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Admin News: Logins and Chat

This entry was posted by on Thursday, 6 February, 2014 at

The Steelers use the offseason to tweak their capabilities and performance (or so we hope), and Steel Balls must do the same. As many of you know, we’ve been trying to get a handle on a couple of problems here on the site. I can report on the status of those efforts and potential impact.

  1. Login problems. Up until now, it has been difficult to log in consistently to the site. I’m pretty sure that situation has been resolved, and I want to encourage you all to try logging in rather than visiting as a guest, and please report here if you have any difficulty doing that. I have logged in and out multiple times over the last couple of days without error, so my fingers are crossed.
  2. High CPU usage problem. This is a problem that is invisible to users, but my hosting company has been pushing me on this for weeks and to be honest we haven’t figured out the cause. However, there is some indication that it might originate with our beloved chat system (Sound Off). As such, I will be tinkering with it over the next few days, experimenting with changes such as requiring you to log in to see and use the chat, or possibly moving it off of the home page, or maybe experimenting with a different chat system. It’s important to resolve this CPU issue because if I am forced to move to a dedicated server it’s going to cost considerably more money to host this site, and I really want to keep it free.

On another administrative issue, I have disabled public registration on the site. This is a response to the relentless deluge of spam registrations being perpetrated by bots and apparently even some humans capable of getting past the captcha code, no doubt slaves in India or the like, bartering their time as spammers in trade for a bowl of kibble. Anyway, if you need to register or re-register, send me an email and I’ll do it for you.

Your patience is appreciated.

[Update] Please note…  as part of my cleanup effort, I have reviewed and deleted approximately 500 bogus account registrations from the site. It is difficult for me to know for sure that a registration is bogus unless I recognize the username or there is something obvious to indicate that it is legitimate (like a Steeler-related avatar) rather than a registration generated by some a-hole spammer. Therefore, I almost certainly have removed a few registrations that were actually legitimate. If you fall into that category, send me an email and I will create a new registration for you. For the time being I have disabled public registrations. If anyone is curious, we currently have 76 legitimate registrations, although probably only about half of them are regular contributors.

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    I’m baaaaaaaack.

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