(Topic ID: 214353)

IPDB down (update)

By I_P_D_B

3 years ago

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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by kevmad
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    Post #1 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by I_P_D_B (3 years ago)

    Post #54 Submissions have returned Posted by I_P_D_B (2 years ago)

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    #1 3 years ago

    Hello friends,

    Starting April 8, the IPDB has been down, almost continuously, due to unexpected hardware problems. This could last for several days.

    It will likely be completely down until the new system is up. If anyone finds it up, we don't know how long it will be up and it could disappear at any time. It crashes regularly, anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after it has restarted.

    Because we receive emails every day from our users, I am concerned that any emails sent to me/us on April 8 (and later) may have become irretrievable by us and the sender would never know and neither would we. Wolf says your emails to us bounce to let you know we did not receive them. If no bounce message, then during moments of uptime and if I am online then I should see the emails that arrived and may be able to hurriedly email you a reply before the site goes down.

    If you have submitted images and information to us since April 8 via our online Submission Tool, it should still be there for us to see once things stabilize. You can always verify this by clicking on our [Settings] link to view a list of all of your unprocessed submissions in the right-side column of the Settings page, but, as always, it will list only the submissions where you have included your email address in the box provided for it, in the submission.

    Wolf and I apologize for this problem and he wants you to know that he is trying to get the site up asap.

    I will post here again when the problem is deemed as fixed.

    Thank you,


    2 weeks later
    #25 3 years ago

    Hi again,

    I told you I would get back to you.

    I spoke with Wolf tonight. Our website is now fully transferred over to the new server at Pair Networks, which is a highly reliable service, so we should not experience any more downtime, now or ever. Prior to our local server failure, only our images had been on Pair, for about six years, but now everything is.

    What is still inoperative is our online Submission Tool to allow you to submit images and text to us. Therefore, you may notice that the link [Submit Changes] is missing from each listing. I cannot process any submissions in queue for now. When this feature is fully tested and ready, we will turn it on and I will post here again to advise you of this. We look for another two weeks out on that.

    Transferring my IPDB email account from old server to new server has been its own task with a lower priority, so that is why no one who was in communication with me when our server failed has heard from me via email since then. This transfer is going on as I write this. Almost all of my emails are saved in our archives, so I have probably 100,000 email records to transfer. I look to be back in business in a day or two, barring unforeseen glitches, except we will have 80 degree weather tomorrow before the rains return so you still may not hear from me! Thank you for your patience if you wondered why I suddenly ghosted you. You can still email me/us during this time.

    The IPDB is/was backed up on the cloud prior to server failure and we see no loss of data. We thank those of you who have contacted us to offer your hosting services and I *think* I had replied to each of you individually, but if I missed anybody I am sorry and please know we are fine and I think we knew we would be. Wolf and I thank all of you who have expressed your concern, appreciation, and support for our website. It always feels good to know you are appreciated.

    I look to post here again to tell you when our Submission Tool is online and that the IPDB is 100% operational.

    Thank you,


    1 year later
    #46 2 years ago
    Quoted from Inkochnito:

    I've had some contact with Jay a few weeks ago (july 7th).
    I told him that people are hoping that the ipdb will be up and running once again.
    People want to upload more game info and are willing to help if needed.
    Jay likes to know how many people are missing the updates and how they think they can help.
    I know there are a lot of people missing the updates, but I dare not give a number on that.
    I used to check the ipdb every day to look for updates.
    Looking for instruction card images, a new schematic or manual for the collection.
    I would love to upload some new images and files.
    Now I have to keep those files on my computer and hope to remember to upload them someday.
    I fear that I will forget about them....
    Maybe someone can add a poll or something like that....
    1. People that are missing the ipdb.
    2. People who are willing to help in some way.
    3. People who are willing to donate to keep the servers running.
    4. People who don't care about the ipdb.
    5. People who want to take over the ipdb.
    Just a thought....

