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February 24, 2018

Posted on: Wed July 18 2012,3:39 by mickeyfmann
Meetup Announcement
Repost from Facebook

I'm reposting this here for anyone who's not in the Facebook group.

Ok so one final reminder, myself, my room mate and his girlfriend are heading to Ireland next month, August 19th through the 31st. During that time, likely the 24th through the 26th, we will be in Edinburgh Scotland for a little visit with Smurfette and some Brewdog beer. Twist and his girlfriend Claire will be joining us on this trip.

That said, there are many of you on that side of the pond that I have not met and would like to meet. I know that Totifer is planning on visiting and Swift was talking about it. If you're thinking about meeting up with us please let us know here, we'll try to help with accommodations and timing where ever we can. I'm sure Twist and Smurfy can give us feedback on whether or not a place is worth staying at or not.

Actually Smurfette, if have any recommendations for places for our entourage to stay, let me know. Want to get that booked up soon. Only thing I want to have to arrange while i'm there is my beer supply.

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Posted on: Mon June 11 2012,6:28 by Twist
Never Forget Where You Came From!
Twisted Speech

Well it has been quite some time since I broke out the old speech writing software and penned something for the Internet Village and its members. Well after a break of a few years, okay more than three years, okay, okay a long time I’ve decided to once again pen something for the site. Normally I used to produce an end of year wrap up speech but I have decided to stick it in mid-year this time to shake things up a bit and wake up the Idiots who have become scattered far and wide across the virtual world of the internet.

It has almost been a decade since I joined the Internet Village as one of the many refugees from the old PSO Quest forums, the original site where most of us made our friendships and continued to build upon them through the transference to the Internet Village. The Internet Village, originally not planned as a replacement for Quest quickly became a life raft for those of us who felt removed, stranded or lost with/without Quest. The fan fiction section brought many of us together as did the PSO Quest video game and our mutual love for all things gaming, anime, music etc. We found ourselves part of a group of people who were separated by states, countries and oceans brought together through the power of community and the internet.

Every community never runs perfectly and while we had our share of “blow ups” between members, with random joiners, with old Questers and with 4Chan members, yes Juno I still remember that! But while we had our issues we remained friends, with the death of the Dreamcast and the end of Phantasy Star Online we leaned heavily on the forums and this brought about a strengthening of our bonds of friendship. The virtual meet ups continued through to the GameCube versions of PSO and kept us in the loop where the forums couldn’t, quests and adventures throughout Ragol took up many a weekend with the Village Idiots. While the death of GameCube did bring issues for our virtual meets, the advent of Halo 2 allowed some members to continue the virtual side of the friendship, along with Xbox Live and World of Warcraft members could keep virtual meet ups going.

Like I said every community has its highs and lows and while our community had a lot of highs we did experience a major low, we lost a member of our community, almost six years ago we lost Philip “Syrus Dante” Williams during a tour of duty in Iraq. He was a very active member of our community and someone who spent a lot of time in the fan fiction section. He is our fallen hero and we should never forget one of our own.

While we have witnessed the rise of social media with the advent of FaceBook, Twitter etc. the Internet Village is a beacon of old school community, a sign that not everything has to be “liked” and “retweeted” and it should be something we all return to and make our home once again the thriving hub of activity and fun and games that it was nearly a decade ago. And since then we have had international meet ups on both sides of the pond, our own (ill fated) podcast and now we’ve migrated to our own FaceBook private group. While I did create said group I did not wise to hurt the forums and believe we all need to keep the “lamps” burning on the Internet Village like we did in the old days. We are the old guard, we are the PSO Questers, we are Idiots and we are proud of our virtual home and our leader the fearless home brewing Yeti, Francis M. Freeman III, he put up with us all, invited us all to his “home” (why I’ll never know) and has allowed us free range of the Village.

Cheers to all our members past and present and here is to the Villages eighth birthday, this October, and hopefully many more meets, may more drunk stories and many more friends!

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Posted on: Thur Feb. 02 2012,5:29 by Tanks
I was bored....

So I decided to post and see who/what bites....

