View Full Version : www.rafcommands.com For Sale

25th August 2013, 10:16
Due to personal circumstances I will shortly be no longer able or willing to support both the www.rafcommands.com domain or it's associated web site and forum.

In order to allow the last 15 years of web presence to continue I am looking at selling the domain, current web pages of www.rafcommands.com, current forum and archive storage as one package.

the new owners will be able to alter and run the site as they see fit.

Included in the price is the following IP hosting package:

Transfer of domain registration www.rafcommands.com, due for renewal on 2 May 2014
Yearly web hosting package from current IP, 15GB bandwidth, 3000MB storage, due for renewal 12 Nov 2013
SQL Database package from current IP, 1 database used out of 3, due for renewal 27 Nov 2013
CGI Bin package from current IP, renewal 21 June 2014

I'm looking for offers in the region of 4 times the annual hosting costs to cover previous development, goodwill and my agreement not to develop a competitor site in similar format.

If not sold and transferred by Nov it will be reduced to archive status.


25th August 2013, 12:44
Whats the ball park figure Ross?

Doubt anyone understands the costs and effort involved.

25th August 2013, 13:16

Last year the annual hosting bill was £257

If the site was to be funded by advertising there are various estimates online of it's annual worth from $28K to $167 but the meridian is $3k to $4k.

I've set the price as a one off offer in the region of £1k and, for offers near asking price, would extend the renewal dates for everything to 2014 before sale.

Current IP hosting is Easyspace and they have the ability to host on behalf of any international owner.

Web content transfer is easy if it initially stays with the current IP. All I do is give the ftp details and current password for site content and the admin forum login. The new user changes the passwords to suit and deletes my forum registration. That way they have all the access to files and forum that I had and I have none.

If required they could then transfer the files and forum to a new IP and move the domain there and the internet address of www.rafcommands.com would be automatically linked to the new quad address.

Domain transfer would be subject to the normal rules and procedures but is fairly straight forward.


All email rights to rafcommands are transferred with the domain.


25th August 2013, 20:40
Ill maintain my current investment in nappies and childcare I think.

Best of luck. Been nice chatting with everyone.

25th August 2013, 22:27
And I thought Lycos were expensive for hosting, that was until they pulled out of hosting and I found much more realistic options.

26th August 2013, 13:35

I cannot adequately express my sorrow that you no longer feel able to support the www.rafcommands.com domain. I am a total dunce in these matters, but nonetheless appreciate the more than considerable time and expense that you have devoted to what is without doubt one of, if not the best military forums on the Internet. The advice and information freely given and shared by all contributors is without value. There is no question but that collectively we hold a unique archive of data that extends from WW1 to post-WW2 although, obviously, WW2 remains the core as you intended. An archive that without rafcommands we would be unable to access and benefit from.

For this reason I hope that someone feels able to continue what you started so many years ago. I have no skill whatsoever in this cypher world, but would be more than willing to offer my unconditional support to anyone prepared to continue your work.

In the mean-time "Thank you, Ross" seems a poor way of showing gratitude.


26th August 2013, 19:48
I have discussed the matter with Ross off-board and after consideration I have to say also that it is out of my possibilities.

I also think it will be a big loss for our community which seems to me really different form other forums I am member of as on this forum thanks to Ross and other members I feel more "family relations".

I can offer my full support if anyone will take over


27th August 2013, 01:54
I am seriously thinking of taking up Ross on his offer. Though I may not offer his asking price, I would make a reasonable and a serious offer that is within my means.

1. This site has been invaluable to me for my research over the years - and in my very first work about WW2 that is going to get published end of this year, i had prominently acknowledged the tremendous help I got out of this forum. So Personally I am indebted to this board.

2. Over the years I have seen the site grow and members like Henk etc contribute so much to this site. it would be a shame to see that go away.

3. Running a site requires persistence and technical knowhow. I have been managing my own sites for nearly 15 years now. and I intend to carry on till I kick the bucket (Which hopefully will alteast be 30-40 years away). I have access to webspace / webserver that literally costs me next to nothing to host an additional site .

4. But I do wonder if members will keep posting at the same pace should a change of ownership happen? it goes without saying that it is Ross's effort and vision that kept this site going and growing. I can replace the technical operations behind the site, but cannot replace the leadership , moderation and knowledge.

