Finding a new home for the PCKF

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Keening_Product
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Finding a new home for the PCKF

Post by Keening_Product » Tue Jun 07, 2016 18:06

Hi all,

A few Keen twitterers may have seen - and taken part in - a conversation with our very generous host adurdin about the future of the PCKF. Andy has hosted this site for what I believe is very close to a decade now, but, as some have been pointing out, reliability over the past couple of years has not been as great as it once was. (I believe that has something to do with shared hosting space with other more important projects.) Anyway, adurdin's hosting has been very good for a completely free forum with no ads, but he has said he would rather pass hosting on to someone else because he is "embarrassed" by the site's lack of maintenance. I assume this applies to K:M too.

So, in short, the PCKF is looking for a new home. This process isn't entirely a frustration - it will be a chance to update or change board software and to improve the site's features. The new solution could take any form: a completely fresh start with the old forum archived, a straight clone of the present setup to a new single-admin host, the formation of a hosting collective to oversee a crowd funding project to prepay for a decade of hosting, finding a benevolent larger DOS games website to auspice the PCKF... anything. The point of this thread is to investigate options before adurdin sets a date for his stewardship to come to an end.

Data on the bandwidth and server space used by the forums is presently not public, but I'm sure will be soon. Apparently it's a very small footprint.

Adurdin will be making an appearance on the forum to discuss this at some point in the future. He has given me permission to start this conversation here now. I think I speak for all of us here when expressing my appreciation for his hosting of the forum for all this time.

Whatever option we go for, it must be sustainable.

Dopefish lives, and so does the PCKF.




---- Tweets referenced in this post ----

https://twitter.com/adurdin/status/733217224505339904

https://twitter.com/adurdin/status/733340429257691136
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Post by keenmaster486 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 22:20

Aha. So this is what your mysterious post yesterday was referencing.

I might have some extra server space and enough bandwidth to provide a pretty stable solution. I would just have to convince my dad to let me use the set up a server at his office building. We're already using it for an audio streaming application and it's rock solid, with a static IP too. He just upgraded the router to a better model as well. Just a thought. But if you want him to approve of this you'll have to ask really nice, and maybe sign a petition (he's liable to say he doesn't want a whole bunch of weirdos accessing servers through his router :p).

As for forum software I think we should stick with what we have, or maybe a slightly newer version. I would avoid moving to any software that's more "bubbly" than this one (as in the look of it). Also I think we should definitely clone the current status of the forum, as opposed to having a backup/archive solution.

And by "sustainable" I assume you mean "long-term".

Or maybe we could ask the VOGONS admins if they want to host it?
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Post by Flaose » Wed Jun 08, 2016 0:06

We've been talking about moving servers for so long, I'm glad that it's finally (almost definitely) going to happen. We've been lucky to have Andy as a host for all these years, long after he himself stepped away from the Keen community.

At the risk of sounding elitist, I would only be comfortable with a new host who has a long history in the community. Someone who is much less likely to get bored one day and walk away. The reason our community has been able to stay together for almost 20 years is a stable forum to call home. Much like Keening_Product, this is something I would not want to lose.

The forum software is in dire need of an update, at least to stop the large amounts of spam that gets posted (and then deleted) on a weekly basis. I would prefer to clone the posts from this one (and Keen Modding) if at all possible, as a forum that looks "lived in" has a much greater chance of attracting and keeping new members, like our very own keenmaster486!

If no one with server space is willing/able to host us, I'm more than happy to pay the small monthly fee to keep us going.
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Post by Fleexy » Wed Jun 08, 2016 2:57

I would be honored to serve the community by managing a server that hosts the PCKF and K:M. I do have hosting now, but it won't be around forever, so I would be happy to pay for and set up a different arrangement (especially if people chip in occasionally).

As for forum software, we can fairly easily upgrade to the newest version (phpBB 3) of our current software (phpBB 2). That's probably the best/simplest thing to do.

Even in periods when I post very rarely, I check both sites every day. I've been around for almost eight years now. It's been great, and I will do whatever I can to keep us on the web.

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Post by lemm » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:22

Fleexy wrote: As for forum software, we can fairly easily upgrade to the newest version (phpBB 3) of our current software (phpBB 2). That's probably the best/simplest thing to do.
This, please.

