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Welcome to the New Forum Platform Beta Test!

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October 24, 2012 3:20:54 PM

As you've heard for some time now, Tom's Hardware will be launching a brand new forum platform in the coming month that will change a lot of what we see here on the forum. For the most part, the upgrade is an enhancement of the system itself, how posts and threads are handled and categorized. The biggest changes will be behind the scenes, as stability is improved, and a lot of the features that have been requested or missing over the years are added to improve usability.

To make sure the transition from the old platform to the new one goes as smoothly as possible, we're asking for your help in beta testing the new platform. We need your help to make sure it is bug-free and in great working order before launching it officially to the wider Tom's Hardware audience. You've been selected from a group of community leaders based on your past contributions to Tom's, and we're really hoping we can count on you to help us with this critical upgrade to our forum community.

As you test the new platform, you'll bump into new features that we think you'll find useful. We didn't make any overly dramatic changes to what you'll be seeing from what you are accustomed to, and most of all your favorite categories are still intact. You'll find all the threads, private messages and flags successfully ported over, and we're hoping to make the transition relatively seamless and mostly painless.

For access to the beta, please review the following steps:

Accessing the beta requires you to set up a proxy after which you can access the Tom's Hardware Forum as per usual. All of your information will be the same, and you'll find the same data attached to your account. You can also switch easily from Beta to Live versions. Firstly though, you'll always know that you are on the Beta when you are viewing it because of the large reminder at the bottom of the screen. This helps testers to differentiate between the two with a visual cue.



Accessing the Beta using Firefox
1. First, get Foxy Proxy for your browser. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/foxyproxy-standard/
2. Once installed, click on the fox head in the Firefox toolbar to open the Foxy Proxy configuration dialogue.
3. Click on the button to add a new proxy.
4. In the second tab, make sure that the fourth option is checked ("automated proxy configuration") and "PAC" is selected.
5. In the address field, type: http://m.bestofmedia.com/i/proxies/proxy.beta.pac
6. Now go to the first tab of the dialogue and name this proxy so that you can easily select and disable it in the future. Our suggestion is "TH Beta". Then click OK.
7. Once this is done, you can easily select or disable the proxy directly from the Firefox toolbar, and that's how you'll access the Beta.

Accessing the Beta using Chrome
1. Go get the Switchy extension. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/proxy-switchy/caehdcpeofiiigpdhbabniblemipncjj
2. Install the extension and in the setup dialogue, enter the information as indicated in the below image.

3. A little globe icon is added to your Chrome toolbar, allowing you to easily switch between the TH Beta proxy and a regular Direct Connection. See below for example.


Accessing the Beta using IE or another Browser
I will reserve my disdain for you using IE for another post, but here's how to access the Beta using IE or another horse-drawn, steampunk retro browser if you must:

1. Open the browser's "Parameters" page. Click "Advanced Parameters".
2. Under the "network" title, click on the "Change proxy settings" button.
3. Make sure you are on the Connections tab.
4. Click on "Network settings" at the bottom of the dialogue box.
5. Select the automated configuration script option.
6. In the field, type http://m.bestofmedia.com/i/proxies/proxy.beta.pac
7. Click Okay.

Please bear in mind this change will affect your entire system and other browsers. You can always remove this later.

Once you are in, be sure to go to your profile page and check your email address. By default, it will be "bomnotifications2@gmail.com" because we don't want to spam people with forum notifications while testing. Feel free to change this if you want to receive emails during the beta process.

Then, go and read this thread-
Before You Test & Suggested Test Plan


Please run through the recommended feedback plan to test out and try out all the changes and upgrades. Once you've done so, please post your feedback and any bugs or issues to a new thread here. Be sure to review the Frequently Asked Questions thread to ensure you know what's changed, and also check for previous threads from others to make sure you aren't reporting duplicate bugs or issues. If you have a duplicate issue or bug, please try to note that in the same thread as the other beta tester, so we can keep all the feedback together in one spot.

At the end of each day, an admin will be compiling all of your feedback for the developers to make adjustments and fix any issues found. Those admins are yours truly, justinblue (who many of you will remember), and natcparis (aka Nathan, my counterpart in France with the dev team). Thank you all so much for helping with this. Together we can make sure the new platform serves the Tom's Community in the best way possible, and that the transition goes well and our users are kept happy with the changes.
October 24, 2012 6:10:11 PM

The beta test will go live on Friday, and I will be posting information to access it here when it arrives.
October 24, 2012 6:16:20 PM

What time GMT will the fun begin?
Related resources
October 24, 2012 6:30:35 PM

That will be determined shortly. Please stay tuned.
October 24, 2012 9:51:05 PM

Looking forward to some new adventures.
October 25, 2012 10:12:15 PM

Awesome. Let's hope the wait was worth it :) 
October 26, 2012 9:46:32 AM

I can't wait to test the new death ray :) .

