View Full Version : Status Of John Rotella Of Tbird Registry...

01-13-2017, 09:58 AM
Does anyone know the status of John Rotella of the Tbird Registry? The last few times I tried to access the Registry it has been down as far as accessing the online database, but you can still register a Tbird. I emailed him last night only to have my email rejected. If anyone has had contact with him in the last few days or weeks, please let me know about his status.

01-13-2017, 11:24 PM
Thanks to Carl Heller ~ partsetal, I know why the Tbird Registry is down. John Rotella is okay, but the Registry is not. I will provide you with full details shortly, as soon as I have a conversation with John.

01-14-2017, 11:25 AM
I just concluded a long telephone conversation with John Rotella regarding the Tbird Registry. As soon as I can put something together I will post it and tell you what can be done to assist him in getting it back up and running again. However, the function that allows you to register a Tbird on it is still operational. You just cannot research anything for the time being.

01-14-2017, 04:37 PM
Since its inception some years ago, John Rotella has dedicated himself to recording and registering every Thunderbird ever produced from 1955-2005 in his Thunderbird Registry website. http://www.tbirdregistry.com. As of January 12th, 2017 the Registry has 64,057 Thunderbirds in it. This includes every Tbird that has been reported to him as having been crushed, parted out, being repaired or restored, or still on the road today. He accomplished this in his own time, with his own funds, without charging for this service, and with the efforts of
many "spotters" around the world (like myself), reporting locations and owners of Tbirds as they find them.

However, for the present time, the Registry on-line database is not online and there are reasons for it. It is still possible to Register a Thunderbird though by accessing the Registration part of the website. From what John has told me the problem with the Registry is not the database but the server it is running on. It is old and outdated, and the software needs to be revamped and brought up to todays standards. He is unwilling to invest any more money in the website as it already has taken up tens of thousands of hours of his time and an untold amount of his personal finances. It takes a minimum of 20 hours a week just to deal with the car input itself, and the time spent with emails to owners trying to ascertain details is just out of control.

So, combined with new technology with which he is not fluent makes it necessary for him to pay someone in order to modernize the site. Frankly, a modernization would not cut down on his workload, it would only guarantee that the site runs properly. In the long run the final bill would probably reach $4,000. One thing he would like to make clear is that fixing the Registry is not like getting a new phone or making a few clicks. He can’t buy what he needs off a shelf. The code must be conceived, written, analyzed, and tested. He is not suggesting that it could be fixed in a week or a month or 2 months. It might take longer because he has to consult with the code writer.... fortunately he lives only 50 miles from him. It could take 2 months for him to even schedule a first look at it, but he has agreed to do the work at a price of $3,500 to $4,000 range. He has already hired him in the past to do a very complex job for the Cougar Club of America, and he did it with complete success.

Meanwhile, the Registry as it is has a mind of its own, it will probably start working again and then go down again. A permanent, hard fix will come only when the entire site has been transferred to a MySQL database and the pages written in PHP. There is no template so everything must be done from scratch, just as he has done with the current site. So the bottom line is, people will not see instant gratification. In the meantime, the current database must be updated, maintained, and send out replies to owners. The Registry itself is not going away, only the searchable on-line database will not be available. The Registry website will morph into a static type of drop zone for information. He has already had a lot of feedback that there are “other Registries” however none of them are on-line or allow visitors to browse.

To assist him in raising the necessary funding to accomplish these upgrades that must be done, a friend of his, Cody Burch, has initiated a Go Fund Me effort to raise funds for the upgrade of the Tbird Registry. If you would like to contribute to the efforts of getting the Registry updated and fully operational again, you can go to this website to make a donation. It is my understanding that if you use the Go Fund Me service they charge at least about 10% for doing so.


The one thing that John asks is if you make a donation, regardless of the amount, please list your name rather than making it anonymous so he knows who made it and perhaps reward those donors with certain privileges to website access. He may have to institute some kind of program whereby the more intricate details about the cars are restricted to members who have donated or pay for those services. That way he could build up a war chest for when the next round of modernization is needed. That may not be popular but he can’t keep doing this project without some realistic tangible support from the users.

Another method of donating funds for this project is through the use of PayPal. It is my understanding that if you use PayPal's Send Money To A Friend feature, Paypal doesn't charge a fee for this service. Donations can be made to john@johnrotella.com on PayPal and by doing so, he will know exactly who made the donation.

Some people prefer to pay by personal check. You can do so by mailing him a check to:

John Rotella
2484 West Genesee Tpk
Camillus NY 13031

Make the check payable to John Rotella NOT to Tbird Registry. You can put Tbird Registry in the comments section at the bottom of the check if you want to.

Address envelope exactly as shown

If you have further questions regarding this, please contact John Rotella at: john@thunderbirdregistry.com

01-21-2017, 02:12 PM
I just happened to check the status of the Tbird Registry and found that it is back in operation, BUT under a different URL name. If you click on http://www.tbirdregistry.com it will bring the page up and tell you that you can now find the registry at this url. http://tbird.info.

It appears to be fully operational again. I do not know if this is a temporary fix or what, but check it out. Either go to the original url and bring it up, then click on Enter to go to the new one. Or just click on the new url and it should come right up. I have emailed John Rotella for additional information.

01-21-2017, 09:46 PM
John just sent me this information on how he got his Registry up and running again. He is testing this out to see if this might be a good fix for the problems he is having.

"The upgrade and conversion is a somewhat complicated topic.

MySQL is the route I wanted to take. In order to do that I would need at least $3,000 to make the conversion of the Access database.

I have found some software which so far seems to be reliable which can activate the current Access database and make it simulate a MySQL approach. I am testing it for the next couple of weeks. By “simulate” I mean it is like getting a 55-year old carburetor rebuilt.... it will work more efficiently and power the wheels better, but in the long run it is still an old carburetor. Testing requires a lot of hours of evaluation, and to make sure I have more not less of the Registry when I am finished.

The software itself is $495 and I would need to sign a 3-year commitment of web hosting at $185/year. So I would be willing to work on it if I can get support of about $1,100. Still it is not an overnight process to make the changes, but at least I can do them myself.

The Registry is working OK as far as I can tell. A couple of noticeable differences in what people might see:
1. if I am in the process of uploading a new database, people will get an error message. They need to try again in 1 minute that is how long it takes to upload a new database.
2. if they leave a Registry page open in their computer they will get an error message. They need to refresh their browser.

I have gotten a few emails about #1 and #2 above. If this happens to you, just try again in a few minutes if you have problems with #1. If #2, just remember to hit the refresh button. That should clear up the problem."

01-22-2017, 12:26 PM
Nice upgrade. Check out my car, #40915.