Tech Support

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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby Forum Moderator » Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:19 pm

For those members who are using the default "Pro Silver" user-interface theme, some threads may appear to be duplicated i.e. posted in two different forums. What has actually occurred is that one of those threads is actually a "shadow topic" or "virtual" topic in that it is a place holder only and points to the location where the actual post now resides. The purpose for shadow topics is to allow some time for re-orientation to the topics' new location for anyone who has been following or participating in a particular discussion.

It's a little easier to spot moved topics under the provided alternate "Sub Silver" theme in that their titles are indicated by a "Moved:" tag directly preceding the topic title in addition to a unique icon. The Pro Silver theme does not use the moved tag but does indicate a moved topic by using a unique icon in front of the title. Below are examples from each theme so you can know what to look for. Also, when you hover your mouse pointer over the topic icons a "Moved" tool-tip will appear indicating that the topic has been relocated to a different forum. Shadow (virtual) topics are periodically deleted, usually after a few days or weeks, by forum moderators in order to keep the topic listings from becoming too cluttered.

You may change your default user-interface theme via the User Control Panel's board preferences settings.

pro_silver_moved.jpg

Pro Silver (default)

sub_silver_moved.jpg

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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby redeye » Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:38 am

I've come acroos a problem where, if you haven't logged in and you try to post a comment, it will prompt you to go through the login process - then, once you have finished the post and hit submit or preview, it will ask you to login again and then return you to a blank screen, meaning you have lost what you had typed.

It's not a problem if you ensure you are logged in before attempting to post.

Cheers!
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby bboyer » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:50 am

Grey Cloud wrote:[How come posts look ok in preview but when posted are full of carriage returns?]


Part of the problem is the cut-n-paste thing, from whatever source you use, to the Operating System's built-in clipboard. Whether it's an html source, pdf source, plaint-text source etc. and, of course, how the source document itself has been formatted by the originator. Then, too, the forum software tends to add an interesting glitch here-and-there as far as wysiwyg (what you see is what you get). There are a few clipboard utilities that help in that they can strip out unwanted end-of-line C/R's or double C/R's between paragraphs, for instance, from clipboard captures prior to pasting. I've used Thornsoft's Clipmate for over 10 years and would find it difficult to get along without it since it can also be used as an organizer for holding thousands of clips, snippets, etc organized in whatever hierarchy you choose to set up. It's many features may be overkill for you, however. There are less feature-rich, simpler clipboard utilities, and likely some that are freeware, that a search should turn up.

http://www.thornsoft.com
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby bboyer » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:09 am

redeye wrote:I've come acroos a problem where, if you haven't logged in and you try to post a comment, it will prompt you to go through the login process - then, once you have finished the post and hit submit or preview, it will ask you to login again and then return you to a blank screen, meaning you have lost what you had typed.

It's not a problem if you ensure you are logged in before attempting to post.

Cheers!


I've had something similar happen when waiting too long between composing a post and hitting submit and the software (login) times out or the server goes down. I try to make it a habit now that before I hit the <Submit> button I do a quick <Ctrl><A> (select all) followed by a <Ctrl><c> (copy to clipboard). That way if there's any kind of glitch and I have to re-log in or the site is inaccessible the clipboard contains all that was in the editing window. If it looks like the server may be down a while you can then open notepad and paste the contents of the clipboard to it and save it for later or whatever. Can't count the number of times this quick copy has saved me from losing posts/edits.

For Windows:

1) Place/click the mouse pointer inside the editing window
2) Hold down the Control <Ctrl> key while simultaneously pressing the "A" <A> key. All the text within the editor's window will be highlighted.
3) While all text is highlighted, hold down the Control <Ctrl> key while simultaneously pressing the "C" <C> key and all the highlighted text will be copied to the clipboard. If you should accidentally de-select the highlighted contents simply press <Ctrl><A> again, followed by <Ctrl><C>.
4) If the forum has timed out on you or whatever, once you get signed back on, go back to where you wanted to reply to or originate a post, and when the blank editing window appears, place/click the mouse pointer inside the window and hit <Ctrl><V> to paste the contents from the clipboard to the editor. You're back in business.

Ctrl+A = select all
Ctrl+C = copy
Ctrl+V = paste

For Mac:

I believe it's the same thing except you use whatever Apple's keyboard equivalent for Windows' <Ctrl> key is.
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby bboyer » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:37 am

Is it just occurring locally at my end or is anyone else experience between 30-35 seconds server response time when submitting (or previewing) posts? Extremely annoying so I'd like to know if it's just here or elsewhere as well. Thanks.
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:46 am

arc-us wrote:Is it just occurring locally at my end or is anyone else experience between 30-35 seconds server response time when submitting (or previewing) posts? Extremely annoying so I'd like to know if it's just here or elsewhere as well. Thanks.

It's doing it here in the UK. It does it on a fairly regular basis. I was a bit disappointed that it still does it after the recent move to a new ISP.
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby davesmith_au » Mon Aug 25, 2008 7:53 am

Hmmmm, it's not just me then... but I have to say, I found it no different on the previous host. Most of the time, when submitting or previewing, I have to wait a considerable time, but I have not noticed any real difference (one way or the other) with this host as compared to the last. I have 'purged the cache' in case there was any 'hangover' from the old host to the new, but it doesn't seem to have altered anything.

A few more contributions on this thread may help. If anyone has noticed a difference in this since the recent outage, please let us know.

