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Thread: Deleting posts

  1. #46
    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    The simple bottom line is that the moderation here is what it is. Our Rules of Conduct are what they are. Until such a time as they are changed, we're going to continue as we have been doing for the simple reason that it promotes a hospitable and productive forum. The boards here have thrived on this method since 2003, and we get multiple compliments every month on how nice it is that the usual argument and derision so prevalent on other homebuilt fora generally doesn't happen here.

    Short and sweet: This place is a certain kind of forum, with a particular style. If you like it this way, as 4,625 active members seem to do, hang out with us and enjoy the fun. If you want to brawl and call each other names, you know where the door is.

    Himat: Noted on the suggestion regarding locking a thread vs. deleting posts. We've generally opted for the former, since it allows the discussion to continue, but obviously there are situations where that can be counterproductive. Thanks for your input.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

  2. #47
    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    This whole situation has become frustrating, but I would like to make a few observations that relate to more than a few posts in this thread...

    First, there does seem to be an increase in moderator intervention lately, but it has followed, not preceded, a change in the complexion of this forum, its posts and its membership.

    This forum used to maintain a very even keel and constructive nature (even when the responses were offered in the form of constructive criticism). The friendly give-and-take was civil and no one took differing views as a personal attack. More recently (or is it more recent members?), we have been seeing an increase in knee-jerk reactions to what has been offered as an opinion or constructive criticism. I see this as a thin-skinned response, reading meaning or intent into a post that was not there. I've even seen members take exception to a post that was supporting their view, but they read more into it than was there. The obvious solution to this is, don't be thin-skinned. Take any input for what it's worth or ignore it if you see no worth in it. Avoid personal attacks (stick to the technical matter at hand). Keep the emotions in check when posting... if you don't like the way a thread has gone, walk away from the thread, but you don't have to walk away from the entire forum.

    This thread provides a good example of how things happen quickly and sometimes fall apart. Since my last visit yesterday, this thread went from one page to three pages. Is I read through the new posts, I saw words of wisdom on both sides of the fence and found myself agreeing with almost all of the posts, thinking that everyone was finally on the same page. However, as I read on, the players remained the same, but the conversation took a turn to the ugly side. Most of it seems to be the result of reading more into someone's words than is really there. STOP IT! Step back, take a breath, and then resume the conversation without the accusations or paranoia.

    I said a few observations, but I have lost my train of thought so I'll stop here and continue later after my head clears.

    Bruce

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    Registered User Hot Wings's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    I'm a refuge from RAH (rec.aviationhomebuilt). It was at one time an active aviation forum where one could go to talk airplanes and learn. But as a result of being an unmoderated forum episodes like ZOOOM fest, the Mini 500 "debates" and a few individuals that had rather inflated egos it has degenerated into a wasteland populated by a few zombie old timers and spammers.

    Jake should be commended for deciding on a moderated forum and choosing, what I consider to be, rather level headed moderators with a good balance of practical and theoretical knowledge of aircraft and home-bulding in general.

    I like it here. The moderators are the ones that keep this ship upright and on course. Just thought they might like to know that some of us appreciate their VOLUNTEER work.
    Conventional wisdom and practices yield conventional results. If that is good enough for you:
    Problem solved.

    "--and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out."
    Richard P. Feynman

    “Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
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  5. #49
    Moderator Topaz's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Quote Originally Posted by bmcj View Post
    ...First, there does seem to be an increase in moderator intervention lately, but it has followed, not preceded, a change in the complexion of this forum, its posts and its membership.

    This forum used to maintain a very even keel and constructive nature (even when the responses were offered in the form of constructive criticism). The friendly give-and-take was civil and no one took differing views as a personal attack. More recently (or is it more recent members?), we have been seeing an increase in knee-jerk reactions to what has been offered as an opinion or constructive criticism....
    This has been a subject of discussion amongst the moderators of late. Your perception of the boards "then versus now" matches that discussion (after all, you've been here all that time, too), and quite a number of other members have remarked the same. My own best guess is that we're simply seeing an influx of people from other, more argumentative, boards that have broken up and stopped functioning. The argumentative style is simply what they're used to, and it takes a while to see how (and why) this place is different.
    "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." - Henry David Thoreau

    Design Project: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider
    Discussion Thread for the Project: Discussion: Conceptual Design of an "Inexpensive" Single-Seat Motorglider

  6. #50
    Moderator autoreply's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Himat View Post
    As for the moderators deleting post's I understand it, but it leaves voids in the same manner as when posters delete their post's. Might I suggest that moderators if possible rather use the lock function to pause a discussion quicker rather than have to delete posts afterwards?
    Just to clarify it; we are mostly doing this already.

