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Message started by curious_aardvark on Jul 18th, 2016 at 6:25am

Title: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Jul 18th, 2016 at 6:25am
Apparently we had a virus on the server which came in via cms.
They sent an email to chri's original email address, he's on holiday and not sure if he ever checks the rocket mail account these days anyway.

So I have to update the cms.

I have no clue how to do this - at the moment.  To be fair I don't really know what the cms actually does lol

Hopefully it won't bugger everything else up when I find out how to do it :-)

Sorry for the inconvenience.
CA

Hmm, just had a quick look and it looks like it's going to be about 19 consequetive updates. 
Apparently because our cms is 10 years old I can't  just go to the latest version 2. I have to actually install every single update they've released in the last 10 years, consequetively.  So that sounds like fun - also  a long night or ten.
Wish me luck - 'cos I think I'm going to need it lol

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by Bill Skinner on Jul 18th, 2016 at 8:03am
I kept getting a 401 header that wouldn't allow my password.

And it kept telling me to Login this time and then kept telling me I was logged in.

I have no idea if I did anything or if one of the updates finally kicked in but, anyways, I'm back in.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Jul 19th, 2016 at 2:29pm
lol - the nice people at the server turned us back on :-)

I haven't attempted the cms thing yet. K

Title: (delete)
Post by Jauke on Jul 20th, 2016 at 1:57pm
(delete)

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Jul 22nd, 2016 at 7:05am
nope page still there - go to www.slinging.org

it's cms made easy and it's a 10 year old version.

As far as I've been able to ascertain I have to upgrade - one at a time - to every single release in the last 10 years to get to the latest version.

It's got to be done, but can't say I'm looking forward to it :-)

Title: (delete)
Post by Jauke on Jul 22nd, 2016 at 8:44am
(delete)

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Jul 22nd, 2016 at 1:09pm
Ah - yes you're right.
Bugger.

That'll be the cms having been shut down by the server people then.

:-(

Guess i know what I'm doing this weekend. Joy

Title: -
Post by Jauke on Jul 23rd, 2016 at 4:32am
-

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Jul 24th, 2016 at 7:27am
Chris ?
At the moment he could be anywhere :-)
He's on holiday travelling with his family. He's a university professor these days - so LONG holidays :-)
You can look him up - https://www.hcii.cmu.edu/people/chris-harrison
Good guy. But what with family and work - he started the site when he was a student - just doesn't have the time for the site these days. 

One of the problems we have is that the site was built partly by chris and partly by matthias. who literally did just drop off the face of the planet.
No idea where he went, just one day didn't show up and nobody's heard from him since.

I'm not  a fan of the cms, prefer a web design program linked through ftp to the server space - but we're stuck with it.

So apart from creating a couple of cds of dogs barking (should have done it last week - but plain forgot) - it's the next thing on my to-do list.

Currently I have not a clue where the install files are hiding.
Once I've found those, it should just be a case of replacing with new ones, reintialising and repeat till I fall asleep at the keyboard :-)

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Jul 28th, 2016 at 7:25am
okay.
as I don't seem to have access to the admin control panel anymore.
It's going to be a total shot in the dark. So I'm going to back the whole forum up before I start.
I have no idea if it will work - as it seems I need control panel access to update some parts of the system.
Looks like when the server bods removed the virus they killed the existing cms control panel, so I'll be basically going for total potluck. Wonderful.

so at some point you'll get the 'work being done'(been a few years I can't remember exactly what it says) message and won't be able to login to the forum.

But before I start changing stuff, I want to make sure it's all downloaded and backed up.

By rights it shouldn't effect the forum sub folder.

But been a few years since I did a complete backup - so won't hurt to do the forum as well.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by Toby on Jul 31st, 2016 at 3:04pm
Hopefully no one used their email account password on the forum, as the password could be stolen. 

I had the same happen to my email while ebay was hacked by the heartbeat hack!
Luckly i got my email account back!

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Aug 4th, 2016 at 10:54am
why would you use your email account password ?

:noidea:

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by Parmenion on Aug 21st, 2016 at 10:30am
how things are going?
i really liked looking that list with the ranges :P

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Sep 6th, 2016 at 7:13am
yeah, still trying to work out how i access the disabled control panel. None of the upgrade guides mention it.

I should have some time to sit down and puzzle it out this week. Plus losing the website has cut iur hits right down, so no point trying again with the advert folk till it's back up where it should be.

Like everything I have ahuge list of things that need doing and a mind like nervous butterfly: to say I'm easily distracted is like saying elephants don't often get invited to cocktail parties (they steal all the shrimp).

At some point I will chain myself to this chair and sort it. 

