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editor

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Everything posted by editor

  1. While I agree that wider sidewalks are better, it's possible that there is a reason for the focus on landscaping instead of walkability. There are studies that show landscaped sidewalks actually slow down the average speed of traffic on a street ("street calming" they call it). If this project is headed up by a transportation agency instead of a community improvement group, then that could be the reason for the focus on landscaping instead of pedestrian-level amenities. Or I could be smoking the crack waffles again. That's also possible.
  2. My preference is that it would be something like Common Name [- Development] (address) — status Example: Frobozz Tower - Zorktown Acres (42 White Mailbox Dr) — Under construction Example: Frotz Building (10704 Aragain Falls Rd) — Topped out If you guys want to take that and run with it, that's fine by me. But in no way is this an edict. I'd rather people do what makes sense for the building. The most important part is to communicate, and help people find what they need.
  3. There are five more levels.
  4. Updated. Let me know what you think of this: The Loop: Neighborhoods inside and generally adjacent to the Interstate 610 Loop. Including Downtown, Midtown, The Heights, The Galleria Area, Sharpstown, Meyerland Houston Enclaves: The independent municipalities inside Houston Including Bellaire; West University Place; Southside Place; Bunker Hill, Hunters Creek, and the other Villages Points North: Places generally along the North Freeway (I-45) and the Hardy Toll Road Acres Home, North Houston, Aldine, Spring, The Woodlands, Conroe Points Northeast: Places generally along the Eastex Freeway (U.S. 59/I-69) IAH, Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita, Lake Houston, Crosby, Eastex, Jensen, East Houston, Points East: Places generally along the East Freeway (I-10) and north of the Ship Channel Jacinto City, Galena Park, Channelview, Baytown, Anahuac Points Southeast: Places generally along the South Freeway (I-45), and south of the Ship Channel South Houston, Pasadena, Deer Park, Clear Lake, Freindswood, League City, Texas City, Santa Fe, Hobby Area Points South: Places generally along the South Freeway (TX-288) Pearland, Manvel, Alvin, Sunnyside, South Park Points Southwest: Places generally along the Southwest Freeway (U.S.59/I-69) Sugarland, Missouri City, Stafford, Rosenberg, Alief Points West: Places along the Katy Freeway (I-10) Katy, Spring Valley, Addicks, the villages, Memorial, Westchase Points Northwest: Places generally along the Northwest Freeway (U.S.290) and the Tomball Tollway (TX-249) Jersey Village, Tomball, Cypress, Willowbrook, Inwood Galveston and the Gulf: The island and near-Gulf places Galveston, Bolivar Peninsula, Angleton, Lake Jackson, Jamaica Beach, Freeport
  5. Here's a screenshot from February, 2002
  6. The heritage of HAIF goes back to a web site I built in 1997. I had the kind of career where I'd move to a new city every six month to a year, and I enjoyed taking pictures of the building in each city I visited along the way. I put those photographs on a web site so my friends around the country could see them. This was when most people were just migrating from AOL to the actual internet. People would e-mail me questions about the buildings, and I'd add the replies and other facts to the various building pages. My friends would share the web link with their friends, and since there weren't many web sites on the internet at the time, it became popular. In 1999 I moved to Houston and started taking photos. By 2001 I had quite a few photographs, so I made a standalone Houston version of the site at houstonarchitecture.info. It launched January 15, 2002. Posting information to each building was very cumbersome at the time (this was when most web sites were crafted with plain text editors, and Dreamweaver was outside the budget of the majority of people). So I installed a piece of forum software on the site, and it became known as HAIF — the HoustonArchitecture.Info Forum. After I set up HAIF my personal life became busy, and I really only had time to add new photos to the main site, and didn't pay much attention to the forum. A year or so later I remembered that I'd set up the forum, and since I didn't use it, I logged in so I could shut it down. I expected the forum to be empty, just as I left it. Instead, there were hundreds of Houstonians and thousands of messages flying back and forth. HAIF grew completely organically, in much the same way as new life springs from the cheese you forgot in the back of the refrigerator. The rest is local history.
