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Charles

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Posts posted by Charles

  1. If you're encountering issues with IPB and Chrome the bug tracker would be the place. Keeping it to yourself won't help :)

    The chat is only tested in Firefox, Safari, and IE at this time.

  2. The first public beta release of the new IP.Chat service is now available to all active IP.Board and IPS Community Hosting customers. If you are not familiar with the chat service the original announcement is quoted at the bottom of this post.

    Notes

    • This is a beta release so there will be issues. Please keep an eye on this topic, or even use the Watch this topic option, as we will update this topic when there are updates or other known issues.
    • The primary purpose of this beta is to test the basic functionality of chat: message exchange. The message exchange is handled by IPS servers so we are doing load testing during this beta.
    • We have lots of new features and options planned and feel free to post suggestions for the service but please keep in mind, for the purpose of this beta, we are not after huge list of feature requests. The goal is to make a good, stable platform for basic chat that we can add new features to at a later date.
    • The only package available right now is the Free package option. This package will be limited to 5 online users when the service goes live but for the beta phase it is unlimited.
    • We may do server maintenance or shut down the service now and then for other purposes. If it will be down for an extended period we will post in this topic. Don't use the chat in a critical environment as it will probably go up and down as we test.
    • The chat does not work with Opera browser.


    How to Order

    Installation Original IP.Chat service announcement:
    1. Login to the Client Area and go to New Purchase. Find IP.Chat: Free under Invision Power Board Optional Addons and click Buy Now.
    2. Order as normal, the package is free so you will not be charged. (if the system prompts you for payment information just skip/ignore that prompt and go back to the Client Area home page - we are working on fixing that error)
    3. Go to Your Downloads and download the IP.Chat package.
    4. Go to Your Purchases and select the IP.Chat package.
    5. To use IP.Chat it must be associated with an IP.Board or IPS Community Hosting package. Select the package to associate with and you will then see a chat service key appear.




      1. If you are not on IP.Board 3.0.4, upgrade to it.
      2. Important: Login to your IP.Board AdminCP and then go to Manage Applications & Modules. Look for a Chat Services application already installed. If you see it, click the drop down menu and then Remove Application (if you don't then ignore this step). This will delete the old chat services application which was for integration with Parachat and Addonchat. Of course, if you are using those services, do not remove that application but you will not be able to use IP.Chat until you do.
      3. Upload all files contained within the upload directory of the IP.Chat zip file. This is just like installing any other application in IP.Board.
      4. Go to Manage Applications & Modules in your IP.Board AdminCP.
      5. Select the Install link next to the Chat Services application.
      6. Once the install is complete you can go to My Apps and select Chat Services. Just enter the chat service key found under Your Purchases in the Client Area to activate.












        We are investigating the possibility of offering a chat service for IPB directly from IPS.


        This chat service would run inside of your IPB install much like Gallery or Blog however the actual exchange of chat messages would be handled by IPS servers. The high volume of transactions needed for a chat room would probably get you banned from most web hosting providers and, even if you have high-end hosting, it requires a specially tuned server to perform well. You can forget that headache and let us handle the transactions. Chat room statistics and access to log archives will of course be available for owners.


        Testing


        For the time being, we will only have the chat room open here on our company forums when an IPS staff member opens it. We are looking to test both the interface you use for chatting and the back-end server performance so we need online staff to monitor both sides of the exchange. So keep an eye for the chat link to appear in the top navigation or a "who's chatting" area to show up on the home page under statistics. When you see this then you know the room is available for testing :)


        Please post bugs in the bug tracker under the IP.Chat category. You can post feedback here in the feedback forum or just reply to this topic. Please keep in mind this would be a version 1.0.0 so, although we can add all sorts of cool stuff over time, we are focusing on a nice, stable chat room right now. Things like private conversations, multiple rooms, and more are on our list but we must perfect the base chat room before adding on all the extras.


        Please note that this is the first test of many users in the chat room so there will probably be issues. We will also be doing server-level testing so you might get kicked out now and again or the service may abruptly close so don't take it personally ;). Your feedback on all areas of the chat from features through usability down to speed of chat responses is appreciated.


        Pricing


        The pricing of the chat service is yet to be announced and will be based on how many people you have in your chat room at one time. Details of the package levels and pricing will be made available at a later date. The good news is that the first chat package level will be free for active IPB license holders. We hope you enjoy that extra benefit to being a license holder.















    6. O'Reilly Answers is a community site for sharing knowledge, asking questions, and providing answers. The site is powered by IP.Board using creative application of hooks and skinning logic. It also uses the IP.Board OpenID authentication for single-sign-on with O'Reilly. The site is a great demo of what you can do with the new software platform from IPS.

