I missed that suggestion Wayne - not a bad idea. There would be no problem fitting it on a CD, but I'd have to create some sort of offline search interface or something.
Chuck: You have a good point; one that I've been thinking about lately. We're fast approaching the 50,000 post mark (43,090 as I type this) and I want to do something at that point. For efficiency reasons with the database it's not practical to keep everything on the same forum forever.
One of the main problems is search speed, and the toll that the volume takes on the database. If you do a search for something common like "dirty carb" then it's going to be able to pull up a page worth (10 or so) very quickly. But if it's a less common phrase, or something that isn't in there at all, then it takes forever to check through all 43,000 posts. This ties up the database, which the Moped Army account only has so many concurrent accesses to at any given time. When it fills up it says "too many database connections, try again later". I'm sure some of you regulars have encountered this annoying message from time to time.
My current thought is to create an archive forum that can be browsed and searched (I'll probably integrate the searches so that it's less confusing), but you won't be able to post. Older posts are often not used to start up new discussions anyway, but to get facts and information that people can use to fix problems instead of asking about it.
I'll let you know for sure what I decide later on, but it will definitely be more than 6 months worth kept in the active forum. It will probably be a year and a half - or maybe I'll make it based on number of posts, so it's the last 30,000 posts or something like that.