amateur installation of phpBB

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ChrisGreaves
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amateur installation of phpBB

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I would like to draw on Eileen's Lounge administration's knowledge of (a) phpBB software and (b) knowledge of me. :please:

A small community of about 200 Canadians distributed from West to East has asked me about a BBS.
I know that phpBB is free to download.
phpBB is different from the DOS-based BBS I ran back in the late 1980s.
I am a member of the phpBB forums where I can go for help.
I have a laptop, but no dedicated server.

(1) Roughly how much elapsed time might it take me to set up the basic phpBB system on this laptop, enough to let a few select users logon and "play" at BBS at set times of the day?
(2) Is it at all feasible?

I'd rather not splurge on a stand-alone server, separate ISP or whatever until at least one of my toes is in the water.
I'd also rather not suggest to the tree-growing community that they sign on and plague other technical BBS (such as Eileen's Lounge!) just to "see what a BBS is like".

I have d/l the latest binary and the PDF documentation.

Thanks in advance, Chris
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StuartR
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by StuartR »

The lounge uses a hosted phpBB service. We don't install or maintain the software
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ChrisGreaves
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by ChrisGreaves »

StuartR wrote:
26 Jan 2023, 19:31
The lounge uses a hosted phpBB service. We don't install or maintain the software
Thank you Stuart. I believe that means that someone else has wadded through the PDF, worked out what to do, and in essence set up the software so that you guys don't have to touch it.
I skimmed (three minutes) the PDF and then found something called "ProBoards" which seems more suitable for a small group of single-minded people.

I am now trying to work out how to change my avatar. i.s. "same old same old" :laugh: :rofl:

Thanks again.
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stuck
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by stuck »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
26 Jan 2023, 20:25
...found something called "ProBoards"...
I've just remembered, way back in 2010 I set up a simple phpBB board on something called 'freeforums.org'. The only other (real) board members were my two sons. The boys had fun creating a variety of additional users that then had suitably nonsensical conversations (that made Scuttlebutt looks serious). My wife was utterly bewildered by it all. Equally unsurprising was that the novelty wore off quite quickly and then because no one accessed the board for a while, it expired and disappeared. The whole domain seems to have disappeared now, trying to reach the URL 'freeforums.org' times out.

Which is a long way of saying, if Proboards works in the same way, it's probably worth a try.

Ken

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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by ChrisGreaves »

stuck wrote:
27 Jan 2023, 17:29
... something called 'freeforums.org'.
Hi Ken.
Try "<your name here>.freeforums.net" Perhaps they dropped org and went for net.
Cheers, Chris
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by stuck »

Maybe, :shrug: who knows.

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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by GeoffW »

I did a Google search on creating forums. There are free solutions out there, I have no idea how good they are. Google offers a solution, but they start to charge at some stage, though it may be that their free level is enough for your group. There's one called Appypie which appears to be easy to set up, with no coding.

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Re: amateur installation of phpBB.... or the other paid type solution almost professionally, maybe

Post by DocAElstein »

Hi Chris
This is a bit off the direction you are thinking about I expect. It’s a paid solution. But I think you might be interested to know.
A thing like this https://excelfox.com/forum/forum.php, has the initial software cost of about 250 US dollars
To have it as it is on a shared hosting service ( don’t ask me what that exactly means, you most likely know a lot better than me anyway ) , cost 300-350 US dollars a year.
What it means to a layman is that it is there and works. If it ever vanishes or breaks you shout help and someone hopefully fixes it for you. If you are unlucky you might need to help a bit to fix it, depending on what caused the problem.

You then have it , run it, change how it looks, add sub forums, etc.. etc… all done at a fairly high up user interface type level
Most of it you do starting at something like this:
Image

Then to do anything you go a navigating through, stepping through the usual explorer menu type idea, like we do most everything since windows came along, and things are mostly so intuitive that even a computer ignoramus like me can do it. And in the case of that software there are ? things to click on near almost everything to get more info. And there is a help forum where you can get further help specifically for that forum software


( Its not the solution I prefer, BTW, I would like a Server in my bedroom with it on it and do it all and know everything about it. But I doubt I would ever know what to do with it, and the internet connection I have up here in this forgotten corner of Bavaria is so intermittent and unreliable that perhaps that idea might be a non starter to begin with?… I don’t know. ( That is the main problem. The ignorance, Lol :) :( :) ) )

Alan
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Graeme
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by Graeme »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
26 Jan 2023, 17:46
I would like to draw on Eileen's Lounge administration's knowledge of (a) phpBB software and (b) knowledge of me. :please:

My knowledge of you Chris is limited to your Eileen's Lounge posts! (Quite extensive then!) My knowledge of phpBB is limited to a short spell of administration on an Astronomy forum. We had a separate test forum that was fun to play with and I found the phpBB software quite straightforward with lots of 3rd party add ons. Once constructed or updated, the forum was uploaded to the domain using FileZilla. That was quite stressful after I crashed the forum a couple of times! (It never failed on the test forum!) If you already have a Chris.com or similar you could set something up for free and have a play.

