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Dave Baker

Upgrade coming 12/31/2016

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I am very excited about an upgrade to the software that runs these message boards, which will be implemented over the weekend of December 31 to January 1, and will be fully functional by Monday, January 2.

In part the upgrade is driven by the fact that the current version of the software has reached the end of its technical support life from the vendor, excerpt for security patches. Even those patches are scheduled to end in about three months.

The new version of the software was first released in April of last year and has undergone a considerable number of tweaks, so I am now confident that it is fully functional and smooth.

The primary benefit under the new version is a much more modern interface, with the kind of look and feel that most people have come to expect, especially on tablets and smartphones. The buttons are larger and more carefully positioned. The "help" system has been very much improved in its language and content. The new interface feels much more intuitive and user-friendly to me.

It will be much easier to automatically follow certain content (particular topics/discussions, particular message boards), and the new version has a greatly expanded system for viewing "new" content and viewing particular kinds of activity (posts by particular members, activity in all topics you've started or contributed to, etc.).

Upon logging in, an amazing amount of information will become available merely by hovering your mouse over various links, rather than needing to click on them.

The search engine has more options available when doing an Advanced search, and seems to be faster and to provide results in a more scannable/readable format.

And it cooks a perfectly boiled egg in less than 3 minutes.

(Not.)

I wish it were possible to install the upgraded version into a beta part of benefitslink.com in order to give you the ability to easily try it out before it goes fully live on January 2, but the conversion process is basically "stand back, fasten seat belts" once the process has begun. (I have tested the conversion on a development server, though. The development server must be behind a firewall in order to prevent Google from finding the content and royally gumming things up by indexing the temporary content on the upgraded version. The conversion went through without a hitch.)

If you're comfortable with using an add-on to your browser or some other application that would let you modify the "HOSTS" file on your Windows PC so that the various links on the upgraded version running on the development server will work for you (i.e., not just the front page of the upgraded version), I'd be happy to provide you with the IP address of the development server to use in modifying your HOSTS file, and a username/password to get through a browser challenge screen on the development server. Just send me a private message using the message boards, or email me at davebaker@benefitslink.com.

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My sentiments exactly.

Hopefully the update will not require logging on again, it has been since forever and I couldn't even tell you what my password is! :D

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My sentiments exactly.

Hopefully the update will not require logging on again, it has been since forever and I couldn't even tell you what my password is! :D

I am sure that you are not alone in that! :rolleyes: If everyone has to log on again, expect lots of forgotten password inquiries!!

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I feel confident that no new log-in will be required, because the upgrade is done "in place," on top of the existing database and cache directories that hold the log-in status.

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Might be a good time to check your profile, though, to be sure the email address listed there is current. That allows you to retrieve your password automatically should it ever be necessary. And it allows you to be notified of new topics ... and receive any possible-and-rare administrative announcements via email.

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To get to your profile (as Lois suggests), click on your name where it appears in the black horizontal bar towards the top of the home page of the message boards (http://benefitslink.com/boards).

Then click on "My Profile" on the resulting small drop-down menu.

Then look at the email address shown on the resulting page. If it's not correct, click on the black "Edit My Profile" button on that page.

On the resulting page, click on "Email & Password" in the left-hand column, which will bring up a screen where you'll see a place to enter your corrected email address. Then (important) click on the Save Changes button before leaving the page.

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