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The Forum Is Once Again On Line

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On Friday, August 27th, this forum was attacked. Serious damage was done to the database which runs the forum and more than 25,000 messages were lost along with most of the user names and passwords.

The forum is slowly being re-built, and hopefully will be fully functional by the end of the week.

We had more than 1,100 registered users and hundreds who returned every day to read the latest news and gossip. If you are one of those people, please re-register. If you are new to this forum, welcome, and feel free to stick around and watch it blossom again.

Many people have sent e-mails expressing their sympathy for the money and time being expended rebuilding the forum. At this time, the best thing you can do to show your support is to be active. Post new discussions. Reply to others. Let's get this forum back off the ground and develop it into the largest Houston-oriented discussion forum on the internet.

Thank you for coming back,

Wayne Lorentz

Editor

Houston Architecture Info

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Yay, im glad you got it back up and running, im sorry to hear it was attacked, but it looks good. Thanks for bringing it back. :D , i missed it for the 2 days it was gone.

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Thanks, Wayne, for all the hard work you've put in this weekend. Due to your efforts, this will be only a temporary setback, and HAIF will be back, bigger and better than ever.

As you said, the best thing we can do is be active.

Looking forward to a fresh start.

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Sorry to hear that. Fortunately this board seems to me to have enough of a sense of community to recover from something like this. I'll do my part to bring it back to where it was. This is a daily stop for me on the internet!

Suzerain

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Hey, its CincoRanch-HoustonResident,

I was wondering how this website got attacked. Even though it was attacked it looks better than it did before it was attacked. Hopefully, all of the original members come back and this website will be so much better.

CincoRanch-HoustonResident

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    I was wondering how this website got attacked. Even though it was attacked it looks better than it did before it was attacked. Hopefully, all of the original members come back and this website will be so much better.

I'm not sure who did it, but I've changed the passwords on everything as a first step toward more security.

I've also purchased a 1/2 terrabyte external drive so I can do automated weely backups of everything. Hopefully if I can figure out the automation, I can make it a daily backup so that when these things happen they're not so traumatic.

I would like to reassure everyone that their e-mail addresses and passwords were not compromised in any way.

Once I get the board running smoothly again, I'll look into the server logs and see if there were any footprints left behind.

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I worked for hosting company doing support for awhile. Stuff like this happened all the time. The best I have to offer is to make daily backups. FreeBSD is an excellent OS, and Apache can be secure when configured properly. Just take all the necessary precautions. Make regular backups and make sure the latest patches are installed. Try running chkrootkit to see if any backdoors were installed.

I'm not sure who did it, but I've changed the passwords on everything as a first step toward more security.

I've also purchased a 1/2 terrabyte external drive so I can do automated weely backups of everything.  Hopefully if I can figure out the automation, I can make it a daily backup so that when these things happen they're not so traumatic.

I would like to reassure everyone that their e-mail addresses and passwords were not compromised in any way.

Once I get the board running smoothly again, I'll look into the server logs and see if there were any footprints left behind.

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What kind of evil person would attack our site? :angry:

Well, thanks for fixing this site!

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Its like the dust clearing from the bomb of a nuclear attack. We need to recollect our data, and rebuild our mighty forum. We will not let this minor thing ruin what we had, Time to rebuilt! Let HAIF triumph once again!

Long live HAIF!

-Montrose1100

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Hey guys,

Shocked to hear the news. I must say, this is the worst trauma I've experienced since A&M played that game against Oklahoma last year. We won't mention the score.

As the administrators have said, we must rebuild. We've got to show these terrorists that we're not afraid. This is Houston. These colors don't run.

We've lost our history. When you think about it, it's a truly Houston experience. You build something great, it gets torn down, and then you start over. We are just another in a long line of Houston institutions, like the Symphony, that has lost everything it had.

I have been wondering, as I'm sure many of you have, about who the culprit might be. After going through many possibilities, I've got to say that I think the top suspect is... Nancy Sarnoff's boyfriend. She showed him our little conversation, thinking it was good for a laugh; he got jealous, then angry, and then decided to hire some net thugs to give us a "going over." Well, all I've got to say is, Get rid of him, Nancy! A guy like that is not worth it! He'll be jealous of your friends, your family, and you'll be miserable. Join us now. Come to the other side.

In conclusion: I am here to help rebuild. One of the worse things is losing the huge post count under my name, but someday, that count will be high again. I will offer my thoughts, my feelings, my ideas, my information. I will always be loyal. I will always be...

H-Town Man

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Very m;uch so. It's just a matter of starting up posts and such. We had a number of topics that were rather heated and were going well. :)

I'll post something I saw that I was going to post yesterday.

