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A change is coming.....

Rich Z

Staff member
Just a heads up for the few of you who still hang around here.

I was alerted by my server guys that sometime in 2024 the server OS I have been running on my server in order to be able to run the older versions of PHP and MySQL that my vBulletin sites NEED to run on will be reaching end of life. Apparently there is no other option available, at least in a practical manner, to be able to keep on maintaining and running these old sites after that time. One major issue is that my server could become a portal for hackers to gain access to the data center's entire network. They just cannot allow that to happen.

So I am in the process of arranging to have the older vBulletin based message board systems converted over to a newer platform. It should be pretty similar in look and feel, but of course there will be differences. And some of the custom mods my programmer did for me here will likely not be ported over because of complexity and therefore added expense. Particularly any that have not shown to be pulling their weight or holding anyone's interest.

As for "pulling their weight", honestly this migration is going to cost a LOT more than CornSnakes.com pulls in financially. By quite a bit. If it were not for the fact that I am using this as a test run for the later upcoming conversion of FaunaClassifieds, the above mentioned impending doomsday would be just that for this site. This site does not, by any means, earn it's keep for me any longer. But it wasn't costing me anything much additional to keep it up and running.

And a dark side to this is that I fully expect that the different platform might just be enough of a change that those of you who do still come here might find the old familiarity is gone, and as a result, so will you. That could also mean the same thing for FaunaClassifieds, of course, so you can see what sort of rock and hard place I am now squeezed between.

Certainly, with the health issues of Connie and myself, this really is not a good time at all to be dealing with something like this that will likely be a colossal headache. But as best I can tell, the choice is to either do the migration, or throw in the towel completely with this internet stuff I have been doing all these years. And it is quite possible that things could develop, healthwise, that I would have to, without any warning, abandon it in the middle of the process anyway. And, unfortunately, that would be that. I doubt it has to be explicitly stated, but if I have to choose my time between taking care of Connie and taking care of this web stuff, this stuff WILL be gone without any hesitation. I am prepared to pull the plug on the entire server if things get really rough.

I don't know when things will start happening here, but most of it should be taking place in the background anyway. At some point this current site will need to be shut down to take a snap shot of the database to be migrated to the completed new platform after the bugs have gotten worked out of it (hopefully). But I suspect that the guy doing the development work might be using enough resources in that process to slow things down here somewhat.

So anyway, a pain in the ass this is likely going to be.
It will be a little while yet before this process begins. The guy doing the work is taking care of his wife, who had surgery recently.

My server tech guys told me I have about a year before things could get critical with the software versions this message board needs becoming incompatible with the server OS.
Work might be commencing on the migration tomorrow (04/28). Hopefully there won't be anything taking place to impact the current site, but it is possible that it might need to be shut down to take a snap shot of the current database to send it to the work/test area.

So if weird things start happening, you will know why.
Ah well, not so fast.

The guy I contacted about converting this site to a different platform imported this site into the new format and set it up for me to take a look at.

Well, I noted a lot of deficiencies, just with the basic look and feel of the main page. I didn't really delve deeply into anything, well, because I have much bigger fish to fry in my life right now, but I felt my punch list of things I would need to be addressed would be enough to start the ball rolling.

So the guy comes back indicating that many of the things I would need done in the new platform would need to be custom coded at additional open ended hourly rates. Things like:

  • A notice that displays indicating to viewers that they need to register to see some of the content here. But it shows for everyone and just says "Hello {username}!"
  • Thumbnails for the classifieds are very small.
  • Replies only show the date, not the time of the reply.
  • Forum stats are not there.
  • # of members in past 24 hours is not there.
  • User accessible calendar for listing events is not there.

I has asked the guy to thoroughly analyze the current site to understand what you users are provided now, and I wanted the same functionality provided in the new platform. So when he quoted me a price, I think I was being reasonable in assuming he had done just that and the price quoted had this all in mind.

So not sure where this is going to go from here.

Quite honestly, with the stresses of Connie's cancer, I cannot expend much energy towards something like this, and certainly not put more burden on my shoulders of any additional stress. So it is entirely possible that I would just have to ride out CornSnakes.com AS IS until some hacker intrusion after the deadline of supported server level software leaves this site (and my other ones at all) suddenly having the plug pulled when the server techs have no choice but to remove my server from their facility in order to protect their network.

When might this happen? At least for not another year. I was told June, 2024 was when support was going to end for the needed server level software. After that, it would be the matter of whenever a hacker would cause an issue on the server requiring the excising from their network. Could be one day, or could perhaps never happen. Will I have any warning? No.

So there it is. I guess this site has been heading down the tubes anyway, but I was certainly reluctant to just give up on it. But now matters are out of my hands, it seems. I guess it is just as well, as most people have given up on this site anyway. So I don't believe it is out of order for me to just not have the fight left in me to stress over keeping it alive.

I seriously have more important things to worry about.
I have another programmer working on migrating this site.

Things will be different looking. There will be no way around that. I will try to limit the changes as much as possible, but there will be reached a point of diminishing returns, like it or not. This is not going to be cheap, so I will have to make decisions based on how much something will cost to do, weighed against how much such a feature is actually used or even noticed on this site as it is now. I may guess wrongly. Some things that will seem unimportant to me may be very important to others. Regardless, the associated cost will HAVE to be considered.

Will the change chase off what few members still remain here? Certainly a possibility. Which means the cost of doing the migration was money just thrown away. Yes, I may regret this. :shrugs:
Hoping that things go as smoothly as possible, for all concerned.

Sent from my SM-A716U1 using Tapatalk
Certainly not coming quickly............

I am leasing a new server to move the sites too in the migration. There were some snags with the new server, and I am still waiting on the server guys to get done thoroughly testing and burning in the new server. The new programmer will be ready to do the migration once the new server is ready.

It IS going to be different looking and have different functionality. Heck, I am going to have my own learning curve to have to negotiate with the new platform, which honestly I would rather not have to do. This dog is getting too old to be learning new tricks.

But at this point, it just can't be helped.
Well, the change is HERE right now. Running on a new platform and a new server. Hope you all will find this acceptable, as I really had no choice in getting rid of the old code.
So how is this new platform working for you all? Is it OK, or just too different to work for you? Not that I have much choice in the matter, but just curious about it.
It's learning process. I'm just happy CS is still here! So much knowledge saved in this digital space. It would be tragic to lose it. Thanks for your effort and I'll keep playing and learning.:)
I've been out of town for a while and haven't had a chance to really look around and familiarize myself, but I think the layout is fine. I'm glad it's still here anyway!