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Posted on: Sat Sep. 10 2011,1:05 by mickeyfmann
Reflections and Transitions
Time's They Are a Changing

First let me once again apologize for not paying any attention to my own site, I know this place means a lot to so many people as it does to me but life goes on and times, as always, change.

A few weeks ago an old friend from college flew out to visit me, and one of the many topics we discussed was this site. As we talked I started to think about why, in all this time, has the site updates that I've promised for years never been rolled out? Why doesn't this site command as much of my time as it once did? I mean sure there's no way I could spend as much time as I used to but there was a time when I would make the time no matter what.

After much consideration I realized that part of the reason is passion, I was passionate about this site more back then than I am now and the reason for that is that over the time I have changed. Gaming was a large part of my life back then, but now I'm lucky if i sneak in a quickie with my 360 over the weekend for 10 minutes. And until Twist visited me this summer, I didn't even have that. Thanks again for that one bro! It's certainly not that I don't like gaming anymore, believe me if I could I'd go back in time to about 18-20 years old and just do the school and Nintendo thing again. It just boils down to the fact that with less time to game its harder to get into anything, and sadly even some of the few skills I had are fading. I almost lost to 2 level 9's on Smash Brothers the last time I played! Sad I know.

Apart from that another thing I was passionate about back then was programming, because I wanted to prove to myself and everyone else that I could do it. The difference now is that programming is my job, and I'm certainly less passionate about it now that I have to do it every day. As I'm typing this I'm in the office working on a Gift Registry project for my new company. The grass is always greener on the other side as they say.

So if its not gaming and its not programming that I'm passionate about anymore, then what has stepped in to fill the void? Well that answer should be simple for anyone who knows me.....Beer!  :cheers Years ago I purchased a Mr. Brew no boil kit that produced an alcoholic beverage that was about on par with sparkling pond water. Last year I started up again but went all out on some real equipment with extract brewing and before long switched over to all grain batches. In the past year I've brewed around 20 batches of quite decent beer if I do say so myself. I've gone on tons of brewery tours, assisted and old high school friend of mine in brewing for his recently started brewery and have recently been looking to start a sort of apprenticeship with the brewmaster at a local brew pub. In addition to that I've looked into going back to school to get a degree in brewing and have read so many books on brewing that I'm running out of shelf space. Yeah its quite clear to see that beer is a front runner for me.

So what does that mean for Internet Village? Well for starters it means I've abandoned the idea of writing my own CMS, there's just too much else out there for me to work with to start from scratch. Besides I've become quite skilled at writing mods for Joomla and Concrete over the last year or so. Additionally I've decided to change the focus of the site, I don't game anywhere near enough anymore to even think about trying to build a gaming site, and the market is flooded for that anyways. So the content section of the site will be more focus towards beer and brewing, with sections reserved for gaming if anyone wants to head that up for me. I mean hell gaming and beer always goes together pretty well anyways right?

While I have sided against building my own CMS I have decided to build my own 2 part database, one will be dedicated to commercial beers and operate on a fashion similar to RateBeer where users can talk about beers that they have tried. There will also be a way to link beers that you've tried to your profile. The second part of this database will be a home brew calculator and recipe formulator similar to This will contain an ever growing database of ingredients for users to make their recipes and basic estimates before brewing their beer. Unlike Hopville one key feature to this site is that users will be able to keep their recipes private if they so desire. Additional ideas are some sort of rare beer trader setup or even a way to help people trade their homebrew.

The forums aspects will remain the same and the most important thing of all is that I want to keep everyone who used to come here involved so there will still be gaming conversations along with all the other fun shit we used to do here. In no way ever do I want any of you to feel like you don't belong or are not welcome here. But as I said I'm not as much of a gamer anymore so I'm going to look to those of you who are to keep some of those things going.

I think that this new vision for the village could really lead to success and a large community of people who just want chat and treat the village just like the pub I sort of always imagined it to be. Because I know and trust many of you, I will be extending offers to most of you to join this site as admins in the hopes that I will need the extra staff as the site grows.

At this time I'm working on getting an installation of a CMS running on the domain from there I'm going to get a site and forums up and running while I build the other two databases. At some point I will port over user accounts to the new site and probably send out email notifications with new passwords. Once the new site is running smoothly I will probably lock down all threads on these forums and look into porting some of the more popular topics/threads over to the new database. Obviously I'm not going to grab them all, there's just too much to sort through. Once the conversion is complete however I will leave these boards online in a read only mode so that we can always go back and look and grab anything else should we desire.

