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  #31  
Old 01-11-2016, 06:46 PM
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I'm very sorry to read about PN is going to shut down.
Thanks for being there all over the years.

Btw., greatings to all the friends here. I will check in here the next days again. I will see if I can help in any way to save any PN contents. Actually
just no idea. Talk to you later.

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  #32  
Old 01-11-2016, 09:31 PM
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Hey Yogi. I am off-topic. Amazon.de has Cheetos. I tried contacting you, but I don't know if you got the message.
See here:







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  #33  
Old 01-12-2016, 12:17 AM
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Thanks Jon, thanks everyone, Pinball Nirvana will be missed.
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  #34  
Old 01-12-2016, 03:55 PM
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I'm sad... But many thanks to you, John.
And what about IRPinball?
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  #35  
Old 01-12-2016, 04:33 PM
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jon said in the 1st post that IRP's hosting expires in one year.

that seems like a far easier thing to take over for somebody. mainly they just need to pay for hosting, i guess.
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  #36  
Old 01-13-2016, 01:18 AM
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I was just pmed about this.

There is absolutely no way that this should be allowed to happen without at least some sort of effort, the only history of this entire community from the early days is here, and it's important to preserve that history.

This site is just as important to me as my own was, and I still count JPH as a friend even after all these years, and despite claims of certain people, I will do my part if needed.

The problems stem from the fact that this forum software is woefully out of date, and requires the latest version from the sounds of it as it will not run under the newer versions of php and apache. Because of changes made to the pricing structure, it is too expensive to pay for the updates, as there is no longer any life time upgrades as before, just a yearly one.

As well, the "front end" is now unsupported, and that database will be lost no matter what, and will have to be manually added in bit by bit. The forum software though may be salvageable, and it's possible that it can be converted into a new forum system. The arcade may as well, though again, everyone would lose the database. Of course that just means everyone will have to play more to get the new high scores.

If people want to stop talking and start standing up to help keep this site, or at least the contents, then I would be willing to do so as well. Despite my rust, I'm pretty sure I can remember how to set up the site from the back end, maybe setup a new forum and try and convert over the database to the new format and help with getting everything else in. I certainly could do with some help there, but very few people have that kind of knowledge so it may take a long time. I have no time to run anything beyond that, the entire process could take a very long time, so it would require people to take over this site and run it themselves.

I'm willing to put my money where my mouth is, who else?
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  #37  
Old 01-13-2016, 01:46 AM
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Well, gee, thanks, I guess, shiva. The issue for me is that everything you wrote after "The problem stems from..." reads like Klingon to me. When it comes to the forum software, I've learned to attach pretty pictures to my posts and that's about it. But, hey, if there's something simple-stupid to do... I think somewhere amidst the Klingonese there was mention of copying a database piece-by-piece... I could do that.
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  #38  
Old 01-13-2016, 05:14 AM
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Okay, your right. How about this explanation then..

It's really really tough to do, but MAY be possible, but only for the forum. Everything else you would have to start over from scratch.

I've had to do this before, years ago. Best case, you get most of the forum back, things like avatars, maybe attachments are missing. Worst case it just doesn't work.
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  #39  
Old 01-13-2016, 07:52 AM
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that's commendable of you, shiva. pardon me for my earlier ribbing.

i suspect that a 'rebooted PN' with new features (like the arcade and stuff) built around the preserved forum would probably build more fresh interest, anyway.

also, this can't be the first vB-based forum that's run in to this upgrade problem, right? i would think folks over at http://www.vbulletin.com/forum/ would have various solutions. it's very much in vB's own interest to make money off of this situation, after all.

speaking of the money issue-- hosting PLUS yearly license renewals? zoiks! but what if the database could be converted to work with one of the free forum platforms...?
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Old 01-13-2016, 05:17 PM
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That's what I am looking at, converting it over, and the short answer after researching this is no.

Though there are converters available, they are not for this version of VBulletin, there were too many changes made between version 3.7 and 3.8, and I haven't been able to find anyone that has been able to do it, at least not within a week, because that is all the time left here.

The best case then is to find a new server and try and transfer the entire contents over, fix any problems, and cross your fingers and toes it works. Then work on either paying the license fee and upgrading the forum software so a converter will work (I believe only phpBB3 can do it) or using the extra time needed to convert over to a different forum software. that extra license will add 150-200 dollars to the cost as well as a server.

The other option is to look at another paid forum that can convert it over.

I am checking VBulletin.com, there are only 3 people in this entire community that I know of that knows enough about this and has licenses but so far the cheapest option is to just get another server. Maybe I will stumble on to something.