  7. Hines sent this over today, so I thought I'd share it with the group. ----- 609 Main at Texas Opens New Bike Storage Facility The Bike Vault ready for Bike to Work Day MAY 15, 2019 (HOUSTON) – Hines, the international real estate firm, announced today the opening of a new tenant amenity at 609 Main at Texas, a 48-story, 1,073,075-square-foot office tower in downtown Houston. The new well-appointed indoor bike storage facility—called The Bike Vault—is a secured, conditioned bike storage area accessible directly from the garage with a building access badge. It has parking for up to 32 bicycles, changing facilities, storage lockers, bike repair stations, free refreshments and towel service. In addition, 609 Main at Texas will also be offering a Parcel Pending location directly adjacent to The Bike Vault, where tenants can have personal packages delivered to secured lockers in the building, including refrigerated lockers for food and grocery deliveries. The grand opening of The Bike Vault will take place on Friday, May 17 at 8:00 A.M., just in time for the Houston 2019 Bike to Work Day. Bike to Work Day, part of Bike Month, represents a unified day of celebration across the United States where the nation comes together to celebrate the bicycle – as a mode of transportation, a fun way to explore your city, get to work or just get around your neighborhoods in the town you call home. Hines Managing Director Philip Croker said, “As our tenants continue to look to alternative forms of transportation, combined with the initiatives of groups such as BikeHouston to provide more access to high quality bike lanes and trails, we are excited to provide an improved experience for these riders at the most amenity-rich, technologically advanced building in Texas.” Designed by the internationally recognized architectural firm Pickard Chilton, 609 Main at Texas’ north and south façade extend skyward, culminating in a dramatic diagonal crown, creating a new, highly visible downtown landmark. Amenities at the vertically integrated campus include a "hotel-style" lobby with a café and spaces for networking; a 7,000-square-foot high-performance fitness center and 8,000-square-foot conference center; full-height windows allowing for an abundance of natural light throughout the building; a sophisticated underfloor HVAC system; and private roof gardens in select tenant spaces. 609 Main at Texas stands at 86 percent leased. Notable tenants include EnVen Energy, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Orrick, Hogan Lovells, McKinsey & Company, PNC, Russell Reynolds Associates, Royal Bank of Canada, White and Case LLP, Goldman Sachs, and United Airlines. In addition, there are several transactions in progress which will bring the building to 94 percent leased. Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 214 cities in 24 countries. Hines has approximately $120.6 billion of assets under management, including $66.5 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $54.1 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 128 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,348 properties, totaling over 444 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 512 properties, representing over 223 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world. Visit www.hines.com for more information.
  8. This should be fixed now. Finger's crossed! Should be fixed now. HAIF e-mail is now bunged through an outside company that can handle Google's shenanigans.
