<big><center>THE LOUNGE WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2009
STARTING AT 1600 GMT/1100 NEW YORK, FOR UP TO 12 HOURS.
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</big>


Heads up! Big changes coming for the Lounge. We're making the Lounge better, faster, more searchable, and easier -- and it's all going to happen on Monday, February 23.

Brian Livingston, the editor of Windows Secrets and a friend for more than a decade, has put on his admin hat and turned the Lounge on its ear, if you'll pardon a partially mixed metaphor.

The new software runs a heap better than the old clunker, as far as I can see, and we've tested the new beast thoroughly, but change always involves, well, ch-ch-ch-changes. Let me know if anything goes bump in the night.

Woody Leonhard ("DaBoss")
Ask Woody



As you may know, the performance of Woody's Lounge has gotten slower and slower over the years. Since Jan. 2, 2009, when we moved the Lounge to a new server, we've been preparing a migration to a different platform called IP.Board. The new software is now complete.

IMPORTANT: The Lounge will be closed Mon., Feb. 23, 2009, starting at 1600 GMT/1100 New York, for up to 12 hours while admins Hans Vogelaar, Tony Johnston, and Ryan Biesemeyer convert everything, byte for byte.

This timeout for the Lounge is needed because all the posts, database entries, and attachments must be copied and verified. There's no way for the Lounge to remain available during the switchover.

For sure, the Lounge will be different than before. Our first priority has been to get off the old software and onto the new. Now that that's been accomplished, we'll next build a better user interface and add and improve as many things as we can. Meanwhile, the new platform offers us:

1. FASTER PERFORMANCE. The new software is much swifter than the old. Pages shouldn't take so long to load, and posting should be much quicker and more reliable.

2. BETTER SEARCH. Our new search feature allows you to find posts by keyword, title, poster, date range, and more. The old search function was much more limited. (Tip: In the new Lounge, click "Search," then click "More Options.")

3. NEW VIEWS. The old software had "threaded" and "flat" views. IP.Board has three views:

-- OUTLINE shows the first post and the titles of replies;

-- STANDARD shows each post plus each reply in full; and

-- LINEAR PLUS is the same as Standard, but the first post appears atop every page, if there are multiple pages.

4. DIFFERENT CONTROLS. IP.Board uses completely different menus. Many controls are in new places and some familiar aspects of the old software aren't present at all! While we're racing to add features, please try the new controls, which can usually accomplish the same functions as the old.

5. YES, THE NEW LOOK IS BORING. The design of the old Lounge was based on "skins" that we simply couldn't convert into the new software's code as easily as we'd hoped. We built by hand four new skins to simulate the old (sign in to check them out). But we felt that our leap to the new software shouldn't be delayed to wait for more skins.

We hope you'll enjoy using the new, faster interface while we work on an improved design. If you notice any essential data that somehow didn't get copied to the new software, please report this to us using the Lounge Matters forum.

Thanks,

Brian Livingston
Lounge admin
Editorial Director, Windows Secrets