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The Recent Unpleasantness

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Whew. What a week. Am I right?

 

What should have been a moderately difficult process turned in to something far more complex than I imagined. Such is the nature of Information Technology. Actually, the IT was fine, it was the dealing with the hosting company (now "former hosting company") that was frustrating.

 

Resource constraints abounded: CPU utilization, RAM limitations, couldn't spawn a shell to save my life. Trying to do file management from a web browser is not my idea of fun. It's not even my idea of torture. It's more akin to a living hell. Especially for a crusty old command line guy such as I.

 

So, where are we at? I know you (well, one of you, maybe) is asking that very question. Here's the run down...

 

Moved the entire site to a dedicated server. No more resource sharing with spammers and PPC kingpins. This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we get far more control over the environment. On the other, there's no hand-holding, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy "managed hosting" genie doing all of the management and administration work. Unless someone--well, the one person reading this--has met me and thinks I resemble that giant, blue thing from the Disney Alladin flick (which was awful, by the way).

 

We have a fresh install of the IPB software suite. This part was actually drop-dead easy. So easy even I could do it. Except I f*cked (haha...apologies to those who don't like the obfuscated swear words!) that up the first time, too. Well, not so much me as the FTP software I was using (hint: it wasn't command-line based), which said it was doing one thing when it was silently not doing that at all. What a gas!

 

I had to restore some of the files from the old install/system. We made sure they were clean, though. No bad stuff there. At least as far as you (or I) know. This also required a bunch more work, as the new environment is setup completely different than the old and permissions needed...oh, never mind. It was another hoop. Thankfully, the IPB support were on top of their game (through this whole process, actually) and identified the issue tout de suite.

 

Once all the copied over stuff--or rather, all that was still on the old system--was in place, several rebuilds and a re-install of a bunch of add-on stuff had to happen. That went really smoothly, actually. Except for the Member Map. Which has gone completely AWOL and tends to bring the entire board to its knees when I attempt to load it. It's disabled for now.

 

Two other issues remain: some users' profile images have been misplaced. If yours is showing up as a white, square block, you need to upload a new profile picture. Let me know if you see any errors or problems when you go through that process. I haven't tried it. :( Second, some attachments have disappeared. I restored backups and tried to find them, but oddly, they are nowhere to be found. Nobody seems to know where they went. If you see them wandering around in the wild, try to shoo them back here or at least keep them in sight while sending smoke signals or something for backup. Just kidding. The missing attachments will probably never come back either. I wept briefly when that became obvious.

 

Oh, there was something else. What was it. Let me think...oh yeah! Emoticons! You know, those smileys we all love to throw in to posts. The vast majority of the site's smileys were from the original SMF board way back in 2007. They were ported over when we transitioned to IPB back in 2008 or 2009. They're gone. Can you believe it? I'm going to miss that afro-headed guy the most. He was awesome. Or the "This Thread Is Useless Without Pictures" one. That used to get posted about once every two hours in the old days. <sigh> Time marches on, I guess.

 

So. That's where we're at currently. I don't doubt there will be a million niggling problems. Things that drive you (yes, you, the one person reading this) nuts and wake you up in the middle of the night as if from a nightmare. Please do feel free to let me know. Detail would be important, though: what page you were on, what you clicked, what you expected to happen, what actually happened, what (if any) error message you saw. That kind of thing.

 

But please (please!) don't send that to me in a PM through the board. I have the same limited PM inbox that you all have. It fills up really freaking fast!! Drop them to me in an email. It's really easy to remember: admin @ heritage owners club.com (but, like, remove the spaces; you can figure it out...I believe in YOU!).

 

And now I'm thinking I'll freshen my drink and contemplate the really important things in life. Like, "When Frank Black was singing, 'Where is my mind?' did he mean he wondered where the "I" resides and perhaps even "what is the I who thinks it is the I that is not the thing thinking"? Or was it just, like, maybe a "man, I smoked way too much pot last night and now I can't seem to think straight" off-hand thing? (I like to believe it was intended as a deep reflection on the metaphysical.)

