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Thread: Potential Loss of Private Messages

  1. #1
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    Potential Loss of Private Messages

    Our support team is continuing to deal with some ongoing issues with the forum. The problem is that years of tinkering with the forum have left it in a nonstandard, difficult-to-debug state. The only efficient and effective way to fix all the technical issues with the forum is to create a new forum then move over the topics from this current one to the new one. This will allow for a fresh foundation and infrastructure, while also maintaining posts and users. Unfortunately, this approach does not preserve private messages.

    Since members may have an accumulation of private messages they would like to hang onto, this is a heads-up that they may go away in the not-too-distant future, so if you want to save them, you should start working on doing so. We will give at least a week's heads-up prior to making such a move, but we wanted to give everyone ample warning. And rest assured that we would not be considering such a drastic move if there were any good alternatives.

    Edited to add: You can export all of your private messages by going to your private messages page, scrolling all the way to the bottom, and looking for the "Download all Private Messages as" option in the lower left-hand corner, which gives you the choice of several formats for exporting.
    Last edited by ToSeek; 2013-Jan-25 at 07:09 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Is there a way to batch-save messages without having to copy and paste them individually?
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

  3. #3
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    There has been before. I haven't needed to save since inboxes got so huge, though.
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  4. #4
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    If you're looking at your inbox, you can click a check box near top right (of list) to select all messages.

    Then there's an action drop-down at bottom right (of list) that allows export.

    (I've not tried it myself.)



    P.S. The "select all" seems to only mean that page of messages. Though I do now see "Download all Private Messages as:" near the bottom left of the page. (See under the icon legend).
    P.P.S. That works (mostly). Just got a 1.6 MB XML file going back to 2007.

    (Don't remember if 2005 to 2007 is "missing" or if I deleted them on purpose in a fit of tidying.)
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  5. #5
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    Yes, I had just found it. Thanks.
    "There are powers in this universe beyond anything you know. There is much you have to learn. Go to your homes. Go and give thought to the mysteries of the universe. I will leave you now, in peace." --Galaxy Being

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the useful info Pz...
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  7. #7
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    That just made me lose 2 hours from browsing old PM's, just as I was getting ready to go to work.

    Thanks a bunch!
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  8. #8
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    Yes it works fine . I think I have all my messages , sent or received. I even have a ghost ! Sad but nice to remember.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenrikOlsen View Post
    That just made me lose 2 hours from browsing old PM's, just as I was getting ready to go to work.

    Thanks a bunch!
    CQ, always ready to serve all your procrastinating needs.
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  10. #10
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    Just to be on the safe side, wouldn't it be better to also send an email, including the instructions about how to save those pm's, about this to the entire membership? Not everyone may be reading this subforum and find this thread (especially when it goes down in the list), and there may be members that for whatever reason don't log in for a while and not see this thread until it's too late.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    Not everyone may be reading this subforum and find this thread (especially when it goes down in the list)
    I just noticed the announcement appear on the top of the page. Interestingly, it only appears when you're looking at a subforum (say Q&A), not when you're looking at the forum as a whole, nor when you are in a thread. So if you're like me, log in - go to settings - go to those threads that have updated, you wouldn't get to see it. Or if you are using email confirmation of thread updates, which take you directly to the threads, you wouldn't see it either. So i still think it would be prudent to send an email about it, especially for those who don't log in regularly (or due to circumstances such as holiday, illness, ...).

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    Just to be on the safe side, wouldn't it be better to also send an email, including the instructions about how to save those pm's, about this to the entire membership? Not everyone may be reading this subforum and find this thread (especially when it goes down in the list), and there may be members that for whatever reason don't log in for a while and not see this thread until it's too late.
    The "entire membership" would be literally thousands of people, many of whom probably never posted here, let alone have a PM. But I will float the idea in mod-space.
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  13. #13
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    I made this thread a sticky, so it will stay near the top. Stickied threads (Is that a word?) are listed in order of latest post. Normally the Banned and Suspended thread is at the top. So, to keep this one at the top and very visible, everybody behave for a while.
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  14. #14
    So I might loss all the pictures of Phil trying to show Adam Savage how to use his telescope.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by caveman1917 View Post
    I just noticed the announcement appear on the top of the page. Interestingly, it only appears when you're looking at a subforum (say Q&A), not when you're looking at the forum as a whole, nor when you are in a thread. So if you're like me, log in - go to settings - go to those threads that have updated, you wouldn't get to see it. Or if you are using email confirmation of thread updates, which take you directly to the threads, you wouldn't see it either. So i still think it would be prudent to send an email about it, especially for those who don't log in regularly (or due to circumstances such as holiday, illness, ...).
    I've added what vBulletin calls a "notice", which should appear at the top of every page at least once for everyone. If it doesn't, let me know.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek View Post
    I've added what vBulletin calls a "notice", which should appear at the top of every page at least once for everyone. If it doesn't, let me know.
    I saw it two different ways, notice and thread. Very nice feature.

