Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Mr.RC-Cam

Old rc-cam site on MSN Groups is Moving

Recommended Posts

Several years ago this site was hosted on msn (http://groups.msn.com/rchelicam/). The msn forum has been closed for a long time, but the information remained as part of the rc-cam archives.

Microsoft is preparing to shut down their MSN forum service. However, they made arrangement with multiply.com to take over the hosting. So, sometime today the old MSN site will move to http://rccam.multiply.com.

Those of you that were members with the old forum will be getting an automated email to re-join. Unfortunately, I cannot turn off that feature. Please do not attempt to join the old site since it is not active.

To sum it up, the old site is an archive, full of sage advice from when R/C wireless video systems were made of twigs and stone. This information will be preserved for future generations to see how this stuff was done when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The migration effort went south and the new rccam.multiply.com was a mess. So, I contacted multiply.com tech support and they set me up for a second attempt at moving the files. That made things worse.

I've read several other stories about problems with migrating MSN Groups to Multiply, so I don't know if there is any hope in saving the old archives. They may be lost forever once MSN Groups shuts down in a couple months. I'll admit that the old discussions are out of date, but they chronicle the early adventures of using wireless cameras in R/C model aircraft. Plus, many projects that were way ahead of their time. It will be a shame to lose them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not possible to import them to an editor and then publish to where you want?? Or is this what you're trying?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds great, but how do I do that? Keep in mind the discussions are structured and there are hundreds of posts.

The multiply.com site has a migration script that does all the work (but obviously does not work at all). I'd need something like it to save the MSN group topics to a generic web server. I suspect someone, somewhere, is working on such a beast. Or so I hope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds great, but how do I do that? Keep in mind the discussions are structured and there are hundreds of posts.

The multiply.com site has a migration script that does all the work (but obviously does not work at all). I'd need something like it to save the MSN group topics to a generic web server. I suspect someone, somewhere, is working on such a beast. Or so I hope.

If, the MSN group is actually a separate website, and I think it may be a sub web of MS groups, you may be able to open it in a web editor such as Front Page or whatever they call it now, and import the web (sub web) to your HD and then publish to where ever you want. I have two webs on 2 different servers but I haven't accessed them in about 6 years and am a bit fuzzy about giving you specific instructions. You would need a web editor and some experience with it though in order to do so. Let me think about it for a few hours.

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like you have not visited the MSN forum. Take a peek here: http://groups.msn.com/rccam/messageboard.msnw

I've used several HTML editors and I can code in native HTML. However, manually converting the old site to something that I can publish elsewhere would require more time than I can give it. But if you are volunteering to do that, then that would be grand. I have the web server space to host the archives. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I have a solution. That would involve a $40 program, but it seems to be working from what I could see with the trial.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I was just trying to offer some food for thought. And no, I hadn't been to MSN Groups before today. I had thought of trying to import the site myself but have no idea how much would import. I viewed the source but there's a few js scripts I couldn't see, probably in the root directory (just a guess). I did find my copy of FP 2000, but was unsuccessful at getting it to load on my Vista machine and my XP laptop is waiting for repairs (I can't figure out how to open it up to fix it).

Maybe Kilrah has an answer. I'll kick in $5.

Edited by W3FJW-Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe Kilrah has an answer. I'll kick in $5.

Thanks, that is very generous. Hopefully his solution works out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just need your PP account#.. Probably 7 other users here that won't miss such a paltry sum for all the services provided..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went for it and bought the program. It seems to work fine but is taking AGES and quite a lot of disk space. For now I have everything on my hard drive, and while some navigation links don't work it's possible to access all the content, so the goal seems achieved. Now the stupid thing is that this program saves everything for viewing in itself, then one needs to export to a common directory structure with browsable HTML pages. This is running now and slowly... but I'm sure it will eventually be ready in some numbver of hours. I'll give my PP account when I know it's working as expected :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I went for it and bought the program. It seems to work fine but is taking AGES and quite a lot of disk space. For now I have everything on my hard drive, and while some navigation links don't work it's possible to access all the content, so the goal seems achieved. Now the stupid thing is that this program saves everything for viewing in itself, then one needs to export to a common directory structure with browsable HTML pages. This is running now and slowly... but I'm sure it will eventually be ready in some numbver of hours. I'll give my PP account when I know it's working as expected :)

Anything new on this? I'd be happy to contribute some bucks to the cause. An RC-CAM paypal site? I'm good for $20.

-dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MSN shuts down in a couple of weeks and it looks like the original rc-cam forum site will be lost forever. My attempts to get help from the multiply site people (the replacement forum host for msn groups) have gone nowhere. They no longer respond to my tech support emails.

Kilrah might have something, so hopefully he can share the details. For sure, I would like to be able archive the site on rc-cam.com since it represents the first dedicated forum for our R/C video hobby. If we don't act fast, the innovative and interesting contributions from the forefathers of this hobby will be lost forever. I have very fond feelings for the old forum since I spent a lot of effort moderating it and got to know a lot of you back then.

