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Thread: Fix for missing photos (photobucket)

  1. #1
    g1
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    Fix for missing photos (photobucket)

    As many will know, photobucket royally screwed the net by revoking users photos on forums and elsewhere unless they paid what is basically a ransom. This has rendered many tutorials and forum discussions essentially useless if they relied on photos hosted by photobucket.

    There are a couple simple fixes now available that restore them where possible. They are add-ons, for firefox or chrome.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/fir...-embedded-fix/

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...fegnfnflicjjgj
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    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    I wonder how it (the new policy) will work out for them...
    Experience is something you get, just after you really needed it.

  3. #3
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    While that photobucket thing annoys me, I can't say that I fault them for it or that I didn't see it coming. Storage space and bandwidth cost money, and only a fool expects a perpetual free lunch. From the beginning their business model probably involved addicting people to a "free" service and eventually requiring them to pay for it. Hulu started the same way, and even ebay was "almost free" compared to the usurious rates they charge now.
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  4. #4
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    Ah yes. The 'drug dealer' business model.
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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Cool, but they should have warned everybody with due advance, say 90 days at least, during which time people could move stuff somewhere else.
    Worst case, to own computer, there´s lots of stuff I uploaded along the years, 90% of them small circuits to help people or cicuit snippets showing corrections or expected voltages, etc., for the same motive, and don´t have them on my own computer any more.

    Or even more, they might have stated:"from now on ..."

    In any case, shooting own foot: new users will pick something else from the beginning, old users which might have agreed on a small fee even for old stuff are now pissed off .
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  6. #6
    Supporting Member John_H's Avatar
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    It's really sad. They're the only photo host that I ever used, and I used them a lot. I used them to keep some of the heavy lifting off of tboy's server. Anyone who's been here a while remembers when all of the attachments were lost. That was huge, and this photobucket thing with them wanting ridiculous rates to continue hosting kind of pales in comparison. I used them for free for over ten years, and it worked great. The pictures loaded up quick, and clean. I never had a complaint, so I won't complain now, but rather be thankful for all of the free service. The sad thing is that very many were posted here on the m-e-f. I've still got all of the pictures, maybe not edited, but in full resolution. That was all old news anyway, so I'll try not to cry over spilled .jpeg's. I've been busy with a few little projects lately. What's the best hosting option available now?
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  7. #7
    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    I'm not sure who your provider is, John, so ignore this if it does not apply. Many service providers give you some free web/server space when you subscribe. And,... many subscribers are unaware of this. You might want to check with your IP and see if you have free web space as part of your subscription.
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  8. #8
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    The real problem with photobucket trashing the photo links in our threads is that we can't edit our old posts to update the photo links to point to a new host. the missing photos make all of the threads hard to follow. Maybe the solution is to allow editing old posts.
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  9. #9
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    Do we have firsthand confirmation that this works, and without any undesired side-effects?

    And if one installs it on one's own machine, then I gather it is a "fix" for that specific user, and any other user who has not similarly added it to their browser will continue to see the generic photobucket blank when someone else alludes to something that they can see but others can't?

  10. #10
    g1
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    Yes it works, no undesired side-effects have been reported.
    The fix is for the specific browser on the specific machine. No one without the add-on will see the pics.
    I'm not sure how it works, if it's going from a cache or getting around some kind of block.
    Many people got so mad they deleted all their pics from pbucket and closed their accounts. I'm assuming those pics will not show up, but if it's based on some kind of cache, they might show?
    And if it's some kind of a workaround, I'd imagine pbucket will find a new way to block, although due to all the ill-will they've generated, they might just leave it be.
    I recently had to partially tear down a tilt-steering column in an '85 Chevy. There were some (supposedly) great pic intensive tutorials on auto forums that were rendered completely useless because of the photobucket disaster. It ended up taking many more hours as a result. This add-on is a real godsend in such cases.
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  11. #11
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    Thanks. I installed it and am pleased to see pics again. Heck, I might even post stuff from Photobucket again.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hammer View Post
    Thanks. I installed it and am pleased to see pics again. Heck, I might even post stuff from Photobucket again.
    Overall I still think that posting supporting photos and documents using the built in MEF attachment feature works best. It is very convenient for the reader and downloading is allowed. Even though there was a loss of attachments a few years back, there are more 'gone missing" attachments due to situations such as the photobucket problem and with other various hosting services that posters don't maintain.
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  13. #13
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    That's a good solution going forward. But what about fixing the problem of the past? -- we can't update existing posts to fix broken photo links.

