HORN & WHISTLE
Magazine

The Only Publication Devoted to “The Voices of the Industrial Revolution”
and Related Technologies

HORN AND WHISTLE

Latest News and Events

Keep up with the latest aspects of Horn & Whistle Magazine on this page, which was last updated on 11 22 2021.

Paper Issues Are Back! For several years now we have made H&W available only as an on-line publication. This was because it became too expensive to produce paper hardcopies. However, market research, individual customer feedback, and my telephone communications with some members indicated that many of our subscribers wanted Horn & Whistle to continue as a paper magazine. So I have done a lot of research into this over the last several weeks. Now formerly, we were charging $25.00 per year for a paper susbcription of four issues per year, and I found out the hard way that we were losing money on paper issues. For a while I bore the cost overruns but that was before I retired from a full-time power station career. But after I retired, this was no longer possible. It is no secret that we lost many long time subscribers by eliminating paper and going on-line exclusively. And I certainly will admit that there is a definite appeal to a paper publication that an on-line subscription does not have. In fact some on-line subscribers would download the online issues and then print a paper version for their own use.

It is important to realize that H&W is a specialty niche publication. As such, we do not have thousands of subscribers. Even during H&W's peak production time, we never quite made it to even 600 subscribers. So, high production printing methods are not available to us; it is absolutely not at all cost effective to use offset lithography for the number of copies that we would require. This means that we must resort to a photocopy process instead. Photocopy printing is suitable for small print runs, but the per-copy cost is much more than the per copy cost for offset lithography, but the set-up for offset litho printing makes small runs much more expensive overall and we would really need to produce at least 5000 copies to make this option attractive.

Anyhow, after doing considerable research into this matter, I am going to try an experiment. In order to make paper copies available for the number of issues that we presently need, we will need to charge subscribers $50.00 for an annual subscription. For this price, each subscription period will include four paper copies of Horn & Whistle postal mailed to Subscribers in the USA. Because of the cost of mailing out of the USA, we will offer only the on-line version to subscribers who do not live in the USA. Likewise, we will not be able to offer the lifetime subscription option for paper issues for the same reason; much greater production and distribution expenses. Also notice that because of the much lower expenses associated with on-line publishing, we are still selling on-line subscriptions for only $10.00 per year, and on-line also provides the advantage of full color throughout, and links to sound clips or other articles of interest, and it also allows occasionally exceeding our former 44 page limit. The new page limit for paper copies will be forty pages. however by carefully tweaking margins, font size, spacing between letters and words, it is possible to have the same amount of content on four fewer pages, which in itself represents a small but definite savings which is going to help make a return to paper possible.

Newest on-line version of Issue #145 has been distributed to the subscribers.

The on-line version of the New issue #145 has been E-mailed to paid up subscribers. On the advice of the marketing consultant who has been helping me with getting paper issues started again, I am being a little less generous with carrying subscribers who have let their subscriptions lapse. I am only providing two free issues, with a reminder to renew. After that, I'll send out one or two reminders, but no more magazines. I used to carry lapsed subscribers for four or in some cases even five issues, but sometimes it takes a hard-nosed outsider to look over your business and then say right out, "What are you? Crazy? You can't be giving the store away and expect to stay in bunsiness," and infortunately, he is right. Likewise, the paper issues have to be slightly profitable, thus the $50 price for four issues. So they are there for those who want them. I would still recommend the on-line version, as it's only $10.00 for four issues and it has other advantages as well, including links and pretty soon also videos and sound clips. Anyhow, that's where we presently stand regarding on line and paper versions of Horn & Whistle.

