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Off the wall / low-priority question

t0rNaD0ez

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Is it possible to change the forum color/skin with this interface? The last time I recall that being a thing people liked to do, was in phpBB, but that's been four-score and seven years ago lol.

Edit: I see the "Style Chooser" at the bottom now.... The main thing I was looking for was the return of mixed-case as opposed to upper, for some elements. It's more peaceful to look at, imo.
 
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TH2002

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Recently switched to use the TalkWeather 2019 style - the TW2021 layout is fine overall but I was tired of accidentally hitting the light/dark toggle button when aiming for the message and notification icons, plus it runs a bit faster on some of my lower-end hardware. TalkWeather was also still using the 2019 layout when I first joined so there's a bit of nostalgia I suppose ;)

Overall it is super nice to give users the option to choose which layout they want to use. I wish all sites were run by admins/moderators that actually care about and listen to their users...
 

WesL

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Is it possible to change the forum color/skin with this interface? The last time I recall that being a thing people liked to do, was in phpBB, but that's been four-score and seven years ago lol.

Edit: I see the "Style Chooser" at the bottom now.... The main thing I was looking for was the return of mixed-case as opposed to upper, for some elements. It's more peaceful to look at, imo.
Totally understand. How does the 2019 work for you?
 

TH2002

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Totally understand. How does the 2019 work for you?
Wasn't sure if you were talking to him or quoted the wrong post, but I have no complaints (other than that the 2019 layout doesn't show user reaction scores, but that's nothing serious, I just tend to pick up on little details like that). Works just fine!

Cool that it even has the TW Classic option - although, of course, that predates my time on the site by quite a bit. Curious to hear the story about what happened to the "old forum"?
 

WesL

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Wasn't sure if you were talking to him or quoted the wrong post, but I have no complaints (other than that the 2019 layout doesn't show user reaction scores, but that's nothing serious, I just tend to pick up on little details like that). Works just fine!

Cool that it even has the TW Classic option - although, of course, that predates my time on the site by quite a bit. Curious to hear the story about what happened to the "old forum"?
Ooh I should be able to fix that missing reaction score. Let me take a look this weekend.

As for the history... well, I would more than likely need some help to tell the whole story but I can pick up my part.

I think it was in 2017 when the old site had a major crash. It was hosted by a member who experienced a critical hard drive failure. The site went down for several weeks. After a while, I reached out to the admin at the time and told him that, at the very least, I could get the site running again in the AWS cloud, and we would focus on the old content later. He made a counteroffer and offered to hand the site over, which I was beyond honored. So we got the site up and running; to my understanding, the older content is sadly lost and not recoverable. However, thanks to one of our members, we restored the 4/27 thread, which took a huge effort. Now that we have some other scrapings and archive.org content, we might be able to rebuild the other major threads as an archive. The introduction of @Bender a part of that effort, as I'm working on a plug-in that will help scrap that data and allow Bender to post it in sequence. Stand by on that :)

@Mike S do you have any additional details?
 

t0rNaD0ez

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@WesL I can add some perspective, but this is just from my view, and there will need to be more from others, as my memory is spotty. Brain surgery will do that to you.

I have had various other issues and haven't been around extremely active since the very early days (This domain and interface was the brainchild of former ABC 33/40 meteorologist John Oldshue aka @oldshue.) @oldshue was User #1 in the old phpBB forum. In the email conversation we had as he was starting this whole thing up, he had offered to allow me to moderate. I turned him down, knowing full well that he was going to need someone with more experience, as I was just a teenager or younger at the time. He knew this and while I was thankful he asked, I have no clue why he would ask a kid to handle such a momentous task. I guess he figured I would think it was fun, and frankly I sometimes wondered what had happened if I had agreed to it. (Sadly, I think TW wouldn't be what it has become, because Jack Watkins and others did so much better. I was sorry to see that Jack had passed.) I had watched John since he was at WDBB (which now ironically retransmits 33/40...that's so funny, because 17 and 33 were competitors). I came to know John vaguely through email because family told me that he used to live across the street, when we were at Woodridge in Tuscaloosa. John's old house eventually sold to the United Methodist Church, and there was a lead pastor from First UMC, who lived there for a time. Being the weather geek kid I was, I thought this whole thing was incredible. There was a story he told about something before I was born, which I found humorous at the time. He had one of those "kids do dumb things" moments involving a family member's car. Note that I lived *downhill* from him, and that's all I'm gonna say. Anyway, the whole thing started a conversation and eventually led into, John wanted to start a forum for the weather geeks. I don't think it had a name for the first while, and I don't remember when that actually started. whois said the domain was created in 2000, so a couple years later. The forum was linked to on 33/40's weather page and talked about rarely on the air, so it got major traction. On the old board, which I understand stuck around in various iterations until the crash of 2017, I was formerly user #12 if memory serves me. The low number was cool, but that won't matter anymore. Due to my life circumstances among other things, I didn't get along with some users earlier on, and I eventually would resort to coming and going on rare occasion. This year, I happened to be thinking about the weather season rolling in, and I was looking around to see how things were going. Hope folks are doing well. -Phil
 

TH2002

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Ooh I should be able to fix that missing reaction score. Let me take a look this weekend.

