Author Archives: Darryl Robertson

Wine and Cheese Opener, Wednesday, September 4, 2019

The Photo Guild’s Wine and Cheese season opening event will be held on Wednesday, September 4th, at our usual meeting place – at 7:30 pm at the Museum of Natural History.
Please bring up to 10 images or combination of images and/or video clips to show us what did you do last Summer (time limit is 5 minutes per member). Get your set ready… we still have time to take photos and create memories!

It is now membership renewal time too – you can renew your membership (or you can join if you are now yet a member) during the evening – or if you prefer using online services, you can pay the membership dues on PGNS website. Just visit our membership page, scroll down, select the membership type and pay using PayPal. And of course you can fill out the membership form and mail it to our Treasurer if that is what you prefer.

Hope to see you at our Wine & Cheese night – it’ll be fun!

Happy shooting,

PGNS Competitions 2019-2020

TThe Guild will be using a new competition upload form this season that is easier to use and faster than the old form. This new form does require that you log in to a new competition account before you can use it. If you had a competition account previously it is no longer valid.

You can not create this new competition account yourself! Please email the webmaster, request an account, and one will be created for you. Please tell the webmaster what you would like to use as a user ID. That should be something simple and often just your first name or some abbreviation is sufficient. Once the account has been created you will receive an email (from WordPress) with a link that will allow you to enter a new password. Make sure to check your spam folder if you don’t see this email.

When you go to the “Competition Uploads” page from the link at the top of the website sidebar, you will be asked to log in first. Use your new user ID and password. Once you are logged in you can go to your account profile from the “Howdy” menu in the top right corner of the page. There you can change anything you like, except your user ID.

A test competition upload form will be created fairly soon. You will receive a Guild email that will announce when the form is available. It is recommended that you try it out. Upload some of your competition compliant images. See how easy it is to use. Don’t wait until the first real competition to learn how to use this new form. If you do encounter any difficulties please let the webmaster know. All the images that you upload to try out the new upload form will be deleted prior to the first real Guild competition.

Darryl Robertson
PGNS Webmaster

Guild website access and competition account login

As most Guild members know, this website had a major upgrade on June 1st. This upgrade was not optional. If we wanted to have a website at all, I had to install this upgrade. One of the consequences of this upgrade was that our custom competition upload code that the Guild has used for many years no longer worked. Originally I had intended to try to resurrect this old, obsolete code, all 100,000 lines of it, over the summer. Fortunately (for me at least) Joyce Chew found a WordPress plugin that can do most of what we need in order to allow members to upload their competition images. I have been implementing that plugin for the past number of weeks, and Pierre Guynot de Boismenu (Pedro) has created an Excel template to further process the competition images so that they conform to ClubViewer requirements.

One requirement of this new plugin is that everyone must log in before using it. I have created a new competition account for everyone who requested it and nearly everyone has been able to enter their own passwords to activate their account. Most people tried out the new upload form with a simulated competition. There were some glitches along the way, but I managed to get nearly everyone sorted out.

However, there are a very few people who have never been able to log in, or, in two cases, even access the Guild’s website. I have been working long days trying to find out why. I have tried different options and worked closely with WHATASITE, our website host. I have discovered the problem, and it turns out to have absolutely nothing to do with our website upgrade, our new upload plugin, or anything else directly or indirectly due to the website’s design, features or security settings.

A few months ago WHATASITE moved our website to a new server. Our old one was getting very slow and unreliable. The new server is very fast and up to date. Therein lies the problem. This new server uses current security protocols, namely TLS 1.2 encryption. Note that this protocol, although current, is now 11 years old! Not exactly recent, but our old server never adhered to this protocol.

So, why is this causing a few Guild members to have problems accessing the website or logging in? The answer is simply old computer operating systems. These old OS versions simply do not have the software to support TLS 1.2. Unfortunately, upgrading those computers appears to be the only solution. I have been trying to determine what the minimum OS versions and browsers are that can access the Guild’s website and be able to log in for competitions. This is what I have found, but there may be some errors or exceptions.

Minimum version required: Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan, released in 2015, free)
On earlier versions, if Firefox version 27 or higher can be installed, website access might be possible
Safari must be version 7 or higher

Minimum version required: Windows 8.1 (released in 2013, US$200)
On earlier versions, if Firefox version 27 or higher can be installed, website access might be possible
Vista can be upgraded with several frameworks and registry changes
(do NOT try this unless you really know what you are doing)
Windows XP and earlier: no solution

The Chrome browser version 30 or higher, if it can be installed, may allow website access.

If you are using a compatible system and still have problems accessing the Guild’s website or logging in to your competition account, please let me know. I will be in Calgary the week of July 14 for CAPA CCC2019 so I will not be responding to emails until I get back.

Darryl Robertson
PGNS Webmaster