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Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thread 
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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
saint of m wrote:
Are The Uniak the only "insectoide" race in their alliance, or do they have fellow bug people s buddies?

The known members of the Umiak Hierarchy are listed here. It's unlikely that any of the other members will ever be discussed.

Jakelope13 wrote:
Has there been any discoveries of Soia ruins on worlds that may have, at one point, had an atmosphere? Or were fragments of one of the Soia's "dread-stars" ever been recovered?

It's not clear who the "Soia" were. There are ruins of planetary settlements of four of the five known Soia-Liron races from during the Soia period (there is no planetside evidence of the Loroi until around the time of the fall). No remains of dread-stars have ever been found.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Did races other than the Loroi have legends of dread-stars, or was it only the Loroi?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Absalom wrote:
Did races other than the Loroi have legends of dread-stars, or was it only the Loroi?

There are similar legends among many different cultures.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Ok, in the light of the new wealth of information made available on some of the other secondary and tertiary races in the Outsider-verse, I was hoping we could get a little more information on the relationship between the Historians and the Pol, as well as information about the Pol themselves. Obviously if there are any plot-relevant details feel free to leave it out, but the Insider entry is so tantalizing...


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
halftea wrote:
Ok, in the light of the new wealth of information made available on some of the other secondary and tertiary races in the Outsider-verse, I was hoping we could get a little more information on the relationship between the Historians and the Pol, as well as information about the Pol themselves. Obviously if there are any plot-relevant details feel free to leave it out, but the Insider entry is so tantalizing...

Although the existence of the Pol is confirmed by the Historians, they refuse to reveal anything substantive about them, and so there is very little known except rumor. Barsam theorists seem to have got the impression that the Pol are a sentient aquatic Soia-Liron species, but it's not clear where this information came from or how the rumor got started; there is no known archaeological evidence of such a species. The Loroi telepathic rumor mill (which is less prone to unfounded speculation) has a story that goes something like this: when Loroi warships were in Historian territory during the Umiak invasion, the Farseers reported detecting an unfamiliar telepathic signature, indicating an unknown intelligent species. When the matter was brought up with the Historians, the Loroi were told that what they had detected was a species called the Pol, which was under Historian protection. The Historians declined to answer any further questions on the subject.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Which begs the question, have Loroi Farseers ever detected a confirmed Historian telepathic signature? ;)

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
In a bit of free time I've managed to claw in recently, I felt like obliging my somewhat "anoraky" tendencies, and scanned through the Umiak lore and technology. I noticed a slight inconstancy however with regards to Umiak plasma weapons. On the warship class page seven plasma focus types are described with Medium range & short range versions of the Heavy, Medium and Light plasma focus plus a PD plasma cannon. The weaps page however only lists five umiak plasma weapons. So I guess I was just curious to whether this is just a mistake being that both pages are time stamped a year apart?

Another curiosity is the Umiak-Morat Blasters which don't appear to be equipped on Umiak ship classes, are those then only normally found on Morat ships, and was it ever the intention for morat ships to be seen? Also with regards to the vast number of varieties of umiak torpedoes, which logistically would present a considerable challenge (real life example would be for instance that British, US and most NATO infantry deploy with the FN minimi to keep all rounds in the platoon 5.56mm, and try to avoid 7.62mm rounds due to the extra logistics), so I guess the question here would be are each of these torpedoes deployed normally by a certain class of warship? Such that a fleet has a,b & c class ships, so it needs 1,2,3 class torpedoes. Or is the menagerie of torpedoes more driven by artistic reasons? As lots of the same bland torpedoes would be boring to draw and boring to look at I imagine...

N.B. In a completely unrelated note, I also looked at your recent concepts for the Stars in Shadow project Arioch, and other than just being awesome, it immediately struck me that the Death's Head faction's colours of yellow and black instantly matched that of the Death's Head Hawk Moth (or rather the Acherontia atropos species). Was that intentional, or a rather a pretty cool coincidence?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Smithy wrote:
In a bit of free time I've managed to claw in recently, I felt like obliging my somewhat "anoraky" tendencies, and scanned through the Umiak lore and technology. I noticed a slight inconstancy however with regards to Umiak plasma weapons. On the warship class page seven plasma focus types are described with Medium range & short range versions of the Heavy, Medium and Light plasma focus plus a PD plasma cannon. The weaps page however only lists five umiak plasma weapons. So I guess I was just curious to whether this is just a mistake being that both pages are time stamped a year apart?

There's a combination of some mis-classification and some inconsistent nomenclature there. I'll clean it up when I get the chance -- thanks for bringing it up. The material difference is that the ship list describes 3 variants of the MR focus while the weapon list only has one. The medium and heavy versions of the MR are the same thing, and the light version only appears on one ship.

