The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

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aine
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The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

This will be a long-ass post but skip reading it at your own peril!
:wota: :wota: :wota:
First of all, welcome back to MM-BBS, whether you've been keeping a finger on the (undetectable) pulse of the downtime and recovery efforts, or just stumbled upon here while clicking through your old bookmarks. It's good to have you back and be able to ban you again!

Secondly, I'm sure you have a million of questions now and you deserve answers to them so I'll loosely organise it in an FAQ form:

Q: WHAT IN THE EVERLOVING FUCK EVEN HAPPENED?
A: Short story is the BBS got pwnd. As far as I could gather not by a malicious targeted attack but by a bot exploiting a vulnerability in our old board software (Invision Power Board). Due to a number of technical and (for a lack of better word) legal reasons it was not practical to patch and fix the old board so we had to ditch it and covert to a new platform (phpBB).
The long story is long and has started before some of the members were born, but this is the gist of it: Many years ago the good folks of the BBS all chipped in some money for the board, with primary goal of buying a legit licence for Invision software which the BBS was running on. They picked the "perpetual/lifetime licence" which IIRC came with some limitations in terms of technical support, but was exactly what it was called, a lifetime licence that would not need to be renewed (ie. paid for again). And it was good for many years, the BBS prospered, the software kept getting regular updates including major version upgrades. Until one day Invision said that well your lifetime licence is no longer lifetime because we said so and what are you going to do about it - thinking that would coerce us into buying essentially a subscription plan. Which is about the shittiest thing a company with any reputation can do (hi, Adobe).
Anyway, the BBS coasted on its then current version of IPB, it kept receiving some more minor updates but eventually those dried up as that version reached EOL. And then it continued coasting like that for another couple of years until - you guessed it - February last year when it got hit with one of the unpatched vulnerabilities and I had to pull the plug. Once again, I don't believe this was an attack targeted at the BBS, but rather someone's automated exploit looking for vulnerable sites. Which sucked, but tbh was also not entirely surprising since running such an old version of software was practically asking for it. But what's done is done.
And this is where phpBB comes in, which, if you've been on the internets for a while, you might have noticed is IPB's main competitor in terms of forum platforms. And this is what you're looking at right now and honestly I think it is pretty slick. And after some touches to make it feel more like the old BBS I'm already used to it. And best of all it's GPL-licenced and free as in freedom so no corporate beancounter will be able to pull the same shit on us now. tl;dr Invision can go choke on a cock.

Q: Why did it have to take a better part of entire year to fix?
A: It didn't have to, but it did. This one is tough to answer, but it was everything between the technical complexity of board conversion, the lack of time, having a two year old kid, having the busiest time at work that I ever had, being pedantically insistent on doing it right instead of setting up a half-assed temporary board, and so on. Those are all real reasons, but at the same time they're a bunch of excuses and you have every right to be pissed off and disappointed. Especially with the lack of regular updates and communication to keep you in the loop - this is on me and I am sorry for that.
To recognize that, each one of you is granted 3 (three) free virtual "Bitch at aine for the BBS downtime" cards which you can play at any time for any reason at your discretion. Once played, I will make a pensive face, respectfully ponder and read your complaint out loud in my head, and you will feel better after getting things off your chest. (Bitching at me for the BBS downtime after you have exhausted your alloted cards will result in administrative action. ;/)

Q: If phpBB is so good, why didn't we switch to it years ago?
A: Also tough to answer without a laundry list of contributing factors, but "don't fix what ain't broken" would be a major one. Plus a good deal of sunken cost fallacy and unwillingness to change - the BBS ran on IPB since its inception and IPB's quirks and idiosyncracies shaped how the BBS felt a lot. Also - years ago phpBB was not so good at all, in fact it was pretty obnoxious and a poor man's choice next to the flagship IPB. I was happy to find out, when forced to research and test many different board software options, that it made a ton of progress and was now a viable and in fact superior product free of corporate bullshit and bloat.

