Forums turned offline for now [Update: We're back]

Right now we have had to disable the forums because.. well see for yourself:

One post created twenty plus entries in the Back Page news forum, which will be deleted when the forum can be switched back online.

At the moment we're on an old version of IPB (3.2) so a database conversion is required in order to be able to perform the upgrade, which if all goes well, should be within a few days.

The forums won't be offline for all of all that time, but for now it's necessary.

Check back later to see if we're back online, and thanks for your patience while we perform the work for this much needed upgrade.

In the meantime, why not check out @NeowinFeed and Neowin on Facebook, for both news and these type of alerts? 

Update: And we're back.. stay tuned for an announcement for the 3.4.5 upgrade.

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95 Comments

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insanelyapple said,
What happened to the "FBI wants backdoor to ALL software" topic?
Oh don't worry. Redmak and Neobond will assure you that the backdoor works flawlessly without interruption. You wouldn't know who pinched you.

torrentthief said,
Any reason why you didn't do this update during the night when less people would be using it?

What is the night for you might not be the night for Neobond....

littleneutrino said,
i still wish there was a web client for the irc ( i cannot install a client on my work computer)

You can use mibbit.com to connect.

I still keep clicking onto Neowin and automatically going to the 'View more like this link' every 5 minutes out of force of habbit

Once the forums come back up everyone should go into the guides forum and read my awesome How to use Proxpn with OpenVPN on Android

Can go get your geek on!

Edited by warwagon, Jun 6 2013, 2:24pm :

Neobond said,
Just heard the final table change is taking place, not long to go now

Good news Got a lot of stuff to post in the BPN forum

littleneutrino said,
woot, this has to be one of the quickest updates that Neowin has done lol.

All are pretty quick; its the bugs that come out later that ruin it....

V-Tech said,
Around 80MB out of it belongs to Rappy
I bet if you remove Rappy's table from the data, conversions would be much quicker.

OH GOD... what am I going to do all day?? You guys suck ass. You've completely ruined my finely crafted daily routine. I may even have to... dare I say it... go outside!!!!

McCordRm said,
OH GOD... what am I going to do all day?? You guys suck ass. You've completely ruined my finely crafted daily routine. I may even have to... dare I say it... go outside!!!!

DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT!! Go outside. Nothing good is out there. Anything you need is right here in the virtual space...

8 GB database? That's it? Please lol.

That's quite a bit for forums I guess (wouldn't really know), but in the grand scheme of things, it's not much at all.

Im suprised its not more. It depends on what's in it though. Attachments/images will bring it up. Larger forums though tend to not save them in the database to save on performance.

At 8GB I would imagine its purly message text. 8GB of pure text though is rather large. Go try making a 10MB word document and then do a word count.

I just made a 276 page word document... 39KB in size.

Try it yourself, type the following into word, then press enter, increasing the values if your computer can handle it.

=rand(100,100)

SK[ said,]Im suprised its not more. It depends on what's in it though. Attachments/images will bring it up. Larger forums though tend to not save them in the database to save on performance.

Attachments aren't saved in the database afaik. There's an actual /uploads folder

SK said,
Attachments/images will bring it up. Larger forums though tend to not save them in the database to save on performance.

Almost no forum saves binary data in a database.

Ah dang, I really wanted to read up on this FBI backdooring software as well I thought it being posted 10 times meant it was uber urgent

Cant wait for the forums to be back online! Kudos on the upgrade. I would have thought that the database was bigger than 8GB though! haha

While on the forums subject, is there a reason why the staff choose Invision Power Board over other paided (or free) forums out there?

Just outta curiosity to kill time till the forums come back up

Redmak knows one of the core developers of IPB (Matt Mecham) and in 2003 they actually sponsored our hosting in return for us using the software. Other solutions aren't all that different so we've never felt the need to look elsewhere.

Neobond said,
Redmak knows one of the core developers of IPB (Matt Mecham) and in 2003 they actually sponsored our hosting in return for us using the software. Other solutions aren't all that different so we've never felt the need to look elsewhere.

OK, intresting

I prefer vBulletin to be fair, it doesn't feel as heavy and IPB is too Ajaxy which in my personal opinion doesn't work very well with extremely large amounts of data over standard content loading, whether this is the actual case or not i don't know, its just from my own experience.

Surely now is a good time to purge threads more than a year or so old? Put them in an archive if you need to keep them, but there's really no sense in keeping ancient threads which are just taking up space...

No doubt about that! Might even help the site actually run like a site should, otherwise, this site is a total PITA to post to, most of the time!

Deleting 10+ years of threads would be a terrible thing to do, the sites rankings, traffic and revenue would plummet.

I don't see why it matters tbh, old threads are pushed down the pages and can still be read by people if needed, if not your not going to see them 99% of the time.