Cheers, mate.
October 29, 2012 1:42:03 PM

OK!

I'll give it a try.

EDIT - I'm one of the old farts using IE 9. I made the changes, shut down, and restarted but nothing has changed.
October 29, 2012 3:45:28 PM

Works for me, couple things I've noticed first off:

Can the 'hide/show the right tab be restored? It seems like the right tab is currently defaulted to show, but it makes the screen overly cluttered for me.

Can the drilldown for the forum topics be fixed so you can easily find and enter the topics and subtopics? It's a bit cludgy to navigate to specific subtopics (unless I'm missing an easier way to do it).

Animated .gif avatars work well- I updated mine with one using a 10-frame .jpg GIF and it works flawlessly. It only works in the forum beta, but the avatar update process works well (so far).
October 29, 2012 4:16:44 PM

rubix_1011,

On the new system, to make things more simple, we are sort of phasing out sub-forums and replacing them with tag categorization. That is why drilling down to subforums isn't so obvious. You are instead of drilling down to tags. I realize this will take some getting used to, but it does allow a lot more flexibility in the future.

Justin
November 2, 2012 1:46:09 AM

justinblue said:
rubix_1011,

On the new system, to make things more simple, we are sort of phasing out sub-forums and replacing them with tag categorization. That is why drilling down to subforums isn't so obvious. You are instead of drilling down to tags. I realize this will take some getting used to, but it does allow a lot more flexibility in the future.

Justin


Like all things (Windows 8) change is needed.

I for one am all for changes that benefit us and the community.

Oh and jpishgar, not sure if you have messed with it but IE10 is pretty darn fast. Faster than IE9. I went to 8 the other day and haven't had any issues yet.

Probably will get FF for this though as I use it for things like this for fun.
November 2, 2012 1:47:12 AM

IE10 is pretty darn fast.

I agree ^ Super fast
November 22, 2012 11:34:01 AM

What about beta access through Opera?
November 22, 2012 7:39:23 PM

It would be much the same process, you just need to set up the proxy however you do it in opera.
November 26, 2012 12:44:33 AM

count me in it already active
November 26, 2012 9:30:01 PM

Great to have you on board with us here, scout_03!
November 27, 2012 8:52:33 PM

Hi :) 

I was willing to help until I saw that you expected me to change various proxy options, etc, as I would have to do this on several machines, I am sorry but I am out as they say :( 

Would a different URL not have been simpler ?

All the best Brett :) 
November 27, 2012 10:06:07 PM

I seem to be having trouble getting the proxy up.

It wont allow me to set up a proxy without allowing a 'whitelist'.

Without this, I wont be able to access the beta.

Any suggestions? Am I missing anything?
November 27, 2012 10:22:31 PM

dogman_1234 said:
I seem to be having trouble getting the proxy up.

It wont allow me to set up a proxy without allowing a 'whitelist'.

Without this, I wont be able to access the beta.

Any suggestions? Am I missing anything?

I just added "http://www.tomshardware.com/*" to my URL pattern so it only proxies tomshardware stuff
I also had to blacklist http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/54-68-welcome-forum-p... <- this thread because i was getting a permission error. I have to disable it all together to post in the old forums.

But at least this way, I am not running ALL web requests to Toms.
November 28, 2012 1:20:11 AM

If you use the extension, switching between the two is remarkably simple.
November 28, 2012 1:58:44 AM

jpishgar said:
If you use the extension, switching between the two is remarkably simple.

Yeah. I am just clicking from toms to disable foxyproxy. Was hoping to have it all auto.

