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frostfire

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Posts posted by frostfire

  1. Hi Guys,

     

    Looking back over the data from years past (as I had to do for the site upgrade test I just completed), I noticed something that I remember from back in '07 but somehow forgot about between then and now.

     

    The Pattayatalk calendar can be edited by anyone. In the past it was standard practice for BMs to create an "event" for the time they will be in LOS, so that the calendar view would show to everyone who was in town at a certain period of time. Usually people plan their holidays months in advance, which allowed Martin to see where there were time periods of greater activity. I would really like things to get back to that point again - it would help a ton in organizing meetings and barcrawls.

     

    So... a simple request. Please start to use the calendar again, if you don't have a particular reason to keep your trip confidential that is. When the time comes to upgrade, the data will go with us, so nothing will be lost.

     

    The calendar also shows birthdays... might come in handy at some point. Assuming people are honest on their profiles. lol.

     

    Here is a link: http://www.pattayatalk.com/forums/calendar/

     

    If your curious about what it looked like back when it was being used, click the link above, then click Jump To and select March (or whatever), of 2011 (the longest you can go back for some reason). If it becomes too crowded with data, ill find a way to compress it.

  2. OK, another update.

     

    The "background processes" finished about 2 hours ago, making it a total of right around 20 hours to run. Again, we will not need to do that when we port the live site over, but I wanted it to be finished before I did my initial testing.

     

    When I first visited the forum after the completion of the processes, it looked... ok. The skin was obviously gone, and I noticed another heretofore invisible (to me) link to agoda that I will need to find and kill (since nobody can ever collect that money lol), but when I tried to log in or visit a forum (browse), I got hit with a 404 error (page not found). Oops.

     

    After consulting with Invision, we finally deduced that mod_rewrite was not working for some reason, even tho it was active in PHP... turns out the apache config file needed a small change to allow access to the .htaccess files in order for things to work properly. Now why couldn't the forum detect that little problem? Strange, but fixed. So, I now have a fully working test version of Pattayatalk upgraded to the latest Invision, sans skin. Its naked as a jaybird. But it works.

     

    Now the fun part will begin... I need to learn how to skin the bugger to look and feel like the Pattayatalk we all know and love. (or hate. Whatever). This is the process that will likely take a bit of time, since I know fuck-all about skinning and will be learning from scratch with zero knowledge base to work from. But it should not be too tough - we don't have a very complex skin here I don't think. There are some UI changes that will have to happen tho once the upgrade is done, since there are new features that this old version does not have and we will want to take advantage of - but I will attempt to get as much as possible to appear like it does now.

     

    For anyone interested, a screenshot of the forum as it is freshly upgraded is below.

     

    Also, if I know you personally and/or you are a mod here, and if you want to take a look at the new forums, send me a PM and I will send you a link to it, where your existing user/pass will work to check it out - just don't get it confused with the real one and start posting shit, cause all of that will be deleted at some point :)

     

    Capture.PNG

    • Upvote 4
  3.  

     

    This version is installed onto my mac for local testing and so then i can apply changes to the software and see how it works before making any changes to a live forum.

     

    Yes you only see this if you run the upgrade and ask for the conversion at the start then it will install it.

     

    With any luck then, this will complete and it will work properly. I suspect the reputation and calendar systems will be intact now too, which leaves the only open issue being the Skin.

     

    We have a fairly simple skin I think... but I say that with absolutely no experience in working with skins to back it up lol. My current plan rather than learn the ins and outs of skin design, I am likely going to go to freelancer.com and get someone to create a new skin for me, using the live site as a template. That way it gets done right.

    • Upvote 1
  4. Your making good ground.. Just a but of input for you ...

     

    There's now two ways to do the database conversion one been applying the patch it the old package and the other is to upload the full new package via FTP and then go to /upgrade

     

    You have all the tools in the new 4.8 version to do it while upgrading.

