What's New for 2000
Following is archive of all news and added art work
from 1998 to the present as recorded
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Christmas Eve, 2000
A wonder filled holiday to everyone!
To date no one has complained about the new format so I will run with it. Eventually, you will fall in love with it because the format frees me from the usual page by page postings and the re-posts. I can now begin to create designs and post designs from our membership by keyword. In other words: when you search for - let's say - a truck, there will be less pages for you to search through. And those will have more trucks on them. Doing this will take time, but now I have Moses' help also.
Dec. 15, 2000
As promised I have (or in the process of) erasing all references to our switch. It went very well. I do have some large domains to switch yet, but they will not effect GemRock at all.
We also have a new look and system which you will have no choice but notice. Fed back is encouraged. I changed to accomodate more room on Gem's servers but also due to some pressure from the competition. I'm not one to bow to this kind of stuff, but I also agree with the notion of industry standards. And just because we were first does not impress me. I'll do it their way as long as it's OK with my members. So, give me your thoughts to the changes. Nov. 13, 2000
I also want to mention that we are active concerning taking people to court and prosecuting those who steal and/or distribute the copyrighted files found here at GemRock. I know some of you are bored with this kind of reminder, but it a legal necessity to post this notice. Keep in mind that all the drawings are copyrighted and several (now MOST) are copyrighted twice; by artist and publisher - we're the publisher. And also keep in mind that we offer a $10,000 award for information which leads to the conviction and legal recourse of anyone who steals, employs or distributes a drawing posted here. A further $10,000 per drawing over one drawing is also offered upon compensation from the convicted person. So far we have bagged 3 little thieves and slapped their hands - and really, that's all we want to do. But recently one of our contributing artists came across a drawing of hers on a CD. We don't do CD's. And now we have to secure her protection cause some jerk has a CD burner. Like I need the extra work? So from here on out, the gloves come off. (Can ya tell we got a new lawyer? And we even think he's a nasty guy, so watch out!)
25, 2000 - a lot of news, folks.
I am heartfelt sorry to inform all of you that Kathy (firstname.lastname@example.org) has left us for a real-paying job at Kohls Department Stores. Of course, as a close friend and one of the original employees at ADSTONE and one of the creators of GemRock, she will be very much close-at-hand... and missed. I am now alone in the administration (and web design) department. But, guess what? Moses has opted to join me in my - now: our - task of creating and converting and posting drawings for you. So WELCOME MOSES! I hope he doesn't get too over whelmed when the postman delivers his new Gerber system, his new Draftsman'sPlus, his new Visual CADD, his new HiJack and Anagraph CADD system (these are just some of the programs I use to give you guys what you need.) But I have a sneaky suspicion that Moe will love toying with them all! A heads Up here about future membership fees - that got your interest :} as you know GemRock not a for-profit business model. I don't sell designs, I offer you access to free (but copyrighted) designs for the cost of the bandwidth and operating fees I am charged. The new setup will cost me exactly $1,600 more than the old setup - and that will increase next year for reasons I'll explain next year. To cover this added $1,600 I am thinking to raise only the fees of those old-time members who are still paying the old-time price of $5 and $25 and $30 per month to the present rate of $40 per month (because to raise everyone I would have to raise it by .0105 cents and that's just ridiculous. So expect a standardized access fee to come along around the first of the new year. Of course, if I do decide to just bring everyone to $40, most of you won't see a change.
Verizon not only turned off my T1 in error last week, they also returned my office number to the Dead Phone Number Pool early today. I don't know if these mishaps are Verizon's fault or BroadView Networks' fault or someone trying to put me out of biz (fat chance) but that's why 631-756-9565 isn't working. Anyway, since they can't get their act together - these are the very same folks who still haven't gotten the 631-516 area code mess resolved - and since Cathy and I plan on moving this office to Kissimmee, FLA in a year or two - let's just give up on that old number and switch everything over to Ye Olde friendly Flower Shoppe number. Hey, I plan on doing little else but the flowers and Gem from here on out anyway. So get out your Rolodex and change my number to 631-756-0710. ADSTONE will still be your billing info, Ye Olde will be the answer on the phone and your membership will still be at GemRock. And maybe when Cathy and I settle in near Disney I'll consolidate things better.
