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  • New and Improved

    For three years I've been putting off upgrading the Forums from VB4 To VB5 Connect. I knew that is was not only a very complicated migration (took me 20 hours just to get functional), but it is a whole different concept from what we've been use to for the last fifteen years. That means that I have to go through a kabillíion settings and relearn an entire new concept of administering a forum with CMS, Blogs, Groups, Facebook Interface, and Mobile Device Support. Another reason I'd put it off was that members generally resist change, and some of the third party addons like the Garage and Free Classified Ads software no longer interface with it.

    However, both the older version of software and the unsupported third party addons have been the subjects of recent severe hack attacks, and I spent three days last week dealing with the site being hacked. I was simply forced to pony up and upgrade the older software because it became a "Hacker's Highway".

    That said, and while the conversion was a Royal PITA, now that I've played with it a bit I really like it - but I'm a Computer Geek (for an old guy) and not as averse to change as the average person might be. So all of that said, there will be some changes happening over the next few days, weeks, and months.
    1. This current White and Red style with my Magnum was a Quick and Dirty thing I threw together. I'll add a few others as I have an extra hour per style.
    2. The number of forums (the new lingo is "Channels") will get trimmed down a bit, and the forums will be strictly On-Topic Mopar, while the groups will be strictly Off Topic. The Groups function almost exactly like the forums, except that you have to join the ones you want. If you are a Facebook member, its the same group concept.
    3. To save on server load, I've eliminated the WordPress site, and this area you are in now will replace it. It really is better Integrated, and is the CMS (Context Management System) that I intend to utilize for news items and announcements. I'll most likely be looking for a couple people with good Wordsmith skills to help.
    4. I no doubt will have to do quite a bit of tweaking to optimize the speed of this site, so be patient. We use to be on a Managed high end Dedicated Server, and I was spoiled with virtually unlimited memory and speed. I have closed all of my remaining businesses in last two years, and have no income - thus we're economising in the Schultz household. The server was a luxury I could no longer afford. I went to a self managed shared server for about $10 mo (if prepaid for three years) - but find that a half a GB vs. 8 GB is too underpowered for all the stuff that we were doing. If I can't make the proper adjustments and do process intensive maintenance jobs after midnight, then I'll have to go to a self managed VPS for about $125 mo (prepaid a year at a time) or managed VPS for double that. I'd like to avoid incurring that cost if possible, but will do it if needed.
    5. Classified ads will be part of the Forums, but far fewer categories (I mean Channels) than the last version.
    6. I'm going to expand Users Groups a little, to give more Bennies (like image downloads) to the more active logins and posting.
    7. When caught up with the above, I'll work on Mobile versions and an API with MoparStyle (have to buy a SSL certificate first) on Facebook.
    So that's what's happened while the site was down over the weekend, and what will be happening in the future.

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