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Blacksmithing News and Events
Coat of Arms from the town of  Eskilstuna, Sweden
Volume 25 - Page 2 of 8 May 2002
No News, IroNews
Kiwi meets Klingons
Our man "Kiwi"

Andrew "Kiwi" Hooper (far right) excorting some Klingons at a Star Trek conference in New Zealand. Note the anvilfire caps!

Click here to order.
This is Gauron and Martok from Star Trek, we were their guard of honour for the weekend, ended up being interviewed for the news the other night and have had mote photos taken than most of the actors.

I got taken up on stage my John (the one with the hat and sunnys) while he demonstrated is favorite " How to take out a camerman in one swoop of the batlith (clingon sword) ..

No news. . continued.
Time has also been a problem. When anvilfire was a relatively low traffic site it took a week to two weeks to produce a volume of the news. Besides collecting the photos and writing the articles the images must all be processed and HTML pages created with links that work forward and back.

Processing images is a huge job. Every one must be adjusted for lighting, cropped and sized to fit. Most of our images are taken in poor lighting or by amature photographers and all require extensive tweeking. I've gotten very good at it over the past five years but it still takes fifteen minutes to an hour per image.

The HTML is akin to computer programming and I've gotten much better at that too but it still takes the same time. With greater skills you get better results but little time saving.

IF I were paid as little as minimum wage to produce these pages the cost would easily double. Now we are up to $50,000 invested in these 25 editions over 4 years (its been over a year since the last edition so I'm leaving off a year). That is cash money and unearned income out of MY pocket. It is more than the gross sales generated by anvilire during that time and the "costs" don't include server space, digital camera, laptop. . .

TIME - There is much less of it now. Besides answering hundreds of questions each week I answer nearly as many pieces of email. I also produce drawings for iForge demos and process them OR a demonstrator's almost every week as well as archiving the guru page. I also produce illustrations for Paw-Paw's Revolutionary Blacksmith as well as produce the HTML version of it and Ray Smith's monthly series. "Whatsnew" is updated several times a week and sometimes daily. We now handle Slack-Tub Pub registrations manualy to try to prevent abuses. Every couple months a Pub users mailing list must be generated and mail sent out to test the registrations. Editing out the bad records is the time consuming part. The most recent took two days.

Keeping up with anvilfire has been more than a full time job (12+ hours 7 days a week) for over two years.

We have also launched a bunch of new projects, the International Glossary and General Metalworking Glossary, a new FAQs page and the newest, Mass3j a unique online mass and volume calculator. These are all on-going projects that take much time but are hopefully of long lasting value to the blacksmithing and metalworking community.

So. . . the NEWS has had to take a back seat.

And perhaps that is why nobody else has done anything like it and may never again.

Meanwhile, I'm waiting for a big corporate sponsor to say, "Hey, that is something WE should take part in. . ."

IroNews   So why have THEY managed to keep going a growing? Simple, deep pockets. Indital the huge Italian component manufacturer funds IronNews. They have a paid full time editor and staff. A REAL paid staff! Yes, it makes me jealous.

But with all that their page still crashes Netscape and locks up my PC. So we have no links to them. anvilfire's browser support may not be perfect but we DO support more than the one browser. And *I* don't have a staff!

So far there are no ads for Indital products on IroNews. But I predict that there will be. space

THE ANVIL Shooting Controversy
Has quieted considerably while the various organizations decide what to do next.

However, it raised its ugly head again with quibling among the ABANA board members over ousted groups board members not doing their part in the upcoming ABANA conference.


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May 2002 Edition
Comments to: Jock Dempsey
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