     

    I hope it goes to plan and remember you do have the support of IPS and they are very helpful

     

    attachicon.gifxxxxxxx.png

     

    Btw, I do not have the Conversions sub-section that you show there. Perhaps because I have already upgraded... the bottom most section on mine is "Support"

  5. Your making good ground.. Just a but of input for you ...

     

    There's now two ways to do the database conversion one been applying the patch and the over upload the full package via FTP and then go to /upgrade

     

    You have all the tools in the new 4.8 version to do it while upgrading.

     

    I hope it goes to plan and remember you do have the support of IPS and they are very helpful

     

    attachicon.gifxxxxxxx.png

     

    I have been in constant communication with them. They did offer to do it for me, but I felt (and still do) that my learning all of this is essential to the future well-being of the site as a whole, and so I opted to do it all myself. I may bring them in to do the live site upgrade when the time comes, or may not... will see how it goes. This is step one - thats like step 5. :)

    • Upvote 1
  6. Whew! That is why I am in hardware...

     

    Thank you for your hard work Frosty.

     

    My first degree in 1991 (at age 18 - almost 19) was in Electronic Engineering Tech, and my 2nd a year later was in Automation Technology (Robotics its called now I think). I still love hardware, and miss the old school Radio Shack. That place was like walking in to a candy store for me. I still have and use breadboards from time to time to test circuits out, but have not yet found a place in Thailand to buy stuff to make my own boards. Technology has changed a whole lot too, so I likely wouldn't know how anymore lol. Still I used to love doing that stuff.

    • Upvote 1
  7. Just read the bar crawl thread and it made me wonder if, perhaps, you could charge a small amount (say, 100 Baht) to attendees?

     

    Alternatively, if we don't ask for two-for-one beers in the gogos, maybe the gogos managers would be willing to pay you a kick-back for bringing people to their places?

     

    Ya.... I don't want to do that. I know there are some of the guys that live here on a very strict budget. While 100b is not a lot of money for most people, It may be to others - and I do not want our events to be about money. Again, I would rather just continue fronting the costs myself if it came to that. We have had a great response to this thread so far tho, with enough to cover several months of costs, so its not critical by any means looking forward.

     

    With regards to the security of registering for an account can there not be a manual verification ie submit a request then choose how to verify something like a recommendation from a current long standing member or photo id?

     

    Upgrades can be some troublesome! Im trying to recall what caused the loss of so much of the early posts from winston and the likes back in the early 2000's cant recall if it was a server crash or an upgrade by PP at the time

     

    Currently to register and actually see the members section users have to send a email to me, and in the email explain why they want access. These emails were going to Martin until just 3 days before his passing, but since that time I have activated about 20 new accounts, and I have rejected 3 other requests. One because he only wanted the account to sell stuff (I almost let him in, but instead I suggested he join the pattaya selling groups on facebook), and the other 2 because their use of broken English made me wonder if they were Thai nationals (e.g. police), and their email accounts were a bit weird.

     

    There are other checks I do as well before letting someone in... and yes I would like to semi-automate that process, and will be looking at ways to do that. ID will not be one of them. Anyone can get a copy of someone's photo ID - you can even find a few on google - and the privacy issue associated with asking for and recording that data is not something I'm interested in. I want it to be easier, not harder, to become a member.

     

    Now that said, I will be creating a new group for "Advanced" members at some point, and will be providing multiple pathways to join - such as being known by another known member, or coming on one of the bar crawls or monthly meetings. This advanced section will be totally invisible to people that are not in that group, and will contain anything even remotely "iffy" so that we can relax our grip on the standard members section a bit. To be honest I have no idea what threads there are currently that may be an issue - some trip reports surely, etc. Its going to be a huge job to find and move those... but I'll figure something out on that.

     

    I don't expect any of these changes to come fast, but they will come.

    • Upvote 3
  8.  

     

    Take it as one task at a time...

     

    1, upgrade the software.

     

    Create a subdomain "TEST-INSTALL.pattayatalk.com"

     

    Clone the forum and then you most remove all the plugins and hooks that are installed onto the forum to upgrade.

