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  1. #1
    Brian Livingston
    I'm glad to report that our Lounge developers have tested a new version of our underlying database platform, IP.Board 3, and will be able to install the upgrade on Feb. 1. The software will be brought up from version 3.0.4 to 3.0.5. That doesn't sound like a very big jump, but it should fix some issues with IPB 3 that we've experienced since late November:

    1. Icons in the Lounge Lobby should reflect the state of "new posts." When you've read every post that's new to you in a forum, the forum's icon in the Lounge Lobby should be "greyed out." This worked in IPB 2.x, but hasn't worked since we installed IPB 3 over two months ago. The software maker, Invision Power Board, rated this fix as "Critical" and promised it would ship in the .5 version.
    2. Other update status pages should be improved. The same timing issue that affected the Lounge Lobby icons also seems to have thrown off some other pages, such as Your Notifications. We're told that these other issues will be corrected by the .5 patch.
    3. Additional minor improvements. The .5 version will give us the ability to develop some new code on top of IPB 3, which we'll share with you as soon as it's working.

    Installing the new version, updating some custom code we've added to IPB 3, and testing everything is expected to require 60 minutes or so. During this period, the Lounge will be offline, and visitors will see a generic page saying that maintenance is occurring.

    The Lounge will go offline at 5 p.m. New York time on Feb. 1. Why 5 p.m. Eastern? Take a peek at the chart below.


    About 75% of English-speaking Internet users are in the U.S. and Canada. That's also true of the subscribers to the Windows Secrets Newsletter. The majority of these Internet users, in turn, live in the Eastern and Central time zones of North America.

    The chart above shows how many posts, on average, were submitted Jan. 321 during each hour of the day (Eastern Time). The bold line shows a smoothed average. You can see that a lot of activity begins around 8 a.m. Eastern Time, when people get to work, and a sharp drop-off begins around 5 p.m., when people go home. Taking the Lounge offline for an hour or so, starting at 5 p.m. New York time, should give most Lounge users around the world a chance to post in the Lounge before leaving work for the day.

    The chart is based on averages over an approximately three-week period. These averages cannot show a huge spike that occurred on Thurs., Jan. 7, when the newsletter first promoted the 20 most-popular forums in the Lounge. Well over 50 posts per hour were experienced, and more than 1,700 visitors were online at the peak. As a result of the huge traffic increase, some users saw "error 503" messages (meaning the server could not support any additional connections). We've temporarily stopped promoting the forums so much in the newsletter until a substantial improvement that we configured in the number of simultaneous connections is double-checked and verified to be adequate. We haven't seen the problem recur. But if you see a 503 message, use the "Contact an administrator" link at the bottom of the page to let us know.

    Please do not reply to this post, which is only an announcement. Thanks for your support.
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  2. #2
    Brian Livingston
    Update on our planned software upgrade: We attempted to install the 3.0.5 version of IPB on Feb. 1, but the upgrade would not install correctly. We went back to the 3.0.4 version of the platform, and requested a response from Invision Power Board about the causes of the upgrade problem.

  3. #3
    Brian Livingston
    Update on our move to version 3.0.5 of IPB: After consulting with the tech support staff of Invision Power Board, Admin Tony Johnston was able to resolve all remaining issues with the upgrade. The .5 patch came up with no errors at approximately 7:40 p.m. New York time on Feb. 1.

    The board is now running on version 3.0.5, and the improvements listed above should be working. That includes the new-posts status of the icons in the Lounge Lobby, which should now reflect any forums in which you've read all posts. If you see any problems or unexpected behaviors since the patch went live, please let us know, using the "Contact an administrator" link. Thanks!

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