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Messages - landbeforetimelover

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1
Announcements / Re: Forum domain downtime
« on: December 18, 2018, 10:31:52 AM »
I'm glad this issue is finally resolved.  There is one more minor issue that needs to be worked out, but hopefully everything will be working 100% correctly in the next few days.

2
The Fridge / Re: So who all decided to make the transfer?
« on: May 31, 2018, 10:08:05 PM »
I'm hoping that everyone is able to transfer over.  We might want to put a message at the top of the forums about the change so that if someone comes back months/years later, they realize that they need to retrieve their login information.  I just changed the www.gangoffive.net domain over to the new forums so unless people remember the "unfriendly" original URL, they'll be redirected here.

3
Announcements / Re: Welcome to the new Gang of Five forum!
« on: May 30, 2018, 05:04:03 PM »
SO any ideas you have, by all means, share them.

Where to start?  There's just so much that needs to be updated.  ALL of the icons for example are extremely dated (I'm talking about the BOLD icon for example when you go to make a new post), and the icons for replying to topics, quoting a post, etc. all need to be themed to match LBT.  As much as it pains me to say it, I think it's time for a whole new look for GOF.  Thankfully SMF includes themes and the ability for individual members to change themes, so member can choose to either keep things the way they are, or apply a new theme.

I would suggest a lighter theme, with text that's easy to read.  We could also make a "dark" version of the theme for members that prefer that.  But the forums need about a million little changes and it all takes time.  I might develop my own SMF theme and show it to you guys so you can have a better idea of what I'm talking about.  I took a look at the themes gallery at the SMF website and they're all pretty dated looking and awful, which means that either the ability to modify the theme is severely limited or (most likely), no one has really developed a good looking theme.  It takes a lot of skill to totally design a theme from scratch and have everything look good together.

4
Announcements / Re: Welcome to the new Gang of Five forum!
« on: May 30, 2018, 04:19:20 PM »
Everything seems to work, but it feels VERY dated.  Like a forum from the early 2000's. 

Also, text and other elements just aren't large enough on my phone screen. 

I would be happy to help with the design of the website so that it looks better both on computers and phones/tablets.

The theme should be clean, modern, and look great on all devices.  This just isn't cutting it.  If you want an example of what the forums COULD look like, I encourage you to check out the forum on my website:

www.thelandbeforetime.org

My little forum is based on much simpler technology under the hood and probably couldn't handle the traffic that GOF gets, but that doesn't mean that we can't make GOF at least LOOK more clean and modern.

5
Announcements / The Great Migration
« on: May 24, 2018, 09:26:04 PM »
Quote from: rhombus on May 24 2018, 01:51:30 PM
it would just be a matter of finding a willing host that is capable of meeting this forum's needs - unlimited storage, unlimited bandwidth, and the option to directly host images on the board.
Has financing been taken care of?  Who will pay for the hosting?  Will there be ads on the site?  I already own the domain name.  I would be happy to own and pay for the hosting account as well.  

In order to assure that the forums continue to exist even if one or more of the owners die or encounter other difficulties, I recommend putting the board itself either into an existing business, or setting up a new business (a multi-member LLC would be preferable).  We could then support it through a platform such as Patreon.  

People that want things to stand the test of time set them up in a legal structure.  The difficulty would be in making sure that everyone fully understands the working of the business itself, and that enough trusted people are involved in said business.

We're in COMPLETELY different territory than we were before.  We need to prepare and set things up properly.  In the past we were supported by Invision.  Even if some of the admins died or stopped being part of the board, the board would still always exist.  Now that we no longer have the protection and stability of another company, we have to obtain that stability ourselves.  

Basically it's renting vs. owning.  We were renting the board.  Renting a home is a LOT less work and worry.  Owning a home is totally different.  There's legal BS to deal with (taxes, insurance, etc.), and if something goes wrong, YOU have to fix it yourself.  And if only one person owns the home and either dies or walks away from it, it's taken by the state (or in this case, taken by the web host and the site is erased).  

