No doubt many of you are aware of the tragic news that Rick (Research) Lundström who only recently was able to rejoin us at GMIC, was killed yesterday,17th September 2013 in a road traffic collision.
Rick had been a member of GMIC since 2005 and proudly passed his 20,000 post mark only last week. It is too early to pay him full honours at a time when many of us are in shock at this tragic news and are mourning the loss of a friend, who is simply irreplaceable in the world of military research and collecting. But I assure you that Rick who has played such a significant part at GMIC will be properly remembered so that his name lives on for future collectors.
I only had the pleasure of meeting Rick once on one fine day in the fall of 2007, when I visited his home and spent an afternoon whiling away the hours talking about military history and viewing the artefacts in his modest and well cherished collection. I made a friend for life that day and although our friendship was internet and letter based in the years that followed, like many of you I mourn the loss of our friend and online companion.
My thoughts at this time are with his elderly mother, family and close friends.
Here are the long awaited results for the photo competition. My congratulations to all the winners, as well as a thank you to all members who took the time to enter the competition. I would also like to give a big thanks to Peter and his judges who spend time and effort deliberating over all the entries, which I know is a time consuming task.
Above all a special thank you goes to Mervyn, who without his drive and contribution none of this would happen.
PHOTO CONTEST RESULTS:
Chairmans Award to: mmerc20 Sinking in the Desert
CATEGORY 1 - PERSONAL COLLECTION
Chris B Sepia 3 Stooges (1st PLACE) Dante Black Brunswickers (2nd PLACE) paja Order of the Yugoslav Crown (Merit) Cimbineus Eagles (Merit) pinpon590 Kriegsverdeinst (Merit)
CATEGORY TWO - HONOUR THE PAST mmerc20 Sinking in the Desert (1st PLACE) paja Bubanj Memorial park (2ND place) Komtur Berlin, Summer 2013 (Merit) J Temple West Occupation, Channel Islands (Merit) Chuck in Oregon Old vet with Stalin image (Merit)
CATEGORY THREE - MEDALS AND AWARDS
mmerc20 Honoured Pair (1st PLACE) Komtur Pride of a Jewish German (1) (2nd PLACE) Cimbineus In the name of the… (Merit) gregm Memory trunk (Merit) gregm Domed ek (Merit)
CATEGORY FOUR - CATEGORY OF CHOICE Jock Auld IMG 0347 (1st PLACE) Chris B Night food market Morocco (2nd PLACE – tie) Chuck in Oregon Art is Hope (2nd PLACE - tie) Komtur Northern light of Denmark (Merit) Bob Lyons Luftwaffe cup and saucer (Merit)
Following the success of last years competition Mervyn has been working hard to bring together the 2012 Photographic Competition, so I would ask members to take consider participating in this years competition. There are some great prizes on offer and also entries have the opportunity to win a place in the 2013 GMIC Calendar.
PHOTO COMPETITION 2012 COMMENCES MONDAY 15th OCTOBER 2012 CLOSES MIDNIGHT THURSDAY 15th NOVEMBER 2012 (GMT)
There are three categories for 2012 and each person will be limited to 5 (five) entered per category so make them count.
The judges are looking for not only for photographic technique but more importantly creativity and imagination. A picture which shows a lot of imagination, but lacks in technical skill, still stands a better chance in winning over a technically perfect photo which is unimaginative and dull. I will also be looking for 12 images to represent the 12 months of 2013, so if members can enter photos within Categories 1 & 2 which have a seasonal (and military) theme I will be considering those entries separately to the main competition, so it will not necessarily be category winners who earn a place in the calendar.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
1. Members - and Family Members are permitted to enter this 2012 Photo Competition. Name of member must be shown. These rules apply equally to any non-members and by entering the competition they show their assent.
2. The panel of judges has been appointed - their decision is final.
3. Ownership of the image remains with the person posting. However, by entering this Competition he/she grants permission to GMIC to use any of the image entered - in any way or, for whatever purpose - and at any time. The member posting the entry must OWN the copyright to the image being entered.
4. There will be no change in the announced dates.
5. There will be one overall prize - The Chairman's Award. Each category will have a 1st , 2nd. and 3rd. place and will receive a GMIC plaque. 4th and 5th in each category will receive a small nominal gift. ALL 5 in each Category will receive a GMIC Certificate.
