Changes are a-comin'

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Changes are a-comin'

Postby furface » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:04 pm

As many of y'all have noticed, and commented on, the boards have been regularly awash in an emesis of spam for a bit now. The mods and admins have worked hard to stem the flow and have been rather successful in deleting it while less successful at keeping it out of here.

Toward that end several options have been considered and the best option is to upgrade the software to the current release of phpBB 3.0.5 and ramp up the security options available there. Tomorrow the tech staff at the ISP will install a test installation of the new version and convert the existing data files and the driving database to the new version for evaluation. The current version of the board will remain on line until the evaluation is complete.

The 'new' board will have a different look and a slightly different feel. It will also have expanded options for administration/moderation as well as some new features for the users. You can go HERE to see a list of the features from version 2.0.23 and the newest one. You can also take a test drive of the new version HERE; a test board sent up by me.

With any luck, and some hard work, the new version and the conversion to it should be available within 2 weeks. Any delays will be reported here.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled surfing.
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Postby michaelk69 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:50 am

That's good news, thanks FF . . . keep us posted as things develop!

Your help is much appreciated! :-)
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Postby DeckApe » Fri Jun 12, 2009 9:39 am

Lou--looks like that version of phpBB is similar to one that I've already seen on another forum I visit... it works well and doesn't have that goofy problem with cookies during log-in. You know the one--the one that doesn't actually log you in but DOES mark all your messages as 'read.'
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Postby Earl Butz » Sat Jun 13, 2009 5:34 am

That's great, Lou. Too bad when you try to cast a wide net you end up with alot of scum all over it. :P

I chat on another bb board a kid in Florida set up....he chats with all his friends...no spam at all... 8)
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Postby jkav » Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:02 pm

Pretty cool. I'm looking forward to the new board.
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Postby furface » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:08 pm

Just a guick post right now, more details in a bit. From Tom this morning.

Tom-SA wrote:This sounds great. Go ahead and get it scheduled and let's get it done!


I've got us penciled in for the weekend of 03JUL09 with the tech folks at the ISP. 8) :D :D
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Postby furface » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:59 pm

The follow up as promised.

For a while now I've been looking into alternatives for this board to improve security and kill the spammers. The best possible software I could find is the latest version of phpBB (3.0.5).

With Tom-SA's permission I explored getting the upgrade done through the support group at his ISP. This past weekend they did a test install/conversion using their sequestered server. Other than a few database errors in the user table (easily corrected) it was a resounding success; and as stated in the prior post we will be doing the changeover the weekend of 03JUL09.

While the look/feel of the newest version will be somewhat different than this one, there shouldn't be any real problems for any of you using it.

There will be some changes/problems for those who stay with us.

First, the default style (charcoal2) is not available for the new version as the developer has no plans to recode it to the new version standard; and it is not compatible with it. We'll be looking at other available styles and likely will pick something beyond the program default.

Second, there may be a problem when you login after the changeover. Because of the encoding used for the passwords in the database sometimes they don't convert properly and won't log you on. If you get such a message the easiest thing to do is select the I forgot my password link on the log in page and reset your password. Please do not reregister. This error is rare but it does happen.

There are a number of features for posting; attachments, Flash animtion, group PMs, and the like. Most of these will not be enabled until we've had a chance to figure out how the will work here.

Two features that will be set are custom fields for the registration page which will cull out spambots and a pre-moderation queue for new members which should catch the manual spammers.

Also there will be forum specific bans for violations of the R&R/TOS, as well as a reporting option to alert mods/admins to violations.

Note specific to registered users who don't post - there is a flexible user pruning function that allows the deletion of accounts what haven't posted and/or posted only once or twice, or never activated the account. I plan on making use of it to cull the deadwood from the large member list.

If anyone has any questions - ask 'em here.
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Postby nimby » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:41 pm

Can't wait. I hope the changes help to keep members here, and to maybe attract some new ones. Some fresh, talkative blood would be a good thing.
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Postby furface » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:28 pm

That's the idea.
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Postby justice_nd » Sat Jun 20, 2009 9:58 am

Sounds like good progress. I definitely lurk more than post around here, but the spam has been quite frustrating. Look forward to it being reduced, since I imagine total elimination is pretty much impossible.
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Postby scguy » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:42 pm

So Fur, those of us that just post a couple times a year will be in trouble then huh? :( lol...maybe I guess I should come around more frequent then. ;)
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Postby furface » Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:45 pm

Not really. It's the folks what registered in 2005 and ain't never posted that may be in trouble. Generally if'n the post count is above 5 or 10 shouldn't be a problem. :wink:

'Course if'n ya anger ole Unca Fur................
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Postby Rico » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:49 am

furface wrote:The follow up as promised....


Thanks for the update!

Quick (and probably dumb) question: Will the new software permit uploading of pics without having them hard-linked to another server?
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Postby furface » Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:02 pm

One of the options available is the use of attachments with thumbnails while posting. As of right now it hasn't been decided whether that option will be activated as it requires a good deal of server memory to utilize it. We will take a look, but no promises.
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Postby Guinness Fan » Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:37 pm

I very much appreciate the time and effort it takes to maintain this site... MANY MANY THANKS! I'm looking forward to a spam-free experience.
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Postby furface » Sun Jun 21, 2009 8:12 pm

I've received conformation from the ISP that we are scheduled for the upgrade/conversion for Friday night 03JUL09
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Postby Tom-SA » Mon Jun 22, 2009 8:53 pm

Hey Everybody, a big shout out and thank you to Lou who's spent / spending / will be spending a lot of time researching and planning this upgrade.

Thanks Lou! Let's hope it's a smooth transition and we all can have a better experience here after the upgrade.

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Postby Earl Butz » Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:57 am

Gee no spam tonight. I think you hurt their feelings. :P
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Postby batty » Wed Jun 24, 2009 12:12 pm

Hey Lou,

At the risk of sounding redundant: thank you, thank you for all the time and effort you've put into the board!

Looking forwards to a spam-free board, that will be very refreshing :)
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Postby chidiver » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:22 pm

furface wrote:I've received conformation from the ISP that we are scheduled for the upgrade/conversion for Friday night 03JUL09


Will this be causing any regional power outages?
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Postby furface » Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:24 pm

Only if you plug in that industrial 220V vibrator. :shock:
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Postby Rico » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:51 pm

furface wrote:Only if you plug in that industrial 220V vibrator. :shock:

So much electricity...I'm shocked! Not very "green" either. Why not a suitably constructed candle for the purpose? :roll:
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Postby JW » Fri Jun 26, 2009 6:28 pm

furface wrote:I've received conformation from the ISP that we are scheduled for the upgrade/conversion for Friday night 03JUL09


Okayyyyyy *calculates* so that would be 4 or 5 in the morning on the 4th of July for me then, depending on what time zone you're in ofcourse. Cool! I'll be fast asleep then! Don't worry if it overruns, I tend to sleep in on saturdays. :wink:

But you know, if it wasn't for the spam I wouldn't be here (again) !
I kept on getting messages over the last month or so that I had a private message in my SA mailbox, and when I went there there was nothing!
But yeah, I saw the "butchboard" was still up and running, and I got thinking......
And so we can now all blame the spam for me being here again :D
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Postby chidiver » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:33 pm

furface wrote:Only if you plug in that industrial 220V vibrator. :shock:


No problem, I have a propane backup vibrator that I will use Friday night. :wink:
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