I'm not going to give strict timelines here but I'm hoping to have the new site and forums setup shortly and start this migration process sometime early next month. From there I will begin work on the new applications which probably won't be entirely finished until sometime next year.

Feel free to drop me some comments and let me know what you think!

Hope all is well for everyone.

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Posted on: Mon Oct. 25 2010,1:32 by mickeyfmann
Serious Ones

Once again I must apologize for my lack of activity on the boards, to those of you following the NFL topics, I do have my picks from the last few weeks, I'd say I cheated but once you see them you'll know the truth.

Anyways I've been a little distracted as of late and will likely continue to be for a short time. A couple of weeks ago my father was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer. His doctors are optimistic about his prognosis considering they had to try so hard to confirm the diagnosis. However, they won't know the full extend of its progression until they perform surgery on November 1st to remove it.

Needless to say I have taken some time off work and will be headed back to Pennsylvania to take care of my father, work has been gracious enough to give me the month off if need be so I'm hoping that as dad gets better I might take some of that free time and try to finish the site updates.

In the mean time I ask that your thoughts and prayers go out to my father, a truly great man who deserves a much longer life and hopefully thats something he'll get.


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Posted on: Thur June 17 2010,12:54 by mickeyfmann
New Directions
Time for a Change

For some time now I have been talking about a new version to this site, work has progressed well but the simple fact is that I'm far to busy to write manage and maintain my own application for this site. So I'm officially throwing in the towel on creating my own CMS system integrated with phpBB.

Some time ago I stumbled into a CMS tool called Concrete 5, and instantly fell in love with its simple but powerful design and capabilities. After convincing a few companies to adopt it as their official CMS of choice, and doing a bit of development in it myself, I decided that I want to join their community development team and work to improve the few faults it does have.

Starting next month, I will be setting up an installation of Concrete 5 on the domain and will begin work on installing it with all the features I think we need. In addition to the adoption of Concrete we will be migrating to phpBB3 as it is easier for me to intertwine the authentication process of phpBB3 with Concrete so that one login works for all. This unfortunately puts the RPG out of the picture for the time being but i think we can agree that we need a site first.

Once the installation and setup are complete, I will begin the process of building content, any suggestions or volunteers will be welcome at this point. I want this site up by the end of the summer and I'm not going to let anything stop me this time. This decision should make that process easier to accomplish

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Posted on: Wed Oct. 07 2009,2:58 by Swift
Geocities closing; PSO blast from the past

I'm aware this isn't really site news, but seeing how this will grab the few people still coming to the Village and that it concerns the Phantasy Star Online old guard I thought screw it.

As most of you may know, long running website Geocities is closing down. For those who weren't around in the late 90s and early 2000s, the likes of it and FortuneCity and Tripod were the most popular places for hosting sites. And what young people did with them at the time was to make fan-sites.

And one particular site there that will be dissappearing when Yahoo pulls the plug will be my old Phantasy Star Online site entitled 'Swift_PSO' or 'Swift's Home'. Thankfully, I remembered I had it with enough time to share it again with you guys as well as take as many screenshots as possible and grab all the assets back.

Anyone remember it?

I want to draw your attention particularly to the 'PSO Friends' page, where I spoke about all my bestest buddies at the time like Juno, Mickey, LHG and now long-lost ones such as Li Mei/Ein, Edge/Denny and Demon (Remember him?! Ahh memories!).

Check out how I described Mick lol (this was when we'd migrated to IV after the great PSOquest culling):

Also, my Guestbook (remember when they were cool? lol) was signed my a lot of those/you guys including Weaseal, Owl, Goku and Isaac (just ignore the first few pages of bot ad entries lol).

As well as a bunch of old snapshots (I used to be called the camera man of PSO lol), old sigs and avatars and wallpapers that might get you nostalgic, there is also a link to 'Angelic Daemons', a long-defunct site Weaseal and I used to be part of before a massive arguement erupted between all of the owners, where Weaseal declared Gundam Wing Endless Waltz the greatest movie of all-time. Those were the days.

