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Dal_1978

Atari Forum restore options

How desperate are you to have Atari Forum back online?  

37 members have voted

  1. 1. Please indicate which of the following stratergies we should move forward with:

    • Sit tight and give 250host another week to appear online.
      15
    • Restore the old backup and get it online asap.
      11
    • Restore the old backup but set all users to read only so that the forum can be harvested for information.
      11


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brings me back to my first post

 

that says if you run the backup on a virtual server on a say quad core pc

 

first!!! then restore it as needed

 

this is the best approch

Yeah but it's not trivial to do that, since the backup seems to be only a partial one. The restoration process sounds a lot more messy and complicated than the hopeful possibility of co-operating with the new guy buying out 250host. 10USD is a pittance really, I'm sure most of the AF members would gladly pay more than that.

 

Added to the balance is that Dal has discovered that the Wiki is missing from the backup - to me that's a very valuable resource, although it could conceivably be recovered at a later date.

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What is interesting in all this, or should be noticed, without any malice: main admins of forum in last years, MugUk and Techie Allison are away from restoring and even more, some are away from forum for longer time.

For me, bigger concern than restoring all possible posts and Wiki etc. is: will there happen some really positive changes considering forum management, administrating, moderating. It was just not good in last 3 years. Instead leaving that most active and contributing people lead forum, it was on Atarilegend members, just by some inertia. Plus, there is a lot of people listed as moderator who is away from forum for years. Then, forum desparately missing better handling, some FAQ sections to avoid constantly repeating questions about common issues as disk imaging and similar. In fact, nothing good is made really in last 3 years. Contrary, many people left forum. Some new came, and some became very active. Maybe that give them right to lead forum ... I don't care for past merits. Please, give it to new, active people (and I don't think here on myself). I'm afraid that with same leadership as so far we can just wait new periods of forum down and less and less active and contributing people there.

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As Desty says, the restoration is now made more difficult by virtue of the fact the archive is truncated. I have the wiki database, but none of the attached files or the web app.

 

I don't have the phpBB web app in the archive either, so it will be a case of installing phpBB and a Wiki site, then rolling the data in. After this we would know what's missing and then if possible try and fix stuff as we go along (I have had offers of help for this which is appreciated).

 

Now I have an alternative that could result in the opportunity to obtain a complete an valid full backup from 250host.

 

I know we all want the forum and Wiki back, but while there is a hope that I can get everything back with as little faffing about as possible, I am keen to stick it out to see what this guy can come up with... Also chatting to him, he also has an Atari past, so may be keen to help from this perspective also.

 

We're going to explore a few ideas and see what comes out of it. I think this is worth my effort and if all else fails, then at least I know that I explored every avenue and did my absolute best to restore the forum and wiki to it's former state.

 

I would be a little frustrated to put a load of work into getting a partial backup restored and working to some degree only to find that the full backup was obtainable given a bit more patience....

 

 

To answer on AstFan's post, I think we all need to be mindful of the fact that everyone involved in the Forum in terms of Admin and Moderation do so in their free time. In fact it was only after I was given the Admin job in December that I realised the previous Admin (Silver Surfer) had been quietly paying the hosting fees without ever asking or expecting a penny in return. He, like others (MugUK and Aly included) have found themselves with less and less time to devote to the Forum as the pressures of life change and priorities get re-alligned accordingly. Mug posted a message on the Forum asking for somebody to continue his role (which I took along with the Admin in the short term).

 

I think you have a point that there needs to be some management in place to ensure that moderation and admin duties are sufficiently covered and this will need to be dicussed when the Forum is back up again (maybe if a moderator/admin goes AWOL for a set period of time, then the 'next-in-line' takes over?).

 

Also, as for the FAQ idea, I have always envisaged the Wiki to fulfill this role (topics/projects/mods/how-to's discussed in the forum and then somebody should formalise this into a Wiki article once it has been discussed to a natural conclusion). There's a lot of info in there that ought to be harvested and added to the Wiki IMHO.

 

 

All this is purely academic at present of course! I'm as frustrated as everyone else at the length of time this is taking, but I hope you will all agree that given the circumstances (especially with an incomplete backup archive), it is worth pursuing the chance of getting a full backup if it's on the table. Especially if we gain another member out of it ;)

 

Thoughts (supportive or otherwise) please?

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The way I read into things it will be quite hard to get everything back. In the mean time AF is losing its userbase and new users that come from google. I understand that there's a lot of work involved to get the backup up again but I think that will be the only viable option.