Q: Any downsides of phpBB, and are we losing anything due to the switch?
A: It's not what we've been used to for two decades, but I think you'll be able to get over it really quick and get used to and appreciate the new features and quirks.
  • Topic subtitles are gone because they have no equivalent feature. It's a shame, but even in our last IPB version they were already hacked back in as Invision removed them in one of the major (or minor?) updates. If I find a ready-made extension that can do that then I'll consider adding them back in.
  • Shoutbox is also gone for now, but I'm determined to bring it back - there are a few solution available, just need to do more testing with them.
  • No rich text/WYSIWYG post editor - I'm looking into this too, but phpBB team seems to have an attitude about it (one that I personally share to some extent, though I know many of you don't), so don't hold your breath.
  • No separate display names - your login username is how you're seen now! A slight bummer but not critical in the grand scheme. Note - during conversion process the display names were dropped so I hope you remember your user name or registered email address to login. Plus there will be some confusion about who some people are at first. We'll figure it out, and you can change your usernames too (with some limitations).
  • This one mostly affects just me, but phpBB's permissions and user roles system is some kind of a deranged, ass-backwards five-dimensional nightmare that makes my brain hurt. I think I finally got it right, but if you think there is something you should (or shouldn't!) be able to see or do, let me know.
  • I don't remember anything else really major, though of course there are differences.
Q: Any cool new things we're getting instead?
A: Sure do! Just a few off the top of my head:
  • Finally a responsive, modern mobile theme that does not suck! In fact it's not even a separate skin as it was in IPB, but the main theme (or style as they call it in phpBB) smoothly adapts to your screen/window width and device type.
  • Improved multi-quote and selective quote feature.
  • Media embedding from a number of popular sites (Bandcamp, BitChute, Dailymotion, Pastebin, SoundCloud, Steam, Twitter, Vimeo). Subject to feedback and complaints of poor performance or abuse.
  • Post drafts feature that does not suck.
  • A shiny new forum for alt idols, because that's what's been rocking yours truly's boat for a while now. I hope to see you fill it up with a lot of content as you discover the new frontiers (I might move some threads from Music Chat there as I see fit too).
  • Japanese UI option so you can embrace your inner weeb even more.
  • Security! We're running the latest version of board software using a much newer version of PHP and with full HTTPS support so we're already in an infinitely better position than before. Plus much stricter password requirements - I'm going to be an asshole about this since it also caused us some pain in the past. Your web browser should have a built-in password manager so use that, or rub the two brain cells together and figure out how to set up KeePass(DX) and synchronize it between your devices.
Q: Board conversion bugs and to-dos:
A:
  • Lots of messy unconverted HTML leftovers from IPB in posts (mainly broken post quotes) and signatures (formatting etc.). By all means fix your signatures and big sticky posts (sorry PQ!), but don't worry about other stuff. Berry is even more of a data wizard now than she was before so we'll try to fix it for you wholesale over time.
  • Old private message threads got broken up into separate messages. Deal with it!
  • Some broken smilies, will be ironed out.
  • Some mixed up fields in user profiles (AIM handles in Location field, maybe others), we'll fix that later.
  • Spoiler tags - will bring the two styles (black hover-over bar and expandable box) back sooner than later.
  • Clean up and/or add more custom bbcode as needed.
  • Prune dead-weight 0-post accounts.
  • Not a bug: remember that time when the BBS' database got messed up and board had to be restarted from scratch (I want to say in 2006 or so, before my time as an admin)? Many users claimed their old post counts from before the reset for that internet cred and they were manually adjusted. This does not fly with phpBB and the first thing it did after recounting and reindexing the posts after conversion was to fix everyone's real post counts in this database. So some of you may not be affected, but some of you may be short up to a few thousand posts. If I ever get that old database back from someone I'll look into merging it back with the current one again, but that's a very long shot.
  • We're using the default phpBB theme/style/skin right now, but I'll be customizing it with more cosmetic MM-BBS touches (forum icons, more banners and so on). And in the future open it to your submissions too because I know many of you still love to theme stuff.
  • Some other minor things that I don't remember right now.
So there you have it. It's good to be back! It's a little different but it's still the same BBS and we're still doing the internet like it's 1999 so in case you forgot where you were, The Rules are still here and still apply and will be enforced! :pirate:

I may shoot a mass email to all registered users later, but for now please go ahead and tell other BBSers you know on your socialist media (I know you guys are much more into that than me) that we're back in business. Hell, even send some H!O folks this way, we need new blood and it's been a while since we had any entertainment.

