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Forum Updated

Written on April 1, 2011 at 7:25 pm, by .

Join the forum discussion on this post


If you haven’t noticed already, we finally converted our forum over to something more integral with WordPress.  Using a very nice piece of software called Simple:Press, we were able to make the move from SMF fairly smoothly.  All existing data came over without a hitch, thanks to guys at Simple:Press and all of their hard work (which I am now a contributing member, although very little contribution has been made at this point).  Here’s a highlight of some of the changes.


The sidebar is still visible.  This may or may not change, but I like the idea of being able to have an accessible menu for the entire site while viewing the forum.


All new posts will be linked to a forum topic.  If you’re not an active viewer of the main site, but still want to see what we’re up to, all of the posts are carried over to the forum as new topics.  Also, any comments made, either through the forum topic or below a post on the main site will be synchronized.  In other words, if you post a comment on the forum topic, your comments will also appear on the main site and vice versa.  There’s still a little bug in the comment numbering that I need to fix, but I need to spend some time on the layout anyway.


Registration of new members can be done directly from the main page of the site OR from within the forum, as well as login.  If you log into the main site, you will have access to the forums once you click on the Forum link at the top of the screen.


Recent forum activity is displayed in the sidebar, very similarly to how we display recent posts on the main site.  This gives the user the ability to see whats happening in the forum without actually going or maybe intrigue them to visit the forum.  There may be side conversations going on in the forum that we don’t post about on the main site.


We’re looking forward to seeing you in the forum, as there is a pretty good backlog of interesting conversations and topics (at least 5 years worth).  Stop by and check out Greg and I’s little notepad of thoughts.

Forum Maintenance

Written on April 1, 2011 at 8:07 am, by .

This evening we will be performing scheduled maintenance and conversion of the Mightor Industries forum, as suggested in an earlier post.  The forum will not be active for at least an hour.  You may see that the forum is in maintenance mode during this time.


The new forum should be available by tomorrow morning (at the very latest), but Im expecting the forum conversion to only take about an hour or so.

Mightor Publications ™

Written on March 30, 2011 at 9:59 pm, by .

Just wanted to take a moment to welcome back one of our child sites, Mightor Publications ™ (which you can access from the sidebar on the right side of the screen).  This is Greg’s site, newly designed, also using WordPress.  Check in on him to see what he’s up to.

Construction Continues at MI

Written on March 30, 2011 at 5:00 am, by .

This will be a short post, as Greg and I are both heavily involved in construction of different portions of the MI website.  But I’d say we’re making pretty decent progress, thanks to the wonderful organization and ease of use of WordPress.


Greg’s been working on his site, Mightor Publications.  He, too, has chosen to use WordPress and appears to be well on his way to getting something together probably within the next week or so, if not sooner.  Visit the forums or stay tuned, as we’ll be mentioning the re-debut of Mightor Publications, a subsidiary of Mightor Industries.


Looks like we’ll be ready to debut the new version of the forum by the weekend.  Ive spent the last couple of evenings seriously plowing through the import of the existing data on the forum, as well as learning some of the in’s and out’s of the new software.  One word: Impressive.  This new forum software, SimplePress, will give us exactly what we’ve been looking for.  One of the features I’ve personally been looking for is to be able to tie in comments from the main site into the forum and vice versa, and SimplePress gives us that.  Once the new forum is in place, you’ll also notice a link at the bottom of the page to SimplePress.  I figure it’s the least I can do for all of the work they’ve put in to helping us out with the import.


Assuming all goes well with the remainder of our testing, Friday night we’ll make the conversion.  By Saturday morning, you’ll be able to access the new forum directly from the WordPress website.  Also at that time, we will enable registrations on the site, so you can become a member directly from the front page.


I’m also working on some new posts for next week.  The wonderful thing about technology is that it’s always changing, so there’s plenty to write about.



Open Source Software Projects: The Key to Success

Written on March 29, 2011 at 5:00 am, by .