I thought I'd share that with you guys one last time before Geocities goes down on October 26th. My advice to you is to check back before the shut down date in case you too had some time capsule-like gems up there.

Also, I miss PSO and the huge, reliable community we once had. :(

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Posted on: Mon Feb. 16 2009,1:00 by mickeyfmann
Work Continues
Not Done But Definitely Making Progress

Its been awhile since I've provided an update on the status of our new website, so I though why not update you a little on the few things that I have had the time to complete.

I'm happy to report that our new chat is online and operational, its not the 123 flash chat that I had originally planned on using but that proved to be out of the scope of our available resources to host. The new chat is php based but it also incorporates an Ajax interface making for smoother transitions and refreshes. Once the new site is up it will grab your username from your active session on the site, otherwise you'll be prompted to specify a nick name. All in all I'm pretty impressed with the functionality, it doesn't make use of a database backend which keeps it fast an light weight. Feel free to check it out
Village Chat

Our new host doesn't provide a Web-based email client so I had to install one. This was a new journey for me but I managed to discover RoundCube. I've been playing around with this application and it appears rather useful, with a built-in preview pane an some nice settings and features. Note that anyone who was using our old web-based email client, your accounts are setup in this new client but your passwords have been reset. Contact me via pm and i can setup a new password for you. Just a note, under the new site all site staff will be welcome to an email account if they'd like one, as would any donating member and certain special member ranks.

Village Mail

Our new site will have a What You See Is What You Get editor installed for certain parts of the website, mostly administrative but the fan-fic may have a simplified version for formatting purposes. The editor I've chosen is called TinyMCE and I've chosen it because of its robust features and the extra plugins available for it. For example it contains an image and file manager application that will allow admins to upload files to the server as well as perform simple editing on them. The image manager also facilitates image cropping, resizing and some other simple functions through a graphical web-based interface. This tool should definitely save us some time.

Those are some of the big items I've tackled recently, I've also complete some odds and ends on the templates, as well as found some one to do the last leg of graphics work that we need.

As for completion, I'm currently working two jobs with a few side projects on top of that so I can't say when all of this will be completed and live but I'm going to be dedicating no less than 8 hours a week to the site until its complete so hopefully that will produce some results.

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Posted on: Tue Feb. 03 2009,2:21 by mickeyfmann
Its Alive
Back In Action

My apologies for the site being down a little longer than anticipated, let me tell you that ikonboard is no joy to move to new locations! But after beating my head against the wall for a little while, I managed to get her working again.

So here we are in our new home, old site but hopefully not for long.

Please post any issues you notice with the boards here, just want to keep track of any other move-related issues.

Finally with the migration, i had to recreate email addresses. If you had an email address with us before you can still use the email link found on the main site's left navigation to access your old email inbox. No telling how much longer this will be available but you can use as long as it is there to collect any emails you may have had in the old system. I've recreated the accounts on the new host but didn't remember what everyone's passwords were so if you want access to your email let me know and i'll give you the new password.


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Posted on: Fri Jan. 30 2009,1:30 by mickeyfmann
Movers 'R Us
Migration time yet again

As some of you may know, some time last year I stumbled upon a little better of a deal for web hosting. Unlimited disk space and bandwidth for only $6 a month. I purchased an account and have been developing the new site there ever since, I was hoping that by the time it came to renew our old hosting services, I would have the site completed and we could switch engines entirely. Unfortunately this is not the case, I've been working hard on the next version of the site but just don't have enough of it done to want to take it live yet. My I've been working on it about three nights a week so we should be seeing something soon (yeah i know i've said that before but the pro-bono stuff is always at the bottom of the list).

Currently our hosting package is set to expire this Saturday at midnight, my plan is to take the village offline sometime either late tonight or early tomorrow and begin the migration process. Any of you who were around for the last migration know that this could take a while, the code and application move itself is rather simple, the big problem is the DNS changes which take a while to propagate the world over. This means that the site will likely be open to the public again sometime Sunday, at the latest Monday depending on your location. After the migration is complete I will continue to work on the new site, hopefully we'll have something to test in the near future.

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