There's an archive option in 3.4.5 which means we can move posts without a reply in a year to a separate table reducing the size of the POSTS table, and making everything much quicker

Neobond said,
There's an archive option in 3.4.5 which means we can move posts without a reply in a year to a separate table reducing the size of the POSTS table, and making everything much quicker

Good! Do it!

Neowin forums make up just about 8gb of data. I would have figured it would be much more. Few terabytes at least.

AsherGZ said,
Neowin forums make up just about 8gb of data. I would have figured it would be much more. Few terabytes at least.

Just the forums. The site itself problably takes up more.

LimeMaster92 said,

It takes that long to upgrade a large IPB forum.

Neobond said "database conversion is required" and if i'm not mistaking he said that the DB is around 8GB. Takes time i guess.

68k said,
I didn't think 8+GB of data would take that long to process with today's (quad core/dual CPU) servers.

We have quad core servers, but the server isn't only doing this task, we have a news site to run as well

Neobond said,
We can't stay on 3.2 because it isn't compatible with IE10 and we skipped 3.3, so this really is needed.

Does IE not have compatibility view to fix problems like this?

Neobond said,
We can't stay on 3.2 because it isn't compatible with IE10 and we skipped 3.3, so this really is needed.

Yeah, browser engine technology has changed and some site won't even render properly without it's core updates . Wonder if anyone still using IE6 to view this site now

LimeMaster92 said,

Does IE not have compatibility view to fix problems like this?

Yes I made several posts about it, it requires people to hit F12 > browser mode and select IE9 mode. This only saves it for that session, and it's only needed in the forums, not exactly a decent workaround. Meta tags have no effect, we tried.

Neobond said,

Yes I made several posts about it, it requires people to hit F12 > browser mode and select IE9 mode. This only saves it for that session, and it's only needed in the forums, not exactly a decent workaround. Meta tags have no effect, we tried.


Microsoft must have changed the behavior with IE10 or 9, if I remember correctly IE8 saved the compatibility view settings.

Also does this upgrade mean the custom forum themes are gone?

Neobond said,

Yes I made several posts about it, it requires people to hit F12 > browser mode and select IE9 mode. This only saves it for that session, and it's only needed in the forums, not exactly a decent workaround. Meta tags have no effect, we tried.


You are aware you can let the website tell IE10 to render in IE9 mode right?
No user input required what so ever.

Shadowzz said,

You are aware you can let the website tell IE10 to render in IE9 mode right?
No user input required what so ever.

Yet another one that does not read...


At the moment we're on an old version of IPB (3.2) so a database conversion is required in order to be able to perform the upgrade, which if all goes well, should be within a few days.

So basically the update is about updating IPB? I imagine to the stable 3.4.4 right?

3.4.5 (which is stable) because there were some bugs in previous versions of 3.4 which meant we weren't willing to upgrade yet. Those are solved with 3.4.5, and it's also the last version before 4.0 which we won't be upgrading to until it's relatively bug free anyway.

Neobond said,
3.4.5 (which is stable) because there were some bugs in previous versions of 3.4 which meant we weren't willing to upgrade yet. Those are solved with 3.4.5, and it's also the last version before 4.0 which we won't be upgrading to until it's relatively bug free anyway.

Thanks Neobond for the explanation

BGM said,
no, read it again.

Is this what Neowin has become? Members like ~Neowin~ that cant take ONE-TWO minutes to read a news article....and you dont even have other comments to read. Its amazing, BGM, to me personally that it has gotten to this...

"As we prepare to upgrade to Invision Board 3.4.5 we need to make changes to our huge (8+GB) database, and that requires among other things a database conversion."

Edited by 68k, Jun 6 2013, 11:25am :

68k said,
"As we prepare to upgrade to Invision Board 3.4.5 we need to make changes to our huge (8+GB) database, and that requires among other things a database conversion."

Still doesn't explain all those posts pictured above... Must be a bug with IPB 3.2?

We thought we could run a SQL task with the forums online (but quite a bit slower) and this happened. It's not a bug. It's simply a limitation of our hardware that caused this.

Neobond said,
Bit unfair to judge the whole site's members based on one comment.

No, of course not. But a lot of members (in the video game console/mobile operating systems articles) don't read and just post either BS or start a flamewar....

Thats what I ment by that comment

68k said,
"As we prepare to upgrade to Invision Board 3.4.5 we need to make changes to our huge (8+GB) database, and that requires among other things a database conversion."

Still doesn't explain all those posts pictured above... Must be a bug with IPB 3.2?


Might be a DB (or its converter/upgrader) bug as well....

Neobond said,

We thought we could run a SQL task with the forums online (but quite a bit slower) and this happened. It's not a bug. It's simply a limitation of our hardware that caused this.


Thank you for the explanation.

mwc said,

No, of course not. But a lot of members (in the video game console/mobile operating systems articles) don't read and just post either BS or start a flamewar....

Thats what I ment by that comment

Welcome to the internet.