      Read the full announcement from O'Reilly

      From the O'Reilly announcement:

      We're launching the beta of O'Reilly Answers, and I'm inviting you to be part of it. In brief, O'Reilly Answers is a community site for sharing knowledge, asking questions, and providing answers that brings together our customers, authors, editors, conference speakers, and Foo (Friends of O'Reilly).



      [b]Why Answers, and why now?[/b]


      O'Reilly is at the center of an amazing exchange of knowledge sharing and idea generation. We've created the usual means of facilitating communication between customers, O'Reilly folks, and the outside experts we call "alpha geeks" who contribute to O'Reilly books, conferences, and websites. We can connect through reader reviews, errata submissions, book forums, blog comments, Get Satisfaction, our customer service department, and more. But too much of this conversation is siloed, and not enough is public (e.g., discussions on our internal mailing list for editors, or personal responses to customer questions). O'Reilly Answers will be the place where much of that communication happens from this point forward.



      Visit O'Reilly Answers

      View full blog entry

    7. Origins of IPS offering hosting services

      IPS has always considered itself a services company above and beyond a traditional software company. Through the years we have always found ways of providing offerings to our clients from phone and ticket support all the way to our new spam monitoring service and upcoming chat service that extend our software beyond a standalone application.

      Soon after IPS was founded we started offering hosting services. We wanted to bring a complete experience to our customers who were interested in both using our software and the advantages of a managed hosting environment that went along with it. The response was immediate and, to this day, IPS hosting provides these great managed hosting approaches to communities.

      Over the years IPS grew and we decided it was necessary to stop renting servers from third-party providers. Not only would this reduce our operating costs but, by owning our own hardware, would offer us great flexibility for our service offerings. In 2006 we began leasing space in a quality data center in Reston, VA outside Washington DC and started the process of purchasing, configuring, and installing all the various hardware required. From servers and switches through our core routers and load balancers.

      Growth brings us to today

      It is now late-2009 and three years after we started, our data center facilities now include:

      • Fully redundant, multi-honed 10 Gigabit connections to providers such as Level 3, Global Crossing, Nlayer, Savvis, and Cogent.
      • Cisco 6509 core router
      • Cisco 3500 distribution switches
      • Foundry networks load balancing and failover equipment
      • Internal and external network separated for fast backups and restores

      In addition to these capabilities, the facility in which we locate our equipment also features everything one would expect from backup power to high security entry requirements.

      Here are a few actual pictures of our racks and servers:



      (For those of you interested: The RES.S#### means "RESton" - with the servers at our backup facility starting with a different prefix plus - "S" for server (routers, switches, KVMs, etc. marked differently) and the number is the ID of that hardware. For example, if you're hosted on "server40" here at IPS, that's actually RES.S1048.)

      Managing our own network connections, network hardware, and server hardware has allowed IPS to provide everything from shared hosting to high-traffic, load balanced solutions. We have experience hosting everything from fun, hobby sites all the way to highly visible communities owned by corporations with tens of thousands of online users. Today we provided managed hosting and services for everyone from national sports teams to world-famous music artists.

      In addition to community hosting, operating our own facility allows IPS to offer additional services to enhance our software. Services like our spam monitoring service and upcoming chat service were made possible for free or low-cost to our customers by leveraging the resources available to us in our own facility.

      Enhancing our software by using our software

      Above all else the most important advantage of our own hosting facility is constant, first-hand knowledge of our software's operations. Because we host our own software on the order of thousands of installations the performance of the software is paramount. Our hosting staff and development staff constantly work together to target areas of the software needing optimization. We do not resort to the simple approach of telling customers to "add more server power" if they are experiencing performance issues as we know, first hand, how much traffic a server should be capable of handling using IPS software and can advise our customers accordingly.

      We run our own company forums on a simple VPS setup without any fancy optimizations like Sphinx search, memcache, and other specialized server software. By keeping the setup simple we can emulate what a customer would have on the average hosting provider and learn how to optimize our software in a normal environment. We certainly could implement multi-server clusters for our own company sites but we think it's important to use our software as others do and learn from that experience.



      Over the years, our hosting facilities have allowed us to grow our offerings and learn how to create a software platform that can scale with that growth. We will continue to leverage our unique position to develop software and host it all in one, managed environment. Those clients who choose not to host their community with IPS can always be assured that our constant monitoring and learning process will benefit them as well through our continued software updates.

      View full blog entry

    8. You can "unapprove" posts or topics to make them invisible to members. In this case only moderators can see them.

      You can also enable the Trash Can feature which will catch deleted topics and posts and move them to the Trash Can. This allows them to be restored or kept as a record.

    9. I am sorry about the delays with your ticket. Your request was moved from our general support areas to the conversions-specific section. The conversions department is more specialized and has fewer staff working in that area. I will see that your ticket is handled as soon as possible.

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