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VPF- down again.

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
i could be wrong but it seems like it's down lately on a regular schedule lately, like sometime in the evening (GMT -5) until morning. what's up with that, AJ?

oh yea, i forgot... you're in the middle of a programming project for some client and haven't taken a serious look at VPF in years.
 

ValamirCleaver

Pinball Wizard
If he's not interested (as it obviously seems) in maintaining the site then why doesn't he let someone else take it over?
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That would be better than the half-@$$ed absentee-landlord situation that exists now...
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I'm still as willing to put my money where my mouth is and pluck down the change for that as I was 2 and a half years ago. First thing I'd do is update the forum software, the setup JPH has here is nice...
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shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
shh, don't tell anyone, but I agreed to do all the site work for you, and even offered to take it over earlier than that.

Need a new server VC. It's a bit underpowered for the size of the site now, and moving the downloads would be a good idea onto a cheap file server
 

ValamirCleaver

Pinball Wizard
shh, don't tell anyone, but I agreed to do all the site work for you, and even offered to take it over earlier than that.
I was told about that at that time, shiva and I appreciate that you offered; especially considering what the situation was at that time.
Need a new server VC. It's a bit underpowered for the size of the site now, and moving the downloads would be a good idea onto a cheap file server
Yes; I realize that the underpowered, budget server is the main reason for the frequent outages. I'd also look into overhauling the download system, try to find something that would seriously discourage the leechers while not penalizing nor otherwise turning away the active members.
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
=ValamirCleaver;59684] why doesn't he let someone else take it over?
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Gee, don't you think that maybe VPF's 4000+ supporting members might almost cover the cost of all his websites together?
 

ValamirCleaver

Pinball Wizard
Gee, don't you think that maybe VPF's 4000+ supporting members might almost cover the cost of all his websites together?
Bob, that's really chickesh.. if true...
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VP enthusiasts get the shaft so he can funnel funds to pay for his other websites...
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Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
VP enthusiasts get the shaft so he can funnel funds to pay for his other websites...
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lol... oh, please.

re: the cheap server,
is the evidence completely clear on that? how many servers can afford to regularly go down for a portion of every day and still retain any clients? (VPF doesn't count since AJ is clueless)

or is it that the site is apportioned a specific bandwidth every day and once it's been eaten up, has to wait for the beginning of the next 24-hour period to commence.

shiva, what do you think?
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
No, I didn't say we get the shaft.... I don't think he has any interest whatsoever in VP anymore, but why give away a site that IMO makes money. I don't believe for a minute he puts his time AND money into keeping the site open. THAT IS ILLOGICAL..... CONCLUSION..... THE SITE RETURNS A PROFIT....
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Okay, ignoring the "other" sites that may or not be there...

I believe AJ got a Duran server, not very powerful, and he said 2 gigs of memory, or something like that. They don't make those, and would be about 60 dollars a month now.

What ever it is, it's getting old, and there are limits. I think it's either his database, which must be very very large or a hardware error like a switch. I don't believe theres a cron going that throttles back the site, as the amount of traffic would be less (as there's far fewer tables released now than before)

I don't like the server host he uses either, as there has been a few times when this has happened over the years.

He also has a very old version of VB (6 years old!) and a very bad frontend that's incompatible with anything (It's nuke based) and also has a excessive amount of server queries and server load compared to what's out now.

As it stands, if you keep the present setup, it will continue to have problems and the gaps in between those problems will get closer and closer until it's months as opposed to years when the site does this.

The site generates a bit of traffic, I would say about 20 gigs not including the downloads. Downloads would do roughly 50 gigs. Page views at the 1-1.5 million or so level

The biggest problem is you have to be able to grow as well, as the traffic may increase with new members, and also an increase in file downloading etc.

This is my solution, or what I would do if VPF was dropped in my lap, and I am sure quite a few people would scream, but the present situation is pretty apparent that a major change is needed, and a complete overhaul is required.

I don't think AJ has renewed the license for VB in Years, so add 60 dollars first. You also need another 50 or so for other things like the domain name etc.

The software has to be replaced, it's just too old now, and with the front end, putting a huge strain on the site. The only thing is you lose the contents of the database, but quite a bit of it is out of date anyway.