    A nice man emailed me yesterday asking what help did we need with our server hardware. I told him I had no idea we needed such help and asked him how he came to think this. He directed me to the above post.

    Peter, I am perplexed as to why you wrote the above post. It reads as if I had asked you to find out some information from pinside users. I have not asked you to do this. I have not asked you to do anything on my behalf, just so everyone understands. I have noted from your emails to me that you have been unusually interested in pursuing for more information than I was able to provide, and in that July email with you I had asked you to NOT post on pinside anything from our brief discussion. In our discussion, I certainly did not seek what you seek in your five numbered poll topics. You have suggested here that the IPDB lacks money to keep the servers running such that I am now being contacted about it. I've never said that to you or anyone. Most distressing to me is that you have suggested that we are seeking others to take over the IPDB. That is not true. Why would you say that? Why would you go there? I have said no such thing to you or to anyone, ever. That is one rumor no one needs to see started. I am gobsmacked here. A complete surprise. I know you are trying to be helpful but please pull back and relax. Your involvement here is misleading people if I don't step in and say something.

    In that July conversation, you stated to me, "I just want to let you know that people are missing the ipdb updates."

    It sounded like a possibility that you knew something that I didn't already know. Often, a person is really only speaking of him/herself when making those kind of statements but will express it as if it's a whole bunch of people. It's human, we all do that, I understand that. Intuitively, I'd say you're accurate. But, I wanted to know if you were actually referring to, for instance, a thread or discussion somewhere that I have not seen or read so that I could go read it to apprise myself of what people are saying. You replied to repeat your personal certainty to the effect that you spoke for many but you gave me as your basis only this short pinside thread you are now reading, adding that it was hard for you to say how many. Well, what you call "many" in this thread is what I call "not many" when compared to overall numbers of hobbyists. Yet, my answer was in learning that you had no other thread or discussion driving you, for me to read. That's what I had wanted to know. I figured that was the end of it and I closed the discussion by stating "I was just trying to get a sense if what you said was driven by specifics or is what you and I both have come to know about the helpfulness of the pinball community." Some of both, I concluded.

    I thought you understood that I was asking you, and only you, what you meant by what you wrote in that email. I was not asking you to go ask pinside, and in my name, and promulgating things that would misrepresent! Ouch!

    A nice man, dmacy, had yesterday innocently started a Poll based upon your post, titled "IPDB Needs Support" and where he gave the choice of "I'd like to take over the IPDB" which was taken from what you wrote. As that choice, under that declarative thread title, could have the effect of confirming in people's minds that this came from the IPDB, I contacted him yesterday asking to remove that choice from the Poll, figuring the rest of the Poll might be interesting and might show you, Peter, some actual data as to where the levels of interest are. As it turns out, a Poll choice cannot be individually removed, so the entire Poll was canceled at my request. (I reassured dmacy that I understood he was operating under the information he saw posted by you and that I did and do appreciate his willingness to help.)

    So, in view of Peter's numbered topics, let me gently clarify for those folks reading this. In emailing with Peter in July, I did not opine about people not caring about the IPDB. I did not ask to quantify anything on pinside. I did not ask for money. The servers are fine. In fact, they are owned and maintained by Pair Networks, a highly regarded company, and we are operating fully on their servers as I had indicated earlier in this thread. Most importantly, the IPDB is not seeking to change hands. Let's kill that rumor before it starts. Please, don't anyone approach me at Expo asking about that or I will refer you to Peter. These are Peter's ideas, not mine, and I don't know from where he got them. I am here to undo the effect they are having on me.

