Upgrade: phpBB 2.0.23 to phpBB 3.0.1

Well, I’m in the process of upgrading my BimmerMania.com forum from the now retired phpBB 2.x line. The candidate for the upgrade in the fresh phpBB 3.0.1 release!

This latest 3.x release has been out for a little while now, but I’ve been hesitant to upgrade since I was busy with school and everything. Now that the summer break is here and I’ll be off my feet anyway for a while (surgery), I figured I’d go a head and upgrade!

The main reason that I put it off for so long is because of the customizations that I made to the original BimmerMania.com forum (header, icons, extra pages such as the downloads and links and home/intro pages). Now that I have plenty of time for tweaking and working out any bugs, I can finally upgrade! Everyone who knows me knows that I love using the latest and the greatest, hehe.

A simple break down of the process needed to upgrade is as follows:

  1. Backup your current phpBB 2.x database by downloading it and saving it.

  2. Go to phpBB.com and download the latest 3.x version from the link on the homepage (file types include zip and tar.bz2).

  3. Extract the archive and upload the folder to your server.

  4. Open your web browser and navigate to the folder that you uploaded to the server.

  5. To upgrade from 2.x to 3.x, you want to make a new installation first, making sure to use a different table prefix. My phpBB 2.x tables didn’t have a prefix (I removed the phpBB_ prefix from them upon installation) so I used phpBB_ which is the default.

    If you are already using phpBB_ as your table prefix for phpBB 2.x then you could use something like phpBB3_ for this conversion.

  6. After following the new installation instructions and completing them, you’ll be prompted to either convert an existing forum (phpBB 2.x) or make the current installation live, which means the general public can see it. You want to convert and existing forum here. Just follow the directions and everything will be updated.

    Your old 2.x tables will not be removed. So if anything goes wrong with the conversion, your original forum is still working fine. After the conversion, you may want to go in and remove the old table items from the 2.x build as this is not done manually.

  7. Next, you’ll want to edit the template and make other changes to the overall appearance of the site as you see fit before making it live.

  8. Once everything is working and in place, you can upload a brief and temporary under construction index.htm or index.php page while you move the contents of the phpBB3 folder to the root directory to make it live.

    This can be done quickly with an ftp client by creating a folder called phpBB2 and dragging all of the contents of the root folder (except the phpBB3 folder) over the phpBB2 folder and dropping them to move them.Next, open the phpBB3 folder and select all of the contents. Now drag and drop them over the parent directory folder (it has the two dots: “..”). This will move the contents to the previous folder (should be root).

    The last step is to delete or rename the temporary under construction page so that the new forum shows up live! Everything should now be converted and if you feel ready, you can delete the phpBB2 and phpBB3 folders!

Well, that’s the conversion process in a nut shell, lol. If you have any comments or suggestions then please do post them! I’m currently in the middle of the above process, but since I’m editing the theme so much…I’m going to leave the phpBB 2.x version live for a while so the site isn’t down too long. 😉

Online Alarm Clock back online!

online alarm clockSince I recently made the switch to WordPress, I have been busy reorganizing my entire website and making it a bit stronger. I’ve taken on the task of recoding a majority of the Online Alarm Clock that I coded a couple of years ago.

I want to improve the back-end before I redo the front-end and cause more trouble. 😛 I’ve already simplified a large portion of the code, but my next task is to go in and eliminate ridiculous processes where some code might be repeated several times instead of being dynamic.

Once I get the back-end worked out a little more and cleaned up, I’m planning to publish the code as an Open Source package under a GNU license. Much similar to the way you would setup a forum (phpBB) or a blog (WordPress) on your site.

The package will be minimized as much as possible, but I’ll be sure to have plenty of information in the Readme.txt file. 😉 Besides, the setup will be super easy. Just a typical config file that you will need to enter your database connection information into so users can be stored and alarms can be saved. 😉 Requirements will basically just be PHP and MySQL (not sure which versions are compatible just yet though).

After I get the back-end all worked out, I’ll start working on some user interface templates and an admin control panel. I’m also thinking I should make a control panel for end-users so they can select themes, customize their own themes and anything else I can think of (or that’s suggested).

If you want to see what this Online Alarm Clock is then go check it out for your self! You can register for free and have an alarm to watch all of the online videos you want when you wake up!

If you’re interested in getting the Online Alarm Clock for your own site then you should check out the Google project that I started for it! You can download the package as soon as I get the first one ready, report issues that you find in the code and even track reported issues by others!

What’s New..

Well, I think you’ll all find this useful at one point or another. I’ve implemented editing for user comments, finally. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while and correcting some errors here and there, but now you can correct your own or add more to your comment. However, there are just a few things you will need to know:

  1. You will not have the option to edit your comment unless your ip address is the same one that was used when you posted the comment. It is best to edit the comment soon after originally posting it since ip addresses do change frequently for some.
  2. You cannot edit your comment after a specific time period from originally posting it. I will use a 48 hour interval to start out with. This interval may change, but I’ll keep you up to date.

Off to finish F.R.I.E.N.D.S. on TBS!

Quoting is also an option now! Both of these features rely on javascript and will be improved greatly in the near future. They are just kind of 1.0 versions I guess, or maybe alpha. 😉 Enjoy.

New site design under way..

I’ve been working on redesigning the site a bit so it doesn’t feel so cluttered. I’m not finished yet and still have a bit of cleaning up to do. However, I wanted to get some comments, feedback and constructive criticism. Please let me know the goods and the bads. If you can..please give a suggestion or 20. 😀

I don’t want to officially launch the design yet, so I’m waiting for reviews. I’m curious if it’s better or worse and what is better or worse about it. I haven’t gone as far as setting up cookies or passing the css tag, so the style sheet will only apply on pages with css=2 appended to them. If you view another page and would like to see how it looks with the style sheet then just add ?css=2 at the end and press enter. Here are some links to get started..


Check them while their hot! I’ll be removing this feature/option soon and these links will be disabled. 😉

New design is up. I’m still tweaking it and working in the comments and suggestions. Thanks for the feedback!

Screenshots now use on-the-fly thumbnails

phpI finally got around to implementing thumbnails for the screenshots to the right and in the gallery! Basically, instead of loading full screen images (which take ages to load on a slow internet connection) you are now loading images that have been shrunk from the originals down to the size that you see so no bandwidth is wasted and you see them load much faster!

Here is how it works:
The script that I’m using takes a src param and a width param. [You’ll see this if you’re viewing the source of the images. 😉 ] The src (or source) param is the path to the original full size image. Once the source or path to the image has been established, the script shrinks and caches (saves or stores) the image on the server and then sends it to you. This makes my job of maintaining screenshots much easier!

Just thought you ought to know. 😉 You most likely would never have known that these images were served to you on-the-fly and are not actually stored on the server in the sizes that you see. Just a neat little php trick!

If you’re interested in the script that I used you can find it at phpthumb.sourceforge.net/. It’s open source and updated fairly often (just enough so it’s not out of date, lol).

Enjoy the faster page loads!