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The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 2:30 PM

Many of you spend more than a few hours on CR4 each day. Is there anything else we could add to increase your participation? For example, would specialized calculators help you post here or help you with your work?

Let me know what type of stuff you'd like to see on CR4. What would your ideal online one-stop-shop consist of?

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#1

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 3:10 PM

Information is the backbone of Engineering, how about a library. Hopefully one that includes some whitepapers.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 3:46 PM

I'll second that motion.

Possibly a textbook or reference review area would be a subsection here.

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#3

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 5:39 PM

It might be useful to have groups of threads based upon types of software tools available. In electrical there might be schematic capture, circuit simulation, PC board layout, RF propagation and others. Each area could archive and allow new entries. What would often be most useful for hobby and student activities is comments on packages that are legally free (open source or demo). Also, comments on commercial packages would be useful for professionals.

I'm sure the above concept can be duplicated and changed for mechanical, thermal, chemical, computer and other areas of engineering.

Students, old timers and anyone trying to do something out of their area of training could be helped to "jump the fence" with this info. Packages with tutorials and graphical simulation can be very helpful when someone is trying to learn.

I know that we already can post everything above. Searches can be done on terms but there isn't a very good way to "browse through the stacks" of what is available.

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#4

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 7:05 PM

As participants belong to diverse technical fields, where the same word may have different meanings or spellings or cannot be found in a dictionary, it would be a good idea to have Cr4´s own Glossary of Technical Terms. I believe it will be of great help to express our ideas and avoid misunderstandings. This could be done by highlighting a unknown term, which will open a window to it´s definition. Definitions will be written over the time by the participants. Most voted definitions will be those who will appear in the glossary. Just an idea....

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#5

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 7:30 PM

This was brought up before......

http://cr4.globalspec.com/thread/30230/Central-Locations-for-CR4-Written-Programs-and-Links

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#6

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 8:12 PM

How about inviting industry leading personalities to talk about their expiriences? Short interviews in video format with an introduction to the person and her/his achievements. Leading Engineers to voice their opinions.

Engineer of the month from "whoever" talks about "this and that"

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#13
In reply to #6

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 6:08 AM

Good suggestion. It can be a webnair and recorded video presentation for benefit of all.

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#7

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 8:20 PM

Answered Homework question section library.

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#23
In reply to #7

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 2:27 PM

Administered by.....Lyn!

PS- add CR4epedia & you've got it made.

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#24
In reply to #23

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 2:30 PM

Come to think of it, I think Solar Eagle would be a good librarian here atleast for researching archives.

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#8

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/25/2013 8:40 PM

Conversion calculators would be handy - but other kinds of conversions would be good, too.

Like, are their websites that can convert one kind of mechanical drawing file into another one? Or that have free readers? Links to sites like that would be handy. (For example, I have a drawing file with a .easm extension. I need to go find a site that will let me download a file reader [hopefully free] so I can see this drawing.)

Another aid would be links to sources like PrimoPDF which is free software that converts text and word processor files into pdfs. Or WhatColor that lets people with color deficiencies decode colors on their computer monitors.

How about an APP Catalog for smart phones and other devices, where members can recommend APPs and explain what the app does and why they recommend it. Dated, of course, to stay abreast of the newest ones.

Also - what about Twitter? Is there any need or use or enhancement to CR4 that would incorporate Twitter?

Oh - one more. Why do I need a separate registration to use IHSGlobalSpec? Why can't my CR4 login also log me into it?

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#11
In reply to #8

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 5:43 AM

I support your idea of conversion calculators! The display of sub-units will be helpful also, like: XX meters = xx yards = xxx feet = xxx inches. Funny things happened to me when talking to our providers in USA: one day I requested bars cut at 1,50 meters lengths, lady said "we run imperial", I replied: well, I´ll take pieces measuring 5 Feet, she said: no feet, the longest part I can supply is 60 inches long.... (!!??)