    As a rough guess, about 80% of the posts we trash or edit are the obvious ones. Spam, accidental double posts, fixing links and other unquestionable things. Only the last 20% are the ones that cross the line.

    It's always a balance about shutting up the discussion (temporary lock), trashing posts that cross the line and asking users to behave with some mutual respect.

    As for trashing posts, of the last 25 or so posts that were from "the 20%" and trashed, I've found exactly one that had anything on topic. As such, I don't think there's any serious "disruption" by our trashing of posts, simply because they have no useful content.



    Thanks Hot Wings
    Kennis vermenigvuldig je door het te delen.
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  8. #51
    Registered User jjbaker's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Quote Originally Posted by autoreply View Post
    It's always a balance about shutting up the discussion (temporary lock), trashing posts that cross the line and asking users to behave with some mutual respect.
    Hey guys, sad to see this thread. Entirely unfitting to this community and forum. I have only a rough 8 years of "moderating" experience but here's a few thoughts and possible way to deal with it:
    1. Limit editing time in the Administration Control Panel. Many forums suffer from deleted posts and this can certainly be prevented. Posting on a forum creates a lasting and permanent public record. In fact, the posters of such material have no legal right to have such content removed to avoid shame.
    2. Create a Nirvana/ Area 51 section accessible only to mods. Instead of "shutting up" a discussion, relocate subjects and discuss them out of public light. Especially if discussions go sour, this will help keep everyone with a silly "delete" button in check and subject to review by peer mods. Mods are supposed to be unbiased. Heck, have I learned that being a mod, admin and member on a forum at the same time is a lost battle...
    3. Its not the regular members job to POLICE the forum. That's what REPORT buttons are for.
    4. Argument is natural and the very basis of community. If a forum has no disagreement (especially on the subject matter) its not a forum, it's a informational page of unsubstantiated white papers. I admit, I have a harder time following the mental out-pour of engineers than the "backyard" mechanic, but heck, I can build a paper airplane and it flies!!!
    5. People join forums for a variety of reasons. I edit a lot of stuff, such as misspellings, double posts, youtube & vimeo links. Its extremely rare that I'll take some annoying advertising down, when someone decides they need some promotion on my dime. Usually even that stays on the forum, just no longer visible. If it keeps on going, somehow magically their login won't work after a while.


    Moderators get to know each other and eventually figure out how each other ticks. This bears the risk of zeroing in on particular members and their conduct. Its hard to be a participating member on a site and then have to put the moderator hat on and be a Deputy Sheriff. Bias and clique building are problems for most admins and this is something that can and will be noticed by members. Its never a good idea to make an example out of a member that does something wrong. Send a PM instead.


    Some natural distance helps, or at least keep rotating who does which part of the forum. I'm pretty much a one man show, but have moderated on forums with 20.000 and more members. We rotated and had a system to follow with each issue that came up, to avoid leaving members in the dust. Seeing a guy like Ben walk out isn't nice. In the end, everyone must make their own decision as to what they want out of a forum and as everywhere, the large majority of forums are silent readers, doing absolutely nothing for anyone. Losing those is no loss at all. If it hits a active member, it is a loss. Good luck!
    Jason J. Baker
    Maine (KBGR)
    http://www.seaplaneforum.com

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    Moderator autoreply's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Thanks for the comments JJ.

    Just some short remarks:
    Quote Originally Posted by jjbaker View Post
    Create a Nirvana/ Area 51 section accessible only to mods. Instead of "shutting up" a discussion, relocate subjects and discuss them out of public light. Especially if discussions go sour, this will help keep everyone with a silly "delete" button in check and subject to review by peer mods. Mods are supposed to be unbiased. Heck, have I learned that being a mod, admin and member on a forum at the same time is a lost battle...
    That's what we've been doing all along. (And that's why in my last post I could so easily check what exactly was deleted in the last 25 posts ). Except for spam or double posts, all deleted ones are still visible to all the mods.
    Its not the regular members job to POLICE the forum. That's what REPORT buttons are for.
    Indeed. Fortunately enough, more and more members use them, for which we're grateful
    Moderators get to know each other and eventually figure out how each other ticks. This bears the risk of zeroing in on particular members and their conduct. Its hard to be a participating member on a site and then have to put the moderator hat on and be a Deputy Sheriff.
    I don't see any problems there. If members cross the line against a mod, other mods take care of it. We rarely, if ever, mod against content, it's almost always due to a lack of content or due to personal sniping, or downright offensive behavior.
    Its never a good idea to make an example out of a member that does something wrong. Send a PM instead.
    We always send a PM, unless it's obvious (double post). Rarely if ever, members are corrected "from the moderating side" in public.
    Kennis vermenigvuldig je door het te delen.
    (You multiply knowledge by dividing it)