As for the history... well, I would more than likely need some help to tell the whole story but I can pick up my part.

I think it was in 2017 when the old site had a major crash. It was hosted by a member who experienced a critical hard drive failure. The site went down for several weeks. After a while, I reached out to the admin at the time and told him that, at the very least, I could get the site running again in the AWS cloud, and we would focus on the old content later. He made a counteroffer and offered to hand the site over, which I was beyond honored. So we got the site up and running; to my understanding, the older content is sadly lost and not recoverable. However, thanks to one of our members, we restored the 4/27 thread, which took a huge effort. Now that we have some other scrapings and archive.org content, we might be able to rebuild the other major threads as an archive. The introduction of @Bender a part of that effort, as I'm working on a plug-in that will help scrap that data and allow Bender to post it in sequence. Stand by on that :)

@Mike S do you have any additional details?
Ouch... well, thanks for the history lesson! I myself generally prefer self hosting vs. cloud hosting, but self hosting does have its own risks - namely the aforementioned hard drive failure, and it's also only as reliable as your internet connection.

About that old hard drive - I'm sure it was thrown in the trash years ago, but if improper movement of the actuator arm was the culprit you'd be surprised how easy it is to fix w/ the right torx bit. Open the drive up, take off the magnet and then put it back in its original position (be careful to not touch the platters themselves, but that's common sense lol). You may choose to spray the platters w/ some compressed air afterwards as a precautionary measure, but most HDD's made since the mid 90's or so have a filter that will collect any particles that managed to settle in the drive.

In all fairness whoever that member was probably didn't know that, nor is it a guaranteed fix in any case, but there's a good chance it would have at least gotten the drive working for long enough to recover the data from it. I've managed to save three old HDD's via this method.
 

WesL

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Ouch... well, thanks for the history lesson! I myself generally prefer self hosting vs. cloud hosting, but self hosting does have its own risks - namely the aforementioned hard drive failure, and it's also only as reliable as your internet connection.

About that old hard drive - I'm sure it was thrown in the trash years ago, but if improper movement of the actuator arm was the culprit you'd be surprised how easy it is to fix w/ the right torx bit. Open the drive up, take off the magnet and then put it back in its original position (be careful to not touch the platters themselves, but that's common sense lol). You may choose to spray the platters w/ some compressed air afterwards as a precautionary measure, but most HDD's made since the mid 90's or so have a filter that will collect any particles that managed to settle in the drive.

In all fairness whoever that member was probably didn't know that, nor is it a guaranteed fix in any case, but there's a good chance it would have at least gotten the drive working for long enough to recover the data from it. I've managed to save three old HDD's via this method.
That is something I do regret. I wish I had got the actual hard drive. A lot of members and over 1,000,000 messages were lost.
 

Mike S

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Ooh I should be able to fix that missing reaction score. Let me take a look this weekend.

As for the history... well, I would more than likely need some help to tell the whole story but I can pick up my part.

I think it was in 2017 when the old site had a major crash. It was hosted by a member who experienced a critical hard drive failure. The site went down for several weeks. After a while, I reached out to the admin at the time and told him that, at the very least, I could get the site running again in the AWS cloud, and we would focus on the old content later. He made a counteroffer and offered to hand the site over, which I was beyond honored. So we got the site up and running; to my understanding, the older content is sadly lost and not recoverable. However, thanks to one of our members, we restored the 4/27 thread, which took a huge effort. Now that we have some other scrapings and archive.org content, we might be able to rebuild the other major threads as an archive. The introduction of @Bender a part of that effort, as I'm working on a plug-in that will help scrap that data and allow Bender to post it in sequence. Stand by on that :)

@Mike S do you have any additional details?

That was pretty much it in a nutshell.

As for salvaging the old hard drives, the guy who was hosting pretty much ghosted Jack. He was pretty sharp and I'm sure he could have salvaged the data but for some reason he just disappeared. I was never completely comfortable with the arrangement for various reasons but it was the best and probably only option at the time to keep the site alive after previous hiccups. We ran pretty smoothly when the servers were located in Albertville and easily accessed in person, but after issues related to the 2010 EF3 that went through Albertville the servers were moved to Arizona(I think). I can only imagine the previous host didn't want to deal with having them shipped back to try and salvage any data.

I am probably still bitter because they don't come better than Jack Watkins and did not deserve to be left hung out to dry the way he was. That's when he decided to hand it over. I was offered but I knew I wasn't the right person by any stretch, and fortunately he found that right person.