     

    Run the convertor and install "ready for IPS 4" run the patch and for check list.

     

    Then upgrade and test the new forum any issues submit a ticket to IPS and they will fix it and if your happy then direct the main domain name to the sub-domain.

     

    2. Run it for a while live and then when your happy transfer it to the new server..

     

    Ya... I'm actually pretty good at this stuff... seein' as I've been in I.T. for 25 years :)

  9.  

    so many things are broken

    Yes thats normal if your running the 3.4 version and upgrading... on one upgrade i had 1,300,000 errors on the database but it was easily fixed

     

    If you have cloned the live forum onto a test server, does the test forum before upgrading work fine..?

     

    Did you covert the database on the old software or on the new software while doing the upgrade..?

     

    Yes and Yes.

     

    In short, the reputation system is totally fucked, and so is the skin. Everything else seems ok so far, but I admit I have not dug too deep yet.

     

    I work a shitton, so getting time on this is kinda tough - so it will take some time. But I will work thru the issues and fix them one at a time. Current plan then once all the fixes are in place is to try to do a differential database port from the current server to the test server, and if that works, ill clone that server on to new hardware, turn this forum's "maintenance mode" on, port it over, then move DNS and turn maintenance mode off on the other side. But that whole process is weeks away at least as I can only work a few hours a week on it :)

  10. If there were a vote, I'd vote to stay with the current version of the forum software. Not worth the time, effort and hair pulling to upgrade, IMHO.

     

    Edited to add: Would Phil at Le Pub be willing to accept cash donations for the board?

     

    Ok, will tackle both of these one at a time.

     

    First, the upgrade. Unfortunately unless we want the board to die a very slow death, upgrading is necessary. This version has not been supported for some time, which means that security patches are no longer being generated for it - but at the same time, just like with any software, more security holes are being found every month. This makes it easier and easier for hackers and spammers to access the board. As it is, we are currently unable to stop them from registering - we get up to 50 new spam accounts registered per day (average about 20 or so), and while we do stop most of them from actually submitting spam, we do not stop all of them - and there will be more and more as time goes on. Eventually someone will figure out how to crack user permission security at which point those new accounts will be able to access all our secure forums - not good! In short, its much better to upgrade, even if that means moving to a new reputation system (which is one of the hurdles)

     

    As to Phil at Le Pub, I have not spoken to him about it yet, but based on our past discussions, I am sure it would be no problem. I will make it a point to get out there in the next couple days and have a couple beers talk to him about it.

    • Upvote 1
  11. Frostfire or one of the mods, can you determine how many major users of the board there are so that we get a better feel of how much is need from each. If there are only 20 major users, then we would need to contribute about $100/each a year on average.

     

    That is one of the things I am going to find out. It will take some time to get everything sorted. My first priority is to get the board upgraded to the latest version, which looks like its going to be one hell of a big job. I remember talking to Martin about it back in the day when he tried and failed - and I remember thinking... well, shit... if I had the time I could do that pretty fast. lol. Oops.

     

    So, I have a test server set up and I did a test port of the database and then did the upgrade, but so many things are broken that its hard to know even where to start fixing them. Then of course I need to keep a log of everything I fix and how it was fixed, and in some cases a file by file list of code changes (for the skin), so I can make those same changes again when I do the live port over for the real upgrade later. Its gonna be a nightmare lol.

     

    But I do want to say again... I am not expecting or asking our members to carry the weight of this whole thing like that. I will find a neutral solution such as ads from bars etc. The results we have had already have been awesome. I plan on working on this most of the day today and tomorrow (weekend), and will update again.

  12. Not sure whats up with the bad redirect page. Ill check that out. I suspect it has to do with it being a donation and not a payment - I doubt i programmed my receipt page to deal with that lol. Oops.

     

    Butch, I am sure it went thru. At least I did get one yesterday. Later tonight ill go thru and add them to the original post so you can be sure.

