Author Topic: keeping the forum going  (Read 175 times)

Matt Sartori

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keeping the forum going
« on: April 09, 2020, 04:51:45 PM »
As you guys might have noticed, the forum has been attached and taken down twice.
Both times we have a backup and some manuals, pictures were retrieved but not everything.

I have to say it has been far more complicated than I first thought to run forum such as this.

I am in need of farming this out to a professional that will need to be paid, currently looking at fees.
We dont have advertisements (it would not make sense) or other forms of fees for people that advertise and so on, the forum is always been free.
This poses now a question / request for ideas.
Are all the members here happy to pay a little annual fee (maybe 10-15 euro) for this professional to  keep everything up to date, backed up and functioning as it should?

Please let me know your thoughts / other ideas

Thank you,
Matt Sartori


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Re: keeping the forum going
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2020, 12:33:37 AM »
Hi Matt,

I'd be happy to pay that. The advice received here has been invaluable, and I want to continue to help others.

For anyone that owns an SSL console, spending 10-15 euros on this is not even worth arguing about.



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Re: keeping the forum going
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2020, 06:35:08 PM »
Yes, I too would be willing to pay that to keep the forum going.


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Re: keeping the forum going
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2020, 12:17:31 AM »
Hi Matt.
Sorry to read that this forum has been hacked into yet again. I still have to find all the lost photos I took of various wiring from a few years ago which I still have on my computer but need to re-instate them in the right order for the posts I have done in the past, yet alone to find that it has happened again! ARGH and so annoying.

I give out information, rather than take it as I am not an SSL user (I did have a 32 channel 6k once but only to break it up and sell the bits ... I looked at for three days thinking, I worked at SSL for 7 years, bought a console and now it would be in bits very soon!).

Not sure if I can stretch to paying for this at the present time but will think about it and will continue to give out info all the time as it would be useful to others. I think the SSL users/owners should pay for this really rather than the likes of me and some ex-SSL people like Andy Millar plus Sintech (Andy H) who are just helping others out, some of whom are new school with SSL consoles or channels strips without the knowledge to go with it.
There are givers and takers and I reckon the takers are the ones who should ideally pay (sounds a bit selfish, sorry).
I have just found loads of SSL documentation here after having a house clear out so, will post soon and hopefully, it won't get lost on here as this is the only place I post it to.

Regards everyone and stay safe with all this virus stuff going on. Jim Lassen, Marlow, Bucks, UK.


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Re: keeping the forum going
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2020, 10:46:25 AM »
Hi Matt,

I will be happy to pay for the continuity , but I'm just technician, not owner ...
However, the forum it's very useful to get in touch, solve some problem, and share our knowledge.
If I can help you to maintain the IT



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Re: keeping the forum going
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 05:05:11 AM »
Hi Matt,

I do have some suggestions that might help you as I do have an IT background. Some of this you might already know but this should help with your security issue.

1) Free forum software such as SMF tends to get hacked more than paid forum software as paid forum software has better developers constantly fixing and making improvements. Use a different forum software such as Xenforo. Their newest version has a 1 click update system which makes it easy to keep the forum updated so you don't have to worry about being hacked or the hassle of upgrading the forum. Note: Forum software does cost $160 a year and does come with support.

2) If you decide to stay with the current SMF forum software, you have to stay on top of the updates. Currently you're using SMF 2.0.15 this 4 years out of date. The latest version of the forum is 2.0.17

3) Remove the version from the bottom of the forum as well as the forum software name. For example, at the footer of the forum it says " SMF 2.0.15 | SMF 2017, Simple Machines ". Hackers use a bot to scan google for out of date forums or specific forum versions that they know they can hack because they have a working exploit for it. Just by removing that from the bottom of the forum can make a huge difference as they won't have any real way of knowing what forum software you're running or what version number of the forum software you're running and their bots will simply skip over this forum (in most cases).

4) To stop spammers from signing up (again, they use bots to do this 99% of the time), you have to put a question on the sign-up forum that only a real human user would know. For example, "who was the founder of SSL", a bot would not know how to answer this, this will make it nearly impossible for spammers to sign up.

5) Adding an extra layer of security such as invisible re-captcha can also be of great help. A captcha looks like this: even though some bots can still figure this out, it still works great at stopping most bots/spammers. The invisible re-captcha (also known as Recaptcha v3) is made by Google and is free, users don't have to fill out the annoying image but it still detects and blocks the bots from completing the sign-up form. This might require some coding work but can be done very cheaply (around $100 or maybe less) by a developer.

6) If you're using any plugins on the forum make sure those are also up to date, sometimes plugin developers (usually when it's a free plugin) stop updating it after a while and if that's the case you might want to consider removing those plugins.

7) Require new users to have a certain amount of posts in order to post links on the forms if all else fails spammers hate this and usually just quit and move on to another forum.

These steps stop any forum spam and limit any future hacking attempts.

PS: Please excuse any typos, it's late where I am right now.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 05:09:09 AM by Johnny »


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Subscription payment thoughts
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 01:43:27 AM »
Johnny and Matt

Big, massive wow from me and loads of things to think about on here.

I will give your comments some thought and will respond soon but, I think I agree with everything Johnny has mentioned. Some fab points regarding security so, well done you for mentioning this as it will make a difference.

Matt. There are nearly 600 members on here (in 2012 there were about 5, you Andy, me and maybe a few others).
If only half (300) paid a subscription of 10 Euros/Dollars or GB pounds a year, that would generate enough to pay for a professional and technical service (3000) which people would not get from anywhere else.

I will continue to give out info on here but the security aspect needs addressing as I, and others have lost many pictures, which will take some time to replace.

More from me very soon as I think about it some more.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 02:11:31 AM by jimlfixit »