There is so much that goes into keeping this place up and running and @WesL should be commended for what he's done to keep this place alive.
 

Bender

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Ooh I should be able to fix that missing reaction score. Let me take a look this weekend.

As for the history... well, I would more than likely need some help to tell the whole story but I can pick up my part.

I think it was in 2017 when the old site had a major crash. It was hosted by a member who experienced a critical hard drive failure. The site went down for several weeks. After a while, I reached out to the admin at the time and told him that, at the very least, I could get the site running again in the AWS cloud, and we would focus on the old content later. He made a counteroffer and offered to hand the site over, which I was beyond honored. So we got the site up and running; to my understanding, the older content is sadly lost and not recoverable. However, thanks to one of our members, we restored the 4/27 thread, which took a huge effort. Now that we have some other scrapings and archive.org content, we might be able to rebuild the other major threads as an archive. The introduction of @Bender a part of that effort, as I'm working on a plug-in that will help scrap that data and allow Bender to post it in sequence. Stand by on that :)

@Mike S do you have any additional details?

That was pretty much it in a nutshell.

As for salvaging the old hard drives, the guy who was hosting pretty much ghosted Jack. He was pretty sharp and I'm sure he could have salvaged the data but for some reason he just disappeared. I was never completely comfortable with the arrangement for various reasons but it was the best and probably only option at the time to keep the site alive after previous hiccups. We ran pretty smoothly when the servers were located in Albertville and easily accessed in person, but after issues related to the 2010 EF3 that went through Albertville the servers were moved to Arizona(I think). I can only imagine the previous host didn't want to deal with having them shipped back to try and salvage any data.

I am probably still bitter because they don't come better than Jack Watkins and did not deserve to be left hung out to dry the way he was. That's when he decided to hand it over. I was offered but I knew I wasn't the right person by any stretch, and fortunately he found that right person.

There is so much that goes into keeping this place up and running and @WesL should be commended for what he's done to keep this place alive.
Thanks for the additional details, Mike. It's always interesting to hear the history of online communities and the challenges they face. And I agree, WesL should definitely be commended for his efforts in keeping TalkWeather up and running.
 

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Wow... you have a better memory of my memories that I do :) good stuff... 98 Woodridge ... What a great place to grow up... Senator Shelby once lived there, Walt Densmore who played on the NC state national championship team for Jim Valvano lived there, a federal judge lived near us, Joe Duckworth who married the current UA gymnastics coach lived there, there was even a house that had a pet monkey. Not too shaby for a neighborhood :) Hope all is well for you these days Phil... thanks for the memories... JO


@WesL I can add some perspective, but this is just from my view, and there will need to be more from others, as my memory is spotty. Brain surgery will do that to you.

I have had various other issues and haven't been around extremely active since the very early days (This domain and interface was the brainchild of former ABC 33/40 meteorologist John Oldshue aka @oldshue.) @oldshue was User #1 in the old phpBB forum. In the email conversation we had as he was starting this whole thing up, he had offered to allow me to moderate. I turned him down, knowing full well that he was going to need someone with more experience, as I was just a teenager or younger at the time. He knew this and while I was thankful he asked, I have no clue why he would ask a kid to handle such a momentous task. I guess he figured I would think it was fun, and frankly I sometimes wondered what had happened if I had agreed to it. (Sadly, I think TW wouldn't be what it has become, because Jack Watkins and others did so much better. I was sorry to see that Jack had passed.) I had watched John since he was at WDBB (which now ironically retransmits 33/40...that's so funny, because 17 and 33 were competitors). I came to know John vaguely through email because family told me that he used to live across the street, when we were at Woodridge in Tuscaloosa. John's old house eventually sold to the United Methodist Church, and there was a lead pastor from First UMC, who lived there for a time. Being the weather geek kid I was, I thought this whole thing was incredible. There was a story he told about something before I was born, which I found humorous at the time. He had one of those "kids do dumb things" moments involving a family member's car. Note that I lived *downhill* from him, and that's all I'm gonna say. Anyway, the whole thing started a conversation and eventually led into, John wanted to start a forum for the weather geeks. I don't think it had a name for the first while, and I don't remember when that actually started. whois said the domain was created in 2000, so a couple years later. The forum was linked to on 33/40's weather page and talked about rarely on the air, so it got major traction. On the old board, which I understand stuck around in various iterations until the crash of 2017, I was formerly user #12 if memory serves me. The low number was cool, but that won't matter anymore. Due to my life circumstances among other things, I didn't get along with some users earlier on, and I eventually would resort to coming and going on rare occasion. This year, I happened to be thinking about the weather season rolling in, and I was looking around to see how things were going. Hope folks are doing well. -Phil
 
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