Regarding covid, we will get through this, I am confident of that. When, exactly, I don't know. I am happy to say that as of this date, I received both shots, getting my third booster next week, and nowmonths later, I seem to have no problems, and so far, at least according to two different covid tests, I have remained free of this disease. Much to my amazement, I still hear people insist that the vaccine has microchips in it, which is perhaps the most ridiculous of all reasons for refusing it. I also hear some people say there is no such thing as covid. Regarding chips, and believing that there are chips in it, then I would say this to all who believe such. "Listen, idiot, for microchips to function, you need a DC power supply to make them work." I have seen no evidence of people being hooked up to DC power supplies, and don't expect to either. And, as far as some people denying that there is any such thing as covid, then how come so many people have been hospitalized with it, or died from it? Anyhow, I have found that there seems to be no convincing people with absurd ideas that they might possibly be wrong in their thinking. As one wise friend so aptly put it a few years ago, "What do you do with ignorance that will not be told?"


 

Front cover of issue 145

Click anywhere on this image of the front cover of Issue 145 to subscribe to the newest issue of H & W.

Featured articles in #145

Strange things happen to sound and echoes when you make noises in the arches of many stone arch bridges. Here, we take a look at some of these phenomena.You won't find any legendary trolls under bridges, but some of the sonic effects seem to border on magic!

We take another look at what's happening regarding signal devices on eBay in our regular The Marketplace column. Before you either buy or sell a horn, a steam whistle, or a siren, check out this section to find out what others are selling and for how much money. Here is an excellent place to find out what the true current market values are, and avoid paying a price that is either exorbitant, or if you are selling, how to get a fair price for what you have without cheating either your client or yourself.

More big European sirens! Pictorially, we're back to England and Germany again as we look at some more interesting European sirens.

Intro to Metal Spinning. Here we start looking at this interesting metal parts fabrication process. If you collect sirens, this is definitely somethign that you should know about.

Musical Intervals. We talk about a two-tone siren, and we say that the two pitches it generates are a Fifth apart. Or we say the two tones produced by an WWII vintage British air-raid siren are a Minor Third apart. Does a siren collector need to be concerned with tempered intervals or true intervals? But what exactly do these terms mean? Why do we refer to pitch intervals by ordinal numbers? Read this article and you'll know how musicians' terminology came to be used in the signal device industry.

If you are not a subscriber to Horn & Whistle, change that situation right here! Subscribe to H & W E-zine.


A big change to Horn & Whistle started in 2018. For many reasons, the principal one being an economics reason, H&W became an entirely on-line publication in 2018. The costs of producing and distributing the paper copies were spiraling up all the time and it gradually became no longer possible to continue with paper copies without massive price increases. Many readers, however, wanted, and even adamantly demanded that paper copies should be available or they would no longer be interested in getting this publication.

On-line subscriptions have several undeniable advantages over paper, regardless of whether or not people prefer them.The biggest advantage is the much lower subscription cost. Other advantages include full color throughout, occasional extra content, and one that many people overlook entirely. YOU, the reader, can easily scale the size of the print to whatever is most comfortable for you to read. You can't do this with paper hardcopies, and must therefore resort in some instances to special glasses if the print should be smaller than what is comfortable for you to read easily. This is certainly true in my situation as a senior citizen where I don special glasses when I have to cope with small print. Production expenses with on-line issues are much lower than with paper, and I pass these savings along to subscribers. As I mentioned, we're going to try bringing paper subscriptions back, but in order for this to be profitable and not a serious money-loser for us, the price of a paper subscription will be $50.00 per year or four issues. Compare that with $10.00 per year (or four issues) for the on-line version. also, because 4 color printing is more expensive, most of the images in the paper copies will be black and white, whereas if we get color images for use in our articles, the on-line issues will likewise be in color. Hopefully, however, this experiment with paper copies will result in success, and the providing to all present and future subscribers to this magazine with what they prefer to receive from us.


I am also starting to experiment with video. I have just begun learning about on-line video and I am playing around with making some videos and eventually putting them into the H&W web site and also even in the on-line issues of H & W. I recently set up a very new computer and it has many possibilities which were not available previously so I have been doing a lot of self-training to learn about its many capabilities.

Don't forget; if you change any aspect of your address, either physical or e-mail, let me know. Here's a good way to get in touch with me regarding Horn & Whistle. Just click on the word "CONTACT" and then select my name from the list of Horn & Whistle people that appears and type in your name and message.