    I guess I don't understand why everything that gets written has to be etched into stone for eternity. I don't understand why forums on the internet refuse to let users edit their own posts. It's always seemed unreasonable to me.
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  14. #14
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    Accountability can be such a bitch.
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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    That's a good solution going forward. But what about fixing the problem of the past? -- we can't update existing posts to fix broken photo links.

    I guess I don't understand why everything that gets written has to be etched into stone for eternity. I don't understand why forums on the internet refuse to let users edit their own posts. It's always seemed unreasonable to me.
    I totally agree with our Chicagoan brother here. In fact, almost every case I remember it being particularly annoying, it involved broken image links.
    This is an easy fix for site administrators, I think.

    edit: Oh, and I was one of the people who downloaded and deleted all my photos because photobucket had rendered itself useless to me. Oops.
    If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

  16. #16
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    Accountability can be such a bitch.
    I think "accountability" is over rated by people who take the internet way too seriously.

    Seriously now -- what kind of stuff gets posted here that's so important that someone needs to hold someone else "accountable"? Capacitor selection? Bad advice about fixing an amp?

    The old site was a lot better in that regard. People had the choice to use their real name or to post anonymously, and posts that weren't important rolled away with time. Now we're archiving every silly comment in the soapbox for all eternity -- as if it provides some betterment for mankind. Here's a news flash -- It doesn't.

    In this case "accountability" is taken so seriously that it's become an impediment to fixing something that's broken. In that context, "accountability" has brought us a wealth of broken links and useless posts that cannot be fixed. We've lost data, and it's "accountability" that has made us losers and keeps us as losers. Maybe we'd be better off if we stopped being so tight-assed about "accountability" and focused on making things work the way they were intended to work.

    We have only 3 options:
    1. Make the administrators fix everything.
    2. Let the users fix their own stuff.
    3. Leave everything broken.

    I don't like Option 3.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  17. #17
    g1
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    You have option #2, just not the way you like it, but you still have it.
    You can go into any thread and re-post anything missing from your own posts.
    You have not gone through all your old posts and done this, and I'm sure you wouldn't go through them all if you were able to edit them, so there is really no difference.
    When someone notes in a post that something is missing, it gets re-posted if the OP is still around, or someone else reposts if possible.
    The exact same thing would happen if old posts could be edited. In cases where it was someone's own drawing etc., if they were no longer around it still ends up missing.
    Option #1 is impossible as the original info is gone.
    Option #3 is not what is happening so I don't get why you mention it. Stuff is getting re-posted in the same amount it would with edits, just in a different spot in the threads.

    As for your distaste for accountability because it happens to be inconvenient for you today, I'm sure you will see it's merits on all those other days (as you have always shown in the past). No I'm not taking your statement out of context. Accountability starts with the lowliest, seemingly inconsequential bits, and carries to the matters of grave consequence. You either have a culture of accountability or you don't.
    From what I gather, we don't anymore.
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  18. #18
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Here’s an example of a thread where I’ve tried to fix the missing image problem back in August -- by appending the original photo to the end of the thread.

    Honey, I Shrunk the Resistors

    This thread in particular illustrates the value of allowing someone the opportunity to go back and fix the photobucket-type problems.

    This thread is one that’s relatively easy to follow – it’s only got one photo missing from the first post – but that one missing photo sets the premise for the entire thread, and without the photo the entire premise for the thread becomes lost.

    Lost. Lost as in there have been new threads that have come along about small resistor size, and we end up rehashing the same old ground all over again because the key element (photo) from the reference thread about small resistor size is gone. Starting new threads is a waste of time. We’d all be better off if the existing threads were complete rather than missing key pieces of data.

