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Old Mar 3, 2004, 3:24 AM   #1
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Default How to deal with dropped connections...

...and find the lost new messages

Every few days I suffer from dropped connections when browsing these forums, due to the vicissitudes of my ISP and my English rural phone line. It happened many times yesterday.

I'm often part way through reading, say, 130 new 'messages posted since last visit' (overnight here, a busy time for most of you), representing 5 pages of topic titles. There are 87 waiting now.

When I get logged back in, they're all marked as read, of course. The only way I've got of picking it up is to remember the time of my last-but-one visit, AND the time stamp on the message I was reading when I was cut off, and then go through all the individual forums reading everything between the two times. As this is a justifiably popular place, this takes a very long time.

Has anyone thought of a clever way of fixing this and getting back to where I started? The best I can do is to save as web pages all the listings of new message titles. That's what I've done for this morning's three pages, but it's a pain in the neck.
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 10:20 AM   #2
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This is a weakness of the software used by this forum and probably can only be fixed by its author. I know it is the forum software because I have a forum in my web site running with a different software and this doesn't happen.

Steve could probably look at the phpBB site to see if there are any mods or updates to fix this. I find it annoying too.
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 10:47 AM   #3
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Alan,

You're not alone. I experience this too!

(The new message thing, not the ISP problems)
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 11:46 AM   #4
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If you happen to have GoBack on the computer just reboot and go back to your first boot. Otherwise I know of no way around the problem.
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 12:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slipe
If you happen to have GoBack on the computer just reboot and go back to your first boot. Otherwise I know of no way around the problem.
Just curious as to how this program which seems to be much like the Windows' restore points utility can solve this problem. It's the forum who thinks you have read the topics.
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 1:27 PM   #6
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GoBack won't do a thing.

The system works by saving a cookie on your computer identifying you. Then it stores on the web server the last time you (that cookie) read came to read messages. This way, you can read from multiple places and not get the "new messages" confused.

So the only solution that would work is if the PHPBB forum software allowed you to enter a date and let it use that as the last time you visited (to build the new message list.) I don't believe there is any thing you can do about it on your own.

Eric
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 1:45 PM   #7
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phpBB shuold handle that in a "smarter" way because I run a forum in my site which is not phpBB-based and the new message indication only clears if you actually read the topic or if you click on the "Mark all topics as read" link on every page. I believe it keeps a log of every member who has read every topic in its database.
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 2:57 PM   #8
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As a programmer; specializing in PHP in fact there is a trade off for any case.

Some people don't like to have every message marked as 'unread'; some people like to know that they've scanned through the threads and read what they wanted to read.

There's a happy tradeoff with 'storing' every known variable to kingdom come about a user as well. There are many users on this site, with many, many posts and a lot of traffic. using a forum system that uses an inflated type of tracking is not logical for a site of this caliber.

Most people actually don't read every thread either, usually.
One thing you could do, is make note of the date/time the last post was that you looked at, then using the search function enter "*" into the search field, and make sure it's sorted descending. And hop back to that date on the listing provided by the search.

Albeit, if problems with your isp constantly arise; it may be a good time to complain- or even consider changing your isp.
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 3:42 PM   #9
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I never have dropped connections, but I definitely find that the "new" designation seems to expire. It's particularly difficult for me trying to moderate the Weekly Challenge forum because I can't count on the flags alerting me to new posts. First, I have to look for zero-reply posts, then I have to rescan for posts that don't look familiar to me.

So, it looks like an expiration problem more than anything else.
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Old Mar 3, 2004, 4:04 PM   #10
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Barbara, I think you nailed it. This is not the only phpBB-based forum I visit and I don't recall seeing this behavior in them. Probably this forum expires cookies too soon. I don't have the disconnect problems but see this show up every now and then.
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