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Everything posted by MDGarcia

  1. Thanks. You'll all notice there are some changes from IPB and Vanilla... for example, the rank images changed pretty significantly and that has to do with the fact that I wanted to use a bit of a different look for our new site. MDg
  2. Yeah, that had to do with the fact that Vanilla's converter broke, and so I had to use the original IPB database to create this one. That meant we had to drop some broken tables due to the corruption, which included some threads and also whole usergroups (like Deputy Archivist, for example). MDg
  3. Greetings: As some of you were aware, we tried out another forum platform last week, following our unrecoverable database corruption. I apologize for the sudden jump between Vanilla and MyBB, but although Vanilla resolved our database issue, I received a number of complaints from users stating that the interface was not intuitive, clunky in design, and a little too no-frills for their liking. Since MyBB's merge function had support for the Vanilla software, we're landing here for a bit. We might stay and we might not. Depends entirely on the userbase. So, take a look around and poke at the site. Let me know what you think. MDg
  4. Beginning on 18 Nov 2015, the forums database was corrupted, causing a critical error in accessing the boards. Â I was driving up from California at that time, for my vacation in Portland, without my laptop, so I had no access to repair the issue. Â When I returned the following Tuesday, the corruption had already permeated into the nightly and weekly backups and so I had to escalate the issue to IPB Support (which we pay for). Â Unfortunately, IPB Support was less than helpful. Â They claim that it was a hardware issue, except everything else was working fine (blogs, archive, etc). Â That left us with very little option except to try and recover from a very old backup we had from the recent server upgrade... it meant we would lose 1.5 months of posts. Â I called in help from a friend who is a pro DB administrator, and he was able to use the very old backup to pinpoint specific corrupted tables (there were 5) that were preventing the whole thing from loading. Â We had it up last night, but IPB re-corrupted when someone went to post a new message. Â As of this morning, we believe the issue to be resolved. Â If you continue to encounter problems, please open a support ticket at our support site (just like jespah and kes did). Â Even if someone else reported it, it's all right to open a ticket so I can update it with information for you. Â Lastly, due to the inexplicably horrid response from IPB Support, I'm investigating a shift to a new software/platform. Â MDg
  5. No, they attempted, but we were ready for them this time. Â MDg
  6. Last night, the site was being attacked by multiple IPs and this caused a major slowdown in response to our normal traffic. Â We've identified the IPs and have blocked them outright from accessing our sites (the blogs were the target) and have escalated the matter to the abuse offices of the owners of those IPs. Â Thankfully, as we've moved the entirety of Ad Astra to a protective Content Delivery Network (CDN) the impact wasn't as bad as it was in the past. Â In case you saw any site weirdness going on last night, this was the reason why. Â We have it resolved (until the next attack). Â MDg
  7. Sorry, missed you, Sam  Taken care of!  MDg
  8. Thank you all for your donations  I've awarded the donator awards to those that needed them!  MDg
  9. It worked for me, and 3 other people. Â I'm not sure what you mean when you say it isn't working. Â MDg
  10. Folks: Â I normally don't do this, but if everyone could spare $5 to donate toward the server cost this month, it would really help me out. Â Had an unusually rough "emergency expense" month. Â If every author on the site donated even $2.50 each, it would cover the cost of our server for a month. Â You can donate at this link. Â MDg
  11. Due to security patches necessary to the operating system of the host we reside on, Ad Astra will be down for maintenance this weekend, beginning 8 March 2015 at 10:00 Pacific Daylight Time (UTC -07:00).  The following sites will be affected:  www.adastrafanfic.com forums.adastrafanfic.com blog.adastrafanfic.net blog.stfsa.net boldlyreading.com  The nature of these patches may require additional reboots throughout the week following the completion of the maintenance.  These outages should be brief, lasting no longer than 5-10 minutes.  We apologize for the short notice.   MDg
  12. Authors: Â I've been seeing some new stories crop up with some amazing covers, however, some of them do not have any credits listed as to where the source material is coming from or who the cover artists are. Â As Ad Astra is a globally-searchable resource, we display these images freely, but Google spiders can match usage very quickly. Â Please review our Image Policy, then add credits (either in the text and alt tag of the image, or in small print at the bottom) to the summaries of your stories, or the images may be removed. Â Even if you did the artwork yourself, list yourself as the artist/creator of the image. Â We have to show good faith efforts in what we're doing and be considerate in order to mitigate any future orders from artists finding their work being manipulated/appropriated on our site. Â Thank you! Â MDg Â