Smithy wrote:
Another curiosity is the Umiak-Morat Blasters which don't appear to be equipped on Umiak ship classes, are those then only normally found on Morat ships, and was it ever the intention for morat ships to be seen?

The Umiak don't have classes per se; each ship is individually designed. The list of ships shows typical examples in each size/role category, but shapes and individual weapons loadouts vary widely from ship to ship. Generally, the builders will make use of whatever parts are available locally, and so many of the Umiak ships manufactured in the Morat region do use blasters. Also, we will see Morat-built ships.

Smithy wrote:
Also with regards to the vast number of varieties of umiak torpedoes, which logistically would present a considerable challenge (real life example would be for instance that British, US and most NATO infantry deploy with the FN minimi to keep all rounds in the platoon 5.56mm, and try to avoid 7.62mm rounds due to the extra logistics), so I guess the question here would be are each of these torpedoes deployed normally by a certain class of warship? Such that a fleet has a,b & c class ships, so it needs 1,2,3 class torpedoes. Or is the menagerie of torpedoes more driven by artistic reasons? As lots of the same bland torpedoes would be boring to draw and boring to look at I imagine...

The Umiak resist standardization, and ammunition is the one area in which they are forced to standardize to a certain extent... but even so they have a wide variety of torpedo standards. I'm sure this must be a logistical nightmare, but that's the way the Umiak like it.

Smithy wrote:
N.B. In a completely unrelated note, I also looked at your recent concepts for the Stars in Shadow project Arioch, and other than just being awesome, it immediately struck me that the Death's Head faction's colours of yellow and black instantly matched that of the Death's Head Hawk Moth (or rather the Acherontia atropos species). Was that intentional, or a rather a pretty cool coincidence?

It's a coincidence. The yellow and black "Jolly Roger" color scheme predates the Death's Head version of the concept.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Did the Union, Hierarchy, etc ever use ballistic firearms? If so, who was the last to phase them out, and when?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Carl Miller wrote:
Did the Union, Hierarchy, etc ever use ballistic firearms? If so, who was the last to phase them out, and when?

If you're talking about small arms, both the Union and Hierarchy still use them.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
You mention that the Umiak are OCD. At best this is hyper detail oriented. At worse, they worry about every little thing, espesialy when there is no need to (often almost ritualizing the process and have to fallow it to a tee or have a Blue Screen of Death effect on their brain). Yes this is an over simplification of the disability, but this sounds like some of my relatives.

Has this ever been exploited as a weakness either amongdt themselves in wars past or with the present conflict?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Who is the head of state of the Umiak Hierarchy? and what is their title?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
saint of m wrote:
You mention that the Umiak are OCD. At best this is hyper detail oriented. At worse, they worry about every little thing, espesialy when there is no need to (often almost ritualizing the process and have to fallow it to a tee or have a Blue Screen of Death effect on their brain). Yes this is an over simplification of the disability, but this sounds like some of my relatives. Has this ever been exploited as a weakness either amongdt themselves in wars past or with the present conflict?

The Umiak as a group are detail-oriented and decentralized; this sometimes means that the individual moving parts don't always have the big picture in mind, but that's sort of by design... the Umiak central command deliberately leaves most local commanders in dark on a lot of information. This is partly a cultural preference, but partly a strategic necessity in a war against a telepathic enemy who are exceptional interrogators. Most of the time, this practice fits in fine with the Umiak modus operandi; most Umiak operations are routine and very well defined: either defend this location, or conduct an attrition attack on this location and inflict as much harm as you can (if you can make it back, great... if not, that's fine too). However, when the plan breaks down, as it did during the Loroi Semoset offensive, the Umiak forces can suffer from a lack of decisive direction that can be exploited by a clever commander.

At an individual level, not all Umiak are the same; some are more obsessive than others, and some are more flexible.

Carl Miller wrote:
Who is the head of state of the Umiak Hierarchy? and what is their title?

There is no single nominal head of state. The Hierarchy is run by a massive bureaucracy, headed at the top by a Byzantine arrangement of councils and committees. It's always true that if you go high enough you'll find one individual who makes the decisions, but few outside the corridors of power (even among the Umiak population) know who that is.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Arioch wrote:
There is no single nominal head of state. The Hierarchy is run by a massive bureaucracy, headed at the top by a Byzantine arrangement of councils and committees. It's always true that if you go high enough you'll find one individual who makes the decisions, but few outside the corridors of power (even among the Umiak population) know who that is.


Would it be fair to say the individual(s) making the decisions more or less happen to roll in these decision-making slots due to circumstances?

