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dismuke
post Jun 4 2011, 07:53 AM
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For the past week or so many functions on this message board - including members' ability to post new messages - were not working. These problems SHOULD be fixed now.

Here is what happened: for over a year now, this message board has been hit heavy by spammers. To combat this problem, I set the board up so that all postings by newbies registrants would go directly to a moderation queue and would have to be approved by me before they became visible to the public. For many months, this approach worked well.

Over the past few months, however, the volume of spam entering the moderation queue has been more than I could possibly keep up with. We are talking about hundreds of spam postings each and every day. And the board has been getting well over a hundred new registrants on a typical day - all but a very tiny fraction of them being would-be spammers. This has been a problem because legitimate postings put up by legitimate newbies simply became lost in the onslaught. There is simply no way that I have the time to sift through hundreds of spam postings on a daily basis.

About a week ago, the spam bombardment impacted the message board in yet another way: The volume of spam in the database had accumulated to the point that the database became well over the storage quota my hosting service allows. As a result, my hosting service disabled certain functions in the database to prevent it from becoming even more over quota. Unfortunately, those disabled functions resulted in members getting the Driver Errors and prevented them from putting up postings. And, to make things worse, it also prevented me from being able to log into the message board as Administrator.

It has taken me almost a week to get this matter fixed. In the process of doing so, I ended up having to delete over 16,000 spam messages from the moderation queue - and there are still more for me to delete whenever I get a chance to do so. Because I was unable to log into the message board as Administrator, the only way for me to delete the spam postings was by directly accessing the mySQL database that this board runs on and delete them through the database. I tried as best I could to avoid deleting legitimate postings. But given the fact that I was having to delete over 16,000 spam postings, it is entirely possible that a few legitimate postings ended up getting deleted. If yours was one of them, you have my apology.

Unfortunately, all of this hit me during a week when my free time outside of work was already VERY limited. And I ended up having to spend a number of HOURS each of the past few evenings getting this situation fixed.

To prevent this from happening again, for the time being, I have disabled all new registrations on the board. Unfortunately, given the hundreds of new registrations and spam messages going into the moderation queue on a daily basis, disabling new registrations is the ONLY quick fix I have for preventing the database from going over quota again and thus resulting in the Driver Errors coming back.

Existing members CAN continue posting just as they always have. This only impacts people who are not currently registered.

Obviously, it would not be possible for this board to remain viable if it is not open to new members. So this is only a VERY temporary expedient. Within the next few days, I hope to get some time to implement a new method for new users who wish to participate here to become members of the Message Board. Unfortunately, I have already spent several hours this evening just trying to get the board fixed - so it is not possible for me to implement it this evening. If you are wishing to sign up and become a new member, please check back in a few days and, hopefully, I will have something in place by then.

Sorry for any frustration or inconvenience anyone might have experienced over the past week. Spammers are the scum of the earth. But we already knew that to begin with.


UPDATE

I appears that several recent legitimate postings ended up being deleted. For this reason, you may come across some recent topics that do not have any postings in them. This is a result of my having to delete postings directly through the mySQL database. What I will do when I get a chance to do so is go in and delete the topics that do not have postings in them. I see that postings by several long time and valued members were impacted - and for that I apologize.

Again - spammers are the scum of the earth.
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bob
post Jun 4 2011, 08:17 PM
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Good that we are " Back In The Saddle Again" Thanks Dismuke for taking care of the problem.

rolleyes.gif Bob


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Gart
post Jun 4 2011, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE (bob @ Jun 4 2011, 02:17 PM) *
Good that we are " Back In The Saddle Again" Thanks Dismuke for taking care of the problem.

rolleyes.gif Bob



Agree Bob with a tip of the stetson to Gene Autry! Do you see where James Arness just died. He was great and he scared my pants off as "The Thing."

Gart
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bob
post Jun 5 2011, 02:27 AM
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QUOTE (Gart @ Jun 4 2011, 02:14 PM) *
Agree Bob with a tip of the stetson to Gene Autry! Do you see where James Arness just died. He was great and he scared my pants off as "The Thing."

Gart


Yes . It was on the news. Used to watch Gunsmoke all the time. Kitty (Amanda Blake ) lived in my hometown Phoenix.


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