If we don't set this up properly, we'll be in an even more unstable and dangerous position than we were with Invision.  It's too dangerous for only one person to own the board.  It should be owned by a company that has equal members, and supported financially by the members (through Patreon or another source).  If all else fails, the members of the company (most likely the admins) will agree to shoulder the burden of financing the hosting costs.

I own several businesses and I have contacts with an excellent accountant, financial adviser, and asset protection lawyer.  I've been down this road MANY times.  It's not fun, but I'm happy to offer any help I can.  The business needs a bank account, tax ID number, it will need to have its own tax return.  It may seem silly to do all this for a small board like this, but if we want GOF to exist for many years in the future, it MUST be set up properly so that its continued existence isn't dependent on only one or two people.  I know it's tempting to just pawn it off to someone like me or BadPointer that knows web design/development, but I fear this board won't be around a few years from now if things aren't set up properly.

I don't know if I've really said this on the forums here (I try to keep this to myself for the most part), but I'm a pretty wealthy guy.  I own three businesses and several rental properties.  If the board needs financing, I'd be happy to provide it.

6
Announcements / The Great Migration
« on: May 23, 2018, 10:32:11 AM »
Oh, I thought I should mention that I'm the one that owns the www.gangoffive.net domain name.  Right now it just redirects to the "unfriendly" URL (z7.zetaboards.com/thegangoffive), but it would be nice if this domain was actually the main domain for the site.

7
Announcements / The Great Migration
« on: May 22, 2018, 09:28:55 PM »
Quote from: Hypno on May 22 2018, 07:58:56 PM
I've done everything I need to do, except save my avatar. But I use it on other sites so that's fine, I'll just download it when I get on my computer and upload it again.

I really feel bad for you guys. First the Photobucket issue, now this. All because of greed and money from the companies involved. :(
Yes, these are dark days for the internet in general.  This is why I always make sure that I have FULL control over my content and my data.  I would never set up an important website that I didn't have 100% control over.  Even if you're paying a company, they can sell to someone else, or just change their minds and totally screw you over.  This is why I HIGHLY recommend going with a self hosted solution that also allows members to upload content directly to the board, rather than having to hotlink from sites like Photobucket.  Most hosts offer a good amount of storage (sometimes even UNLIMITED storage) for a decent price.  I don't think GOF is large enough to justify a dedicated (or even semi-dedicated) server, but I'd have to see the traffic stats of the site to know for sure.  

I really hope we can save the board, and that we'll look back at this time as when things really turned around and started going in the right direction.  I've never been comfortable with GOF being on a free host like Invisionfree/Zetaboards.  I'm sad to say that my misgivings were well founded.  I knew this would happen one day.  I just can't believe it happened so soon.  But then again, 11 years in the technology industry is like 140 years in real life.  Things always move so fast.

EDIT:  Do you know if member metadata (i.e. post count, join date, etc.) will be preserved in the move to the new platform?

8
Announcements / The Great Migration
« on: May 22, 2018, 05:34:07 PM »
Quote from: rhombus on May 22 2018, 03:33:57 PM
We were looking at several possibilities including using a paid hosting company (phpBB recommends BlueHost or HostMonster) at least as a temporary option, and they seem to have pretty good reviews.
Just be aware that if you do this, there's going to be a lot more maintenance involved as we'll have to deal with everything under the hood code-wise.  No one else is going to make sure the forums run smoothly on the back end, and there are ALWAYS problems that crop up.  I recommend just getting everything transferred to another platform ASAP just to make sure that the data is actually intact.  Then we can worry about making a more permanent move later.

I used to do web design and development FROM SCRATCH back in the day, but I haven't kept up with the latest developments.  I run a computer repair and sales business and I design websites for other companies, but Wordpress has made me lazy these days when it comes messing with the really deep stuff.  When you're running a business, time is money, and it's a lot easier to just base everything on Wordpress and go from there than to do everything from scratch like I used to do all those years ago.