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
GeoModder wrote:
Arioch wrote:
There is no single nominal head of state. The Hierarchy is run by a massive bureaucracy, headed at the top by a Byzantine arrangement of councils and committees. It's always true that if you go high enough you'll find one individual who makes the decisions, but few outside the corridors of power (even among the Umiak population) know who that is.

Would it be fair to say the individual(s) making the decisions more or less happen to roll in these decision-making slots due to circumstances?

It's not a formal position. Umiak humility and dislike of the concept of despotism means that most of the titled positions (like committee chair or speaker) are functionaries that are precluded by rule from exercising much real power; nevertheless, in any organized group there's always going to be one top dog, whether formal or informal. One becomes top dog by cultivating allies or building coalitions or crushing enemies or amassing personal power and influence or by being a master manipulator or by being feared by both allies and enemies alike... or all of the above.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Do the Umiake and their Allies know where the main worlds of their Loroi are and vice versa, and can't get to it because of the military forces between them and their goal?

Aside from the sporadic nature of Umiake fleets (with Ships being outdated flying with ones that are state of the art) are there any other noticeably weaknesses the Umiake have that have been exploited/are exploitable?

Are there any allied races on either side of the conflict that will like humans a whole whole lot from the get go (either as friends or a side dish with a light salad...Space opera, had to put that in) or are they mostly going to distrust the pink skins?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
saint of m wrote:
Do the Umiake and their Allies know where the main worlds of their Loroi are and vice versa, and can't get to it because of the military forces between them and their goal?


The Umiak almost certainly know where the Loroi homeworlds are since they've captured so many of them and had them for so long. I don't think the Loroi have detailed information about Umiak space and I'm not certain how much difference it would make if they did. The information we've been given indicates to ME that the Umiak would likely be unfazed by the loss of their homeworld, far less than the worlds it would take to reach them at least.


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
saint of m wrote:
Do the Umiake and their Allies know where the main worlds of their Loroi are and vice versa, and can't get to it because of the military forces between them and their goal?

The Umiak had a pretty complete map of Loroi territory even before the war; although Umiak traders were only allowed in frontier systems, they had contact with many other species (some of whom are now on the Umiak side) who had regular dealings with the Loroi. Since then, the Umiak have captured multiple Loroi planets, and held them for more than ten years. At this point, there is very little about the Loroi that the Umiak do not know.

The Loroi picture of Umiak territory is much more fragmentary. The Umiak have a very closed society, and movement within Umiak territory is tightly restricted. The Loroi are very good at interrogation, but prisoners can't give up information they don't know. Loroi intelligence has a pretty good picture of the near portion of Umiak territory, and a cursory idea of the layout of the Umiak heartland and its major production centers, but they know very little about the far portion or even how far it extends.

These main worlds can't be directly attacked for the same reason that the Allies couldn't attack Berlin in 1941: there are enemy forces in the way.

saint of m wrote:
Aside from the sporadic nature of Umiake fleets (with Ships being outdated flying with ones that are state of the art) are there any other noticeably weaknesses the Umiake have that have been exploited/are exploitable?

If there had been, the war would probably be over by now.

saint of m wrote:
Are there any allied races on either side of the conflict that will like humans a whole whole lot from the get go (either as friends or a side dish with a light salad...Space opera, had to put that in)

Yes.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Given the way FTL works in Outsider, fleets would have to physically go through enemy forces to reach a target. They can't warp all the way to their destination - they have to go one star at a time. And if you don't have accurate survey maps of enemy territory, finding traversable jump links between stars is going to be difficult and dangerous. You could lose a whole task force to an unexpected gas giant because you didn't know it was there.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
I am under the impression that most recources can be easily gathered by strip minning astroids as any given large one could have more precious metals, iron, hydrogen, and other materials humans haved used in construction, technology, and so on then has been dug up on Earth.

That said, what reasources could the Umiak need on a plannet other then organics?

Also, what do they eat and how do they produce their food?

I can guess genetic manipulation on some level. Earthlings have done for as long as we figured out how to tame critters under selective breeding, with only more chemical and cellar level modification done in the last few years, so I can see them taking the next fifty steps ahead of us.


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
saint of m wrote:
I am under the impression that most recources can be easily gathered by strip minning astroids as any given large one could have more precious metals, iron, hydrogen, and other materials humans haved used in construction, technology, and so on then has been dug up on Earth. That said, what reasources could the Umiak need on a plannet other then organics?

Asteroids will be rich sources of minerals, but working in low gravity on an airless radiation-bathed asteroid is going to be expensive, even at high tech levels, so I think planet-bound mining of geologically-formed mineral deposits will probably still be more cost effective for some minerals. In high-tech construction using plastics and composite materials, organic polymers will be as important as minerals, and these are generally only found on planets (in fossil deposits or grown as specialized crops). Housing is also much cheaper to build planetside rather than in space.

saint of m wrote:
Also, what do they eat and how do they produce their food?