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Quote Originally Posted by jjbaker View Post
    Moderators get to know each other and eventually figure out how each other ticks. This bears the risk of zeroing in on particular members and their conduct. Its hard to be a participating member on a site and then have to put the moderator hat on and be a Deputy Sheriff. Bias and clique building are problems for most admins and this is something that can and will be noticed by members.
    Actually, I think the "alignment" of moderators can be a good thing. it helps ensure consistency and predictability in the way the forum is moderated, regardless of who is at the helm at any given time. As long as there is a well written Code of Conduct and the moderators base their actions on them, then there should be no problem. If members notice some heavyhandedness in the moderation and can point out where it flies in the face of the Code of Conduct, then the administrators can step in and 'request' that the moderator reconsider his actions.

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    Re: Deleting posts

    For whatever it's worth, I have taken exception to some of the moderation here lately. I haven't said anything until now, and only do so at this time because I have come to think that you all may need the feedback.

    There is one mod in particular who seems to have an attitude, but there may be other contributing factors as well.

    Language is powerful, people, and we all need to choose our words both carefully and specifically.

    I also feel that the mods are responding on this thread with a "take it or leave it" attitude. Completely inappropriate for people who are in charge of keeping the rest of us in line. I may need to take a break from HBA for a while, because I am in complete disbelief of what I have seen happening here lately.

  12. #55
    Super Moderator orion's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Actually, there is nothing happening here that's different from this board's ten year history - just a bit more whining than usual. As has been mentioned several times over, we understand that people want discussions and we do generally let them go on, even with significant thread drift, but when the words edge past the grey line and into the disrespectful territory (and I'm assuming we're all adults here) we have to step in.

    Maybe the issue is that in the past couple of years we haven't been stepping in enough, editing out even snide comments that eventually tend to deteriorate into something worse. There are many members here who contribute, disagree, argue and yet still keep to the board's generally professional and respectful attitude. And we continue getting many continued thanks for that level of control. But all it takes is one or two folks who feel that they cannot communicate without an immature jeer, snide comment or jab thrown in - when we finally catch the offense and do something about it, the noise they make is akin to a child getting his cookie taken.

    At this point I feel the "take it or leave it" attitude is reasonable - the moderators are responsible for the content and the quality of the experience here and for the vast majority of us here, it works. Yes, that may mean taking a harder line than seen at other boards, but the result is that the membership has meaningful discussions with positive results and after all, that is the basis for the board. It's not meant to be a social club (although there are aspects of one just due to the nature of what we're about) nor a couch where we analyze you personal issues - if folks don't understand that they are of course free to leave.

    Then to digress a bit, earlier someone made a comment regarding our emphasis on engineering, as if we're forgetting that what we're discussing in homebuilt aircraft is the nature of experimentation and development. Well, just to assure you, we're not forgetting anything. As a matter of fact the main thing we are not forgetting is that the lack of proper design/development has cost many lives, many more than caused by engineering error (and yes, there are those in the history record too). But the "Experimental" category was not created to allow just anything to fly, irregardless of its conformity to safe standards and/or practices.

    The "Experimental" categories were created so that the CAA (and later, the FAA) had a methodology to classify airplanes that had as of yet not achieved their certification status. When homebuilts came on the scene the feds did not know what to do with them so as a temporary measure they allowed them to operate under the Experimental label, which over time just became the general category we know today. But the idea that the early experimenters were somehow backyard experimenters is silly, especially considering that the early homebuilts had to have several engineering and construction reviews/inspections throughout the build process. Furthermore, every early airplane developed was drawn up by experienced engineers (usually retired from industry) or in a couple of cases where the primary individual did not have the necessary background, the projects were done as a team effort along with those who did have the background.