    Thanks!

  17. #17
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    Is there a tentative date for the event?
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Pacis View Post
    Is there a tentative date for the event?
    The present thought is in about 3 weeks or so, but there is no firm date yet. If we go ahead with this, we will try to give a solid one week notice before the date.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    The present thought is in about 3 weeks or so, but there is no firm date yet. If we go ahead with this, we will try to give a solid one week notice before the date.
    Absolutely. The potential loss of PMs will coincide with the restructuring proposed here. Please feel free to make suggestions and recommendations to us so that we can make sure everyone is heard before we move forward with the restructure.

  20. #20
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    So many PMs, such nostalgia.

  21. #21
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    I wonder if this has to be.

    Let me float this situation past my brother, (who is a member!). He is a SME down at NASA/Ames in this very field, wintel servers and server clustering, and has no less than two Apollo 13 Awards and a whole slew of lesser awards.

    He very, very good at pulling rabbits out of his hat, server-wise.

    It's just that I already know what he's going to say.

    "Yeah I can fix it, it's just that they'll have to give me too much access to do so."
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  22. #22
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    It actually took him about fifteen seconds of thought and said the solution would only work if you are transfering to a clean set-up. Most of the time I present him with forum issues you've let us be privy to he has an answer by the time I stop talking.

    I said you guys were and he started in with a solution that almost had me convinced except I lost him after the fourth sentence. Something about setting the servers up in parallel and having the old set-up as a read only archive, so as not to transfer any old code.

    Something like that. But trust me, don't trust me.

    would you like me to re-ask him, this time with a pencil and paper in hand?
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  23. #23
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    I think the problem isn't that a solution is impossible, just that it would be costly (in either time, money, or both) and/or adding complexity to an already complex website, thus making maintaining it more difficult.
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  24. #24
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    Okey-dokey Slang.

    Solutions that aren't are of no use. No matter how much verbage you heap on top of it.

    One day I'll be able to help. I'll keep plugging away as long as you guys keep throwing up targets.
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  25. #25
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    The current plan is to make the move to the new forum structure this Friday, 22 February. If you have not saved your PMs and wish to do so, we suggest you do so immediately.
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  26. #26
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    I am sorry, But... How exactly do I do that? Save my PM's? I have a few I would really like to keep. Thank you.

    -- Dennis
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetaDust View Post
    I am sorry, But... How exactly do I do that? Save my PM's? I have a few I would really like to keep. Thank you.

    -- Dennis
    Quote Originally Posted by pzkpfw View Post
    If you're looking at your inbox, you can click a check box near top right (of list) to select all messages.

    Then there's an action drop-down at bottom right (of list) that allows export.

    (I've not tried it myself.)



    P.S. The "select all" seems to only mean that page of messages. Though I do now see "Download all Private Messages as:" near the bottom left of the page. (See under the icon legend).
    P.P.S. That works (mostly). Just got a 1.6 MB XML file going back to 2007.

    (Don't remember if 2005 to 2007 is "missing" or if I deleted them on purpose in a fit of tidying.)
    Here you go. If you don't want to do all, just click the check boxes for the ones you want.
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  28. #28
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    I have made a backup of my PM's!!

    Thank you Swift!

    Thank you very much.

    -- Dennis
    Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true. - Niels Bohr

    Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit

    Hint: this is at heart a scientific forum, and underneath the fooling around there are some diamond-hard minds hanging about, ready to tear you to shreads. -- Mike Alexander

  29. #29
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    Apparently the issue is now important enough that the warning is appearing TWICE on every page. I don't think I really need all my old PM's but I guess I should go try to save them anyhow.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    Apparently the issue is now important enough that the warning is appearing TWICE on every page. I don't think I really need all my old PM's but I guess I should go try to save them anyhow.
    Twice? There is a pop up notice, in a yellowish box, that you will get the first time after it was created (ToSeek recreated it this morning). Once you close that, you should not see it again. Then there is a blue box that appears at the top of each sub-forum. Are those the two?
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