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Robowars Emails Not Working?
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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Location: Sydney, NSW


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I got two notifications for one thread yesterday the other posts didn't generate emails.
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Post Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:08 am 
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miles&Jules
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yep a bit hit and mis Sad
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Post Sat Jun 20, 2015 10:09 am 
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Spockie-Tech
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Joined: 31 May 2004
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Location: Melbourne, Australia


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Im thinking the problem might actually be with the AussieHQ/Uber mail servers now rather than the RoboWars phpBB software, since the forum software doesnt change, but the emails are intermittent, working sometimes and not others.

AussieHQ (Originally HostingShop, Now Uber) used to be a really top-notch host with helpful local techs for many years, which is why I have used them, but they recently (late last year) tried to "over-expand" a bit, took on far more business than their servers could handle, which resulted in overworked servers *and unhappy tech's, and they apparently lost quite a lot of their experienced skilled senior tech staff as a result, leaving the n00bs in charge, moved to Filipino call centers for the L1 tech support (*thats always a bad sign) and things have been a bit wonky for the last 6-8 months. Melb IT went down the same toilet after 10 years of being great too. Dont these management twits ever learn ?

Ive had other clients who have been using them happily for years also start seeing problems starting around december last year. and quite a few have left for other hosts.

However, The RoboWars server *has been relatively trouble free (compared to what other clients have experienced, it seems to depend on which box you are hosted on) and I gave Uber a big serve of "you suck" whinging on the phone (after helping a pissed off client to relocate), the tech I spoke to "unofficially" admitted they know things have been pretty crap recently, but assured me that "senior management has acknowledged their mis-step" and things should get back on track over the next few months. That was about March.

Service has been "ok" since then, but just recently (last few weeks) Ive been seeing a fair bit of email go missing unexplainedly to some of my other domains that are on the same server. So, perhaps the notification problem is Uber mail server related rather than the forum as such, since it was working for many years without issue.

A few weeks ago, they suspended the service at 6am on a saturday (or was it sunday ?) morning (due to an out of date credit card on the auto-rebill, which *had been updated for the *other things on the same account, like domain registration and so on, but somehow didnt get applied to the hosting renewal.. (their error). So I had to call them and ask them why the hell didnt they suspend the service at some *sensible time when the accounts dept might be open and getting it back online might be easier for them (and me). to which their answer was "Sorry, we dont know why they are switched off at that time"

So, Ive just about run out of patience with Uber, it might be time to pull up camp and move.

So.. all that waffle basically means Im looking at moving to another host. "Net Virtue" seems to get consistently good reviews around the local IT crowd, so Im setting up my first client on them this week. If it all goes well with that, Ill look at moving RoboWars across too in a couple of weeks. Anyone have any thoughts or contrary opinions I should know about them ?

Hopefully I can do a Cpanel copy from one host to another, since resetting up from scratch is a *Big job with sub domains, emails, forwarders, sql databases, phpBB customisations, FTP sub accounts and who knows what else that has accumulated over the last 10+ years.

So, to all you guys, "We apologize for the inconvenience" and are likely to resume normal service pretty soon. If anyone has any more data, thoughts, let me know.
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Post Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:38 pm 
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marto
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Joined: 08 Jul 2004
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Emails seem to have righted themselves?

Your doing Brett?
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Post Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:16 am 
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Spockie-Tech
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Joined: 31 May 2004
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Location: Melbourne, Australia


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Nope.

Probably Uber sorted out their Mail server (for now). Like I said, I dont think its a Robowars.org server specific fault. I was having mail issues with other Uber-hosted domains as well.. Are topic notifications working for everyone else again ?

Ive got a new client hosting setup over on NetVirtue now, all good so far. Id like to give it a month or two rather than leap before looking, but I havent heard a bad thing about NV yet.

The yearly RoboWars hosting just renewed a month or two ago, so if I do move, Ill have to agitate for a refund or something, or just eat the changeover cost, NV dont seem expensive.
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Post Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:11 am 
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timnew



Joined: 19 Jun 2015
Posts: 48


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Might chime in with i keep getting locked out.

If for any reason i forget my password or after a long time of not logging in even tho im sure my password is right i reset my password but the links on the email to activate my account never work so i'm still locked out. the only way back in is create a new account.