 

Thank you (yes, you) for your patience through this process. And especially for reading through this really fucking long post (Notice I dropped the obfuscation that time? That should make the other you reading this happy!) that is, in the grand scheme of things, probably utterly meaningless. Or maybe pointless.

 

Go forth (begins waving hands in strangely familiar motions) and sin no more. Enjoy the HOC and:

 

Welcome back to The Club!

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Take the rest of the night off.. Many thanks for a Herculean effort, similar to cleaning out the Augean Stables.

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Thank you so very much. I think we all missed HOC and are very appreciative of your valiant investment of time, energy, and i assume dollars to keep it alive and healthy. Thank you John!

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Ha... I just watched a Robert Redford movie where he's lost at sea... just him on a life raft, no dialogue to the movie. Just the sounds of the water splashing and , oh yeah , the horrific storms.

So I just finished the movie and walked in to check the computer and .... the HOC is back. It's nice to be rescued and the world back as it should be.

 

Thanks John... you're the best... really.

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Glad to see things back up and in better shape than ever. Thanks for the prodigious effort.

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Thanks Oz!!!!! YOU are very much appreciated.

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John, You are the Best! Thank You for all your efforts and wit.

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A week well spent :) Thank you.

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Awesome job. Thank you for your time and effort.

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Let me add some thanks, Mr. Admin.

I don't post a whole lot here (nothing much to say, I guess), but discovered I missed the site during its, ah, transition period.

Being an old AS/400 hack (aka dinosaur) I can't begin to imagine the complexities involved in what you just did for us.

Wading through the unstructured, undisciplined, unsavory world of web servers, hosting, blah, blah is not for me.

We're lucky to have you.

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Let me add some thanks, Mr. Admin.

I don't post a whole lot here (nothing much to say, I guess), but discovered I missed the site during its, ah, transition period.

Being an old AS/400 hack (aka dinosaur) I can't begin to imagine the complexities involved in what you just did for us.

Wading through the unstructured, undisciplined, unsavory world of web servers, hosting, blah, blah is not for me.

We're lucky to have you.

 

I had no idea you were a fellow sufferer, Lyle. Wild. Although, when I last laid eyes on a "midrange system", Big Blue was transitioning from the AS/400 naming to "System i". And then they went and merged the platform with the RS/6000, er, "System p" and named it "Power System" or something equally bland and idiotic. At my current gig, we have slightly more than a handful of their biggest z's on the floor. Amazing stuff, but I never get to do anything more than gaze upon them. Management has its perks, but getting on the heavy iron is not one of them. :(

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Thank you so much. It's great to be back!

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John, just saying "thank you" isn't near enough for all of the work you do for us .... but, THANK YOU!

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Thanks for everything, John. As others have stated, we cant begin to thank you for all of your hard work on this. I will, however, have to ask my Sister-In-Law, a Certified Engineer with IBM what the hell you were actually talking about, haha. This one's for you, big guy!! :icon_rr::icon_rr::icon_rr:

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Well done. Not quite automagic. Thank you for pesevering.

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John, you should NEVER feel under appreciated and should NEVER be thanked enough for everything you do for this place you created. It could have been easy enough to pull the plug, but instead you keep our playground maintained with very support.

 

Thanks for EVERYTHING for today and for the past years.

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Many thanks for all your effort.

HOC is like a lost girl friend.

Didn't know what I had until she was gone.

GLAD YOU'RE BACK. I missed you a bunch.

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I've missed the site during the outage and thought often and with gratitude about the folks working hard behind the scenes to bring it back. My sincere thanks to you.

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I know there were issues related to the mobile redirects. Was that the primary driver for the rebuild? You mentioned the 'former' web hosting company; is HOC now hosted from your home or did you find a more supportive vendor?

 

Regardless, thanks for all of your effort. Believe me, I understand how difficult it can be to chase down web server issues. What promises to be easy and straight-forward often is not.

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