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Post by keenmaster486 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 14:10

Flaose wrote:At the risk of sounding elitist, I would only be comfortable with a new host who has a long history in the community. Someone who is much less likely to get bored one day and walk away. The reason our community has been able to stay together for almost 20 years is a stable forum to call home. Much like Keening_Product, this is something I would not want to lose.
I totally agree with this; the only reason I volunteered is because I just happen to have the capability to do it. But I will say that I have no intention of ever leaving this forum. My interest in Keening is far from passing, and is heavily tied up in my interest in retro PC's. Yes, it should be a longstanding member, but if you guys asked me I would still be honored and would feel even more bound to stay here as an active member.
Fleexy wrote:Even in periods when I post very rarely, I check both sites every day. I've been around for almost eight years now. It's been great, and I will do whatever I can to keep us on the web.
Amen.
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Post by Tormentor667 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 14:28

...to make things short: I am running and hosting the Realm667 now for ages and I would consider hosting the PCKF as well, as I am a huge fan of you people here.

Though I noticed that PCKF is still running on phpBB 2.x which is not only outdated but also a issue in terms of security and technique. I think updating or migrating to 3.1 should be possible and I would even try to take a look at it on my own if I have some free time available - but generally, this is one step that needs to be done. I wouldn't be happy to run a security hole like this on my server :)

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Post by Keening_Product » Wed Jun 08, 2016 15:49

We're all in agreement about an upgrade, there's no doubt about that. I support the straight phpBB upgrade option too - v3.1 looks grouse.

Fleexy, how long would you be able to host for?

Flaose, what kind of fee are you talking? I would be happy to contribute. (Happy to chip in with you too, Fleex.)

Tormentor667, would you be running that support pop-up ad you have on the Realm667 at the moment on the PCKF should you wind up hosting the forum? 667 seems to take ages to load too, but just on the first attempt so it could be a DNS thing.
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Post by Fleexy » Wed Jun 08, 2016 16:59

My current arrangement will be available to me for about one more year, then I'd need to shop around for hosting. I think I can get what we need for about $10 (USD) a month, probably less. I'd be happy to handle the upgrade process and any other maintenance/fiddling that becomes necessary.

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Post by Keening_Product » Wed Jun 08, 2016 17:02

Would you be willing/able to continue hosting after the present arrangement comes to an end? If it's just a straight clone of all your files and databases, in theory it shouldn't be too difficult to transfer the PCKF and K:M along with your other website/s.
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Post by Tormentor667 » Wed Jun 08, 2016 17:13

Keening_Product wrote:Tormentor667, would you be running that support pop-up ad you have on the Realm667 at the moment on the PCKF should you wind up hosting the forum? 667 seems to take ages to load too, but just on the first attempt so it could be a DNS thing.
The support-thing has nothing to do with the loading time, I most propably think it's a personal DNS thing.

Concerning the pop-up: There won't be any ads and there won't be any forced payments or annoying popups at all but I'd highly appreciate a button somewhere, where people can donate a few bucks. In return, I will help and support the forum with any kind of technical stuff, as I am quite used to PHP/MySQL and CSS/HTML (it's my job after all, see www.dg-media.com )

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Post by Fleexy » Wed Jun 08, 2016 18:27

Keening_Product wrote:Would you be willing/able to continue hosting after the present arrangement comes to an end? If it's just a straight clone of all your files and databases, in theory it shouldn't be too difficult to transfer the PCKF and K:M along with your other website/s.
Yes. I've already done some research on possible future hosts (that's what the $10/month figure was, sorry if I wasn't clear). There would be no charge for using my current solution.

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Post by Flaose » Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:00

From what I could see, it would be $5-10 a month for our needs. When we move, phpBB 3.x is definitely going to happen as well. :)
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Post by Tormentor667 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 13:07

Just as I side-note, I am not looking at the forum every day, so if you are interested in a solution, just send me a mail to info@realm667.com so I won't miss it. :)

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Post by Ceilick » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:57

I'm not very active right now and don't have much to suggest or further the conversation, but thought I'd pop in to say taking the forum in this direction sounds excellent :) Looks like the monies won't be an issue, but I'm available to chip in if necessary.

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