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#9

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 12:01 AM

It would be good to bring legal counsel into this ''loop'' so as to keep the website from appearing to practice engineering, or giving engineering advice, in competition with the livelihoods of engineers who get paid to do such things...

Claimants are thinking up new reasons to sue, every day.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed, isn't it?...

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#10

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 1:35 AM

I would suggest a link library that links to good informational sites that we use all the time in every category....It would be nice if we could post proposed links ourselves and have them added after being checked out with a brief explanation of what information could be obtained there....This might include special areas of interest as well....If people who post questions looked there first it might streamline the process a little....Posting the type of information that could be found on these sites would be something new that could speed up the process of searching for information....Perusing sites for specific info can be very time consuming....I also like the idea of an informal area where the topic is non-specific and changes naturally....

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#12

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 6:04 AM

I suggest that as most of us are experienced engineers in different fields. We can share information about different products such as writing down specifications, applicable standards, recommended safety precautions and maintenance schedule etc. For example I was working in lifting equipment company mfg. Hoists and Cranes, I can prepare above information for above products. Similarly our other engineers can also contribute.

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#14

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 8:45 AM

Pipe flow calculator

HVAC calculator

Auto Spell Check in the Comments section

"Actual Engineer" credentials

Like, Off Topic, Troll

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 10:36 AM

-A-, you suggested a pipe flow calculator and HVAC calculator.

I'm not sure that I agree. Would it not be better to help someone better understand the principles involved, rather than simply providing a bigger spoon for them?

I have learned much from all of you, and I didn't learn any of it by using calculators.

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 10:51 AM

Yes! I agree that adding calculators without comprehension is getting away from what charms me about CR4.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 11:02 AM

Not for them, for ME! Mine keeps breaking.

-A-

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#20
In reply to #15

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 11:15 AM

Thats true, but if you look upoin them as tools,

Just last week, I'm designing a exterior structure for supporting 18" dia pipe for a cooling tower.

had to size the beams and columns quickly, 'not my forte' did a quick search on the internet and downloaded excels files from MITCalc, what a time saver.

I did spend time verifying the program results though, but still a time saver.

So it depends how you look at calculators,

  1. As Cheaters
  2. or as Tools
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#16
In reply to #14

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 10:50 AM

Actual Engineer from which countries?

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#19
In reply to #16

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 11:03 AM

It shouldn't matter. Some times it does, but it shouldn't.

-A-

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#22
In reply to #19

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 12:07 PM

Yeah, it shouldn't, but since the suggestion has been broached it shows that it really does.

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#25
In reply to #14

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 2:47 PM

I'm questioning everything. Where do you want to see "Actual Engineer" credentials?

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 3:03 PM

I'm surprised I have not been shouted down for that suggestion already.

Having many posts, IMO, does not qualify any of us as being a "GURU." It only proves that we are opinionated. Or we have too much time on our hands.

I would rather have my degree and professional qualifications under my name so as to allow others a more accurate measure of whether or not I should be taken seriously.

This, of course, is only valuable if the information were true. If left to the user to claim his or her own experience level, there would be naught here but PHDs.

I'm not sure how to solve this challenge so I will settle for my final suggestion. That, CR4 provide beer.

-A-

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 3:16 PM

well, maybe after 500 posts instead of having the label as guru, how 'bout changing it to grand poo-bah

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#34
In reply to #26

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 9:09 AM

Thank you -A-

This was going to be my suggestion as well. I was a little disturbed how opinion-based engineering and science has become on this website.

I'd much rather be given direction from a civil engineer when I ask about soil density than an electrical engineer that happened to step on dirt that one time.

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 9:31 AM

I have noticed that some members have placed their credentials within their bio at their homepage. This seems a very reasonable way to provide some sort of credentialing if a member so wishes. As has been pointed out, it would be quite easy to overstate your credentials here at CR4.