Last but not least, very special thanks to those who reached out and kept bugging me about the status and progress of what was going on with the BBS. Even if I took forever to reply (or didn't at all!) it really meant a world to me and kept me going. You'll be the last to get the banhammer! :wub:

Enjoy your stay!

This post's motto: you can't say 約束 without saying くそ. ;/
Last edited by aine on Sat Jan 08, 2022 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: One down, many to go
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WonderBuono
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by WonderBuono »

it’s good to be back!
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JPope
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by JPope »

Fucking FINALLY.

I kid, I kid. It's nice to be back.

Also, I'm loving the old-school header image.
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aine
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

JPope wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:39 pm Also, I'm loving the old-school header image.
Hah, wasn't it you who made it in the first place?
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by DonJuan »

:bowdown:
Thank goodness. Finally a forum that's worth my time.
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by JPope »

aine wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:45 pm
JPope wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 5:39 pm Also, I'm loving the old-school header image.
Hah, wasn't it you who made it in the first place?
No, that masterpiece is someone else's work.
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Solarblade
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by Solarblade »

Oh man, how I missed this place :3
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by arcobaleno »

I'm so glad to be back!!! I've missed the BBS sorely.

Thank you for all of your hard work, aine! :danceman:
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aine
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

Spoiler tags are fixed now.
Spoiler: [+]
For real!
JPope wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:46 pm No, that masterpiece is someone else's work.
I'll need to look up who did it then, it deserves proper credit.
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by momoirosaya »

Omg it’s back!! I habitually checked this website like almost everyday even when it was down haha
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aine
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

aine wrote: Sat Jan 08, 2022 5:51 pm
JPope wrote: Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:46 pm No, that masterpiece is someone else's work.
I'll need to look up who did it then, it deserves proper credit.
After some digging I have it on good authority that we owe Geof for this one. Image links in that thread were dead but I followed the breadcrumbs and found these:
Hello_Project-121368.jpg
1o9HB4j.jpg
God damn I miss the 2010 MM like you wouldn't believe (and the 2010 internet, too). Still with the 6th Gen in their prime, but no longer tainted with the :unko: :unko: :unko: :unko: :unko: :unko: :unko:-th.

Also all the content in that thread lost to people closing down their personal sites or image hosts going out of business or purging old files is the reason why I'm being so OCD-ish about restoring and preserving the BBS. We can't have this record of the better days just disappear. :dammit:
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by DonJuan »

I can't even imagine MM doing another Aloha tour, let alone having photos taken from behind :ph34r:
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by MejraThea »

momoirosaya wrote: Sun Jan 09, 2022 7:37 pm Omg it’s back!! I habitually checked this website like almost everyday even when it was down haha
I did, too, haha!

Also, hello all! I was busy over the weekend so it took me a while to post... but I'm so glad our home is back! :wub:

Now who all are we missing that we need to herald on over here?
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by DonJuan »

I'm definitely missing Molly, TicTacAnyone, Madara and yuzuriha, but I don't know where we could find them. Zange seems to be on the discord server, though, and I *think* I have seen TicTac somewhere on another forum.
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by MejraThea »

I messaged TicTac, Aqua, and Yuzu! And Buononon but she already knew haha.
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by Trunks_01 »

As a long time lurker (10+ years) I created an account to tell you Welcome back! Thanks for having put all the time needed to make so (as a mom of 2, I understand)
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aine
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

I started cleaning up and organizing smilies but holy hell it's tedious. :popper: So this will be on a backburner for now since there are more important things to do. There is a bunch of duplicates and those will get the cut, but I'll figure out how to alias them to the new/remaining ones so your precious posts don't get broken again. =3=
DonJuan wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 11:20 am I'm definitely missing Molly, TicTacAnyone, Madara and yuzuriha, but I don't know where we could find them. Zange seems to be on the discord server, though, and I *think* I have seen TicTac somewhere on another forum.
MejraThea wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 12:38 pm I messaged TicTac, Aqua, and Yuzu! And Buononon but she already knew haha.
Thanks for helping to spread the word! Like I said I will eventually send a mass email to everyone but I want to sort out some of the remaining issues first. Interesting to see how it spreads from the handful of people we have in Discord though.
Trunks_01 wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 2:18 pm As a long time lurker (10+ years) I created an account to tell you Welcome back! Thanks for having put all the time needed to make so (as a mom of 2, I understand)
Thanks and welcome, and I better not see you lurk again! (read: get to posting) :dammit:
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by TicTacAnyone »

Yes, thank you Thea for giving me a heads up that the forum is back up!

