Many of you probably noticed the down time last night. The primary database server has been acting up for a while and suffered a more serious problem last night. I have transferred its duties to a backup server, that is newer, but not as powerful. As before, the problem occurred with the use of the most resource-intensive function of the site: The search function. The search index table is once again corrupted and it will take some time to rebuild it. Due to the amount of time it will take to re-index the search system, I am not going to do so until I have upgraded GT to the newest forum of the vBulletin software that powers it, preparatory to the paid tier launch. I am hoping to have the software upgrade accomplished by this weekend. Until then, I will turn the search function back on, but it will only be indexing and searching recent messages. I apologize for the inconvenience.<br><br>The paid tier, the basic functions of it anyway, is almost ready to launch. It has been a n enormous amount of work to get it this far. I am running out of time to make this happen though. The database problems, and other financial concerns, are not going to wait for the launch. What I would like to do is begin pre-selling paid memberships now, to start generating income so I can get things caught up. The site software upgrade will happen this week or weekend and once that occurs, the features and functions of the paid tier will begin going online. What I was thinking is that we would consider August a soft opening for the paid tier. We have a grand opening for the system in September, with some drawing for some prizes. Anyone who buys a membership from this point on will be eligible for the drawings and the clock won't start ticking on anyone's membership until the basic tier is officially finished.<br><br>I have given the tier prices a lot of thought. What I have settled on is a three-tiered structure, priced at $40, $60 and $80 dollars a year. We will offer each tier membership for pre-sale at a reduced cost and as the new features come online, you will have access to them based on the membership option you chose. Folks, I know a lot of you will not want to commit to this without seeing the finished product. Without seeing what you are buying. I am not trying to sell anyone a pig in a poke. I have committed ten years of my life to this site I want to see the site continue and I want to see this new tiered membership succeed. I will do everything in my power to satisfy everyone's expectations. I can't promise more than that. I already have some great features ready to add to the new system and I am always finding more. Just today I found a system that will allow members to place keywords in a list and then any time someone posts a message that includes one or more of their keywords, they will receive an email about it. There will be some great stuff in the new system. I really hate proceeding this way, but I am behind the eight-ball. I give everyone who pre-buys a membership my word that the complete basic system will be up and running before the end of August. Most of it will launch in the next couple of weeks. The bills and equipment problems simply will not wait that long though.<br><br>I am going to set up a new forum area dedicated to the paid membership tier system. This area will be a place for me to share information on the new features and functions as they come online and more importantly, it will be a place for you to share your thoughts on what features you would like to see. This new forum will form the core of a paid membership support and community area. I've got a lot of ideas concerning the site's future and I want to start getting everyone's feedback. I will post a comprehensive list of the features you should expect in v1 of GT's paid membership tier. Any ideas we generate in the next month will go into a v 2 development pool.<br><br>I am excited about the upcoming upgrades and changes and I am looking forward to a time when GT has a consistent income stream to insure it future and fund future development. I will throwing a lot of changes at everyone in the coming month or two. Please understand that everyone will benefit from the changes, whether they choose to subscribe to the paid tier or not. I will try hard to minimize any downtime or disruption caused by the upgrades and changes. I will give you all warning if I foresee any significant disruption, before it occurs. The only real disruption I see in the immediate future is the vBulletin upgrade. This will require the site to be down while the old database is upgraded to the new structure and it is a BIG database. This changeover will most likely take four to six hours. I will post more info about this soon.<br><br><b>For those of you that have not seen it printed elsewhere on the site, <font size="4" color="red">Basic membership on GT will always be free</font><font size="4">.</font> What we are discussing here is the addition of additional features which will be made available to members who decide to subscribe to the new paid membership tiers.</b><br><br>For those that are uncomfortable prepaying for their membership before seeing the new system, I completely understand. I want everyone to be completely at ease with their decision to step up tp paid membership. There will be absolutely no hard feelings towards anyone who decides to wait. For those of you that will pay now for a cheeseburger next Tuesday, I want you to know how much I appreciate your support. I couldn't keep this place going without your support. Thanks again to everyone who helps me every day, to make this site what is. Your participation makes this a place I still enjoy visiting after almost a decade.</p> <p align="center"><b><font size="+2" color="red"><a href="http://shop.glocktalk.com/index.php/cPath/13" target="_blank">Click Here To Pre-Purchase A Membership</a></font></b> Wanna kill these ads? We can help!