Chatbox Problem - PLEASE READ, need your cooperation

With our increase in membership, the Chatbox usage is too high for the shared server, even with our business account. If we kept the chat software we are using now, we'd have to move to a dedicated server, which would cost $150/month - way too much.

So instead I am going to reprogram the site to use a different type of chat software that is hosted on a third-party server. While this other chat software costs less than $150/month, it does cost money (what we're using now is free), so I am going to create a subscription option for use of that part of the Web site. I don't yet know how much, but it will not be a lot - I'm still working out the details.


***** READ ***** READ ***** READ *****

The programming I need to do to make these changes will take some time. For starters, I have to upgrade the version of Drupal we're using. That's very time consuming because they make no attempt at backward compatibility and modules always break. I won't go through all it will take to do the programming. The point is, I can't do it immediately. I have some time-urgent work-related tasks that I must complete in the next month, so I have asked our Web host to give me some time. They said okay, but if our usage gets so high that it hurts others on the server, they will place limits on this site without warning.

So here is what I need from you:

For the next month (until the changeover), please get very BUSINESS-LIKE about your use of the Chatbox. Use the Chatbox only for what it's intended for: meetings and checking in, staying on task. Do not waste CPU time by typing in the Chatbox unnecessarily. NO CHIT-CHAT. If you want to just talk about stuff with a friend, do it somewhere else. Talk in email, or IM on Facebook or Skype, but don't do it in the PA Chatbox.

If you see someone chit-chatting in the Chatbox, please let them know about this problem by pointing them to this post. Don't be embarrassed to do this. Blame it on me - say I instructed everyone to do this. Here is the link:

The Chatbox is an extremely useful resource, and I don't want us to lose it completely during the month before I can reprogram the site. You can prevent this from happening by using it responsibly, and making sure others are using it responsibly.

I'll let you know when I'm ready to make the changes. The plan is mid-December.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Is there any news?

I have not been on this website for a month now, so I maybe I missed something. Do we still use the chatbox as little as possible?
You cannot run away from a weakness; you must sometimes fight it out or
perish. And if that be so, why not now, and where you stand?
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)

Chat box usage--Update?

Happy new year, all! Just wondering if we should still be following these limited usage guidelines. Thank you for all that you do! 

chatbox changeover still pending

Yes, please. I've been having serious problems with my internet connection and haven't been able to make the chatbox change yet.

And still?

Just wondering if we've been OK recently or if we should still follow the no chatting rule. I have noticed myself straying a little lately, and someone said that the problem had been fixed.

Have  I missed an announcement?

thank you

Pro - never really thanked you for all the tremendous work you do and you do and have done.  I tend to take for granted all the effort to make the basic operations of things work.


Progress not prefection


Do It Now 

Please be careful about chit-chat in the chatbox (FOR NOW)

We still have the usage problem in the chatbox and we are on borrowed time. I will move us over to new chat software in mid December that is hosted on a third party server so the load is not on our own server, and that will significantly reduce our usage. In the meantime, we are on borrowed time, allowed to exist above our allowed usage on the shared server only because our Web host is being nice about it.

Our usage was pretty good for a few days, then the day before yesterday it started to climb again and yesterday it was even higher. When I was in the chatbox myself yesterday, a friendly nice person asked me where I was from, and then wanted to chat about NYC. That's normal, but it's the type of chit-chat we just can't have in the chatbox RIGHT NOW. Once we are switched over to the new chat software in December, it won't matter. But right now we need to be very careful. If our usage gets too high, our Web host will limit our account and it could cripple the whole site.

So please continue to be vigilant. Again, DO (DO, DO, DO) use the chatbox for work. It is fine to do the usual moaning and groaning about whatever it is you are working on (smiling), just please limit other types of chit-chat (e.g. where are you from?, I've always wanted to go there). For that, please use either the "Miscellaneous" section of the forum:

or email, or use an offsite chat client if you prefer to IM - JUST FOR NOW. The problem will be solved in December.

Again, thanks for your help. And again, please DO continue to use the chatbox in all the usual ways - cheering each other on, the whining we need to do to get started, etc.

And again, if you can afford to contribute towards the maintenance of the Web site, it would be much appreciated. The new chat software will cost money, the hosting of the site costs money, and of course I donate my programming and site maintenance time for free. If the people who can afford to contribute can help me pay for the site, then the people who can't afford to pay never have to worry about a fee. Here's the link to contribute. Monthly contributions are what help the most, even small ones, but anything you can do is appreciated.

If you can't contribute, don't worry about it.

Thank to everyone!

Thanks for your service, Pro

I am reminded that one of our Traditions as a 12-Step program is that we are self-supporting through our own contributions - I am not earning $ right now but still always put the minimum I can in the basket, I guess b/c it feels like an investment in my abudnance and wellness... 

Anyway, thanks! 

What I'm Thankful For

I know I'm jumping the gun a bit for Thanksgiving, but I would like to say that I'm thankful for Pro, everyone on this site, and all the support and encouragement I find here. Today I was able to break out of a 9 hour rut of avoiding dishes and a lot of other things due to chatbox and of course everyone in there. Also, thank-you to everyone who contributed.

Thank-you Pro for clarifying chatbox usage as it pertained to the issues that had recently arisen and for recognizing that some here are not in good shape financially. I am one of those people as I am currently unemployed; though not directly because of procrastination, but rather obliquely due to it. I wasn't fired or laid-off, but I did quit my job to go back to school and ran out of money. I might find a job if I didn't procrastinate filling out applications and losing important papers.

