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Everything posted by MDGarcia

  1. I'd like to necropost a bit on this topic and say that I really wish that we'd had a little more steam on this. Especially now that we're in July of 2012, and the story count is much larger than it was when this discussion began in 2009. Does anyone have any interest in seeing this revived? I certainly do, especially now that we have an awards system that can facilitate it. MDg
  2. The system doesn't support links in the fields. It strips them out. I had already tried it previously, when I was adding them into the system. MDg
  3. Some of you may have noticed that there are little purple badges appearing under your mini-profiles on certain posts and wondering what all that's about. In short, this new software allows us to deploy an awards system with badges (created by our own Steff). We're opening up the Monthly Challenge archive and awarding badges from 2009 on up. This, of course, means we're having to dive back into the archives to determine winners and award them appropriately. At this time, we only have the 2009 badges done. As Steff designs and posts the other years, you will see them show up in your profiles. If you have any questions or suggestions for awards, please let me know! MDg
  4. So, this ended up being kind of a moot request, as we're already on the new software. MDg
  5. Not without paying another $25 for that theme. I have no color preferences at all for the award images. MDg
  6. Yeah, there's awards, but I think Steff's going to either make me take down the current images because they look like shit or come up with her own to replace them so that they don't look like shit. MDg
  7. FAQ updated post-move to the new software. MDg
  8. So, I guess the biggest update here is that we've left SMF behind entirely and we're now running on Invision Power Board v3.3.3 -- I will continue to update this thead as we add bugfixes or patches to the software. Documenting this information is a good idea, not just for you, but also gives me a running log of what was applied and when. Thanks, MDg
  9. Ah, I should probably try just the Safari interface, then. Yeah, the app is worthless. It crashes and has poor reviews in the App Store. MDg
  10. This theme was a premium one, and the color can change if you want it to. Up in the right-hand corner, you should see a little multi-colored box next to "Calendar." If you select it with your mouse, you'll be able to choose a different color and it will only show up for yourself. Everyone else who cares not, will see the default color. I'm all about the options. MDg
  11. I've added a new theme that was close to our original one on SMF, and imported Steff's graphics. Hopefully, she won't have to redo anything when she comes back... I hope. MDg
  12. You can now login with Facebook/Twitter, or add them to your current accounts for easy login and linking. MDg
  13. I noticed the Apple iOS app and downloaded it. I'm not sure about you, but it crashes quite a bit when I get done loading long threads like this one. MDg
  14. I also managed to put up the Ad Astra fire header. However, I think once Steff sees it, she's going to have fits over how bad it looks over the blue. MDg
  15. A quick update. Rank images have been restored, and the post counts per rank are also changed a bit. You may see a reduction in rank from where you were pre-conversion. It's because I forgot what the post settings were on the old site, and those didn't copy over. MDg
  16. You may have noticed that the forums look a little different. At around 7am this morning, the integrity of the forums database was compromised and we were forced to restore from a backup. Luckily, a nightly backup was run and we lost no data. This forced my hand some, as it was only a matter of time before it would happen again, and most likely occuring while I was away. The restore still placed us in a straddled state with the SMF software. To that end, I made the decision to purchase the IPB software as previous stated in the fundraising section to preserve the forums. Steff wasn't consulted on this decision, but I think she would agree that we had little choice. I'm willing to eat the cost at this point, since the purchase has been made. Some changes as a result of converting over to this new software: 1) Some of you may notice your avatar is missing. This was unavoidable. You will need to restore your avatar. 2) Some members may also notice their signature is looking weird. You will need to change it. 3) Some attachments to posts did not make it. Sorry. 4) Ranks are not yet online; they will be as soon as possible. 5) Posts with polls did not survive... they are regular posts, I'm afraid. This includes the monthly challenge archive. Until Steff has a chance to build a new skin for the site, we're stuck with the default one for now. Thank you for your patience. MDg
  17. Hmm... I was just informed that we might have another option open to us that may be easier on our pocketbooks. I'll keep you guys posted. MDg
  18. The $175 is for the indefinite license for the new board. With it we get free upgrades, support, and services for a year. After that year, though, the support and upgrades cease. If we want to upkeep the support contract, it's $50 a year thereafter, paid in two $25 payments (6 months apart). I can easily absorb that. However, given that the new server is $139 a month, which I cover for the most part (with sporadic assistance from kind members of this community). MDg
  19. No, this is purely a forums issue. This has nothing to do with the main archive, blogs, email, etc. However, we would lose the chat room (which no one uses) and the image site (possibly, I'm working on a way to save it). MDg
