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Author Topic: Having trouble logging in to your account?  (Read 8666 times)
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« on: June 16, 2013, 07:54:57 am »

Are you a newcomer to the Coffee Shop?  If so - read about the forum {{here}} and /or sign up {{here}}if you would like to join in. You will be most welcome if you're interested in travel, rail, transport in or including the Thames Valley, South West or South Wales.

Are you an existing member having trouble logging in?   Is this your first visit since 13th June 2013?     Read on ... this question from one of our members and my answer may help you.

For some reason, whe I tried to log in tonight it kept telling me my password was wrong even though I knew otherwise. Was there any reason for this? Does it maybe force a new one every three months or something?

I can't find anything to explain this, so if you could provide an answer it would help in case (or when) it happens again

All users need to request a password reset, and then log in via the link emailed to them, when they log in for the first time since 14th June.   This is not something that will regularly happen.   Let me explain the background

We had an unrecoverable server error on Wednesday morning and the forum is now running on a different machine ... with different and more modern underlying database and PHP versions and under them a different and more recent operating system.  Security encryption has improved over the years, meaning that the passwords encoded under the older, less secure algorithms, weren't working ... and it would have needed significant effort to have them work, just to be back to the poorer security.   The far better approach was to request that people validate their accounts via an email reminder, which has also helped us ensure that members are still reachable via their email.

There's a thread that goes into this at ...
... however, that was best read during the problems and doesn't give occasional members much to go on, so a sticky topic is probably useful.

The forum went down at 12:20 on Wednesday (lunchtime), and was back online before 11 a.m. on Thursday on a new server, with over 90% of content available; remaining content was added by 8 a.m. Friday, and the personal message system fully restored later in the day.  We lost around 40 minutes of posting activity between the 11:40 backup and the 12:20 failure on Wednesday.

As an unplanned move, I don't think we did too badly; the main delay was changing the record for the name server "" which is cached (stored) all over the world for up to 24 hours.  Servers move very rarely, so it makes sense to store the data like this rather than have the whole internet loaded and slowed  with repetitive identical requests  and responses.  It IS possible to reduce the store time from 24 hours to 5 minutes, and with a planned move that's something that should be done ... we didn't have the luxury of planning ahead in that way.

Here's part of our Google Analytics report showing the effect of the move on our traffic - different visitors per hour, graphed hourly:

And I have to add a big "thank you" to our members for resetting their passwords and signing on again so quickly.

Boards remain in a different order (but there is a discussion as to whether to leave them line that), personal message emails are not containing the text of the message, and there may be a handful of other issues that crop up.

Regular users may like to note the forum status page at which provides an alternative status page if any of our servers is having problems.  Just at the moment, that's sharing a server with the Coffee Shop, so it may fail too if there's another catastrophic incident, but when we broaden back out we will be on a separate server again.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 12:37:36 pm by grahame » Logged

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2013, 03:55:35 am »

Two months on ... almost all of our regular visitors have reset their passwords and the visitor pattern from Googl Analytics looks pretty stable.   This graph is daily visitors from the start of the year, and you can see the blip where the site was moved to a different server without the preplanning that would have made it seamless.

Posting graphs are (and always were) erratic - we have a lot of regular readers and posters, but posters are minded to contribute only if they see a specific topic of interest to them, and that correlation between users makes trends almost impossible to spot over a short term.

There are - perhaps - three of four members (no more) who were quite active prior to the move, but haven't come back since.   If you're one of those and now reading as a guest because you can't get your password reset for some reason, please get in touch by email - I'm and I can probably get you contributing again within a short time - we miss you  Cry

Coffee Shop Admin, Member of Melksham Rail User Group, on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest and some more things besides
Do you have something you would like to add to this thread, or would you like to raise a new question at the Coffee Shop? Please [register] (it is free) if you have not done so before, or login (at the top of this page) if you already have an account - we would love to read what you have to say!

You can find out more about how this forum works [here] - that will link you to a copy of the forum agreement that you can read before you join, and tell you very much more about how we operate. We are an independent forum, provided and run by customers of Great Western Railway, for customers of Great Western Railway and we welcome railway professionals as members too, in either a personal or official capacity. Views expressed in posts are not necessarily the views of the operators of the forum.

As well as posting messages onto existing threads, and starting new subjects, members can communicate with each other through personal messages if they wish. And once members have made a certain number of posts, they will automatically be admitted to the "frequent posters club", where subjects not-for-public-domain are discussed; anything from the occasional rant to meetups we may be having ...

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