Back Issue CDs. I have PDF file copies of every issue that I have produced beginning with #101. These are available on three CDs, presently $14.00 ea plus $3.87 for packaging, handling and shipping. Here's a direct link to the purchasing form for these. You can also find a link for these on the Home Page by clicking the Subscribe button.


Here's a handy form to fill out to expedite an address change: Change postal or e-mail address.

Regarding returning pictures or articles that you have sent in; it is worth repeating yet again that if you send us pictures and/or articles and want them back, you need to include a note with your material stating that fact and also include a self-addressed, postage-paid envelope. Without that, we will not save either pictures or articles once we have processed them for inclusion in the magazine unless the pictures are of exceptional interest. The amount of material that sometimes comes here can be quite formidable, and storage of pictures and papers is really neither practical or possible. I am sorry to say but if you send in material without either a request to save them or the postage-paid envelope and then later on change your mind, it will probably be too late, so please keep this fact in mind when you send in items that you want returned to you.

Previous publishers have in many cases kept photos that were sent to us; indeed, that is how the Whistle Picture Book will become possible. But eventually there came a time when there was just too much stuff and that was why the previous publisher instituted the present policy of no longer keeping material once it was either used in the magazine or deemed unusable. Thus the present policy regarding returned material. If you want it back, include a postage-paid suitable envelope and also a written notice that you do indeed want the materials returned.

More web site info. A few days ago, our website was down. If you went to any of our pages, you probably saw a notice that said "This website has stepped out for a while" or something similar. Among other things, our web hosting company migrated us over to new hosting computers and there were a few other changes that they also made. Ultimately, this makes things better and faster, but these things never seem go without a few "hiccups" along the way. Anyhow, we are back up and running, better and faster than before. Whether you notice any changes I am not sure, but certain things that I do behinds the scenes as the webmaster are faster and easier, so ultimately this change was a beneficial one. Anyhow, we should be OK now going forward and for you folks who are returning visitors to the site, it should appear essentially unchanged except for normal updates and changes regarding notices about the newest issue.

One thing about the Internet; if you do anything on line, you can expect things to evolve and it seems as soon as you get really comfortable or proficient at some aspect of on line work, things change and you need to learn yet something different. Another thing that I have noticed is that there are many what are called "Internet Gurus." These folks have studied and become very proficient at various Internet-related tasks that us webmasters have to do. Unfortunately, it seems that most of them make the assumption that those of us who consult them know as much about the subject as they do, and when they explain something to us, their explanations are geared to people who already have their level of knowledge. Obviously, if we already had their level of knowledge, why would we be consulting them? So if any of you Internet Gurus read this, I hope you'll pay attention to what I just wrote and realize that when we ask you about something, it's because we do not have your degree of knowledge and you should not assume that we do!

Anyhow, for a long time, I put in a special line of coding that would, if a subscriber had a very old computer that was still using Internet Explorer 6 as a browser, put up pages that were somewhat different so that they would display correctly within the many limitations of IE6. Today, IE6 is almost completely nonexistent. Therefore, I am no longer including either this line of code, or making special pages to run correctly under the constraints of IE6. For me, this is a big burden lifted, and means that I do not have to spend time creating multiple versions of web pages.

What is important, however, is to make pages that display well on cell phones as well as other devices with smaller screens. Back in the early days of the Internet, people viewed it via computers. Cell phones were for making phone calls. Today, the cell phone is really a miniature portable computer, and many folks use a cell phone almost exclusively for Internet-related tasks. So the new coding on web pages now makes the pages change according to the size of the screen that a person uses when looking at a web page. For a while I was doing that as well as making special pages for IE6, but when I last checked browser usage statistics on line, I discovered that the usage of IE6 is less than 1% of the total browser usage, and the most popular browser by far is Google Chrome. So the new emphasis is to make things look good and work well on Google Chrome. This will pretty much insure that things will work well and look good on Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and most other modern browsers.