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by ForgottenBeast on Sep 23rd, 2016 at 3:50am
Since slinging.org seems to be written in Perl I reckon a simple (perl) script could automatically poll the server for updates? You'd just have to set the script up to check every hour or so and just install the next version, that way you wont have to just sit in front of the console and manually do every update!

Do you have a shell on the server the forum runs on or do you just have an admin panel?

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Sep 24th, 2016 at 8:51am
probably.
What's the difference ?
I don't usually mess with server side software.

Usually when i do websites I use proper website software and upload via ftp.
That way I've got complete control can change thing quickly and simply and don't have to piss about with online software - which I dislike intensely. 

It's quick, simple and has the advantage that a poxy virus on old online software can't shutdown your website.
Why chris or matthias chose to go with cms and have every bloody thing online, I don't know. Unfortunately i didn't have any say back then :-(

I do have a complete backup of website & forum from when I had to update the forum software.
Contemplating shoving the cms part of that back on the server to get m,e back control and the website and then do the updates before the server people notice lol


Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by ForgottenBeast on Sep 25th, 2016 at 4:34pm
Main difference: if you have a shell and you have root privileges you can do pretty much whatever you fancy!
Just an admin webpanel is (usually) much more restrictive. I won't get into php shells...

If you have command line access and appropriate privileges then if every step of updating is known to you AND you know how to check that nothing is broken you could use the following setup:

-write a script that checks for updates, put it into the user running the website's cron.

-either install updates directly then have the script email you the result of the tests (quite simple, those would just be akin to "try and retrieve this webpage, click on that link, login as this name)

-or keep a vm running on the server where the site is hosted, said vm would be a mirror of the site but only reachable from the server itself (ssh tunelling of http would allow you to consult it from your browser) this vm would get all the updates before the main site would that way if any update breaks something then you'll be aware of it. Once it's installed on the vm I reckon it'd be trivial to update the main website (either downloading the updates from the vm or directly from the update servers).

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Sep 26th, 2016 at 6:20am
you lost me at 'write a script that checks for updates.'

I have root access to the server space, but no longer have any access to the cms control panel.
One of the reasons I've been putting it off. If I update with a newer clean version of cms, do i lose my existing username and pasword access ? 

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by ForgottenBeast on Sep 26th, 2016 at 10:44am
This is disturbing,  is it a result of the break in? Updating should not change the database content so neither your credentials nor anyone else's should change.  To be sure you should keep a full backup (website and database) handy.   first you have to determine what database the forum is using (you should find this information in either yabb documentation or in your cms configuration files) if you want to make a backup.

If you ever decide to completely rewrite the site you'd still be able to use the same database mind you.

What I'm trying to say here is that the update should boil down to changing existing files and/or creating new ones. Those things are easy to automate  since they are easy to do from the command line.  What you can do is:

-jot down every step of updating (such as navigate to t this.url download from this link, unzip in this location)

-write all the commands in a file.  Make it executable

-crontab -e  and add the newly created program  so it runs at regular intervals.

If like me you have issues with bash syntax then I'd advise using perl (or python  or ruby).

English is not my first language so if I fail at getting my point across please tell me so I can reword/clarify and learn more in the process.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Sep 27th, 2016 at 5:07pm
lmao - your english is absolutely perfect.

It's my knowlege of in depth server management that's practically non-existent.

As far as coding goes, I use openscad for all my 3d printing design - but I definitely don't write my scripts anything lik e a programmer.  I always find the scripts written by programmers to be totally impossible to make any sense of.

I'm seriously considering hassling chris to do it - he does understand programming and all the onsite stuff.
Plus it's his fault in the first place for using cms instead of something sensible.
So he's a professor at carnegie mellon these days - don't mean i can't nag him till he gives in :-) 

Me I just build and fix computers - I don't write the software :-) 

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by ForgottenBeast on Sep 29th, 2016 at 1:22pm
Well, that's an impressive skill. During my internship I had to do some ram swapping on a server (to find a couple that would actually work) I was so worried I'd break something I could not help but feel relieved once I closed the case. And don't get me started on setting up a CPU on a motherboard. Things might have changed but I still have that (semi)irrational fear of breaking the legs of such a costly item. Or simply fry it while pulling it out of the anti static bag...

On the topic of writing scripts if you can use the command line you can write scripts ;) thing is bash scripts can be really hard to understand. That's why I started using perl and never looked back. If you can't be bothered with the learning curve you can have a look at python (there are more projects on raspberry pi using python than you can shake a stick at, and those can be a real fun way to learn. Desktop trebuchet anyone?).

Since you already have some experience at website administration you already qualify as a power user and should be able to avoid the most obvious snags while getting started with a scripting language. There also are some great communities out there with many helpful members. These days you can't throw a rock without hitting a couple of pythonista so if you're having a hard time you'll always have someone to ask for help.

