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Website and Forums Upgrade

Hopefully I was able to do the upgrade of the website without impacting to many people’ access to it. It and the forums were down for a little while this morning. I have had people bring to my attention a few features that were acting up or not working over the last month or two and noticed a couple more myself. In response I have done a major software version upgrade to the base wordpress website as well as the forum software. As always I don’t anticipate this going perfectly smooth. Experience says that there are always small issues. Please let me know of you notice anything.  I am anticipating that some of the forum plugins will possibly need to be upgraded also. If so I will do that over the next day or so as we figure out which ones no longer work. Sadly those are not free. I need to check that if I have already purchased them once can I re download the the newer versions of them for free. I don’t think that will be the case as it was more of an annual service contract the last time I did this. No worries though as the donations that have given over the last year or so will go a long way to covering the cost. For those of you that have donated please feel warm and fuzzy as I wouldn’t have been able to purchase the new updates without your support.

It is kind of irksome that we are having to pay for these plugins. When we started using this forum software many years ago it was all open source and free. About 4 years ago? the developers went to a new version that the core forums are still free but that plugins that handled […]

Web server issues over last couple days

If you have been trying to use the website over the last couple days you might have gotten messages saying there were to many connections or various other error messages involving the sql server, and have been unable to actually use the website. I have been troubleshooting it for the last two days and with a bit of troubleshooting help we found that someone in Russia was using a standard ping back feature of the xmlrpc.php file in wordpress on a couple of the other websites on this server to reflect an attack on a couple of servers here in the US. It was a bit of a conundrum for us as we were not hacked as I had initially believed, they were taking advantage of a supported feature of wordpress, but it ended up creating a denial of service for us as the attackers were opening as many ports with their spoofed pingback request as the server would support. This blocked other users such as you from using the website. Our options were to remove the xmlrpc.php file in the root of all the wordpress sites on the server. This would fix the issue but also break some functionality inside wordpress. IT would have been livable but still not optimal. Luckily we found a plugin for wordpress that addresses this exact situation and allows us to turn off pingbacks while not breaking other functionality.

Everything should be back to normal. As of a few minutes ago we weren’t seeing any more connections being opened up for these pingback DOS attack packets.

 

If anyone is having any issues please let me know. I don’t think that implementing this fix should affect your usage of the website but you can never tell.

 

Thank you,

Scott Carle

Webmaster and general […]

Portlight Replacement “A Quick Story of S/V Argyle”

I replaced all six opening ports with NFM stainless steel opening ports. They have been excellent. I believe the 17″ ports were very close to a drop in fit. The only extra cutting required was for the ‘half-moon’ cutouts required for the two drains in each port and the countersinks on the back side of the outside plate. The exact cabin trunk thickness was not required. The outer plate connects to the body of the window using female threaded ‘slugs’ molded to the plate. You screw the window and outer plate together from the inside. Here is a picture showing how the outer plate sits in a spot where the factory cut the window hole a little too square. (I ended up filling in that gap with thickened epoxy.)

The rest of that folder has a few other other pictures of the install, it should be an open directory.

I used the template from NFM, but it did not line up all the holes perfectly. The moldings from each window differ slightly. If I were doing it again, I would start the drill holes, marking the location of each hole, from the inside using the port itself. I would then use the template to make sure the drill went in at 90 degrees to the surface for each hole. You need to keep each port ‘married’ to each hole until you complete the install, otherwise the drill holes might not line up. These are well built, but they are not tight tolerance parts.

I used polysulfide to seal up the port against the cabin trunk and 4000UV to seal up the outside plate. If doing it again I would just use the factory butyl. Can’t complain though. It’s been six years and they haven’t leaked a drop.  🙂

 

#gallery-1 […]

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

I just wanted to take a moment to wish our members a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I look forward to continuing our journey together in the new year as we all work on, sail, live on our boats, and share our experiences here.

 

Merry Christmas

Scott Carle

Computer use 101…. Keeping it running

So I was on a boating forum I’m a member of and as seems to happen a lot the conversation turned to computers, almost everyone has them and uses them from basic internet use to being parts of their navigation systems on boats nowadays. Since I do computers for a living someone asked me how to keep a computer clean… The conversations was over the automated registry cleaner programs such as CC Cleaner or others of it’s ilk that I recommend against.

The question was

Scott,Can you recommend a process for a non-geek to use to keep a computer clean?

 

My answer that I thought might be valuable to some here also.

its actually simpler than you would think and a bit harder.

 First.. The # 1 rule is don’t install software on your computer. If you actually read the license agreement that you have to accept to use windows on your computer it specifies that Microsoft doesn’t warrant windows to run if you install anything on it.. including their other products including Microsoft Office, etc….  When I sold computers and provided a warranty on them, we specifically didn’t warranty the OS or software and showed clients that because Microsoft wouldn’t warranty windows that we wouldn’t warranty software. We did warranty the hardware. If we replaced a piece of hardware to get a computer operating again it was covered. If we could fix it by fixing the software it wasn’t covered. How could I reasonably give a warranty on a product that the companies making wouldn’t give. You will find that now days almost every piece of commercial software sold has the same we don’t warranty it to work if it’s installed on anything or with anything verbage.

 So we all know that a […]