Please read the following message. Lyndon has been very supportive of the
CT-USER and NA-USER lists. Contribute only if you wish!
73 - Jim AD1C
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> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: ADMIN: Contributions
> Date: Mon, 08 Apr 1996 15:40:54 -0700
> From: Lyndon Nerenberg (VE7TCP) <email@example.com>
X-VE7TCP-Loop-Detector: dx Lyndon Nerenberg (VE7TCP) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Okay - here are the much requested instructions on how to
One thing to note is that there is no fixed target amount I'm
shooting for. As I said before, the list software might come for free
(although this looks very unlikely at this stage). If we go for the
bandwidth upgrade the costs could be as high as $2000-3000 if we have
to purchase all the routers, ISDN/WaveLAN cards, etc. (I have to supply
the equipment for both ends of the link.) Or maybe someone will kick in
some or all of the hardware. The plan is to do as much as possible with
whatever amount is received (with the list software and network upgrades
Again, thanks for all your support!
Contributing to VE7TCP.AMPR.ORG
April 8, 1996
The ve7tcp.ampr.org server has existed as an Internet
service, in one form or another, since early 1993. Ini-
tially part of the Prince George (British Columbia,
Canada) Internet/AX.25 gateway system, it has grown to
become one of the major amateur radio servers on the
Internet today, hosting seven mailing lists, an anony-
mous FTP server, and a very popular World Wide Web
During the first two and a half years of operation the
server (and Internet connection) were funded entirely
by the owner: Lyndon Nerenberg (VE7TCP/VE6BBM). Start-
ing in 1994 the Internet witnessed an explosive growth
in connectivity as local and regional Internet Service
Providers started providing affordable Internet access
to the home computing enthusiast. This generated a cor-
responding increase in load on the VE7TCP server as
more and more people subscribed to the mailing lists
run from the system. By late 1995 the number of list
subscribers had exceeded the system's capability to
keep up with the demand. To prevent a major system
meltdown the people using the system to run their mail-
ing lists took up a collection to purchase an addi-
tional 16 MB of RAM for the machine. This kept things
going for the next six months or so, however new bot-
tlenecks are appearing daily, and this time a major
overhaul of both the server and network connection will
be necessary to ensure the sustainability of the sys-
tem. The past years experience shows that this will be
an ongoing process.
The Funding Model
The rate of growth in system load has now surpassed the
ability of the system operators to keep up with the
funding necessary to continue expanding the system.
Therefore we are turning to the user community for
help. If you like what you see, and want to see the
service continue to grow, it's time to show your sup-
I don't like the idea of asking for donations, however
the reality of the situation is that without external
funding the system cannot continue to operate. Having
accepted that I've thought long and hard about the
funding model. There are a couple of conditions I have
placed on the funding model:
* The system must not become a commercial service.
This is not a profit-making venture for anyone
involved, and services must not be restricted to
only those who have the ability to pay for them.
This is also a requirement for sites registered
under the .ampr.org domain.
* Equal access must be provided to everyone, regard-
less of their ability to contribute.
The second of these is the most important to me. Many
of the people using the system simply don't have the
financial means to send in a donation. In NO WAY should
these people feel like second-class citizens. Con-
versely, people contributing to the system should not
expect any special treatment or preference. (If con-
tributing to the ham community at large doesn't make
you feel warm and fuzzy, you're probably better off
hanging on to your money.)
There are two areas that have to be addressed almost
immediately: new mailing list software, and faster
The biggest demand on system resources has always been
the mailing lists. The software we currently use
(majordomo) is deficient in a number of areas. It is
very demanding on system resources, and does a poor job
of dealing with undeliverable mail. A new software
package needs to be found that addresses these prob-
lems. None of the "freeware" packages we're aware of
will do the job, so we're investigating some commer-
cially available solutions.
The second immediate need is a faster connection to the
Internet. There are two options available: ISDN and
WaveLAN. My current preference is for a WaveLAN link.
This would give us a 2 Mb/s link to the local Internet
POP, vs. 128 Kb/s for ISDN. The WaveLAN solution has a
higher startup cost, but will be cheaper in the long
run (no monthly ISDN line charges). We need to investi-
gate this further before making a decision.
Looking at the long term we need to consider some gen-
eral server upgrades. The system needs more (and
faster) disks, a faster CPU, additional RAM, etc. (It's
a bit ironic that although these are not pressing needs
right now, they can be implemented sooner than the oth-
How You Can Help
The main need is for cash donations to apply towards
the list software and network bandwidth upgrades. Any
surplus funds will be applied towards other hardware
upgrades and ongoing costs associated with running the
system. If you would like to make a contribution
towards the operation of the system you can send it to:
1804 Juniper Street
Prince George, B.C.
Canada V2L 1N7
Please note the following:
* My bank will only accept cheques payable on a
Canadian or US bank. If you live outside of
Canada or the US you MUST send a postal money
order or bank draft. If you live in the US I would
*prefer* a bank draft or money order -- US cheques
can take a month (or longer) to clear.
* The cheque/MO/draft must be made payable to "Lyn-
* DO NOT SEND CASH IN THE MAIL!
* Contributors names (but not the amounts) will be
listed on the VE7TCP.AMPR.ORG World Wide Web site
unless you tell me otherwise. If you want to
remain anonymous, please include a note with your
contribution. (Don't send me e-mail. I will lose
it. Guaranteed :-) If you have a WWW home page
include the URL with your contribution so I can
link to it from the contributors web page.
The amount of your contribution is entirely up to you.
Send in whatever you think is appropriate. If you can-
not afford a donation, DON'T send any money. (To quote
one of my favorite U2 songs: "the God I believe in
doesn't *need* cash, mister.")
There are other ways to contribute. Volunteers to main-
tain portions of the web pages (or even better, con-
tribute NEW areas), FTP archives, etc., are always wel-
come. I can't maintain it all on my own. We also need
volunteers with solid C programming skills to help
develop new web services (the QSL database, antenna and
filter design software, etc).
Hardware donations could also be useful, although the
requirements would be very specific. (Sorry, I can't
use your used '286 machines :-) A pair of 900MHz Wave-
LAN cards would be VERY useful at this point.
Special Thanks To ...
The initial plea for help went out to the Internet DX
Mailing List. The positive response to that message
was astounding! I was about ready to pack things in,
however the feedback from the mailing list membership
convinced me that "the show must go on" even if that
means changing the operating model. Thanks to all of
A public thanks is also due the many volunteers who
help maintain the mailing lists, bulletin archives, web
pages, and FTP areas, and contributed to the first
hardware upgrade. You know who you are.
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