The New Boards: Site bulletins, guidance, protocol and info.

Capt. Mike

During a routine housecleaning, I moved a new post that did not follow site guidelines. It was a typical case of a "newbie" attempting to start a new topic on a question that already had its own topic. Apparently he didn't read his email on the move, and posted a complaint. A 2nd member then asked what happened to his reply. Below is my response to him, and a suggestion for all members.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>I've noted your comment about a 'reply' disappearing. Unfortunately, replies to improper posts usually get cut along with the post. Simply a function of the physical effort required to save them.

A constant problem with a site that is not Chat-Room format, where members don't get to have their own topics, is dozens of posts get cut or moved daily. Almost all are just new members that haven't bothered to read the Site Guidelines or the "New Boards" topic in the JUST CONVERSATIONS forum. So they are usually starting a new topic, asking something that is already on the site. If I could get everyone to read AND DO Guideline #4, half my work would disappear.

Most of the regular members will not answer a post that does not follow site guidelines, knowing that it will soon be eliminated or moved. It also discourages members from what sometimes is an obsession that their question is somehow unique, has never been experienced by a Westy owner before, and therefore deserves its own special topic. Or that they think if they start a new topic it will get a quicker response. Both are false but it crops up. When it sits with zero replies for a few days -- for example when I can't get to the site for catch up -- they might start to think about following the rules.

So I suggest you not respond to new topics or misposts. Or at least wait a few days. IF the post ads significantly to the general body of knowledge, I will move it, but replies compound the effort required and can actually reduce the incentive to move a marginal one. New topics are now the exception. Even those are often topics I establish in the every-changing forums when a subject either gets enough attention or mutates into one that deserves separate coverage. An example -- I pulled Hydraulic Lifters out of the Cylinder Head & Valve topic when it became large enough to justify it's own topic.

However new topics by members, especially newbies, are extremely rare. Look at the "New Post" member's Post # lower left corner -- if it's in the single digits, chances are it will be cut or moved. Also click on their email logo. If it comes up an obvious phony, you might as well count on it being cut.
I will NOT go to the considerable effort of moving a post when the member attempts to deceive or block me from communicating with him. Thus when I click on that icon, if it's a phony, my incentive to move the post also drops to ground zero. It will then take a very significant contribution to the general body of knowledge to justify continuing.

Per John, the site owner: "Everyone involved with the site is a volunteer. We do it out of love for the hobby and as a service to the Westy community. It is not the "job" of anyone. And it is definitely not the job of anyone to clean up after visitors who do not have the time to read the forum guidelines or time to determine what is OK." So may I suggest you just hold back on replying to posts that ignore site guidelines? It will assist us in enforcing the site guidelines. Thanks.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We do appreciate your input and contributions to the site; that's what makes it work. I assume by now you've read the rest of that post and A. Cooper's reply. He hit the nail on the head!

A. Cooper

New member
Dear New Member,
(reposted here for emphasis)

Sorry you got scolded by Capt. Mike, but don't feel bad: it's happened to many of us. Sounds like you posted a question where it didn't belong, i.e. a model-specific query under the more general "Introductions" topic. The good Captain doesn't like such disorder, and he's kinda cranky about it. The result, however, is undoubtedly the most complete, concise, and well organized resource (online or otherwise) for all Westfalia Campers, from the 1960's models up to your 2002 EuroVan. From the Message Boards Forum table-of-contents page, just select your appropriate "chapter" heading, topic, sub-topic, and WHAM -- pages of Q+A between members and/or Capt. Mike will appear, often teaching you everything you wanted to know about that topic. Or simply use the Search feature to find every post regarding, say "brake pads". Quick, easy, organized, and continually updated.

By contrast, other sites I've visited seem to have no order whatsoever, with threads drifting from one topic to another, and discussions are archived not by topic, but by DATE! Not much help unless you already happen to know that a great discussion regarding the proper cleaning of your fridge flue occurred during Week Three of March, 1997 ...

You'll probably find that most of your questions have already been answered here in the Message Boards, so peruse them carefully before spending time composing a question (again) and waiting for an answer (again). Many members may simply ignore your repeated question, and the venerable Capt. Mike isn't the only one who may rap your knuckles for such wasteful use of valuable bandwidth.

Explore the Boards, enjoy your new Westy, and I hope you experience many years of camping pleasure. Be sure to honk and wave as you pass me while climbing the mountains. I'll be the guy driving the pokey 1983 diesel Westy, and I'll probably have my flashers on ...

