Call for Opinions: Topics for “Conversation Forums”

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

Having read the thread, here's what I'm thinking:
  • Off-Topic Lounge
  • SN Podcast
  • Computer Hardware
  • Operating Systems
  • Networking
  • Security Hardware
  • Security Software
  • Other Software
  • Coding
  • Health
  • Nerd Recreation
  • Science Fiction
You can see that I've worked to keep the sub-forum topics general, non-specific, and hopefully non-overlapping, so that we can have fewer. We'll still have an Off-Topic Lounge for the inevitable “Hey, I made it! I'm here!” and other random chatter that helps to glue a community into a community. But now we'll also have some specific, though broad, places for more targeted discussion.

And remember that all of these will be under a general "Community" forum. We'll still have GRC-Specific forums for specific discussion of GRC stuff such as the “ReadSpeed” benchmark, SpinRite, “Beyond Recall” and so forth.

The initial forum schema doesn't need to be final, but I'd like to avoid needing to change things around a lot once it's established. So, with this sketch... any other thoughts for changes to what's above??
 
Good afternoon. I'd like to propose a discussion topic: Regarding Microsoft's massive amounts of fixes this year. I remember on Security Now (perhaps in 2019), Mr. Gibson read a post by hacker I call "Bi-Polar Bear". In her post, she claimed to have many unreported vulnerabilities / flaws in Microsoft's software. If I remember correctly, we were informed around December that she joined the Microsoft team. Perhaps she wasn't lying when she said she had many vulnerabilities. Perhaps that's why Microsoft hired her. And perhaps that's why so many fixes Patch Tuesday after Patch Tuesday this year. She seems to be a great hacker. And I suggest her efforts has helped improve Windows 10. Am I just grabbing at straws here? Thoughts?... dc
 
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Sometimes there is a good use for old tech info to be able to be referenced into the distance future. There are children and grand children that will find their grandparents computer or cellphone or iTunes device in a desk or garage when they are cleaning out their home after they passed on or moving them into the retirement home. Perhaps they have "old-timers" and can not remember their log in passwords to various accounts.

There are thirty - somethings that are still dogged by stupid stuff they placed on MySpace and their login recovery was thru SBC.com e-mail, AOL or Yahoo mail and those accounts are inaccessible now due to forgotten passwords and the accounts being mass-hacked over time.

The ham radio and scanner folks are always coming across equipment with expansion boards built by a company that no longer exists. Being able to access old forums to find the links to data repositories is helpful, even if it is a Dropbox account or Archive.org to find the saved information stored there.

We remember the GRC forums at WordPress and before that had some good info, we hope it was archived somewhere.

Every couple of weeks we help a family at church recover lost pictures from a parents or grandparents computer that have passed away, and the data is hidden behind a lost password. It is a challenge sometimes, but nothing is more satisfying then handing back those lost photos on a flash drive or the computer accessible to their children or grandchildren.

Because like those old pictures, that the grandparents decided would be great to scan and save to their old Windows XP computer, never to be backed up to iDrive, i Photos or even if they were backed up, and the subscription lapsed, the information was lost on line. Then add in someones great idea to trash the old photos, negatives and film reels and your family history is gone forever.

Sometime when you run out of stuff to do at home, take an inventory of all the old digital cameras, flip phones and other data devices around your home. Can you get the data and pictures out of them? Is it accessible, is it lost? If you can save the data, make a list of the devices passwords, the battery charger, the special data cable for it etc and if you are keeping it, store all that info with the device. Then make three backups with two stored off site.

Unless there is a repository of old tech still around in the distant future to reference back too...
 
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I think a sub-forum dedicated to your Se
Having read the thread, here's what I'm thinking:
  • Off-Topic Lounge
  • SN Podcast
  • Computer Hardware
  • Operating Systems
  • Networking
  • Security Hardware
  • Security Software
  • Other Software
  • Coding
  • Health
  • Nerd Recreation
  • Science Fiction

I think you can merge the "Security Hardware" and "Security Software" together. Often, hardware and software work together in security and it will be tricky to work out whether it falls under the 'hardware' or 'software' category. Mac/macOS and iPhone/iOS security topics often fall under combined hardware and software security category.
 