We have a number of members who know a lot about automobiles but are not professional auto mechanics with NATEF or ASE certification. We have a number of members who know a lot about photography that are not professional photographers. We have a number of members who demonstrate a thorough understanding of aerodynamics who are not aeronautical engineers. This is a discussion forum, not an unpaid engineer service.

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#36
In reply to #35

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 9:56 AM

You make some good points and I agree with you for the most part.

I'm making this OT because I wanted to state that I just got in a similar debate with my girlfriend yesterday about the media.

Although, I have the ability to comment or say anything I want on this website (within the guidelines of the website), I should also have the obligation, as a professional, not to mislead or misrepresent information.

For instance, I saw a question a few months back asking about pressure vessel design and hydrotesting. One of the respondents paraphrased (incorrectly) ASME Section VIII but did it in a way that made him look like he was quoting. ASME Section VIII is one of the few engineering codes that I have some experience with, so I knew immediately that he was stating incorrect information. However, at this point, the respondent had already received many GA's and praise from the OP on his help.

I know the OP should do more research before he uses anything he reads on here, but does that make it ok to post incorrect information in this manner and mislead someone?

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 10:02 AM

As long as it is okay to say something dumb, I'm good to go.

A high Good Answer count does not make a response correct. I agree with you, incorrect information should not be posted. However, have you never heard of an attorney or physician dispensing incorrect or incomplete advice? It happens sometimes.

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#40
In reply to #37

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 10:27 AM

Honestly, I meant for my last response to be OT but I forgot lol.

Yes, I've been on the bad end of a physician giving incorrect advice. And to be honest, I thought it was corrupt to prescribe medicine even though he wasn't sure what I had.

However, just because it happens doesn't make it right.

I think we're on the same page though. I get the feeling you're saying "I can't stop it" but I'm saying "I want to!"

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#42
In reply to #40

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 11:10 AM

"I get the feeling you're saying "I can't stop it" but I'm saying "I want to!"

That's a fair assessment of my position I suppose. Hmmm. Okay, I don't disagree with your desire.

There are questions with correct and absolute answers (How does a thermos bottle work?). But many, many threads we get here at CR4 are problems that have have multiple possible solutions, they are not really an absolute question. Opinion, ego, education, experience, and culture will all play a part in any offered solution from any CR4 member. I enjoy watching these characteristics unfold and display here at CR4.

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#38
In reply to #35

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 10:03 AM

True, Doorman. I also agree with comments by micahd02 below. All of us know "stupid engineer" stories. All of us know 20 and 40 year technicians who can work rings around the engineers they suffer under.

However, there are "gurus" here spouting advice to new comers who lack a fundamental understanding of the subject they are discussing. How is the unsuspecting newbie able to tell whether the advice he is receiving is creditable. Should we even try to rise above the perception that we are a forum of people pretending to be engineers?

-A-

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#39
In reply to #38

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 10:15 AM

A (The second [explicit] question, first) - No, we shouldn't try to rise above the idea that we are a forum, and pretending to be experts. But,

B (The first [implied] question, last) - When you, who have expertise, whether documented (i.e., credentialed) or not, see that someone has dangerously misled another, we have a MORAL obligation (Forget all that professionalism stuff, see my post about credentialing vs experience) to set the record straight.

It IS, undoubtedly, the OPs responsibility for the decision he or she makes, but if he or she did not think there would be, overall, including disagreement, some thread of veracity in our answers, he or she would not have come here to ask.

And I send many friends, and many of my students, here for answers. But I caution all of them that they STILL have to THINK (I know, I know, to paraphrase a Dilbert line a year or two back, "Now you're talking crazy!") and take responsibility for doing further research. Because once you state a position, it is up to YOU to support it, and be able to argue it.

It all comes down to personal responsibility, which no college degree can either prove, attest to, or confer. And that applies to both the one providing the (putative, and titular) correct answer, and to the OP for whom the answer is provided.