6. To keep numbers managable the maximum number of entries - per category - will be LIMITED TO 5 (FIVE)
7. The categories will be : Please include a few words of description
1. Personal Militaria collections - pick your own items for entry.
2. Militaria from any source. Graves.Bands.Processions etc.. Your choice.
3. Non- Militaria. Any source or, subject. Be original and creative.
8. Entries for the 2013 GMIC Calendar will be considered separately to the main competition by the Chairman. Note category winners will not necessarily be entered into the GMIC Calendar. Entries will only be considered from Categories 1 & 2 (or of a military theme) and images which have a seasonal aspect i.e. Spring, Summer, Autumn (Fall), Winter will be of benefit.
I am sad to announce that Mervyn Mitton who has been Senior Moderator and friend to many of us on GMIC for several years passed away on Wednesday. He had been ill for many years, but he never let this get in the way of his passion for Militaria and Police Collectables. His knowledge of British Police history and collectables was immense and his death is a tragic loss to GMIC and the wider collecting world. Mervyn was always very proactive on GMIC and a real driving force behind the scenes amongst the staff. I will miss his old world charm, warmth, generosity and guidance. Yes he could be slighlty cantankerous at times, but that was part of his makeup, an old school English Gentleman a dying breed that are irreplaceable. I will miss him.
This is the preview of the long time coming New GMIC Membership Lapel Pin.
This will be available to all membership levels later this week for purchase. This will be included as part of the subscribing members package for all renewals, further details this week.
The pin itself is a high quality metal and enamel pin, with a butterfly clip to the rear. It measures approx 1" or 25mm in height. Unfortunately the pictures really do not do it justice.
It will be available in limited numbers so get your order in early.
I have been updating a few of the back end functions of the software/server to bring it up to date and close a few security issues. It may have meant that some members received the occasional database error over the last few days, but I hope the bulk of the work has now been done. There should not be any real major front end changes.
GMIC is still growing in size and despite some slow down in posting which is reflected across all military collecting forums (sign of the economic times maybe ?) the traffic actually has increased. This combination of traffic and database size can challenge the server. Of course if money was not an issue then a fast modern dedicated server would make a vast differences. As GMIC is essentially a free service then unfortunately this is not an option and I rely on voluntary subscriptions to pay for what I can afford to run. So speed is dependent on subscriptions, the more of you that pay a small annual subscription, the faster server I can afford and the better the service we all get !
If anyone has noticed any significant differences i.e. slow downs or speed ups in the forum please let me know as it is good to get feedback either way.
GMIC is eight years old next month and there is a lot of images and information stored on the forum. Over the coming months I will be getting some of the moderators to do a bit of housekeeping as I intend to start archiving some of the old posts to reduce server space. The information will still be there and retrievable under searching, but because it is old and not regularly accessed it will be stored in a slightly different way to save space and make the forum run more efficiently.
I have also changed my username to Nick rather than Chairman (although I still am the Chairman) as have the Vice Chairs as I felt titles were a little too impersonal and I want to promote the use of peoples real names. If you would like to adopt your real name (even if it is only your first name with a last initial or tag to retain a agree of anonymity) let me know as it makes it a bit friendlier than some forums where members adopt juvenile usernames as par for the course.
A long time bone of contention at GMIC has been image upload restrictions. However I am pleased to announce that from today I have introduced a new standard across all membership levels. Basically (dependent on the speed of your internet connection) all membership levels (apart from Basic members) will be able to upload images up to approx 8 to 10MB in size which is massive ! Basic members will be restricted to 2MB which is still a pretty impressive size. Images will be automatically resized, but it should not impact on the quality of the image too dramatically. This in essence means that for most members that they will no longer have to resize or play with images before uploading as the software does it for you, saving you time and hassle.
This may still need some minor tweaking so any problems please report it. I will run this for a few months as a trial to ensure it is not impacting negatively on resources and then review it....
Members need to be aware that over the next few weeks there will be some major upgrades taking place on the forum. The most important changes are in relation to user log on. Some users may be using a different logon name to their display name. As of the upgrade users MUST log on with their public display name and not their log on name as this will no longer work.
Other changes relate to the style and as well as some structural changes.
I will try to keep forum down times to a minimum. But to achieve this there may be some periodic changes in style and display, so please do not be overly worried if things look a bit strange from time to time.
I am sure that you have noticed the speed increases if you have been lucky enough to find GMIC online in the last 24 hours. I apologise for some of the downtime, crashes and the gallery not working over the last few days. GMIC has been migrated to its own dedicated server and like all things in the IT world, the transition was not as smooth as I would have liked. It will take a few days for all the errors to be smoothed over and the forum to be fully functioning again, but the speed increase will make all this worth it, as if you are reading this you will have noticed the forum is now flying along compared to the slow chug of before.
Please be patient as errors are not always immediately noticeable, if you do find any errors post them here and I will look into it.
As of Monday 5th March 2012 new levels of membership will be introduced at GMIC.