     

    Frosty

  13. Brilliant work Frostfire.

     

     

    After reading your post I'm understanding how little I know about this thing I'm typing on.......I'm guessing 'frostfire' is some computer joke that's been going over my head for yonks.

     

    No. Its a gaming thing.

     

    Frostfire was my very first gaming character name from when I was about 13. I don't even remember what game to be honest - I know it was AD&D but no idea what module/adventure. Back then my nickname began as "Frosty", and even my family used it. To this day I have RL friends that use only that name - and likely several that do not even know my real name lol. That was all... crap, 30 years ago now.

  14. Hi

    Is the Agoda referral worthwhile? Are there more or better paying referral sites that can perhaps can come on board?.

     

    I've tried unsuccessfully to sign up for 2 of them over the last couple days - both were "down". After doing research I decided against agoda, since many people seem to be complaining that they skim commissions and obfuscate click to conversion statistics. Over the coming weeks I will be looking for things like that tho.

    • Upvote 1
  15. You are right in what it *should* be using. But its not. One of my jobs will be to find out why, eventually.

     

    Martin thinks that some of the photos' links got their way in to some other websites over the years. I suspect he is correct. In other words, other forums/sites use images with a URL on this website to save themselves bandwidth. We had a discussion about it some time back, but he could not find a way to isolate that. If this was a windows server I could do it in a minute. I will fix that eventually.

     

    But this whole part of the discussion is pretty much moot - I've already purchased a very good server, so getting one elsewhere would be a step backward, not forward.

     

    And lastly for the record, I would never put an important website on a shared host of any kind, and rarely on a VPS, unless the traffic was quite small. I know quite a bit about VPSs as I own a fairly large VPS hosting company myself :) (its a niche company, but currently leases several hundred VPSs). I know very well what they can do and what they can't - and a database heavy app like this forum would chug along like a snail under one of them, since there is never enough RAM for proper database caching.

  16.  

     

    Yes I was thinking the same after working on IPS and running several forums over the last few years.

     

    I did ask a few questions regarding the disk size required for the uploads folder and database. the rest is minimal ...

     

    lets say you would need 100GB then a server of 160GB will do the trick with WHM/Cpanel a VPS is ideal for forums as you have root access.

     

    The 3.4.9 version on the forum is not supported and doesn't carry any license fee so my guess is it can be done from 20 to 40 USD per month depending on the hosting company your decide to use.

     

    Heres a few:-

     

    attachicon.gifpt.png

     

    attachicon.giftmd.png

     

     

    So ya... where to start on this one lol.

     

    Those are not dedicated server hosting plans. Those are website hosting plans.

     

    2 problems with that. First off, between the database and the photos (many of which may be able to be deleted martin said, but I have no idea which ones or how to tell), we are using about 1.25TB right now. But the most important aspect of hosting is control. If we host this on a "website hosting" service, they control everything. We have no access to do anything special or set special permissions, etc. Further, the moment some asshat complains that we have pornographic content or "prostitution related material", they cancel the account and we lose the current database etc. Second I do not know of any website hosting plan that allows for 1TB+ - tho I may be wrong about that now since my firsthand knowledge of that is years old. Lastly, bandwidth. We use a absolute fuck-ton of bandwidth. The usual maximum bandwidth allotment for a shared hosting server account is about 5GB/mo. We use at least 50x that amount. As stated in other posts, I am not totally sure what our bandwidth use is at the moment, but I do know an approx. range - somewhere between 300GB and 1TB per month. Shared hosting just does not offer that type of thing.

     

    So, a dedicated server it is. And yes, sure, there are dedicated servers running in unknown datacenters in eastern europe where you can get a dedicated machine for $20 a month... so ya, I could lower costs that way. But I won't do that, even if it costs me out of my own pocket. Its a weak option with more negatives than I can list, not the least of which is at any time they could shut down with no notice and all of our data is lost. Cheap hosting services are a dime a dozen, and they go out of business as fast as they start up. Think of them like a beer bar in new plaza. Sure there are a few that have been there for years, but every time you go there's a new one and no sign whatever of the one it replaced. I would never put a server I control in to a situation like that, no matter the content.