Talking about Disney - Cathy and I are in the process of purchasing my daughter's house; Yvonne has moved to NY to take over the family biz (my Dad's biz, not mine.) Cathy and I will be an hour away from my grandson and grand nephew and about 5 minutes away from Disney. Way kewl grandpa, huh!?! Let's go see grandpa and Mickey all at once! Well, that offer will be extended to you also. Not tomorrow, but at some point up the road, we will be converting the garage into a 'hotel-like' lodging (separate but not separate from the pool and house.) Believe it or no, it's already booked into 2002 by family and friends. We have also reserved a chunk of unscheduled time for our chums like Shelby Moore, Josh at Gerber, Jim at Monu-Cad and our very dear friends and Upload Warriors like Moses, Ken Dyal, Pete, Mark, Mike, and Derrick - you're figured into the present reserved time. If you want to meet Cathy and I, get to see all my super CADD programs and Internet servers, and if you need a dose of Mickey and also need a place to bed down stay in touch and watch for my next entry concerning the room - probably a ways off from now. There will be no fees and you will be treated as guests - just make sure you pick up after your kids, we're way too old for that! Now, don't forget to jot down my new phone number!
I just got word that the new T1 will not be installed for at least 6 weeks. Man-o-man! I feel like a jerk standing here holding a million cables waiting to plug them into my main router. Anyway, I am going to Re-Post. It might cause a few complications in 6 weeks, but by then I should have my network map pretty much complete. So, Re-Post time, folks. And here's some choice samples for you!
Reading August 29th's post will aid you in understanding this post........
Although not one person has said anything, I feel terrible about not displaying a re-post since Spring. Experienced users probably don't care about re-posts since practice and research teaches you how and where to look for new designs - however that knowledge does not comfort Kathy and I. Right now I am in the middle of installing our exclusive T1, as well as creating the next re-post (Ht14 and 15 and some new floral pages) as well as tons of non-related projects - such as the Etcher machine. The wait will be worth it since the T1 will bring us more in line with those of you who use high speed Internet access like DSL and cable. Our present servers do that OK, but there's so much on those servers. The exclusivity should speed things up
We have had a few of our members who use Monu-Cad contribute to us the new free designs which Monu-Cad offers to its members. And a few requests from others for them. Neither Kathy or I want to step on Jim's toes about his new design project, we encourage the effort. Please do not send copies or re-draws of designs obtained from such sources. And NEVER send along copyrighted designs - trust me, the owners will find them and harass us and even sue us! Design Services did in 1994, and they'll happily do it again. And we don't blame them, we would too. Besides right now our inventory stands at over one million designs - don't get excited, we have only some 90,000 posted, it'll take years to post them all - so if you can't find what you need at GemRock, well then I wanna see this design you're working on!
You might have noticed some changes around GemRock. You ain't seen nothing yet, folks. Two forces are creating the changes and these changes are being slowed due to the work we need to do on the T1 and other projects. The forces spoken about are 1) Our membership, though once 100% memorialists has fractioned into several groups - memorialists, glass, graphic and sign. And a few non-descript members like DeWan54 who even after he explains how he cuts designs on silicon, we still don't understand what he's up to! In response to our scope widening, I have started to give GemRock a generic appearance. Soon our Art Gallery will drift from the pure stone designs to actual work from our inventory of designs - vector and graphic such as you'll find at our private galleris like we have for Pam and Marsha. 2) THANK HEAVENS! The MBNA has started to compile an online list of monument retailers aimed especially for the public use and education. We have been shouldering that (thankless) task since 1978, and will be glad to drop those services from our agenda. Not right away and not completely because the MBNA is charging for some of the services and James has been snooping and thinks it's not a complete listing. But it does take a lot of burden off us! Just an ego note: like when we offered so many towns and businesses our services for nothing (Babylon in 1992, Suffolk in 1995, the MBNA since 1988, St Charles' Cemetery, St John's Cemetery in 1988 and many times after that - the list is endless) we always giggle as they clumsily do come around to our thinking and then actually pay big bucks to some newbee on the block for what we have here for them for free.... If we were in this for bucks, we'd probably be frustrated and upset. We just think they're all stupid and if they asked any single member at GemRock about the quality of our services, they're be frustrated and upset. Keep the INTERNET FREE and you'll prosper in cyberspace! (hey, in 20 years we're only lost 3 members. And everyone of them left happy.)