To make it simpler to understand the new membership categories are listed below:
All of these membership categories can be achieved without cost and are based on a combination of active participation and time served on GMIC. There is also an option to achieve higher levels of membership on joining or by a reduced level of participation time. This is through voluntary monetary contribution which assists GMIC in remaining a free service open to all.
To understand the different levels of membership please click here
Enamel Membership pins are also now available for purchase. Cost is dependent on membership level but for basic members the cost is £5.99 including (worldwide) postage. To purchase a membership go to Members Store
I am glad to announce that the GMIC 2012 Photographic Competition Results are now out. Congratulations to all the winners and my thanks to all members who entered the competition. My thanks also to the panel of independent judges who had a difficult task as well as to Mervyn who makes all this possible.
I will be making a further announcement later with regards the special Chairmans Award and the GMIC 2013 Calendar.
To view the winning photos go http://gmic.co.uk/index.php/gallery/category/45-2012-photographic-competition-winners/
I am urgently looking for a detailed high resolution image of a Colonial Cyprus Police Badge. This is on behalf of a charity who are placing a memorial in Northern Cyprus this year to recognise those Police Officers killed during the Cyprus conflict. If anyone can supply a high resolution image (attached is a low resolution image which is not sufficiently detailed) it would be appreciated as this is needed to assist with the cutting of the memorial stone.
Image taken for reference from http://www.hamwichouse.com/
A couple of updates for the forum over the last few weeks:
The first is a New Classified for Sale Section. The old Sale Section is now closed and the new classified section is being tested. The main advertisements have to be listed in GBP Stirling Pounds but there is a section within the advert which allows sellers to advertise the sale in other currencies and specify what currency they prefer for payment. The reason for this is mainly due to software limitations and as this essentially is a British run forum then advertisements are going to be in British Pounds. However this main change in the future as the software is developed.
Secondly, again as a trial run, I will be hosting a German Language section within the German section. This will be for topics relating to Germany (any period) and is to encourage German speaking collectors to the forum. I hope that as a consequence of this there will be some cross over in that forum between English and German collectors and that with encouragement, German speakers who have a lot to offer, but may have some language problems posting in English, may feel more comfortable initially testing the water there.
Due to ongoing technical difficulties I have had to upgrade the server significantly so I hope that you have noticed an increase in speed. Any voluntary contributions from taking out a members subscription will be appreciated as I now have a significant monthly cost to keep this ship afloat. I really do not want to have to go down the route of advertising to generate income !
There has also been a change in the way the forum loads and some of you may have noticed that there is a slight pause when loading the index page. But when it loads it should fully load. I am still working on remedying that issue which is being caused by a slow mysql query around Topic Markers, but if I switch them off then it impacts on what topics are marked as read with your individual accounts. Work in progress......
I have recently refreshed this area and want to explain its purpose and use.
The document archive allows members to upload and download files in a large format. It is like an online library which allows the archiving of material in a variety of formats including PDF files which our members can access to support their research of military history or military collectables. I see it as an area to upload scans of books, or lengthy documents.
This is primarily a free resource in that it is free to upload and download files. However there is is the facility for members to upload files which attract a fee for other members to download. This essentially allows members posting the document the facility to charge a cost per download. GMIC handles this fee (a small administrative charge is made to the member selling files to support the forum) and passes it on to the member via electronic payment.
As with all uploads on GMIC the member uploading must be clear on who owns the copyright to any work, especially when a charge is being made to download it. For further information on costs and methods of payment please contact me direct.
When an article is uploaded a support post is automatically created in the Document Archive Forum which allows members to comment or ask further questions to the members posting the documentation.
This year marks the centenary of the Great War 1914-1918. In recognition of this GMIC will be establishing a Centenary area for you to post all you relevant topics relating to World War 1. At the end of the centenary period all posts will be moved to their respective areas.
Wishing all members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year over the coming holiday period. There are quite a few changes on the horizon for GMIC in 2015, so thank you for continuing to support the forum over the last 12 months and I am looking forward to the coming year.
I am currently working on adding a new modification to support the sales section which should make selling militaria and browsing what is for sale a better experience.
A little while back I tested a modification which had a number of issues around its performance, especially with Microsoft Internet Explorer. (Microsoft Internet Explorer is worthy of a entry on its own, the number of issues that this browser since IE7 has caused me over the years I have lost count with). Since that time the modification has been updated significantly. However one area which need more work on is whether to advertise in a single currency and then in the text of the advert specify prices in different currency and specify what currency is preferred payment. I.e. advertise all sales in GBP but in the text show Euro and or Dollar price and preferred method of payment. Th alternative which I am not sure is feasible yet is to advertise all sales in the preferred choice of payment out of Euro GBP or US Dollar.
