OccultForum.org Restoration

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borealis
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OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by borealis »

Hello and welcome back!

Recently the previous caretaker of this website gave me the domain name and backups so I could take a crack at rebooting the forum. The software was nearly 10 years old, and riddled with malware. Restoring everything as-is was out of the question because of how deeply the malware had spread through the files, and anyway it would just get hacked again because of its age. Thankfully the database was intact, so I set up and secured a server with a fresh install of the software, imported the data, and then updated to the latest version. Unfortunately, updating made it incompatible with the old forum style, but I have someone working on it. It looks like there was a wiki and some other stuff in the backup files, but currently I'm only working on restoring the forum.

I must confess that I was not a user of this forum before it went down. But with the death of this forum and OccultCorpus, and the incapacity of Wizard Forums taking place in such a short span, I felt that something needed to be done. When I learned that an acquaintence I had taken over hosting another site for in the past had also been in charge of OccultForums, I contacted him right away to see if we could restore one of these lost communities. So far, the project is a success. I hope that with my web administration background and my occult experience, I can do a fair job of maintaining these boards.

I have emailed the staff from before the site went down, but so far I haven't heard back from any of them. In the meantime, I've pulled in a few other people to help me manage the forums. Soon I will send out a mass email to all of the forum users who have mass emails enabled. Please spread the word to your friends that OccultForum.org is back online.

As for the restoration, all of the original posts and user accounts should have been restored at this point. You should be able to log in with your old password, or request a password reset to the email address you had at the time.

Comments or questions about the restoration can go in this thread.

Regards,
Borealis

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borealis
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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by borealis »

Yesterday I attempted to send a mass email announcement to all of our users who were opted-in to mass emails. Unfortunately, our userbase is so old that over 30% of the email addresses no longer exist. Only a handful of emails made it out before our mass email provider (Mailgun) pulled the plug to prevent our website from being added to spam lists. (This will happen if a ton of your emails bounce; it will be assumed by email providers that you collected the addresses through illegitimate means.) I'll have to figure out how to use Mailgun's email validation service alongside phpbb to automatically opt-out ancient users with nonexistent emails before trying it again. So that will be a fun little coding project. We have over 10,000 users.

In the meantime, users who register will not be required to verify by email until Mailgun re-enables our email account, which is also used to send verification emails. This is fine since we use a paid anti-spam service of our own which blocks most bots from registering or posting.

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Shemuel Ben Sabbatai
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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by Shemuel Ben Sabbatai »

Cool, hope more people come here.
“Is it true that Mashiach [the Messiah] will come in a generation that is either wholly good or wholly evil?”
“Yes.”
“Then which direction should we take?”
“The Evil Inclination is the Mother of the King; but Holiness will be the first to greet Him when He rises from the dust.”
-Jacob Frank

skekz0k
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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by skekz0k »

borealis wrote:
Sat May 09, 2020 5:00 pm
Yesterday I attempted to send a mass email announcement to all of our users who were opted-in to mass emails. Unfortunately, our userbase is so old that over 30% of the email addresses no longer exist. Only a handful of emails made it out before our mass email provider (Mailgun) pulled the plug to prevent our website from being added to spam lists. (This will happen if a ton of your emails bounce; it will be assumed by email providers that you collected the addresses through illegitimate means.) I'll have to figure out how to use Mailgun's email validation service alongside phpbb to automatically opt-out ancient users with nonexistent emails before trying it again. So that will be a fun little coding project. We have over 10,000 users.

In the meantime, users who register will not be required to verify by email until Mailgun re-enables our email account, which is also used to send verification emails. This is fine since we use a paid anti-spam service of our own which blocks most bots from registering or posting.
Hey Borealis,

I've used mailtester.comregularly to validate email addresses for my work. It has it's quirks, but it does work. They also have a bulk email validator: https://mailtester.com/showpage.php?name=download which I admittedly don't have much experience with, but it may be helpful to you if you can export your email list as CSV or some other method. I have some scripting experience, if you need further help I'm happy to chip in where needed.

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borealis
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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by borealis »

skekz0k wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 8:45 am
Hey Borealis,

I've used mailtester.comregularly to validate email addresses for my work. It has it's quirks, but it does work. They also have a bulk email validator: https://mailtester.com/showpage.php?name=download which I admittedly don't have much experience with, but it may be helpful to you if you can export your email list as CSV or some other method. I have some scripting experience, if you need further help I'm happy to chip in where needed.
Thanks, and my email provider also has a validation tool. Exporting the list and then sending the emails directly from the mass mailing tools on my provider's website may be a good idea, but the issue is that I would like to use the built in mass email feature of this forum in the future, and to do that I will need to write a script to opt-out all of the users here who have bad email addresses. To do that I will need to probably write a script that reads the email address for each user fro the database, runs it through the validator, and then opts-out the users having bad emails using an SQL query. However, if that is too much of a hassle, I'll just go with the other idea.

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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by skekz0k »

borealis wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 4:18 pm
skekz0k wrote:
Sun May 10, 2020 8:45 am
Hey Borealis,

I've used mailtester.comregularly to validate email addresses for my work. It has it's quirks, but it does work. They also have a bulk email validator: https://mailtester.com/showpage.php?name=download which I admittedly don't have much experience with, but it may be helpful to you if you can export your email list as CSV or some other method. I have some scripting experience, if you need further help I'm happy to chip in where needed.
Thanks, and my email provider also has a validation tool. Exporting the list and then sending the emails directly from the mass mailing tools on my provider's website may be a good idea, but the issue is that I would like to use the built in mass email feature of this forum in the future, and to do that I will need to write a script to opt-out all of the users here who have bad email addresses. To do that I will need to probably write a script that reads the email address for each user fro the database, runs it through the validator, and then opts-out the users having bad emails using an SQL query. However, if that is too much of a hassle, I'll just go with the other idea.
Sounds like you've got a good handle on this, but if you do run into further trouble I'm happy to help where I can.

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Spida
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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by Spida »

So far so good. Kitty cat.

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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by Spida »

But seriously, you have done a good job with everything. I used to do some programming in Microsoft Visual C++ using the MS foundation classes and whatnot. Used to work with databases like the clunky MS Access, and Jet Databases. Windows Programming, not much Linux, Server Software, CGI - Common Gateway Interface in the old days. VB Script, Javascript, ADO, Active X, ASP, PSP - not much of that, or MYSQL, not much of that either, et cetera, et cetera. Mostly as a hobby, but worked for local ISP - long story, and all kinds of other related stuff.

So yeah everything seems to work so you did really good. Cool, and thank you. This is fun some times. Bye. I need to leave the house for a while now.

Boss.

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Cerber
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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by Cerber »

Polls are disabled?
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borealis
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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by borealis »

Cerber wrote:
Tue Aug 25, 2020 2:12 pm
Polls are disabled?
That should be fixed now.

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Re: OccultForum.org Restoration

Post by Cerber »

Oh great, thanks. I forgot now what I wanted it for, but will come in handy later, I'm sure.
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