As part of this latest incarnation of Mightor Industries, one of my main goals was to integrate the forum so that users of both the main site and the forum would be one in the same.  As you may have noticed, there is a login screen at the right of the screen.  Right now this has zero function, except for Greg and I.  You’ll notice at the bottom of the screen, in the footer, that our website is powered by WordPress.  When Greg and I were deciding on what CMS type software we wanted to use for the main site, we wanted something that was powerful but not overly complex to manipulate and use.  There was only one obvious choice: WordPress.  I have had some previous experience with several CMS solutions, all of which have their positives and negatives.  WordPress is an open source software project, which has great appeal to both Greg and I, because we’re broke.  We run this website as a hobby project and don’t have a lot of resources to invest.  Because of that restriction, we’re left with using freely available tools to power our site.  This is not a bad thing, because there are some damn fine tools out there.  WordPress being one of them.  As I mentioned earlier, we’re also working on integrating our forum into the WordPress software and I wanted to share my experience with this so far.


We’ve been using the Simple Machines Forum (SMF) software for quite some time (since 2006).  It has always worked well for us and has been always been full of features and fairly easy to work with.  Granted, we don’t have a huge community and probably don’t take advantage of what we currently have.  However, its been a fairly successful venture using this software.  After doing some Google searches to try to figure out how to integrate SMF with WordPress, I determined this was going to go one of two ways: either this was going to be difficult and costly or we were going to have to switch to something else.  I found that the licenses that these two pieces of software use are dramatically different, creating quite a roadblock for creating a bridge.  I certainly don’t have time to learn the intricacies of each software package to write my own.  So I decided to make the painful decision of looking for another software package to power our forum.  This is nothing personal against SMF.  The time has just come where SMF is no longer useful to us if it doesnt integrate into WordPress.  After more searching on Google, I came across a forum package that claimed to integrate into WordPress.  I started reading through the documentation and decided to give it a go.  Now, I always test these types of changes locally before throwing them out in the field, because I want to know what I’m getting myself into.  So I downloaded SimplePress.  True to their word, it integrates.  Fairly well.  In fact, to install SimplePress is as easy as adding a plug-in to WordPress.  From the dashboard, upon activation, will give you the opportunity to install.  After installation in my local environment (XAMPP 2.5.8), I started experimenting and its actually pretty damn sweet.  The forum shows up in the post area of the site when you click on it, so we can maintain all of the header images, the sidebar menu and the footer, without any changes to the current design.  SWEET!  I took a gander at the settings and there is more than enough in there for what we do with our forum to continue.  OK, so the decision has pretty much been made that SimplePress will have enough features to power the site.  Now lets talk data conversion.


Off to Google I went.  I came across the SimplePress support forum.  I did a search for converting SMF to SimplePress.  What I ended up finding after doing some reading was that I was going to have to go through some serious gyrations of upgrading SMF to phpBB to bbPress (all forum software packages) to SimplePress.  I was NOT excited by the amount of work, but decided that if that’s what I have to do, so be it.  I then decided that I would post and see if there was any documentation, since I really don’t want to spend the time learning phpBB and bbPress to figure out how to get my data to SimplePress, since I wont be using either of these two forum packages, except to convert my data.  I was then informed that there was a direct way to do what I wanted to do, all I had to do was use their Importer utility (which is still in beta testing) to import the data.  I thought, why not?  I’ve got nothing to lose, since Im working locally.  I’ll give it a try.  After an email later, with some instructions on how to implement, I was off to import.  Except the import failed.  2 users and no forum posts.  DAMN!  After another email, I found out that I needed to be on a newer version of SMF in order to import.  OK.  I spent the next 3 hours trying to figure out that process.  After finally getting the SMF forum upgraded to the latest revision, I ran the import again.  This time, 2 users and all of my forums had come over.  Except that my forum dates were all January 1, 1970.  I emailed back explaining my results.  I was then requested to send off my data for a developer to take a look at it.  Sure, I’m game for that too, since data can sometimes be the determining factor in finding an issue with software.  After several emails back and forth with the developer, who was more than willing to keep plowing through the issues without any complaint, we finally got our data imported, with no issues!  Thanks SimplePress for all you do!