    If a person wishes to do his own development without any technical expertise then that's of course fine. You're free to do so. But under those circumstances don't come here expecting a rubber stamp "go for it" and pat on the back - just about everyone here understands the issues of betting your life (and that others') on what you develop and fly and as has been recently so clear, will not hesitate to point it out. You can then take the advice, or not. But getting upset over it is simply not in anyone's best interest.

    I admit that I tend to be somewhat sensitive about amateurish attitudes towards aircraft development, but it's because I've seen so much in the industry, even by larger organizations, that should and could have been done better yet wasn't in order to save a nickel or satisfy someone's ego. I've published some of this in several articles (http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/fo...-articles.html), especially the one titled "Kit Safety" so that more folks approach the market and the design process with their eyes open. I know I won't convince everyone but I hope it helps some.

    Anyway, this thread has probably gone on for long enough - now it's just going around in circles. We'll probably let it go another day or so and terminate it.
    "To live is to learn; to learn is to live" (author unknown)

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    Re: Deleting posts

    Greetings, I have no idea what STOL had posted or anything else specific to make his starting this thread (or 'resign' and delete )but I do have some experience in dealing with contentious aircraft engineering,safety issues and the like that are at the heart of all this ( I was elected to be Editor of the first newsletter for ultralight aircraft enthusiasts, -erstwhile designers, in a country that had until then had a complete effective prohibition on design and construction of any sort of aircraft short of FULL FAR 23 certification --notionally even for a hang glider up until 1976 --this left a starting point of 'scorched earth' with NO experienced local aircraft designers or any of the ancillaries that you in the States take for granted .
    As far as I know I was the only Australian who had ever worked in the US under the experimental aircraft category --for Dick Schreder, qualified mechanical engineer but designer and kit builder of world class sailplanes (and I think his work can be said to have led the way to all the later 'modern' homebuilt kit aircraft developers from Jim Bede and Burt Rutan onward --they all visited and took in the idea of sophisticated efficient aircraft to be built at home rather than replica antiques as was the rule till the mid seventies . (There I have gone and offended all those Nieuport 17 builders again...)
    From having been at the cutting edge of trying to stop a bloodbath brought about by a sudden removal of prohibitive restrictions -overnight- to NOTHING AT ALL (design,build,fly,maintain ,repair aircraft with absolutely no training ,qualifications,oversight, standards or even any testing or informal advice grapevine like the EAA designee system or this forum (a great resource and avenue to at least seek advice--unimaginable 30 years ago and at the far end of the planet -- for any of it's far less important 'shortcomings' )

    I once added up twenty plus personal friends who I had lost in aviation --too many as a result of design mistakes and at the time engineering lessons known from fatal accidents were officially covered up and not even accessible via freedom of information --as editor I got to write most of the copy and tried to disseminate as much of the basics of design wisdom as possible and it also required the exposure of some outright culpable design offerings and getting threatening letters, legal threats and the lot (including physical violence - I was knocked out by a guy hired to 'take care' of someone who published the previously suppressed accident reports on his aircraft fatal accidents --suffice it to say that the level of aggro on this site is pretty tame .
    It is so obvious also how some tiny misreading or misconception so easily blows up into an international incident --case in point;- Gordonaut and Head in the Clouds (Allan) --I have PM'd with you both and known Alan some thirty odd years ago --with great respect for both of you, but it is almost comical how simple stylistic differences have led to toe to toe confrontations --good thing there is nothing of real disagreement involved (and Gordo -I don't have next month's rent at the moment and your stuff will get mailed ASAP -fear not, also the Lysander tandem bloke ....)

    I elected to stand back from the HBA "Roadable aircraft' thread --I think I said the whole forum --but in any event I can easily see how someone can get offended with the 'interjections' that can easily derail any unfolding discussion and change character in the space of a few exchanges so that it does seem futile to persist --I am pretty much restricting myself to monitoring every few days (this is the first box on the opening page...) and only adding something if I think I see something that is both wrong and potentially of some significance to safety.
    My policy is to pretty much state what I think is the fact --give a source or how to verify something and usually the logic behind something if important --it seems a bit blunt to some people and may well be so (I am still dreading the drop out thing so don't edit except for typos if then and type as I think --- getting facts right is the first priority and bruised egos (including mine) take a back seat --I have learnt a lot from this forum and think it is just about the best resource on the net or elsewhere and the real time aspect is the best part of it but that also removes the "cooling down" period or time to reflect or just sleep on it that the old snail mail forced on you --maybe we need to slow down the reactions and count to ten some more and allow for our vastly different backgrounds,experience,engineering quals and nationalities etc etc but think more about our common love of aviation.
    So endeth the sermon.