Ricco

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What kind of evil person would attack our site? :angry:

Well, thanks for fixing this site!

I seriously can think of a few people.. but I don't want to mention names or anything. It's so sad that somebody would do this -- I mean, really. I'm not as angry as I am sad..

I know I didn't post too much on the site, but I visited everyday and read everything you guys had to say. You all are so awesome.. y'all have no idea how much I have learned from every single one of you (except non-houston, of course ;) ). When I first signed up with this site, I was so excited that I wasn't the only one who cared about this kind of stuff. I mean, being a 16-year old in high school, I don't get to discuss these topics with my peers.

Anyway, thanks to all of you for providing me with so much entertainment and knowledge. Let's get the forum going again!

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I seriously can think of a few people.. but I don't want to mention names or anything. It's so sad that somebody would do this -- I mean, really. I'm not as angry as I am sad..

I know I didn't post too much on the site, but I visited everyday and read everything you guys had to say. You all are so awesome.. y'all have no idea how much I have learned from every single one of you (except non-houston, of course ;) ). When I first signed up with this site, I was so excited that I wasn't the only one who cared about this kind of stuff. I mean, being a 16-year old in high school, I don't get to discuss these topics with my peers.

Anyway, thanks to all of you for providing me with so much entertainment and knowledge. Let's get the forum going again!

Horray!

Cheers!

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BTW, how the heck did you get to Advanced Member in one afternoon, Montrose1100?

Just one of many little details I still have to iron out as the week wears on. But it's good that you mention things like that, otherwise I might not notice. Hopefully everything will be better by Friday.

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I think this site will get back quickly on it's own. We shouldn't "FORCE" the site to start jumping again.

Looking at the various posts, we're already seemed to have forgotten the proper debating points we've had previously on different subject on this website and the spate of one and two line posts is infuriating as they have little real conent and do little to contribute (including mine) to a proper discussion.

Ricco

Edited by ricco67

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Just one of many little details I still have to iron out as the week wears on.  But it's good that you mention things like that, otherwise I might not notice.  Hopefully everything will be better by Friday.

The User Rankings have been updated.

As of 7:00am, Montrose 1100 and everyone else with between 10 and 50 posts is now ranked "McKee Street Bridge."

Just for fun, there are now 27 levels (plus administrators) based on the height of structures in the area.

0 Posts - Smith Street

5 Posts - Eleanor Tinsley Park

10 Posts - McKee Street Bridge

50 Posts - The Galleria

116 Posts - Bolivar Light

etc...

This is not intended to get people to post a blizzard of one-line messages just to see what the next rank is. It's just to beak things up from the old boring Newbie, Member, etc... rankings that every other forum uses.

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Well, my first post. Sort of depressing, like walking into your house and finding the furniture has all been stolen. :(

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I'm sure that over time the database will fill again. We don't need to immediately post a bunch of things in every topic just for the sake of quickly adding volume. If the site is to become interesting it would better to focus on quality discussion rather than the one-liners and bickering that had perhaps sometimes become a bit too common.

I wanted to add personal thanks to Wayne for his valiant work over the weekend to upgrade the board and try to restore what was restorable. It was a massive effort. Whoever did this probably doesn't realize the cost in time and money of that kind of vandalism.

Subdude

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Truly, subdude.

I, and others, need to thank Wayne for his work this past weekend, for what

I'm sure was a hard fought war to get this system back up and running.

As far as the attack itself goes, it may not be aimed SPECIFICALLY at HA, but rather it was an opportunisitic attack. It's a fairly common occurance on the web, unfortunately. Usually the major casualties are "smaller" websites like these.

Ricco

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I'm sure that over time the database will fill again.  We don't need to immediately post a bunch of things in every topic just for the sake of quickly adding volume.  If the site is to become interesting it would better to focus on quality discussion rather than the one-liners and bickering that had perhaps sometimes become a bit too common.

I wanted to add personal thanks to Wayne for his valiant work over the weekend to upgrade the board and try to restore what was restorable.  It was a massive effort.  Whoever did this probably doesn't realize the cost in time and money of that kind of vandalism. 

Subdude

Its like your new train set that you've had for a while, built up, and collected. Then all of a sudden, someone comes along and knocks all your expensive, new, old and great trains off the board. You have to put the trains back on the track, they won't do it them selves. I am not rushing anything, Just trying to spark everything "back on track". I only want to help get this site back on its feet, with the right foot of corse.

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I'm not sure who did it, but I've changed the passwords on everything as a first step toward more security.

I've also purchased a 1/2 terrabyte external drive so I can do automated weely backups of everything.

