Thursday, August 21, 2014

Forum is down

Just to let everyone know that the 2014 LTAH Forum has been down for the last couple of days. Our forum web host, free-forum.net, went down Tuesday night leaving all of the forums that they host offline and inaccessible. I have no idea what happened or why our forum host went offline. I've emailed free-forum.net about the situation but have yet to receive an answer from them. Hopefully this situation will be resolved soon. I will post any new information here when I get it.

Thanks for your patience,
Jason

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The LTAH Forum will be closed until August 1st, 2014

Due to a family health emergency out of state, I will be closing the LTAH Forum until August 1st, 2014. I do not have the time or resources to monitor the forum while I'm away. There is also an ongoing dispute on the forum which needs attention and because of this family emergency I do not have the time to resolve the dispute. To keep the dispute from being unmonitored and most likely getting out of control, I have decided it is best to close the forum until I get back.

Thanks for your patience,
Jason

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year Forum!

Happy New Year to all Hairheads! Because of the unexpected sudden closure of the 2013 forum and because of all of the requests I've gotten to keep the forum alive, I've opened a new temporary forum. I still have not made a final decision for the future of LTAH. I'm still looking into my options and info regarding the site. More info about this will be posted on the new forum and/or on this blog.

The new temporary 2014 forum is located here:
http://ltah2014.free-forum.net

By the way, your old user info will not work on this new forum. You need to register for the new forum.

Enjoy the forum,
Jason

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Info for starting a new site

One of our members brought up a good point about using the LTAH name and if someone wants to start another site with it. Well, I would appreciate it if nobody would use the LTAH name seeing that it's been a part of me for over 12 years. I'm still looking into things like buying a server, hosting packages, etc. Because of the holidays I probably won't make a definite decision about starting the site again until after the first of the year. If I decide to continue with on with LTAH I would like to use the LTAH name in some way.

I tried buying the ltahserver.com domain name from GoDaddy and they wouldn't give me the time of day because I wasn't the original registrar, even though I could prove to them that I was the webmaster for LTAH for the past 12 years. GoDaddy wouldn't even tell me whether or not the domain name had been renewed or not. Searching WHOIS sites it looked like Matt had renewed the domain name for another year, through 2014. I eventually found out that the jerks at GoDaddy parked the ltahserver domain name for another year hoping they could make extra money off the situation because we had a pretty popular site. I would not recommend anyone to do business with GoDaddy. Their business practices are dubious at best.

I've been overwhelmed with emails since the server closed. I want to thank all those who expressed their kind words and gratitude for the LTAH site. All I ever wanted for the LTAH site was to have a place where all of us Hairheads could have fun and have a easy and organized way of sharing material with each other for free. It was never ever my intention to profit from the site, and I never did. I sunk alot of my own money into the site and various other site-related resources over the years and Matt certainly stepped up big time covering all of the server and hosting expenses the last 6 years.

Some people have expressed interest in starting another similar site to LTAH and had lots of questions about how to go about it and what's involved. Instead of emailing everyone back individually, I'll give my thoughts and info about running and maintaining the site. First off, back in the heyday of LTAH (before Matt went MIA and the site shutdowns and DNS problems), we had a VERY popular site generating close to a million hits per week. We were hosting tons of photos in the Photo Gallery, photo attachments, hosting a video archive and hosting hundreds of video downloads for members who donated to the site. Because of all the web traffic and bandwidth we were using we needed to have our own dedicated server which was quite costly, which averaged out over the years to around $115 per month. We had 100 GB of disk space and were using around 100 GB of bandwidth per month. For those who start a site using shared web hosting and the site becomes very popular, you're going to have to consider getting a dedicated server or your web host will shut you down. A lot of webhosts advertise "unlimited" bandwith and traffic, but it's not true.

The LTAH Forums used the phpBB forum software. It's free and fairly easy to work with. They have a great support community where you can get answers for just about any problems you encounter. You can add your own modifications and designs. You're going to need a web host that offers MySQL and PHP in order to set up most of the popular web forums.

Expect to put in a LOT of time running the site, especially at first. Designing the site and the initial site start-up is a constant work in progress as you're continually getting the kinks out and making sure everything works correctly. Expect several hours per day if your site gets big. I've always tried to make things easy and organized for members to use the site. After everything is set-up and running correctly, my goal was to have the site run on it's own ultimately saving me time in the long run. There were times when I achieved that goal, but it never lasted long... lol! Mediating disputes, software program updates, site support issues, interacting with with members, helping contributors and general site maintenance will keep you busy.