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  16. #57
    Banned George Sychrovsky's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Quote Originally Posted by orion View Post

    Anyway, this thread has probably gone on for long enough - now it's just going around in circles. We'll probably let it go another day or so and terminate it.
    Make sure you delete the whole thing not just lock it so nobody can come back later and say “see I told you so”

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    Re: Deleting posts

    Surely you jest George --I thought the whole point of Bruce's plea was to NOT delete everything and thereby wipe out the record of what actually had been said (and 'delete' everybody's memory in effect ) -STOL has apparently erased all trace of his postings in just that fashion .

    There was no indication on this thread that it was meant to be erased or censored either. There are legitimate grounds to be unsatisfied amongst the many contributions here and if anything good can be learnt to refine and avoid future on going difficulties then it should be preserved (a bit like the black Box flight recorder that helps improve future operations...)

    One recurring objection was to the attitude of some professionally qualified engineers who seem to counsel other designers to stay away from innovation or new and, clearly, unknown designs to some extent -- the ease of analysing tried and true methods and design approaches will assuredly be safer and lots of text book methods and empirical formulas and values are available but if we all do that there is no progress either --the tension between the new and risky versus the old and predictable (or calculable ,'analyzable' etc ) is the quintessential difference between the factory produced certified airplane and the amateur's dreamship --and the two categories of certifed and experimental even .

    Certified has come to mean old fashioned almost and certification has become the millstone to sink much progress by demanding huge amounts of documentation ('death by document' and 'paralysis by analysis' ) the experimental category allows untramelled investigation of novel concepts and if they are new or different there will not be the same textbook or rule of thumb procedures in place --same for converted engines ,and in both cases testing results must trump theoretical calculation which in a lot of cases is just the distillation of what has been shown to work by trial and error (like the rules of thumb for tail volumes etc as discussed )

    It seems that the nub of the issue is in the reduction of practice to theory so that what works can be made formulaic and become 'respectable' -- asking an artist to 'explain' his painting in words is sort of the same thing -- he might even by unable to speak (inarticulate) but the results should be the thing judged especially in this section of aviation which is the only option for non professionally credentialed persons.

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    Super Moderator orion's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Aircar View Post
    One recurring objection was to the attitude of some professionally qualified engineers who seem to counsel other designers to stay away from innovation or new and, clearly, unknown designs to some extent -- the ease of analysing tried and true methods and design approaches will assuredly be safer and lots of text book methods and empirical formulas and values are available but if we all do that there is no progress either --the tension between the new and risky versus the old and predictable (or calculable ,'analyzable' etc ) is the quintessential difference between the factory produced certified airplane and the amateur's dreamship --and the two categories of certifed and experimental even .
    While there may be a hint of that or some comments may be misconstrued as headed in that direction, I don't recall anyone trying to squash said innovation. All we're trying to do is make sure the "innovators" recognize that there is a proper approach to responsible development that requires an understanding of the principles, forces and behavior of the technologies and mechanisms involved. Slapping something together, even in a relatively skillful manner, is vastly different from reasoned development approach.
    "To live is to learn; to learn is to live" (author unknown)

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    Registered User Toobuilder's Avatar
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    Re: Deleting posts

    Quote Originally Posted by Aircar View Post
    --the tension between the new and risky versus the old and predictable (or calculable ,'analyzable' etc ) is the quintessential difference between the factory produced certified airplane and the amateur's dreamship --and the two categories of certifed and experimental even ...
    I certainly don't see it that way. Take Burt Rutan for example. He had radical, revolutionary ideas. Of course he was also rooted with a solid foundation of engineering theory. He not only made stuff work, he had the calculations to predict the performance and then back it up. That is a whole different world than just eyeball engineering something, then claiming victory if it does not crash or fall apart.

    My company airplane has parts that are so fragile looking that it does not even "look right" to trained engineers. Yet it is the careful application of engineering principle that allows such delicate parts to survive. Building an airplane that does not break apart is one thing - building an airplane that does not break AND is not one ounce heavier than it has to is quite another. It is the people that can't distinguish between the two that are complaining about the "snobs vs. the slobs".

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