Didn't even know we were gone, did ya?
We were not only gone we were wiped out! Did in by the Happy99 virus on August 1st. We lost all our computers at the office and several which were connected to them. Things are still not 100% - little things like programs which need to be reloaded, getting used to new systems and stuff like that. None of us can edit this What's New Page from our desktops yet and my email - YIKES!!! - I have it stored away on one computer but can't access it from there or to there yet. The nightmare is close to over, but still dragging on. And, of course this all happens while we're installing our new T1 and trying to co-ordinate things for Dane's etcher (if that ever goes anywhere) as well as closing down ADSTONE as we knew it and tons of other things!!! When it rains....
None of this misery affected our servers - that's why you didn't notice. But get ready cause the new T1 should be in place during the middle of September. Once in place we will begin transferring domains from one T to this one... expect crashes, shut-downs and SERVER CAN NOT FIND THE URL YOU REQUESTED. But it will be only temporary. Well, good to be 80% back. Stay tuned, folks, the fun is just beginning.
August 1, 2000
Today we are actually starting to disconnect our servers to move them on to our own T1. This is the time we have been warning you about. Over the next month you might find us down, not accessiable or crashing in the middle of downloads (again, you might never have a problem.) Please tolerate our progress. It should be worth the month or so of troubles; once we're fully back in place.
July 13, 2000
Vacation time around GemRock. The office is closed until July 25. Joe will not read his email until then but Kathy will check her email every so often. email@example.com
We had only 2 people respond negatively about the Etcher Machine. One - who was not suppose to get the email - is a competitor of sorts, the second was someone who just wouldnt ever purchase one in the first place. Well, folks, looks like were going to bring it to market. Which also means that I should take any news about it out of this forum and create a website exclusively for the etcher machine. Therefore, from now on to get updates, please visit http://www.adstone.net/etch/ ......... Click here to get all the up-to-date news.
June 22, 2000
PLEASE respond to this message! There's just so much happening right now, and I need some input from members of Gem and ADSTONE and from anyone reading this who might be in the market for an ETCHING MACHINE. ADSTONE had been developing an etching machine since 1980 to sell stone and glass novelities in Ye Olde Friendly Flower Shop and do "Dad's" etchings on monuments with no success: either the cost was just plain silly or the thing ran too slow or it was too loud, etc. So we gave up the project. But about 3 months ago an etcher walks into our office and wants to sell his home-made etching machine. We look at it - costs under 20 grand, is quiet as a mouse and does a 12x12 etching from any image in under an hour. It's a prototype so the size can be made to order when you order it. Best yet, because we have our fingers in this machine, all software, repairs, support and image files can be as near as mydrawingboard.com. I can't give you a price now - we're still getting bids on the circuit boards and the diamond cutting heads. But let's aim high, let's say $18,000. That's a guess and we would probably add frills like membership to Gem for X amount of access, free training, so forth and so on. Now here's where I need your input: Should we even bother? Is there anyone out there who wants a "plug-N-play" etching machine? (That means, attach it to your computer and turn it on and go - simple stuff.) We're not into selling computers and systems and that kind of thing, but we can offer this since we can develop it from the get-go and tie it into the Net to boot. Please tell me what you think, email me, click here.....oh, and take for granted that the finished product looks EXACTLY as what shows on the computer screen.