Sorry if that sound like proselytism... Ok I might be trying to convert you, is it that obvious? :D

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by Teg on Sep 29th, 2016 at 4:34pm

ForgottenBeast wrote on Sep 29th, 2016 at 1:22pm:
Sorry if that sound like proselytism... Ok I might be trying to convert you, is it that obvious?


He'ssss almossssst convinssssssd!

(Sorry, a rock hit my tail and I couldn't resist anymore.  ;) )

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 8th, 2016 at 7:47am
lol
lost count of the number of cpu pins I've had to straighten over the years. Mostly they get bent when you take them out in a hurry.

I do have a raspberry pi model b. Alas it won't display a picture on any of my workshop monitors - even got an hdmi to vga adaptor - that doesn't work either.

So that's still in the box lol

Given how many projects you can make with one and a 3d printer I really ought to try again.
Got a newer monitor in the corner that might work.
thing is my workshop monitors are always things that people were about to throw away :-)

I will make an effort to get the website back up.   

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by ForgottenBeast on Oct 8th, 2016 at 5:53pm
I had an issue with the hdmi vga thingie too. Basically it boiled down to making a lot of adaptations to the files that defined the behavior of the screen output. Trial and error for a day or two but then I got it to work. Before frying it a week or so later by overclocking without giving a proverbial flying one about cooling.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 9th, 2016 at 7:18am
I'm actually going to get a bbc mini computer thing. Was hoping david morningstar - who was/is on the development team might be able to 'borrow' one for me. But alas no.

It's seriously tiny, will run on a 3 volt coincell and has a built in accelerometer. I want to make a sling pouch it fits in so I can actually measure the pouch speed on release.

It will talk wirelessly to an android tablet (I think).

It's on The List, lol

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by Bill Skinner on Oct 10th, 2016 at 10:49am
Hey, the site let me log in again and stay logged in today.

Normally, it lets me in as a guest, I click home and the site then recognizes me.  And it says I am logged in.  And won't let me log in.  As soon as I leave, when I return, I have to go through the same rigimarole. 

Today, when I tried to log in, the site let me.  Happy Happy, Joy Joy. 

Any idea what happened?

BTW, do you think the mini computer thingy will survive more than one throw?  And it will answer, once and for all, just how fast a projectile is coming out of a sling. 

:whistle:Unless you get a bad throw...   

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by ForgottenBeast on Oct 10th, 2016 at 11:13am
I think it would stay in the pouch but correct me if I'm wrong.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 10th, 2016 at 3:31pm
yep the idea is to measure the speed of the pouch not the missile. So it would be held in a little pouch below the actual sling pouch.
The size of the device is described as half the size of a credit card, Measuring 43 x 52 mm

it also has a built in led array which could be programmed to display the speed in numbers - probably :-)
https://www.amazon.co.uk/BBC-MB80-micro-bit/dp/B01G8WUGWU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1476127657&sr=8-1&keywords=microbit


Bill Skinner wrote on Oct 10th, 2016 at 10:49am:
Hey, the site let me log in again and stay logged in today.

Normally, it lets me in as a guest, I click home and the site then recognizes me.  And it says I am logged in.  And won't let me log in.  As soon as I leave, when I return, I have to go through the same rigimarole. 

Today, when I tried to log in, the site let me.  Happy Happy, Joy Joy. 

Any idea what happened?

BTW, do you think the mini computer thingy will survive more than one throw?  And it will answer, once and for all, just how fast a projectile is coming out of a sling. 

:whistle:Unless you get a bad throw...   

did your browser update, or maybe java update ?

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by jeffbonds on Oct 13th, 2016 at 9:30pm
im not able to view the member map or the hall of fame section

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 18th, 2016 at 6:49am
yep, all part of the main website.

I am working on it.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by Blue Raja on Oct 31st, 2016 at 1:45pm
Well, this is terribly sad news.  There was quite a collection of sling making tutorials.  Some appear to be recovered and some not.

It would be most tragic if the unrecovered tutorials were forever lost.

It also seems that T.J. Potter's site is lost as well.  Lot of good tutorials there. 

Thank you for even attempting recovery.  All of these technological details are beyond my ken.  Give me a typewriter (manual, of course) and a stack of index cards.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Oct 31st, 2016 at 8:01pm
nothing is lost, just temporarily in limbo.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by Blue Raja on Nov 1st, 2016 at 10:59am
Quite so. This is precisely what I told The Bowler after she inadvertanly vaporized Captain Amazing. I do hope you have a better time recovering the files that we did Captain Amazing. I dare say that even Dr. Heller is beginiing to lose hope.

Title: Re: recent site blockage.
Post by curious_aardvark on Nov 8th, 2016 at 6:55am
files don't need recovery. just got to replace about 14 iterations of the host software.

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