Cheers, Dave Smith.
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby bboyer » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:08 am

My experience from here is that it is noticeably slower. The old service was intermittent, sometimes little or no delay in posting, other times maybe 10-15 seconds. Subjectively, I think it was more often 2-5 seconds than not; but it would frequently go to 10-15 or so. But I've never seen it this consistently sluggish. Every post so far takes 30-35 seconds. Read time and navigation is fine, very responsive. Write time is definitely off. I would suspect a setting ... somewhere. Don't know if it'd be with the server/ISP itself or with the phpbb software. If the phpbb admin software settings were restored without any change then it would have to be with the ISP service somewhere.
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:22 am

Just a thought from Bryan's last post: It couldn't be the antivirus prog on the new server could it? Taking longer to check a post before allowing it to to be submitted? Maybe going through two checks on two different servers?
The size/length of the post doesn't seem to matter.
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby Grey Cloud » Mon Aug 25, 2008 8:24 am

That last post took 25 secs to go.
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby GaryN » Mon Aug 25, 2008 11:42 am

I had thought it was virus or maybe profanity checking, but (paranoid mode on) I also noticed that my connections to other sites were starting to load, and then there would be a 5 to 10 second delay, and then continue loading. I have scanned for everything I can think of, re-booted computer, modem and router. After a reset, it is OK for a while and then starts again.
Perhaps us EUers are a security threat? And now Michael Goodspeed has brought up 9/11, who knows WHO is watching us??
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby Osmosis » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:33 am

I see the "this account has exceeded cpu blah blah blah" popped up again a few minutes ago. :!:
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby bboyer » Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:45 am

Osmosis wrote:I see the "this account has exceeded cpu blah blah blah" popped up again a few minutes ago. :!:


I just got the same thing.

This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota

Please contact this site's webmaster.

Wait a few minutes and use your browser's "Back" button or click here to try again.

If you are the webmaster, your account may have gotten this error for one or more of the following reasons:

* Your account has used more than its share of the cpu in the past 60 second sliding window.
* Your account has too many concurrent processes running simultanously.
* Your account has consumed too much memory.
* Your site was recently very busy trying to run inefficient scripts.

The solution would be to optimize your applications to use less CPU.
Adding appropriate indeces to your SQL tables can often help reduce CPU.
Using static .html documents instead of painful .php scripts will practically eliminate CPU usage.

http://host22.hostmonster.com/highload. ... CKRCCNYDO9


For whatever reason it appears the host provider has capped CPU usage, blaming it on using "painful" php pages?! What the hell is a "painful" php script? Do they not officially support phpBB3? Other hosts/providers I've seen and used provide, support, and load phpBB3 directly themselves. So what's the deal?
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CPU Issue...

Unread postby davesmith_au » Fri Aug 29, 2008 7:54 pm

Just to allay any fears, I'll post a response to this issue which has been raised privately with me.

Me, privately wrote:... But I think the 'problem' simply 'looks' worse than it is, BECAUSE they actually tell you what's going on. Long before even the first host move, from time to time when trying to access the Thunderbolts site or the forum, I would get the "Internet explorer cannot display this web page" message, and similar if I tried it with Firefox. I would try just a few seconds or a minute or two later, and the site would be 'up' again. I took this to be a glitch 'somewhere between here and there'.

This seems to be the 'problem' with this host, though they redirect to a specific error message instead of the generic "cannot display this webpage" one which most hosts leave you with.

Now I'm not saying this is the complete problem, and that the hosts are not being stingy, but from what I've been told (and I've spoken directly with their tech people) their system is no different to anyone else's essentially, except they tell you WHY you can't get on, and that it will only be a short time before you can.

The other factor affecting all of this is that the forum runs on "PHP", and php whilst in can be very 'dynamic' and helpful if you're doing something where lots of information needs to be stored/available at the drop of a hat (like a busy forum), it IS by it's nature CPU intense. As the forum grows in size, it uses more CPU to 'do' anything. ALL hosts put a limit on CPU usage on shared servers, but most don't actually tell you when you've exceeded the quota. You simply get a generic message and the next time you try it's working again, so you don't realize it's a CPU issue in the first place.

I really don't think we're under any specific kind of attack, though it is possible.

The thing the host recommends with ALL php scripts is 'optimizing' them, but from what I've been able to ascertain so far this is a complicated process which requires a reasonable programming knowledge. I'm hunting through the php-support pages at the moment in my 'spare' time to see if I can pick up any hints, but so far I haven't found much which will help us specifically. We need to find someone who's a wizz with php programming to really overcome this problem, and then we have to trust them enough to let them have a go at fixing it - a pretty tall order it seems.

So, to recap, we're seeing a message which other hosts fail to show us under the exact same circumstances. PHP programs are CPU intensive by their nature, and should be 'optimized' if we knew how to do it. As the forum grows, this will become more of an issue.

I will have another talk with the host's support people about the problem and see if I can be directed to someone helpful somewhere. All in all this host has been far superior than others, in that you can actually talk to real people about problems and get pretty good advice. Now at least we know what the problem is, instead of flying blind as with previous hosts.

I hope this helps you understand the nature of the problem and that it 'appears' worse than it is, only because the host actually tells you what's going on. But I will look into it further and see if there's anything we can do to help it happen less frequently. ...



So if there's any PHP wizzes out there, "put yer hand up" and let's see what we can do about 'optimizing' the forum...

Cheers, Dave Smith.
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Re: Tech Support

Unread postby bboyer » Sat Aug 30, 2008 3:20 am

Dave, you might inquire of the host provider what their experience with vBulletin is, if in their estimation it is more optimized for server load. It isn't freeware ($180.00/owned license, $100.00/leased license). It's also php-based. Look-and-feel, admin, and so forth is somewhat similar to phpbb3. Just a thought.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VBulletin
https://www.vbulletin.com/order/ (pricing info)
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