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 Post subject: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:48 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Watchung, NJ
Good afternoon all,

I noticed this weekend that it appears that Jerry LaBoda's excellent passenger car website appears to be ... no more. All the link pages for the various rosters no longer work. It would appear that the site is currently in "limbo" and the main "home page" appears to not be long for this world as well.

While the website is well known to most of the regulars here on RYPN, for those who may not know about the website I'm referring to, the website can be found here: http://passcarphotos.info/

It was reported on this forum that the website's founder (and webmaster) Jerry LaBoda passed away earlier this year. Does anyone know if there were any arrangements put in place to continue the website?

The website was a "roster page" and a "history page" all wrapped around a "link" page that produced one the better research tools on the net. Its loss would be significant to those of us who liked to use the site for researching passenger cars.

I wondered if any one of the larger rail museums or organization would have been willing to have continued that website?

Does anyone have any information regarding if Jerry left any instructions on what he wanted to see happen with his website?

Thanks in advance to anyone who might be able to share some information.

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Eric S. Strohmeyer
CNJ Rail Corporation


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 3:49 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:57 am
Posts: 182
It seems to be a tad broken, but the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine grabbed a copy of what looks like the whole site in April. https://web.archive.org/web/20180406060 ... otos.info/


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:34 am 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 343
Location: Orrville, OH
I'd think it likely that the hosting invoice hasn't been paid and the hosting company redirected the home/index page until the invoice is paid. It's likely the site still exists, temporarily, or you would have gotten a "file not found" page or worse, "domain name is for sale". I'd recommend contacting the executor of his estate.

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Eric Schlentner
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http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:27 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 4:29 pm
Posts: 1325
Location: Youngstown, OH
Both this resource and Keystone Crossings have recently shut down. This is an inherent problem with Internet based platforms. Here today, gone tomorrow and usually by the time we find out about it, the deed has already been done.

What would it take for us here at RYPN to become a host for some of these web based sources of historic railroad information? How would that be set up? What would it cost to run? Could we raise money to keep the websites online?

Rail preservation is after all more than just painting and restoring equipment.

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Rick Rowlands
J&L Narrow Gauge Railroad
"The shortest and narrowest Railroad in Ohio"


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:42 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8855
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Eric S Strohmeyer wrote:
I wondered if any one of the larger rail museums or organization would have been willing to have continued that website?

It's been my unfortunate experience that, as minimal as the actual costs may be over time (in some cases the cost of one copy of a good rail history book or so a year), no rail history organization seems interested in taking on the hosting or preservation of any online collaborative history archive that features anything beyond what they can see from their station/office window. The few that do use them more to entice sales of more information or photos than as any archive usable to the researcher.

Sites like steamlocomotive.com/.info, thedieselshop.us, and rypn.org are all in jeopardy of someone simply dying, or worse just turning off the lights because someone was offended by something someone else said/posted and wantonly threatens the site owner with litigation. Yet no organization like the NRHS, R&LHS, Heritage Rail Association, etc. has, to my knowledge, made any overtures to rectify that situation.

I have seen (and actively worked with) similar information-archive sites where steps were undertaken to find sponsors or "heirs" to ensure survival of the sites--and then the daunting prospect of, for example, Google turning around and threatening to impose five-figure annual fees for features such as interactive map interfaces, that formerly were "free."

People forget that even Wikipedia can just "go away." Even Craigslist, once Craig wakes up from his coma and wonders just what the heck happened to his blog.......


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:49 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8855
Location: Somewhere north of Prescott, AZ on the Santa Fe "Peavine"
Rick Rowlands wrote:
What would it take for us here at RYPN to become a host for some of these web based sources of historic railroad information?


"Someone" relinquishing control of the RyPN domain and content to those more willing, determined and able to make it a more functional site.

We've been stuck with the "autopilot" status quo for over ten years now. Even the home-page item on "new" articles is now nearly a year old.

This lack of action or movement damages the utility and credibility of RyPN FAR, FAR more than any perceived hostility on these forums.


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 343
Location: Orrville, OH
Websites can be moved, domain registrations transferred. Just takes permissions and coordination. The base cost of of being online is pretty cheap - I pay $10/mo for unlimited space and email accounts for hosting and $20/yr for domain name renewal including an SSL certificate.

As for RyPN, I do have thoughts on a revamp if anyone wants to discuss it. It would require some of us that are tech savvy to administer it, though. You don't need to relinquish control, just grant access.

Oh, and add a Paypal button to accept donations to cover costs. And, is RyPN still a non-profit? I assume because of the .org domain

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Eric Schlentner
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http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:53 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:48 am
Posts: 97
Rick Rowlands wrote:
What would it take for us here at RYPN to become a host for some of these web based sources of historic railroad information? How would that be set up? What would it cost to run? Could we raise money to keep the websites online?

I've grabbed a copy of passcarphotos.info from the Wayback Machine and worked to compile it all together back into a working website. Only one page on Pullman cars was missing from the archive and is considered lost. It can be viewed here: http://passcarphotos.rypn.org/


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:55 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:48 am
Posts: 97
jayrod wrote:
Websites can be moved, domain registrations transferred. Just takes permissions and coordination. The base cost of of being online is pretty cheap - I pay $10/mo for unlimited space and email accounts for hosting and $20/yr for domain name renewal including an SSL certificate.

