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Category: "Spook Central"

Pardon Our Appearance

 By Paul Rudoff on Jan. 29, 2018 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Spook Central
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Since switching to a new server a few weeks ago, Spook Central and subsite The Corner Penthouse had been having severe issues with the blog software. The blog provides Spook Central with its main page, and runs the entirety of The Corner Penthouse. After a few days of having to disable the blog while we worked on the problem, we have managed to restore it, while at the same time upgrading it to the latest version. Unfortunately, that created a new set of problems because all of the skins and plugins from the old version were not compatible with the new version.

Right now, we have managed to get both sites back to 95% visual accuracy with (near) 100% functionality. Raffaele and I... well, mostly Raffaele, will continue to work on getting things back to 100% all around. Meanwhile, everything functions well enough that I will be able to write the reviews and articles that I have had to put off since all of this started.

We used this upgrade as an opportunity to make the site fully HTTPS-compliant, so you'll have a secure connection here. Not that we're providing any sort of sensitive information, but it seems like everyone loves secure this and secure that, so why not provide that as well.

Thanks to everyone for their patience.

-- Paul
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Spook Central Patch Now At Ghost Corps Headquarters

 By Paul Rudoff on Jan. 11, 2018 at 11:30 PM , Categories: Spook Central
Way back in August 2011, I had some special Spook Central 15th Anniversary patches made to honor the site's milestone. I thought they were all gone, so I never sent any to Ghost Corps when they started collecting patches from the various franchises a few years ago. Recently, I found that I still had a few in my secret stash. I sent it to the Ghost Corps crew along with a nice letter on my translucent slime green stationary. Thanks to Eric Reich for the photo of one of the last remaining Spook Central patches in their display case. I bet mine is one of the only patches they have from a website!

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(click to enlarge)

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New Spook Central Audio & Video Players

 By Paul Rudoff on May. 10, 2017 at 4:06 PM , Categories: Spook Central
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For the past 10 years all video and audio files on Spook Central were played using a Flash plugin-based multimedia player. That was the ideal way to do it at the time, but since then, Flash has fallen out of favor (to put it nicely). If you've been viewing Spook Central on a mobile device, you wouldn't have even seen the embedded media player because all Apple and Android devices don't allow Flash to be used. That meant that I needed to eventually find a new way to play and display the media on the site.

Raffaele Ruffaldi, the Italian Stallion from the land of the Smurfs and damn fine waffles, has worked his butt off these past few months to help me find a solution to the problem. After lots and lots of testing and trial and error, and me being a general pain in the ass, we have found something that seemingly works in nearly every situation. Only one older browser (Internet Explorer v8 on Windows XP) and mobile device (an iPod Touch using iOS v6) failed our tests, but it's not likely that anyone reading this is using either of those two. If for some reason you can't see the video, there's a "Can't See The Video?" panic link at the top of the floated box that links directly to the .mp4 file which should allow you to view the video file.

When I committed to using videos on Spook Central, I grabbed the tiny "Play Video" image from the DVD-ROM content of the 1999 DVD and blew it up to 320x240. It got the job done, but it wasn't very pretty, and I wanted something that looked a little better, wasn't tied to a specific background color, and was of a larger size (as a way to plan for future use). I asked my friend, the Ghostbusting' Guru Matthew Jordan, for some help to make a new image that was a homage to the old one. What you see at the top of this post is the masterpiece he created. Those of you on desktop or laptop computers will, likely, not see the image very much. However, those of you on mobile devices will become quite familiar with it. When you click on any video thumbnail on the site (and I hope it's obvious which thumbnails link to videos on the various pages), a desktop/laptop computer will auto-play the video floated over the page. On a mobile device, you will need to click/touch the "Play Video" image to have the video start playing.

It should be noted that all I did right now is take the small (mostly 320x240 or 424x240) compressed .flv videos I already had on Spook Central and re-compress them to .mp4 files. They are being displayed on the site, floated over the pages, at DVD resolution sizes of 640x480 or 852x480. There will be a certain ugliness when seeing those small files enlarged to those sizes, but they are still perfectly viewable. Maybe in a few years, if I can ever find the time, I want to go back to my original video sources and re-encode all of the videos at those larger DVD image dimensions and with less compression. That will probably happen when I get around to transferring my VHS collection to DVD-Rs. For now, what's on the site will have to do. Oh, and ignore the black box in the lower right corner of some videos. It covers up an outdated watermark I had on the original files.