Legal issues will also keep you on your toes. You have to be on a constant look out for copyrighted material and be ready to remove it as soon as possible. There are people who like to push the envelope and continually try to post copyrighted material. You have to remove it and warn the poster asap. If it happens again, ban them immediately. We always made a very concerted effort to keep copyrighted material off LTAH. We encouraged our members to support the hair videos producers in the community. Even though we made a valiant effort to keep unwanted material and topics off the forums, we still have been the target of bogus lawsuit threats, false accusations and continuing harassment by a certain group of people in the community. The harassment still continues even after the site has closed down. It's crazy. You have to have thick skin if you are a webmaster in this community because you will encounter some people that will put their hate on you big time.

Some people were wondering about using free forum hosting. It's very unpredictable. The problem is you're constantly at the mercy of the hosts' TOS. They will close you down for no reason and without warning if they feel like it. It's happened a few times with our forums at Proboards. It's a very sickening feeling when you lose all your hard work and can't get it back. I would not recommend using a free forum host. You have much more security and control over your site if you get your own domain and web host. It could be a good idea to maybe start a temporary site at a free host, but only for a short time until everything gets settled. I'm sorry our members got left with nowhere to go. Unfortunately the LTAH server abruptly shut down without any advance warning, and I hadn't made arrangements for another site.

Some of the biggest challenges for running the forums over the years was to keep members interested and active on the boards. It's a lonely place when no one contributes. I had that problem way back at the beginning when I was constantly posting pics and no one responded. Eventually more people started interacting and started contributing, but it took a long time. It sure helped when media technology advanced and we had more access to better photos and videos. We always prided ourselves on sharing quality material and info you couldn't find anywhere else. LTAH was blessed with having fantastic members contributing a multitude of material. Hopefully the contrubutors will carry on, even though the reposters are making it very hard for that to happen.

Anyway, I hope I've answered some of the questions involved for starting a site and what I've learned by running LTAH. Like I said earlier, I'll try to have my decision on whether I'll bring back LTAH around the first of the year. I still want to stay involved in the community, but right now I'm kinda burnt out and retirement sounds pretty nice.

Thanks,
Jason

Thursday, December 12, 2013

LTAH server is offline

Well, it looks like as of 12-10-13 the LTAH server is history. The LTAH Forums can no longer be accessed by its IP address. Apparently Matt has closed down the server and did not renew the domain name. Matt had been paying the expenses for the site's dedicated server and hosting since 2005 at a cost of $115.00+ per month.

As I have stated in the past, I have had no control over the LTAH server or it's domain name since Matt mysteriously abandoned the site. I have not heard from Matt for over 3 years. Numerous attempts to contact him via telephone and emails have gone unanswered in that time. I have basically been running the forum and the ltahserver.com website with one hand tied behind my back using only FTP for the last 3 years. I'm surprised that I had managed to keep the site running for so long like this.

Right now, I don't know what's going to happen with the forum and the site. There are a few things I want to check out before I make a definite decision. When a similar situation like this happened a year ago, I pretty much wanted to retire from this site but I got talked into continuing ahead building a new forum by many members. This time I not so sure I want to continue. I would like to pass the torch to someone else after doing this for over 12 years. I'd be glad to help out if someone wants the torch to continue on. I'd hate to see our little community of Hairheads fade away into oblivion.

A major issue that really weighs in heavily on my decison is reposters. I can't stand reposters and what they've done to this community. We've lost so many contributors because of them and I no longer will contribute much material because of them. I am not very happy that a bunch of greedy morons are making money by repeatedly reposting our hard work and material for their ad revenue. Because of their actions I really don't have much desire or passion to continue on with the site.

So, stay tuned and I will eventually let everyone know here on this blog what will happen with the future of LTAH.

Thanks,
Jason

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Server Is Down

As far as I know the LTAH server has been down and inaccessible all day. I have no idea what the problem is. If the downtime lasts for an extended period, I will update here when I get more information.

Jason

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

2013 LTAH Forum Addresses

For everyone's information, the LTAH Forum is still plagued with DNS issues making it hard to access the forum at times. If you can't access the forum using the main address, you can always access the forum using our IP address.