27th August 2013, 02:59
It would be a shame for Ross to have to lower his price further. His investment in time and patience far outweighs the asking price, I think. Especially if the new owner(s) were to start adding Google ads to the site.

I too can offer assistance, as I do this kind of work for a living - more on the content side, although I have some technical skills - and manage several sites, both professionally and as a volunteer.

Perhaps a community foundation could be formed to put up an offer? It seems to be working for Hearts, and the Canadian Football League team in Saskatchewan is community-owned.

68 Sqn
27th August 2013, 07:11
I cannot adequately express my sorrow. It's a shock
On the other hand, I understand the reasons.
Thank you for everything.
Regards Pavel

27th August 2013, 07:24
4. But I do wonder if members will keep posting at the same pace should a change of ownership happen?

Thanks to Ross for running such an excellent site for so long. Best wishes to Jagan for considering purchasing the site - I can only answer for myself (as a newcomer) but I will support new management as best I can and be grateful for the hard work that goes into making the site a success.


phill jones
27th August 2013, 07:58
I too am Saddened to hear that Ross has Put the Site up for sale , but i fully understand his Reasons , Thank you Ross for all your hard work for making available such a brilliant site , I truly hope the site will continue to grow under new Owners and not go into Archive status if not Sold which would be Tragic .

I will continue to support the forum for as long as it Continues and my Sincere Hope is that it does !

Phill Jones.

to add to the above , i too would be happy to Contribute Financially to see the Forum Cont

27th August 2013, 08:14
I echo the comments of other but would be willing to discuss a joint undertaking as suggested by David to see the continuation of the forum.


27th August 2013, 09:41
I think, Jagen, there is a wish amongst members for rafcommands to continue largely as it is as a source of information and advice. To me one of its most remarkable features is the way a thread appears to run its course, then, years later, blossoms into life when a relative of an airman finds it and either asks for further advice, or is able to make a significant contribution to what actually happened.

So far as support is concerned I'd be happy to contribute financially.


27th August 2013, 10:01
To answer a few questions being posed on line and by PM.

The forum software is a commercial product that was purchased outright rather than leased. Although it has no annual costs to run it also has no automatic free upgrades to new Vbulletin versions but these could be re-established by the new operator for a fee from Vbulletin.

My personal opinion on this is that the new version would not be one that I would purchase as there are better deals from competitors. I've been working on the assumption that the forum software will be good for another 3 to 5 years before needing replacement.

The forum can support multiple Admin accounts and mod accounts. These can be limited to certain sub-forums or applied globally and tailored in ability/action by means of an extensive tick box list.

Photo hosting, HTML code, RSS feeds, private forums etc are all features it currently has but are not used.

The forum could be run by a group or individual but the Domain registration demands the name and contact details of an individual so this would need to taken into consideration by a group effort.

I have not taken any steps towards improving the Alexa and other traffic reports as I did not intend to add ads to the site during my custodianship so all these are ready for immediate improvement with a bit of attention/tweaking.

Initially I used my sponsorship as the funding stream feeding in the TNA files commerce to take up expansion costs. I believe the way forward for maintain the site at current levels and projected growth is for either expanded ecommerce or inclusion of ad banners.

Another immediate method of reducing costs is to prune the storage requirements and return to basic hosting costs in Nov 2014 when the current situation is up for renewal.

As to reasons for making the for sale announcement.
I have been working on another project for a few years now in parallel with forum duties. This project has a projected web hosting requirement that will shortly duplicate and surpass the web hosting currently occupied by rafcommands.com. A deadline has been imposed which will mean devotion of all my time to met it, thus why I will not have any longterm ability to continue admin of the board.

The duplicate web hosting costs are ones which I need to cut.

Simply put it's time that the forum moved to new ownership/direction if it is to continue. I want to pay only one set of hosting costs and that will be for the new project. Selling the forum and domain meets my criteria on time and costs but if not sold at a rate that recognises it's value as an existing asset I will close to new posts , meeting my time needs and then as the new project needs the storage/web hosting recover the archive space for reuse.