Or, if you're all old and fancy an old DOS based looking format, there's always Google Groups.

Regards

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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by GeoffW »

Or perhaps Slack might be a step above Google Groups? It's somewhere between messaging and a forum, and super easy to set up. It's been a few years since I've used it though.

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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by GeoffW »

** or even a Facebook private group? **

Though many people don't like FB.

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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
27 Jan 2023, 20:18
... There are free solutions out there, ...
Hi Geoff. I went with "ProBoards" which was dead easy to set up. I had my first subscriber within less than a day, and am now, day by day, exploring features.
I recommend it for a simple small well-behaved group setup.
Cheers, Chris
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Graeme wrote:
29 Jan 2023, 07:43
My knowledge of you Chris is limited to your Eileen's Lounge posts!
Hi Graeme.
So you don't hardly know me at all, especially the Model Railway sid(ing) of me!
... If you already have a Chris.com or similar you could set something up for free and have a play.
Yes, I do make use of a commercial server (Hostgator.com) for my two domains ChrisGreaves.com and landfallgardenhouse.com.
I am now sending chestnut trees and Jerusalem artichokes to Bunyans Cover and Upper Island Cove. And yesterday, in mid-winter, I had another couple roll up to my Book Bin (free books!)
Or, if you're all old and fancy an old DOS based looking format, there's always Google Groups.
So you DO know me!
I still use DOS extensively and it was a DOS BBS that I ran on an XT-chassis back in the late 1980s early 1990s. I don't see much difference between what we did with DOS BBS and the Windows-based BBS, excepting for internet reach, of course.
The DOS BBS used to daisy-change from one local telephone exchange to an adjacent local range, and in that way could reach long distances for a local call.
I remember logging on to a BBS in Houston British Columbia to play Diplomacy with a bunch of reporters in terrace BC, and with The Blue Flame BBS in Dallas Texas.
Those were romantic days!
Cheers, Chris
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
29 Jan 2023, 09:27
** or even a Facebook private group? **
Though many people don't like FB.
I am one of them.
I think that Facebook is a weird thing.
It seems to me that those folks who belong to Facebook, generally have used nothing else, and claim that Facebook is the best thing after sliced bread(1) (which, by the way, is factory made and full of air), but of course those who don't use Facebook use something else, or even speak to each other on the telephone :shocked: so they are grossly under-represented in public.

My impression of Facebook has been that it is, in the main, a vehicle for bored people to socialize (which is what I do on Eileen's Lounge :blush:), but for serious questions and answers, one needs a focused group (which is why I am on Eileen's Lounge :clapping:).

The Canadian Chestnut Council is based on Facebook, and I suspect that that is because a Facebook user thought that Facebook was the only system on the face :rofl: of this Earth. Who knows how many people are absent because they don't have a Facebook account?

Worse: Bonavista Council runs its affairs, even the council elections, on Facebook, so if you don't "do" Facebook you are shut out of the democratic process. You do not have a Serious Interest in Politics.

(1) "I have 2,537 friends on Facebook!"
Cheers, Chris
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by StuartR »

I use Facebook for two purposes.
  1. To keep in touch with my many geographically dispersed friends
  2. To participate in a single work related discussion forum which is moderated about as strongly as this forum. We have about 10 moderators all over the world and inappropriate posts, including any product promotions, last about 5 minutes.
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by GeoffW »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
29 Jan 2023, 12:13
GeoffW wrote:
29 Jan 2023, 09:27
** or even a Facebook private group? **
Though many people don't like FB.
I am one of them.
I think that Facebook is a weird thing.
It seems to me that those folks who belong to Facebook, generally have used nothing else, and claim that Facebook is the best thing after sliced bread(1) (which, by the way, is factory made and full of air), but of course those who don't use Facebook use something else, or even speak to each other on the telephone :shocked: so they are grossly under-represented in public.

My impression of Facebook has been that it is, in the main, a vehicle for bored people to socialize (which is what I do on Eileen's Lounge :blush:), but for serious questions and answers, one needs a focused group (which is why I am on Eileen's Lounge :clapping:).

The Canadian Chestnut Council is based on Facebook, and I suspect that that is because a Facebook user thought that Facebook was the only system on the face :rofl: of this Earth. Who knows how many people are absent because they don't have a Facebook account?