I thought I would simply forgo the chatbox not only owing to server/programming problems, but because I couldn't make donations toward keeping it up. I felt like a mooch, but then I got desperate. I went in and it was a lifeline for me. I would like to start contributing as soon as I can get a secured credit card or prepaid refillable debit card. Yes, procrastination has destroyed my credit. All I can afford is $2 or $3 a month until I can get a job. Once again I'm grateful to all who are keeping chatbox going monetarily and otherwise. Thanks.

If not now, when?

if those who can contribute do, we'll be okay

Like I said in the post below, I received some contributions from people after I posted about the usage problem - enough that I'm hopeful that we can solve the problem that way. I hope people who CAN contribute do, since voluntary contributions from people who can afford them are the best way to support the site (and the 12-step way).

Here's the link to my other post:

THANKS for voluntary contributions - can keep the chatbox free!

Many people have made voluntary contributions to the PA Web site since I posted about our usage difficulties (the price of success), enough so that it can forestall the need to charge a mandatory subscription fee for the Chatbox. I haven't had a chance to add up what people have sent yet. I haven't even finished thanking people yet - my email is backlogged. But it looks like we're good for at least the next year.

I've been really moved by the outpouring of support. If the people who can afford it send contributions to the site - especially monthly contributions - then I will never have to put a mandatory fee on the Chatbox.

Some people here are in bad financial shape - that's a big part of why they are here. Some can better afford to contribute. If you can afford to contribute, please do. Monthly contributions, even small ones, are especially appreciated because that's how I know we'll be okay going forward. But one-time contributions are good, too. Whatever you can do is good.

MANY THANKS to those who already have contributed!!

I will post more information when I have it. I'm still trying to get my end-of-year stuff done before I turn my full attention to this issue in mid-December.

Temporary dedicated server?


Would it be possible or helpful if we chipped in for the dedicated server for only a year (or preferrably less, if they had any shorter/trial subscriptions), so you have a bit more time to program the site for a cheaper chatbox? Or would that just end up being more of a hassle/overkill for the problem? 

~Que Sera 

Re: temporary dedicated server

I'd say that would be a lot of hassle and overkill. I'll figure this out - it just takes some patience and cooperation. Our Web host is working with me on this.

chatbox: please stay logged in to encourage each other!

I've been sad to notice that people are checking in now and then immediately logging out of the chatbox. That is not necessary, and is very sad because then no one is getting encouragement. The chatbox check-ins are about encouraging each other. If we are not encouraging each other, the chatbox check-ins may as well not exist.

I asked that people not use the chatbox for chatting about the weather or their love lives (I've been guilty of that myself). But please do use the chatbox for supporting each other, or it might as well already be gone.

chatbox function

Hi pro, so we should stay logged on and report what we are working on? or should we minimise chat in the box? I like the idea of staying logged on and seeing other people it really encourages me to see them even if no one is talking...

Technical question re: Chatbox

Hi pro,

Does just being logged into the chatbox affect the usage or is it only when one actually chats? That is, is it OK to stay logged for relatively lengthy periods even if one is not actively chatting, or should I be sure be more attentive to the duration of time I'm logged in?

Thanks so much for everything.

chatbox - staying logged in and usage

Staying logged in does increase CPU usage because the program keeps you logged in by periodically pinging to keep you active so you aren't automatically logged off (or it's supposed to - sometimes people are timed out anyway).

HOWEVER, this does not mean you should log out instantly when you are on a burst! There is something positive about people staying logged in and using Away when they are working. It lets people know that other people are using the Chatbox and are there. Also, if you are working and still near your computer, you can support people as they come in. That's how it generally works - people will talk to others as they enter the Chatbox even when they are in the middle of a burst sometimes. If you log out instantly, this is lost - and it's a big thing to lose.

If you are completely gone - you're not working, you've left your home for several hours, or whatever. Then, yes, it would be best to log out.

We're walking a fine line here. I really don't want the Chatbox to die. If we stop using the Chatbox fully, then it's lost it even though it's still here. I'm just asking that you don't use it in any unnecessary ways. I've seen people chit-chatting about all kinds of off-topic stuff in the chatbox - I myself am as guilty as anyone. Hey - we make friends in the chatbox. I've also seen people stay logged in for days when they are no where near their computers and not working. I'm just asking that people not do those things.

If our Web host limits the account, it will be without warning and it could cripple access to the entire Web site. That's what I'm trying to avoid. They said they'd give me time to finish my accounting before I did the reprogramming, but they said that if usage became so high that it was affecting others on the server, that they'd limit the account without warning. So I'm asking that people use good judgment.

Use the Chatbox for what it's for, and (1) don't use it for other things, and (2) log off when you're not using it. But DO USE IT FOR WHAT IT'S FOR!! Does that make sense?

Thanks, pro

Thanks so much for the explanation, pro. And yes, that totally makes sense. Now I have clarity about how to proceed -- don't limit chatbox use for its intended purpose but be attentive to not stay logged in when I've actually moved on from anything PA-related. Thanks again!

forum is still available for check-ins!

To chatbox fans:

Don't forget the forum for check-ins each day and throughout the day. That is still here, and you can post as much as you want.

pro you are great

Just wanted to express my thanks and acknowledge you pro for the difference you make in other people's lives by this website. I have benefited a a great deal from this 12 step programme.