27th August 2013, 11:31
I thoroughly endorse what Brian has said. The beauty of this site is that its members can be experts in very, very, small parts of a problem. Occasionally that small part can unlock, or explain, much larger chunks of any problem.
I, too, will be prepared to contribute financially!
Peter Davies

Scott McIntosh
27th August 2013, 18:47
I would also like to contribute financially and as a moderator etc but am of no use technically. I guess in time I could learn but I know nothing of running a forum.

The RAF Commands forum must continue running so as no to let the good work of Ross and other form members go to waste. Whether that be as Ross is saying with the new owner/s taking on ads or by meeting annual cost by subscription on a volunteer basis.

A forum owned and run by members would be complicated but very possible and would keep the forum running until a better solution could be found. I do not want to see this forum reduced to an archive as there are some very good people on here who help a lot of us and all of the people who are looking for info on uncle johnny the fighter/bomber pilot.

To lay out a simple guide for a member owned payment scheme a basic model would be thus.

Intial buy over based on 20 members outlaying £50 each with say £20 a year additional for hosting fees.

I think there would be 20 members here that would like to take part in that kind of offer.

Essentially I would think that the members would be looking to source an income on the forum so that it could pay for itself. How that would happen in the real world would need to be discussed.

What is needed is 20 plus members who would be willing to part with that sort of cash. Each could reach an agreement on payment etc etc and take on moderation duties etc.

But what is defiantely needed is 1 person to be named the man or woman who takes ownership of the forum in name and the same person to take technical control of the forum. Either that or an additional technical person.

Hopefully the forum could have several technical people who could take it in turn to ensure the smooth running of the forum but that is in an ideal world realistically we might not even get 1 person willing to do the technical side.

Lets hear everyones thoughts.

First of all we need financial support. Who would be willing to part with some cash.

27th August 2013, 18:49
Like many others, the help that I've received from many members over the years has enabled my research to progress way beyond my expectations, so the demise of this site would be an immense loss to me and I suspect many other researchers. I sincerely hope it will continue, I too am prepared to chip in if needs be in order to ensure this.

27th August 2013, 18:52
Count me in


Scott McIntosh
27th August 2013, 18:59
I count 7 people so far who have offered finiancial support already before and after my post above so far.

Another 13 depending on the level of financial support given and we could still have a forum.

Steve Smith
27th August 2013, 19:51

You can count me in.



27th August 2013, 19:51
I could fess up that much at least, what else will I do with my limited free time.

27th August 2013, 20:55

You can count me in too.


bruce dennis
27th August 2013, 20:57
I keep thinking about the good work done by Henk.
I am one of (I suspect) many who have spoken to Ross about the sale and, frankly, I don't care to have the sole responsibility for maintaining such a valuable resource. I don't have the expertise to make the basic decisions concerning the hosting and security. My thoughts were to partner with a technical guru, enlist a couple of moderators in different time zones and seek a small subscription fee to keep ahead of the expenses. Any surplus income could go to a chosen good cause such as, for example, the Guinea Pig Club.

We, between us, have a formidable amount of knowledge and resources and the only reason we are able to use this to good effect is because Ross took the plunge and provided the soapbox.

Henk proved how it can be used, and now Alex and others are using the tool as it was intended. The forum is welcoming to the general public seeking help and has allowed a few members to 'blossom' into productive researchers.

There is a need for the forum and I am willing to do what it takes to keep it going. It will require, as Scott pointed out, one person to take the lead. I will support whoever rises to the lead, or will take a more proactive role if called upon.


Scott McIntosh
27th August 2013, 21:15
I think and this is purely me thinking that the person who is going to be the forum technical guide should be the person who is named as the forum operative/owner. Simply so they are the one to bring up the subject of renewals etc and to advise on the forum running/hosting/advertising/upgrading etc etc side of things. Everything would need to be discussed between the forum owners before a decision is made. Majority vote rules no matter how narrow a margin it happened to be.

Is there someone who would be willing to take the lead on this and happens to have the technical knowledge to run this forum.

I think everyone now has the general idea.

We may even end up with several people with varying degrees of technical abilities.

Errol Martyn
27th August 2013, 22:17
I, too, would be happy to chip in with a donation/subscription if someone with the technical expertise who is willing to run the site can be found to take it on.


David Layne
27th August 2013, 23:01
I count 7 people so far who have offered finiancial support already before and after my post above so far.

Another 13 depending on the level of financial support given and we could still have a forum.