I can guess genetic manipulation on some level. Earthlings have done for as long as we figured out how to tame critters under selective breeding, with only more chemical and cellar level modification done in the last few years, so I can see them taking the next fifty steps ahead of us.

Umiak eat the same kinds of things that we do (sugars, carbohydrates, plant and animal protein, fats) and produce them in a similar manner (through farming and animal husbandry). These are no doubt industrialized to a great degree, with gene-tailored plants and animals mass-produced on an industrial scale, but that's nothing humans don't do right now.

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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
How old is the current Umiak civilisation? It seems that they were already an industrial species when they finished conquering their co-evolved planetary rivals (roughly 1000-2000 years after the fall of the Soia). Did they then resort to infighting or did they jump into space and become a spacefaring species? (which would make them substantially older then the Loroi). Do they have an innate cultural hatred of any Soia-related species due to their suffering at the time of the empire ?


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
Arioch wrote:
saint of m wrote:
If given the opportunity, what is the likelihood they would or could use a biological weapon, such as a engineered virus, on a target planet? I thinking is it will probably not be killed by this disease themselves, unless it crosses over to them, and they can have it dispersed swiftly (such as by touch or by birds). Let the disease kill of the target population, and you can sift through the rest at your leisure.

I think that biological weapons are hard to deliver with precision, hard to control (viruses mutate rapidly), and relatively straightforward to counter (if you can engineer a virus, they can engineer a vaccine).


Straightforward? Not really. Making a vaccine takes time and research.

Now, make a virus that has a really long incubation period, attack a Loroi plant and bombard it, but don't destroy it fully. Launch virus missiles among the regular bombardment ones.
Wait for the Loroi relief effort.
As Loroi travel to and from the planet, the virus spreads. When it hits, it hits in multiple places and spreads rapidly. Massive damage before a cure can be found.

Also, instead of totlal destruction of enemy towns, massive damage might be preferable. That way the enemy must expend resources on search & rescue, relief and re-building, bleeding him even further.


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
The other thing to consider about the relative effort required to extract space resources vs planetary ones: extorting resources from a planetary population costs the Umiak nothing if that population believes they will be wiped out for not delivering. Resources gained with zero Umiak labor involved will be competitive, even if it isn't being done very efficiently, all else considered. At least in the short run, as Mr. Tucker pointed out.


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Post Re: Miscellaneous Umiak/misc. races question-and-answer thre
TrashMan wrote:
Arioch wrote:
saint of m wrote:
If given the opportunity, what is the likelihood they would or could use a biological weapon, such as a engineered virus, on a target planet? I thinking is it will probably not be killed by this disease themselves, unless it crosses over to them, and they can have it dispersed swiftly (such as by touch or by birds). Let the disease kill of the target population, and you can sift through the rest at your leisure.

I think that biological weapons are hard to deliver with precision, hard to control (viruses mutate rapidly), and relatively straightforward to counter (if you can engineer a virus, they can engineer a vaccine).


Straightforward? Not really. Making a vaccine takes time and research.

Now, make a virus that has a really long incubation period, attack a Loroi plant and bombard it, but don't destroy it fully. Launch virus missiles among the regular bombardment ones.
Wait for the Loroi relief effort.
As Loroi travel to and from the planet, the virus spreads. When it hits, it hits in multiple places and spreads rapidly. Massive damage before a cure can be found.

Also, instead of totlal destruction of enemy towns, massive damage might be preferable. That way the enemy must expend resources on search & rescue, relief and re-building, bleeding him even further.


The problem with Bio Weapons is their delivery, not their effectiveness.

The USSR had an extensive Bio Weapons program, despite the treaties they had signed with the USA on the matter. Suffice to say that they had tampered with several viruses and the result was something that would make an offspring of Ebola and the common flu look tame in comparison.

They were intended to be used as a follow up weapon in case of a nuclear war, wiping out whatever survivors were left at the enemy side. The problem that offered the biggest roadblock was that viruses and bacteria are very fragile, they can't tolerate multiple gravity accelerations and decelerations, and that's before the problem with the extreme temperatures in a variety of delivery methods.

What they came up with was something that the US intelligence service initially thought to be a joke, a very slow subsonic missile that would gradually decelerate before impact. Even with this delivery method they didn't expect more than 30% of the payload to survive the journey to the target.

I don't know what possible delivery systems the Umiak could come up with but the fact still remains that it would be very hard for viruses and bacteria to survive the temperature of an atmospheric entry and the sudden stop of an orbital drop.

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