In other news, we are very proud to announce that a recent upload from Moses Lietz and a special gift from Mark Turco have increased our design library to over 300,000 drawings. Of course, it will take Joe (our webmaster) a year or more to get all these posted and, although the designs we have reviewed thus far are SUPER! no one here is betting they'll all get our seal of approval.
April 9, 2000
The day a freak snow storm hit New York. We want to share a puzzle we are having: Last year, thanks to Shelbym, I started to categorize designs. It has been a nightmare to say the least. And I have made no progress at all. Still the project creeps forward. The idea is to open a new directory, it is called ROSES, click here to visit it. Then I would fill it with all the flowers we have. The thought was to save you time in the search engine. Well, we have been sitting around the computer, and the office, and the florist and even my old haunt - Hogan's Goat Saloon - trying to determine which designs should be placed into this area. Should it be just flowers? Roses only? These and corner designs? Crosses with roses? With lilies? Dogwoods? Full designs as long as flowers are involved? Surely this area will not open too soon. If anyone has any thoughts to share, leave me email at firstname.lastname@example.org Keep in mind that putting any design with any flower in it would not be too different than searching with the search engine - we think it would be even more time consuming. Let me know your ideas.
March 20, 2000
I sincerely thank you for allowing me to have a worry-free vacation. I do suspect that anyone signing up as a new member ran into a snag because no new member applications came through the entire two week period. And since one did today and we usually sign up an average of one per day, looks like those applications went awry. Yet only two of you forget to read the What's New and sent me email. It was my first duty to reply to it today....one was from the 4th. Too bad, next time stay abreast of things around here, will ya!! Now that I'm back, and things are back on track (we did have some problems with our servers - I suspect as long as this company relies on computers I'll always have a job :}) I can now get down to the Spring Re-Post. I do thank all of you who congratulated me on the birth of my first grandson - Patrick Auricchio, Jr - and for those who care I am building a website that will show the photos of this last vacation. I will post the address once it is done. Again, thanks, I needed the rest and your respect.
March 1, 2000
Couple of notes: I will be leaving on vacation. My second grandchild, my first grandson is expected this weekend. I will not be back until March 19th. So hold off on the Wish Lists work till then. Kathy will be around, but via email only, send to email@example.com Otherwise, the office will be closed. .....Secondly, I am proud to show you some examples from our next re-post. As is often the case, Moses of BlueMoon and Ken Dyal lead the pack of featured artists. I've posted a few works below. And might I suggest that you take some time every so often to "browse" the re-posts in full. Our search engine is fine in a pinch or when you have a customer right at your desk. Still, to appreciate your membership fully, you need to see what we have to offer. The following drawings are posted in hidden areas at this time. They will appear in our Spring re-post due online at Easter. Enjoy.
The DRAWING BOARD is now complete and posted - and we changed the name from Canvas to MyDrawingBoard. (Dot Com, of course.) For those of you who complained that the dummy site was tedious and/or Oh-humm, OK, here's a direct link to the working model. But, be aware that Hassin, James and I will be tinkering with all the links to and from MyDrawingBoard so don't expect it to be roses all the time. For those of you interested in running your own DrawingBoard, watch for the links as we post them... which might not happen until I get back from watching my grandson being born in Port St. Lucie, FLA. -after March 19th. February 7, 2000 - Is everyone at the Convention?