  9. Hi all, I've come up with a general idea of how I would like to reorganize the neighborhoods section of HAIF to make it a little more complete. When HAIF started 16 years ago, there were a million fewer people living in the metro. Some of the sparsely-populated places have filled in since then, and so I think we could use a few more divisions. Here's a notion of what I have in mind. Tell me what you think: The Loop: Neighborhoods inside and generally adjacent to the Interstate 610 Loop. Including Bellaire, Galleria Area, Sharpstown, Meyerland Points North: Places generally along the North Freeway (I-45) and the Hardy Toll Road Acres Home, North Houston, Aldine, Spring, The Woodlands, Conroe Points Northeast: Places generally along the Eastex Freeway (U.S. 59/I-69) IAH, Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita, Lake Houston, Crosby, Eastex, Jensen, East Houston, Points East: Places generally along the East Freeway (I-10) and north of the Ship Channel Jacinto City, Galena Park, Channelview, Baytown, Anahuac Points Southeast: Places generally along the South Freeway (I-45), and south of the Ship Channel South Houston, Pasadena, Deer Park, Clear Lake, Freindswood, League City, Texas City, Santa Fe, Hobby Area Points South: Places generally along the South Freeway (TX-288) Pearland, Manvel, Alvin, Sunnyside, South Park Points Southwest: Places generally along the Southwest Freeway (U.S.59/I-69) Sugarland, Missouri City, Stafford, Rosenberg, Alief Points West: Places along the Katy Freeway (I-10) Katy, Spring Valley, Addicks, the villages, Memorial, Westchase Points Northwest: Places generally along the Northwest Freeway (U.S.290) and the Tomball Tollway (TX-249) Jersey Village, Tomball, Cypress, Willowbrook, Inwood Galveston and the Gulf: The island and near-Gulf places Galveston, Bolivar Peninsula, Angleton, Lake Jackson, Jamaica Beach, Freeport
  10. Since this is a bigger problem than I realized, I've gone nuclear and I'm now paying for an e-mail account at a GMail competitor. One that has a massive staff to counter Google's tricks, and one that still respects its users privacy and internet standards. I've done a couple of tests and it all seems to work now. People should be able to get their verification e-mails. If you know of anyone who is having trouble, please as them to try again. Also please let any discussion threads in other fora know that this should be fixed and it would be great if they'd try again. Let everyone know that if they still have problems, they can contact me directly at editor@houstonarchitecture.com, and I'll take care of it personally.
  11. This is largely an e-mail delivery issue. It affects mostly people with Gmail accounts, and is affecting thousands of web sites right now. It's a big topic of discussion in the sysop fora I read. Google, in its own interest, is dropping inbound email messages, apparently at random. A server can be perfectly configured, have been sending e-mail for a decade or more, and be on no black lists, and yet Google will silently discard the message. It doesn't mark it spam for the user to find, or send an error to the sender or sending server stating that it's refused. It all just disappears. This is in Google's interest because we end up in the situation we have today where people just want their e-mail. They, naturally, say "Well, I have no problems getting message on Gmail. You should switch to Gmail, too!" This pressure is causing people and companies to start moving to Gmail, which is not in the best interest of their users; only Google's. It's just one of about a dozen things Google has done in the last 15 months to make the web a worse place to be. The whole web is headed back to AOL days when people didn't know the difference between AOL and the internet. Except this time people think Google is the internet. I'm still tinkering, trying to figure out what can be done, and seeing what results other people's experiments are yielding. But it's a corporate decision at Google to break the established standards and do its own thing. I know registrations are working because I check them every few days. When I checked about 10 minutes ago, the only ones left hanging were from people on GMail. So for those, I'm checking the registration IP address and approving the accounts if the connection looks legit. Sorry for the inconvenience. It's something bad happening to the internet right now. I'll keep pushing buttons and see what happens.
  12. Hi HAIFers, I've been doing work mostly behind-the-scenes lately. But since today I reorganized some of the fora, I thought it worth mentioning. With Houston's rapid geographic expansion, the old neighborhood categories weren't working anymore. So for now I've put this together: - Inside the Loop: Discussions about places inside the 610 loop. - Outside the Loop: Discussions about places outside the 610 loop, but within the Grand Parkway. - Houston Metro - Discussions about places outside the Grand Parkway, but still within the Houston metropolitan area. - Farther Afield - Places outside the Houston metropolitan area. I consider this a temporary fix while we work out something better. The reason I consider it temporary is because while at first glance it appears to make sense, it lumps places like The Woodlands and Alvin into the same category, which doesn't make sense. I'm going to try to work out some kind of radial system, with The Loop as its own place still, then directions like North, Northwest, South, Southeast, etc... But I want to refine that before I go making things any messier. One sad note: When I was moving things around, I accidentally killed the Woodlands, Kindwood, and Northern Pines heading. The messages aren't gone; they landed in the Other Houston Neighborhoods area, so I'll have to move them back to their new homes when the new categories get sorted out. Sorry about that. If you have any thoughts on whether a radial distribution of sections makes any sense, let me know.
