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UPDATES for December 2018 !

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Today is December 10th, 2018 and I am finally getting around to updating and correcting some issues here. As some of you know, this website has been online for over 15 years now with lots of ups and downs. A few years back, we grew this website to be the second largest airsoft forum in the world, and the bigger it got - the more difficult it was to maintain and keep it functioning smoothly.

We did have quite a few fantastic moderators and a few great administrators with thousands and thousands of fantastic members, but again, over time - things change and so do a person's interests. For those of you who work in management or are business owners, you'll agree that running a successful operation with lots of people involved can be a huge PITA at times.

That being said, I have never really gave up on this website even though I did walk away from time to time when things were out of control such as life getting in the way, interests changing and even people management drama. Like with everything else, things change and people come and people go - but one thing remains in that ASF is still here 🙂

There have been times in the past when ASF would go down or have database problems for months at a time... And only return back online weeks later when someone would text or call me on the phone to say the site was down. I have always continued to pay the server bills and keep the lights on around here even when nobody was home or anyone seemed to care.

I'm sure A LOT of YOU Cared, but you probably didn't know how to reach me or what do do about it and so, most people simply left to other websites, which is obviously and completely understandable. Another thing that happened is that people grew up and their interests changed. Lots of moderators for example were in school or college and when life called such as getting a real job or getting married, sometimes we have to put our "toys away" for awhile and airsoft can some times take a back seat to life for awhile.

Well, AirsoftForum.com is climbing out of the backseat now and going to start driving traffic here again !

I am currently in the process of updating the forum software and moving it to a managed server so that when there are issues, you won't have to rely on me - there will be a whole staff of server admins to handle stuff long before you or I even know about it. And as I said, this has always been a huge problem for me... Now add in the fact that I too have a "day job" and many other websites to take care of, perhaps you can see the problem?

Regardless of all that and what has happened in the past, or our lack of members coming back, or website traffic falling WAY off from what it was.... I plan to revive this site and I hope you'll help me do this !! ?

Once I get the website upgraded and moved, I will be sending out a mass email to our "65,000 members" - many of which I suspect if not even good accounts anymore since this is a collection of members that span 15 years. Some people don't even have the same email for a year or two, but I will send out some updates and notices and we'll see if we can bring this old girl back to life... !!

Who's with me?

The first order of business as I said is to get this website upgraded and moved to the managed server, and then I need to do some serious house cleaning. Along with all that, we will be needing some new staff members (moderators) that want to help with the clean up. so if you;re interested in that, lmk.

For now, if you need an immediate response to a question or problem, (or have suggestions) please email a1 service gr at gmail or text 6 1 6 two 4 three 1 nine 1 four. I say that because my PM box here and admin email are beyond full from several years of neglect - those will be the first few things to get purged so we can start fresh. Please understand that I've got a lot of things going on and am not sitting in front of a computer all day so an email is best but as long as ppl don't abuse it, you can text me too. I will however ignore "hey which gun should I get" sort of questions lol 🙂

ANYWAY.... Welcome back People, Members & Guests !!

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The following is the email I sent to everyone today in case you missed it (check your newsletter subscription settings here on your profile and your junk mail at your mail provider)

Hello {member_name}

...."IT'S ALIVE !!, IT'S ALIVE...."   (quote from a really old movie for you old timers)

Today is December 14th, 2018 and it's been awhile since you heard from us 🙂 (understatement of the year).


In the (above) topic, I mentioned a few things about what all has been going on with the forum the last few days, and that the forum is now back up - and for good this time!  (she's actually been up for awhile, if you haven't been around much over the months or years).

If you have forgotten about us and wondering why you're receiving this email:  your log in name is: {member_id}  and you created an account here on {member_joined} 

The last time you were here was {member_last_visit}

I would like to invite you back to take a look at the new forum software and help test a few things. I'll be updating the forum skin / theme here shortly as well as fixing member feedback and other issues with the new forum update here.  If you are / were (or would like to be) a forum moderator, please let me know with a text message. 

With all that said, please take a look at the following topic and I really do look forward to seeing you again and hearing what all you have to think about this...



(I'm Robert, for those who don't know me and Yes I'm still alive too 🙂  ...AND for those of you who actually click the above link to go see what's going in, I will have an extra piece of information that isn't included in this email...)

...Ok so for what wasn't stated in the email, I am providing my cell phone number (for text messages only please) and I really hope people don't abuse this, but we'll see . I would also like to say that if we (the moderators, the website, or even other members) have pissed you off in some way over the years, I personally hope you will accept my apology for that and for neglecting this forum and website for so long.  We all grow and change over time - sometimes we're idiots and sometimes our interests change, but at the end of the day, I hope that the mature among us will stand up and sometimes take a hard look in the mirror when necessary (myself included).

