LegRoom Support Forum

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 03/14/2007 - 00:57

In case you haven't yet explored the new site, I added an official Support Forum to LegRoom.net. I debated whether or not I wanted to do this, as I've never had one on my site in the past and, in general, I'm not really much of a fan of forums to begin with. However, given the relative popularity of my applications (particularly Universal Extractor and AutoFLAC), I decided that it would be easiest for both me and my users to have a centralized location for support and feedback.

Prior to this, all feedback for Universal Extractor was directed to the MSFN forums, AutoFLAC feedback was directed to the Hydrogenaudio forums, and all other feedback was handled via e-mail or website posts. This has worked fine, and I'm very grateful to the fine folks at both MSFN and Hydrogenaudio, but at this point I'd like to begin consolidating feedback and support into a single location. I'll continue to monitor those topics and post new release notices, but I ask that all future support requests be submitted via the LegRoom.net Support Forum.

I'm going to update my software pages shortly to reflect this change. If you have any problems with or questions about this change, please let me know (or better yet, post to the forum! :-).

Note: Only registered users can create new topics. Anonymous users can post comments to existing topics, but you must register to post a new topic.

LegRoom Changes, Part 1

Submitted by jbreland on Tue, 03/13/2007 - 04:26

This is the first post in what will probably be a series of two or three posts detailing what's new and different in this version of the site. I'm not trying to drag this out any longer than necessary, but it's (still) taking a whole lot of work to get everything "just right", so I want to make sure that I don't miss anything. Tonight's topic: major differences from previous site, particularly those that affect users. This will take a little while, so get comfy. :-)

Probably the biggest issue that will affect users is the fact that I did not migrate user accounts to the new site. This means that anyone that had a previous LegRoom.net website account will need to create a new one. There are actually several reasons for this (most involve technical challenges and limitations), but the primary reason I chose to do this is due to the very large number of old, unused, and spam accounts that had been created over a span of five years on the last site. Since we're moving to a completely new site, I felt this would be a great time to "clean the slate", so to speak. Any and all users are still welcome to register a new account, which can be done here. The main site content will continue to be publicly available, though some site features are restricted to registered users (just like the old site).

Now, let's talk about posts and comments. As you can see, I was able to migrate all prior news posts, including comments, to the new site. However, there are two limitations:

  • All posts appear to come from jbreland (my account)
  • All comments are properly attributed to the original poster, but they are no longer associated with a particular account

For the most part, this won't be an issue. With just a few exceptions, the vast majority of posts on the previous site were done by myself anyway; for those that weren't, I apologize to the original poster - I'm certainly not trying to take credit. As for the comments, the only issue this creates is that older comments are no longer associated with any current users. For example, if I search for all comments made by user jbreland, it won't show any of the older comments. Like I said, it's not really an issue, but something to keep in mind.

While on the topic of comments, one thing I'm happy to mention is that I've reenabled anonymous comments on news posts. As many of you are probably aware, I had major issues with comment spam on the previous site. Disabling anonymous helped greatly, but I still had to deal with massive comment spam from people who created accounts for the sole purpose of posting spam. Fortunately, Drupal offers a very nice anti-spam module that can detect and flag/delete comment spam. If this works as well as I'm hoping, I plan on leaving anonymous comments enabled. This should make it much easier for visitors to leave quick feedback on any particular news post.

That should pretty much cover user-related issues. One other related item is the new Support Forum, but I'll discuss that in its own post.

New LegRoom.net E-Mail Configuration

Submitted by jbreland on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 02:57

I made some significant changes to the LegRoom.net mail server this weekend. If you have a legroom.net e-mail account, be sure to follow these instructions exactly to ensure that you properly reconfigure your mail client.

Note: This assumes that you are using Mozilla Thunderbird for e-mail. If you are not, please read the instructions on this page for your specific mail client.

Note 2: Webmail is currently disabled. This is due to both the mail server changes mentioned above, as well as the recent website changes. I'm currently working on a new webmail system, and hope to have it ready within a couple days.

The first time you start Thunderbird it will appear that all of your mail folders have disappeared. That's normal. To get them back:

  1. Click Tools, Account Settings
  2. Select Server Settings
  3. Click the Advanced button
  4. Set "IMAP server directory" to "INBOX." (no quotes, but include the period)
  5. Uncheck "Show only subscribed folders"
  6. Click OK on Advanced Account Settings, then OK on Account Settings
  7. Close and restart Thunderbird

After restarting Thunderbird, all of your mail folders should be properly restored. If you encounter any problems, please let me know ASAP.