Is it normal to not be able to access this page from the proxy?
November 28, 2012 2:31:57 AM

This subsection doesn't exist in the beta area, so this thread likely doesn't either.
November 28, 2012 2:34:50 AM

got a lot of 404 and 500 error when i try to use the forum on proxy
November 28, 2012 3:16:38 AM

Ok. I will post my thoughts when I get to use it a bit more.

so far.
I like the way the pages load in a kind of smooth loading of images and stuff very cool.
I liked the red flag to show read threads on the current forums. It seems to have a similar setup on the side now. Will see how that works.
Badges, meh either way :) 
Ohh and I reported my self :p 
November 28, 2012 3:36:48 AM

nukemaster said:
I just added "http://www.tomshardware.com/*" to my URL pattern so it only proxies tomshardware stuff
I also had to blacklist http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/54-68-welcome-forum-p... <- this thread because i was getting a permission error. I have to disable it all together to post in the old forums.

But at least this way, I am not running ALL web requests to Toms.

+1

Thank You Nuke! :) 

------------------------------------------------------------

Joe, I take it none of us can access our accounts through the Beta?

No big deal.

November 28, 2012 3:54:45 AM

You can access a snapshot of your account as it was several days ago and edit it as you wish, but any changes will be lost when the data is next migrated.
November 28, 2012 4:53:40 AM

Be sure to post your feedback to a *new* thread under the beta subforum!
November 28, 2012 5:31:11 AM

I'll have a wander over tonight.
November 28, 2012 6:53:38 AM

Would have been nice to be able to copy and paste proxy settings, but meh.

Will take a look over the next couple of days.
November 28, 2012 3:37:43 PM

Foxy Proxy is blocked here at work. Another web address would be simpler?
December 4, 2012 8:32:27 PM

I'm stuck too! :( 
December 4, 2012 10:14:12 PM

Beta test is down till tomorrow morning!
December 15, 2012 5:51:01 AM

With this new forum platform, does this mean that Toms Hardware is being migrated to another system? Or is just the website interface changing?
December 15, 2012 9:56:40 AM

Not sure about the rest of the site, but the forum will be using different software.
December 15, 2012 6:14:40 PM

1 million!
December 17, 2012 7:17:14 PM

amuffin said:
1 million!


One million what ?
December 17, 2012 7:21:40 PM

inzone said:
One million what ?

Users registered to the THG forum.
December 19, 2012 10:50:54 AM

OMG...this was posted back in October and I JUST NOW saw this...in the middle of December! :( 
December 19, 2012 5:27:32 PM

NewbieTechGodII said:
OMG...this was posted back in October and I JUST NOW saw this...in the middle of December! :( 



It's worse than that, Jim - the Beta is closed until the 21st. :D 

January 13, 2013 10:48:02 AM

I made the test with for privoxy on Firefox and have the following error:
"There was a problem loading, finding, or parsing the PAC: this.owner.owner is undefined"

Does somebody have any idea ?

---------------
Spoiler

javascript is an unorganized language ! :kaola: 

January 15, 2013 3:53:03 PM

plotito, are you sure you have the right settings applied? The address has to be typed correctly for it to work. The beta has also been experiencing periodic downtime, so timing could also have been at cause. Shoot me a PM if you need further assistance in getting this set up to test.
January 17, 2013 7:31:47 AM

I'm now having the same trouble with the auto proxy configuration script. It seems that either the most recent version(s) of FoxyProxy and/or Firefox don't like it. It worked fine when I last used it (late last year), which would have been v16 or 17 of Firefox.
January 17, 2013 7:34:21 AM

randomizer said:
I'm now having the same trouble with the auto proxy configuration script. It seems that either the most recent version(s) of FoxyProxy and/or Firefox don't like it. It worked fine when I last used it (late last year), which would have been v16 or 17 of Firefox.


I've been unable to get into the Beta since before Christmas but thought perhaps I'd been excluded due to non-attendance. Maybe it was FF all along.
January 17, 2013 7:48:33 AM

I just decided to give it a go anyway and while the proxy config test fails it seems like the proxy still actually works.
January 17, 2013 7:49:35 AM

Need help setting up proxy for Firefox. Followed the instructions exactly, but it's not working.
January 17, 2013 7:59:48 AM

Are you receiving the error mentioned above, and if so, are you receiving it when just testing the proxy config file or when you actually try to browse to the beta forum?
January 17, 2013 8:12:55 AM

Yeah I'm having the same problem as plotito mentioned. When I click on Test I get the same error message.
January 17, 2013 8:24:21 AM

I figured the problem!! Once you have created the proxy, you need to go to the foxyProxy icon and right-click. Then click "Use proxy 'TH Beta' for all URLs".

That worked for me.
January 17, 2013 8:26:22 AM

I think the beta is OK. Haven't looked through it in much detail, but I guess the change of interface will take some getting used to.
!