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SLWalker

Fundraiser for a New Forum

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Hey guys!  Mike has informed me that two coding gurus have confirmed what we've all suspected.  Namely, that our forums are permanently borked due to an upgrade in SMF's core functioning.  As everyone's noticed, most of our extra stuff has disappeared and no matter how much we try to monkey the code, it's not coming back.

Mike wants to upgrade us to Invision.  We did look into phpBB, but they're unable to port this forum whole hog, so Invision it is.  This costs $175, and we're already taking donations for the sake of keeping up with the operating costs of the site.

So, my proposal is this: We have a fundraiser.  All those with the time and inclination can offer up their services for writing, artwork, photo-manipulation (with CC photos), covers, knitting, baking, postcards from their area, what have you.  Whatever you want to offer.  We can either run it auction-style, with the winning bid taking the prize, or we can do it commission style.  All proceeds go to Ad Astra's new forums, and anything left over would go to the operating costs of the site, so it's a volunteer effort on the part of the creators.  You can be a creator and a bidder, too.  This is a great way for everyone to help the site, and maybe get something they want in turn.  I'm willing to offer up artwork, for instance.  Someone else might be willing to send you a post-card a month for a year from their home town IRL.  Someone else might be willing to write you a story.

Mike's going to post after me with the technical details.  Stay on the line.

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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

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Eek, well that sucks.

I wish I had actual money these days, but I have been past the last date of Unemployment for months now. However I will be anyone's writer/blogger/reviewer/facebook page creator/liker/updater, etc.

Question - will we lose the separate archive setup, with published stuff plus reviews plus cover space and chapter or work comments? Because I adore this setup, and would hate to see it lost.

Thank you again for all you do.

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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

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Ah, whew, thanks.

I will also be happy to blog for the site in general, or write up SM-type stuff for the Ad Astra FB page if you like (something to supplement the feed) as a contribution.

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Thanks for the explanation about why certain features of this site are missing MDg. If you can, try to save the chatroom because sometimes it's used for interviews, or collaborative writing and such.

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Can we just toss you some money, too?  $175 doesn't seem like a whole hell of a lot ... are there ongoing costs associated with the upgrade or would this be a one-time expense?

As for something more collaborative ... I'm willing to do a photomanip or a short vignette as an "auction off" item.

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Can we just toss you some money, too?  $175 doesn't seem like a whole hell of a lot ... are there ongoing costs associated with the upgrade or would this be a one-time expense?

As for something more collaborative ... I'm willing to do a photomanip or a short vignette as an "auction off" item.

I'll second that idea for tossing money. I don't have much to spare but I'll throw what I got to move the forums over. As for auctioning off anything... well, I'll do whatever is asked of me if that's the way to go.

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Hey, you can throw money at it.  Sure.  You can also bid on something you want (character portrait?  Cover?) and donate through auction, too.  Vote, people! Would anyone be interested in a 'talent' auction, as creators and as bidders?

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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

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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

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Hey guys! Mike has informed me that two coding gurus have confirmed what we've all suspected. Namely, that our forums are permanently borked due to an upgrade in SMF's core functioning. As everyone's noticed, most of our extra stuff has disappeared and no matter how much we try to monkey the code, it's not coming back.

Mike wants to upgrade us to Invision. We did look into phpBB, but they're unable to port this forum whole hog, so Invision it is. This costs $175, and we're already taking donations for the sake of keeping up with the operating costs of the site.

So, my proposal is this: We have a fundraiser. All those with the time and inclination can offer up their services for writing, artwork, photo-manipulation (with CC photos), covers, knitting, baking, postcards from their area, what have you. Whatever you want to offer. We can either run it auction-style, with the winning bid taking the prize, or we can do it commission style. All proceeds go to Ad Astra's new forums, and anything left over would go to the operating costs of the site, so it's a volunteer effort on the part of the creators. You can be a creator and a bidder, too. This is a great way for everyone to help the site, and maybe get something they want in turn. I'm willing to offer up artwork, for instance. Someone else might be willing to send you a post-card a month for a year from their home town IRL. Someone else might be willing to write you a story.

Mike's going to post after me with the technical details. Stay on the line.

How do we donate now? I don't see the link at the top of the page...

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