Topic: Let me introduce you to the New BamaRides  (Read 3288 times)

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Offline jrobinson

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« on: September 25, 2015, 09:16:45 AM »
The dust has settled, and the new forum is up and running, so the Moderators and I felt an explanation is needed on the State of BamaRides. With the help of Glenn Harshman, along with the other Mods, I've written a letter with the hope of clearing up any doubts or concerns about Bamarides and the future of the forum.

We will leave the comments open for questions until we feel everyone has had an opportunity to reply. Please keep in mind, we expect a civil discussion and personal attacks will not be tolerated on any open forum discussions. I'll welcome any comments in a PM also.


STATE OF BAMARIDES

To old members and new members, welcome to BamaRides 2.0.

First, let me introduce myself.  In real life, people call me “Johnny” or “J.R.”  I've been an administrator and moderator on BamaRides for about 4 years now, and I’ve been a member for 7 years.

When Don decided to go on his big adventure, he decided to turn the forum over to me.  While he is traveling, he doesn't have the time or reliable internet required to administer the forum.

Earlier this month the forum crashed.  The forum we use was designed by a company called “Simple Machines”, and all of the content, photos, posts, threads, etc., are stored in an open-source database called “MySQL”.  Somehow, the database became corrupted.

Because it happened shortly after Don left, some people believe that there was a connection.  I can assure you that is not the case.  The timing was just a coincidence.  The truth is that we do not know what caused the crash.  It could have been hackers, spammers, hardware failure, etc.

When I logged in to check on the forum, I got the same error message that all of you saw.  I immediately contacted Don to ask if he could check on the problem.  Don and I were in constant communication during the time the forum was down.  I could tell that he was trying to fix the database.  I could tell also that he was upset because he did not have a recent backup of the database.  He sent the database and the backups to me, and they appeared corrupt to me also.  After seven years, you can imagine that the database was quite large.  It is going to require a serious effort to find the corrupted data and restore the old forum data.

On September 9th, we knew that we had to make a decision.  The options to get BamaRides going again were:

(1) Wait until Don had time to work on the database,
(2) Hire someone to attempt to repair the database.  Price was around $1,000 with no guarantees that anything would be recovered, and
(3) Start from scratch and restore whatever could be recovered at a later time.

Option (3) was the fastest, and still left open the possibility of recovering some of the database at a later date.  I wanted to get the forum running again as quickly as possible, so we agreed on option (3).  I stayed up until 2:00AM that night reloading the forum software and rebuilding the main boards.

Don will work on the old database when winter sets in.  Whatever he is able to recover will be set up in an archive accessible to all.  It will likely be static pages, so we will not be able to add any new comments to those pages, but it will be better than what we have now.  He also plans to rebuild the main home page with banners, sponsors, and articles sections.

When I called Don, he could have said, “I hate your luck” or “I don’t have time” or “I’m on vacation”, but he didn’t say any of those things.  He stopped what he was doing and spent several days trying to fix the forum for us.  He worked hard with me to get us back online.

I know that some of you have problems with Don.  He’s outspoken and opinionated sometimes.  But he loves this forum.  He would never do anything to sabotage this forum.  Those of you who know me, you know that I shoot straight and don’t play politics.  I hope that you will take it on my word that the forum crash was not Don’s fault.  Should we have had a backup plan?  Of course.  That was our main failure.  But it is all "spilled milk" now.  The only thing that we can do at this point is move forward, start fresh, and do better next time.

Most of us joined BamaRides to meet new people, go on some rides together, and share in our love of motorcycles.  After people join, they find that they are exposed to maintenance knowledge, history, photography, videography, different kinds of motorcycles and different styles of riding, gymkhana and other skills development, knowledge sharing on accessories and gear, etc.  None of that has changed.  That is still the focus of BamaRides.  The only requirement to be a member is that you must love motorcycles and riding.  Street, dirt, track, 4-stroke, 2-stroke, scooters … there is something for everybody and you all have friends here.

The data loss was a travesty.  We all lost photos, reports, videos, and cherished memories.  We all put a lot of effort into making the forum great, and we all lost something.  But at this point, no amount of rehashing or finger-pointing can change it.  We need to be constructive going forward.  We are now following a rigorous weekly backup plan.  I will do everything that I can do to be prepared the next time a crash happens.