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#41
In reply to #39

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 10:58 AM

Well I suppose we are NOT, in fact, an "Engineer's Place for News and Discussion."

We should change the name. This is my suggestion, change the tag line at the top of the page to read:

"CR4: A Self-Proclaimed Expert's Place for News and Discussion."

I mean, this IS what this sight actually is, isn't it?

-A-

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#43
In reply to #41

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 2:28 PM

Well, I suppose so. But given that WE already know that (c'mon, don't try to tell me you've never disagreed with someone else here. I read all posts in which I'm subscribed, and I know you. Respect you, too. But I'm saying, I know you disagree in print, sometimes), it seems that it might be overkill to state it.

I mean, after all, we'd be better off with a disclaimer from CR4 along the lines of "CR4 can't stand behind the advice given. Final decisions are the responsibility of the OP ..."

Oh, wait. There already is a disclaimer, isn't there?

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#45
In reply to #41

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 7:37 PM

I can't hold myself any longer. A lot of great points, but what is this obsession with member titles like 'Guru' ? Enough already, the topic has been covered many times. I've even gone so far as to suggest other titles which perfectly sum me up - I couldn't give jack what anybody else makes of them.

With no disrespect, but it makes a point. I'm familiar with your posts, and many of them are very good. If you added some badge proclaiming your status, it would make not a jot of difference to my evaluation on any subject. The explanation of member status is clearly stated, and anybody stupid enough to cruise the internet without some caution deserves what they get. IF ANYBODY HAS A PROBLEM WITH TERMS LIKE 'GURU'. OR ANY OTHER ASPECT OF CR4, WELL, IT'S ALL THERE AND READY TO SEE. I have no sympathy with somebody who does not try to read the book first.

CR4 now has a new section for the frivolous stuff. How many people have noticed ? Not very many. To use a cliched saying, 'you get what you give'. Yes, there is a new section.

I'm not bitching on you, -A-, I like many of your posts. Cr4 is a chat place. My telling you I have several Degrees or umpteen years experience means nothing. I'm really Steven Hawking, so you lot suck. Doorman made the point best, forget pompous pronouncments and judge what you find. Not the exact words, but in my little world it amounts to ' dude, it's the internet'. Those of a persuassion can search my previous post on that.

mentioned 'milking the cat'. You pay your money, and you take your choice. CR4 now has a 'fun section', and if people don't bother to find it then they must eat the dish IHS serves.

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#46
In reply to #45

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/28/2013 8:14 AM

OK folks, I concede. If I want hard truth I will read the book.

My sympathies were and are for the folks who can't tell the difference between the 30 year vet on the subject or the crack pot in his mom's basement. For now I will be content to throw in my two cents when I can for whatever that may be worth.

I the interim, I may still suggest ideas from left field now and again. Some times these actually pan out. Like, here's one: What if we post pictures of ourselves actually AT work, so as to lend some credence to the suggestions we make.

Here's mine:

-A-

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#49
In reply to #46

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/28/2013 1:40 PM

Dang, I though I was talking with a bunch of cats !

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#44
In reply to #35

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/27/2013 7:29 PM

I have no problem adding my linkedin profile link to my profile?

Or that there is an option to log in to my linked account in CR4 profile so that it shows up in my avatar box.

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#57
In reply to #44

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

03/04/2013 12:48 PM

Yah, I look like a genius on LinkedIn as well...

I entered that information from my mom's basement, too...

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#58
In reply to #57

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

03/04/2013 6:59 PM

So you made all those company and former colleagues accounts too?

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#47
In reply to #26

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/28/2013 12:14 PM

A calculator for the flow rate of beer through the opening of a bottle would be useful. I have spent many years studying this problem, however, I have yet to come up with an exact value. Much more study is required.

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#28
In reply to #14

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 3:17 PM

Actual Engineer" credentials.........