The point I’m getting at here (sorry for the rant) is that I believe the key to a successful open source project, like any other project is two fold.  One, organization.  Organizing your product so its easy to understand will go a long way to determining who uses your software.  If it’s easy to use, chances are, people will use it.  That was one of my determining factors in choosing WordPress.  WordPress is organized well and their documentation is far superior to most of any software package Ive ever used.  Two, a community.  In open source software, this is the lifeblood of your project.  In most cases, the stories you will read about someone attempting to use an open source package will go something like this “They were so rude to me and called me a noob and told me to read the documentation”.  While there are many cases of this sort of situation, this is NOT what I experienced when working with SimplePress.  They were more than willing to help and to spend their free time (Andy, again, thanks!) to not only improve their software but to help out someone who was looking for a solution.  These people are dedicated to their product and are willing to do what it takes to make it work.  It was this dedication that pretty much made up my mind about SimplePress.  As an end user, I’m extremely grateful for the assistance they’ve provided me.  I only hope that once the forums are converted (probably this weekend, assuming all goes well) that you are just as impressed with the new design.  I, for one, am super excited about it.


If you’d like to read through the post from the SimplePress forums, I highly encourage you to do so.   I’ve included the link below.  My posts are toward the end of the chain (its fairly long).  It goes into a bit more technical detail of the process I went through to convert the SMF forum from 1.1.7 to SimplePress.  Expect the forum upgrade sometime this weekend (as soon as Friday night).  Once I have a more concrete date, I’ll post it here.

Protect Your Data – Backups

Written on March 28, 2011 at 5:00 am, by .

A Public Service Announcement from your friends at Mightor Industries.


Next to making sure your computer is actually turned on and running, one of the most important tasks when it comes to operating your computer is to make sure you have a backup of your data.  Now we all generate some kind of data, whether it be emails, documents, financial information, taxes, etc.  What happens if all that data goes away?  Especially tax data?  Let’s hope the IRS doesn’t come knocking on your door for an audit, otherwise you’re screwed.


But my computer is running pretty well and I shut it off every night before I go to bed, you say.  How could I possibly lose my data?  In today’s world of constant connectivity, there are more chances for a debilitating virus infecting your system or even worse, a power outage that fries your system.  Protecting your data so that you have access to it is so important.  Never lost data?  Lucky you.  I can guarantee that if you do not have a backup strategy in place, you will if you ever go through a system crash or a major virus infestation.


About a year and a half ago, I was working on a system that was running out of disk space.  I had spoken with the customer’s local technical support about adding a secondary drive to the system so that we could move the software that I support onto that second disk, to alleviate the burden on the main disk.  Once the drive had been put in place, I proceeded to move the software and all of the data to the second disk.  Now, during this process, I had taken a backup of the database and verified that it was where I expected it to be before removing it.  Since I had done that, I went ahead and removed the database from the system, since my procedure had always been to use the backup I had taken to restore the database on the new drive.  However, sometime during the process of moving the data, I LOST the database backup, the only copy I had to work with.  That’s when my stress levels started to go up. I spent the next 6 hours trying to figure out a way to recover the file I had lost, but to no avail.  When I contacted the customer’s local tech the following morning to explain the situation, he indicated to me that the customer was not backing up their system.  My heart sunk deep into my chest at this point, because I had NO idea what the hell I was going to do to recover this database backup, which happens to be the heart of the software.  No database = PACK UP AND GO HOME because you’re done!  No record of anything the business had done for 3 years.  Fortunately, Windows Server 2003 had a facility to back up files on the system to itself twice a day.  Using that facility (Shadow Copy), we were able to recover the database from mid day the day before, and they only had to key in a half day’s worth of business transactions.  I can live with that.  Lesson to be learned: ALWAYS have a good backup that is NOT on the system itself before proceeding with removing any data.