The site was created ten years ago, long before most folks in the hobby today had any idea what we were doing. Much of the R/C video system performance seen today was directly a result of the things we did back then. We found reliable wireless systems (many are the same ones now sold by all the major R/C FPV vendors), sorted through all sorts of video cameras and ID'd those that worked best for our application, resolved all the important antenna details, and so much more.

I'm short on free time, so that makes it even more challenging for me to continue finding a solution. Any help in getting the data off the old site, in a way that can be republished on rc-cam.com, would be grand indeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oops - I have to say I got carried away by other things and forgot about this.

Anyway, good news - I have a (more or less) working copy of the old site on my hard drive. Not all links are working, but providing one browses the "correct way" it's possible to access all the contents of the site offline.

Now, I still had to sort out something with the developer of the ripping program. It has an internal browser, and requires "exporting" before one can view it in an external browser. I have exported the project, but the then the layout is a bit broken. As they can make it work internally they certainly must have some way to fix that.

The other thing is that forums are the worst possible site layouts to rip, due to the huge amount of links and the fact that each page appears as a branch from the next one. So starting from the main (latest topics) page, going to "last month" is 1 level deep, "last month" on the "last month" page is 2 levels, etc up to MANY levels deep to reach the beginning of the archive. Also, many links target the same actual page, but as these have different URLs and are generated dynamically no program can really know it is the same, and will just download the same items tens/hundreds of times. So the archive is pretty huge (140'000 files, 3.7GB).

It seems that some files (possibly emoticons or such things) have been saved hundreds/thousands of times, so that's the other thing I wanted to see with the developer, if they can find a way to simplify that. Actually I had sent them an e-mail (after already having had some exchanges) and it seems I never got an answer to this one (which is why I forgot about it as I needed the answer to look further).

So I'll check if I can have them solve those little snags... but the most important is done, as in even if it needs to stay in the form of a clunky and large archive, at least everything is there and saved from its fate.

Edited by Kilrah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course, as soon as I've been able to put it in a correct form with the help of the developer, or alternatively know it's not possible I'm sending it to you, and I'll look if I can put it online too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A sneak preview:

http://kilrah.dynalias.net/rccam

The forward/back links work, the discussions too, just not the user profiles etc.

And here's how it looks in the program, the images work:

http://kilrah.dynalias.net/so.jpg

(hosted on my PC, so will only be there when it's on)

Edited by Kilrah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried it out and it works! There are some broken links and it hung up my Firefox browser a couple of times (had to terminate it and restart), but maybe those are things that can be corrected over time.

I also checked out surfoffline's web site and the program seems like a very good deal. Good find!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seemed to work yesterday, but now I get The network link was interrupted while negotiating a connection. Please try again. on all the links I tried today...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(hosted on my PC, so will only be there when it's on)

I was sleeping, so PC was off ;)

As I said it's just a preview on my home PC, when I have an answer from the program's developer I'll move it to the 24/7 server.

There are some broken links and it hung up my Firefox browser a couple of times (had to terminate it and restart), but maybe those are things that can be corrected over time.

Must have been a connection problem, never had firefox crash from here..

The thread links and the navigation ones (previous/next pages) work, but the rest won't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So that we don't run into any license issues I bought the program that Kilrah is using. The first time it ran for 8 hours and created about 1GB of data. It looked nice, but the discussion navigation links were broken and there was no way to see all the replies in long discussions. It really would not have been of much use in this state.

Kilrah reported >3GB of data, so I figured something went wrong. Before I tried it again, I "flattened" the MSN groups' structure using the MSN admin tools and hid some unnecessary folders. With less to archive, I was hoping the data would be much smaller. This time it ran for about 16 hours and created 3GB of data. But, the broken links are still there; I get a Page Not Found" error when trying to read replies on discussions that span more than one page. I emailed the developer and got nothing back.

Kilrah, using the integrated browser (not exported), can you read all the replies on multi-page discussions? Has the developer helped you at all?

On the flip side, I finally received help from multiply this week. The latest migration attempt (third one!) seems to be working. Personally, I don't like the format that multiply uses, but at least the old discussions have been saved. Take a look: http://rccam.multiply.com/

Once the bugs are resolved, I'd still like to archive the site with Kilrah's special program. But we have little time left before MSN is gone; February they go offline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Yes, I have received some help, and have redownloaded everything... which makes me fear a bit as you have been doing the same at the same time.. and mentioned doing changes (the flattening) possibly while I was downloading.

I can't see the first messages of multi-page discussions either. If everything could be on the same page, even long ones, it would be so much better... making more pages is just asking for trouble when trying to save.

Here's the new copy, browse a bit and tell me what you think. The layout is OK this time.

http://kilrah.dynalias.net/rccam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×