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Big News For The Hunter's Life
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:58 PM
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Default Big News For The Hunter's Life

I won't belabor this too much, but I will provide a small history lesson.

To the best of my understanding, the Hunter's Life was started by three people: Sharon and Gordon (ShadowRider and RavenBeauty), and Darrell, after they got fed up with the rancor and potty-mouth at a site they frequented. Sharon wrote the code you see for THL. Shortly after getting THL up and running, they added another Administrator. I don't know his name. He was 'gone' before I arrived in 2004, as I recall. (Ol' John, later known as Hondo John, invited me over from a Milsurp forum we frequented.) As it was told to me by Jay Edwards, friction arose among those four, and Jay was 'brought in' to 'tame the West' as THL was at risk of turning into exactly what Sharon and Gordon had left. Jay did an excellent job, and the 'corporate culture' you see today that IS "The Hunter's Life" is almost solely due to Jay Edwards' hard work and strong will. Not much later, another administrator was added - RockinBBar.

After things settled down and were running smoothly, the site got hacked. A malicious one, and we had to start ALL OVER anew. About two years after we recovered from that, the guy providing the server (in his garage) got a divorce and "vanished". The site was moved over to GoDaddy for hosting. Then we got hacked again. Had to start over again. About three years after that, it happened again. This time worse than ever. We have never really recovered completely from that last hack. Obviously we are back up and running, but most of the time it's on a wing and a prayer. Something of the malware remains in the source code, and that prevents us from upgrading. Since 2009-ish.

Shortly thereafter, Sharon got hurt and then pretty seriously sick. Darrel, RockinBBar and Jay essentially took over the operation of the site, but none of them could do anything about "the problem". After Gordon and Sharon decided to completely bow out, The reins were turned over to Darrell and RockinBBar, and Jay, himself terminally ill, chose to "bow out" completely as well. (Jay, a very dear friend of mine, died a couple of years later.) Shortly thereafter, I "took over" the financial responsibility of THL. I have been 'running the show' ever since.

We have never been able to 'fix' the site more than get it running. No upgrades to software. No "fixes" of the malware. We can't make changes because Sharon wrote the code, and no one really knows how to troubleshoot the problems and find the malware. We are on a server that is "four generations" back. We are about 4 years behind from the latest version of vBulletin, the environment that THL operates in. The next crash will probably be "fatal".

What has always been of ABSOLUTE importance, is the "archive". There is encyclopedic information on this forum in the archives. We never "started over" after the last crash because to do so always meant COMPLETE loss of the archives.

That has changed. I think!

Today, I bought a new account on GoDaddy. I hired some programmers to convert the existing vBulletin code to FUDforum code and put it on the new site. They are about to "copy" the existing PHP code of THL into the new site, test it, and bring over the archives. When that new site is up and running as it should, I will close the existing THL site.

Doing this gets us into "this century". We will get regular updates to software; install MUCH improved security measures, and get the archives saved "for all time". We will no longer be "walking on eggshells", hoping that we don't get hacked again. ONE of the reasons I haven't aggressively been trying to grow THL's membership is because I am afraid of getting 'bad guys' interested in us and attacking us and breaking us for the last time. Once this change is accomplished, we don't have to worry about that any more.

I'm not CERTAIN how this 'conversion' is going to work out, but we are really at a point where we simply HAVE to do SOMETHING. We are simply "waiting to die" right now. The conversion is supposed to be complet by the 13th, but I'll be happy if it is ready by the end of the month.

Keep your fingers crossed, and we start a whole new era for The Hunter's Life.

Paul
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