Make that eight. I will be "out of town" for a week but will willingly contribute to a consortium to maintain the website. Keep me posted.


27th August 2013, 23:06
This site is quite complex, given other sections like the POW list. I assume, however, that the Forum is the most difficult, given the matter of updating, policing (lest people be abusive) and dealing with unwelcome intrusions (remember the smut that troubled the site two years ago). That given, of anyone succeeds Ross with this task, he needs (1) expertise (2) time and (3) money.

If anyone possessing (1) and (2) is prepared to buy the domain and maintain it, I am prepared to put up some of the third element, to a maximum of 120 pounds (about $ 200 Canadian). Could some agreement be reached as to who is going to do it and who is prepared to help financially - with hard figures attached ?

I would hope that those with special expertise would continue to contribute their knowledge - including Ross who knows so much about Coastal Command.

David Wallace
28th August 2013, 00:33
I would also be willing to put some money towards supporting the site.

28th August 2013, 00:57
I am glad so many of the forum members are stepping up to the plate and offering to help. With sufficient members offering to dip in to their wallets I think sufficient funds can be raised to meet the target from Ross. leaving only one thing to worry about - Technical Knowhow (Which in itself is no big deal, but the initial days may be a struggle for some).

FWIW, what I offered Ross was a partial amount of what he was asking for (as the full amount was beyond my means). I had technical expertise to run/maintain it, and I had a couple of websites of my own so the yearly recurring fees for hosting and bandwidth were next to zero for me. BUT.. a big BUT... I WOULD have taken help of Google Adsense to put some ads to help offset my initial costs. (I know this is Undesirable for many and not the ideal solution).. There is also the danger of 'one man' being responsible for such a large effort. (consider what happened to the cfww2 forum) What I proposed to Ross was a solution with the second worst outcome (next to the site turning 'read only')

The Best solution is to have enough members coming together to chip in, both for initial and yearly expenses, as well as with technical and moderation efforts. Distributing the load ensures no one gets burned out. Best of all, when members get overwhelmed or feel the need to carry on , they can easily step aside and let others take up the mantle. I would still advise to go with some kind of Ads - to offset yearly running costs. KeyForums does it without being too obnoxious about it!

Robert Sveinson
28th August 2013, 05:47
Majority vote rules no matter how narrow a margin it happened to be.

Is there someone who would be willing to take the lead on this and happens to have the technical knowledge to run this forum.

I think everyone now has the general idea.

We may even end up with several people with varying degrees of technical abilities.

I am too old and too computer il-literate to do anything except agree to paying a fee
to keep this forum alive.

Maybe some one in the forum could convince Hugh Haliday(sp) to accept the responsibility
of leadership. I realise that he is a very busy person, as I have read much of his
work in the Canadian Legion Magazine and other places. I was surprised to discover
that he wasn't an "old" veteran with all his knowledge.


Andy Fletcher
28th August 2013, 08:13
I too would be willing to chip in with funding providing it isn't too much and a clear frame work for rules and responsibilites is laid out.

Andy Fletcher

28th August 2013, 09:54
Priority in this discussion should be given to the matter of a webmaster with the time, expertise and confidence to maintain the site. Without a "Ross clone" then all else is expressions of good feelings. In terms of expertise alone I am NOT that person.

I suggest that such a clone should make himself known to Ross first (for the purpose of negotiation) and then to the Forum members to obtain the necessary assurances of financial assistance. Ross might also communicate, either through the board or privately, what has been arranged (i.e. a bare-bones successor or a true reincarnation).

Rules and regulations can follow after that. The one rule that I would insist upon is that there be no discrimination or special privileges for any who have participated in the operation. All Forum members remain equal.

bruce dennis
28th August 2013, 11:01
Hugh: Well said.
We all want it to continue, but what financial considerations must be met are up to Ross. Whover has the tech know-how and time can count on support provided there is no outrageous 'new agenda'.


28th August 2013, 11:19
I don't mind chipping in either!

28th August 2013, 11:43
Dont worry about the Technical side of it - I volunteer for that. apart from the initial set up and workings, it usually will be smooth sailing.

But do plan for a 'board of moderators' who will approve legitimate memberships and oversee the conversations.