A. Cooper


New member
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> "The good Captain doesn't like such disorder, and he's kinda cranky about it. The result, however, is undoubtedly the most complete, concise, and well organized resource (online or otherwise) for all Westfalia Campers, from the 1960's models up to your 2002 EuroVan." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A. Cooper, Excellent reply!!
Not only is your explanation comprehensive, it is tactful beyond anything I could have mustered.

I would like to add one comment though, for those who might take Capt. Mike's dislike of disorder, and being cranky about it, as some sort of neurotic character flaw.

My take, and preference, is that Capt Mike's wealth of knowledge is best used in the service of responding to our queries. Not only is he knowledgable, he is also generous, patient, honest. and thorough.

For me, Capt Mike is always the last word, and I hate to see his time and energy wasted on the repetitive, mundane chores of site housekeeping.I can't imagine that it is anything but a source of frustration for him.

Now I'm wondering if John B could program in some code which would not allow any new members to post without first reading the guidelines. I'd be willing to bet that would cut down on some of the errata.

Happy posting, happy camping.

'87 Westy

Capt. Mike

Thanks, guys. I'm not "cranky", I'm curmudgeonly! The movie, Grumpy Old Men was a documentary; Walter Mathieu played me.

Moderating now consumes most of my time and subtracts from my first love, researching those really challenging problems.

Capt. Mike

West site tech drawings URL changed!

Yahoo, in their continued reduction of services, has removed all of my pictures from the original briefcase to a new "photo" site at We've asked the site owner to update the links. This now means my documents are on the old site -- not much related to the Westy site -- and the pictures on the new. Since Yahoo's transfer software wasn't "intelligent" enough to determine which were pictures and which were text, it only transferred the .jpg file, which left a number of .GIF and .TIF files on the old site. I think I've got the applicable ones converted to .jpg and all transferred now.

Sorry for the inconvenience -- it was Yahoo, not us.

Capt. Mike

Transferred to consolidate same topic.

gkasparek Junior Member posted March 29, 2004 04:46 PM

Suddenly I can no longer Search. When I go to My Space I can clearly see that right has been removed. Any idea why?

Capt. Mike Tech Writer posted March 31, 2004 05:16 AM

"Search" has been replaced with "Find" in the latest edition of the software. But this edition still has lots of bugs. One change is that, when within a forum, a search will default to search only that forum. If you want to search the whole site, you must "uncheck" the box below the keyword.

The "Find" function was working this morning; there is no indication of suspension of rights in your member profile. Try again; if it persists, notify the site owner. I'm only the tech writer and not up on all the computereze.

Capt. Mike

Transferred to consoslidate same topic.

Chuck (CA) Power Member posted March 31, 2004 06:31 PM

What is the "Premium Membership"...there is a fee for this level of service...did I miss something...I noticed the box at the bottom of the main forum page...any help is appreciated...Chuck (CA)

Capt. Mike

Infopop's latest edition of the site software is with its usual bugs. One is that it doesn't load the full home page so many items that you could scroll down to have disappeared.

John has moved the link to my tech drawings to the left menu on the index page now. I gave it a test spin today as a member and it seemed to work fine. Yahoo has reduced service and even eliminated pictures from the old Briefcase site, but I've moved everything into the new Yahoo photo site.

Their gambit is for you to order prints, but for just browsing, you can get a serviceable copy by right-clicking your mouse and <Save picture as>. Then you can pull it up in a graphics package for manipulation.

To refresh, there are currently 4 albums. One is "My other car is . . .", which has photos of my antiques and some related pics. The 2nd is "My photos", which are just some interesting photos I've accumulated over time. Do look at the burned out RV -- to bring home the dangers of LP if we aren't careful.

The bread & butter of the site are albums 3 & 4. #3 is the tech drawings and photos. Many scans of obsolete publications, charts, wiring diagrams, etc. #4 contains photos of various equipment and modifications of my Westies.


Capt. Mike

Infopop's latest software upgrade has a defect that prevents the full home page from loading. As a result, many items further down the scroll are 'missing.' One was the Tech Drawings link. Many posts throughout the tech boards will direct members to the Tech Drawings link on the "home page". John has duplicated that link at the top of the forum index page until the Infopop bug is solved.

