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GT6MK3

Change, Inevitable Change...

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Folks,

 

The software we run on (Invision) protects us from virus's, hackers and spammers.  It's fairly robust and one of the best of breed for the forum we run. 

 

Invision underwent a major upgrade 18 months ago, which we haven't yet implemented.  I've put it off as long as possible, but the time has pretty much come.  The amount of time I have to spend manually warding off spammers and virus's is too much to justify.

 

When we do upgrade, a few things we've relied on will probably break, and will take somewhere between a few, and quite a few hours to fix.

 

The look and feel of the site will almost certainly change, because the skin Matt spent so much time creating is not compatible with the upgrade.

 

A few of the front page features like the Shoutbox, the Latest Post Column, and the Gallery postcards will probably break too.  I cant promise they can all be fixed, but I'll try.

 

The current supporter system will break, and I'll need to find a replacement.  I have a list of the members who have contributed, and will certainly make sure everyone is acknowledged.

 

 

The knowlegebase here and the support community is too good to lose, so I'll be working to make sure we keep having a place for it.  Over the next few weeks things may change, but the mission and the knowlegebase will remain the same.  We may be down for a few days while I work and tweak, but please keep checking back

 

Craig

 

 

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Thank you, Craig!

 

The TSSC web page just changed, no notice, AFAIK, and it's taking a bit of getting used to, which is annoying.

But with your forewarning, I will be glad to be patient.

As if I could do anything to help!

John

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If you need a hand resurrecting it give us a shout,

 

Im stupidly busy at work and in the middle of buying/selling a house but more than happy to donate any free time i have.

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Having discussed this with Craig earlier today I'm convinced it is a necessary move.  It's a pity that security issues make it necessary to mess with it as it's a really nice platform to use.

 

We should also reflect on how fortunate we are to have Craig looking after the running of the forum, the actual nuts and bolts of it.  He's modest about the effort involved but he's put serious effort in over the years and continues to do so..... 

 

Thanks Craig!  :goodjob:

 

Also due, are some more contributions to the running costs.  In the early days of "New Sideways" the "supporter" donations came in in sufficient quantity to build up a decent fund, but this is now gone.  I, for one, am very happy to donate from time to time, so my suggestion to Craig was to bring back the "donate" button.  Perhaps it should be necessary to donate a modest amount every year to maintain "supporter" status?  It's got to be worth it for the edit button and the ease of picture handling alone.  Especially with recent Photobucket behaviour.  What do you all think?

 

It's noticeable that forum traffic has declined very significantly.  This isn't just Sideways.  CT and TSSC are also both much quieter than they were a few years ago and an Audi forum I used to use is almost completely comatose.  I blame Facebook (possibly unfairly?) though I'm not really qualified to judge as I don't use it.  If so, then it's a shame as it doesn't provide a record to refer back to in the same way as a forum like this does.  And I think that this one does have a particular wealth of knowledge to offer.  We can all help maintain and increase traffic by cross-posting on other forums, Facebook etc to bring people here for a look around.  Interesting projects always help too - so bring them on!

 

Finally, I just have to say that I was shocked to the core earlier when Craig said he thought he was crap at posting..... :o   You what?!  Mate, your posts, and the projects they cover are of the highest quality both in content and presentation.  You may not post every day, or even every week - but I'll take quality over quantity!  And as a "hunt and peck" typist myself I do appreciate the time & effort needed!

 

Finally, Craig mentioned that after the update, the current layout (skin) is unlikely to transfer properly and will probably need recreating.  If anyone knows their way around this sort of thing then I know Craig would appreciate assistance......

 

Nick

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Yes please, bring back the donate button until we can build a stable system again. Many thanx to our admins who work so hard on our behalf.

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I for one would be happy to make a regular donation.

 

Yes the trend with a lot of communities is away from Forum and to Facebook and Twitter, but whilst they get a volume the noise to signal ratio is enormous, a hundred "Aw Cute" messages tends to drown out the one or two sensible comments to a post.

 

Whilst an encouraging short post when your exploring a problem is always welcome, I'm more of a if you don;t have anything positive to contribute then stay quiet person, whereas twitter and facebook almost demand a response to every post, even if banal.

 

It could be that forum type interchanges are going to be archaic in the future, but for me technical issues that require thought and input its the best medium, so I for one would happily contribute financially to keep it going. NB the noise to signal ratio on Sideways has to be about the lowest of any forum I ever visit, maybe we are all too busy actually doing things to idly comment on just any posting?

 

No idea what it costs to host sideways, but as a company apart from our own servers we do rent a fair amount of web server space and have oodles of room, if the hosting cost for sideways is significant, then we may be able to help.

 

Alan

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hi all - I'm game for the donate button - i don't post much, just kind of lurk in the shadows :whistling: and occasionally stick my oar in :D   but definatly could not do without my (usually daily) sideways fix - the knowledge base for our cars that exists here is staggering as is the willingness to help and share knowledge as well as failures -but the knowledge has foundation in reality unlike some forums where it seems to be armchair based or more on the lines of polishing and preening!!!!

