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Old 17th March 2008, 07:54 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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Default Welcome to the NEW Sydney Airport Message Board!

Dear Users,

Welcome to the new home of the Sydney Airport Message Board, the 2009 Sydney Airport Spotting Weekend, and the (soon-to-be-resurrected) Sydney Airport Enthusiast WWW Site.

The past several weeks have been incredibly annoying for all of us. To cut a long story short, we reached an impasse over billing with our US hosting provider, which - despite numerous efforts on our part - is still yet to be resolved. The upshot of this is that vpmag.com/yssy board - and its datafiles - is inaccessible to us at the moment. The post archive from that message board is obviously of immense value to all of us, and our original intention was to migrate those files onto a new provider and domain. After four weeks, and with the hosting 'dispute' still unresolved (and the data files still inaccessible), however, we decided that we could simply not afford to wait any longer. As such, we have pressed ahead with a move that we hope will lead to a number of very substantial benefits to the users.

Firstly, our hosting is now provided by an Australian company, based on the Gold Coast. Australian and New Zealand users should notice at least some improvement in Board access times, and the service will be less affected by outages of major world data pipes, as we've experienced from time to time over the years.

Secondly, we have migrated onto a new Board software platform, vBulletin. This software is immensely more powerful than phpBB (its predecessor), and incorporates a whole host of new functions including sophisticated Private Messaging, a powerful Calendar utility, a vastly improved search function, and much more. The software is substantially more secure and more spam-resistant, and indeed more user-friendly. We have replicated the forum layout from the previous board, and will examine the best way to incorporate the message archive from the phpBB board when the hosting impasse is resolved.

At this stage, our primary goal is to restore the primary 'message board' functionality. We'll enable other functions (eg. calendar, private messaging) over the next week or two as the system beds down.

Thirdly, the move to a new hosting provider will enable us to centralise the full suite of Sydney Airport web sites, including the official Spotting Weekend page and the resurrection of the Sydney Airport Enthusiast WWW Site. More on this soon....

Whilst a number of the ancillary benefits of the move may take a number of weeks or months to completely come 'on stream', I think we'd all agree that the main priority was to restore the Message Board service first. And on that note, there are a number of small changes:

- Users will need to re-register on the Board (annoying for all of us, I know) and also activate their account via an email link. Unfortunately pre-existing user data, profile pictures and posting history (and yes, post counts) remain inaccessible on vpmag.com. Please note that users must register from a POP3 email account provided by your ISP or workplace. For security reasons, registrations from free email providers (such as Hotmail, Gmail etc) are unable to be accepted.

- The Board's 'Conditions of Use', Moderation Policy and operating philosophies remain unchanged. Users should re-familiarise themselves with the Conditions prior to registration.

- Long time Board member and Brisbane spotter David Knudsen has joined the Moderation Team and will oversee the Board's IT development. He has considerable experience in this area, and we are extremely grateful to have him on board. The other moderators are Kurt Ams, Nathan Long, Luke Wallace and Will Tidmarsh, and the general email address for all moderation enquiries is boardadmin@yssyforum.net .

Plenty has taken place over the past few weeks in aviation, and please feel free to kick-start the Board with articles and discussion from that period (starting with the various airlines' HY results!). Please bear with us while we expand the functionality of the Board. Email enquiries may take some time to respond to given our workload at the moment, but hopefully this will thin out over the next couple of weeks.

Finally, thanks to all of you for your patience and humour over the past few weeks. And a particular thank you to those who so generously offered hosting and technical assistance in order to get us back up and running.

We trust you'll enjoy the software, and as always please post comments, suggestions and queries up on the Admin forum!

Thanks again,

Moderation Team.
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