Also, for your information, the host site dropped all photos out of the old Briefcase feature, thus the photos and tech drawings were all transferred to a new Photos site, Capt. Mike's Tech Drawings with an URL address of Any references to the older URL containing the word 'briefcase' are no longer valid. I still have the Briefcase site, but it is now used for our publication work. Visitors usually get an "empty" notice because the contents are not set for public viewing.

However, a major defect in the new photos board is that the drawings, though clear and of useable size on screen, can't be downloaded in the usual right click, <save picture as> format and retain original size. The <save picture as> mode reduces size. Since enlarging in a graphics package will usually pixelate or lose quality, they are probably trying to force you to order the pictures. The <print picture> and <email picture> have the same reduced size. You can print the screen via your brower package but that does not guarantee original size either.

I use photoshop and have expanded the file back to useable size with it's "image size" feature with reasonable success. However, that package also allows me to reset resolution, which I then specify for 'best' or maximum. The downloaded image is usually set for the coarse screen resolution of 72 lpi, so increasing to 133 lpi or 266-300 dpi (depending on package) restores some of the quality.

I did start a test order process. It looks like 4x6" prints are $0.19, 5x7" $0.99 and 8x10" are $2.99. I didn't run the order through completion, but postage appears to be about $2. This is not outrageous and if you are ordering a number of prints at the same time, isn't all that much above say a commercial copy center price. Especially if you are downloading color pictures or copies. This is NOT a plug for Yahoo, but it is a gloss print vs. whatever you can massage out of the download or if you have no graphics package.

Capt. Mike

Copied from another forum -- more applicable to this one.

Chuck (CA) Super Member Posted August 27, 2005 08:13 PM

It doesn't get any better....having this great site to read for fun and to get factual there anyway to transfer the contents to CD/s for reference on the road...I was thinking that a basic CD his could be done and sold for $XXXX....then....updates could be done as needed or desired....WOW! What do yall think about this idea?

Wonder how difficult this would be? Could somone outline the necessary steps to accomplish this?

Capt. Mike

RE: Site boards on CD:

I've copied the post into this forum in hopes of attracting a more detailed discussion with some proposed solutions. Chat is temporary -- and I think this deserves a more permanent or on-going look.

That suggestions has been made before and I've had some discussions with John about it. It seems like a welcome idea, especially with lap-top use on the road increasing.

In a way, I think we may have been looking at it in a too refined method. Reformatting into some sort of CD might actually be more complex than we need. Also the ability to keep 'up-to-date'.

I'm NOT even ¼-way literate in computereze. Could the entire boards be transferred into a CD, with some minimum indexing, even if as lowly as a .PDF format document? Don't know but hopefully someone may have a solution. I'll ask John to investigate with Infopop again.

As to updating, I think the boards are at a point where updating can be accomplished by widely spaced new editions. A CD can probably hold the entire site with room to spare. The boards have matured to the point there is surprisingly little new information -- more elaborations and wrinkles to existing problems. I've often said that the sucess of this site is not by how many new posts, but by how few. Few posts mean the information is complete and the members could find it with just the indexes & search engine. Thus I think an annual new edition that replaces the old should be adequate. That would automatically pick up revised posts, edits, etc., as well.

I'd presume we need a method that allows the CD to be made and then duplicates burned on demand on John's home computer. I'm sure a commercial production with minimum batches and all that entails wouldn't be practical.

So I guess the questions are: What about it John? Can the Message Boards be converted to a CD? Does anyone have any expertise or resources to help in this project?

Then could you figure out a way to burn a CD whenever someone orders plus charge enough to help support the site?
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Capt. Mike

Moderator Classifieds

The Westfalia Site classified sections has been remodeled. The direct link is Westy Site Classifieds. These classifieds will have an appearance closer to our Message Board format.

If you have ads on the old Classifieds, please repost on the new; the transfer is not automatic as it is totally different software.

The Westy Classifieds work! I'd accumulated some parts, accessories and an engine stand that were now surplus. Most went quickly and the Community has salvaged to good use some items that would have headed for the dump.

Capt. Mike

:cool:John has redesigned the home page. One change is that the Tech Drawings link is now located in the left menu box instead of near the end of the bottom of the home page. The Message Boards are now titled the "Knowledge Base"
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Capt. Mike

Transferred; removing similar topic with little activity.


<Stonebreaker> Posted September 11, 2001 04:33 AM

Greetings!! I do not want to sound rude or anything ,but how does one go about unsubscribing from this list.