So, what changed? Primarily, I switched to Maildir-style mailboxes and am now using the Courier-IMAP server rather than UW-IMAP. What does that mean to you? Truthfully, not a whole lot. The maildir format allows for greater flexibility for administrators and power users, but normal users won't notice any changes. The switch to Courier was simply because UW-IMAP does not support maildir.

One other big change I'd like to mention is that all e-mail is now backed up hourly on a rotating schedule. If you accidentally delete an important e-mail, I can recover e-mail from the last:

  • 24 hourly periods
  • 7 daily periods
  • 2 weekly periods

I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause, but on the whole it's a Good Thing. Once again, let me know ASAP if you have any problems.

New Website Now Live!

Submitted by jbreland on Mon, 03/12/2007 - 01:01

To all of my visitors: I'd like to proudly present the new and vastly improved LegRoom.net v3.0! It was a long time coming, but I strongly feel that the result was well worth the effort. I'd like to thank my buddies Steve and Bill once again for their assistance with getting the site up and running, as well as everyone else that offered feedback and suggestions.

If you browse around the site for a bit, you'll quickly notice that a lot has changed on this site (aside from the obvious theme change). Over the next few days I'll be posting about these changes - what's new, what's different, what's been dropped, etc.

I still have a fairly hefty ToDo list, so I'll continue to make various changes and improvements over the next few days as well. If you notice anything broken or missing, please let me know. You can e-mail, or post a note to the new website support forum.

One last note: the old website will be available at http://old.legroom.net/. If you need access to something that happens to be missing from the new site, you can still access it for now via the old website. Once I'm completely finished with the migration, the old site will be retired. I should also mentioned that I only just created the DNS record for the old site, so it may take up to 24 hours before it's accessible. If you get a "site not found" error message, please try again in a few hours.

1 Million Hits! W00t.

Submitted by jbreland on Fri, 03/09/2007 - 21:36

1,015,067 hits, to be exact. When I started this site I never expected to reach 100,000, let alone 1,000,000. All I can say it, "You like me! You really like me!" Actually, I think most of my visitors like Universal Extractor and/or AutoFLAC a little better, but I'm ok with that. :-)

Anyway, I wanted to take a small moment to celebrate this fact, because unfortunately I don't believe I'm going to be able to migrate all page hit statistics over to my new site. Drupal calculates total page hits as the sum of hits on all "nodes" (Drupal pages). PostNuke, on the other hand, simply includes a total page hits counter. It also tracks hits for each news post, but only the news posts. Hits on various module pages (such as the UniExtract page) are not independently tracked. So, while I'll at least be able to carry over the news post hits, I'm still going end up losing something like 80% of my website hits. Boo.

Now, time to get back to work on the migration. I think I have everything dome except for the database migration at this point, which I'm working on now. I definitely plan on finishing the move by Monday.

AutoFLAC Support Question

Submitted by jbreland on Mon, 03/05/2007 - 14:02

Somebody named Charles sent me a private message a few days ago asking for help with an issue he's having with AutoFLAC. Charles, if you read this, please either send me an e-mail or port your question to the Hydrogenaudio AutoFLAC thread instead and I'll get back to you. Due to a couple technical reasons I'd rather not discuss here, I have no way to contact you based on your private message.

Website Migration - Latest News

Submitted by jbreland on Sun, 03/04/2007 - 23:01

The website migration continues in full force. I spent the last few days:

  • Fine-tuning the theme; I'm pretty darn excited about it at this point
  • Integrating a few modules to provide some needed capabilities
  • Porting over custom and page-specific styles (such as the code blocks on my software pages)
  • Updating the style of many of the static content pages to better reflect the new theme
  • Reorganizing some of the menus and blocks to make navigation a bit easier
  • Figuring out how to work around various Drupal oddities, such as the fact that it will not let you move the "My account" menu item to another menu block, or even rename the label

It's been a busy few days. :-) I still have a few more things to take care of, including the all-important database migration. Stay tuned.

New Website Update - Nearing Completion

Submitted by jbreland on Wed, 02/28/2007 - 13:59

In yet-another project that seems to be dragging out forever, I'm finally ready to begin final migration to the new LegRoom site. Anyone interested may check out a preview of the site here:  http://drupal.legroom.net/

As you can probably guess by the URL, it's built with Drupal, and is currently running a slightly customized version of the default Garland theme (new for version 5.x). I originally planned on creating a completely original theme for the site, but it was taking longer to develop than I had anticipated. So, I plan on using this theme for the migration and initial few months of production while I work out any remaining kinks, then switch to that custom theme down the line when I have more time to work on it.

