The Snow is Melting



Now I just need to find my enchanted quills...





Some Maintenance

As I have announced a couple of weeks ago, we will start to delete old log entries and messages from the server when the new school year begins. This is necessary as we do not have infinite space to store stuff like this and even if we had it would make everything loading slower and slower with the time.

So from September on all messages and log entries (HOL logs and pet logs) will be deleted if they are older than 120 days. You can protect HOL messages from deletion by locking them, you should have that option on your messages screen.

Here are the current numbers, just in case anyone is interested:

Total logs in database: 94253
Logs older than 120 days: 59660

Total pet logs in database: 59238
Pet logs older than 120 days: 20837

Total HOL messages in database: 6475
Total protected HOL messages: 24
Unprotected HOL messages older than 120 days: 0

Yup, there aren't any messages older than 4 months now, but there will be soon...

Unrelated, Cosmo asked me to make a few changes to the Trading Cards. So now you can hide your card if you don't want it to show on your profile or in the Art Department anymore. You can still update your card when hidden and also make it visible again at any time. You can hide and "unhide" your card from within the Art Department, click on 'View your HOL Trading Card' at the top of the page.

Oh, and all missing thumbnails for the cards should have miraculously appeared now.





Missing Quidditch Logs

The Quidditch Department is missing some match logs. Please check your IRC logs and if you find any of the missing logs send them to the Quidditch Board.

Thank you!





Artists Wanted

Good evening :)

I am looking for 1-2 artists who enjoy making icon-size graphics for Hogsmeade and possibly other places. We will need many, many of them... books, potions, rings, lockets and the like.

Specs: all graphics must be 40x40px transparent gif or png and they must fit into the theme of wizardry/Hogwarts (in other words: fauvism, office style or anime do not work so well *g*)

If you are interested in helping with this, if you are willing to make many such graphics, if you think you really enjoy making these icons... please make one book icon and one potion icon and send me a HOL message with the links (or email works as well if you message me here that you sent an email).

Thaaaank you.

Unrelated but maybe also interesting: The Wand Shop is open for business.





Ice Cream Cones

To celebrate the 104th anniversary of the invention of the ice cream cone I have acquired a huge pack of catnip balls and everyone who has HOL pets should now find 2 balls for each pet in their treasures. I would have got you all ice cream but after having visited the Owlery I figured that you could very well use some catnip.

So if your pet is unhappy or depressed feed it one catnip ball and it will love you again and come out of hiding.

During summer holidays your pets need more attention than usual as you can't earn any points or awards when the classes are closed. If you do well in school your pets will be proud of you, they just don't understand the concept of "holidays", I'm afraid. So don't forget to give your pets some attention if you want them to be happy.

Completely unrelated but still important: there was a problem with creating new bean pouches which has now been fixed. All new First Years can now create their bean pouches again and receive 10 Beans for free.





Some Minor Changes

Good morning HOL :)

The 'year' has now changed to 2008/09 throughout the site. 2007/08 is closed now. Send any late changes to the points or quills database to me via HOL Message only.

Heads of House and Deputy Heads of House can now group message their new First Years. This might be helpful for sending reminders or newbie Newsletters or whatever you do in your house for new members.

Post Graduate Students are now listed on the house pages right below Professors.

In the future logs and messages will be automatically deleted after four months. We do not have infinite space on the server so this is necessary. All HOL logs, pet logs, and HOL messages that are older than 120 days will be deleted from the server automatically with the daily clean-up.

We will populate the classes roster for next school year very soon. You will get a HOL Message from the Head Office both when your class application was approved or rejected. This will not all happen at the same time, please be patient, we will add classes from last year's professors or student teachers first as those can usually be approved without much work.

Have a great weekend.





Professor Applications Are Closing

One week from tomorrow the professor applications will close. If you don't have your calendar by hand... the last day you can post your application for teaching a class next term, whether as student teacher or professor is next Thursday, July 24th.

We are looking to finalize next year's roster on the last weekend in July, so soon after you should know which exciting classes HOL will have to offer for the Autumn Term 2008/09 which begins on September 1st. Sign-up for classes will start on August 18th.





If your new HOL Account was deleted...

...then you most probably did not follow the naming rules. I will repeat them for you all now:

All HOL'ers from last year do not have to sign-up again. Your HOL-name must be firstname - lastname (eg. John Doe), not some one-word nicks or some nonsense as "Hermione43" or "OhMyMalfoy" - it must be a name. Offensive names are not allowed. All Harry Potter character names are not allowed in HOL - no "Oliver Wood" or "Ron Weasley". Invalid names for HOL are also: any impersonation of a celebrity (Brad Pitt, Britney Spears, George Bush, Katie Couric), a name of a well-known fictional character (Artemis Fowl, John Locke, Rory Gilmore, Bruce Wayne).

Ergo we had to delete some new student files today, incl. Esme Cullen and Scorpious Malfoy. You can find the complete list of rejected accounts here.





Missing Quills and Closing Classes

This is a reminder that the term is ending and that all classes have to be closed by Saturday. So if you are running a class, whether as student teacher or professor, then please set all current class members to either "graduated" or "not graduated" and when there are no more members in your class office then you can see the close this class (LOCK) button - push it :)

If you set a student to "graduated" you have to award them one quill. To avoid mistakes it is recommended to first award the quills and then to graduate your students. I found several missing quills from the autumn term and awarded them now so everyone has the corrent number of quills when it comes to advancing to the next HOL year.

26 missing Quills for Dreamology 101 (604)
1 missing Quill for Magical Charms and Talismans (601)
1 missing Quill for Magical Musicology (631)
1 missing Quill for Mexican Mythology (576)
1 missing Quill for Traditional Home and Folks Remedies (635)
1 missing Quill for Wands Workshop (577)

All classes that have not been closed by Saturday will be closed by the Headoffice on Sunday. Graduation will not happen before all missing quills have been properly awarded, so no worries if you have one missing at the moment.





Some Interesting Facts

I was curious how HOL is doing in the huge new world of Web 2.0, so a few weeks ago I installed a fancy new analytics program and tonight it popped up again from the deep dark dungeons of my brain. It looks pretty good over all, since we launched HOL 4.0 we steadily got more visits - so people seem to like it.

I checked where all these new people were coming from and what I found was quite interesting (and surprising). So I thought I'd share that with everyone and return the favour by backlinking to those sites who sent us the most visitors.

Number one is Wikipedia. We are listed on the Hogwarts page which is nice. But of course we deserve to be listed there after more than seven years.

Number two is Winzi.com, a site I have never heard of before but I can't know everything, heh. It's nice that we are the #1 match of 5,980 for Virtual Hogwarts and I don't mind that the Warner Bros. site is second place.

And the honourable mention goes to the Gryffindor Gazette where we apparently won the "site of the week award" some two years ago. Not that I remember having been told about that award but thanks nonetheless.

This Sunday the Admission Office will open again for new students, so all of you who come here for the first time from these or other references can join the HOL fun in just four more days.



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