Look below

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 8:09 PM

In reality, this is to all those discussing "actual engineers", vis-a-vis the credentials necessary. Probably all of us with practical experience (mine is 40 years of commercial and military practice in every form of communications EXCEPT satellite) have seen "Engineers" (you know, prestigious degree, but no common sense, and no experience, and often little ability to express themselves clearly) hired by our superiors based on the degree, with near disastrous results. I (can't speak for many on this one) have seen some great "engineers" (doers, with sense, who can explain their purpose, theory, intent, etc., with great clarity), sometimes hired by the same superiors.

So, how does one qualify an engineer, just by reading their CVs? And should one put faith in anyone at first glance, good degree, or no degree? Or, even, 40 years of experience?

I find that the most useful measure of competence among YOU, my fellow denizens of CR4, is in reading your commentary, looking at the solutions you propose to the issues put forth, and, in some cases, even coming to judgement based on the way in which you argue what clearly becomes a point near and dear to you, as individuals.

And truthfully, the only working method I've ever found to be fair, for judging the quality of any response to any thing, is on and individual basis.

Sure its hard work, and it isn't EVER fast. But it does work, and if one is reasonably careful in doing this work, and takes input from many sources (perhaps the most reasonable way to judge a good working quantity of sources is to state the quantity of needed sources as in direct relationship to the importance of the answer, then take what you can get, analyze all, come to your own conclusions [Gasp, you mean I have to make a decision and rely on it all by myself?], and forge ahead) (or seek other answers, if you are still unsure), one stands a reasonable chance of coming out ahead.

But in the event of failure, learn from the error, go back, find more info, and try again. The final result will have to be an improvement, if you stick to it.

And remember Ben Franklin. He didn't "fail 999 times before he got it right". He found 999 ways that didn't work. (Numbers mine, I can't remember the original quote.)

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#21

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 11:16 AM

Sometimes more than calculators would be white papers or documentation as to how to arrive to specific solutions.

Example you may be working with a vessel sizing, yet you maybe short on having the latest standards or information available, and having that will assist in giving a better outcome.

Also having engineering data for all disciplines would be nice to have.

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#29

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 5:24 PM

What we all love and actually read are the long rambling arguments/discussions/rants about topics of the day such as Global warming, taxes and education

Most of us already have all the tables and calculators we need to do our job, what we want is stimulating discussion with peers and the occasional loony.

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#31
In reply to #29

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 9:02 PM

So true!

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#32
In reply to #29

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 9:19 PM

And at least once in a lifetime...breaking a bath!

Drew K

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#33
In reply to #29

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/26/2013 11:14 PM

Does that apply to (custodial engineers) ?...

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#48

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/28/2013 12:54 PM

I would like to see a general goof off place as long as it stays within good taste.

I never posted on the very long Bath Breaking Technique thread but sure got a kick out of reading it.

Fun section you say?

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#50
In reply to #48

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/28/2013 1:43 PM

Yep; Click on the user group directory and scroll to the bottom. You'll be able to work your way onward to discover something new.......

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#51
In reply to #50

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/28/2013 1:48 PM

This should get interesting.

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#52
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Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/28/2013 2:43 PM

I couldn't resist any longer. Cry 'Havoc' and......

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#53

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

02/28/2013 6:31 PM
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#54

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

03/02/2013 6:28 PM

It might be good to have a Section dedicated exclusively to ''Homework'' and (probable homework)...

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#55

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

03/02/2013 6:35 PM

It might also be good to have access to (input) by having to go through a matrix of the new structure's categories, listed down the left side of the screen, and the old categories shown off to the right of where they (fit in) to the new categories, and that then provide access by being buttons to the appropriate one, directly?...

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#56
In reply to #55

Re: The Ideal Site for Engineers

03/04/2013 10:06 AM

Ya know, we're supposed to be smart guys people.

The new layout seems to me to be intuitive.

Likewise, we generally have little trouble identifying homework questions; a category for them would certainly be a conflict with established guidelines.

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