Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a "Typewriter Hunter" and how can I become one?
A. There are several levels of membership within the TWDB, and simply becoming a "Member" by signing up and validating your email is just the first step. Just signing up automatically grants very little except the ability to upload a profile photo and description, which I encourage you to do before moving on to the next step.
"Typewriter Hunter" is the membership level that allows you to actually do neat stuff like download from the file library and most importantly, upload your own typewriter galleries and participate in conversations related to those galleries. This access level is not granted automatically, mainly to prevent spammers and other undesirables from mass-creating accounts for the purpose of adding spam links and uploading porn. (believe me, they try, and are very persistent). I have found that I can easily keep them away by simply having new applicants jump through a few simple hoops to prove that they are human, and are actually interested in being a part of the project. This method has resulted in a friendly, trouble-free community of members who require nearly zero moderation. If you would like to be a "Typewriter Hunter", here are the hoops:
- Sign up to become a "Member", and click the validation link in the email that is sent to you.
- Go to your Account page, enter a short description and upload a profile photo.
- Then go to this post on my blog, and leave a comment asking to be upgraded. Be sure to let me know what your username is so I can do that.
- And that's it. I will usually upgrade you within anywhere from a few minutes to a day after you make the request, depending on if I happen to be near my computer or not.
Once upgraded to "Typewriter Hunter", you'll have access to the tools for browsing and downloading from the TWDB file library, you can add links to various pages, upload typewriter galleries and participate in the conversations that happen among your fellow Typewriter Hunters. Enjoy!
Q. Are there rules, and what happens if I break the rules?
A. Rather than write up a list of "thou shalt"s and "thou shalt not"s, it seems best to simply suggest that you follow the "Golden Rule". Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself. Fortunately, the typewriter collecting community is remarkably composed of ladies and gentlemen of the highest comport, who seem to have no problem with being polite and informative with each other without baiting each other into petty arguments or insults. This is a really nice phenomenon, which I am content to let continue exactly as-is, thus no long list of rules.
However, I do have powerful tools at my disposal for banning and ruthlessly eliminating malcontents and troublemakers. I don't mind letting those tools collect dust in the corner, as they have done for the past 3 years, but rest assured that if they become needed, the blades are still sharp. (:
Q. What are the guidelines for uploading Typewriter Galleries?
A. For the sake of conformity and ease of finding and sorting galleries, please observe these simple guidelines:
- Photos uploaded should be no more than 1000px tall or wide - if they are much larger than this, you'll likely have problems with the uploading. If you are having problems uploading photos, this should be the first thing you check.
- When inputting a manufacture date for your typewriter, don't get too hung up if you don't know exactly when it was made. Check the age lists, and if you're still confused, just make a good guess. If you think it's a 1970's machine, put in "197x" not "1970's???" or "approx. 1970-ish" or "ca. 1970". Primarily, this format allows them to be sorted properly in lists, and using non-standard formats is problematic for these lists. Rest assured that someone will come along soon and suggest a better date if they can.
- When inputting the "Model" name, please choose first from the drop-down list provided, and if your model is not listed, then enter it in the box provided. This is important for grouping models together correctly. Do not use the word "Model" or "No." or "#" if you can help it, and do not include a "feature" in the model name. (this includes "features" like "Tab" or the keyboard style or the kind of special case it comes in or special paint finish.)
- Please do not use the "typeface sample" field to upload a photo of something that is not a typeface sample.
- Use the "My Collection"/"Sightings" field to help you keep track of which machines are in your physical collection or not. This field is only used by the TWDB to help you generate lists of machines you own versus ones you don't. As a general rule, any machine you don't own (even if you did once) is a "Sighting".
- In cases where you may acquire a machine that was owned by another collector who has already entered a gallery for it, go ahead and upload it again with new photos and a new description (don't just use theirs, that would be rude). Try to ensure that the old listing is marked as a "Sighting" and if you'd like, you can use the "links" to link them and provide an ownership trail that tracks the machine through its various visits in others' collections.
Q. What are "points" and "Score" as they relate to Typewriter Hunters, and how do I get them?
A. "Points" are simply a measure of how active a given member is on the TWDB in terms of uploading galleries and adding informative links to various pages. These points are tallied up to make your "Score" each night around midnight, so each day you have a fresh score based on your activity from previous days.
Currently, the points are compiled like this:
- Gallery entry: +1 point each.
- if it includes front-facing photo: +3 points.
- if it includes type sample: +3 points.
- each additional photo uploaded to gallery: +2 points each.
- Links added anywhere on the site: +1 point each.
Your "Score" then determines your rank on the Members page, and that's just about it. (:
Q. The dates/model names/brand of some of my galleries has been changed, and I didn't do it. What happened?
A. It's called "data normalization". As Archivist (and later, when "Curator"-level members are introduced), part of what we do is re-organize and correct galleries so that they are grouped with like Models, are filed under the proper Brand, and have a correct Date given the current information. Galleries will therefore occasionally be re-filed or re-dated if better information is discovered, usually in the context of our research to build better age lists. We use the galleries themselves as an important clue in the research, so ensuring that they are filed and dated correctly is vital for this task. Therefore, if your galleries occasionally get updated, don't worry too much - it's all part of the editing and research process. (:
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