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Southern Spirit Hunters - 1 year old

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in about a month Southern Spirit Hunters will be one year old.  Let's be thinking about what we can do to celebrate our successes and set our sights on even higher accomplishments for the next year.  Anyone have ideas for our 1 year celebration?

The 30th of July Southern Spirit Hunters will be one year old.   :ThumbUp:

We had our beginnings scratched out on a piece of paper on Aunt Bonnie's porch.  We listed the board categories and sub-boards and decided we would attempt this for a year and see what happens.  I searched the internet for information on forums and discussion sites trying to find something that was inexpensive but still afforded us some customization options.  I'm not sure how we arrived at Xsorbit but we ended up there with one of their Platinum plans, paid for a year and began to set things up. 

If you've ever had any experience with a remotely managed site, then skip this paragraph.  Needless to say, these types of sites are easy to set up.  You don't have to know too much about the software, and absolutely nothing about the server side of things as all that is taken care of by the remote host, in this case Xsorbit.  Xsorbit wasn't all bad though as they were running a stripped down version of the SMF software that we are currently running. 

I began learning about this software and adding a few customizations.  I think we made it through without me blowing the forum up because I had set up a test forum that was free to test the small changes to the code.  We were very limited to what we could actually do because of being remotely managed.

It's getting late so I'll add some more to this tomorrow night.  Anyone have any ideas on what we should do for our 1st year anniversary?

I think you've done a marvelous job, Jim. I think we should do something to celebrate. If we can't find some place to investigate we can always do a vigil at the cemetery.



--- Quote from: Bonnie on Jul 18, 2007, 10:24:16 PM ---I think you've done a marvelous job, Jim. I think we should do something to celebrate. If we can't find some place to investigate we can always do a vigil at the cemetery.

--- End quote ---

Wish we could set up an investigation.  That would be great.

Around the first of this year I began to frequent the SMF support forum and the more I read, the more I thought we should be using the full blown software instead of what Xsorbit was providing.  Additionally about that time one of Xsorbits servers went down and was down for over a month.  If we had of been on that server, we would have been without access to the forum for a month or more.  As it turned out, Xsorbit didn't own any servers, they just rented space on servers set up for hosting so they had no control at all over the physical server or any influence to get it fixed.

I decided then that we would have to do something to insure the surviveability of the forum.  I began to investigate the possibility of converting the existing forum database including users and post to the most up to date Simple Machines Forum.  From the info on the support forum it sounded simple.  All I had to do was download the structure and the data in SQL from the existing forum, upload it to our host and run the update.  Right!

We would first have to have a host.  After deciding on a hosting plan which specifies the amount of disc space and the bandwidth available each month, the first hurdle was how to decide what amount was enough.  I researched and researched and finally came up with our current host and a starting point and so far we have stayed within the limits.  We also decided we would pay for our own domain name.  After signing up and paying for a year, the domain was propagated and on April 11, 2007 I began working on getting the new forum over to the new host.

To be continued tomorrow ...

It's taken a while to get back to this but I will get it finished before the one year anniversary.

Working on getting the new forum over to the new host started with doing a backup of the existing MySQL database.  Every time I did it on the Xsorbit system it put an error at the end of each table.  I didn't know what to do about that so I posted a help topic on the SMF support board and someone immediately told me to just remove the error because it was placed there to make it a bit more difficult to transfer the database.  I guess it was a sly way for Xsorbit to try and keep their customers.  Anyway I edited the backup, removing 131 error lines from the file and was then ready for the next step.

Well, I had never done anything at the server level so I had to go back to the SMF support board and post another help request in my topic.  There were lots of folks willing to help.  I was told that I would need to create the database using my server control panel and PHPmyAdmin which should already be on my server.  :SmileyQmarks:  I would then have to create a SQL database user in order for the forum to access the database.  Once all that was done, I would be able to create and load the existing data from my backup to the new database and I wouldn't lose any members, post, etc.  Sounded good.  After watching several tutorials and several emails to the hosting support, I was able to do just that.  The database query worked perfectly.  No errors!  :Yahoo:

Next I had to learn how to use an FTP client for uploading files to our host.  This was pretty simple and there are lots of freeware programs out there that work great.  The SMF folks suggested Filezilla and I downloaded it and still use it today.  Anyway the next step was to FTP the SMF software upgrade package to our host.  I was to do that, then run a file called "upgrade.php" and everything would be good to go.  Again, it sounded simple.  The software installed great, but when it was done I was left with a white screen and and error message that said my settings.php file was missing.  :Groaner: Of course it is, I didn't really upgrade,  :SlapSelf: so now what am I going to do?   :ScratchHead: for a bit and realized if I download the complete SMF as if I was installing without upgrading, I would have a settings.php file.  I did that, went back to the SMF support site and found a utility called "repair-settings.php".  I downloaded it and then FTP ed it to the folder where my settings file was, ran it and  :Wow: it fixed it.

By now it was after 1 AM and I logged on to our new full version of SMF.  I still had a few tweaks to the file paths and smilies but for the most part it was all working.  I told Dianna and Patty to come on over to the new site and went to the Xsorbit site and placed it in maintenance mode.

Southern Spirit Hunters as we know it today was reborn on April 12, 2007.


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