Our main address for the 2013 LTAH Forum is:
http://ltahserver.com/forum

Our IP address for the 2013 LTAH Forum is:
http://216.176.184.67/forum

Hope this helps!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

New LTAH Forum is online!

I've been overwhelmed by a barrage of people contacting me urging me to start another forum to replace the one that recently got shut down by Proboards. After an all-night session last night and today working on the LTAH server, Sizwiz and I think we might have something going. I installed a new forum on the server. This will basically be a test to see if the server will withstand a heavy load of web traffic. I installed a new upgraded phpbb3 forum version. It looks much the same as the last forum that we had on the server, but this version is much more stable and hopefully the database won't keep crashing. The real test for this forum will be a large traffic load and lots of postings. We'll see what happens. There had been some work done on the server earlier this year but we haven't used it much, other than to host photos and webpages, since it crashed a year ago. I can't guarantee anything, but hopefully we'll be back in business on the LTAH server. If the server does crash, then we'll have to come up with another plan.


Here's the address for the new forum:
http://ltahserver.com/forum/

Some users might experience a DNS issue and not be able to connect to the server. I have yet to experience that issue but I know others have in the past. It seems to affect people outside of the United States. Here is a fix that might help the DNS issue. (Thanks to tat00x at Hvids.net for his help on this issue.)

This applies to Windows operating systems. Other operating systems have similar procedures.

1 - Open notepad as administrator by going to:
Start > Programs > Accessories > Right click on Notepad and open as administrator

2 - Open the hosts file file with notepad, it's located here:
 /Windows/System32/drivers/etc/hosts

3 - Enter this line to the bottom of the hosts file:
216.176.184.67 www.ltahserver.com/forum

This file contains the mappings of IP addresses for host names. Each entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name. The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one space.

4 - Click save to save the file. Do not click "save as". That's it.

We won't have any problems with bogus take down attacks against us with this forum because we own the server. As always, please follow our rules and guidelines when using our forum. If you have any problems, post them on the forum Support board or email me at ltahforums@ yahoo.com. Enjoy and post away!

Jason

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The future?

Just want to make a quick statement about the current state of LTAH. I greatly appreciate all of the gracious and kind comments. I know the forum closing was a shock for a lot of people, including myself. I know our site was a big part of many people's lives for a long time and I know most of you want to see LTAH come back. I want to take a little time to decide on the future of LTAH. I do want to continue to contribute to the community in some form, but I am undecided about starting over building a new forum/site. There are some things I need to resolve and check out before I make a decision.

I will post more about this situation on this blog when I get the time, which I have very little of lately. Unfortunately the forum closing is bad timing for me because this is a very busy time of year for my job, along with all of the holiday craziness approaching.

For the time being, I set up a CBox chat box on the right side of this blog to use for posting hair info, links and messages. Feel free to use it. I'll be posting stuff on it when I get the chance. Here's the link to the larger, single page display for the LTAH CBox:
http://www7.cbox.ws/box/?boxid=654597&boxtag=grph16&sec=main

Thanks again for all of the great support. You guys are awesome!

Jason
LTAH Webguy

Monday, November 26, 2012

We're done at Proboards!

Trying to access the forum today and found out that Proboards gave us the axe: "In accordance with Section 25(a) of the ProBoards Terms of Service, this forum has been taken offline." Section 25(a) is basically their explanation for "we can remove your forum for whatever the hell we what to, without giving you a specific reason".

Well, the time has finally come - I'M DONE! The LTAH Forum is finished. The 12 years of putting up with the constant harassment and bullshit that has gone on with running this site has been enough for me. I'm pretty sure the usual suspects are behind this latest attack against LTAH. (I'd name them, but I don't want to be threatened with another lawsuit again.)

Many thanks to all of our loyal supporters, contributors and members for all of these years. It was a good ride. We really had something good going for us hairheads! Too bad the greedy people who want to control what's going on in the hair community spoil it for everyone else.

For now, I'll leave up the remaining stuff that's left of LTAH - the archived forums, our Fotki photo albums, our DailyMotion video site and the LTAH server. Maybe we'll get something going again in the future. Who knows?

I encourage everyone to continue on and support our good friend Tat00x and his great forum at :
http://www.hvids.net

I might be around contributing stuff when I feel like it.

Jason
LTAH Webguy