I believe it is possible, if someone wants to run this site, then I will try and find them a host (I have a good one in fact, just have to check if it would work) get that person to set up a account (because it has to be in his name) and I will help out with the financial end. (I owe karma)

If the host I like works out, it's a real good server. Been using them for 10 years, I've had very few problems with them, it's shared but very reasonable in cost for what you get. Just needs to get moving pretty fast, and see if it's possible.
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  #41  
Old 01-13-2016, 05:19 PM
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Hey Shiva, I use SMF at Rogue. It's a free forum software, and they make "converters" too.
http://download.simplemachines.org/?...ware=vbulletin

SMF also supoorts an arcade mod, which I have. I talked to Jon a day or 2 ago, he was going to try to see what he could do to save the site. Failing that he offered the files to me.
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  #42  
Old 01-13-2016, 05:31 PM
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thanks... good to know.

in any case, i'm more or less in the same boat as bill (ruby651)-- i don't have prior experience and haven't even programmed for a long time, but i'd be willing to do a certain amount of grunt work. i could also contribute a modest sum (say $40) to whoever wants to take over.
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  #43  
Old 01-13-2016, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shiva View Post
Okay, your right. How about this explanation then..

It's really really tough to do, but MAY be possible, but only for the forum. Everything else you would have to start over from scratch.

I've had to do this before, years ago. Best case, you get most of the forum back, things like avatars, maybe attachments are missing. Worst case it just doesn't work.
Thanks for all your work and research into this, Shiva. You've really put some thought and time into this, especially considering your "VP retired" status. I don't know how it will all work out in the end, but there's a certain sense of relief when a guy can show up and say "Hey, it's not all doom and gloom! I've studied it and it can be saved by doing..." And thanks for breaking it down and simplifying it for ol' Dopey!

PS: Oh, yeah... I'm going to pretend I talked to everyone here and that we all voted unanimously that you're our new leader and you can make PN an official Shiva Site franchise! Congratulations! Now get to work! First rule is mandatory Trigon tournaments. It's been a couple of years, but I think I can still make the Top 10.

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  #44  
Old 01-14-2016, 04:06 AM
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Hmm... Shivasite ().

I wish I could do more, but I'm in (I hope) the tail end of a job search. Not only that, I'm in the hacker skillset also. All of what I do at Rogue is either an installed mod, or minor editing. Minor editing as in look for the correct place to add a line or 2. I couldn't write it myself. But on the plus side I was able to make a FS version of Trigon...
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  #45  
Old 01-14-2016, 04:52 AM
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My thanks to the comments. My issues before where with only a few people, not to the entire community, and I left because I was just tired of it all and it kept coming back no matter what. I no longer have that spark anymore to become active, it's a thankless job no matter what, and I owe it to myself and my son to be happy. I do care too much and that is the root of my problem as it will cause me to overreact, and I still do to a certain extent.

I think it is best that I do my part, what I can, and leave it to others. There is too much history here to overcome, and I never will be as effective as someone else. I do have my debts as well, and this is me paying up those debts by returning the favor and helping keep this site alive and going.

As to what needs to be done, these are the options available, and it is up to everyone what they think is the best.

1. Move to a new server. There is a very good chance the site as it exists will be broken, as I feel the issue is the forum software is too old to run on the latest servers. This version of VBulletin was first released in 2006, and has been completely rewritten twice since. The cost of the server would be 100 dollars per year, the one I like is all latest versions of everything.

2. If it is possible it is still working, translate and convert the forum over to phpBB3. It is the only other newer free forum software that can do it, but the process made me feel as if my brain was melting, it is very high end and tricky, and I haven't done anything like that in 8 years. Everything would be lost, it would preserve the threads, so all the content would have to be readded. phpBB3 is very difficult sometimes, and it would require experience from the admin. I have looked into SMF, the only version with a VB converter is very old, and I feel it is not capable of converting this particular version of VB. I am looking at myBB next, but so far no

3. Spend the money and buy a new forum license. The problem is VBulletin is dying, the latest versions just suck, and is now just not worth the fees. My suggestion is to instead of paying for VBulletin, it would be better to use the money (it's actually cheaper) for another forum software, that has the proper converters. I would suggest XenForo, for several reasons that members here would find appealing.
- XenForo was developed by the original developers of Vbulletin and after they sold VBulletin to Jelsoft. The software and use of it is very similar
- A very large amount of VB users have moved to XenFore, including a massive amount of plugin developers who have developed a few of the plugins used here.
- Because of that, the amount of support and additional resources is now greater than VB, and far more familiar to use. A lot of those plugins are now available for XenForo as well.
- and finally, because it is a very large old VB base, there is a converter available. It appears that far more things will be imported properly, like images and attachments, and it would be far faster process to get the site back up and running. Furthermore, I am looking at the possibility of free converters for some of the plug-ins as well, as they are available, but in paid packages (sigh, nothing is for free anymore)

https://xenforo.com/help/importing/
https://xenforo.com/community/resour...s/importers.4/

the price starts at 140, but appears to have a option for 180 for two years support as well as other options, but we can do without them. There is also a demo there, I will get my sleep first before I play with it.
https://xenforo.com/purchase/

That's what I have so far. I see a pm (oops) so may have to update this.
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  #46  
Old 01-14-2016, 11:18 AM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5yOdkPRsCY

Turn the lights off, bring in the bulldozers, turn this place into a parking lot.