How does the above story apply to you?  Take a backup!  Keep it offsite, at least to the point where offsite means on removable media that can be taken elsewhere.  The options for backup go from the least extreme to the most extreme. Depending on the amount and importance of your data, you may decide that a USB flash drive is sufficient.  If you have more than what a flash drive will hold, you may decide that an external hard drive will solve your issue.  However, both flash drives and external hard drives have one problem: they’re almost always connected to the system you’re working with, so it doesnt give you the “offsite” requirement that we mentioned above.  Why offsite?  Natural disasters.  What happens now if your computer, along with your external hard drive, are blown away by a tornado.  Or better yet, what if they’re burned up in a massive fire because you decided to microwave a plate of nachos and the microwave malfunctioned, causing a huge fire that you couldn’t contain (fire is more likely than a tornado, depending on where you live).  You want your data to be in a safe location.  What are the chances that your house and the location you keep your backup (say a good friend you trust) burn down at the same time?  Fairly remote, I’d say.


One of the best offsite solutions I’ve come across in the recent past is to backup to the cloud using services like Carbonite and Crashplan.  Both services are fairly inexpensive to the home user (approximately $50 per year for unlimited storage).  Depending on how important your data is, $50 seems like a reasonable investment.  All you need for this is an internet connection.  Once you’ve identified what data you want to back up, these services will then create a copy of your data and move it to their servers for storage, which is encrypted, so they can’t root around through your data.  The other appeal that I really like about these online backup solutions is that they are always running.  Anytime you change a file, a backup is being done shortly after.  There’s less to worry about as far as “When was the last time I ran a backup of my system” because its just happening automatically.


If you’re a software developer or in some other sort of IT profession, I would suggest Crashplan over Carbonite, simply because Carbonite has restrictions on the type of files that you can back up.  Disk images (ISO files) and Executables (EXE files) are both files that Carbonite will not back up.  The other appeal to Crashplan is that you can also back up to another running Crashplan, as long as you and the user of the computer you wish to back up to are “Friends”.  This gives you another point of entry, as the restoration process could be lengthy if you’re trying to recover 100GB of data from Crashplan’s servers,when you may want to just walk down the street to your friend’s house with an external hard drive to recover your data.   A backup scheme is only as good as its recovery process and both Crashplan and Carbonite allow you access to your data from any computer, as long as it has access to the internet.  For $50/year, I’m sold (<rant>if I could only get my rear end in gear on getting my connectivity  issues fixed on my computer upstairs…..</rant>).


Backup your systems.  You’ll be glad you did!

Mightor Industries Forums

Written on March 27, 2011 at 3:29 pm, by .

If you’ve ever been to our site, one of the features of our site (at least since 2006) has been the web forums.  You can visit the forums by clicking on either of the menu’s displayed on the page (one at the top and another on the sidebar) or simply go to  There, you will find quite a collection of different topics, mostly related to technology.  We discuss computer hardware and software, programming, gaming, general technology (newly added), as well as things unrelated to technology, such as what we’re doing with our cars or even completely unrelated topics.  While you do not have to be a registered member to view existing posts, we do require that you be a registered member in order to contribute.  By registering, we will also send you occasional updates about whats happening in the forum (Before you freak out over another site blasting your email with updates, like Facebook, I think Ive only ever sent out maybe 2 emails to our users).


Stop by and feel free to take a look around.  If you feel so inclined after rooting around for a few minutes, let us know if you have suggestions, complaints, or overall comments related to anything on either the main site, the sub sites, or anything in between.  We welcome your comments.




Mightor Industries Refresh

Written on March 27, 2011 at 12:47 pm, by .