    It should be obvious, to those who noticed, that we are having an unprecedented delay in getting the site's Submission Tool back up and running but I suppose there is value in seeing me type it here after all of this time, at least for Peter. I say "to those who noticed" because, as I see it, there is no need to go out of our way to make our problem known to the majority of our users whom I believe do not even notice the Submission Tool is down or that the site is not being updated, to unnecessarily alarm them. The site itself is fine and has been fine since a year ago but just cannot be updated until some testing has completed and the delay is in that. This delay is nothing that our users can help resolve, therefore help from our users has not been sought. I'm sorry if anyone has been worried about the IPDB but everyone who has been worried enough to email me has seen a fast email response from me, each and every time. Those who have emailed me asking how to submit items without the Submission Tool were told what to do. The motivated people contact me. I cannot see how scaring all of the unaware people and indifferent people has value. In addition, I still want people to notify me of great pictures they see on ebay and Craigslist so I can add them to the site once the Tool is back up and so I don't want to sabotage that by promulgating anything that might make them stop doing it.

    Also, please know I do not hang out on pinside so for those in this thread who had posted questions of me that have gone unanswered or who had bumped the thread, I was not here to see that and was not ignoring you.

    A sincere thank you to everyone who has recently donated to our site. We have always operated on donations and Wolf has never been one to proactively seek them, preferring instead to quietly show a link in the lower left corner of our webpages for those who would notice. Wolf is humble and would not want me to say that we are in the hole as far as donations versus overall costs taken in the aggregate but I think that's pretty much always been the case across the seventeen years and is not tied to the Submission Tool delay. Again, thank you for your kind donations. I also thank those who have expressed their appreciation for the IPDB on pinside, on RGP, and in your emails to me.

    2 months later
    #54 2 years ago


    I am happy to report that our long-standing problem with updating the site got resolved right before the recent Chicago Pinball Expo. Then I got back from Expo and got to work. I waited to post this announcement because I wanted to make sure things were copacetic with the Submission Tool. The [Submit Changes] link has re-appeared in each IPDB listing to use to activate the Tool. I see a few folks have already discovered this as new submissions are again coming in. For those folks whom I told to email stuff directly to me during our Tool disorder, please return to using the [Submit Changes] link to send your images and text changes to us.

    For those who hate long-winded posts, the above is the news, but here are further details for those who may be interested:

    To catch up on backlog and in view of emailed questions received, I decided to prioritize adding the new games missing from last year and this year and as of moments ago I think I am there or almost there. That was the other reason for holding off on this message you are reading, I wanted to have something good to offer you. Here are the Stern games that I've added in the last several days, everything on this list after LUCI:


    For Jersey Jack Pinball, I already was current through Dialed In! except for the Collector's Edition which is now there. I have emailed JJP to get info on the new Willy Wonka game.

    I know I've been behind on Spooky Pinball games even before the Tool went down as our communication has not been consistent. However, at Expo, folks told me that Kayte is the one to email and lo and behold I see her email address is on their site which I had not visited in a while to have seen it. So, I am reaching out to her to hopefully get the ball rolling there. I am sure they are very busy. Also, TNA rocks!

    I have emailed Chicago Gaming Company to get final info so I can add the Monster Bash Remakes. Not sure of that would make me current with them or what.

    Next, I'll add images for the above new games that were emailed to me by game owners. Interspersed will be all other games. If you are reading this and wonder when your submission/email will get done, I've always encouraged our users to email me if ever you get antsy about not hearing back from me on something you've submitted (or emailed) so even during this time of triage please feel free to drop me a line and I'll pull yours out of the stack to work it. You are not bothering me to send me a nudge! I'd rather hear from you than to later read on pinside/RGP that you were unhappy with the IPDB. Or, is it too late on that?

    Anyway, I am very happy to bring you this good news and am pumped to get back at it! Uh oh, it's 4am, time flies when I'm having fun. Goodnight!


    IPDB Changelog (resized).JPG
    #61 2 years ago
    Quoted from stangbat:

    Thanks for the update about the updates, Jay.
    This has been asked before, but is there any way to update the older images to higher resolution? Constraints on files sizes and storage are different than they were 10+ years ago and many of the older images are woefully small and lack detail. Do higher resolution copies of the old photos exist, and could the existing images be updated with the higher resolution images? Or would people have to submit new higher resolution photos? Finally, is it even on the radar to update old images to higher resolution? I now that would be a lot of work, and if it isn't something you want to embark on, I understand.