I'm gonna put on "The Thong Song", and we'll tear this place apart.
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:14 PM
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It looks like the VBulletin 5 Connect (includes forum ver. 4) is a single purchase while the VBulletin Cloud is the one with annual licensing. The Cloud promises tech conversion upgrades from older versions, and other Clouds usually include the server since it is a Cloud. Is this correct?

On the minus side, VBulletin doesn't seem to support HTML 5 natively. I think any PN upgrade should do so, and I'd love to see the Canvas element made available for games and embedding in posts, mostly for fun. And, the Forum 4 software is not up-to-date. It's been left to flounder for some reason.

Is there any interest in offering Mobile interoperability? Apps?
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepy View Post

Is there any interest in offering Mobile interoperability? Apps?
Absolutely not. But if you keep talkin' that techno, I may have a pretend vote that puts you in charge, since Shiva doesn't want to expand his empire through franchising.
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Old 01-14-2016, 06:38 PM
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Thanks to all for their comments and as I mentioned in a PM to Itchigo a few days ago, I feel bad after reading them. I just received an email from the hosting company and the php upgrade date is January 19th, I responded and told them not to upgrade but I don't think that's going to work because previously they mentioned that 5.3 will be removed from their servers.

Thanks also to shiva about his input, I was prepared today to just mention that the site was still going to close but am now on the fence. This fence is about my lack of time, not money, although that's limited. I wanted to clear some things up, shiva is right about the front page, nothing can be done to save it anymore. For years, my primary concern has been about the downloads and back in October 2014 the physical files were mass imported into a addon in the forums. The main problem with that is again, time, Screenshots, authors names, etc. have to be added into the addon program fields if vbulletin is kept.

About the forums, they will also stop working on 1/19, these vbulletin forums were actually a conversion from phpbb that was a success a long time ago. I'm not opposed to renewing the vbulletin license and as someone pointed out it's not an annual charge and would allow the forums to go up to version 5 but I'd stick to 3.8.9 so that the current addons would still work. That seems to be the easiest method of preserving the forums and 3.89 or version 4 could possibly run another 10 years or so. Version 5 or connect doesn't interest me right now but I will look into Xenfor in the future.

So to sum things up, in order to continue if vbulletin is upgraded I'll just need some time from folks in the forums download section:
http://www.pinballnirvana.com/forums/downloads.php
I'd work on it when I have time and would need some help and moderator or admin status will be necessary. By the way, the vbulletin downloads section is very flexible and allows the authors if they are assigned to change their own files.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:20 PM
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So if anybody wants to preserve their Attachments from over the years, then I guess Now is the Time to save them to our drives right here at home.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:06 PM
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Thanks JPH. Vb is now pretty much dead, all the plugin guys (well most of them) have moved to XenForo, which is the reason I suggested it. It would be the best chance of preserving the forum and though I haven't had the time, there are some converters for some of the vb plugins available.
It's also cheaper as well. VB4 was so bad it almost killed the company, VB5 is a improvement, but a lot of people do not like the cost.

If people pitch in, then the best solution is to decide what to do. If the server is still going, and upgraded, then either XenForo or VB3 will be the 2 options. I will donate 100 to either a new server or to purchase/upgrade the forum software. You have been doing this for 13 years, and it is unfair to be expected to continue to spend money, especially as you are the only website that hosts other VP/FP sites that also should not be lost or affected. No one else.

Don't be on the fence, if you need the time off to recharge, then I will take over. There is only 3 people in this entire community that understand VB, and I have done it for this site a couple times before. Us old guys stick together, I already have one offer for help, and a solution in case VB is broken by the server upgrade and new software is needed. I am not to sure even upgrading to 3.8.9 will help much, the VB3.x branch was started in 2006

Send me a pm when you decide
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:46 PM
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The only advantage to sticking with vB at this point, as far as I can tell, is it will upgrade everything for you as it is built into their scripts.

I am currently running 4.2 and had similar issues when the old php expired.


When and if I decide to upgrade again, and to be honest it will probably be soon, I will switch to XenForo, as the new vB is just not something that interests me anymore.