Post Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:59 am 
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marto
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This hasn't worked for ages. I have reset a few accounts manually but I haven't been able to work out why it doesnt work.
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Post Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:54 am 
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timnew



Joined: 19 Jun 2015
Posts: 48


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Im even sure im getting my password right but after not being on for a long time I put the details in and get "invalid account" which made me think for a while the whole account was gone and not just that i was getting the password wrong so i still dont know if its me or the system as it gives that message when you do get the details wrong so it throws me.

Post Mon Jul 13, 2015 3:16 pm 
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marto
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And their gone again....
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Post Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:16 pm 
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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This time I noticed that they failed gradually; I still got a few notifications over the weekend but less than 50%.
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Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:24 am 
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Spockie-Tech
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OK, Seems like Uber probably aren't getting their systems together like I hoped they might. I spoke with another client still using them the other day and hes annoyed that it *still takes ages to get anyone on the phone.

I haven't had reason to deal with them in the last month or so, so I dont have a personal feeling for whether they are improving or not. I will try to contact some of their L2 Tech support guys on this forum->email issue and see if I get any progress in getting in touch with someone with a brain, or get tossed into the Malaysian call center support hell or not.

The sign up process for another client and initial impressions of NetVirtue as an alternative host have been good so far, so Im prepared to move the RoboWars server over there to see if that solves the email issue thats been dragging on here.

The hopefully-easy way to do it will be a cpanel-copy, which *should preserve all the current software, settings, databases and so on, with minimal downtime.

But there will probably still be some downtime, as there are gigabytes of data to copy from one host to the other, and the site will need to be disabled prior to starting the copy (cant be updating data in transit), and when the copy is finished, Updates to the name servers etc propogate.

Im guessing that this could take between 12-48 hours to do the copy and DNS change.. so the site could be unavailable for a day or two. *assuming all goes well.

*If there are any problems (and there could be, given that this servers software is pretty old now), there *might be multiple days of downtime, and may even have to revert to the original server and work on a plan B if there is too wide a version discrepancy between Cpanels or something.

There is also the *slim possibility of investigating upgrading the forum software to the latest phpBB, or even migrating to another package like simple-machines,

*IF the simple cpanel copy doesnt work, and a reinitialize of the site is required, that would probably be the time to consider this. Im not keen on the idea, since it will probably require a *lot of hours of my time to port all the databases across, and there could be all sorts of issues pop up to do with links to the wiki, photos and so on.

Also, the anti-bot/spam customizations Ive made to this version of phpBB would be lost, and I dont know how good the default installs of the later versions are at keeping spammers out. Since the newer versions are the ones they try hardest to attack, there might be a period of the moderators having to delete bot-created accounts while we lock it down.. We still have manual account activation enabled here dont we ?

Anyway, the point of all that waffle is.. Does anyone think its *worth trying to upgrade the Forum software to a later version ? And before you go "Hell yeah" (since its my time, not yours that is needed Wink ), keep in mind, what new features are we likely to gain that are *Really useful ?

An integrated photo album, with auto-resize *maybe. (although I dont want to pay for the disk space to host all your 10megapixel photos, so Id probably have a fairly low resolution limit on it), and possibly better link-embedding (youtube and offsite photos) are about the only things that *I think could be better than what we have.

Other than that, I cant think of much, and I don't think its worth the hassle of a whole new package just to gain that, but I'll ask you guys what you think, if you know of any must-have features you've seen on other forums ?

I *really *really hope the simple Cpanel copy works, and I can just leave things the way they are.. If so, I could probably get a move underway in the next 2 or 3 weeks (assuming Uber are still useless and cant help me fix this email issue).

If it happens, When do you guys think would be a good idea for potential downtime to be risked ? What events and other things are occuring that would be a bad time for the site to be down for a couple of days ?
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Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 1:06 pm 
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marto
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It would be nice but my indications from initial research was upgrading or migrating from PhpBBv2 was not going to be smooth.

Also we do have admin account activation. However there have been issues with the wiki not loading and also I often don't get new account notification emails. So the process is usually notice new name on bottom of forum, login, manually turn on activation, send email from my personal account so they actually know its been activated.
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Post Mon Jul 27, 2015 2:50 pm 
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marto
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I got an activation email the other day, which never works, maybe its fixed.
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Post Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:15 pm 
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marto
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Once again I am missing activation emails. Sad
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Post Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:31 am 
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Nick
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Joined: 16 Jun 2004
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I got one random thread update message yesterday, first this week - it seems to be getting worse.
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Post Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:12 pm 
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