  13. Sorry about the pictures in this thread, guys. A company called Large Arts in Collingwood, Australia demands that we not show renderings of this property: There's a lot of things I could say about this, but since I'm not the owner of this site, I will keep my thoughts to myself.
  14. I'm OK with this. I'll put it on the list. I think using quotes is a good idea anyway when searching for phrases. It should always provide better, faster results. Interesting that you noticed the system ignores numbers. From a technical standpoint, I can think of a couple of reasons why this might be done. But again, quotation marks is the way to go anyway.
  15. I think just send me a list of links for each section. I should be able to move things around from there. Possibly. E-mail is a tricky thing these days. The spam companies have become so aggressive that it's hard to legitimate e-mail from a place like HAIF to get around. I'll poke around and see if there's anything else I can do. That seems easy and logical. I'll add it to the "easy" list. It should be there soon...ish.
  16. Eep! Other things... I tweaked some search settings. So now when you search for Marvin Zindler, you only get results with both Marvin and Zindler, instead of every post with Marvin in it. I made two new neighborhood sections: Third Ward and University of Houston and I added East Houston to the East End section. Now comes the task of moving a bunch of posts into there to seed it. Since I'm not all that familiar with the neighborhood, anyone who wants to nominate posts to move, please let me know. I have enabled lazy loading of images. Broadly speaking, I'm against that sort of thing, but it should help speed up page loading, and that's a good thing. Unfortunately, it won't work for most of the threads already posted — only mostly for new threads. Also, if you see a page jumping around during load, that's because someone posted an image in the thread that's from an outside web site, and there's no way to know what size the picture is until it arrives.
  17. What rebuilding the search index looks like.
  18. Another note - There were some complaints about search not working properly. I'm in the process of rebuilding the entire search index. It should take a few hours. Or maybe many hours. Well, a while, because there's eighty-three brazillion messages on HAIF. Hopefully this will help.
  19. They were actually removed by the people who make the forum software. Apparently doing all that forward-looking is a major drag on the database. I'm afraid I don't know enough about it to tell them they're wrong. Hi everyone. I'm still ticking through the complaints list. (Complaints in a good way, not in the "I'd like to speak to your supervisor" way.) One of the ones that came in was this: What's going on with the image compressions? Many of the images, no matter how small or big or how old or new, are fuzzy or plain crappy looking on the forum since the server switch. I've begun to include a direct link below the images I repost as a workaround. Images take up bandwidth for sure, but can this be fixed? I'm sorry I don't remember who wrote it - I've just been copying items from the forum into a to-do list. Can anyone link to an example of where this is a problem? That would help me start investigating what's causing it.
  20. Hi everyone, I've been tinkering still behind the scenes. Here's a summary of what I can remember off the top of my head: Fixed an issue with outbound mail notifications. If you get notifications by mail they should arrive more reliably now. Though nothing is 100% with e-mail anymore. Made some changes that reduced average CPU use from 32% to 5%. Thirty-two percent wasn't bad, but there are times when things spike, so the more headroom there is, the better. Made some changes that reduced average memory use from 21% to 5%. Again, 21% isn't bad, but we need to be ready for spikes. HAIF has always been prone to traffic spikes. Fixed a crashed portion of the database. Made some changes to prevent disk write spikes. These were up to 23GB/s at one point (We're on an array of SSD's). We're now around 1-2MB/s. Why was it so high? Traffic spikes + RAM swapping to disk + HAIF has eighty brazillion messages going back 16 years. Cleared out some cruft to reduce disk use from 89% to 42%. I set up some automatic monitoring alerts so that if HAIF is headed to a bad place I will get an e-mail alert. Hopefully I'll be in a place where I can get to a computer and see what's happening before it all goes sideways. The new server seems to be working out well. I hope that the new server combined with the recent tweaks will prevent that little problem we had with posts being posted, but feedback not being given to the user letting them know it happened for six minutes. We shall see. Keep letting me know about problems you see. If I haven't gotten to the ones you posted in last month's thread, don't worry — they're not forgotten. They're on the list. But I'm only able to work on HAIF a set number of hours per week, so I try to get to the most critical ones first, and occasionally the low-hanging fruit. It's the middle ones that get backlogged. But I intend to get to everyone's ideas. Thanks!
