Site support

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Who Shot Sam?
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Site support

Postby Who Shot Sam? » Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:57 am

I was just reading Doc's comments about the challenges involved in keeping the site free of hackers, viruses, etc. and realized that it was about time I did my part to ensure that the site remains the active, vibrant community that it is today.

I know that Doc, spooky and Blue are unlikely to openly solicit your financial support for the site, so I will. It's very easy to do - just click that little link at the top that says "Help The Site" and give as much as you are able - $5 a month through PayPal is an easy way to help and probably well within the budget of most of those who frequent the board. I've met a lot of wonderful people through the ECFF and would hate to see it all go up in smoke. It would also mean finding something else to do with all of my free time, and that's too frightening a prospect to contemplate. :wink:
Mother, Moose-Hunter, Maverick

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DrSpooky
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Postby DrSpooky » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:15 am

Thanks for subscribing. Every bit helps.

Just so everyone hears it again -- this isn't a money making operation. Spooky and I went into hosting it with the attitude that if it covered the montly difference between our old residential Internet bill and current commercial account bill, we would be OK with it. Right now, between PayPal and Amazon we are covering most of the difference. Again, note the word most.

The cost calculation ignores that we bought a computer to run the site on and I still have a few hardware improvements that have not been done.

Running a successful site long-term takes both technical and creative attention. For the most part, the technical is background noise. But when you ignore the technical, you get behind on updates and get hacked. I feel blessed by the good content you people provide.

Cross your fingers, we have self-hosted the site for about 20 months now and haven't had any real problems.

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spooky girlfriend
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Postby spooky girlfriend » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:25 am

I need to mention a couple of things here.

Firstly, we are going to be out of town for the next few days, and unreachable by internet for about 24 hours. Blue has kindly offered to "hold down the fort" during that time.

However, since the site is hosted by us in our house, remember, if our power should go out, there might be a slight interruption in service. We have purchased a backup battery for such instances, so like I said, there might be a slight break of the site being down.

Doc and I spend a lot of time and our own personal money - around $60-80 USD per month - on this site. Between Doc's computer know-how and constant upgrading software on the PHPBB, and my time answering email and user questions, we are actually going way in the hole on not only time, but money as well. We've got quite a lot invested in this venture that so many people gain from.

I'd like to ask you guys to consider supporting the site in some small way. Even a few dollars a year from frequent users would help. If nothing else, please use the Amazon link above - it really does add up. I know not everyone can contribute, but just the price of a drink every month or even every few months from a few users would go a long way.

Please consider.

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Who Shot Sam?
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Postby Who Shot Sam? » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:28 am

Spooky, the Paypal link seems to broken - at least it's not working for me.
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spooky girlfriend
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Postby spooky girlfriend » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:34 am

:o Doc is looking into it now.

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DrSpooky
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Postby DrSpooky » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:55 am

Fixed. As best I can tell, something expired and I needed to get a new magic key to send with the paypal click through.

Looking back at my original post, we are now at about 32 months of hosting the site in our house. The same computer and internet connection are also hosting JohnE's Wiki. That required some upgrades which JohnE paid for. The computer itself is now 2-3 years old so eventually age will catch up with it.

But as Spooky mentioned, the monthly ongoing expenses are the issue. In order to host the site, we had to move to a commercial Internet account which by itself is $80 a month right now. We also register the domain names which is an annual cost.

We do not go very long after any update to the Board software, the Wiki software or the OS itself before it is installed. We have nightly backups. Up until a few months ago, we battled about 25-50 bogus account registrations a week. We had to investigate each registration to see if it was for viagra or viruses or just good old Russian porn.

This is a labor of love but at the same time, it costs money and takes time. Not as much a gripe as a statement of fact.

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DrSpooky
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Postby DrSpooky » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:17 am

Apparently PayPal has something broken right now. The one time donation with no specific amount is just not working. I regenerated the button multiple times. If you put a specific donation amount, you get a valid click through. I just went ahead and added the USD5 subscription to the top page since that seems to work.

I will file a problem report with PayPal about the unspecifed amount donation issue. In the mean time, subscriptions work.

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spooky girlfriend
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Postby spooky girlfriend » Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:07 pm

Back in a town with a real internet connection again. Hope you all were good boys and girls.

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Postby legman open to offers » Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:20 am

C'mon folks, do what you can to help out the Great Spookys with the site!
Now I'm the invisible man, and you can't see me.

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spooky girlfriend
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Postby spooky girlfriend » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:08 pm

Well, apparently a few little elves from the board have come together and shown their appreciation for the little home we all share here.

I hadn't checked the paypal account in a few days. I apologize for not noticing the goodness of those who made contributions.

We love you guys and would have continued to go in the hole. I hated to even say anything, but it *was* getting pretty bad. We were never looking to profit anything from this, but we had always hoped to at least break even.

I've actually been under the weather off and on for a month and had not been aware of this little surprise. You guys are great. For all those who contributed, I thank you. I know there are some who can't and that's okay. But I hope that those who haven't will consider, or at least click on the amazon link when you Christmas shop.

Doc and I will continue to do all we can to give everybody a good place to be. Only work and kid commitments keep us from doing as much as we would like.

Thanks for sharing the love.

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spooky girlfriend
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Postby spooky girlfriend » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:15 am

You know, I have to add to my own post here that although I spend a lot of time on the board making sure things work correctly, approving new accounts, etc., the board would not exist without the Doc. You guys will never know how much he invests in reading magazine and internet articles, keeping up with the phpbb updates, and the extra equipmentt that he has purchased to make this all happen.

I just want you to know that he gets busy and doesn't hang out much on the chat part of the board, but if the board lights up in the morning and the page loads when you go to the website, then it's because of him.

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verbal gymnastics
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Postby verbal gymnastics » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:50 am

I don't think there is anybody who has been on this site for a while that does not appreciate the incredibly hard work both you and the Doc do to keep our little family together.

Thanks as ever.
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Otis Westinghouse
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Postby Otis Westinghouse » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:08 pm

Hear hear.

Thanks.
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