We're days away from unveiling the Drawing Canvas! What is it? Simply put: it is a tool to capture the sale that has already walked out of your showroom or office. (Leave it to us to go after the one that got away!) The way we figure it, you don't need a program to get the people in. That you probably have under control. You have us to show your customers all the designs you offer. And, we know, you surely don't need GemRock to close a sale. But what if a customer can't find what he or she or they are looking for? What if they're just too confused, disoriented, bereaved, or just plain old tired and walk out on you? How do you get their attention when they're not in front of you? GemRock has a solution! We call it the Drawing Canvas Program. You will need a website (aren't you glad we already created one here for you? But if you have another elsewhere, that will do also.) You will also need a webmaster, we have a slew of them over here in case you don't have one sitting around over there. But you might not need anyone other than that person who first encouraged you to join GemRock in the first place - your CADD Operator. The website you will need to host the Drawing Canvas. The webmaster is needed to post into it your designs. Confused? We know you are because no one has ever tried reaching an audience which has already left the house - until the Internet came along. We have designed a sample site - a dummy website. The Drawing Canvas itself is not operating yet but that's not a bad thing. We want you to walk through this first. Get the "idea." Rummage through the dummy site and begin to form your opinions. When we do post the actual working Drawing Canvas Program we will explain further how this innovative program can work for you - if you haven't figured it out by yourself by then. The fee to have your own Drawing Canvas Program will be $40 per month for members and $50 per month for non-members. If you have a webmaster who will configure your site for the Drawing Canvas Program, the one time setup fee will be $200 for members and $400 for non-members (and that will rise as we get busy!) If you require a website and full design from our webmasters, it will be on a case by case basis. Bottom line is, is $40 per month worth getting the walk-out sale? And do you want to be the first one on the block to have this tool or the last? Click here to visit the Holy Family Monument Dummy site. ***********************A SPECIAL NOTE*** Not all our members are memorialists, 35% are not. Don't walk away from the Drawing Canvas Program if you're not in stone. Look it over. We are in talks with doll designers, sign designers, car makers and others who also might employ the Drawing Canvas Program. This is a very clever and one of a kind program.
We're trimming down again! Seems like nowadays a day doesn't go bye when I hear one of my staff say, "Hey, there's a new data base on the Net which does the same thing that ours does." After I check it out, if it does do all ours can, we usually take down ours. First the data transfers went in 1987, then we opened our doors to the public and when AOL came along we slowly closed them again. In 1996 we shut down our Chat rooms, 1998 saw the end of game rooms and we broke ADSTONE up into 3 parts - SearchStone, Gemrock and ADSTONE. 1999 was a benchmark year; we closed the BBS entirely, handed over Searchstone to FINDSTONE.com, closed our featured articles in favor of Monu-Cad's eZine, closed our Discussion groups in favor of Yahoo's Monument club and now we bow to another change. Albeit, nothing has replaced the service. I have ordered James to remove the CADD Review forum. I wish to thank ShelbyM for building the REVIEW and handling it, he did a very fine job. Originally, this forum was to encourage and aid folks to purchase CADD systems and was suppose to function as an online HELP. But nowadays, everyone is online. You don't need us to help you to keep up to date with what's going on at Monu-Cad. Just go to their website! Gerber also, and Anagraph, they're all connected now. I can't put a feather in my cap for it, everyone eventually will be connected. GemRock is just holding the cyberspace for you. One day, and sooner than you imagine, we will all be connected - wired as they say. We will all be in touch and drawing each others' attention and bargaining for it. That happens to also be the foundation of our soon to be unveiled retail sales tool, but I'm jumping ahead of myself by saying so...very soon, be patient, it's here and will be announced shortly. Anyway, good-bye to the CADD Review forum. And to all those other services we once offered and worked hard at. Perhaps someday we will merge all designs from all systems into one great pool and then................................. :}
Auction site is moving along very slowly - it sure ain't no eBay (giggle) All the same, I see a user named Shelly has posted some Barre and Dixie dies, and tons of stuff from her (or is it HIS?) closet. Post your stuff too, click here.
Just a heads-up and a passing along some information to others who have just discovered our ClipArt libraries. You will find an extensive inventory of saints in JPG and GIF formats under the SAINTS folder in the ART library. Too many of you have mentioned it to me in your emails as if it were something new that I have now posted the ClipArt on the SKIP pages. I realize many of you are missing it. They are all scans and perfect for trace copies - as is most of the ClipArt files. Also there is a file called st-to-country.htm in that same library which is a HTML file (web page) that you can download (or just double click on it) that will give you a list of countries and their patron saints. To access the SAINTS just visit the ART / ClipArt / Animation library and once there click on the SAINTS folder. For a shortcut, click SAINTS here.