I have been working this evening on bringing a new home page to GMIC. Essentially, in the not too distant future the home page of www.gmic.co.uk will change to a portal type page. The portal will have a selection of highlights displaying recent topics, blog pages,articles and links. The forum index page as you know it will still exist, but will be moved to a new URL. That way if you do not like the portal page to launch your daily dose of GMIC, you can still access the old forum index as it looks today.
The new portal will give a fresh overview for the forum and allow new members and guests to quickly see what we are about. It will also be a good way of playing catch up with whats new at a glance.
Many of you may have noticed the Tags box (and in some areas a prefix box) on the posting form which has replaced the sub title area. Sub Titles in topics are no longer supported and I therefore have added a Tags and Prefixes module. At the current time I am starting to test this within certain areas of the forum.
For members information this is work in progress and unless there is a requirement to enter pre configured tags or prefixes then please for the moment ignore the boxes as you can't create or input tags or prefixes unless they are pre configured.
For those of you who use the Imperial German Section you may find that you are required to input a prefix or tags. In the case of prefixes there can only be one choice and you should choose the most relevant prefix for the topic being posted. As for tags you can add multiple tags but a minimum of one is required and again these should be keywords which highlight the topic content.
The purpose of tags and prefixes is to categories topics by the use of keywords which then enables you as members to quickly and easily search for other related material which also has the same tags or prefixes. For example in Imperial German Medals, the Prefixes categories the topic into States or Duchies. In the Imperial Uniforms and Equipment forum the tags categories the content further i.e. uniform, helmet, insignia etc. If you then click on a prefix or tag it should automatically sort and list topics with the same prefix this can then be further sorted by clicking on tags.
I am currently in the process of reviewing all of the membership levels at GMIC and what each level will offer. This includes subscribing membership as well as the incremental membership based on participation in the community. This will include:
Changes in image uploads (detailed below)
Offering more incentives to subscribing members including an enamel membership badge, and the ability to use images in signatures.
Icons to support membership level
This has been a difficult area to resolve and has caused much angst over the years. Following a recent discussion amongst the moderators over lost images in older topics, where the image has been hosted elsewhere, I have reviewed how we manage uploads.
The simple fact is that images, if not handled correctly can unecessarily take up a lot of server space. Modern digital camera and phones can create image files that are HUGE and if not edited or compressed prior to uploading, a single image can unecessarily take up lots of expensive server space.
I have tried over time to increase the allowance for all membership levels, to make posting images a lot easier to manage. A good image quality on screen can easily be managed well under 200kb. However this method of restriction has always put the onus on the member to edit the image prior to posting. This has ensured that the image fits the criteria for membership and can be uploaded to the GMIC server. I am more than aware of the problems this can cause some members, both in terms of time and lack of IT skills and as an alternative some members find it easier to host their images on their own websites or servers. This is fine in the short term, but over time I have found that links to images are lost and that topics can become almost irrelevant without the image to support it.
I have therefore been looking at other ways to upload images to give incentive to posting on the GMIC server. What I would like to achieve is similar to ebay where a member can upload (within reason) any size file and the software automatically reduces and compresses the image to a more manageable size. This in turn will hopefully induce more members to post images here at GMIC than host them elsewhere.
But this is not as straightforward as it sounds as there are limitations to the software, which I am still working on getting around. After several weeks of trial and error I am nearly there and you may have seen over the last week that images that are uploaded now display at a max of 300 X 300 px thumbnail, click on the image in a post and it will open to its full size. Hopefully this will be resolved by the time I announce the new membership levels next week.
I am working hard to fix an issue with the gallery. There still seems to be an ongoing issue with the photo gallery which was caused by the migration to the new server. As a consequence some members have had difficulty posting images for the 2012 Photographic Competition.
I have therefore suspended the gallery while I work on the problem. I apologise for this, as I thought the problem was fixed, but it seems not to have been fully resolved.
The competition will be slightly extended to compensate for this.
To support the server upgrade and to acknowledge some of the great photos that were submitted in both the 2011 and 2012 photography competitions, I have commissioned a limited edition 2013 GMIC Calendar.
It is a spiral wire bound A4 size wall Calendar. This is a first for GMIC and I hope that many of you support the forum and grab an edition quickly as it is a limited print run.
My thanks to the members that contributed their photos, making this all possible.
I have previewed some of the pages to give you an idea of the content. Price will be £8 for a Calendar plus postage costs which will be dependent on location.
Ordering for the calendar will go live this weekend in the members store and through an updated link which will appear on this page.