Fortunately RAF Commands is a very well behaved forum with very little trolling or bad behaviour so the moderators too should be able to handle the job. Its a simple task that anyone who is familiar with the board posting can do.

28th August 2013, 14:30
Well I would suggest following process - any comments welcomed:

1. Jagan will discuss technical + financial matters with Ross
2. then Jagan will contact the members who are willing to take part in the financial support by the group email to discuss the possibilities how to raise the necessary funds to buy the domain + to maintain it for the first year.
3. the next step could be discussion about the 'board of moderators', my own experience showed that this board should be small, 2-3 persons max. But if more members are willing to take part we can have one Master moderator and other can change in year period for example?

I also fully support the opinion of Hugh, essentially I think we can go on with the rules stated by Ross, only new rules should be created for members of the 'board of moderators'.


28th August 2013, 14:38
I think Pavel's suggestion is very sound and would be happy to assist in anyway I can both financially and practically.


28th August 2013, 14:43
Broadly agree Pavel's proposal(s).
1 Agreed
2 Agreed - but there needs to be a clear proposal as to what is "initial buy out" and what is "subsequent running costs".
3 Not sure about this one! We have a number of Senior Members scattered around the world to ensure a (or several) Mod(s) is/are on duty as the earth orbits the sun!! Europe>E Canada>W Canada>Oz/NZ>India>Europe. Might need more than "2-3 persons" to achieve this? Their TORs need to be well written - and then we have to get them to "volunteer". (Ho Ho!).

There is a 3rd way. I, from-time-to-time, log-on to an aviation/Air-Traffic site. It is 'Free', but there are adverts. You can join the site and, by paying a small fee, can become a recipient of a "non-advertising" version of the site! Just a thought!

Peter Davies

28th August 2013, 14:58

2 - yes one question is the fund for the domain cost and second the annual fees for maintenance. Raising funds for the year maintenance should be agreed firmly in longer term as we will need them every year.
3 - I do not think we need 24/7 monitoring of the forum - from my point of view 3 moderator would be find - one USA/Canada, one central Europe and one Australia/New Zealand for example.

The question of advertisement is very delicate and I think that not all members will agree and I also think it would be better to follow the original idea presented by Ross. Also I think we should discussed this question before buying the domain and it might be stated in the new rules if advertisements can be added or not.

The question is if the forum will be bought who will have the right to made the decision about adding advertisements?
1. all members? - democracy is nice but I think not the right thing in this case.
2. members who participate financially on the domain bought? - should be the optimal variant but also depends on the number of members
3. admin? - maybe the best way but in this case some members from point 2 should disagree and stopped their financial support


28th August 2013, 15:21
Tks yr response.
Yes, I think we are moving in the right direction! I hope there is a 'majority' who are in agreement?
The difference between initial buy-out, and subsequent running costs, needs to be very clearly laid down.
I disagree with you over the Mods. I think there should be sufficient Mods (across the globe) to cater for sickness, computer downs, etc. 5 to 6 would be my preferred numbers - having been involved, in the past, with having the right people of sufficient seniority on-duty in 'the place' and 'at the time' to make decisions, I do think I might be right.
As far as Advertisement is concerned, I am glad the current rafcommands is clear of it (well done, Ross!). My reason for bringing it up was that it may help, continually, to defray running costs.
Your (second!) para 3. I would be prepared to support the continuation of rafcommands by financial means. But, when I die my bank account will be frozen, and rafcommands will - no longer - receive my monthly/annual contribution. It will be up to those of you left to get some rafcommands member to replace my lost contributions. I will be looking down (or up, as the case may be) to see what you are doing!!
Peter Davies

28th August 2013, 17:01
Peter's post above has my full agreement in every respect, especially about the ads. Reference his final paragraph, I think he should write RAF Commands into his Will!

28th August 2013, 17:26
I posted this earlier.

" I believe the way forward for maintain the site at current levels and projected growth is for either expanded ecommerce or inclusion of ad banners."

I also said that offers in the region of 1K will see all the running costs paid and extended to Nov 2014 giving the new team a no cost year to make changes and decide if better hosting deal can be made.

I've set Jagan up as a temp Admin for a few days so he can have a look around the forum software and report back on features/capability.


Andy Ingham
28th August 2013, 17:50
I am also willing to contribute to keep this fantastic site going but like many others have no technical expertise or a desire to be a moderator.

