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2018 Update: New Clothes and Old Friends

AVSIG III: The Forum You are Trying to Reach has Been Changed. 
Please Make a Note of It.

Yes, after 260 dog years, AVSIG is onto Forum Platform 3.0. We mothballed our UBB-based place at the stroke of midnight on the first of the year, so if you’ve spent the past six months trying to reply to those threads about the return of LORAN or Mel Tillis and Charles Manson departing this world on the same day, give up: your situation is hopeless. You can still read all messages (2004-17) … just keep your UBB-era login handy for the member sections.  (New AVSIG Members will also be issued a login for our legacy forum, enabling full access to all SIG II threads, including the internet’s most amusing discussion about airplanes on treadmills).

Why the new place? You may have noticed that our runway went dark several times last summer. The culprit was most likely Russians posing as Chinese routing denial-of-service attacks through Stockholm to a YMCA in Denver, where some guy named Ray got blamed for the whole thing. In other words, we have no idea where these attacks came from. We don’t even know if there was collusion. But the memory-overload outages, server reboots, and nightly memory-throttling scheming soon started giving our boiler room hamsters leg cramps. So we popped for the latest and greatest vBulletin forum platform and invited AVSIG’s best minds to poke, prod, break, bend, and meld it until we were all happy that we had the perfect discussion platform for the Twenty-first-point-second Century. And then we released it anyway.

AVSIG’s new forum acts just like most of the other web forums you visit because it’s made of the same bones. It is much easier to post graphics and videos now, and even easier to navigate ... if you pick a method and stick with it. In our never-ending quest to help our jet-setting visitors save time, we have implemented three levels of message filtering, but be forewarned: multiple devices and access methods will tie the 0s and 1s of your session shoelaces together and you’ll trip, fall, and get stuck reading the forum section by section to find new messages, just like in the 80s.

Speaking of the 80s, our resident programming stuntman, Bob Dubner, started, scrapped, and then out of pure and malicious stubbornness cudged together yet another TapCIS-style remote access interface for AVSIG. This one is called TapSIG. Bob points out that there’s -0- point to his little program in this day and age, and in celebration of that end game you can read all his teeth-gnashing over the project here. And here. And then download the whole pointless thing here ... if for no other reason than to bask in the glow of a time when you could run up $1,200 monthly connection fee bills reading the AP Wire, AVSIG, and delayed stock prices. TapSIG presents your favorite aviation forum in a sparse and focused pre-Case/Zuckerberg world devoid of all cartoonery, lovingly preserved and refurbished by an online pioneer, Vegas house gamer, Wall Street numbers runner, and lately, snowplow driver.

Other SIG III Features …

… State-of-the-art spambot defenses. The answer to the registration challenge question is “brothers,” lowercase, no quotes or comma. We’re confident putting our secret word here because we don’t think spambots competently read and comprehend site support pages. But if you are a spambot and you’re reading and comprehending this passage, please feel free to use the above info to come on in and join the discussion. AVSIG has always had really smart people, so we might as well have really smart spambots.

… Thread glue. Back in the 80s we dreamed about it. In the 90s we talked about it. A few decades later, we finally have it: Thread glue. So if a thread drifts from hard-over rudders to words the president utters we can put everything back on track without disrupting the thread. We can pool all the fish pun threads and present the whole school of thought on an epic scale. And it’s as easy for the hangar sweeper to fix thread title misspellings now as it is to get words like “their” and “there” confused, two.

… Better flood checking. (Oh … yes …) The reason we switched software in the first place. And we’ve taught it the difference between a few thousand hits during major aviation news and a few thousand hits from that guy at the Y in Denver.

… Choose your favorite cockpit:  

You can view AVSIG in your choice of five color and font schemes via the toggle box on the lower-left corner of the screen. 

AVSIG VFR Blue …

AVSIG IFR Black …

AVSIG People Stratospheric …

AVSIG I Don’t Want All These AVSIG People Cluttering My Screen Stratospheric …

… and the color scheme no one remembers asking for, AVSIG Cosmic Dawn …

If you haven’t visited AVSIG III yet, just register using that “brothers” trick we told you about. See you in the cosmic dawn.