Word around the industry for several years has been that Monu-Cad as seen as the CADD system every other system tried to be would fall by the wayside when Anagraph developed its product. Still others proclaimed that Gerber would come back swinging. Man, did they ever! Here's an email I just got from Josh over at Hilltop Sales - looks like Gerber will be giving Corel some competition also!
I wanted to let you know that our booth number in Vegas is 302. We are going to have Gemrock.com prominently displayed as our "Online Design Partner" and a six month membership as a part of our MBNA Show Special. I thought that you would like this news.. We are also going to be previewing (and taking orders for) the Gerber OMEGA software upgrade. Gerber's OMEGA software is probably the most dramatic upgrade that Graphix Advantage owners have ever seen! It will make GA a full 32 bit operating system, complete with long filenames, on screen text editing, multiple undo's and more. The other great thing is that its onboard file converter is going to be set up more like Corel.(the first versions of which were written by Gerber) .. anyway. Instead of having to go into file converter to bring designs from other formats into the GA system. All you will have to do is simply go to file and open! Omega will automatically convert the design and bring it in to Composer! DXF, DWG, eps, ai, ... whatever!
January 11, 2000
What I'm about to break to you is NOT the surprise, that we intended to announced later this month. That news is still in the development stage and progressing well, so far. This announcement is for something I have wanted to do for awhile but got some resistance then suddenly, WOW, with some peering we put it altogether! As you might know, we shut down SearchStone because we figured FINDstone.com was doing an OK job at listing granite contacts - still to be fully proven and we might come back - and in place of a search engine we now have a mini eBay (tm) so start pulling out that old stock, rustle up those cans of unneeded 3M filler, dust off that old stencil cutter and create a user account at our auction site and start buying and selling. Auctions will be held 24/7 just like at eBay. Since we just posted the site, I suspect little will be ready for auction, so get over there right now! We need your bids and offers. Go to SearchStone and click on AUCTIONS IN PROGRESS NOW!
January 8, 2000
THE RE-POST IS IN PLACE. I have added links to the clip art libraries because so many of you ignore them. Understandable considering the wait needed to load them, but you miss out on some of our best work of both graphic and vector files which can come in very handy. Unfortunately, the search engine does not search these ART areas because they change almost daily - they are tedious, yet important. I can not boast of adding lots and lots of drawings this re-post; sorry I was very busy with Christmas and our special surprise program. Word is leaking out about the special new program we hope to unveil it within weeks. It will be worth the wait and anticipation especially for the retailers and sign people among you. An important note here to ANAGRAPH users. We have discovered that since we originally convert our files to DXF through Gerber that Anagraph will not read it directly. Strange but true. You first need to open the drawing in another application - like CorelDraw! or Hi-Jack then save back as a DXF then open in Anagraph. Look for JBS files here at Gem to avoid all that. We are also hiring another CADD Operator (once we setup a station for him or her) to dedicate all working hours converting all files to PLT and JBS... a task I'm too old to start and finish in my lifetime! I am also sending ads to post at the 3 local drafting schools seeking an artist to spend all his or her time adding new designs and keeping abreast of the Wish List, which are falling way too behind lately. If you know anyone interested in learning every CADD system on the planet, and learning system administration, networking and file conversion and who lives local to Babylon, New York, send 'em my way...$9 hour to start. January 1, 2000
What a NON-EVENT that was! Huh? And to think Shawn and Hassan blow 3 of our computers to dust while testing for Y2K compliance! I'm scurrying since midnight to rig up an old DOS PC and get my Generic Cadd back, wish me luck 'cause I haven't seen a PC among all these Servers since - well, since my genius techs told me I had a Y2K problem. Like Kath is famous for remarking - Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! Anyway, look forward to a complete re-post at the end of this month and -not only spread the word but - keep your eyes peeled on the what's new for a program in development over here (from our native geniuses) that will revolutionize the way stone and sign folk do business on the WWW. (And that's all I going to say about that at this time.)