To give a bit of background - basically the old site ran on a phpnuke engine which stopped being supported in 2006. Web hosts eventually kept upgrading their PHP versions until finally the minimum became v5.6 (even that is legacy, most run on v7 or v8 now as standard) but phpnuke requires PHP 5.2 or 5.3 to work. So all hosts updated the minimum PHP version and phpnuke stopped working. I couldn't update it as phpnuke was no longer supported, or do anything from the interface as it wasn't available to do anything from. The other problem was because the site/forums had been so heavily (manually) modded with all the cool little gadgets we had - the RPG profile, arcade mod, manual attachments etc. it meant migration to other nuke-like platforms was also impossible with the available scripts.
So I kept backups. I asked several web hosts if they would support legacy PHP versions. I looked at trying to host something locally in the short-term. I know I could have easily just created a new website from scratch but I guess I wasn't prepared to just bin off 10 years of history, but I should have left some alternative option in the meantime. I just figured I'd be able to get something working for the original site, but then a month went by, then a year, then another... time passed by and life got in the way. I didn't have a web host, but I kept the domain name just in case - and every now and then I would have another unsuccessful crack at getting something working.
Truthfully, the renewal on the domain was set to end last January and I was contemplating giving up on it. I figured too much time had passed, nobody would miss it. The fate of the Fate of the Unwanted. Then literally a couple of weeks before it was about to expire, after 8 years of auto-renewal, I got a forwarded email through from Step via the domain enquiring if anyone still owned this and was willing to part with it. After a few back and forths he told me that there were still 17 FoUsters kicking it together on Discord! This was typically when my Discord account had been locked out and needed to be deleted and recreated, but it gave me time to finally pull my finger out and get something in place.
I had to give up on the main site itself and focus on restoring the forums, which is where the bulk of the memories were anyway, and then try to convert using mySQL the old phpnuke format database into modern phpBB structure. I wasn't even sure it was possible. But it's now about as good as it's going to be and it's stable which is the most important thing. Plus phpbb isn't going anywhere so I can add any styles/extensions without any risks.
- All user accounts that have >0 forum posts (lurkers/bots removed)
- All forum categories/boards
- All forum posts
- Original smilies!
- Most original bbcode like quotes, img links etc.
- Forum polls (will work for new posts)
- Old private messages
- Old attachments
Otherwise - welcome back everyone, and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get this working. I hope life has been treating you all well, and I look forward to hearing what you've all been doing to with yourselves over the years. <3