  21. I see this, too, now that you've mentioned it. I did a little database work that might help. I'll give it a few days to see if anything changes. Thanks for pointing it out!
  22. Thanks for bumping this. I wasn't in on the original discussion, but now that I'm back, I'll put it on the active list. What other neighborhoods do you think should be included in this section? UH was mentioned previously.
  23. Hi everyone. You may have noticed that HAIF fell over about 11 this morning. HAIF has been experiencing something of a growth spurt recently and I think that's what caused the problem. I've moved HAIF (again!) to a new server. Twice as much memory, twice as many CPUs, twice as much storage. Hopefully that will hold us for a while. Thank you for your patience during the move. And keep posting in the monthly threads about problems. I'll keep adding them to the list.
  24. Nope. Same as the peanut butter, per the inventor, and me, who was around when the GIF87A standard was created on CompuServe.
  25. Hi HAIFers, I've been leaving notes for the moderators when I work on stuff around here to let them know what's happening. But for some reason I never let everyone else know about it. Seems strange. So I'm going to do for the general populace what I do for the mods — create a thread each month with little updates. It's a place for you to learn about new features, bugs, and generally know what's going on behind the scenes. It's also a good place to let me know of any problems you experience with HAIF. Here's what I've been up to recently: Upgraded the forum to the 4.4.0 software. The auto-update feature still doesn't work and results in taking down the entire forum, which it did last night. It took me a few hours to put the pieces back together, but at least I make good backups so no data was lost. I think it's because we've been running on the same software installation for the last 14 years, and there's just a lot of cruft in there. Working on improving page load speed. I know that to us humans it looks fine, but the search engines think HAIF is a little pokey. Interestingly, when I run Google's speed checker on the actual forum of the company that makes the forum software, it gets really bad marks. So I think we've found where the problem lies. I'll try to optimize some of their problems away. Did some work on the SSL stuff to make it more compatible with more browsers. Installed a certbot to automatically renew SSL certificates Audited the HAIF plugins and removed those what aren't used anymore. Did some work on the visuals. There were some bits of code from 2006 that are no longer needed. You may have noticed that the top-of-page ad moved. This is why. Upgraded to PHP 7.2. Answered a bunch of user e-mails. As always, feel free to e-mail me directly (PM for address if you don't already have it). Especially if you notice a problem with the forum. Built new sitemaps for Big G. Investigating some Google issues. It doesn't like the way the forum redirects clicks on some images. Added an automatic maintenance cronjob that runs every five minutes, instead of at kind of random times. Hopefully this speeds some things up. Removed some dead links Enabled lazy loading of images. Some people like this. Some people don't. I've enabled it in the name of page load speed, and we'll see how it works. If it bothers anyone, let me know. Animated GIFs are available, but only for people who know how to pronounce it correctly ;). It is accessed from the new GIF button at the far right in the message editor bar. It is now possible for unregistered guests to post message. Well, almost post. They can write what they want, but when the press "Submit," they'll have to then register. It's a non-traditional flow, but actually makes sense in a way. If you bookmark HAIF threads, you'll now notice there are page numbers as part of the URL, and not in some query string that can get lost. The javascript has been moved to improve page loading speed. HAIF now supports HTTP/2, which doesn't matter at all to 99.9999% of our visitors. Default profile avatars are now SVG for speed. Increased caching of page headers, footers, and other bits that don't change very much. "Guests" see content that is slightly older than the content registered users do. This isn't to be mean. It's increased caching to make things faster for registered users, and to not spend so many resources on scanning bots. You may notice a change in the look of the emoticons. This was due to licensing issues. Yes, non-Unicode emoticons have to be licensed. If you were a Gravatar user (and if you don't know what that is, you aren't), that has been removed for privacy reasons. That's it for this update. More to come.
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