Once you get the licence renewed, then it's time for a new server, and a new host for it. You also have to be able to pay for it, so I would remove the unlimited one time member payment, and make it a small payment yearly instead (Very easy to do, and BTW, can be setup to do it automatically, and no wait period, so instant member access)

For my server, I would be looking at a package like this:

2.8Ghz x 2 Pentium D
1,280GBs Bandwidth
1GB memory (you really need 2, but it's very expensive, add 30 bucks a month)
160GB Hard Drive

Your looking at 99 per month, very decent dedicated host for a basic setup like this.

I would prefer to put a fresh copy in, but VB will still upgrade from a old version, so set it in admin, load it in, remove the entire front end system and replace it with a new one and start taking a knife to the database.

I would prune if not remove most of the archives, and would even prune out members who have not logged in once the last 2 years (that would be at least 75000, but members take up quite a bit within the database with their settings etc, and they could always re-register anyway)

Most of the stuff other than the downloads are easy enough to put back in, not a lot of typing. The downloads would be the thing, but may be a easy solution, though I admit I'm a bit rusty on such things now.
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
I don't believe for a minute he puts his time AND money into keeping the site open. THAT IS ILLOGICAL..... CONCLUSION..... THE SITE RETURNS A PROFIT....
something you're not taking into account is that it's his baby, bob. that's actually how AJ described VPF himself.

i know you don't think that's a big deal with him, but i have seen people virtually bankrupt themselves keeping their pet projects alive. that's not logical either, but it happens. his deal seems to be losing a little money on the site but getting to hang onto it indefinitely- something entirely consistent with a pet project IMO.

I think it's either his database, which must be very very large or a hardware error like a switch.
then shall we take that as the working hypothesis from someone who has the most experience of the people talking about this issue? (counting the people in phoenix' thread also)
 
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ValamirCleaver

Pinball Wizard
something you're not taking into account is that it's his baby, bob. that's actually how AJ described VPF himself.
If that's true, Nic, then why would he been doing so in such a half-@$$ed absentee-landlord way for the past few years?...
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He doesn't interact with the general membership and obviously extremely rarely with the staff. I've never corresponded with him either before or since I've been on staff. It seems like he doesn't personally give a $#!. Other than what theory Bob has advanced, why else would he continue in such a fashion?...
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bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
something you're not taking into account is that it's his baby, bob. that's actually how AJ described VPF himself.

A baby that he hasn't talked to for over a year? A baby that he hasn't played with for about 5 years?

My guess is that the donations should easily average out to about 8 dollars per person. You do the math.....
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
then shall we take that as the working hypothesis from someone who has the most experience of the people talking about this issue? (counting the people in phoenix' thread also)

It's my opinion at least, but I don't have access to the root of the server, or the logs either. At the moment, I'm leaning towards hardware/host issue, as the page source isn't even loading up, it gives me the same page as the site. It recognizes the site, but then hits a brick wall before it even loads the page in.

Now before, it was giving out a database error code in the page source, so it's actually worse than it was yesterday.

If you want a opinion of someone who does have the most experience in server matters, then I will give you one. It's Fubared big time. :)
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
Complaining, complaining, complaining.

You people make me sick.

Especially those of you who never donated anything to VPF should be ashamed of yourselves for even mentioning this topic,...
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
If that's true, Nic, then why would he been doing so in such a half-@$$ed absentee-landlord way for the past few years?... He doesn't interact with the general membership and obviously extremely rarely with the staff. I've never corresponded with him either before or since I've been on staff. It seems like he doesn't personally give a $#!. Other than what theory Bob has advanced, why else would he continue in such a fashion?...
A baby that he hasn't talked to for over a year? A baby that he hasn't played with for about 5 years?
i don't know why you guys have such a hard time with that idea. so what if he never does anything with VPF anymore? nobody said that's a given here. he's essentially said in the past that he loves the idea of having a VP and pinball site and he really did put a lot of effort into it at one time. where does it say that means that he's duty-bound to keep updating it for people's needs? what makes you think he gives a crap about people's needs? he has his precious little site, he knows that lots of people visit it and download from it every day and he knows that the forums are still nice and active. he can brag about it to his friends and clientelle and maybe even let them think that VP is his baby and when they check the site out and download the games i'm sure they'll be thrilled and i'm sure that we on the forums won't even know about 99.9% of those people. just look at the number of referrals in his profile, yknow?

so what exactly is the problem from his end?