As a long time listener, but forum newbie I have only one tip:
Keep it manageable, time effective and fun. (You probably only get to choose two)

For me personally, ... less is more.
That said it's your site ..., so follow your hart and don't lose your mind. ;)
 
Updated proposed sub-forum list and ordering:
  • SN Podcast
  • Security
  • Networking
  • Operating Systems
  • Software
  • Hardware
  • Coding
  • Health
  • Nerd Recreation
  • Science Fiction
  • Off-Topic Lounge
The list generally becomes less specific as we move down.
So the rule would be to choose the first, most specific sub-forum, higher up the list, that applies.
I expect to apply these changes over the weekend.
 
If this is still open for comment I'll weigh in. In my opinion removing "dead threads" defeats the purpose of this kind of forum. The exposure of active threads is addressed by the platform's default action of shifting new posts to the top.
 
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purpose of this kind of forum
But the purpose of these forums are not to have off topic discussions, specifically. It is to support GRC's products and allow easy interaction and feedback from the users. Acknowledging that off-topic discussions will happen and allowing for them with caveats is one thing, making them the central purpose of the site is something altogether different.
 
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Nothing decays faster than computer technology. They only threads that should persist are those that pertain to technology that is still in use. If people are still using SpinRite 6.x in fifteen years, then threads that discuss how to use it can exist for fifteen years. There is no reason for a discussion about your favorite text adventure game to exist for more than fifteen minutes.

1) I like Nethack.
2) If you're enjoying a discussion with your friends, then I believe your time is not wasted.
 
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If this is still open for comment I'll weigh in. In my opinion removing "dead threads" defeats the purpose of this kind of forum. The exposure of active threads is addressed by the platform's default action of shifting new posts to the top.
Not sure that you knew this, but it's ONLY within the Off Topic Lounge that we'll be pruning dead thread after four weeks of thread inactivity. I'm unsure whether that policy should also apply to the other forthcoming “Community” forums. At the moment I'm leaning toward not, and only having the Off Topic Lounge threads be self-cleaning. (y)
 
Let's see what there is of lasting value. If we find that things are getting out of hand, presumably, you can always run a "one-off" clean of other forums.
 
But the purpose of these forums are not to have off topic discussions, specifically.

by "this type of forum" i meant internet forums in general; not forums.grc.com specifically. i've never seen one that nixes old threads, and frankly it has somewhat of a 1984 feel to it. all good though...not my fire hydrant to pass water on and as a newbie my opinion holds very little of same.
 
by "this type of forum" i meant internet forums in general; not forums.grc.com specifically.
i've never seen one that nixes old threads, and frankly it has somewhat of a 1984 feel to it.
FWIW, I cannot see any value for keeping someone's description of the odd thing they discovered in their bellybutton a year ago. I have no problem with a discussion of it at the time because that's the nature of community. But neither can I see the need to retain that dialog in perpetuity, just because it happened once. So, knowing that something which is apropos of nothing, will quietly remove itself, makes sense to me. Nothing is set in stone. I don't know exactly how this is all going to go. So we'll be playing it by ear. But my intention for these GRC forums is that they be generally useful to others who may drop by looking for answers and solutions.

And also note that I'm notoriously and unapologetically immune from undue influence about what anyone else does or thinks. That “first principles” approach can be identified as part of the key to the traction my ideas and creations have occasionally had in the world. So I have no problem with the idea that these forums at GRC will have their own “personality.” In fact, that would be appropriate, and I hope they do. (y)
 
FWIW, I cannot see any value for keeping someone's description of the odd thing they discovered in their bellybutton a year ago. I have no problem with a discussion of it at the time because that's the nature of community. But neither can I see the need to retain that dialog in perpetuity, just because it happened once. So, knowing that something which is apropos of nothing, will quietly remove itself, makes sense to me.

I am all for purging forums without mercy. So much so that I must say I was saddened to see you extend the inactive thread TTL from 7 days to 28.
 
Hi guys, I certainly realize there are at least two sides to the "when to kill a thread" coin. But, here are my 2 cents. Disk space is cheap. Information is not. I'm not trying to toot my own horn per se. My time to spend on forums comes and goes depending on what I'm doing. But, as of now, I've spent hours trying to help people with information on the Wordpress, network layout, network security, vitamin d, and how do I find new posts on the forum threads. Now, who knows if my information actually was helpful. I hope it was. But, I will say that I'm much less likely to spend that time if I know the thread is going to vanish. There are many times I've been doing research to solve some problem, and have come across forum posts that are years old that are still helpful. I also believe that continually making decisions on which threads live and which ones die would be a nightmare. Just something to think about. We all know that, if you ask 50 engineers what's your opinion on X, then you'll get 200 opinions. :cool:

Ron