  20. So here's essentially what happened to us: On April 15th of this year, SMF pushed out a big bugfix to all forums. To ours, this was not an unusual thing; we apply bugfixes and patches to the forums all the time. Well, unfortunately, one of the core files we use was broken as a result. Some of you noticed this because the forums were suddenly unavailable to you, and others were lucky and didn't see any difference in their access. Fast-forward to June, we moved to a new server. This did nothing to help us out, of course. This month, however, we got screenshots from one of our users that showed the exact nature of the problem, and after having two highly-skilled professionals take a look at our site (independent of each other), both said the SMF had done us wrong. Specifically, what we had to do to get our boards to a semi-working state was to rollback the change done to some of the files on April 15th... however, this meant we were running in a straddled mode: Half of the site was running 2.0, and the other half (specifically the DB) was running 2.0.2. This caused a big problem with our plug-ins, such as our twitter feed, donations/treasury tracker, and some others. They no longer function and were cutting off the main page. Furthermore, the only way to fix it is to do a from-scratch install in the hopes that it would resolve the issue, but the risk was too high in preserving our current data. We've been looking into conversion to a new software package. We've looked at phpBB, but the conversion rate of success for the version we're using (2.0.2) appears to not be good enough. We feel that Invision is our best bet (and cheapest), at $175. I apologize in that we couldn't do more to resolve this problem, but at least with a purchased package, we will have professional support from IPB in case this does happen again. With SMF, we enjoyed no such privileges. MDg
  21. Our hosting provider is moving our server to a new machine tonight, as a result of an emergency issue. The archive, forums, blogs, support, and images site will be offline for roughly an hour (maybe less) beginning at 6pm PDT (9pm EDT / 1am GMT / 2am BST). Mail will be unaffected, as we elected to move that server just now, but it took 2 minutes of downtime to complete as it is a much smaller server. It is highly likely that the server will be back online in less than an hour, according to our provider. There will be no data loss, but we are backing up the server, regardless. Apologies for the short notice. MDg
  22. It's not just you. Please see my earlier message about still trying to get everything working. I have the basics up, so far, but there's still some issues with SMF on this new server. At the least, you guys can post and see messages. Everything else is gravy. MDg
  23. Sort of, for now. Still trying to get the software to adapt to its new home. MDg
  24. Since we've been running into a problem, lately, with posting images that have murky states of ownership at best, here's a handy FAQ for you: Q: Is it okay for me to post images where I don't own or didn't create some of the sources? A: If you're using images or renders that you did not create, you must include links to, or at the very least, give credit to the original artists. Q: What if I am the original artist? A: Please give yourself full credit, if only for the purposes of posterity. If you've posted it on your website, link to it, so that a Google spider can find the relevant links. Q: But if the source is on the Internet, it's free to use, right? A: Absolutely not! This is a common and highly abused misconception about art and the Internet. Although some artists tend to make their works available for free online, does not imply that you can appropriate it without giving full credit to them. As writers, we would be most upset if someone were to use our writing in someone else's works, and then claim credit for it, right? We have to have the same level of respect for those who work in other mediums. Q: What about photomanipulations? A: This applies to ANY art posted on the site. If it's a screencap, say so. If it's a headshot from another series, please credit the original photographer/series/copyright owners. Q: Why do we have to do this? It seems silly to have to put in this much work... A: Ad Astra provides this service at no cost to you. But in doing so, we've opened ourselves up to a liability issue. Although fanfic is mostly ignored, artwork is most often not. Image searches become easier everyday, and Google spiders are permanent residents on Ad Astra. If Ad Astra comes under legal fire, we have to address it, or risk losing this site. By not complying with our policies, you put everyone else at risk. We have to actively police ourselves in order to ensure that doesn't happen. Q: What will happen if I don't comply with this policy? A: You will be warned, placed on a moderator watchlist for an unspecified amount of time. Further infractions will result in one of the following: Moderation of all posts, temporary bans, and permanent bans. In every case, the image will be removed from the site or the forums. ---- The above policy will be amended as needed, with or without notice. For the TL;DR crowd: The bottom line is that you have to give credit where credit is due. A lot of people have put a lot of work into making Ad Astra the site that it is today, and we want to make sure it sticks around for a long time. When we post indiscriminately, we run the risk of an Image search finding us and bringing down the heat from deep-pocketed corporations. We've already received complaints from some artists about images, before, so we have to pursue this policy with all diligence, which includes a post such as this. Thank you, The Ad Astra Community Admin Team
  25. I wanted to give a special thanks to Robert Scorpio, who donated $200 recently. It is much appreciated. I think everyone should thank him for contributing so much. MDg