Echoing Steve's comment THANKYOU to the admins and everything they do - including keeping me entertained :)  :thanks: (and hopefully learning something along the way)

 

Dave

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Hi all

 

This is a great site. A big thank you to the Aministrators for keeping it up and running, Its not mentioned enough as for me, the site just works as if by magic, forgetting the people working behind the scenes. There is so much quality information, ideas, and projects on this site,  in a friendly welcoming environment, and long may it continue.

 

Mark

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Also glad to donate.

 

It may be that "there is a season" in websites.    Some here may recall the Totally Triumph Net, founded by and run by Geof McNeil in California.    That had many contributors, but for some reason just fell apart when Geoff changed track, sold Mrs.Jones, his Spitfire, and bought himself a US muscle car.

Social service groups, like Lions or Rotary, know this.    Their local groups grow, build and then decline.  Their policy is to let that happen, and to found a new group in the same locality.    This depends on a limited number of people of the same generation, in business in a given area, but this is not true for the internet.

 

John

 

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I likewise would be more than happy to donate to keep this site going. I was on a sabbatical the last time around, and by the time I was paying attention to here again the function had vanished.

 

I do feel we should keep this up if possible, as it also acts as a library!! Facebook etc is excellent for immediate advice, there is always half a dozen people around although not always that knowledgeable. However, the posts disappear, and I personally find it very grating to constantly see the same questions and posts time and time again.

 

Cheers,

 

Phil

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Hello All

             I would be more than happy to donate the help this forum has given me is most appreciated not to mention parts shipped  to SPAIN!!!! (Thanks again Alan)

 

We are off to Northern Ireland on Thursday in Spitty of course!

 

Now what spares to carry? Drive shaft, Gearbox, Differential an Engine would be just Silly! :P

 

I think some dry clothes will be more needed?

 

Roger

 

I will try and run a topic on this forum of our adventures!

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Gents (and Ladies if there happen to be any lurking out there!),

 

In this Bookface dominated dystopian environment for forums, it's encouraging to see such support for a repository of knowlege like Sideways.  Facebook is a wonderful resource for immediate answers, but it sucks balls when it comes to being a library of reference and searchable wisdom.  Sites like this remain priceless for those features, but they so often fall by the wayside because the web isn't free.  

 

So, a very big "Thank You" for the promise of continued support.

 

Of course, I must warn you that the Trimble family motto is "Always take the money.", so if Mark Zuckerburg or his minions offer me anything over 5 Million, I'll sell out the lot of you in a heartbeat...

 

Meanwhile, I'll get on with the changes.  The line of least resistance to do so is to put a hold on posting for a couple of days so can I get a number of different and redundant backup of where we are right now.  The next step will be to do a test upgrade, and see what breaks.  

 

If it's not too much, I'll put the upgrade on line for 48 hours for testing and comment.  Or, if it's all broken, I'll wind back to a backup and come up with a new plan.

 

Either way, change is a coming.  Time to annoy some electrons.

 

C.

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Well as always, it's taken longer than I thought.

 

tenor.gif

 

Some stuff is still broken, and some has started working nicely.

One big upgrade is the ability to drag and drop pictures straight into the editor.

It's not perfect, and I still need to spend a night or two updating the donation section, and fixing the garage, but I like to think that Sideways is like most of our cars...  A work forever in progress.

Cheers

C

 

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Gents,

A quick thank you to those who've hit the donate button.  

There's a really interesting theory for the nerds in this world about how data stored electronically in chips has a measurable weight.  Long story short, storing data in chips causes them to store electrons, and electrons have a tiny but measurable weight.  In other words, the knowledge contain in this forum has a measurable weight.  Turn it off, or delete it, and it would minutely but measurably reduce the weight of the world we inhabit.

I could wax lyrical about the value of the knowledge stored in the Sideways electrons, versus the value of the fleeting conversations on Facebook, but what we've all done by donating (Yep, I did too), is ensure that those weighty electrons which close or open the switches that record and store the knowledge base of the Sideways community continue to hold the switches in position for visitors to come.  Or in other words, the stuff written into the Sideways notebooks has escaped the bin/fire.

Before the upgrade, we were running at an average of 23 spammers per day knocking down our door and registering.  Manually shooting them without killing off the genuine registrations was a daily (and becoming weekly) chore that both pissed me off, and often made me wonder if Sideways should go on.

Since the upgrade, we've had exactly Zero spammer rego's, so the upgrade works as advertised.   Nice.

I do my damnedest to run Sideways like a Leyland beancounter is looking over my shoulder, but it's awesome to have some beans in the plus pile.  By my guesstimation, the kitty now has enough in it to keep us running, advert free, with all our current hooks and customisations till about 2020.  

I think the upgrade is now pretty much stable, so don't expect too much change for a while unless we unearth something that needs changing.  One thing I am investigating is some Facebook integration - this (if it works) would let you see new content in your FB feed.  Not sure if it will work for us, and it's not a free hook, but I reckon it might be a way to stay relevant and front of mind in this new era.

Thank you all for your generosity.   

C.

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As more of a browser than a poster(for fear of lack of knowledge depth being exposed)i really like the new look.Thanks Craig!

S

Edited by Steve P

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