I must admit, I found it a fun challenge to customize BBPress and make it look and function as well as it does on my website.  Unfortunately it doesn't have all the features of Zetaboards or phpBB.  I would be a fun challenge to really get deep into BBPress itself and add new features.  The problem is time.  Running a business takes everything out of me and I don't have the energy I used to when I was younger and new to the forums here (2007).

9
Announcements / The Great Migration
« on: May 22, 2018, 04:10:58 PM »
To be honest, Zetaboards really sucks anyway.  I think it's time for a change to a platform with more flexibility.  But this time it is absolutely ESSENTIAL that we set up the forums so that they're self-hosted, so we don't have to show ads and so that some big company can't just pull the rug out from underneath us like this in the future.  

I have a small forum on my website, TheLandBeforeTime.org, but it's based on BBPress.  I don't think it could handle the amount of data on the forums here without a significant server upgrade on my part.  How large is GOF anyway?  BBPress is rather primitive, but it has a lot of flexibility and it's easy to add code to it.  I know of a few pretty large forums with 20,000+ members that are based on BBPress.

10
Silver Screen / The My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic Thread
« on: March 11, 2018, 09:15:27 AM »
I'm pretty excited about season 8.  It's really too bad that season 9 will be the last season though.  I was REALLY hoping to make it to 10+ seasons.

11
1988 Theatrical Release / SCRIPT for Original Uncut LBT FOUND!
« on: March 10, 2018, 04:11:31 PM »
This is a pretty nice find!  It's incredible to me that something can be found 30 years later like this.

12
General Land Before Time / Crush?
« on: November 11, 2017, 12:04:33 PM »
Good Lord, who bumped the 500 year old thread?  This thread started out (back in the cretaceous era) as being about an innocent crush.  Now we're talking about weird hybrid offspring between two entirely biologically incompatible species.  :p  I thought the old board used to lock old topics after a period of time so they couldn't be bumped like this?  Maybe not...

13
Silver Screen / The My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic Thread
« on: October 30, 2017, 12:43:32 AM »
Okay, this season finale would have made a MUCH better movie.  It was really good, but unfortunately was much too fast paced.  It needed to be at least a 3 parter, but would have been better stretched over 4 episodes.  We never really got to form a connection with the 6 new ponies.  I'm hoping we see more of them in the future, but this episode just seemed so crammed up with time constraints.  The scene in the dragon kingdom was way too long for such a simple thing they needed to do.  Overall, the movie should have been an episode, and this two part episode should have been the movie.

14
Silver Screen / The My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic Thread
« on: October 24, 2017, 01:20:04 AM »
Quote from: pokeplayer984,Oct 22 2017 on  08:47 AM
So, time to be real about something with me and this show.

What this boils down to is that I'm leaving the MLP fandom after the final episode has aired.  It'll also be the last time I'll be contributing to this thread like I have.  Maybe I'll pop in from time to time to express my thoughts on the season, but that's it really.

Fact is, with this thread, it's been difficult for me.  I do plenty as is to get my thoughts for the episodes up and sometimes, I don't feel like talking about an episode when there's nothing that really interested me in the episode as a whole.  On top of that, I usually have a nap before work to the point it's become routine.  If I don't get it in, I can be a little cranky at work.  So, it's kind of important.

With when I take my nap, I have to wake myself up early just to watch the episode.  After that, I get into talking about the episode so much, I don't get my full nap in.

Unless something major happens, I won't be doing next season, period.  It's not worth it anymore and I struggle as is.

As for the fandom, look, I've tolerated a lot with it.  I really have, but I can't take it anymore.  The reaction to Scootaloo's Aunts was my breaking point.  I do not like how the fandom handled it at all.  I'm glad there are those whom supported it and even defended it, but if plans are to make this a reality next season, then I choose not to be around to weather through the storm.  I want to be as far away as possible if and when it happens.

Add on all the tension that the fandom has now and it just hasn't become a fun place anymore.  I've chosen to leave before things get ugly.

Doesn't mean I won't watch the show, though, but I'll do it on my own time from here on out.

I've made my decision and it's not changing.