Worse: Bonavista Council runs its affairs, even the council elections, on Facebook, so if you don't "do" Facebook you are shut out of the democratic process. You do not have a Serious Interest in Politics.

(1) "I have 2,537 friends on Facebook!"
Cheers, Chris
Fair go Chris.

You might not like FB, and that's your prerogative.

But to cast such a negative view of people who use it, even if tongue in cheek, is a bit much.

It's a tool, and one which is used by many people. Nearly 2.8B actually, of which almost 2B log on daily. And those figures are from before somebody tried to single handedly slowly destroy Twitter. So to denigrate such a big portion of the world's population is a big thing.

Later this year, I hope to be moving into a new house which we will be having built. I already know more people in that neighbourhood than I knew in the house where we spent 25 years, thanks to a FB group.

It is a tool which suits that purpose well.

While it isn't a tool which suits the sort of different topical discussions which exist in Eileen's Lounge, it does have its practical uses.

I had no idea of the sort of requirements that you had, which is why I offered up one alternative.

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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by ChrisGreaves »

StuartR wrote:
29 Jan 2023, 12:41
To participate in a single work related discussion forum which is moderated about as strongly as this forum. We have about 10 moderators all over the world and inappropriate posts, including any product promotions, last about 5 minutes.
Quite so, Stuart.
I have no doubt that there are serious and proper Facebook groups, and now I think about it, I think that there is little superficial difference between registering as a user with Facebook and registering as a member of (say) Eileen's Lounge.
In both cases I am providing some personal details that could be used to mine data of mine.

I suspect that in my view, Facebook exists with a hidden agenda of using my personal data and habits to do things way outside my area of interest, perhaps by pestering me with links to other facebook members, or pestering other facebook members with links to me.
To the best of my knowledge there is no such data-mining and data-processing behind Eileen's Lounge.

I have the same possibly irrational fears about using my AirMiles card at a supermarket and in my more paranoid moments using a credit card to get dental work done.

Since I posted an hour or so ago, in browsing online news sources, DuckDuckGo popped up this warning:-
Facebook.png
Now, respected members of Eileen's Lounge recomended DuckDuckGo, which makes me place trust in DuckDuckGo, so when I see a warning like the one above, my fear of facebook is fueled even further.

This is probably irrational thinking on my part. I suppose that back in The Good Old days if I didn't buy the local newspaper I would have been as shut-out of local politics as I am now without facebook. There is a shifting sandbank of just how much one can belong in a society.
But I am wandering off topic again ... :stop: :surrender: :rtfm:

Cheers and :grin: Chris
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

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I also block Facebook trackers on sites that aren't Facebook.
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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by GeoffW »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
29 Jan 2023, 11:50
GeoffW wrote:
27 Jan 2023, 20:18
... There are free solutions out there, ...
Hi Geoff. I went with "ProBoards" which was dead easy to set up. I had my first subscriber within less than a day, and am now, day by day, exploring features.
I recommend it for a simple small well-behaved group setup.
Cheers, Chris
So you already had a solution done and dusted before people suggested some other solutions - without letting us know? And then proceeded to slam one solution I offered in good faith? Thanks.

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Re: amateur installation of phpBB

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
31 Jan 2023, 06:38
So you already had a solution done and dusted before people suggested some other solutions - without letting us know? And then proceeded to slam one solution I offered in good faith? Thanks.
Geoff, I am sorry that you are offended. The sequence of incidents was not quite like that, but I admit it was close to your description.

I posted this topic because I thought that our Admins had chosen phpBB for its ease of implementation, low cost; as well I am a member of several phpBB sites in other areas, so I was familiar with how phpBB looks and operates. I found ProBoard, took a quick look at its features and thought that it looked very much like phpBB, being free, categories and boards etc.

Then Hans responded that our Admins hadn't installed phpBB, but that our phpBB was maintained by some other agency. That gave me pause for thought. Was phpBB (and other systems) so complex that one could "make a living" out of running the software on behalf of another organization?

Within an hour of that, and before the suggestions had come in, I had installed ProBoard to see how far I could get before running into trouble. Of course back in my DOS BBS days configuring a dial-up BBS was a major task. To my surprise I found myself in charge of a ProBoard installation that installed flawlessly.

My fault. I should have come back here at that point and announced that I felt I had enough with ProBoard. Further, I do not expect to be running this board, but that some other, younger, longer-term member of the Canadian Chestnut Council would make the decisions about the layout of the board.

For that reason alone I was reluctant to opt for any system that charged a fee; I was not qualified to make a financial decision on behalf of the organization. Members can essay with what I have set up to get a feel for BBSing and then make their own decision.

Again, I truly am sorry that I offended you, Geoff. Please accept my apologies.
Chris
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