My guess is that the donations should easily average out to about 8 dollars per person. You do the math.....
i doubt that donations average $8 dollars. from what he and lio said, lots of people just donate a penny or something silly in order to get unlimited DL's. it would take a lot of people donating $20 or whatever in order to balance those people out. also, how are you determining how many people choose to donate per month, anyway?

another objection is this- AJ said himself that donations do not cover expenses and if there's one thing i haven't seen him be, it's a liar. stubborn, yes. disconnected, yes. unreliable, yes. frustrating, yes. but not a liar.

Complaining, complaining, complaining.

You people make me sick.

Especially those of you who never donated anything to VPF should be ashamed of yourselves for even mentioning this topic,...
ROFL
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
On a more serious note; i think the time to change headquarters is now.

JPH has built up a nice little forum here, and it provides everything the community needs.

So what are we waiting for.

Once we regulars come here on a regular basis the rest will inevitably follow.

VPF or no VPF,...
 

ValamirCleaver

Pinball Wizard
another objection is this- AJ said himself that donations do not cover expenses and if there's one thing i haven't seen him be, it's a liar. stubborn, yes. disconnected, yes. unreliable, yes. frustrating, yes. but not a liar.
Other than some inexplicable, illogical gut feeling; how do you know?...
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Have you ever met him and talked to AJ in person?... Have you even just talked to him on the phone?...
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Do you have any logical, factual basis for this opinion?
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Complaining, complaining, complaining. You people make me sick. Especially those of you who never donated anything to VPF should be ashamed of yourselves for even mentioning this topic,...
Let me second that one, Nic...
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Funny you should mention this; but since you've broached this subject, I have to bring this up...
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I've donated to VPF, how much have you donated?...
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Oh, that's right; you don't have any dollar signs by your name...
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a big, fat goose egg there; $0.00...
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What a freakin' hypocrite...
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The Following User Says Thank You to ValamirCleaver For This Useful Post: nicolas.b (Today)
You're welcome, Nic...
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Thank you...
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Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
Other than some inexplicable, illogical gut feeling; how do you know?...
it's not just womanly intuition- it's observance of what the man has said correlated with his actions since 2001. that should make stanley kubrick happy if nobody else.

43.gif
Have you ever met him and talked to AJ in person?... Have you even just talked to him on the phone?...
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Do you have any logical, factual basis for this opinion?
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lord knows i've made my attempts to talk to him on the phone, but all i've ever been able to do is to leave a message. AFAIK kinsey is the only member of the scene who's ever been able to talk to him live.

btw tom, are you planning on seeing someone soon about your smiley addiction? i'm willing to hold your hand for a little while as you go through your withdrawal symptoms, but ONLY FOR A LITLE WHILE.
 

ValamirCleaver

Pinball Wizard
it's not just womanly intuition
Therefore you're admitting that there's no logical, factual basis to your opinion that's diametrically opposed to Bob's...
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btw tom, are you planning on seeing someone soon about your smiley addiction? i'm willing to hold your hand for a little while as you go through your withdrawal symptoms, but ONLY FOR A LITLE WHILE.
Nah... that's alright, Nic...
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Your thanks for my previous post was enough... If you were an attractive, young woman I'd take you up on the offer though...
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Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
rewind.

repeat.

it's observance of what the man has said correlated with his actions since 2001.


EDIT: bah, sorry about the "thanks." that was me carelessly hitting the wrong button i think. i'm not used to this site...
 

StevOz

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
I have a dollar sign at VPF and I've never donated, AJ just screwed up a long time ago when I PMed him about some people that had already donated and not got the $ sign.

That said I have never had any correspondence with AJ, except for one reply in the staff forums, concerning his uneducated opinion of this forum, he has never replied or corresponded ever since or before.

Take that as you will, I am unimpressed with AJ, though being a VP fanatic until the end, I'll always try as best I can to keep the ball rolling.
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
Made screen capture to better illustrate point.

What point?

That you wouldnt know dead-obvious sarkasm if id hit you over the head with it?

