Can you believe it? I acquired my first hosting account in 1997, starting up Rudy's Corner, which had its own A&M Corner as a side show. It wasn't long before I split A&M Corner to its own site. I originally hosted an A&M Fan Contact guestbook, but that was too difficult for visitors to use. I located a forum system, WebBBS, and started the first version of the A&M Corner Forum in August (?) of 1997. Yes, we have been around that long! In 2002, tired of the growing spam, and lack of support for the WebBBS system, the staff and I looked at a couple of different forum systems and settled on phpBB2. Like its popular competitor, vBulletin, it was a clone of the UBB (Ultimate Bulletin Board) system, using a linear style of discussion as opposed to threaded discussions we had in WebBBS. Over the years, phpBB has been hacked into (I helped my friend clean up his Windows support forum after a hacker defaced it...twice within a week!), a target for spammers (ask the staff!), and also sat stagnant for several years as the development team tinkered with an updated version. phpBB3 was eventually released as the replacement, but at best, it was still a few versions behind where other systems like vBulletin were at. vBulletin, by the way, is a paid forum system--site owners need to buy a license in order to run it. I have been looking at new forum systems for a few years now. phpBB3 was in the running only due to familiarity. SMF (Simple Machines Forums) seemed a decent free replacement, but the development team has splintered, and they have been releasing beta and "release candidate" versions of the same 2.0 version for the past three or more years now. Safe to say, their development has stalled also. We had even considered vBulletin (vB) for awhile. vB has worked out well on a "big board" forum I administer (millions of posts, several hundred online users during peak hours, etc.), with numerous performance tweaks I've had to manually code in by hand. But, they came out with an updated version 4 that has been panned by both end users and forum administrators as being bloated and sluggish. To top it off, their development company, Jelsoft, was acquired by Internet Brands, who raised the price, changed the licensing model, and made other changes that long-time customers did not approve of. They also took to suing competitors. Or rather, one specific competitor. vBulletin's two lead developers, and long-time "business person," left Internet Brands back in 2009. Just over a year from their departure, they announced they had begun development of a new forum system from the ground up: XenForo (XF). It took off like wildfire. Long-time customers of vB watched it with interest, and when the first beta versions came out, it was already rock solid and stable, and they offered licenses for sale. Now you can see where Internet Brands was heading: on the eve of XF announcing sale of their licenses, IB posted two lawsuits, claiming copyright infringement, and breach of contract. This hasn't stopped them; in fact, the lawsuits angered enough vB customers that they have been switching over to XF and selling their vB licenses; vB modification authors showed support by yanking their modifications from the vbulletin.org modification hosting site. Some of them are porting their plugins over to XF now. IB's lawsuits just bit back at them! I acquired a license last autumn, and used it to power a new group of sites I'm in the course of launching. Over the past two weeks, the staff and I have been discussing ways to keep the site going and bring in some new traffic, and everyone pitched in to get us our own copy of XenForo for A&M Corner. I am in the middle of running some test imports from phpBB2 to XF. Other than an issue with polls, and a few stray characters in thread titles, the imports are going well and we can probably roll out XF next week! Along with that, we need to make other changes to the site. The forum currently powers portions of our site's home page and other content, so we will be installing a new system to power the site as well. And even though we are currently shy on content, we are also launching a long-awaited and much needed "encyclopedia" where we will move some of our content, and post other new content as we receive it. This has been a work in progress for a year or two now, but we still need more volunteers to add content; details will be posted when it debuts. What you will notice about XenForo: it is very clean and uncluttered. It is modern, leading-edge forum software. It has a lot of "social" aspects to it, giving you ways to share content with others on the internet, "like" others' posts, and post status updates to let your fellow members know what is happening. The interface uses a lot of HTML5 and JQuery, with overlays replacing individual page loads; performance is faster than other forum systems you've used in the past. It offers a lot of features, many of which are hidden on first glance but only a click or two away. I've been using it for several months now and it has been impressive. And I don't impress easy! The good news on XenForo is that your old user passwords here will still work properly, so you can log in and continue posting. Avatars may or may not make it--I encountered a hitch while trying it last time, but hopefully we can figure out the problem. Even better news: it will not happen right away, but I have all but 180 posts from our WebBBS forum that I'm looking to import into the forum! This is a major undertaking in that a lot of cleanup will be needed once we import those posts into a forum system, but it will be a real "blast from the past" for those of you who were here in the early years. (You can see our "special guests" who have posted over the years, like Carol Kaye and the late Julius Wechter.) And stubborn as I am, I'm still trying to locate which one of my hundreds of floppy or Zip disks have those first 180 posts on it. We had an old Off-Topic forum as well, which I'm sure is also lurking on some dusty old disk somewhere. We may have some sawdust laying around for a few weeks as we get everything back in order, but I really want to get the new forum and home page up as soon as possible. On behalf of the staff, we all thank you for bearing with us these past 14+ years. And we look forward to some good times ahead!