All photos in this Blogspot and those accessed in Google Images via the links in each report are my Copyright and may be saved for personal use only. They may not be republished elsewhere without the written permission of the Copyright holder.

Hello and welcome to my twice reinstated and updated photo reports of visits to narrow gauge model railway layouts and events! Following the sudden and untimely cessation of Fotopic in March 2011 and with it the loss of my photo galleries, I started this blog in order to try to keep my "Roving Reports" available to those who enjoy viewing them. I have linked this blogsite to the old galleries which I originally rebuilt and posted in albums in Picasaweb Once all the old reports had been rebuilt, I have continued to add completely new ones to cover my visits to events from April 2011 onwards.

In August 2016 Google very kindly and arbitrarily blocked access to Picasaweb in order to force everyone to use their "much better" Google Images, so I had to do the whole exercise again. Thanks! Google Images is certainly much easier to view, but to upload to - well try it yourself, I have made my own judgement and it isn't a very complimentary one, so the long term future of this blog remains in doubt.

Meanwhile......Because of the way this Blogspot works, the most recent postings appear first and the oldest ones last. Each report contains a link to the Google Images photo album plus captions for that report. The link will take you to the front page of the Google Images Album for this report. Left click on the first photo and it will open into a manually operated slideshow. A panel should open alongside the image on the right showing the number of the photo and the caption text. If it does not appear, click on the small white disk top right of the photo panel and it will open. On albums created before August 2016 which were created originally in Picasaweb, these are now in the Google Image Archive and the caption panel has to be opened manually for each image. I apologise for this, blame Google!

More recent albums created in Google Images keep the panel open.

in both cases, move forward or backwards by clicking the right or left arrows on your keyboard. When you have finished viewing, click the back arrow showing top left of the photo panel and this will take you back to the album opening page.

Close it in the normal way by clicking on the "X" top right or click the return arrow top left of the Windows screen to return to the blog, depending on which browser you use.

In Google Chrome you should click on the X and then select the tab for the blog from the windows tabs, in Internet explorer, click on the return arrow top left of the window to return to the blog. I'm afraid I don't know how other browsers such as Firefox vary in their operation.

Once back in the blog, any report can be accessed sequentially from the blog by scrolling downwards and if required, click on the "older posts" link at the bottom of the list, or simply go to the Blog Archive on the right of the window and select any report by simply clicking on the title.

Friday, 5 August 2016

07 August 2016, Picasaweb RIP

"IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT" I thought EVERYBODY was familiar with this philosophy (well, Microsoft excepted perhaps) but...................

Thanks Google! Due to some imbecilic decisions made within the Google Ivory Towers, I discovered on 6 August, AFTER I had spent hours preparing and uploading my delayed report on the Oxfordshire NG Modellers open day event at Steventon, that although Google had put out notices a while ago that they were going to stop supporting Picasaweb, they arbitrarily and without definite notice, pulled the plugs and blocked access to Picasaweb at around 1800 Hours on Friday 6 August - sods law perhaps in that I uploaded my newest report at around 1730 and as is normal, I had done the insertion of the captions etc online, checked as far as possible for errors and only then did I attempt to go "public" to allow unrestricted viewing to discover that all access had been blocked.


I have been trying to find a workaround for this but I'm afraid that the apparently all singing and dancing Google Images replacement is just not the same as Picasaweb and many of the features that I have been building in to provide easy access for those who like to visit my photo albums have been removed from the "improved" new service.

As at least a temporary fix I think I have found a way to maintain public viewing on the existing blog postings (there are around 100 albums here with up to 200 or so photos in some of them) via the link in the blog that will take you to the Google Archive where they have put all my Picasaweb albums. 

This means that if you press the "Click Here to View the Photo Album for this Report" link you will now be taken to a Google Archive which shows decent sized thumbnails for the images in the album. Click any of these and they will open up and show forward and back arrows to navigate through the album.

There are captions in a very small font size below the photo, but only two lines of text will show. If I have made a longer caption you can access the full caption, or any of them in a more readable format by clicking on the "i" button top right which will open a drop down box with the caption on it. You have to close this box to be able to move on to the next image.

When you have finished viewing, click the left arrow top left of the pane and this will take you back to the album title page with all the thumbnails. Click on the back arrow top left on the menu bar and this will take you back to the blogsite.

I have now updated the links on all 100 or so of the photo reports in this blog, so you should be able to access any of them as previously.

I have now found out how to edit captions but have not yet figured out how to create a new blog posting and link it to an album of photo images now that Picasaweb has gone. The acid test for this will be when it is time to produce my next report!

Please bear with me on this whilst I seek solutions and also please join me in cursing the CRETIN who dreamed up this "improvement to the Google service"


Amended and toned down from the original rant, 8 August 2016.

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