There is one minor conflict on pages that use the audio player playlist in more than one tabbed section. Currently, the issue only affects two pages: Cast & Crew Multimedia and Ghostbusters Score. What happens is that when you switch tabs, the playlist(s) on the other tabbed section(s) is not opened. The workaround is that you will have to click/press twice on the menu button (three horizontal lines) for the playlist to be displayed. Once it's opened/displayed, it should stay opened, even if you switch between the tabs again. I have added a big bold note at the top of both of those pages, which I hope is noticeable enough for people to see and understand.

More Spook Central pages that contain the new audio & video players include, but are not limited to: RGB Soundtrack, EGB Score, EGB Multimedia, GB1 Deleted Scenes, GB1 Stock Footage, GB2 Deleted Scenes, GB2 EPK, GB2 Multimedia, GB3 News, Paul's Music Videos, RGB Alt Episodes, RGB Bumpers, Making of RGB, RGB Pilot.

Even the Spook Central blog has been updated with the new audio & video players. Here are a few selected posts on which they are being used: Wilhelm Von Homburg Speaks As Vigo, More Love From The Cross The Streams Podcast, Shanna's Siren Song Stolen From She-Ra!, Silent Night, Deadly Night, South Park Uses Ghostbusters 2016 Review Quote.

Okay, so that about covers it all. Raffaele and I would appreciate it if you would use the comments section below to provide feedback, so we'll know if there are any issues we need to address, or if everything is running as well as expected.
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Spook Central's April Fools Day 2017 Prank

 By Paul Rudoff on Apr. 2, 2017 at 1:16 PM , Categories: Spook Central
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I don't do April's Fools pranks every year, lest you be able to predict it coming. This year I decided to do one after seeing the site for the band Spook (located at SpookBand.com) pop up in search results for "Spook Central" because their main page carries that title. I thought it would be fun to replace MY Spook Central with theirs for the day.

On the Spook Central Facebook page, I gave a little hint that the prank was coming when I posted that "Spook Central v4.1" was coming this Saturday. The version number is, of course, April 1st - April Fools Day. I tried not to make the hint too obvious.

If you came to Spook Central on April 1st and saw the website of the band Spook, I hope you clicked around to the other pages. I copied over the seven main files that make up their website. For the most part, I left the pages alone, to make the prank look real. However, if you clicked over to the Contact page, the prank would have been revealed to you.

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I don't know how many people I fooled with my prank, though I know that I got a few people. I hope those of you who saw it, enjoyed it.
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Spook Central Halloween Treat - Ghostbusters Coloring Pages

 By Paul Rudoff on Oct. 31, 2016 at 12:00 PM , Categories: Spook Central, Real Ghostbusters, Fans , Tags:
Halloween Treats

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It was never meant to be a regular thing. I'm kinda surprised that it still is.

Several lifetimes ago, way back in 2012, Matt and I planned Spook Central's first "Halloween Treat": the Making Ghostbusters PDF. It was actually posted a week after Halloween, but even that was quite a feat considering that I was living in a Red Cross emergency shelter due to Hurricane Sandy evicting me from my home just a few days before Halloween. Matt worked with Raffaele (my friend who provides Spook Central's webhosting) to get the treat out there in my absence.

It was going to be a one-off "treat", and certainly not something that would continue every year...and yet it has. There's been a Halloween Treat here on Spook Central in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Heck, it has even spread to Spook Central's sister site, The Corner Penthouse, in 2014 and 2015.

This year's Halloween Treat is a set of 11 Ghostbusters coloring pages, courtesy of the Circle City Ghostbusters, in a partial collaboration with Spook Central. Six pages use artwork from Spook Central's Real Ghostbusters Production Artwork page, while the other four feature original artwork by CCGB member Jacob Bartlett, who provided me with these pages (and one by Alex of the CCGBs).

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If you are looking for more Ghostbusters coloring fun, download the Ghostbusters II Coloring Book PDF here on Spook Central. Those of you who like the new Ghostbusters movie can download a PDF coloring book featuring a drawing of that team, and other female squads at SheKnows.com.


For the complete list of Spook Central's Halloween Treat posts from years past, click here. Thanks to Miss Kate for the "Halloween Treat" title banner that appears at the top of this post.
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Established August 1996
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In Loving Memory of Joel Richard Rudoff (July 28, 1944 - January 20, 2014)

In Loving Memory of Linda Joyce Rudoff (July 12, 1948 - November 29, 2015)

Doreen Mulman (May 22, 1961 - March 14, 2014)

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