We have a great group of moderators who are focused on rebuilding the BamaRides forum and our sense of community.  If we all stay focused on riding, reporting, helping each other, taking pictures and video, doing flash mobs and garage parties, throwing down some cones occasionally, camping, and enjoying each other’s company, then we’ll be alright.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 09:18:39 AM by jrobinson »

Offline norton73

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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2015, 10:51:08 AM »
Big thanks to you and all that busted butt to get this great place rolling again.

All rides more memorable if there's a few problems on the ride.


Btw, is Don posting his adventures any where? It would be nice to see what the big buffoon is up too  :)


You can follow Don on is big adventure at http://dredman.com/3years/   - admin
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 10:57:01 AM by jrobinson »
Loose nut holding the handlebars

Offline Chuck A.

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« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 12:25:24 PM »
Good write up,,,,, BUT it shouldn't have been necessary. I, myself, wouldn't have ever of dreamed someone would intentional killed the forum just cause they were leaving town for a while. Shame on anyone that would have. Computers will not run for ever. We're lucky there wasn't a crash before now. I do wish Don the best of adventures out yonder. I'm am jealous that I don't have the time and resource to do it myself.

Most of all, THANK YOU to all involved to getting the forum up and all involved in maintaining it. It's all volunteered time. You folks rock!

And thanks norton73 for posting the link. I've been waiting on one to read along with Dons travels.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 06:00:54 PM by Chuck A. »
DAMMIT TOOL:
 Any  handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage while yelling  "DAMMIT" at the top of your lungs. It is also the next tool that you  will need. Chitza

Summary food for thought:
"There is no substitute for laminar flow in which a helmet is the primary disturbance.'- kdtrull

Offline DachshundUberAlles

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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015, 12:54:26 PM »
I'll say that I thought there was a connection to him, but not that it was done BY him. I figured someone just decided to thump him for the attitude that constantly poured forth about people who have the nerve to wash their bikes or don't somehow measure up to some standard in terms of when and how often they ride. Perhaps the "new" version of the site will have a bit more welcoming tone to it and won't just be the same narrow clique. It's a wonderful idea in terms of a local format to allow people to get together for planned rides and meet other riders in a very convenient way. To be blunt, that's as far as it's usefulness went for me before.
There's no such thing as a "REAL RIDER!". If you have a motorcycle, you've done all you need to do.

gharshman

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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 01:55:46 PM »
Johnny has done all of the heavy lifting -- both in getting the site back up and also in the letter above.  I just helped him wordsmith it a bit.  Personally, I am looking forward to growing the forum content back to its former glory, and I am really happy that Johnny is in charge of this asylum!

It's amazing to me how people love to blame others for anything that goes wrong in their lives, whether they have any evidence or not.

I agree with DasUberAlles .... the new forum needs a more positive tone.  As a moderator, I will ask people not to make fun of others, unless you are close friends.  Let's try to ease up on making fun of polishing, trailering, tassles, accent lights, etc.  Again, the key is friendship.  If you are friends with somebody, you can get away with more ribbing and poking.  If you are not friends and you poke fun at them, then all you've done is alienate them and caused animosity.  Please use the "Report to Moderator" link (lower right corner of every post) if you feel somebody has been inappropriate, abusive, or just too familiar.

I'm really encouraged by the way that the new and old moderators are interacting and discussing the future of BamaRides.  I think that you will be pleased also.

Lastly, if you know of somebody that was on BR 1.0 and has not rejoined BR 2.0 yet, please ask them to reconsider joining.  Send them a link to this thread, give them a phone call, etc.  We want everybody back, especially the ones who contributed rides, content, friendship, and laughs.  It is a new day, a new forum.

Thanks!
Glenn


« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 02:03:00 PM by gharshman »

Offline MJN1957

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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2015, 02:22:33 PM »
2 questions:

1) Who has root admin privileges (or equivalent) on the forum, what is their connection to the previous default in site management, and what role will those individuals have going forward?

(For the Uninitiated: Root Admin privileges is/are/should-be reserved for primary owners and/or caretakers of the forum. It is that/those individual(s) who voluntarily accept a role and responsibility to ensure that the forum is properly registered, properly configured, technically functional, operationally stable, periodically tested, and reasonably monitored to ensure a high degree of availability for members/users. It is also that/those individual(s) voluntarily assumed responsibility to the forum community to ensure that all content is reliably backed-up and that those back-ups are tested periodically to ensure that they are both available & readable - therefore usable - to restore historical content should all other prudent measures fail to protect the live data that makes-up the site. To make BR a trusted location to meet, plan, and share riding adventures, it first must be trustworthy. That trust comes from transparency in identifying the people who voluntarily accept the role of root administration of the site, what role they may have had in the previous site management default, and what roles they may have going forward.)




2) Can the relevant back-up/copied files be uploaded to a file hosting site (box.com, dropbox.com, et al...) to allow access so that others with a vested interest in the site, the previous members, and/or the historical content a shot at individual or collaborative efforts to retrieve the historical content?


(There is enough IT horsepower floating around here - at least on the old site - to competently run a moderate sized country or a global business enterprise...maybe even both at the same time. That capability and skill should be encouraged to be part of the solution rather than potentially alienated by hubris. )   




MikeN
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 02:28:40 PM by MJN1957 »

Offline scrappyjon

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« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2015, 03:07:13 PM »
The good news is that a lot of the videos and photos that we loved were stored on different sites like photobucket, youtube and vimeo. If you had some of those that you liked, there are already several threads started to re-share them. Or, start a new thread. And for posting new pictures, it would be wise to start loading them to a photo hosting site instead of loading them directly to bamarides.

Offline jrobinson

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« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2015, 04:26:41 PM »
Mike, Don has control of the server. Don and I are admins on the forum. The main change is I'm now backing up the db once sometimes twice a week. Don was doing this before, but we never discussed that I needed to take that over.

Now it's all on my shoulders. I'll do weekly back ups and I have a test forum setup to check the backups. As you know, I can't prepare for all disasters, but I'll do my best to be better prepared the next time.

As I wrote in the letter, Don plans to work on the db when he settles in for the winter. We will have a archived version of Bamarides.

Offline MJN1957

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« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2015, 05:00:09 PM »

Don has control of the server.



Thank you for being upfront and honest about this.

I have no doubt you and everyone else who is helping will do everything you can for as long as you are allowed.

I hope it works out for everyone.


MikeN

Offline MadMax

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« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2015, 05:04:39 PM »
Hey, I'm just glad it's back up and running.  Sure, there were some things I would like to have been able to revisit from my previous account since I no longer have that bike, but I ain't gonna cry over it. 

I, like many others I am sure, also work in the IT field.  I am not as concerned about who is in control of what, or what role they have played in the past, but will offer any assistance I can going forward.  I stay pretty busy with technology, and love what I do.  Assisting with running / managing / moderating, or just plain contributing to this forum only adds another source of experience and exposure to new concepts for me.  As the network administrator for a local university, I need all the exposure I can get :)    It is easy, as an admin, to get so involved with ongoing projects that you miss the signs that one of your systems is starting to fail.  It can happen to anyone, and will always happen at the most inopportune time.  I can imagine the work that has gone into both the old and new sites, and hope it all smooths out for you soon.

I agree that using a photo hosting service is always best.  You have much more control over your own content that way.  Fortunately, the majority of the photos I would have lost were all hosted on Picasa and had been backed up on an old hard drive of mine.   As for the one suggestion regarding uploading / sharing access to the old database, I would imagine it is to large to make available via the methods you mentioned.  I assume the site is on a hosted solution or at the least subject to bandwidth restrictions without incurring additional costs.  You really don't want that many hands involved in managing a site anyway due to the fact that everyone has different approaches to how things should be done, and accountability becomes convoluted with more hands in the pot. 

In the mean time, awesome job so far, and I look forward to seeing what 2.0 becomes.

Offline Shepcam

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« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2015, 06:37:27 PM »
How come I can pull up old data using Tapa talk?
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Offline jrobinson

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« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2015, 06:40:25 PM »
Pat, I think they cache some of the forum. What can you see?

gharshman

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« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2015, 06:42:25 PM »
Might be cached on the phone

Offline Shepcam

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« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2015, 07:01:46 PM »
Just some stuff before the crash. I can see my post with my trailer for sale as an example.
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2017 Kawasaki KLR 650

Offline Shepcam

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« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2015, 07:02:41 PM »
Don't think it's cached on my phone because I very rarely use tapa talk
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