It is, however, impossible to check how pages display on every possible system and device out there. If you see mistakes on, or have issues with any pages in the H & W web site, send me an e-mail here:
eric@hornandwhistle.com

Likewise, dial-up Internet is in use by so few communities, and it is so slow and cumbersome that much of today's web content doesn't even work with dialup. I've been informed by one subscriber who still has dial-up Internet access that most of the time he can't even download our on-line issues because the files are so big that his system times out before the download can finish. I recently found out that, contrary to what I had thought, dial-up Internet access is still in use, and this use, though very limited, is more widespread than I would have thought. Therefore, what I am, however, gearing up to do is to start putting each issue of H&W on CDs, so that subscribers who are still in that situation can get the on line issues that way. So that will still involve the Post Office, but I do not see mailing more than maybe 5 or 6 CDs to those who live where dial-up is still the only way to get on line. But I would recommend that if you are still using a dial-up Internet connection by choice, this is a serious mistake. So much of today's web content is going to be unavailable to you, and what is available is going to perform badly in most cases, and many functions that are designed into modern web pages will not work, so there really is absolutely no advantage to remaining on dialup if modern Internet connections are available to you. And if they aren't then start complaining to your Internet service providers! Today, if you have dialup Internet service, you might as well not even bother trying to be on line, because so much now will be completely unavailable. What new systems can download in mere seconds will, on dialup, possibly take several hours to download, that is if your system doesn't time out first.

I should also advise you that if you are still using IE6 by choice, but have a modern hi speed Internet service, you should dump IE6 and get the newest version of Internet Explorer that will run on your machine, or any of the other modern web browsers. They're FREE! All you do is Google the browser you want, click it; you get right to the site and then just follow the download instructions. You'd be amazed at how much more nicely stuff works and how many more great features you can use that IE6 has no way of delivering to you. And if you are still clinging to an old relic of a computer from the mid nineties, well, all bets are off as to what you can even access on the Internet or how jumbled and screwed up many modern web pages will look. Get a new computer! They're not that expensive and they work so much better and faster than the relics of the nineties.

Regarding our on-line subscription methods, I tried another experiment, that of offering automatic subscription renewal. However, nobody wanted that, so that has gone away. I won't renew your subscription when it is up for renewal. YOU will renew it if you want to. I send you notices along with each new issue when you are within a couple of issues of having your present subscription end, and so you should pay attention when you see that so you can renew on time and not miss an issue. Regarding the on-line issues, I generally will give you a complimentary copy of the newest issue even after your subscription has expired, but I can't afford to be too generous with continuing free subscriptions. H&W has never been out to be a big moneymaking operation; those of us who are involved with its production do so for the love of our hobby and not with the idea of making a buck, but we can't afford to have it become an expense; that is, financially, H&W has to be self-sustaining. So, when your subscription is getting close to ending, it's entirely up to you if you renew or not. I certainly hope that you will renew, but I will not automatically renew it for you. I must admit that I don't like auto-renewal at all. Even though it could be a convenience, I just don't care for some other entity suddenly slipping a charge on my credit card even if it is for something that I want. Absolutely nobody, when given that option, chose to have us auto-renew his subscription. I have seen auto-renewal in many other publications, so I figured I would offer it for H&W subscribers. But since you did not want it, it's gone.

And if you are still without a computer by choice, Although actually most likely you would not be reading this if you weren't on a computer (or smart phone) although somebody else could have told you about this page, but anyhow, listen to this: everybody whom I know who held out for years on getting a computer and who finally did get one marvels at how much easier it makes many tasks and how useful it has become in a very short time. Also, please don't say that you “are too old to use a computer.” I had a friend who lived to be 101 years old. He had been using computers for the last 31 years, which means he was 70 when he started learning.

I started using a computer when I was 54. I will admit, it was new to me and it was complicated. But I'm very glad that I did indeed take the necessary time to learn.

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