Bill Walker
28th August 2013, 18:07
I'm glad to see steady progress on saving this valuable forum. Unfortunately, my little bit of available money and technical expertise is already soaked up by my own web site, but you all have my strong moral support. I would also add that my daily newspaper is full of ads, they make the paper cheaper, and I still read my paper. If I don't like the ads I don't read them.

Franek Grabowski
28th August 2013, 19:57
Guys, I see a lot of enthusiasm, but I would like to draw your attention to few important issues. One is ownership. Who shall be a registered owner? What happens if by any chance something happens to the owner? How about shareholders? How about long term cost of the site? How about security of users' data?
I am not going to discourage anybody, just pointing out, that there are several legal issues, that must be solved somehow.
Concerning adverts, as long as they are not pop ups, I have nothing against them. I think that simple calculation of cost/gain balance should be made. If not random adverts, then perhaps a single sponsorship should be sought. Then, some sort of a fund could be considered, I think. I suppose that say RAFC mugs could be of interest to a number of users, and provide the necessary profit to keep the web running. Then again, the question is of legal approach.

28th August 2013, 20:13
Ross, I got your message on the details. and as mentioned I will just look around and not touch anything.

I will certainly see if I can get this rolling. I have contact details for Bruce (Dennis), Hugh (Halliday) and Paul (McMillan).

May i request all the others who are interested in contributing to this effort to email me ? my address is jaganpvs a.t-t.h.e-r.a.t.e gmail

I will put all the emails in the proposals we have and start discussing. we can work out the plan..

I would also request all members to keep posting your concerns on this thread, so that all issues can be discussed.

28th August 2013, 21:25
I am one of those previously mentioned in this thread who has learned an incredible amount from input provided by members of this forum over the last two years. The knowledge I have gained is now being utilised to help others in their research.

The beauty of the forum is that newcomers, irregular users and regular users are all treated the same.

This philosophy must remain high on the agenda in whatever new structure is adopted; we mustn't develop a "private club" which only responds to threads posted by those that have contributed financially.

[Just a small concern I have which I thought was worth recording]



Scott McIntosh
28th August 2013, 22:39
I dont think there is any question of a private club where paying members become the elite and whom only talk amongst themselves. I dont know where people are getting the idea.

The simple fact is that to see this unique forum community survive in it present form unless a single buyer and operator comes forward then it is up the rest of who can contribute financially/technically to do so and essentially save the forum for all.

It is not a case of making money either but it would be nice if the forum could support itself and pay its own way and not reply on cash from others ie self sufficient.

Also what we still need is one person who can be named as owner and or be reponsible for the technical side ie running the forum and maintainence. I have someone in mind who could also provide technical cover too.

I think Jagan is already well advanced in being the technical side of things. So we may the tech side of things taken care off.

Another thing is that decision making would be made democratically between all financially contributing members. It is that clear and simple. Maybe if some big decisions need to made it could be discussed on part of the forum before hand to get a varied view of ideas etc but ultimate decisions come down to those 20 or however many end up paying their hard earned cash for the forum. It is only fair I think.

Also if a member decides he does not want to pay the annual renewal then notice should be given prior to renewal and a suitable buyer found to take on his or her share. If no buyer can be found then the share is offered to all remaining member at an equal share. A 19th share of a share is only just over £1 afterall. Working on a rough costing of a £20 annual renewal. (Yes I know that is a little high but it is always better to have too much in the bank than not enough)

The same should also be true for members that become uncontactable. A paying member should make resonable efforts to stay in contact with the rest of the paying members. If not then your share would be given up in exactly the same way as described above having first being dicussed by the other remaining members. This could cover members who drift away from the community or through becoming deceased etc etc. Should you wish as family member and friend to take your share on your demise then that would be up to you to put it to the other members before such an event.

Your share of the forum should not be transferable in any form to any other member of the forum unless previously discussed between paying members.

And so the list could go on but I think by now most people get the idea.

