Wolfgang, the club's president, has a lot on his plate right now, but still he does everything he can to keep the club running. Without him, there probably won't be a club anymore. I myself am still dealing with the aftermath of a heart attack, as I mentioned before, but had to return to my job. No one of us is making a big deal out of this, but guess where our priorities lie. To explain you the "database" problem: We're an old-school 8-Bit club, and not a really big one. So Wolfgang is handling the membership details with ... Excel (OMG!). As some of you are certainly very smart programmers, I'm sure you will be able to program an MS Access-based online portal that automatically and instantly receives updated membership information, so that everybody can have access as soon as they have clicked send on PayPal. I can't. And as the online portal was my idea, specifically with you guys across the big pond in mind, I wrote a "proprietary" online portal based on LAMP (although P stands for Perl and not PHP). To get the membership details (which consist of the membership number and a password generated based on your address details, as you know) into MariaDB, Wolfgang has to export the Excel database as CSV, run it through a password generation program and upload it via a backend of the portal I wrote. Since there always may be sources of errors (as happend earlier this month where some fields got mixed up), we don't do this every day, but when both of us have time so we can check wheter everything works fine. Again, the online portal is a bonus, and even if it fails completely, you will eventually get the games on disk together with the magazine sometime in September or early October together with a voting form, so your rights as a member are not restricted in any way. But don't worry, we will update the online portal membership database at some point before the voting closes, so you will be able to vote online and also download the disk images from there, but it's still two months to the convention, and you may forgive us if we don't go through this certainly inefficient process at once every time a member enters or leaves the club.
  5. Because some people asked me: If you submitted a program that requires more than just one file, it is okay to offer, lets say, the main executable and not necessarily a patch, provided that main executable is not playable by itself. For example, if your game requires a main executable and separate level files, you can offer the main executable and thus you don't have to code a patch. For programs that just consist of a single file, you have no other option but to write a patch.
  6. Just to clarify this to everyone who has participated in this contest: Some authors have contacted me regarding bugfixes to their programs and whether these would be conforming to the rules. After some internal discussions, we have unanimously agreed that a) the disks as well as disk images will be distributed with the versions submitted to the online portal at the time of the deadline b) patches / new versions submitted after the deadline will not be applied or included in the distributed disks but c) patches published anywhere on the internet that members can download by themselves if they want to are acceptable as there is no section in the rules that disallows them provided that d) patches are not "replacement" of the sumitted programs, i.e. not standalone versions of the submitted program but rather a patch that modifies the file on disk as distributed by ABBUC to its members. e) there is no 100% guarantee that the disk images provided in the online portal for members to download will be exactly the same as the physical disks distributed to the members. So any patch should better work based on the file submitted rather than access sectors directly. With boot disks it is more likely that a direct sector modification will work, but again, despite this unlikelyness we give no guarantee.
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  8. Ok, so Wolfgang has fixed the issues with his Excel file and now the password export seems to be working fine again; I checked with all the people who have sent me their membership details and now it should work as described on the website. If any problems persist, please send me your membership details alongside the combinations you have tried via PM, but I think that everything should work now (with the exception of some international addresses where you might have to experiment a bit regarding the street name and/or zip code...
  9. Thanks for the info, I did random checks with the new list to see if the entries are correct and those I checked were fine, but yours and KlasO's are examples where in the new list completely different passwords were generated. I'll have to check with Wolfgang what could have been the issue here. If you have problems, please PM me your membership number, your address as printed on the last address label and what kind of password combinations you have tried. This will help us narrowing down the error. Sorry for the inconvenience!
  10. Thanks, and I meant it like I said - if there is a better way to do it, I'm happy to think about it, the thing is just that we actually did spend quite some time to figure out a way that enables people to vote without having to register again somewhere and not putting extra work on us to verify each member. And yes, for the forum users of the ABBUC forum, this is an extra "burden", but not that many of the 400+ members are members in the forum. That's what led us to this solution. Once you have logged in you can leave your e-mail address and next time you forget your password you can simply have a new one sent to you. As for your problems logging in, there was an error that had nothing to do with the format of the password or anything. I'll have to contact Wolfgang about what went wrong there. I'll send you an interim password in the meantime via PN.
  11. Send me your membership number, address and combinations you have tried and I'll check. And fyi, passwords are meant to be safe and not easy to guess. But if you have any constructive contribution to make that takes the above mentioned constraints into account, I'm happy to listen.
  12. Hi Kamil, all authors are allowed to advertise their games prior to the JHV convention. This includes demonstrations at fairs, magazine articles or YouTube videos. So as long as the authors are fine with it, I'm too. F.
  13. Ok, Wolfgang was really fast and generated a new membership password list where now the last character of the password is not the first character (digit or letter) of your zip code (some anomalies may stay as explained above).
  14. Ok everybody, it turns out that Wolfgang (the club's president) has sent me an updated password list where it seems that the last character is not the first digit of the zip code but the first character of the city. Probably the underlying membership Excel file has been changed and the password exporter reads now from a wrong row. We'll fix this asap, but for now you can just proceed as explained before but replace the last character of the password accordingly. Those who have changed their password before are not affected and the changed password remains. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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