My wife and I do not own a Westy anymore and I realy do not need more email, as I get plenty daily.

Capt. Mike Tech Writer Super Member Posted September 13, 2001 11:48 PM

Use any of the "contact us" links and ask the site owner John Babiak to remove you from the membership roles.

Might want to wait a little while -- one of our other site members went into withdrawal symptoms and had to run out and buy a new Winnie after just a few weeks!

And the site rarely sends any email -- maybe one a year if there are important updates or changes. It does NOT maintain and use a 'mail list' for spam and does not sell it's list.

JohnB Webmaster Member Posted September 15, 2001 01:38 AM

In order to unsubscribe all you have to do is let us know and we'll delete your user id.


tarmadilo Member Posted February 24, 2004 09:08 AM

I've seen many references to the Site Guidelines, but am unable to find them! Probably hiding right in plain sight, but still...

Cheers, Tim

Capt. Mike Tech Writer Super Member Posted March 19, 2004 06:03 AM

Scroll to the bottom of every page -- the Guidelines are a prominent link. Since they open in a new window, you can have it open to refer to while making your posts.

Capt. Mike

2008 Boards

:confused: The newest boards (2008) include a change in the index display. Within each forum is an index of the topics. The old boards used to display all topics in one long list. The new boards display about 15-20 topics per page, depending on topic title size. There are then additional pages. Be sure you have looked at all pages to avoid missing a topic. Do NOT start a new topic; there is a 99% change that your question laready has an appropriate topic started.:eek:

Capt. Mike

Rate a thread

:confused: Our site now has the ability for members to "rate" a thread. When you are in a thread or topic, on the top menu bar is a <Rate Thread> link. I opens into a menu of Stars, up to 5 for Excellent. Give some of our threads a rating so we can see if there's room for improvement or perhas a needed update. Please note the stars are for the quality of the topic, NOT for the vendor, product or subject being discuss. A forum that warns against a vendor, for instance, in a clear and documented manner such that a member could make an informed choice as to using them, can be Excellent or 5-star, even if the vendor is lousy.

Capt. Mike

Illegal spammer

We are suffering a spat of illegal spammer posts. They are usually new topics titled & headed up with a brand/model of some electronic item like an iPod. They then post a long list of electronic items for sale and post Yahoo or similar, difficult to track emails as their only contact info. There is no company ID or info. :mad:DO NOT USE! Although the site owner or I will try to delete and ban as soon as we find & ID, they may remain posted for a short period while tracking. Tracking indicates they are not a US or Canadian company -- if that's what they are at all -- despite apparently US emails. We think they originate out of Eastern Europe or Russia and are probably a scam. They may be a phishing operation attempting to elicite a response for tracking purposes or identity theft so even clicking on the links may be dangerous.

Repeat: DO NOT USE!
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Capt. Mike


Junior Member

Hello all,

I'm new here and am looking at purchasing my first Westy. I've got my eyes on a couple of 1970 Type IIs and would like to review the guidelines that I've read so much about on this site. Maybe I'm blind or missing something but I've been looking all over for these guidelines. Can anyone provide me with a link to them?

Thanks in advance,


Obviously, immediately after posting, I found them.

If anyone else has the same problem with me here they are:

Always love having my first post on a forum showcasing my stupidity... :D
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Capt. Mike

Sort of like "it was too close to see" right there in the opening Notices block? Been there, done that

Suggest you also read the "Missing Posts" link since your email is blocked to the moderators. I couldn't tell you I was moving it to the existing topic that covers "New boards . . . guidance . . ."

Capt. Mike

Private Messages via site

Do NOT use the private message boards to contact me; I do not monitor them. I don't mind Westy site e-mail that expands on a posted topic, is something unrelated or not appropriate to the forums, or asks/gives a clarification on something I've already posted. Or perhaps questions the accuracy of my or someone else's post so as not to embarrass anyone. Besides, if you ask the question in the Message Boards, others will benefit as well. I'm always looking for my errors and new information. But it had reached the point I was getting dozens of emails asking very simple, in-the-manual & already posted questions. It was taking an hour or so A DAY to clear personal e-mail.

If you meet the Guidelines (including #4) and do e-mail me direct, remember I DO NOT keep them but a few days and get too many to remember who/what/where. Give your full real name, member ID and then state your year, model & a problem recap each time, or include the original messages. For security purposes, I will not respond to an unidentified sender or just an email as name. :cool: