Jump to content

MAKE A DONATION to maintain this site - See the 'Home' page for details


Recommended Posts

There appears to be quite a few newcomers on the site in recent months which is very encouraging. With most users, it seems a link is established to the 'Forum' page and people quickly engage in Q&A. Such a link unfortunately bypasses the 'Home' page which displays information about how to donate to the site and it appears that subsequently many members are failing to donate.

 

Like everyone else I was a newcomer asking plenty of questions but as time has gone by I have had the opportunity to pass the answers on to more recent newcomers. I am sure the information I have received has saved me hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in parts and time - it has also probably lured me into expenses I never anticipated!

 

I have reminded a few people about donations from time to time but it was never my intention to single anyone out rather to raise general awareness of donations

 

Gavin does a great job running this site but I know he has out-of-pocket expenses and I think we would all agree a donation is a fair thing. I know some donate on a regular basis but more newcomers, and others who have not done so for some time but are still active, might want to consider a donation.

 

How about it? If you haven't done so recently, go to the 'Home' page now and make a donation.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Thanks Peter, I understand not everyone is able to donate on a regular basis but other ways to contribute are to:

 

1. Answer newbie questions and point them in the right direction, even just welcoming them makes a big difference and helps the community.

2. Creating technical how-to's benefits everyone and is a great alternative to financial contributions.

3. Creating products or services to help service our cars is a great way to contribute to the community. Especially now that the AU vs USD is tanking local options are always better than having to import.

 

I was in contact with a business today looking to reproduce panels/sections - hopefully they will sign up soon and ask for feedback on new rust repair sections? But things like this really make restoration easier.

 

By the way I noticed 4 new donations after your post Peter, so thanks for kicking this off. I don't like to ask for donations, but I have noticed that since the front page donation 'meter' was removed we started to get less donations and I was seeing the same people make regular contributions. Which is great, but I'd also like to see new donating members :).

 

Thankfully advertising does help make up for the months where donations trickle in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Im getting a string terminator error when I try to confirm payment thru paypal ? :o

 

Yeah sorry about that, it's been happening for ages. It doesn't impact the actual donation going through. Rather it's an error due to a change PayPal made a while ago and I didn't update the website. It' simply to do with the return URL from PayPal. I used to capture donation information (as a transaction) in the web analytics software (long story short, but I did this for testing purposes more than anything else as my day job is web analytics support) but yeah I should fix it. It's like that leaky gasket, 10 mins job but you put it off haha.

 

Working on this site is like a mechanic who never finishes his own projects, by the time at night you get home you're over IT related work and fixing problems ;).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Just a thought

 

"Donating Member" status seems to be eternal, if it expired after a couple of years people might be prompted to make another donation.

 

I know that I had only made one donation (until tonight) and a subtle reminder would prompt me.

 

Or maybe just start a thread like this every 18months or so  ;)

 

 

Cheers

 

PB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Just a thought

 

"Donating Member" status seems to be eternal, if it expired after a couple of years people might be prompted to make another donation.

 

I know that I had only made one donation (until tonight) and a subtle reminder would prompt me.

 

Or maybe just start a thread like this every 18months or so  ;)

 

 

Cheers

 

PB

 

Yeah I thought about that, the only trouble is it's a manual process to update member status. There is a built in donation function in the forum software but it's not nearly as easy to find and it does automatically upgrade you to donating member and more importantly 'expire'. But it's not very user friendly I'm afraid.

 

I could probably run a database query to speed it up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Im getting a string terminator error when I try to confirm payment thru paypal ? :o

 

had the same error but got a email saying it went in.

 

Ughhh now I remember why I haven't fixed this. PayPal's documentation is hopelessly out of date and not very clear around this. Going to put this here for now as a bookmark to come back to it.

 

http://www.geekality.net/2010/10/19/php-tutorial-paypal-payment-data-transfers-pdt/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Just flicked you through a little helping hand Gav.

 

I don't post much but I do plenty of reading and research so for anyone that puts in time to keep the place running or posts any of the knowledge within, it's much appreciated.

 

I'm going through a bit of a re-evaluation phase at the moment and I fear that I may be having to use the classifieds section in the coming months. Nothing is decided yet, and while I only just got my Z in October last year, and even though I still have a big sh!t eating grin on my face when I take it for a weekend spin, it's one of the things that I may have to potentially put on the chopping block. It will have to come down to a decision between the 240Z and the 1600 as a house move will most likely mean I can't keep both, probably financially and for space reasons.

 

The things we have to do hey........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Thanks mate, I've actually used the recent donation money to purchase new software. I'm in the process of testing out the migration process and I'll upload a test that people can log into and give feedback on soon. The new software should be light years ahead of this current software and it will make a whole lot more things possible.

 

In turn it means I'll eventually be able to move the site to the Auszcar.com domain rather than be stuck with Viczcar.com and possibly give people better options around their build thread by offering the ability to start their own blogs etc..

 

Might be also able to improve the classifieds and make donations more of an automated process. Like give people access to the site for 1 year without advertising (when logged in). For those who don't donate or just guests who are not members they will see advertising etc..

 

I just have to be careful what I promise because all of this is time consuming in amongst trying to manage my own restoration project, maintain my other cars like RX-7 (which I've thought of selling the reasons you mentioned but not sure I can do it yet) and trying to also organise a few other things I'm doing on the side. Like selling refurbished clocks (as 1 example).

 

I guess if I didn't somewhat enjoy these things I wouldn't be doing them haha :).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

The new software is Invision Power.

https://www.invisionpower.com/

 

I'm not familiar with Tapatalk but it looks like it is supported?

https://tapatalk.com/activate_tapatalk.php?plugin=ipb

 

Can you tell me what the benefits of tapatalk are?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Can you tell me what the benefits of tapatalk are?

 

Anyone that uses tablets or phones to view the forum would appreciate it. It's just a slick stripped down version of the forum designed to load fast on mobile devices. More people using Tapatalk = less strain on your resources.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Yeah I was watching a quick demo video on it, don't you have to pay to install it on your phone? I know it's probably a once off and used across many forums but that may deter some...I'm also mindful of people getting irritated to install the app each time they load the site on their mobile phone or tablet. I will see if there is a way to disable that perhaps?

 

The software has inbuilt mobile friendly theme which should give most of the benefits of tapatalk from what I can see, except you won't be able to manage it perhaps through tapatalk (as in manage all forums in 1 place).

 

Depends on how things go I'll look at maybe offering both options, first things first though :).

 

PS: SMF offers a tapatalk plugin also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spend some time on the Bicycles Aust forums (bna) about 10 times the volume of auszcar, and they do use tapatalk a fair bit.

Ive never tried it, as most of my surfing is I pad based, and Im happy with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Well I successfully got the site running locally on my hard drive, then did the conversion which took a while. A few loose ends to tidy up. For some reason avatars (the user pics) didn't convert for all users (majority) yet some did which was weird*.

 

It looks like passwords converted successfully which is a massive bonus, PMs, topics, forums, members, most attachments although a small number failed and I'm not sure why or what posts they belong to yet.

 

For some reason my account shows 0 posts, but everyone else's post count remains untouched. Simple SQL query fixes this..

 

*doing a bit of reading on this it could be because they are being referenced to external servers and not stored locally. Hmmmm...

 

*edit nope checked that and doesn't seem to be the cause... darnn..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gav I work in IT - in corporate lending so worlds apart from web but does involve some database stuff and APIs etc.  Let me know if there's anything I can lend a hand with.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Will do, so far it seems to have ported across nicely. It's just the avatars that are broken. There is a support forum on the Invision Power Board site so I was looking there for some answers but only found threads a couple of years old. I may try starting a new thread with my details and see if they can help.

 

It's amazing how important the avatar's are in terms of knowing who is who and I'm sure everyone can restore their own but if I can avoid that I'd like to. It may not seem like a big issue on the surface but it is in a way.

 

The good thing is that the conversion script I use allows you to convert different tables and repeat the process if needed. So I can repeat the conversion process for avatars on their own which might help me to fix it.

 

I think part of the problem is that SMF allows you to store avatars in 2 folders, /avatars and /attachments I may need to run the script again and point it to the other folder now that I think about it.

 

SMF is a bit of a mess if I'm honest....

 

The other thing I'm going to attempt to do is convert the gallery, the current gallery has been lacking in use of the last few years. I suspect because the software isn't that friendly and it's not well integrated into the site. It's also difficult to navigate properly. I noticed quite a few useful photos (as there is material in there from 2004!) and not even I knew about it still I was looking through the raw image folders. I'm hoping to migrate that over also and hopefully users will have better control over the material in there and be able to leverage those images in other parts of the site like posts etc..

 

Just consolidating all that into 1 database will make a huge difference. Then there is a whole host of other ways I can try and optimise the software for improved performance in terms of load times etc..

 

The other thing I need to test is make sure that old topic URLs redirect to the new URL format for example this topic's URL is:

http://www.viczcar.com/forum/index.php/topic,15890.msg168733/topicseen.html

 

I need to make sure any of these URLs redirect to the new corresponding page on the new forum so that we don't have broken links (nothing more frustrating than that!).

 

It's quite a bit of work which is the only downside. But working with paid software vs free open source is like chalk and cheese. With paid software most of this stuff just works, which is great. With the free software you always run into issues and then usually it's days of research / reading threads etc.. to try and figure out how to fix it. Lack of support etc..

 

Overall this will make maintaining the site going forward much easier and it will also allow me to give select members access to areas of the site that wasn't possible before so people can update event information and post it to the homepage or similar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Progress on conversion is slow...I've had a couple of hiccups along the way. I'm trying to iron out..

You can see my questions here:

http://community.invisionpower.com/topic/411910-converting-to-ips-3x-from-smf-2x-and-coppermine-14/

 

Screenshot for now.

 

You can see many avatar (profile images) are broken after the conversion...

46029_18f58231c802cac837b8cfd89bca8d7e4deadd44.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Just a quick heads up here, but please do not upload new photos to the gallery section of the website.

http://www.viczcar.com/gallery/

 

I'm in the process of migrating to a new software platform and I just went through a rather horrible process of first upgrading the old photo-gallery software and had to overcome several issues. Which I'd rather not have to do again. So any new content added to the gallery will NOT be migrated across from this point on.

 

I would have taken the gallery offline but it's actually not used all that much so I figure I'd leave it online until we finally migrate across.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Gdday

 

I had no idea how much work you put in to keep this forum running.

 

Well done on a top job, I for one appreciate it.

 

Cheers

 

PB

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite right PB.

 

If Gav was to put the time into his own projects that he currently puts into maintaining and developing this site, he would probably be a lot further advanced with the multiple car interests he has.

 

The same can also be said for the significant contributions made by moderators and people who make appropriate positive comment to the threads eg. I am hugely impressed and grateful with the detail, care and commitment of the comments that HS30-H makes to this forum.

 

Gav, if you are needing a bit extra for technical development, then let us know. I am sure that many of us would respond to such a call.

 

To all of those who are donating members, I am sure that every bit of the support we contribute is also appreciated.

 

Thanks again Gav - great job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Gdday

 

I had no idea how much work you put in to keep this forum running.

 

Well done on a top job, I for one appreciate it.

 

Cheers

 

PB

 

In fairness most of the time the site runs itself, but upgrades and maintenance can be a pain given that the site is using 3 different bits of software all developed by different groups. Probably something that comes up often is I have to keep increasing the space allocated to the server for all the images / attachments. We are at around 7gig worth of attachments and that's with relatively restrictive image sizes for attachments.

 

The video I posted was more of a joke, at Google I've heard engineers say that making major changes to a bit of software while maintaining uptime is a bit like changing the engine in a Boeing 787 mid flight. In this case it's not quite that bad because I'm doing a lot of the experimentation with the migration process offline, but the trick is to iron out all the kinks before uploading to the live environment. Making sure that when people log in for the first time the experience is relatively seamless (apart from the learning curve of the new software) and that everything is working as intended.

 

I've been working on it on and off the last couple of weeks as free time allows and as mentioned unfortunately very little has happened on the car, but on the positive side once we are on the new software I'll be able to whittle it down from 3 independent bits of software to 1 piece and all upgrades from that point on will be 1 piece of software. It also means making changes will involve 1 set of templates and I'll be able to more easily delegate roles to different parts of the website. So I'll be able to give some individuals access to publish content to to the homepage more easily etc..

 

In the long term it will also free up more time. It might seem silly but I'm actually looking forward to the time we move to Auszcar.com - which I've put off forever given the complexity of the move with 3 different bits of software.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators

Well might have had a break-through in terms of the avatars saga...

 

http://www.simplemachines.org/community/index.php?topic=197938.0

http://wiki.simplemachines.org/smf/Performance_enhancements#Move_your_uploaded_avatars_directory

 

Seems like SMF does some odd storage mechanism for avatars, unfortunately (I wasn't aware) but it looks like all avatar requests cause a database query! Which is ridiculous, had I known I'd have done something about it. Now that I do know I realise the site would have been even faster...

 

I hope this is the fix I need to make sure all avatars move across with the migration.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...