    I tried to rectify the problem locating my original photo, which I had saved to disk, and appending it to the end of the thread. The thread would have been more readable if I had the ability to put the photo where it would do the most good, but I’m denied that opportunity because g1 insists that “accountability” is more important that readability of the threads.

    I beg to differ. The primary purpose of this site is to convey information, not to enforce "accountability." When "accountability" interferes with the main purpose of this site, conveying information, then an irrational fixation on "accountability" becomes a part of the problem.

    Looking at that thread as an example, I would contend that the proposed model of "fixing" the problem of missing posts by tagging additional posts onto the end of the thread is a poorly conceived "solution." Such a band-aid method works OK in a simple thread like the small resistors thread, because there isn't a lot of technical info being passed back and forth in the form of multiple pictures in multiple posts. One missing picture is easy enough to replace without making the procedure of following the thread too difficult for the reader.

    But what about those threads where there are several pieces of data missing, where reading and comprehending the thread becomes impossible because of a glut of missing data? What would work better – putting the photos back where they belong or just tagging them onto the end of the thread?

    The proposed solution of appending data to the end of the thread is just inferior. The best method of thread repair would be allow people to put replacement photos in the location where the missing photos actually belong.

    By appending photos to the end of a thread, the reader is now forced to try to scroll back and forth between the text of the top of the thread and the images at the bottom, while trying to decipher the meaning of the thread by looking at a collection of new photos that are in the wrong place and trying to determine where to insert them in the thread to make sense.

    Not only would one reader be forced to do that, but every reader would be forced to do that. That kind of solution would multiply the wasted time of one person by a large number of users. Everyone who reads the thread would be wasting time, with the aggregate result potentially wasting hundreds of man hours.

    Is there a better way? Of course. Let one person fix the problem so that everyone benefits!

    Readability of the thread would be enhanced if we allowed authors to go back and fix the problem of disappearing images at the exact point where the images are missing. If we allowed that to happen then the ability to read and comprehend the threads would be improved for everyone. That would allow everyone reading the thread to benefit from the effort of one person who did the image fixing, rather than forcing every person reading the thread to go through the effort of deciphering the thread that has pictures where they were never intended to be.

    I just don’t see how anyone can consider such a simple solution to be wrong, given that it allows one person's effort to benefit everyone else on the site.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    As many will know, photobucket royally screwed the net by revoking users photos on forums and elsewhere unless they paid what is basically a ransom.
    And this is why it's wise to look at all cloud services with a deeply sceptical eye. The cloud giveth, and the cloud taketh away, and there shall be much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth when that happens.

    This doesn't just apply to free cloud services. Businesses fail, or change course - its quite possible your paid-for cloud service will disappear one day, possibly with little warning. If it's due to legal trouble (such as an FBI takedown because of a software piracy lawsuit), there is a good chance it will never come back. This has already happened to thousands of people.

    Keeping all your stuff on your own computer has its hazards too, of course. Hard drives fail, eventual data loss is a given, so you better have backups. And virtually nobody has the triplicate backups (including at least one off-site backup) that are usually recommended. If your house burns down, taking your computers and backups with it, you'll be SOL.

    But I prefer to be responsible for my own computer data. If I lose it, it's my own fault. I can accept that with more grace than having some faceless corporation pull the plug on me without warning.

    -Gnobuddy
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  20. #20
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    And this is why it's wise to look at all cloud services with a deeply sceptical eye. The cloud giveth, and the cloud taketh away, and there shall be much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth when that happens.
    There are several good reasons for not allowing your information to be stored in the cloud. This is only one of them.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  21. #21
    g1
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    The proposed solution of appending data to the end of the thread is just inferior. The best method of thread repair would be allow people to put replacement photos in the location where the missing photos actually belong.
    Have you ever bothered to check if anyone could do this for you? Is it unacceptable if you can't do it yourself?
    There are also downsides to editing. Like when you are in the second page (or worse) of a thread, trying to make sense of some impossibility and someone says "oh, didn't you see, I edited the first post". It happens and it's maddening. Would be even worse beyond the 24hr period. I try to avoid edits for that reason. If someone is working off email thread subscriptions, I doubt they check for edits?
    I've been on forums where everything is temporary and ever changing. It's a nightmare. Aside from all the other issues, posts are often of lesser quality because everyone posts under the assumption they can 'fix it in the mix'.
    The only bad that has ever come by way this forum's editing policy is from some attachments lost in one single crash. I'm pretty sure that it will not happen again.
    Anyway, I'm checking on a possible remedy.
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    g1
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    The proposed solution of appending data to the end of the thread is just inferior. The best method of thread repair would be allow people to put replacement photos in the location where the missing photos actually belong.
    Here is how to get that done:
    Honey, I Shrunk the Resistors
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  23. #23
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    That's a good solution going forward. But what about fixing the problem of the past? -- we can't update existing posts to fix broken photo links.