From Our Not Forgotten Files ... 

Since our last update we’ve said goodbye to too many AVSIG originals. We shouldn’t be surprised, since some folks have been on the forum since the days of ATDT commands, but each loss hurts. (Insert First-Person Transition Here). I got to know some of these folks outside the forum.

Johnny Sewell (2016) was one of those perpetually kind souls who seemed happy no matter what life threw at him, but possibly ever-so-more happy when he was flying airplanes for a living. Johnny came through Columbus often flying charters, and if he didn’t have time for a formal dinner date he would just host a short meet-up aboard whatever hardware he had parked out on the tarmac for the stopover. This meant some nice aircraft tours and periodically some memorable post-flight leftovers, including the untouched fruit tray of a Scandinavian queen and turkey jerky from a future governor of Caleeforneea’s entourage. Johnny posted a picture of himself cruising AVSIG just after his liver transplant a few years back, and while he was a good sport about my snarky caption claiming the photo depicted him controlling AVSIG with direct electrical signals from his brain, he pointed out, in perfectly guile-free dry-gulch Kansasonian, that the brain region I cited in the caption primarily controls human sneezing reflexes.

Jack Hammond (2016) came to us from CompuServe’s Military Forum. Jack principally participated in military aviation threads on AVSIG, but a few years back when yours truly got booted off Wikipedia for the very likely fraudulent act of creating an entry claiming AVSIG as the world’s oldest electronic forum, Jack charged to the front line. Mr. Hammond not only posted my WikiCred bail there, he appealed to several WikiEditors to drop everything and help him dig up internet forensics supporting my wild claims while I sat in the WikiTimeoutBox. These infantry-class editors would circle one Patton-class WikiPedant who thought it absurd that our little internet forum first turned on the lights 10 years before the internet was open to the public. They would poke at him and his tank brigade of WikiDemotion and  WikiBanning weaponry – armed only with pointy little fact spears fashioned from archived 80s book bibliographies. (I mention this only because I think some people want to know what goes on in the deepest, darkest forests of the internet while they sleep).  AVSIG now has a proper Wikipedia entry which fully verifies that we claim to be the oldest electronic forum in the world, anyway. Thanks for helping us hold our position on the field, Jack.

And ... (2016 again. It was a bad year). Jim Bell spent the 60s and 70s traveling with rock bands. Later he would establish a successful career in television sound mixing, but Jim’s passion for the music scene was never far from the conversation on AVSIG, where he first participated in straight-laced flight simulator section discussion before eventually letting his freak flag fly in a variety of stream-of-consciousness posts on life’s beauties and mysteries. In the winter, Jim put up snow cams to remind all of us that no matter how bad we thought our winter was, we weren’t wintering in New Jersey. When we launched the AVSIG swag store, he bought out the place and posted photos. And when Jim became ill, the email conversation he and I had over the years got more frequent and personal. It was during this time I learned that Jim once emptied a .45 into the Olentangy River near my favorite fishing spot at 3 a.m. during a tour stopover in Columbus, and that by some Joisey Boy serendipity he had chosen to do this while I was six years old and still living safely back in New Jersey. One day, Jim called to say he was taking a cab to the hospital and didn’t expect to return home. He didn’t. When Sig III went live, Sig II’s longest-running thread, How’s the Music, came along for the ride. Bill Bridges started that discussion as a callout to Jim after trying out some bluegrass with his new Telecaster, and the universal and enduring language that is music has sustained and propeled the dialogue to this day. Your guitar spirit lives on, Jim.

AVSIG members have access to our Memorial Section, with links to member obituaries, photos, and lifetime posting history on AVSIG. Please visit, but don’t stay.


And a few other things …

… We now have discussions for drones and space travel. First AVSIG member to post a message from Mars gets a free AVSIG hat, you pay shipping.

… A big Thank You to all the AVSIG folk who have helped others learn the ins and out of our new forum over the past few months. Technology change is never as fun or easy as we say it is … we only make it feel that way.

-- MO 

From our 25th Pages: AVSIG History  Notes on JBG  The State of the Sig  Our Contentious Little Secret What We've Learned so Far

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