Well, see ya next week for my final big contribution.
I've never personally been part of the "fandom" so to speak.  People are freaking crazy.  I download the episodes when I can from YayPonies and watch them anywhere between 1 and 3 days after they air.  

To be honest, I couldn't care less what random people on the internet think.  The only place I actually read opinions of MLP is here on GOF (which is mostly your reviews and Chronicler's).  Why?  Because I've gotten to know the members on GOF well.  What do I care about some random commenters on Equestria Daily?  

I highly recommend distancing yourself from the fandom.  I tired to get into the fandom early on, but it was just too offensive and people were far too crazy for my taste.  

I have my own opinions of the show.  Personally, I wish they had continued on like season 1, keeping the universe small and focusing on the mane 6.  Twilight shouldn't have a brother that was never mentioned for 26 episodes.  I don't like Twilight as an alicorn.  I have no love for Starlight.  I don't hate her, but I wish they'd get rid of her.  Send her away to study friendship in some faraway land or something.  Maud is annoying, and so is Trixie.  

The show is nothing like it was when I first got into it.  This is NOT the show that I fell in love with in 2011.  I still watch it, though honestly the only reason I've kept with it is for those rare moments when we see deeper into a main character.  I loved the first episode in season 7 when we saw a different side of Celestia, and seeing Celestia and Luna feuding like sisters was a real treat in episode 10.  But honestly, those are the only episodes in the entire season that got ANY real character development.  Season 7 is the worst season BY FAR with about 1/2 of the episodes being pretty flat.

Honestly, it's been a long decline but ponies are really just a sellout.  It doesn't seem like anyone as Hasbro cares about making decent stories anymore.  We haven't had any episode showing any of the mane 6 growing for a long, long time.  And I'm getting REALLY sick of background characters getting all the main focus.  You could say that since these background characters are getting so much screen time that they're no longer background characters anymore, but just showing some shallow background character doing stuff doesn't really make you get to know them or actually care about them.  I couldn't care less about characters like Ember.  I mean, heck.  I barely have a connection to Spike, and he's been in almost every episode!

Season 1 (and to a lesser extent, season 2) will always have a place in my heart.  But things have been on a downward spiral for so long, I don't know if I really care to watch any more episodes.  The only characters I really care about are the mane 6, and Celestia and Luna.  Cadence has a very consistent character, and I do like how kind she is.  She's probably the only background character I've formed even a small connection with.

15
Silver Screen / The My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic Thread
« on: October 11, 2017, 10:55:41 AM »
Well since no one's mentioned it yet, I'll give you my opinions of the movie   ***Spoiler FREE***.  The animation wasn't great (it lacked the same feeling and the characters seemed to have no emotion), and the story was badly laid out.  We don't even find out about the motivation for the main antagonist until near the end...like it was an afterthought or something (and it was a stupid motivation to boot - and I thought Starlight Glimmer's motivation for enslaving the village was bad).  The characters just weren't believable as they never prescribed any real motivations behind their actions.  Overall it was a very shallow film, not worthy of the MLP name.  

But honestly, this is like pretty much ALL movies I've seen in recent years.  Characters just have sex for no reason (I'm talking about OTHER movies right now, NOT the MLP movie!) when they don't even know each other, they throw some transgender or lesbian/gay person in for no real reason, and the directors don't do anything to make you actually CARE or even give two shits about the characters.  There's no CONNECTION there, and that's what was missing with the MLP movie too.  If I hadn't known the mane6 from the TV series and this was my first exposure to MLP, I probably never would have become a brony because they did nothing to connect me to the characters.  Which is fine I guess for the mane6 because we already know them, but I couldn't care less about any of the other characters.  I can't even remember their names.  I only remember Tempest because she looked badass in the movie trailers and I thought I'd really like her character, but like all the new characters they didn't do anything to make me actually CARE about her.

