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  #1  
Old 2nd January 2009, 15:45
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Luftwaffe Archives and Records Group (LWAG) website update

Dear All,

With much gratitude to my visiting son and his girl friend, the site software has been updated, which includes improved spam prevention during registration. With this positive move, I have again re-opened the site to new membership registration. Hopefully, this will much deter spam registrations.

I want to thank all who wrote to me with words of encouragement and offers of assistance. They helped buck up my mental state as I struggled with this nasty problem for the third year in a row. I have provided the LWAG site as a service to those wanting to do Luftwaffe related research. The side benefits of doing this are that I have made many new friends and learned a lot, myself, about where to go for what.

While I shouldn't take the spam attacks personally, a part of me does. They are a pernicious "virus" that threatens to take down a site intended as a service to others. It is disgusting. Were it not for the able services provided by my son and his girl friend, both computer scientists, the site might have gone down or, at the least, continued on without the ability to accept new members. I sat mind numbed as I watched them work their magic. In the end, it wasn't as difficult as they had thought it might be, they having taken every possible precaution to assure that whatever moves they might make wouldn't end in an irretrievable loss. At one point, having 7400 lines of unexplained code, we almost gave up, fearful that to make a move with this mystery hanging over our heads could end up in disaster. As recommended, they set up a second site to cross compare visually the new to the old. All looked well and the transition was made. This is not something for a website internals ignoramous such as myself. My "expertise" is in the subject matter, not the vehicle by which it is provided. I did not physically create the site. That act of kindness was performed by Chuck Petrie of Stormbirds and his close friend James Bradley.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 2nd January 2009, 23:47
Dénes Bernád Dénes Bernád is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Archives and Records Group (LWAG) website update

Good news, Richard.
Is the link to the forum the same: http://www.lwag.org/forums/ ?
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  #3  
Old 3rd January 2009, 00:04
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Archives and Records Group (LWAG) website update

Dear Dénes,

Yes, the link is the same. All existing members should have the same access as before, that is, if you had stayed logged on before, it will remember that.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 3rd January 2009, 00:18
edwest edwest is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Archives and Records Group (LWAG) website update

Dear Richard,



Good news. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Sometimes, for all of us, asking for help can be an awkward experience. I, myself, have had to do this a bit more often than I would prefer but realized, in the end, that I needed to rely on others. On the issue of web site attacks, I am a moderator on a non-Luftwaffe related site and have watched various bits of nonsense. All I can say is the internet is a double-edged sword. Ideally, eternal vigilance in the form of various protective programs is the best any of us can do.


Have a Happy 2009,

Ed
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Old 3rd January 2009, 03:29
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Archives and Records Group (LWAG) website update

Dear Ed,

Some, like Ruy, said it wasn't really all that difficult to do. My son, who is used to working in Unix code, elected to go into the guts of the thing and I just watched dumbfounded, acknowledging his actions, but not having the knowledge he had to pop in whatever he needed. There were things like secure shell client; $ signs in abundance; ls, meaning list files and directories; cd, meaning change directory; grep, meaning look for a specific string within files and print out matching lines - just all sorts of stuff a computer geek would know and I would not. Going the route he had taken was simply way above my pay grade, as Obama would say.

In the end, he said it went far more smoothly than he had expected. When one is dealing with the unknown, as all three of us were, we didn't want to botch the job by failing to protect as much as possible against the unknown. To assist, I had bought the only book available on vBulletin and, before that, on cPanel. I can't remember how many different passwords we had to pump in as we went about the transition, but it was a bunch. Both books looked simple, but then threw code at me and I was a goner. It is also one thing to say do "X", yet another to know just where and how to do it.

We had to first lock out the site, much as Ruy had done with TOCH!. Then we had to back up the site just in case - first the database, then the software. We struggled to determine exactly what the proper code for the database was. Magic fingers working under the hood eventually determined what that was.

The Admin panel seemed to have a simple instruction, just press here to download the latest version of the vBulletin software, but to where and, once there, then what? Oh, we'll just download to my computer, my son says, so down it came. So here comes the Zip file. Should we open it? No, we'll just FTP it to the server. Uh, but my old FTP program had given up the ghost. So, he again handles that with yet another Unix code program, as I just stare. But how do we unzip it once there? Oh, no problem says the wizard. Now, he says let's just be sure what we have with the old version, so he goes to vBulletin and looks for that version and discovers we have the aforementioned 7400 additional lines of code that shouldn't be there. Should we do a cross comparison to go through the code? Oh, no, he does that far too much at Google and we are at an impass. Maybe a thousand lines, but definitely not 7400 lines. Eventually, Eureka strikes and he has an idea to see if the questionable code is important and we are back in the race. He sets up the second site as recommended, we make a quick visual check, all looks right with the world, and we press go and are done, deleting the old site.

I am so, so glad this is done!!! And, even better, he says to me if I need to do another update, just call. I think, by going through this, he realized I was completely out of my league.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 3rd January 2009, 11:14
Dan O'Connell Dan O'Connell is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Archives and Records Group (LWAG) website update

It's all become friggin' magic any more Richard. I was once very good at programming, in the neolithic, i.e. Basic, but now fortunately we still have some good guys on the right side of The Force :-)
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Old 10th February 2009, 11:35
Spurius Spurius is offline
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Re: Luftwaffe Archives and Records Group (LWAG) website update

Richard,
Hope you can help. My Uncle was lost on board a Pathfinder Lancaster night of 29th July 1943. (Op. Gommorah) Crew are remembered at Runnymede memorial. I am trying to find Nachtjagd Luftwaffe records of the kills recorded that night claiming Lancaster "victories". I need where and what time they were shot down. I have the names of the pilots but can find no record in English doc. Is there a German person that I could channel my enquiry through with access to German Nightfighter records?
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