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Given that the December 4th back-up is incomplete, I understand that waiting and seeing if a full, complete set of files can be obtained should 250host be bought is a tempting path.

 

Christos does have a point, in that while AF is not online:

(1) a lot of useful information is not available, or is very hard to find,

(2) some existing users will migrate away,

(3) new potential users will be put off.

 

But not waiting means a lot of work recreating AF from the partial back-up. Putting it together only with what there is would not produce an acceptable result for anyone. I agree with Dal. At the moment, for a full restoration, our best hope is for a proud new owner to buy 250host.

 

Having said that (and I know that Dal is having problems with his own equipment) I do think it would be good if the "placeholder" site could be updated.

 

Also is there anyone who would be able and willing to create some new "information" web pages that will be published on the "placeholder" site so that it gives users a reason to visit? These could be added to the wiki part of AF once the main site is back up.

The subject matter for these new "information" web pages could come from users, from the Way Back Machine archive, from the partial back-up files or indeed could be fresh ideas / information.

 

What do people think?

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I've decided I don't want to further frustrate people. It's clear that waiting any longer isn't an option for some key users - so I am currently dropping whatever files are in the backup archive into the public_html directory. Database will follow and then we'll see what we've got.

 

I'll lock the forum down for now.

 

Can all Mod's get in touch with me via PM?

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I'm assuming.. once Dennis or whomever gets his site up and oging (ie: on the assumption he does), A-F is still out and gone onto the new server, right? Gives you not a lot of leverage.

 

If you've got the wiki content (which wiki was it? was it in DB, or textfiles?), then setting it up shoudl be pretty easy. Even same for phpBB .. the BB itself is pretty easy to get, the content is all that matters.

 

If you're needing new mods, thats a whole other thing; I'm very busy with a few large projects, but in a pinch I could mod a specific subforum or two, but certainly not a large swath of it; but if you need a volunteer, I can offer that much.

 

As to.. worst case, pimching wiki articles from archive.org, someone coudl scrape them out or perhaps archive.org has a retrieval mechanism; I could write a scraper perhaps, but if you've got the wiki DB, I'd think you're good to go. (How big is it? which wiki? if you can put the data somewhere to pull down, I coudl give it a shot on my own server, and let you know how it goes.) Attachments and pics and such really no big deal .. the text content is the main, and who knows, the pics might be fetchable from google cache :)

 

jeff

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Considering doing FAQ in WIKI: in theory it would be good. But in reality, it happens that same people not doing search of forum (threads) not goes on WIKI too. Instead, they post what is asked many-many times . I guess that some 10 FAQ on top of sections should do the thing. I can do some of them in my areas as mass storage, floppy imaging game adaptations and similar. Btw. I wrote on WIKI too, but don't have impression that it is much visited.

I think that something like on EAB would be good : a lot of SW related (sub)sections .

 

I too think that forum should be restored as it is possible with present data. Not much chance that will ever get it from old host, and I have experiences with that.

Edited by AstFan

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OK - Files are in place - the Databases need a little tweak before they install. Thought I'd have time to do this today while waiting for things to happen at a customer. However, I cannot get to the backend from within my customer's network due to the PORT that's used. So this will happen tonight instead...

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Done - although rather amusingly I don't have admin access on the forum at the moment so my update post needs to be approved by a moderator lol!

 

Too much effort at this time of night to hack the backend on my new user account - much easier to wait until Silver has a chance to do it for me ina couple of clicks!

 

Anyway - there's still a few bits I need to do, but enjoy...

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Done - although rather amusingly I don't have admin access on the forum at the moment so my update post needs to be approved by a moderator lol!

 

Too much effort at this time of night to hack the backend on my new user account - much easier to wait until Silver has a chance to do it for me ina couple of clicks!

 

Anyway - there's still a few bits I need to do, but enjoy...

 

Thanks! Great job getting it back online. That forum is a real resource for the Atari community and it would be a huge loss to lose it.

 

Tuf

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Atari-Forum is alive!

 

As many others have said, a very, very big thanks to Dal and all his hard work for restoring Atari-Forum :thumbsup: :) :party:

 

If it was not for his efforts, we would still be lost in the dark and gloom.

 

And of course another very big thanks to Silver Surfer for making a back-up on 4th December 2010, and with his continuing help in keeping Atari-Forum alive! :thumbsup: :) :party:

 

:ahoy: :arrow: They may well still need help in restoring lost files, the Wiki section is still non-functional. So have a look and see if you have any files that could help.

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