The bar has been set pretty darned LOW in movies in the past few years. It seems all you have to do to make a fortune nowadays is make a bunch of explosions and push the latest PC bullshit and people eat it up like mindless sheep.  I miss GOOD stories, with BELIEVABLE characters that they actually made you CARE about.  Not the crap I've seen lately (the new Star Wars movie, the Abrams BS "Star Trek" movies, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (I think it had something to do with Harry Potter but the film was so bad I don't remember anything about it), and now this steaming pile of a MLP movie.  I've seen a few other movies in theaters, but they were so bad I can't even remember their names.  I'd seriously rather watch one of those weird black and white movies from the 1930's than another one of those steaming piles.  Granted, the MLP movie is the best movie I've seen in a long time, but that's not saying much.

In conclusion, I give it a 4/10.  And that's because I'm biased and love ponies so much.  If it hadn't been about ponies it would be a 1/10 or 2/10 because they did absolutely NOTHING to make you care about ANY of the characters.

16
Computer and Electronics / VPN Switch
« on: October 06, 2017, 03:22:47 AM »
PIA is good, but I personally recommend NordVPN.  It's very affordable if you go for 2 years at less than $4/month.  That being said, a VPN is not enough to ensure total privacy.  If you really want privacy I recommend an anonymous hotspot paired with a good VPN and running Tails.  For the ultimate in privacy I recommend only connecting while on the road because if your real IP address is ever discovered, it doesn't take much for the government to triangulate your position using three cellphone towers or satellites.  Still, the work required to penetrate both a true private VPN + Tails + track you down via triangulation is remarkable.  The government wouldn't try to do that unless you were a terrorist or something.  And even then it would be difficult.

17
Computer and Electronics / Should we Make A Mobile Version of the Forum?
« on: August 18, 2017, 02:43:38 PM »
GOF works perfectly on a smartphone or tablet.  It's mobile responsive.  Some websites have a mobile version of the website, but I absolutely HATE mobile websites because they lack most of the features of the full featured site.  eBay is one relevant example.  

The only thing that could be improved on the mobile site is the background.  Unfortunately it would require making the background itself much larger in file size, which would slow down loading times on computers, smartphones, and tablets.  Not worth it, at least not to me.  A black background is fine.

18
Real-Life Captions / The worst-named business in history?
« on: July 10, 2017, 06:08:53 PM »
I see nothing wrong with this.  Adolf is a normal name.  Now if they named it Adolf HITLER, then that would be bad.  But why should a business be forced to change it's name?  I'm sure they're very proud of their ancestor.  Just because some horrible dictator happened to share the same name doesn't mean that they should dishonor their ancestor and change the name of their business.

19
Silver Screen / The My Little Pony - Friendship is Magic Thread
« on: May 29, 2017, 12:10:12 PM »
Quote from: ADFan185,May 29 2017 on  05:14 AM
Well good for Big Mac he found someone to date so that's good I did like that part of the episode but the rest was cringeworthy and just awful to sit through one of the worst episodes so far this season.
Agreed.  The whole episode was awful and made me cringe constantly.  The mane flipping guy was annoying as heck (I didn't think it was possible to make a character more annoying than Fluttershy's brother (Zepher Breeze)).  And that ending...maybe I just have a sick mind, but I can't help but think about the foalcon implications.  Foalcon makes me sick.  Why would an adult ask a couple of foals about relationship advice unless he's a pedophile (foalophile)?  I'm going to add this one to the list of episodes I'm NEVER going to watch again.  I think this is the worst episode of the entire series.

20
1988 Theatrical Release / A remake could actually happen.
« on: March 26, 2017, 03:52:17 AM »
I would welcome a remake if it stuck to the original story line and was animated like the newer LBT movies (no CGI, and PLEASE, NO live action crap!).  I'd also prefer that they kept the original soundtrack and voices.  Just remake the animation please!  And those cut scenes?  Keep those as a bonus feature that we can watch separately from the movie.  

MLP has spoiled me with the amazing voice talents they've hired.  The voices used in LBT 14 were just downright AWFUL (especially Grandpa longneck, who sounded like some homeless bum with bronchitis that they pulled off the street at the last minute).

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