5 years ago, when Greg and I decided to purchase back the domain, we were all excited about having our own hosting again.  Just think, the things we could do.  It was so much cheaper and still is, than it was when we took our first stab at owning our own domain and having unlimited hosting.  We dont have unlimited hosting now, by the way.  We do have enough hosting resources to accomplish the things we’d like to.


However, being complicated as life can be, other things took precedence and we kind of let the site fall way to the back burner.  In fact, it had gotten to the point where even our trusty forum had almost been left in the dust.  Quite frankly, I was about to disable the thing and remove it from the site, because of the lack of inactivity (Sorry Greg).


It was about a week ago when Greg and I started talking about some things we’d both like to do with the website.  One of the things I think he and I are both happy about is how far technology has come in the last 10 years.  When we first started doing this thing, you didnt have database servers freely available to you.  You didnt have content management systems that would allow you a little bit of focus on the design every so often and a lot of focus on the content.  We had discussed back then about having an “update tool”, a facility that would allow us to update the websites we were working with without having to re-create another HTML page and go through the code.  Heaven forbid you found an error in the HTML that all of the other HTML pages had.  Or wanted to update a link!  6 hours later you were deep into updating all of your webpages and by the time that was completed, you didnt want to screw around with the content.  Nowadays, we have content management systems….tons of them, that will let you manage just about any type of content you can get your hands on.  Now the decision…which one?  Well, we decided that we’d give WordPress a try for the main site, because the type of content we intend to publish on the main site, which is simply text.  Updates, articles, etc.


So the gist of this story is: we’re back.  We’re updating again.  Possibly even every day.  You’ll also notice a new layout.  We’re back to the black, white and gray (which we used about 10 years ago).  For those of you picky enough to notice, there are still a few bugs in the layout, but as far as I can tell over the last couple of days, I dont think its make or break.  I intend to keep playing with it over the next couple of weeks, as my CSS is a little fuzzy (been about a year and a half since I seriously looked at it).  You’ll notice a login screen in the sidebar.  Im afraid that doesnt do you, as a user, much good at this time.  Our intention is to get the user accounts from the forum integrated into WordPress.  Once we do, you’ll be able to log in from here, and go directly to the forum.


Speaking of the forum, it’s still there.  Greg and I have been posting stuff back and forth over the last couple of days (which is about all of the activity it gets anymore).  Feel free to take a look to see what we’ve done historically.  You’ll notice the design is a bit different than the main page.  That’s my next big task, is to integrate the design of the forum with the main site so they flow.  You can visit the forum here (will open in a new window/tab) or click the Forums link in the sidebar.  It’s a work in progress, considering the lack of time.  But to be honest, thanks to the efforts of the contributors to WordPress and those who use it, I was able to complete the layout changes I wanted in about a day and a half (including testing in IE, Firefox, and Chrome).


For those of you who are new, welcome.  Greg and I are just a couple of tech guys who spend probably more than our fair share of time screwing around with this technology.  We do it because we love it (although there are times when we curse it).  Fortunately, for both of us, we get to take our hobby to work, as we both work in the IT industry (hence the lack of time).  If you’re looking for good tech advice based on previous experience, chances are Greg and I could probably help.  I’d suggest visiting the forums first, as there is a lot more information there than there is here (for now).  If you’re a tech looking to contribute or simply wish to voice an opinion, there’s plenty of opportunites for that too.  We’ll figure something out for you, especially if you disagree with something we say.


We hope to be adding more content as time goes on.  Greg is working on a redesign of the Mightor Publications ™ site.  Right now, my primary focus of my writing is on Mightor Industries.  I’d love to add in some of my old content that Ive accumulated over time, mostly tech related things.  Also, rather than maintain the commenting style that is currently integrated into WordPress, we’re looking into the possibility of integrating posts with topics in the forum, so that whenever a post is created, all commenting is occurring on the forum.


There’s more to come I’m sure.  Or as Greg would say, more info later.