Oh, and add a Paypal button to accept donations to cover costs. And, is RyPN still a non-profit? I assume because of the .org domain

RyPN used to be a non-profit years ago. These days RyPN is not even incorporated. The .org is leftover from that era.

RyPN commonly averages 15-20 simultaneous visitors. Once you get that much simultaneous traffic you will find that most shared hosts will force you into a higher priced VPS package.


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:05 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:42 pm
Posts: 2528
I suspect that if you did a bit of searching, you could find somebody who'd host the site for free.

I know I'd do it, if they were willing to allow a few banner ads. I currently lease a server with 10 TB of bandwidth per month. Pretty sure this site would barely put a dent in that.

I'd even upgrade the site to the current version of Xenforo. It's really nice forum software, full featured, works great.

You can see a sample of it here:
http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/index.php

The model railroad side is the most active site, typically having over 100 concurrent users at a time.
http://www.modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php

I've made the same offer previously, but for whatever reason it never got past initial discussions.


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:19 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 343
Location: Orrville, OH
If you really wanted to get the Photo Index back online, pay the hosting bill if it hasn't been too long. If someone knows Jerry's family, you'll need to get the account info to log in and do so. Then you can do a full backup to your local machine. Domain ownership can be transferred in some cases for free. Then the site can stay where it is or be moved elsewhere. I know nothing about RyPN's hosting service i.e. space requirements, bandwidth, cost, etc. so I can't say if moving it to this server would be a good idea. If changes need to be made for hosting, check out 1&1's offerings. Seems to be the best bang for the buck without nickel and dimming you to death or being a pain to work with. I maintain serveral sites there. Or find someone that will give us space for free (as well as access).

Has anyone approached Heritage Rail or others about hosting preservation stuff?

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Eric Schlentner
ORHS Car Knocker & Gandy Dancer
http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:17 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5487
Location: southeastern USA
jayrod wrote:
Has anyone approached Heritage Rail or others about hosting preservation stuff?


Well, their counsel used to post here...…(runs for cover).

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Santayana: "He who does not remember the past is condemned to repeat it."
Corollary: "He who does is doomed to watch those who don't repeat it anyway."


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 343
Location: Orrville, OH
For what it's worth, the number the on the redirect page is for GoDaddy Support. So it's likely offline for lack of payment and will go away after a certain amount of time.

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Eric Schlentner
ORHS Car Knocker & Gandy Dancer
http://www.orrvillerailroad.com


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:35 pm 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 10:22 am
Posts: 488
You need to be aware that this site is just links.

Jerry LaBoda must have spent a lot of time just maintaining the page.

-Hudson


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 Post subject: Re: Loss of Passenger Car Photo Index
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:48 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:48 pm
Posts: 25
Location: Watchung, NJ
HudsonL wrote:
You need to be aware that this site is just links.

Jerry LaBoda must have spent a lot of time just maintaining the page.



I think I indicated previously that Passenger Car Info site was a "link site" .... However, Mr. LaBoda also included car names, car numbers, previous owners, and in many cases was able to even cross reference cars when they "changed ownership" ....

In the case of Pullman and Budd cars, he included information such as Plan numbers, interior configuration information (such as bedroom and seat info), and even rebuilding information.... It wasn't just compiling all the photo links, there was a lot of research which went into the history sections of the website.

While his site was not "perfect" (no website ever is), it was one of the most comprehensive sites that I've ever seen.


David wrote:
I've grabbed a copy of passcarphotos.info from the Wayback Machine and worked to compile it all together back into a working website. Only one page on Pullman cars was missing from the archive and is considered lost. It can be viewed here: http://passcarphotos.rypn.org/


Thank you so much David for securing a copy of the website before it was completely lost!

jayrod wrote:
I'd think it likely that the hosting invoice hasn't been paid and the hosting company redirected the home/index page until the invoice is paid. It's likely the site still exists, temporarily, or you would have gotten a "file not found" page or worse, "domain name is for sale". I'd recommend contacting the executor of his estate.


I noticed tonight that even Jerry's cover page has now disappeared completely from the web. The copy found here on RYPN appears to be the only copy out there that's accessible. I don't know if there is anything left to salvage at Go Daddy. I'm grateful David secured a copy of the complete website before it was lost....


To the moderators I ask this question:

Is there any way to give the RYPN copy of Jerry' website its own "link button" on the main page so it can be easily found?

In time this thread will drop off the first few pages of the Interchange. It would be so much easier if there was direct link we could access the LaBoda website from off of the RYPN home page...

Also,

I'm willing to volunteer and help out with the upkeep of Mr. LaBoda's portion of the website... I'll be honest, I'm not at all proficient in the language of webpages, but I would be willing to help check links, update historical data, and work with those here on RYPN who are technically savvy enough to write the script needed to keep Jerry's website a first class resource....

We often hear people complain about this or that not getting done because of (fill in the blank) excuse. In reality, a task is often left uncompleted because no one stepped up to complete the task at hand.

In that regard, I feel before I complain about the loss of the site, I better dam well step up and volunteer to help keep it going. David was kind enough to save a copy of the site before it was lost.

So David, and the other moderators, how does one go about volunteering for the task?

Who knows, maybe there are others who are willing to help out too ?? ....

If RYPN were to make Jerry's website a part of this site, would anyone else be willing to help out as well to make sure that portion of the site stays update and relevant?

I'm willing to help out with that part at least.

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Eric S. Strohmeyer
CNJ Rail Corporation


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