I also think that Adverts are the win/win for everyone. If you dont like adverts then dont read or click them but adverts do provide much needed cash to run the forum FREE for EVERYONE. Yes we need an initial buy out for Ross but after that and through adverts / ecommerce the paying members could first be paid back their stake and then any other income goes towards annual renewal/upgrade/maintainence costs. Adverts should not be intrusive and should be sympathetic to the subject matter of this forum. Selling things in a shop is always going to be a bit of work for anyone who is willing to take it on but if we are talking printing mugs with RAFC on it or Tshirts etc etc this would also require outlay etc. If it was as Ross has done with the records etc then this could be looked at as an additional income. I am really not sure about copyright and legal issues however on that one.

Yes there is a lot to think about and a lot to take in but with a good mix of common sense from everyone I am sure we will get there.

28th August 2013, 22:55
Over the last two years or so I have been doing research on my late father's stint in 103 Sqdn as Lancaster pilot.
After exhausting other sources I turned to this site hoping to ferret-out some unanswered questions.
Having done so, I immediately learn the site is soon to transform or maybe even go down.

My opinion is not of a long-term member; however, what are the objections to opening up the site to advertising in order to pay for the cost of hosting?

I don't ask this to generate dissention, only that it may be a last-ditch option.

29th August 2013, 11:47
It is salutary to realise how much Ross has invested in RAF Commands on our behalves and that is much appreciated.

I am not sure about putting in money up front to transfer the ownership of the board as Franek says that seems hellishly complicated to me. But I would certainly be prepared to sign up to a subscription arrangement for membership of RAF Commands if that proved to be the best way to continue to fund its activities. However, for me, the problems with access to the board over the last few months have been very frustrating and have considerably reduced my visits and I am not sure I would buy a subscription if those problems continue.

I don't know whether I say this with pleasure or sorrow but I barely understand most of what Ross writes in his explanations of what is going with “bots” and “data miners” and “spiders” and all the “guests” but in talking with friends, who do understand these things, I understand that it is possible to prevent all that activity by the way in which the board is set up. I would hope that there could be some discussion about that.


29th August 2013, 14:18
I have received emails from many on this thread - I think there are a considerable number of folks (~20) so the initial idea that Scott has put up seems pretty much doable (50 GBP x 20 ).. so I will send an email out to all those who contacted me and we can take it up from there.

Ross, I hope we should have something lined up formally within the next ten days - I hope that should be okay with you.

(and if others are interested in joining in - please email me jaganpvs a.t-t.h.e-r.a.t.e gmail )

29th August 2013, 16:07
Two thoughts:

1. When Ross explained about the web-crawlers in response to my query at http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?15272-Slow-access , I started monitoring other forums I use. Most were similarly affected to some degree or other, but RAFCommands and Key Publishing (http://forum.keypublishing.com/forumdisplay.php?4-Historic-Aviation) were most adversely affected. A short while ago KP had 55 members and 699 guests, RAFC currently has 4/57.

I've never had any problem accessing KP, so it seems to me we (Jagan?) should be considering a similar host (hope that's the correct word). The advertisments don't worry me in the slightest.

2. Whatever the change one of the most important requirements is that we continue to be able to access the existing archive. I've never been able to access the pre-2007 archive, and I'd hate for that to happen again.

3. Current hits are RAFCommands 5/48, KP 35/160.


29th August 2013, 17:00
Are the old posts (pre-2007) available to download in a file anywhere Ross?

I notice some have difficulty in accessing the old posts from this period. Although I do not have the finances or time to comit to the new project I do have some data cleansing software I wrote some time back which I can utilise to make the old data easier to search. I also have enough web experience to bring this online if it will help the new moderators and Jagan.


29th August 2013, 17:05
All the DiscServer and Vbulletin posts are indexed by Google and can be found through that medium

eg Google search
"Blenheim, No.53 Sqn, 16/06/41" site:www.rafcommands.com

Gives this thread from 2001

The sticky message at the top of the current index page is also useful but only if you use the updated info on page 3 - the links in early posts in this thread have died off



29th August 2013, 17:23
I've never had any problem accessing KP, so it seems to me we (Jagan?) should be considering a similar host (hope that's the correct word). The advertisments don't worry me in the slightest.

2. Whatever the change one of the most important requirements is that we continue to be able to access the existing archive. I've never been able to access the pre-2007 archive, and I'd hate for that to happen again.

Brian, my thoughts.

KP is a high traffic, high bandwidth site - and is probably hosted on a pretty solid host /infrastructure that will also be super-expensive!. RAFC is much lower in terms of traffic and bandwidth and we will certainly look at the cost effecive options.