    Higher resolution copies of the old photos do not exist on the IPDB although the original photographers may have them. To the extent I can influence that, I may try. When I get permission from a Craigslist seller, I often ask the seller to email me with his/her larger original versions, as I know that CL has a size limit in their ads. The CL sellers are pretty cool about that. Some ebay sellers still show small images that don't enlarge when you click on them but can send me larger ones upon my request, or some sellers volunteer to do this.

    People who use our Submission Tool of course send only the resolution they send but, if they included an email address, I've emailed them to ask for more/better pics. Just depends. Especially in the case of cell phone pictures. Whenever I can, I always ask folks to use a regular digital camera, if available, instead of a cell phone camera because quality is not consistent and nobody uses flash with their cell phone therefore some sharpness of focus is lost. So their pictures are too often dark and grainy and either pixelate when enlarged or wash out when lightened. Plus, many cell phone images look "flat" to my eye so I assume it will look flat to our users. I will say, however, that a few iphones have surprised me with their quality. I am no cell phone camera expert, though, and unless I ask, I never know what brand of cell phone is being used to offer you here any useful feedback on brands. I am aware that many folks chance upon games while they are out and about such as a flea market or garage sale or even on vacation and all they have on them is their cell phone. So of course we are appreciative that they thought of us and there ain't no way I am saying anything to them except Thank You, although I may ask them if they can return to get more pictures!

    We inherited all of Russ Jensen's images from the Pinball Pasture (who?) which helps show you how far back Russ was helping the cause. The capabilities of older cameras were also a factor in the size of the images that we received. Early on, I started deleting Russ' images as too small but I started to feel like I was deleting Russ himself. I knew him and I just can't do it. Later, when modding caught fire, I saw in Russ' many pictures a pre-mod authenticity so I keep them around on the idea that games in his images are much less likely to have been modded or restored than the same games would be today, those games today having aged that much more, coupled with our hobby's hands-on restoration energy that did not exist back then.

    Our Submission Tool can accept images up to 10MB each although most folks anymore seem to send them in at between 2-5 MB each. There is a reduction performed on the largest images prior to placing them on the IPDB but I don't know the formula used (Wolf knows) and I'm pretty sure we do not save the un-reduced versions stored anywhere. Certainly not accessible to me.

    Incidentally, the link of new Stern games I referenced above represent 534 pictures, all from Stern. About 95% of them downloaded from their dropbox sized from 15MB to 30MB so I had to manually reduce each image using Photoshop to resave them to be under 10MB because I use the same Submission Tool as our users, with its 10MB image max and where each Submission group of images cannot exceed 60MB total. (Hence, the time it took to reduce and add the pictures.) If you look at any of these images as they now appear on the IPDB, you may like how well they turned out in terms of clarity, depending on your monitor or device. Example:


    For right now, I think that is the best we can get, and of course the focus depends on the camera and photographer.

    All we can hope is that our users continue to submit their (hi-res) pictures of unmodded games to exist alongside our existing pictures. (Retrofitting older games with non-factory LED/RGB illumination is also "modding" but you can turn the game off before photographing for us.) I like to have at least two examples of each game so that is another reason why I might not delete smaller images if that is all we have. For this reason, users should feel free to submit images that to them might seem like duplicates of what we already have, in addition to sending views that we lack. When a guy buys a used game and wants to figure out what it is missing or why a certain doohickey is there, hopefully he can see multiple examples of his game on the IPDB to decide what to believe.

    Thank you.

    P.S. In response to a different post, we ask that you link to our images using URLs and not copy/paste them from our site to elsewhere. They are copyrighted by the original photographers but we do what we can to help them on this point. If copyright holders ever see their IPDB images somewhere accompanied by the words "Courtesy of the IPDB", please know we were not asked and did not give permission which is not ours to give anyway.

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