ANYWAY,  Thanks for coming to take a look and read this..  I would also like to hear / read any sort of comments, questions or suggestions you might have to help ASF return to greatness it once shared with a few other large airsoft websites.    If you're done with us for some reason, I hope that isn't the case and I would love an opportunity to personally make it right with you or talk about an issue you may have had, but if for some reason you're done here, be sure to log in and check or uncheck the newsletter notices so you don't have to be bothered by the outstanding changes and updates that are coming in the next few days/ weeks (sarcasm there because we do hope you'll stay )

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One more thing on "Upgrades" and why this website / forum has had so many ups & down issues...  In other words, why was ASF down all the time in the past ?   So over the years, I have always had this forum on dedicated servers (meaning that I am suppose to be the server expert - which I'm not) - and I have moved it around 4 or 5 times over the last 15 years (which is not good).  I would try to stay up with forum software upgrades and the last one I did was in 2014.  The bigger problem in the mid 2000s was that this website was HUGE with loads of traffic every day and so different problems like mail issues, DDOS, hacks, exploits, and etc (not to mention that we were close to 50,000 visits a day here) ....It was like playing a "wack-a-mole" game with massive website problems every few days/weeks. There were times in the late 2000s (2008-2010) when it was a total nightmare..  The site would be up one minute, and crashed the next.  I'd fix it, and it would be down again the next day.  (wash rinse, repeat)  Some of you probably remember all that.  Well fast forward a bit and over literally years of pulling my hair out and dealing with constant server issues, there were times and I have to say it - but I actually said "Screw it" and would walk away for sometimes months at a time.   If the website was up, great, if not, oh well.  I mean I was really getting a :censored2: attitude about the constant server battle all the time.  AND THEN of course life has a tendency to get in the way along with other drama (I'll spare you the details), but at the end of the day, the forum here suffered.

In 2010 I moved to Florida. In 2012, I moved back to Michigan and in 2014 I upgraded the forum software again but really had almost zero time for issues here so the forum was broke all the time it seemed.  Sometimes down for months and of course everyone did the most logical thing....  go somewhere else.  I can not blame anyone for that but myself and I have no excuse except I just really didn't care anymore.  Now I say that out of one side of my mouth, but out of the other side, I actually did care, there was just little I could do about it.  And what I mean by that is that because "I did care" I continued to pay the server bill each and every month whether the forum was up or not - call it insanity, but I did continue to pay the bills and keep the lights on if anyone was home or not.

Ok so fast forward to December 2018.

As you know the definition of insanity is "doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result", so after 15 years of being insane, I decided to get off the insanity buss and move this forum to a managed cloud server company who actually wrote the forum software.  This way - those guys can worry about the server and I can focus on the website.  I'm not going to hold my breath, but I'm pretty sure these guys can do a much better job of keeping the server and forum up than I can !  This was I can of course focus on YOU GUYS !!

So anyway, that's bit of history and I am fairly confident that the days of ASF down all the time are pretty much over.  I probably should say that because as sure as I do...  NAH..  I don't think so, but honestly time will tell.  PLUS - not only do these guys actually know what they're doing, but I am going to make my self available to you guys with my cell phone number for texting if there is a problem.  That is something only moderators had in the past.  I am really hoping people don't abuse this and ask me "which gun should I get" sort of questions but we'll see how it goes.

And speaking of airsoft related questions, I have been out of the game for more than 10 years now so my expertise is not with the latest gear but with the operation of this website.  I would like to leave all the airsoft related question to you guys - you new guys are way better experts on these topics than I am.   I made a commitment and a promise a long time ago (2003) to create one of the world's best airsoft forums and 15 years later, I'm not ready to give up on that.

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Woo HOO...  progress, but sit tight guys, there is a long list of processes that need to rebuild and this is looking pretty time consuming.

4.18%  Rebuilding posts
14.46%  Rebuilding messages
...............18 hours later............
11.13% Rebuilding posts
38.35% Rebuilding messages
.................21 hours later..............
19.82%  Rebuilding posts
68.25%  Rebuilding messages

WOW, talk about the speed of Mayple Syrup running down the side of a tree in December, Holy Smokes.  Well I guess that's what happens with you have over 2 million posts Yikes..  Ok, well anyway, I am fine tuning a few other things while we wait so if you see a problem somewhere, please LMK

PS. I was going to email out an announcement yesterday in the newsletter (as posted above) - BUT because the forum posts and topics are still trying to process / update, I have to delay this announcement dang it.  SO, once these back ground issues are caught up, I will revise the newsletter and send it !!

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