Well in that case; Mission Accomplished! :pint:


(Seems like some people havent read a certain 'PostMans' comment in a certain other thread where he thinks that being concerned about the situation is 'complaining' and that people who never donated any money directly to VPF ought to STFU anyway. Much like the fact that im paying my share for this community each and every month uninterruptedly for several years has been overlooked yet again too, but then ive gotten used to this kind of 'gratefulness' and 'acknowledging' by now, so,.....)
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
That said I have never had any correspondence with AJ, except for one reply in the staff forums

I did correspond with him some time ago. Several times actually. The last thing we talked about was integrating the VIP into the site, you know, putting it into the download section and giving it a dedicated spot within the forums, etc.. The last thing he told me was that he had to make some other changes first, and that he would contact me as soon as he is done with it so we can work out the details for the VIP integration. I never heard back from him after that, but then i didnt try to contact him anymore either so perhaps he just thought i changed my mind or lost interest or such, i dont know.

In any case; its not like he cant be reached at all. And if you can establish a talk with him he is always friendly and decent and he always seems to be very dedicated about what he is doing too. Generally speaking, AJ doesnt actually strike me as someone who 'doesnt care' at all, on the contrary, the way he talks about things related to the site actually leaves no doubt that it really means something to him, so perhaps he is really just too occupied with other things to do more for VPF than he does do. The fact that he has kept up the site over all these years even though he is rarely posting anymore himself actually speaks for itself too, and im not talking about making a profit now.

The unfortunate thing about all this is only that this (AJs) way of handling things bears a big potential for problems, (as we are witnessing again right now), which is why a change of headquarters to a place where the owner can be reached/approached practically all day and all night should at least be taken into consideration. It doubtlessly does have its advantages over a place where reaching the owner in case of problems or other things is more or less a game of luck, (his dedication at heart notwithstanding), and once the traffic at VPF calms somewhat down it might even give AJ the kind of break he needs to make a few of the more 'drastic' changes which would otherwise mean too much downtime, thus too many unhappy passengers right now,...
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
I have nothing against AJ. I like VPF and I think AJ does an OK job of taking care of it and I think it's a good thing having a staff without him on it. It's almost been proven that the community isn't leaving that site, so another site would be a waste of money. I don't even have a problem with AJ making a few bucks from that site, I'm just presenting a scenario of why he keeps a site that he no longer has an interest in. IMO

Now a little lesson in human nature and why I don't want to call or refer to AJ as a liar, I certainly don't consider him a liar, even if he males a few bucks from VPF.... Look at the thread at VPF where someone posts that "VP has been sold" and read the disgust and indignation of the members. Now look ahead at the VPF thread where David Foley starts talking MONEY and CONTRACTS and watch those same members (not Mrhide) slowly start to get dollar signs in their eyes and suck up to Foley or explain to him why they should get a contract. Even PD starts to talk nicer about them and even appears to be pushing the product in the end, if I remember correctly. Money is money and I don't think I need to go into just how far people will go for a few bucks. It's just human nature.

I also don't buy into the idea of all the 1 dollar donations, because if you're that cheap, then you'd also know to create 10 accounts to get around the download limit. I'm sorry, but I still think 10 dollars would be the most common donation and then I'm guessing equal amounts of 5 and 20 dollar donations and then you have those who have donated multiple times totalling 50 to 150 dollars. What do you expect him to post if my synopsis is correct? "Hey fellows, keep the donations coming, I need another vacation!"

Obviously, this is just my opinion and I risk looking stupid or being chastised if AJ would pop up and state his spiel (need a wiki link here) again, but that still wouldn't change my deductive logic any as I believe there are only 2 possible reasons why he keeps the site. The other reason would be for spite.... He could actually dislike someone enough, to NOT want them to ever have a successful VP site.... I doubt that's the case, so it brings me back to money, even if the amount isn't as strong as I believe it could be, I believe there's a profit.

My whole argument revolves around the fact that AJ has posted that donations don't cover server costs and the fact that he has shown no interest in the people or VP for the last 5 years, but still retains possession and responsibility of the site. I guess there is a third possibility and that would be that he is an idiot, but I think I can rule that baby out.

EDIT BTW, this site is almost always slow.... It took 25 seconds for this post to register.
 

Phoenixx

Starfleet Member
Site Supporters
Money is money and I don't think I need to go into just how far people will go for a few bucks. It's just human nature.

While this is undoubtedly one of the truest things in the world it still cannot be all-globalized. I for one always took principles and to be able to look at myself in the mirror more important than money, because money may buy you a lot of material things but it will never buy you dignity, selfrespect and a clear conscience no matter how many millions or even billions you may posess. As a matter of fact this might be the one reason why im not exactly rich,...and thank God im not the only one with an attitude like that,...
 
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