I think I was a bit MIA when the bbs died, so I thought I missed some drama that made Aine zap the forum, lol. We had some instances like that on an anime forum I was part of like a decade ago. In my brain, I thought he was so mad about Sayuki getting the boot that the torched the forum, lol!!! Glad to see that’s not the case.

I’ve definitely had some H!P stuff I wanted to discuss, and I don’t like other forums or discord so I was majorly missing out on bitching with others on here.

Will take some time getting used to the new format on mobile, but I think it looks good and functions well so far. No complaints here.
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by Arichii »

Really happy to see mm-bbs back up and running! I've been an off/on lurker for a while even after I stopped following Hello project as much, I still visited the site everyday out of habit! Then when it had it's downtime I realized how much I missed this forum, hopefully this time around I'll stop being a lurker haha, again welcome back!
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

TicTacAnyone wrote: Mon Jan 10, 2022 7:14 pm I thought I missed some drama that made Aine zap the forum, lol. We had some instances like that on an anime forum I was part of like a decade ago. In my brain, I thought he was so mad about Sayuki getting the boot that the torched the forum, lol!!!
Sayu-who? :lmfao:
Don't worry though, I wouldn't have pulled something like that. Not after I didn't when Sayumi graduated. =3= This place is too valuable to go, both as a historical record and as one of the last sane "social" hangouts on the internet.
Arichii wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:57 am hopefully this time around I'll stop being a lurker
You damn better, you're a mod you know :cop:
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by Arichii »

aine wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:27 pm
Arichii wrote: Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:57 am hopefully this time around I'll stop being a lurker
You damn better, you're a mod you know :cop:
Haha thanks for letting me keep mod status during all this time, I'll work to pick up my slack :hahaha:
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by AquaChan »

I'm alive! Thanks to Thea and Aine for the help 😅
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

Good to have you back!

I'm still working on the to-do list; if you haven't seen many changes that's because most of the work is happening on a testing mirror of the BBS that I can break as much as I want. :hawhaw: Right now I have two solid candidates for shoutbox and topic description extensions, but just in case I want to check them inside out before deploying. I rather have a board with less features but without gaping security holes. So hang on.

In the meantime I added a simple but handy dark mode switch since that's all the rage these days, look on the right side under the banner. This should make those lonely nights of refreshing New Posts page over and over again a little easier on your eyes. =3=
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by MejraThea »

aine wrote: Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:50 pm This should make those lonely nights of refreshing New Posts page over and over again a little easier on your eyes. =3=
He's onto us, guys.
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by Zoe »

Woooow, I accidentally clicked here today and lo and behold! Glad everything worked out in the end!
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aine
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

Shoutbox is almost ready to go, now I just need to get around to properly migrating message archives from the old one. Cos you know, starting fresh is for quitters :pirate:

shoutbox.png

Zoe wrote: Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:16 pm Woooow, I accidentally clicked here today and lo and behold! Glad everything worked out in the end!
:weeeh:
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by aine »

I enabled embedding youtube videos with the [media][/media] tag now. I resent putting anything g****e-related on the BBS, but I guess this one was unavoidable. People need to start using other video hosting sites! :hmph:

If you tried embedding any YT videos since the BBS came back you'll need to go to your post, hit Edit and then Submit so the embed link gets reparsed properly (don't need to change anything in the post, just resubmit).
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by koolmon »

I only realized that y'all were back up when ProjectHello started receiving updates. Been a while, but good to see the board back up. Will probably go back to lurking again, but just glad everything got sorted out and the community is still alive after all these years!
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Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by Noa »

Oh hell yeah? I had given up checking for awhile but I’m glad it’s back. I fell out of actually following/listening to
jpop/h!p years ago but I missed everyone here.

- The artist formerly known as ‘Molly’ who changed their name for personal reasons.
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MejraThea
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: The Great BBS Downtime of 2021

Post by MejraThea »

Molly! ^_^ (Or Noa? Preference?)
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