    I guess I don't understand why everything that gets written has to be etched into stone for eternity. I don't understand why forums on the internet refuse to let users edit their own posts. It's always seemed unreasonable to me.
    I suspect that the reasoning behind that policy is that in heated discussions people could edit older posts to make their opponents look like fools, idiots or assholes, and themselves like geniuses or saints.

    Here at MEF anyone can send me a message to edit an older post and I will do it. (I think that you can edit your own posts for something like 24 hours.) I don't get email notifications of PMs here so it is best to send me an email through the site as explained below..

    As shown in the following pictures click on my name (Fig. 1) to see a list of options (Fig. 2):


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  24. #24
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Over the years I posted perhaps a thousand images to Photobucket. As far as I know they are still there - it is the links in forums which have been disabled.

    So people can retrieve them and upload them to Dropbox whose 2GB limit for free accounts should handle a hell of a lot of images. One tip: when you get the code to share a file online it includes the tag "dl=0" at the end which disables a direct download. Change the 0 to a 1 (or delete the entire tag) to turn it into a real link!

    (With the dl=0 tag users get a webpage offering to save the file to a Dropbox account, or create one if the user doesn't have one... most people say NO THANKS!)

    Steve A.

    P.S. I just checked and my 700 images are still there on Photobucket but it would be a hassle to download all of them and it looks like their resolution is lower than it had been before. These are mainly scans of album jackets and the text on the back used to be very legible. (I do have all of the originals on ext hard drives.)

    Wow! Only $399.99 a year to have my old links displayed again. (That is not much more than $1 a day.) That is even worse than Dropbox which allows you to upgrade your basic 2GB free account to 1TB for $9.99/mo or $99.99/yr. I *had* a free 48GB bonus that came with my Samtung tablet but that expired after 2 years. Heck, I would have gladly paid $25/yr for 100GB (or even 50GB) but that was not an option. BTW there are steps you can take to increase your free 2GB to 7 or 8GB.

    Here's the kicker about Photobucket: with them asking for $399.99 a year for a premium account you *know* that they are in financial trouble and likely to go bankrupt within the next few years - and when that happens all of your images will be gone!

    Adobe charges $9.99/mo for their Acrobat package that allows you to convert webpages and documents into PDF files. And I think that the basic Netflix plan is still $8/mo. Where does Photobucket get the idea that users will pay $400 a year for features mainly used for regular folks on forums? Businesses are *NOT* going to host their images there!
    Last edited by Steve A.; 10-11-2017 at 10:42 AM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve A. View Post
    ...you *know* that they are in financial trouble and likely to go bankrupt within the next few years...
    I have been thinking the same thing.

    And it won't be the first time a cloud service has gone belly-up and drifted away into that great Internet in the sky. Or the last.

    I remember, back in the year 2000, using a free online storage service (it wasn't called "the cloud" yet, except in computer networking textbooks describing TCP/IP and the OSI model). You installed some software on your Windows computer, and got a file-folder icon on your desktop. Copy your data to it, and it automatically uploaded to some remote server somewhere. You could, of course, get back the data the same way - if you installed the same software on another internet-connected computer, the folder on that desktop would show all the same files, and you could drag them out of there to anywhere else on your PC.

    I don't think that particular service (I've forgotten it's name) lasted even one full year after I discovered it. Good thing I didn't have any data there which wasn't also backed up to Zip discs. (Anyone remember those? A whopping one hundred megabytes of data on one disc - 85 floppy discs worth! Wow!)

    -Gnobuddy

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