Reg the old archive - looking at the support and interest - we can actually find a way to 'restore' it to some readable format within the current board. it wont be a perfect solution, but it will be an acceptable solution. It will require help from members/volunteers, but it can be done . Jim has mentioned an approach and some tools he has - and that is one way of doing it. I am hopeful that can be achieved in a reasonable timespan.

29th August 2013, 17:38
All the discserver threads appear in readable format as html files. The individual data that the html uses for display is in txt format. Both are archived, the txt format in a sub directory of DCF6 and 7 called Data.

HTML Format

Text format (Google prefers to index this format)


29th August 2013, 20:31
As I just told Jagan in a PM... I can assist on the technical side, and would be willing to help moderate. I can contribute something to the purchase... eventually.

30th August 2013, 15:05
Count me in for financial support.

Matt Poole
31st August 2013, 00:36
In one form or another I'll certainly pitch in financially. Sorry for the vagueness of this note...haven't had time to read the thread, but I trust Jagan's sensibilities. Jagan, I might ring you this weekend for a quick chat. Ross, though I'm only occasionally active, you've provided a brilliant service and touched many lives positively.

31st August 2013, 03:36
Happy to pay my way too. This Forum is too valuable a resource to simply let it fade away.



31st August 2013, 07:34
Sadly I too have no technical ability, but add me to the list for a contribution to keep RAF Commands going.

This site has been invaluable for my research projects, I wouldn't want to see it disappear and for others to miss out on that assistance.


31st August 2013, 19:38
Also willing to pitch in on the finance side, my understanding of things computer wise a also lacking - just ask Paul McMillian.

Wonder what Henk is thinking up there....



31st August 2013, 20:46
Pleased to contribute too. This is a great community that, as Matt said, touches a lot of lives in very positive ways.


Theo Boiten
31st August 2013, 21:01
Hi all,

I'd be happy to contribute financially to keep this excellent forum alive,

cheers, Theo

Chris Davies
31st August 2013, 21:30
Count me in, enough said.


31st August 2013, 21:53
I do not want to be too sentimental ... but I think that posts in this thread distincly shows how our community is close though the posts are coming all around the world.
When the transfer will be done and Ross will hand over his Administrator role to Jagan I would like to propose to make him a honorary member!
Ross can be proud on his project and I am proud I can be member of this forum community.


@Ian - no doubt that Henk will join us in our effort to keep RAF Forum going on...

phill jones
31st August 2013, 22:17
I too agree with Pavel's sentiments Phill Jones

1st September 2013, 21:22
Count me in to help financially. can't help with the technical side though I'm afraid!! :)

Martin Gleeson
1st September 2013, 22:09
I will help financially too, but not a chance on the technical side !


2nd September 2013, 07:20
Happy to contribute.


2nd September 2013, 09:16
I don't have time to read 8 pages of gush.

How much, Ross? PM me or email it to me. It stays in the family. Period!



2nd September 2013, 21:39
It's the same for me. How much?


Scott McIntosh
3rd September 2013, 06:58
The price Ross put out for the complete forum etc was offers around £1000.

I believe an agreement has been reached where by around 20 forum members will contribute £50 each. This includes Jagan who will oversee the technical side of things.

I dont know if this number has been reached yet. But in any case contact jagan for an update.

Hans Nauta
4th September 2013, 16:54
Count me in for a contribution too!


5th September 2013, 12:29
I cant help with £50 at the moment but might be able to manage £25 if that helps to keep such a good resource going :)

Wee Gerry
5th September 2013, 15:08
Ross & Co,

I'd like to be associated with the views and sentiments expressed by Lyffe in his post of 26/8 and with the comments of others re the non-monetary value of the Forum. The devotion of Ross & the members and the speed and willingness in which they respond to queries is absolutely unmatched elsewhere.

Like numerous other respondents, I wouldn't have any technical expertise to devote to keep things running but I'd be happy to divvy up to prevent this unique source from being lost.


5th September 2013, 17:35
Dear all, since this started, many members came forward and got together to put in the required funding and Ross had duely completed the transfer of the forum and site.

Many thanks to all those who came forward and are still coming forward every day to offer support and help.

This thread is now locked - as its purpose has been served.