Maybe, and it will cost more, update the vB first and then convert it to XenForo.
That way you have minimal downtime.
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:19 AM
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Thanks for this, I sent a PM to shiva since my last post and after researching XenFora, the definite removal of the current downloads system (postnuke UpDownloads) and adding the information to a new program should be a number 1 concern. The DownloadsII program (vbulletin) in vb3 or 4 is not being updated anymore and as far as I can tell a similar program doesn't exist for vb5. There is a active paid addon for XenFora that I think would work and is still being updated so after initial research I think XenFora is the best route for the future. The pain part is that I can't find an arcade importer for XenFora yet.

Interesting observation about vbulletin, I also have no interest with version 5 but found a import script for XenFora and it supposedly imports vbulletin 3.x, any reason I should upgrade vbulletin ($210.00) to vb4 or 5 first?
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Old 01-15-2016, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by JonPurpleHaze View Post
Thanks to all for their comments and as I mentioned in a PM to Itchigo a few days ago, I feel bad after reading them.
You have absolutely no reason to feel bad. I kind of figured the time that running this place takes up was more of a factor on your decision than money because, ye gads, man, I don't think you've ever even asked for a donation! You've been at this a long time, Jon, and if you need to retire, I can't think of anyone who deserves a vacation more. But, hey... if not... Sign me up for the grunt work. Steve already knows I'm an idiot, so I'm sure he'll explain what I need to do in simple words and pretty pictures.

PS: from an idiot's point of view, ZenFora doesn't look bad. I've seen some of their forums in action and it seems to be pretty functional and relatively easy to navigate. I'm gonna miss the wood paneling background, but if ZenFora's the wave of the future, we could do worse.
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Old 01-15-2016, 02:38 AM
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Shhhh...don't let on to anyone Ruby but I'm an idiot also, when it comes to the inner workings of this site. I do that basics, delete suspect bot accounts and approve the occasional post and upload, though that's about it. Really that's why you never got your NK flag, I did hunt through the various options though as we say in Oz, Yeah, Nah....
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by StevOz View Post
Shhhh...don't let on to anyone Ruby but I'm an idiot also, when it comes to the inner workings of this site. I do that basics, delete suspect bot accounts and approve the occasional post and upload, though that's about it. Really that's why you never got your NK flag, I did hunt through the various options though as we say in Oz, Yeah, Nah....

Made me laugh, the flags mod is very old and nice but hard to update, when you search for NK as a option for the mod, you get a feeling that folks are watching you...
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Old 01-15-2016, 03:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPurpleHaze View Post
...
So to sum things up, in order to continue if vbulletin is upgraded I'll just need some time from folks in the forums download section:
http://www.pinballnirvana.com/forums/downloads.php
I'd work on it when I have time and would need some help and moderator or admin status will be necessary. By the way, the vbulletin downloads section is very flexible and allows the authors if they are assigned to change their own files.
In this case, I can help you.
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Old 01-15-2016, 07:08 AM
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Of all things I came across a flag mod yesterday for xenforo.

I have sent JPH a pm with some things, it is a very tough choice here. I would put VB5 and XenForo at equal status, I suggested XenForo because I felt it was a better long term solution. There are some trade offs with both, and people here may see some big differences no matter what is decided. It's been 10 years of changes after all, a lot of the VB plugins were discontinued years ago and several key ones at that.

If this server goes through a update, then this existing forum would be broken, so just going full modern update now makes a bit more sense as it may have to be done anyway. I do like a lot of the newer things that a modern forum offers, but then that is just me. I think a lot of people once they see what a upgraded board can do will as well. We are all so use to seeing this site exactly like this for all these years, but time may have caught up to it, and there are fewer options to keep it going like it is now as time goes on.

Yeah, it's a lot of work, but if people can help, it's a lot faster process. Especially with the downloads. Da prez and I know that one real well when we were the only ones to do it... I still have nightmares about that one.
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPurpleHaze View Post
Interesting observation about vbulletin, I also have no interest with version 5 but found a import script for XenFora and it supposedly imports vbulletin 3.x, any reason I should upgrade vbulletin ($210.00) to vb4 or 5 first?
The reason I suggested upgrading vB to 4 is it will take care of two issues quickly.

It has all the necessary update scripts (db being the biggest part of this) built in and that in turn will keep the forum going as it is now while you decide about the rest.


If you have found a script that goes directly from this version of vB to XenForo then there may be no need for the step.

But it was a suggestion to keep this forum here before it breaks and give time to look into other solutions.
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Old 01-15-2016, 05:58 PM
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devil's advocate--

as an intermediate person in the scene, i would not feel right if you guys busted that much time and effort for something that a relatively small number of people are able to appreciate.

you guys have done WAY more than ever could have been asked.
so, what about letting the scene and the users take the ball?

and if they're not up to that, well...
water finds its own level, no?
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