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The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 4:44 am
by arclight
One minute the forums are creaking along like the Marie Celeste, a briny ghost ship of a thing, then suddenly everyone is getting a scary ZOMG! UR IP ADDRESS IS BANNED!!1!.

My Batphone lights up (it's a cricket bat shaped like a phone) and I mutter a few obscenities in ancient Aramaic before logging into the server to see if I can resuscitate the forums from the new year's first dirt nap.

Nothing obvious pokes out of the filesystem to indicate the forum's been hacked. That's a relief, and knowing how old the forum software was, it is also a miracle, a bona fide strolling-across-the-Sea-of-Galilee turning-water-into-wine casting-demons-into-a-herd-of-swine miracle.

Poking at the database, there's no obvious culprit there either. No indication why forums just suddenly shit the bed or even how to clean the dook off the comforter. However, there were about 13,000 users and I know damn well that you and your friends don't amount to 13,000 people. I generously accounted for invisible friends and voices in people's heads and I still couldn't believe 13,000. So after about an hour of deleting about 11,000 spam accounts I was ready to pull the trigger on some software triage.

Bang.

The forums have been migrated to phpBB3 in an utterly craptastical emergency fashion. I believe I accidentally deleted one real person's account in the process (sorry), but aside from that, all the forums, posts, avatars, etc. are intact. There are backups of the old system so nothing should have been lost. 'Should' is always the operant word, so if you see anything utterly wonky, let me know. The best way is to ping me at @arclight on Twitter.

Again, apologies for the outage. I've added reCaptcha to the login process to hopefully keep the swarthy hordes of grifters at bay and I'll look for replacement or updated plugins for the ones left on the old system (mainly the internal banner ads and antispam stuff. Suggestions for features are welcome, as always.) This is also a good time to ask if anyone can put together some pretty graphics to make the forums a bit less ... generic. My first goal was to get the patient breathing, so again, apologies for all the blood. I hear Tide works wonders on bloodstains. Either that or club soda.

For the curious, I believe the root cause was some indigestion or staleness in the cache (translation for non-technical people: rutabaga creosote viscosity Albania saturated recombinant pleather drag coefficient) but it doesn't matter at the moment because the crew is ashore, the boats have been burnt, and like Caesar's legions in Britain, there's no going back. Bon chance!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 9:55 am
by Aden
Thank you Bob!!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 11:03 am
by Jon Bolden
Thanks, Bob!

For the graphics improvement, would one of us just send it to you? Or do you have the capability to set me up with some access to the CSS and image folders via FTP or some other interface?

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 11:05 am
by Brad Hawkins
Thanks Bob!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 11:12 am
by admin
Jon - I'll set you up with access. Since this is a mostly a stock installation, I'll create a duplicate for development. When you have something that our collective seething community is mutually disssatisfied with (i.e. when you're happy with it), we'll move that over to the live site. Sound like a plan?
--
(Bob, in his alter-ego)

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 11:16 am
by Jon Bolden
admin wrote:Jon - I'll set you up with access. Since this is a mostly a stock installation, I'll create a duplicate for development. When you have something that our collective seething community is mutually disssatisfied with (i.e. when you're happy with it), we'll move that over to the live site. Sound like a plan?
--
(Bob, in his alter-ego)


Perfect, and thanks so much for pulling an all nighter for a community you don't even live in anymore! We appreciate your efforts, Bob!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 11:19 am
by bradisntclever
Jon Bolden wrote:
admin wrote:Jon - I'll set you up with access. Since this is a mostly a stock installation, I'll create a duplicate for development. When you have something that our collective seething community is mutually disssatisfied with (i.e. when you're happy with it), we'll move that over to the live site. Sound like a plan?
--
(Bob, in his alter-ego)


Perfect, and thanks so much for pulling an all nighter for a community you don't even live in anymore! We appreciate your efforts, Bob!


Word. Yet another great moment in Bob's contributions to the AIC.

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 11:40 am
by TexasImprovMassacre
Thank you, Bob!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 11:46 am
by arclight
Thanks to Brad for mad moderatin' skills plus time & effort, thanks to Jon for making me look good, in photos at least, and thanks to the Austin improv community for putting up with my absentee digital landlordism. This was an upgrade I was putting off for 5+ years and I figured if there wasn't a quick fix to the forum breakage last night, I was going to at least get it functional and running on supported & maintained software if at all possible. This was neither the right way nor the best way to upgrade but when The System Is Down you take what you can get. :\

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 12:22 pm
by Spots
Whooooo!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 1:12 pm
by Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell
you're a damn rock star, Bob!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 1:18 pm
by kbadr
I miss Bob.

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 4:44 pm
by acrouch
Bad ass as always, Bob!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 4:53 pm
by scott.hearne
Awesome! So glad the Forums are updated. Thank you!

Re: The Brave New World of the AIC Forums

PostPosted: January 4th, 2013, 5:05 pm
by ellascribes
Fancy!