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Re: NFC: NFC server (techie computer geek stuff)

Actually, it was my idea, but that's allright. :)

I already run the mailing lists, and wouldn't object to running anything
more on my end -- time being the only contraint.  With a few other
administrative assistants, it wouldn't be a problem at all.

 J. L. Wiegert                                    ICQ UIN: 1918889
 New Web Page Up and Coming!                      AIM  ID: Etheosoma
 http://nativefish.interspeed.net    --           NFC's Web Page
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On Fri, 14 May 1999, Chris Hedemark wrote:

> Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 17:05:49 -0400
> From: Chris Hedemark <hedemark at raleigh_ibm.com>
> Reply-To: nfc at actwin_com
> To: nfc at actwin_com
> Subject: Re: NFC: NFC server (techie computer geek stuff)
> Tim Ayers wrote:
> > From my perspective as the web coordinator, Chris Hedemark's idea has several
> > attractions. More control is the foremost. But who's going to administrate this
> > machine? I hardly have enough time to keep up with the website, so I won't even
> > consider volunteering.
> You raise a valid issue.  I am willing to spend *some* time on
> administrative work.  Of course it could be argued that a system that is
> well-tuned up front won't need much handholding.
> > Our set up at Interspeed is perfectly satisfactory. Up-time is excellent. They
> > provide CGI-capability so I can do some fun stuff. We have unlimited disk
> > space. It costs $10/month. If we want to have our own domain name, it costs
> > $20/month plus the InterNIC fee of $35/yr.
> It sounds like from where you sit it would be best to LEAVE the web site
> exactly where it is at?  I still think it would be nice for the NFC to
> own a domain name which lends both credibility and portability (it is
> relatively painless to move a domain from one ISP to another if you own
> the domain).
> > OTOH, it would be nifty to have our own mailing lists. It would be great to
> > have a database server at our disposal. But I really worry about reliability of
> > a server run by volunteers. What if our administrator goes on vacation. Our
> > site and mailing lists could easily be down for a whole week. Yikes!
> Yes this is true.
> While I am a computer professional, I am not a DBA.  I couldn't really
> volunteer to run a database in all honesty.
> E-mail services I can handle, though.  I am already running my own
> personal domain (yonderway.com) and have a small mail server which also
> handles a number of mailing lists over a part-time dialup connection.
> E-mail services are, for the most part, fairly hands-free.  Most of the
> maintenance deals with adding or removing accounts, handholding
> subscribe/unsubscribe requests for the mailing lists, etc.  One
> volunteer can probably handle the day-to-day responsibilities with
> probably no more than one hour invested per week.  In my case,
> yonderway.com requires less time than that for mail administration.
> It would be trivial to get interspeed to make the necessary adjustments
> to their DNS tables to shift the web site to www.[domain].org and I'd
> bet they could maintain the link to nativefish.interspeed.net to reduce
> confusion.  Similarly trivial would be the setup to get email flowing to
> an NFC domain.
> Before we start talking about the details of what we can and cannot do,
> and who is going to volunteer to do things on an ongoing basis, should
> we not first consider what it is that the NFC *wants* out of an internet
> presence?  I'd hate to define a solution before defining the problem. 
> :-)
> In any case, I'm sending my $$ off this weekend to join.  I'm interested
> in volunteering for two things for the NFC:
> 1) Partial internet administration.  The web site and the mailing lists
> are already in good hands.  I don't mind running the email services (it
> sounds like this is something that many would like to see?).  Maybe a
> little more but let's define the problems/solutions first and then
> figure out who is willing to do what.
> 2) Focused breeding program on one or two native species.  Prefer to
> work with the smaller sunfishes.
> > I also wonder if a $500 box is going to satisfy the computing requirements of
> > all the advantages Chris listed.
> You'd be surprised what $500 will buy you today.  $500 will buy you the
> components to build an $800-$1000 computer.  I put these boxes together
> frequently and it is about a one hour job tops.  As long as you are not
> doing intensive floating point calculations, a non-Intel CPU is just
> fine for a server box.  A very fast Cyrix processor will run you $50 or
> less today.  Memory is almost down to $1 per meg for SDRAM.  Hard disks
> are still expensive components, but not all *that* expensive.  Video can
> almost be non-existent (it is nice to have a card in there if you can't
> access the server for remote troubleshooting) and a monitor is not
> necessary.  A floppy drive and CD-ROM are not only un-necessary, but are
> actually security risks for an unattended server.  100Mbps ethernet
> adapters are around for about $25 now.
> If I go shopping at my local Intrex, which is a retail outlet that sells
> components, I can get the following.  Please remember that mail order
> parts are MUCH cheaper.  You can check my figures at
> http://www.intrex.com/parts.htm :
> (prices rounded to nearest whole dollar)
> 128MB SDRAM (PC100) - $130
> 100MHz AT motherboard - $75
> Cyrix M2/300MHz CPU - $50
> Pentium cooling fan - $6
> 8.6GB hard disk - $160
> Mid-tower case - $30
> SVGA video - $25
> 100Mbps Ethernet - $20
> Subtotal - $496
> I can get that number a lot lower through mail order sources.  Or, for
> the same $500, put in some slightly higher end components (like a faster
> AMD CPU for example).
> Note that this would NOT include a tape backup.  :-/  But then again,
> who would perform the backups if the server were located somewhere OTHER
> than a volunteer's home or place of business?
> > It's a neat idea and I am interested to see how far Chris can get.
> I am not formally proposing anything at this point.  Just trying to get
> people talking.  What does the NFC want to gain from the Internet?  And
> then how do we address those needs?  And finally, who would volunteer
> for the care and feeding of the solutions we come up with collectively?
> Oh notice that I didn't include software costs.  $0.   That's right. 
> I'll donate a copy of Red Hat Linux 6.0 with all of the server software
> necessary to make this work.  IBM is already supporting this software on
> enterprise network servers so it is not the fly-by-night software that
> Microsoft would have you believe (on the contrary... are you impressed
> by their claim of 99.9% uptime?   do the math.  that is over 10 minutes
> of downtime per week for an NT server by Microsoft's own claims).  But I
> don't mean to get into an OS war.  Just pointing out that zero-cost
> software is every bit as good as the stuff that big companies pay
> thousands of dollars for.
> Chris Hedemark,
> Hillsborough, NC