     

    As for tapitalk, no they do not pay forum owners - at least that I know of. That is something I can check in to - perhaps Martin just did not mention it.

    • Upvote 3
  17.  

    Once you know what percentage you are being charged, let us know so that we can cover that also.

     

     

    Also, we need to cover the amount you spent since you started paying the expenses. We need to be paying you for your labor for board administration also.

     

    I don't expect all that. Like I said, a little bit here and there will help, but its not required by any means. I knew when I offered to take over costs from Martin that I would take a small hit on it, at least initially. In the past he was leasing a dedicated server. That was most of the cost - bandwidth was only about ~$50 or so per month. I flat out bought a new server for this ($2400 as memory serves) - which is a very modest server as far as servers go (my largest server cost ~$25000), and so my only expense is the bandwidth and maintenance. And like I said before, I really have no idea how much that equates out to each month. I could monitor it, and will do eventually, but I do not currently monitor any of my servers bandwidth usages, aside from a master total at the end of each month (which is how they bill me). I know there are cheaper hosts out there that will give "unlimited bandwidth" for a fixed fee, but I have yet to find one of those that are both reliable and allow truly unmetered access to the pipe. Most of them connect via a CAT-5 cable (100mb/s), which is way too slow for some of my operations - and others have back ends that limit speeds to reduce costs. My servers are all connected directly to multiple providers via 10gb/s fiber, and even if I found another host that would be cheaper, it would be an unmitigated nightmare to try to move all my servers to a new host. I currently have 2 full racks of servers at my host in the US. Anyway - too much geek talk lol. My whole idea here is to partially defray the costs going forward - not looking backward.

     

    There were several donations last night - but it seems that paypal is not asking what the board name is? At least that's what one message told me... ill look in to that. Soon as I finish work today I will update the OP with the donations to date, but amounts only unless there is a supporting post about it by the person that made the donation so I know who it was. I do not for obvious reasons want to post the email of the people here, but I will put the amount and date.

    • Upvote 1
  18. Is this treated as a cash advance or material purchase by Paypal?

     

    If it is a cash advance, then the credit card company may charge an additional fee. If it is a material purchase, then the donor can get frequent flyer miles.

    It is a payment to a merchant (PayPal), so it is likely considered a material purchase by the credit card company, and will likely work for miles depending on your terms of service. It is not a cash advance, so that fee would not apply.

     

    PayPal does charge a percentage, but it is fairly small and comes out of my end, not yours.

    • Upvote 1
  19. Frosty has spent years helping Martin with this board. Frosty in effect took over the costs associated with running this board a couple years ago when Martin needed to pay medical bills instead of supporting the site . I believe Martin felt very close to Frosty and wished him to continue the board. That is why Martin left Frosty the necessary passwords to do so.

     

    I am a businessman. I know what can happen when an entity is sold or control of transferred to another entity. The new owners can effect whatever change they like. And if they sell to someone else, the new owners too can change things.

     

    I was low on baht last night. I took Frosty aside and gave him my emergency $100 bill I carry with me to help. I have been a member of the board for around ten years. $10 per year for what I have received is nothing! I pledge to continue donations of at least $10 per year. If everyone else on this board donated a few baht a year....

     

    As an aside, its the first time I've seen one of those new bills. When I saw it under light I was like... is this real? lol. Looks kinda like monopoly cash :D

     

    I really need to make a trip back to the US soon. I've left Thailand many times over the decade I've been here, but always to nearby countries either with friends or to sort out the odd visa. Never been back stateside. Really hate those long ass flights in coach, and business is just too darn expensive to be worth it. But enough with getting sidetracked - the donation is sincerely appreciated. Now just gotta remember how those exchange booths work :D

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