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Actually, it's probably for the best. Alot of the members on here were people that logged in once or twice and then left. Few "lurkers" were around.

That would be an interesting bit of info, though.

what were the contributor/Lurker/member ratio. :o

Ricco

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Wow.  1/2 TB?  That's a big ass database....espescially considering how small our little forum was (and even smaller now).  Too bad you didn't have it in place sooner.

So what exactly did they do?  Drop all the tables, scramble the data ??  Is data recovery an option?  Any of our readers work for a data recovery company?

Oh yah....WOO HOO, MY MEMBER NUMBER IS LOWER!  :)

The 1/2 TB is just so I can keep daily copies. I'll set up a cron job to make backups daily and keep about a month's worth on the drive. Of course, there's more to the enterprise than just the forum. There's Houston Architecture Info,

Chicago Architecture Info,

New York Architecture Info,

ViennaArchitecture.at,

Prague Architecture Info,

and the biggest of them all -- Glass Steel and Stone.

Naturally, since I run them all by myself, some have gotten more attention than others. For some reason, every time a visit somewhere I have a hard time resisting starting a web site for it.

Some day I hope to get some volunteers to help write and take pictures. But I intend to fill them all out eventually, even if I have to do it on my own.

Coming soon:

LondonArchitecture.co.uk

ChineseArchitecture.cn

Tokyo Architecture Info

The HAIF database was 44 megs uncompressed, but as it's all text it should compress quite nicely.

What the vandal did was run through a couple of the index tables and overwrite every third entry. It's been an exhausting weekend, so I'm content to just put the old database behind us and start fresh. With 70 people signing back on in just two days, I think we have a good chance of seeing this forum return to its former glory.

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Thanks for getting the forums back up and looking better than ever! I'm glad to be able to participate in these forums. Thanks for all the hard work.

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3 Posts. THREEEEE freek'n posts. I was approaching 1,500 posts and was looking forward to that day when I would have two thousand one hundred and twelve posts.

I feel like an amature now.

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3 Posts.  THREEEEE freek'n posts.  I was approaching 1,500 posts and was looking forward to that day when I would have two thousand one hundred and twelve posts.

I feel like an amature now.

Hey man, I've been around here since 2002 and have a big EIGHT posts to show for it. <_< So my new motto is Quality Not Quantity, since I'll never catch up now! :o

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Aman, Subdude. I say the same thing.

Besides, it takes a lot of energy for me to type out my long winded posts. :D

AND I like the new format as well.

Ricco

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i noticed that a handful of peeps in this forum like to run up their post stats with one or two word replies. I don't see the point to having the number of posts listed. It seems to be more of an egometer. Quality, not quantity.

Regardless, I like this forum and the people that contribute to it. Glad to see that it's back up.

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i noticed that a handful of peeps in this forum like to run up their post stats with one or two word replies.
Edited by dbigtex56

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I think I'm still in denial or withdrawal or whatever. :(

For a while, I thought I had been banned without being told of it. :D

While I was gone, I had to go somewhere, so I found so new websites/boards to look at, (although nothing comes close to the level of professionalism of production on this forum), and so here are some of them:

FreeCycle

ForSaleInHouston

MovingHouston

MET_Houston

and, of course, my perennial favorite obsession:

UnitedToSaveOurSpring

Thanks again, Wayne, for all your hard work, we really do appreciate you! :)

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i noticed that a handful of peeps in this forum like to run up their post stats with one or two word replies.  I don't see the point to having the number of posts listed.  It seems to be more of an egometer.  Quality, not quantity.

It's easy to say that when you're Smith Street.

Just wait 'till you're Williams Tower. :P

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AND I like the new format as well.

Ricco

I'd say my favorite new features are the QuickReply, and the Lo-Fi Version -- great for my Palm Pilot.

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What kind of evil person would attack our site?

Probablly some jealous jerk from Dallas.

I will miss the detailed conversations circling some of Houston's pending projects.

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Probablly some jealous jerk from Dallas.

PLEASE don't go there. We're going to keep a tighter rein on posts that pointlessly insult either Houston or Dallas.

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Probablly some jealous jerk from Dallas.

I will miss the detailed conversations circling some of Houston's pending projects.

:lol: funny you say that tamtagon...I was going to say the same thing.

I am glad things are back up and running again. The site is much improved.

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Hey Guys its me "Texasgurl" with a new name change ;) But I came back too!! I love reading bout y'all even if I don't post sometimes!

I love the International part of this board AND the Dallas vs. Houston nitpicks! (Hilarious!!) and the pictures (so I can show my out of town friends)

:)

Thanks for a great board to come home to where I don't feel attacked online by people who love to pick fights with me!! its SO welcoming!

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