  13. http://support.adastrafanfic.com/solution/articles/5000537964-error-the-character-shows-up-in-a-story  Due to our recent move to the new OS, you'll notice that some of your stories might have some weird characters showing up. This is due to use of non-HTML characters for punctuation (ie: quotation marks, ampersands, ellipsis, etc). Please see this KB article for an explanation and how to resolve it.  MDg
  14. Emails should now be restored. Please open a support ticket if you experience any issues post-migration.  MDg
  15. Thank you everyone. As always, please consider the donation button on the main page of the forums. Financial assistance is always appreciated!  MDg
  16. For the most part, we're back online, but we're still chasing down some minor issues with the sites. The biggest one is that the site is not emailing out notifications, but that should be fixed relatively soon. The site is not 100% back up, but the pertinent parts are functioning (adding new stories, writing blog posts, and so on).  Essentially what happened was a critical piece of our server software was no longer functioning due to a broken module we use on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the only way to combat this is to move off all the pertinent data (our sites, stories, etc.), wipe the server, reinstall the OS, reinstall all of our applications, and then move everything back. It sounds simple, but it's time-consuming and not everything works quite the same way.  Shon and I spent some very long hours (we were up until 6am PST) this morning fixing it, and add on another 8 hours today. We're in the middle of a much-needed rest/meal break, so I thought I would update you all.  MDg  Â
  17. FAQ moved to the Support Site. Â MDg
  18. To help prevent this from happening again, the blog will now enforce a password policy. Everyone will have to change their password every quarter and it will have some requirements (length, CAPS, special characters, etc). This policy will be enforced in 120 days.  MDg
  19. Make sure you use strong passwords for your archive, forum, and blog logins. Â If you need an idea of how strong your password is, test it out on this website: Â https://howsecureismypassword.net/ Â Several of my security colleagues like it because it tells you how long it'll take to crack your password. Â What happened was that a script was run against a blog and ran it through so many iterations until it finally broke someone's password and was able to gain access to one of the blogs and start modifying files. Â After that, all of the blogs were affected. Â MDg
  20. Now that we're finally back online, I wanted to talk a little bit about what happened.  In essence, the server was overrun by zombies. As many of you are aware, we've been attacked a number of times thanks to malicious code. Yesterday afternoon, we received a notice from our service provider stating that our main archive and forum servers were attacking other servers out on the Internet. This specific attack was in danger of getting us shut down as we were violating our ToS. This resulted in shutting down our web services as we moved to investigate what was going on and we found a large number of files that were showing the same kind of infection we battled about two years ago.  The bottom line is that leftover files infected others until the entire server was overrun with the same problem. The entire server was attacking multiple sites. It seemed that the one site that was unaffected was the main story archive, but the forums and blogs were heavily bogged down. That's why we had to take them offline last night and finally brought them back online in the wee hours of the morning.  The forums, due to their complexity, were a far stickier problem and we had to engage Invision Support (thanks to Ryan Ashbrook who was the hero in getting us back online, along with Mark Higgins, Marc Stridgen, and Alan Wagstaff for coordinating the initial support requests). By our powers combined, the forums are now back.  We've taken some additional security steps for our blogs to prevent this kind of code from being injected into our server.  And now after 30 hours of work, I am try not to think about PHP for a while.  MDg    Â
  21. I can at least invite you to the blog. Which email address do you use for Tumblr? Just PM it to me  MDg
  22. You might notice that the Archive has a new popup on the side of the screen. This is our new Emergency Fanfic Hologram (EFH) for the new support site. The old script needed to be rewritten for this huge change in how we process new incidents for the site.  MDg
  23. No, for the moment, I have it set up to automatically extend the feed from the archive and the blogs. I hadn't planned on following others or reblogging Trek posts from other Tumblrs.  MDg
  24. http://adastrafanfic.tumblr.com/ We've added a new social media option to Ad Astra this morning with the launch of our Tumblr site. It will shuttle over any new stories or blog posts from our site. If you use Tumblr as your primary source of information, then please follow us and our updates will display on your Tumblr dashboard feed! MDg
  25. The evaluation is over and we're now live with the new site. Feel free to start using it, going through the articles and rating them. MDg