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Jim Alfredson

New server and increased cost...

91 posts in this topic

Hi friends,

Those that have been members of this board since 2003 have seen us change hosting companies several times. We started with a shared server space via an Ann Arbor, MI based web-hosting platform then migrated to a Dallas, TX company, still on a shared server. As the forum grew it became clear that a shared server platform would not work because of the bandwidth limitations, so we moved to a our own dedicated server in 2008 thanks to a friend of mine who was vice president of Liquid Web. Liquid Web is a Lansing, MI based company, right here in my hometown, so it made me happy to keep the money in the local economy and my friend provided me with a $300 per month server for only $150 a month.

Well, that poor server is now 10 years old and showing its age. I cannot even upgrade to the latest version of the forum software because the server cannot run the PHP and MySQL versions required. We are currently two iterations behind and that leaves us susceptible to security issues.

Unfortunately my friend retired so I cannot reach out to him to extend that super buddy deal. It looks like the least expensive option to upgrading our server is to get a brand new one with much more RAM (that's our biggest limitation right now and why the site is sometimes so slow) and a SSD RAID array for backups. The cost is $209 a month, which is $59 more per month than we're paying now or $708 more per year, bringing our total yearly costs up to $2578. The extra $70 is for the Invision Power Board yearly license (aka the forum software). Having a valid license gives us tech support and access to bug fixes.

I wanted to ask you all if this is something you will support. If not, I'll keep rolling along as we are and hope for the best; mostly that we don't get attacked by hackers exploiting the security holes in this old software. I certainly cannot float that monthly cost myself. I have done so several times the past year for the current $150 a month package. The donations are coming in decently now but during the late summer / fall months, I paid for the server out of my own pocket for the most part.

If we decide to do this collectively, then I'll be much more vocal about donations. 

I've attached the proposal from Liquid Web

Jim A..pdf

Thoughts?

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Jim, I'd be very surprised if there is a single regular poster who wouldn't be happy to pay his fair share.  How many regular posters are there now?

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Those SLAs are pretty,...ambitious. In your experience, do they meet them 100% of the time?

Also, what kind of security exploitations are we talking about? What is the worst possible outcome, and what is the most likely outcome? Or are they one and the same?

Sorry to hear that you have been floating monthly expenses. Never hesitate to call that out, please!

Now, at the risk of sounding two-faced about this whole thing, I've been a regular annual contributor,but my wife has retired and our family income is not what it once was. Plus there's a grandchild now that is de facto first recipient of whatever "extra" money we have at any given moment. I'm not talking "spoiling" money, the parents are working hard, but sometimes...you know how it can be, I'm sure.

But I am a "regular poster" no doubt, and want to continue contributing. If we can do it successfully and collectively, let's do it.

 

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That's 52 people contributing $50 a year.  That sounds reasonable to me. 

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already jumped on PayPal.

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I recently contributed $50, and will probably continue to do so.  But it seems a lot of the air has gone out of the board lately.  Too few releases and reissues, members are dying, and I'm not sure how much is left to be said that hasn't already been said.  Just looking down the road a couple of years... but for now, I'm still here.

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and the board is a lot more conservative than it was in the past, but i still contribute.

 

2 hours ago, mjzee said:

I recently contributed $50, and will probably continue to do so.  But it seems a lot of the air has gone out of the board lately.  Too few releases and reissues, members are dying, and I'm not sure how much is left to be said that hasn't already been said.  Just looking down the road a couple of years... but for now, I'm still here.

There are actually more new releases, just not thru the old channels. It has been hard for me to keep up with the current artists I admire; 

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Would it be a good idea to keep a list of board members who can more or less guarantee their donation, like a subscribers' list, just to keep this financial burden off Jim's shoulders, I must admit I was a bit worried when I noticed we were several hundred bucks behind the goal. One hundred members donating $ 25 a year, that's not asking too much for an irreplaceable place like this.

The technical and software issues are to be taken seriously. I went that "let's wait and see" path with my German language Early Music forum, and when script standards were changed the world over, it was too late for software updates etc. The internet world demands to keep up with it, that's a fact.

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i'm in for whatever is necessary.

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11 hours ago, mjzee said:

I recently contributed $50, and will probably continue to do so.  But it seems a lot of the air has gone out of the board lately.  Too few releases and reissues, members are dying, and I'm not sure how much is left to be said that hasn't already been said.  Just looking down the road a couple of years... but for now, I'm still here.

I do agree that the bulletin board format, in general, is a relic from the past, but there are tons of new releases out there. To me it seems the issue here is most of our regular posters don’t listen to much that was recorded after the 1960’s (I’m assuming that’s what Chuck was referring to with his “conservative” observation). I’ve been listening to a lot of great new releases as I’ve been going through this: http://www.freejazzblog.org/2017/12/free-jazz-blogs-2017-top-10-lists.html

I’ve never contributed here before, but count me in. I don’t understand how PayPal works, but I’ll figure it out. 

 

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4 hours ago, AllenLowe said:

i'm in for whatever is necessary.

Ditto

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Jim, a huge "thank you" for your behind the scenes contributions to keep this place up and running.  Your time and money are appreciated more than you know.  Of course we need to pitch in for the upgrade.  Count on my contributions to continue on a more frequent basis.  Happy New Year to you and yours.

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3 hours ago, soulpope said:

Count me in ....

Me, too.

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Me too ...

I kinda like the idea of that list and would volunteer to be on it as well. If it helps to make things plannable, it's a good idea - if it just creates extra work, dropping reminders and all, it's not, though.

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2 hours ago, Larry Kart said:

Me, too.

And me.

 

 

gregmo

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Easiest way would be to start a donaters thread to ensure to have those $ 200+ donated every month - members could plan their donations ahead, depending on their income. 

A German classical forum founded a society for mutual benefit to guarantee for server costs through membership fees, in case income from advertisements (links to amazon etc.) are not sufficient. 

Basically, the donations barometer should do, if all concerned live up to their responsibilities.

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Posted (edited)

I'm also in.  Just sent through $50 donation.

Edited by felser

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3 hours ago, mikeweil said:

Easiest way would be to start a donaters thread to ensure to have those $ 200+ donated every month - members could plan their donations ahead, depending on their income. 

A German classical forum founded a society for mutual benefit to guarantee for server costs through membership fees, in case income from advertisements (links to amazon etc.) are not sufficient. 

Basically, the donations barometer should do, if all concerned live up to their responsibilities.

Do we still have the link to Amazon?   I buy a lot from them. 

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4 hours ago, felser said:

I'm also in.  Just sent through $50 donation.

Same

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20 hours ago, kh1958 said:

That's 52 people contributing $50 a year.  That sounds reasonable to me. 

Is that a viable model, 52 people?  Are there 52 people that will do that? I hope so.

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The 2017 fundraising goal is reached now. Please start the 2018 goal - I will be in! 

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Is that a viable model, 52 people?  Are there 52 people that will do that? I hope so.

Could be - as mentioned I'm in .... but it remains (to me) a valid question why 52 people should grant the fun for all the remainders/non contributors .... don't want to raise a hatchet - just wondering ....

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2 hours ago, JSngry said:

Is that a viable model, 52 people?  Are there 52 people that will do that? I hope so.

Count me in.  Maybe we can compile a list on this thread.  And then a schedule so that Jim A. doesn't have to front the bill throughout the year.

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