If you check out the site now, one of the things you'll notice right away is the lack of dynamic content (eg, news posts, comments, etc.). I've been working on a conversation script to migrate as much of the content as possible (or relevant) from my current PostNuke site. It's nearing completion, and I'll make the final conversion just before officially going live with the new site. More details about this conversion process will be posted later.

Most other, "static" content (such as my software pages) is already on there, though some of it is a little out of date now. This will all be brought back into sync during the week, and I hope to finish the conversion script for the dynamic content by this weekend. I fully intend on having the new site fully up and running by next Monday.

I don't plan on making any more changes to my PostNuke site from this point forward (other than status update posts like this) in order to simplify the migration process; I don't want to deal with updating and maintaining two separate websites for any longer than necessary.

I'd like to thank Steve Beitz (thisbeitz.com) for his continued assistance with design work for LegRoom.net. He's provided the main layout and design styles for the website since the very first version in late 2001, and even worked up a last-minute logo for the new site just last night. Thanks for all your help, Steve.

Finally, I'd like to mention that comments about and suggestions for the new site are most certainly welcome. I still have a bit of work to do before everything finalized, so now is the best time to share your comments.

Universal Extractor 1.5 Features

Submitted by jbreland on Thu, 02/22/2007 - 10:52

Ok, so now that I have at least a couple hours of sleep to operate on, I'd like to briefly review some of the main features in Universal Extractor 1.5.

First of all, let's talk about the biggest change. This would be the inclusion of TrID. As discussed in this previous post, TrID is used to scan input files and determine the filetype through a signature analysis. The benefit here is that a Zip file (for example) will ALWAYS be supported, regardless of the file's extension. So, whether the file is named file.zip, file.jar, file.odt, file.dumbextension, as long as it is a Zip file it will be detected as such and extracted. This should greatly increase UniExtract's ability to reliably detect filetypes. Extensions are still used as a backup identifier in case the TrID scan is unsuccessful.

The next most important feature is the greatly increased format support. I've added support for several new installer formats, some lesser known and/or older archive formats, and updated support for a large number of existing formats. This release should more closely live up to its name than ever before. :-)

What else? I've added a few options to UniExtract itself, such as appending missing file extensions when possible, removing duplicate files, etc. These can be set in UniExtract.ini or during runtime when appropriate. I've also made some more enhancements to the installer to support these new options. I added four new translations to the release, thanks to some very generous contributions. I also made a significant number of changes/enhancements to UniExtract itself to make it more robust in certain scenarios, simply some of the code, and increase performance where possible.

The last couple items worth mentioning are bug fixes. There was an issue with 1.4.2 that prevented it from extracting files from some installers or self-extracting archives that had been compressed with UPX. One such package is the Firefox installer, which is why it was quite noticeable for me. I also updated the Inno Setup installer to version 5.1.9, which includes many updates for Windows Vista. I don't run Vista myself, so I can't support it's use or guarantee that UniExtract will run properly, but from some initial feedback it seems to be working pretty well so far. I'll explore this further as soon as I get access to a Vista system for testing.

I think that about covers it. If you haven't already done so, you can download and read more about Universal Extract from the following links. Enjoy.

Universal Extractor home page
Universal Extractor changelog
Universal Extractor feedback

Universal Extractor 1.5 Released

Submitted by jbreland on Thu, 02/22/2007 - 02:57

Update: 02/22/2007 09:20 CST
I just pushed out an updated version of the 1.5 release. The original release was still labeled "beta", although it was final. I also included the Spanish translation. No other changes were made, so if you don't mind the fact that beta is included in the title (and you don't speak Spanish), there's no reason you download it again if you already have it installed.

After a ridiculously delayed development cycle, Universal Extractor 1.5 has finally been released. There are a LOT of changes and additions in this release, including some core functionality changes. Unfortunately, though, I'm way too tired right now to discuss any of them. :-)

I'll post a follow-up story tomorrow with more details regarding what's new, what's changed, etc. In the meantime, feel free to start playing with the new release. I think you'll find it a very significant improvement over previous versions.

The usual links:
Universal Extractor home page
Universal Extractor ChangeLog
Universal Extractor feedback

Enjoy!